Has anyone else experienced RAPID weight gain on Viibryd?
Question posted by daseniura on 1 May 2013
Last updated on 20 March 2022 by Maria909
My doctor started me on Viibryd about a month ago after I'd been on Lexapro for years and it had stopped working as well. I did the standard step-up dosage pattern with the starter pack... started at 10mg and was up to 40mg by the 3rd week. I should mention that I am anorexic and bulimic and my doctor is well aware of this, and when he told me about this new Viibryd medication I adamantly stated that I CANNOT be on anything that causes weight gain. (I also take 450mg of Wellbutrin XL and have been for several years now.) So he promised me that Viibryd doesn't cause weight gain and I agreed to start taking it. A couple of years ago, I lost a ton of weight (110 pounds) through diet and tons of exercise and managed to stay at about 100-105 pounds for a good 6 months, even AFTER I stopped exercising completely.
Well, suddenly I started gaining weight rapidly about a month ago, and so I freaked out and started going to the gym again and working out hardcore (which I know produces results because that's how I've lost weight and kept it off in the past) and immediately changed my eating habits. Yet I'm still steadily gaining weight at an alarming rate and the only explanation I have for it is that it's the Viibryd. I know it's not normal to exercise hardcore, eat healthy, and STILL gain weight. I now weigh 120 pounds and the number has just steadily climbed up since I started Viibryd. I don't understand this at all. I weigh myself everyday and monitor every single thing I eat. I track my caloric intake religiously and I know exactly how many calories I've burned during my workouts, and nothing can account for this weight gain other than the medication. If anything, I should be LOSING weight since I just went from sitting on my butt all day to an hour of cardio a day, but this is not the case. In the 3 weeks since I started working out hardcore, I've gained 5 pounds (no, it's not from fat converting to muscle). I think Viibryd needs to be tested more and an updated report of side effects needs to be published. No amount of depression in the world is worse than weight gain for me, so it's ironic that an anti-depressant is causing me to want to kill myself due to a side effect that seems to be a lot more common than the pharmaceutical companies would have you believe. I'm going to stop taking the Viibryd as of today and I don't care what my doctor has to say. I'm hoping I'll be able to take off the 10 pounds I've gained in the month since I started Viibryd once I stop taking it. I'll make sure to post an update to this thread once I've tapered myself off to let everyone know if anything changes. I'm just really upset because I was led to believe this medication wouldn't cause any weight issues. I've also had an increased craving for sweets, but I haven't given in to it because I know what sweets do. I'm also incredibly bloated since starting the Viibryd. Has anyone else had similar experiences with weight gain and this medicine and past eating disorders?
Yes!! I have been on Viibryd since 2011. I gained over 50# over a 3 year period. I will take responsibility for giving up on loosing weight. The good part is I have remained the same weight even after I quit smoking cigarettes 2 years ago. Now how I know it’s Viibryd is at one point I stopped the medicine for over a month because of the weight gain. Almost immediately food cravings (sugar, processed carbs, and fatty greasy foods) were gone and I was loosing weight fast. However, the dark depression was slowly coming back painfully and fast. Within 6 weeks I ran to my psychiatrist asking for help. He provided other options to medication but all were already attempted and I didn’t want to be a “ Guinea pig” again I decided is it weight gain or sanity? I chose weight. My dark mind is extremely worse then the sadness and frustration of my weight gain.
A couple months ago I began an intense weight loss regimen, however, the cravings for bread, sugar, greasy food was like an alcoholic needing a drink and I gave in. Do I need this medication - Yes!
