Drug vs. Drug

Viibryd vs Lexapro: Main Differences and Similarities

Avatar By | June 26, 2019

Viibryd (vilazodone) and Lexapro (escitalopram) are two prescription drugs that can treat major depressive disorder (MDD). Lexapro is also approved to treat anxiety in some cases. Both drugs are considered selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) type medications that work to regulate the activity of serotonin in the brain. Although both drugs can treat the same condition, they also have some differences.


Viibryd is the brand name for vilazodone. There is currently no generic version available on the market. Viibryd was approved in 2011 to treat MDD in adults.

Viibryd comes as a 10 mg, 20 mg, and 40 mg oral tablet that is taken once daily with food. Viibryd may not work as well if it is not taken with food. It reaches maximum levels in the blood at 5 hours and has a half life of about 25 hours.

Common side effects of Viibryd include diarrhea, nausea, and trouble sleeping.


Lexapro is the brand name for escitalopram. Generic versions of Lexapro are available on the market. It was approved in 2002 to treat MDD in both adults and adolescents aged 12 to 17 years old. In addition to depression, Lexapro can treat generalized anxiety disorder.

Lexapro can be taken as an oral tablet in strengths of 5 mg, 10 mg, or 20 mg. It is usually taken once daily with or without food. Lexapro reaches peak blood levels within 5 hours and has a half life of up to 32 hours.

Common side effects of Lexapro include nausea, sexual dysfunction, and trouble sleeping.

Viibryd vs Lexapro Side by Side Comparison

Viibryd and Lexapro are similar drugs that work in identical ways. Their differences and similarities can be further explored in the table below.

Viibryd Lexapro
Prescribed For
  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Drug Classification
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI)
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI)
Common Side Effects
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Dry mouth
  • Abdominal pain
  • Indigestion
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Abnormal dreams
  • Palpitations
  • Joint pain
  • Weight gain
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Indigestion
  • Headache
  • Agitation
  • Shaking
  • Somnolence
  • Increased sweating
  • Decreased libido
  • Ejaculation Disorder
  • Anorgasmia
Is there a generic?
  • There is currently no generic available
Is it covered by insurance?
  • Varies according to your provider
  • Varies according to your provider
Dosage Forms
  • Oral tablet
  • Oral tablet
  • Oral solution
Average Cash Price
  • $300 per 30, 40 mg tablets
  • $379 per 30, 10 mg tablets
SingleCare Discount Price
Drug Interactions
  • MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid, phenelzine, selegiline, tranylcypromine)
  • CYP3A4 inhibitors (clarithromycin, itraconazole, etc.)
  • Other SSRIs
  • SNRIs
  • Triptans
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (amitriptyline, nortriptyline, imipramine)
  • Opioids
  • Tramadol
  • Buspirone
  • Amphetamines
  • St. John’s Wort
  • NSAIDs
  • Aspirin
  • Warfarin
  • Phenytoin
  • Carbamazepine
  • MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid, phenelzine, selegiline, etc.)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (amitriptyline, desipramine, doxepin, etc.)
  • Other SSRIs (citalopram, fluoxetine, sertraline, etc.)
  • SNRIs (duloxetine, venlafaxine, etc.)
  • Triptans (almotriptan, rizatriptan, sumatriptan, etc.)
  • Amphetamines (dextroamphetamine, levoamphetamine, lisdexamfetamine, etc.)
  • NSAIDs (celecoxib, etodolac, ibuprofen, aspirin etc.)
  • Warfarin
  • Pimozide
  • Buspirone
  • Cimetidine
  • Lamotrigine
  • Phenytoin
  • Carbamazepine
Can I use while planning pregnancy, pregnant, or breastfeeding?
  • Viibryd is in Pregnancy Category C. Adequate studies have not been performed in humans. Consult a doctor regarding steps to take while pregnant and breastfeeding.
  • Lexapro is Pregnancy Category C. Animal studies have shown adverse effects to the fetus. Adequate studies have not been performed in humans. Lexapro is not expected to harm breastfed infants. Consult a doctor regarding steps to take while pregnant and breastfeeding.


Viibryd (vilazodone) and Lexapro (escitalopram) are similar SSRI type medications that regulate serotonin in the brain. While they both treat depression as major depressive disorder, Lexapro can also treat anxiety. Viibryd is only approved to treat adults while Lexapro can treat both adults and adolescents.

Although both medications are usually taken once daily, Viibryd should be taken with food to help with absorption. Without proper absorption with food, Viibryd may not be as effective. Lexapro, on the other hand, can be taken with or without food.

Both drugs also have similar side effects such as nausea and insomnia. However, Viibryd is more likely to cause diarrhea than Lexapro. Lexapro is more likely to cause sexual dysfunction than Viibryd.

It’s important not to take these medications with other antidepressants or monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAO inhibitors) to prevent the risk of serotonin syndrome. When there is too much serotonin available in the brain, the body can undergo a potentially life threatening condition.

Discuss these medications with a doctor to determine the best treatment option for you. The information presented here is meant to provide a brief overview of two different drugs.