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Celexa vs. Viibryd: Which One Should I Take?

Written by Klarity Editorial Team

Published: Dec 22, 2022

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Zoe Russell

Table of contents

Navigating your options for depression treatment can be overwhelming. How do you know which treatment is right for you? What are the possible side effects? 

In this article, we’ll compare Celexa and Viibryd, two commonly prescribed SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), to help you decide which one might be the best fit for your symptoms. Choosing an antidepressant that works for you can take some trial and error and should be done with the guidance of a licensed mental health professional.

If you want to learn more about these medications or receive mental healthcare from a provider that specializes in depression, get treatment today. At Klarity, our telehealth service will connect you with a qualified medical professional within 48 hours who will be able to evaluate, diagnose, and treat your symptoms, if applicable. 

This article discusses suicide, suicidal ideation, and self-harm. If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or is in crisis, contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline immediately at 800-273-8255.

Drug ClassSelective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)

Brand / Generic StatusBrand name for citalopramBrand name for vilazodone
Form(s) of the Drug• Oval capsules*
• Round tablets*
• Clear, peppermint-flavored liquid suspension

Immediate release tablets, Extended-release capsules

Standard DosageCapsules:
• 30mg dose

• 10 mg
• 20 mg
• 40 mg

Liquid suspension:
• 10mg of citalopram per dose
Color-coded immediate release tablets:
• 10mg red
• 20mg yellow
• 40mg blue
Conditions TreatedFDA-approved uses:
• Major depressive disorder (MDD)

Off-label uses:
• Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
• Binge eating disorder
• Alcohol use disorder
• Generalized anxiety disorder
• Panic disorder or PTSD
• Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
• Postmenopausal flushing
• Premature ejaculation
FDA-approved uses:
• Depression

Off-label uses:
• Obsessive-compulsive disorder
• Generalized anxiety disorder
• Panic disorder
CostGeneric (citalopram):
• $2.65 to $18.24 for a 30-day supply

• $4 for 30-day supply*

*With coupon codes or insurance
Generic form (vilazodone):
• $15 for a 30-day supply

• $340 for a 30-day supply

Side-EffectsCommon side effects:
• Nausea or GI upset
• Dry mouth
• Changes in appetite
• Drowsiness or fatigue
• Increased sweating
• Blurred vision

Serious side effects:
• Worsening depression
• Suicidal ideation
• Serotonin syndrome
• Rapid heart rate and high blood pressure
• High fever, resulting in increased sweating, shivering, or goosebumps
• Irregular heartbeat or palpitations
• Agitation or restlessness
• Loss of muscle coordination or uncontrollable muscle twitching or rigidity
• Diarrhea
• Headache
• Dilated pupils
• Confusion or altered consciousness
Common side effects:
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Diarrhea
• Insomnia
• Sexual dysfunction

Serious side effects:
• Seizures
• Blurred or tunnel vision
• Eye pain, swelling, or seeing halos around lights
• Easy bruising or unusual bleeding
• Racing thoughts or unusual risk-taking behavior
• Decreased inhibitions, euphoria, or extreme sadness
• Headache or severe weakness
• Confusion or slurred speech
• Loss of coordination or feeling unsteady
Warnings For UseContraindicated conditions:
• Depression or other mental illnesses
• Heart conditions

Drug interactions:
• St. John's Wort
• ADHD medications, such as Adderall
• Antipsychotic medications
• Tricyclic antidepressants
• Buspar
• Some migraine medications
• Lithium
• Antiplatelet and anticoagulant medications
• Drugs that affect heart rhythm
Contraindicated conditions:
• Liver or kidney disease
• Bleeding or blood clotting disorders
• Narrow-angle glaucoma
• Epilepsy
• Bipolar disorder
• Sexual function issues
• A history of drug addiction
• Suicidal thoughts

Drug interactions:
• Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
• Pimozide or other Tourette's syndrome medications
• Thioridazine or other antipsychotic medications
• Stimulant medications, like Adderall
• Opioid-based painkillers
• Herbal supplements, such as St. John’s Wort
• Tryptophan

What is Celexa?

Celexa is a medication belonging to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and is used to treat depression. This medication increases your level of serotonin, a chemical messenger that helps regulate mood, appetite, sleep, and other body functions. By slowing the reabsorption of serotonin, Celexa alleviates symptoms of depression.

Common Doses and Forms of Celexa

Celexa is also known as citalopram in its generic form and is available as an oral solution, capsule, and tablet. The oral solution has a concentration of 10 mg or 5 ml and can be good for people who have trouble swallowing pills. The tablets come in three strengths, 10 mg, 20 mg, and 40 mg, and the capsule is only available in a single strength of 30 mg.