10 Aug 2021
I am so relieved to have found this post. I started Viibryd to help with anxiety and an eating disorder. I gained 30 lbs. in 6 months after starting Viibryd. I was taking 20mg. while i track my calories (1300-1600 daily) with my medical dietician, track my metabolism (RMR has gone up to 1465) and am working out with a trainer 2-3x a week. Like everyone else here, my wonderful team of providers and dieticians, etc. was totally baffled at this rapid weight gain. I did blood work to test for any medical issues, all came back healthy. Reading all these posts brought tears to my eyes, this rapid weight gain (30lbs in 6 months) has been destroying me. Now I feel like I have an answer and am not alone in this. Thank you all for sharing. I am so encouraged and your stories sound exactly like what I am going through.
16 July 2021
From the Drugs.com literature and the Patient Information sheet dispensed with prescriptions: "Metabolic Common (1% to 10% of users): Increased appetite, increased weight" But this also means that 90+% of users do not experience weight gain. Wildcat
16 July 2021
Yes. I gained about 30 lbs over about a year on Viibryd. I've gained weight on almost every antidepressant i've been on, but it's usually 5-10 lbs. I'm treatment resistant and this drug saved my life. I was completely non-functional for almost 2 years. I'd rather be fat and not depressed. My blood work is fine so my PCP and psychiatrist are not concerned.
22 May 2021
YES! I am basically your twin. I have suffered anorexia and bulimia since my teens. I have maintained a healthy weight with exercise and sensible eating habits for the past twenty years. I have taken Zoloft and Wellbutrin for more than twenty years with success until about a year ago when I began experiencing feelings of depression and anxiety. My doctor tried tweaking the doses of Zoloft and Wellbutrin with minimal results. About six weeks ago my doctor suggested Viibryd as an alternative. I did the step up prescription.. I immediately experienced intestinal issues and discussed this with my doctor who recommended that I continue with 20mg a bit longer so that I could "adjust" before progressing the dosage.
I am (and have been for the past forty years) a daily exerciser (currently a Peloton junky) and wear a fitness monitor 24/7. I did put on a bit of weight during the pandemic but was slowly taking it off in the month or so before switching medications. I am also experiencing belly bloating and swelling in my face, hands and feet. I got online tonight to check for possible side effects related to Viibryd as I am feeling out of control, desperate, and anxious about this unexpected weight gain, intestinal issues and swelling. Unfortunately, my doctor is currently on vacation. I have been communicating with her staff for the past week trying to get back on Zoloft or another alternative medication. Thank you for writing about your issues. I am feeling less anxious by the fact that I am not the only one with these issues. Please share what your doctor recommends and what results you get. I really want to know that this situation can be reversed.
18 March 2020
I have been on Viibryd since 2014 and it is now 2020. I know this drug like the back of my hand. And YES , despite what the professional's say, Viibryd can definitely cause weight gain. I was only on Effexor 225mg. once a day for years so my depression got worse and after alot of different medicines, I tried Viibryd. But first of all, I will say that Viibryd is a GREAT drug for depression. It really helped me get up and get motivated and get things done/energy, and it is a very stimulating drug. So I started on 20mg. once a day. The weight started packing on immediately especially in my stomach and face. I am not an overweight type of person and have always been slim. I gained 25 pounds altogether on Viibryd. The reason why I definitely know that Viibryd will make you gain weight is because I intentionally stopped taking it for six weeks and immediately slimmed right out and back to my normal self. People even noticed the weight loss.
So now I cut the 20mg. pill in half and only take 10mg. a day. It doesn't "pack the stimulating kick" that the full 20mg . does , but at least I don't gain as much weight. So in summary here, basically, 10mg. mild weight gain, and 20mg. alot of weight gain.
18 Nov 2019
I too have rapidly gained weight while taking Viibryd. I started 3 months ago and have gained 40lbs. I have not changed my diet. I am more active then I was before taking the medication. I had successfully lost 100lbs previous to taking this medication. Now I gain more every week. I feel horrible in my body. But I also can't be without. I have tried 4 different medications before this. This is the only one that "kinda" works.