The typical starting dosage for Celexa is 20 mg taken orally once a day, and the maximum recommended dose is 40 mg taken once daily. Your healthcare provider will determine the most suitable form and dosage for your specific needs.

Conditions Celexa Treats

Celexa can Treat Symptoms of Depression

In people with depression symptoms, the brain may not produce enough serotonin or may not use it effectively. Celexa can help by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, allowing more of the chemical to remain active in the brain. This can help boost your mood, reduce feelings of worry and sadness, and improve overall mental health.

Off-Label Uses for Celexa

Celexa is a medication approved by the FDA for the treatment of depression. It is also sometimes used off-label for the treatment of other conditions, such as anxiety disorders, OCD, PTSD, eating disorders, and chronic pain. 

Off-label use occurs when a healthcare provider prescribes a medication that has not been approved by the FDA, but has proven to be an effective treatment for particular conditions. 

FDA approval requires testing and resources that can be a barrier for getting every use approved. The use of Celexa or any other medication off-label should only be done at the instruction of a licensed healthcare provider.

Celexa Costs

The price of Celexa differs depending on your dose, the pharmacy you use, and your insurance coverage. The generic form of Celexa is typically less expensive, at approximately $7 for 30 tablets of the 20 mg dose. On the other hand, the brand version of Celexa can be more costly, coming in at as much as $400 for the same quantity and dose.

Celexa Side Effects

In some cases, Celexa can cause mild to moderate side effects. However, these usually disappear within the first few days as your body adjusts to the medication. 

Here are some of the most common side effects of Celexa. If you persistently experience these side effects, consult your medical provider.

  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Sleepiness
  • Insomnia
  • Increased sweating
  • Tremors
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite

In rare cases, Celexa can cause more severe side effects. If you experience any of the following while taking Celexa, contact a medical provider immediately. 

  • Chills 
  • Bleeding gums
  • Nosebleed 
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Painful urination
  • Seizures
  • Swelling of the face, ankles, or hands

Celexa Warnings

Like other medications that affect serotonin levels, Celexa can potentially cause serotonin syndrome, which is a serious drug reaction that occurs when there’s too much serotonin in your system. 

Symptoms of serotonin syndrome include sweating, muscle stiffness or spasms, fever, rapid heartbeat, confusion, and in severe cases, coma or death. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of these symptoms while taking Celexa.

Additionally, Celexa may increase the likelihood of suicidal thoughts or behavior in individuals under 24 years of age. This risk is greatest in the initial few months of treatment or when the dosage is adjusted, so it is crucial to be mindful of your mental health during these times. 

Celexa Drug Interactions

Celexa interacts with 685 drugs, with 269 major interactions, 367 moderate, and 49 minor. Of the medications most frequently checked, Celexa has major interactions with Omeprazole and Trazodone.

Celexa has moderate interactions with:

  • Ambien
  • Gabapentin
  • Klonopin
  • Xanax

It is essential to discuss the potential negative interactions between Celexa and any other medications you are taking with your care provider. 

Licensed providers on Klarity provide personalized treatment. Find a provider that matches your needs and preferences.

What is Viibryd?

Viibryd (also prescribed as the generic Vilazodone) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medication. Like Celexa, it enhances serotonin levels in the brain by stopping receptors from absorbing it into the bloodstream and helping regulate mood, improve concentration, boost energy, and facilitate sleep.

Common Doses and Forms of Viibryd 

Viibryd is only available in tablet form and should be taken with food. Each Viibryd tablet is oval-shaped and has the dosage printed on it. They’re also color-coded with 10 mg red, 20 mg orange, and 40 mg blue. You’ll likely start at 10mg daily, eventually increasing to a maximum of 40 mg depending on how you respond and your care provider’s instruction. 

Conditions Viibryd Treats

Viibryd is FDA-approved to treat depression. That said, it can be prescribed on an off-label basis to treat other mental health conditions. 

Viibryd Can Treat Symptoms of Depression

Viibryd primarily treats major depressive disorder (MDD. Symptoms of depression that Viibryd may be used to treat include:

  • Persistent sadness or low mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities
  • Changes in appetite and weight
  • Fatigue or low energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Off-Label Uses for Viibryd

Off-label means that the medication has been FDA-approved for the treatment of one condition, but using their judgment and scientific evidence, some providers may prescribe it to treat other conditions. In the case of Viibryd, it is FDA approved to treat depression. However healthcare providers will prescribe it to treat other conditions such as OCD, anxiety, and PTSD. 

Symptoms of anxiety that Viibryd may be used to treat include:

  • Excessive worry or nervousness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep

Viibryd Costs

For name brand Viibryd, prices can be as high as $341 for a one-month supply, but the generic version is much cheaper. Vilazodone is FDA approved and usually costs around $15 for the same length of time and dosage. The exact price can vary depending on your insurance provider and the pharmacy you use. 

Viibryd Side Effects

Viibryd can cause mild to severe side effects, which vary from patient to patient. Some of the more common side effects include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Indigestion
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Sexual problems
  • Weight gain or loss

In rare cases, side effects of Viibryd can be more severe and require medical attention immediately. If you experience any of the following while taking Viibryd, contact your provider or seek medical assistance immediately. 

  • Bleeding more easily
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye pain or swelling
  • Easy bruising
  • Racing thoughts
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Severe weakness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Unusual risk-taking behavior
  • Mania or hypomania
  • Seizures
  • Closed-angle glaucoma
  • Hyponatremia
  • Allergic reaction
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • Serotonin syndrome

Viibryd Warnings

If you have any underlying medical conditions, it is important to consult with your provider before taking Viibryd. SSRIs can have adverse interactions with certain conditions, which can result in adverse side effects. Talk with your care provider if you experience any of the following: 

  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Bleeding or blood clotting disorders
  • Narrow-angle glaucoma
  • Epilepsy
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Sexual function issues
  • A history of drug addiction

Viibryd Drug Interactions

Viibryd interacts with 404 drugs, with 112 major interactions, 289 moderate, and 3 minor. If you are currently taking any of the following medications, it may be necessary to consider alternative antidepressant treatment options with your care provider. Viibryd has major interactions with the following.

  • Adderall
  • Buproprion
  • Buspirone
  • Tamadol
  • Trazodone
  • Vyvanse
  • Wellbutrin

Viibryd has moderate interactions with Gabapentin, Lamictal, and Lamotrigine. Always discuss your current medications with your mental health provider. 

Get Anxiety and Depression Treatment With Klarity

Accessing a mental health professional who prioritizes your needs and prescribes the right medication should be easy and worry-free. Klarity is here to help. We’ve connected over 30,000 people with licensed and certified healthcare professionals to treat symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Schedule an appointment and we’ll match you with a healthcare professional who will help you find the right medication for you, if applicable.

Let Klarity help you get your life back – the help you deserve is only 48 hours away. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Celexa and Viibryd

Does Celexa Make You Gain Weight? Does Viibryd?

Weight gain is a possible side effect of some antidepressant medications, including SSRIs like Celexa and Viibryd. However, it is not a common side effect, and the extent to which it occurs can vary among individuals. Discuss any concerns about weight gain with your healthcare provider. They’ll help you determine its cause and suggest appropriate treatment options.

Is Celexa or Viibryd Better for Anxiety?

Celexa and Viibryd are both SSRI antidepressants that can be prescribed off-label to treat anxiety. Which medication you take to treat your anxiety symptoms depends on your specific symptoms, medical history, and the recommendation of your care provider. 

Can I Replace Celexa with Viibryd?

Yes, you can switch from one SSRI to another. However, switching abruptly between medications can potentially lead to unwanted side effects and withdrawal symptoms. Discuss how to transition safely from one medication to another with your mental health provider to ensure you avoid adverse side effects. 

Is Celexa Energizing or Sedating? What About Viibryd?

The effects of Celexa vary, with some people experiencing increased energy and alertness while taking the medication and others sedation or drowsiness. The same goes for Viibryd, but in general, SSRIs give you more energy and motivation due to the increase in serotonin. 

Does Celexa Cause Brain Fog? Does Viibryd?

Brain fog, the feeling of mental confusion or difficulty with cognitive function, is not a common side effect of Celexa or Viibryd. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including medical conditions, medications, and lifestyle factors, such as lack of sleep or poor nutrition. If you have brain fog, it is important to discuss it with your care provider to find a solution. 

Can I Drink Alcohol On Celexa? On Viibryd?

When taking any SSRIs, including Celexa and Viibryd, you should avoid drinking alcohol. When you drink while taking these medications, it can negatively impact their effects. In addition, mixing alcohol with Celexa or Viibryd can heighten the effects of alcohol, further impairing your balance or vision.

Can I Drink Caffeine When I’m on Celexa? How About Viibryd?

It is generally safe to consume caffeine while taking an SSRI like Celexa or Viibryd. In some cases, caffeine use, along with taking antidepressants, can cause side effects such as jitteriness, insomnia, and an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, but this is rare. If you are concerned about drinking coffee, ask your healthcare provider what they recommend.  

What Is Better For Depression—Celexa or Viibryd?

Both Celexa and Viibryd are effective treatment options for depression and work differently for each person. Your Klarity provider will help you determine which is the best for you by assessing your medical history, symptoms, and more. In general, Viibryd may be a better choice for people who have liver or heart problems, but Celexa’s generic form is significantly cheaper. 


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Mayo Clinic Staff. “Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)” Mayo Clinic

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