11 Sep 2019
I'm so glad I found this thread! I have been on Viibryd 20 mg. since the beginning of May. I had been on the keto diet and losing weight for two months previously. Suddenly, I felt hungry all the time and couldn't stay on the keto plan. I was committed, then just "had" to begin eating carbs. This is crazy because I've lost with keto before and didn't feel hungry. I have gained 20# in 4 months. I cannot lose that weight no matter how hard I try because I still feel hungry often throughout the day and am compelled to eat. I am doubly unlucky to report sexual side effects too. Now that I've read this post with so many people experiencing the weight gain side affect contrary to the pharma boasts, I'm going to change meds at my next appointment.
24 July 2019
I was on Lexapro and never switched to Viibryd as I intended. I also take 300mg of Wellbutrin XL. I thought the Lexapro was causing me to gain weight.
This is not good advice but coincidentally I was put on Adderall in combination with the Lexapro and the weight just flew off, to the point people started to think I was sick. I am now on Prozac and do not take adderall regularly.
23 July 2019
I've had no issues with weight gain since being on Viibryd going on 6 months now. I've actually lost around 25 pounds in the last few months but I've also started being more active and watching my food portions. I did have a bit of bloating the first week or so but that went away and it definitely helps if you take the meds with food, even if it's just some yogurt.
6 July 2019
I have been on Viibryd for a little over 2 weeks and have noticed weight gain. It has helped my depression tremendously, but I am not gaining back all the weight I have worked so hard to lose. For those who have gone off of Viibryd and started something else, what are you taking now?
29 June 2019
I have taken nearly every SSRI ever made. I have been on sertraline 200 mg day (Zoloft) for about 10 yrs. I have also taken as much as 450 mg Wellbutrin Extended Release simultaneously. I have dropped that since I stopped drinking to 300 mg. The medicines have greatly impacted my weight and sexual dysfunction for years.. Beside being Chronically depressed for most of my Adult life. I In 2015 I completely stopped any type of drinking Alcohol. Within 6 months I had lost 25 pounds. Meds were still the same.. I suddenly found I could eat sweets and actually continue to lose weight. So I’ve been thinner than in a long time as a non drinker. I slowly titrated from Zoloft to Viibryd to see if it has less Sexual side effects. I think maybe it does.
In the 3 months I’ve been on Viibryd I’ve gained 18 pounds. This week I ate one meal per day. About 1/2 the calories I normally consume. As of this morning, I gained 3 more pounds since Monday. I cut my 40 mg pill in half tonight and intend to Titrate myself off. From previous experience I know this will create horrible headaches, confusion, dizziness and may end in a very depressive state. I’m not going to replace it with any SSRI for now. That will be the first time in 10 yrs I try to go Without an SSRI. I don’t know who did these BS studies but they lied. I know more about antidepressants than any doctor I’ve ever seen and I am sure more than the maker Allergan. (Who just got a big buyout offer). I’m up for filing a class action suit to get this drug out of circulation. Pls feel free to answer me or discuss anything. Not to Mention Viibryd is one of the most expensive antidepressant s on the market. Nice profits Allergan!
19 June 2019
I am currently weaning off Viibryd. I had been taking it for 3 weeks and had gained 10 lbs already plus several other side effects so my doctor is weaning me off. I’m glad I came across this thread because I couldn’t find much officially about Viibryd causing weight gain and I just knew there was no way it WASNT the Viibryd. Since I started taking it, my lifestyle choices had improved. I’m exercising way more and I’m eating healthy (not due to the Viibryd) and yet I’m GAINING weight rapidly. And no, it’s not muscle. Anyway, I’m wondering if anyone has been successful in LOSING the weight once getting off it. I’m super discouraged that I’m almost 200 lbs now and I wasn’t even this heavy when I was pregnant. I’ve been weaning for 2 weeks now and I still have a few more days to go and every week, I gain 2-5 more lbs. I just want to fit in my clothes again.
30 April 2019
I have been on Viibryd for 2 1/2 months and have gained 20 lbs! I’m gonna have to stop taking it because of this.
26 March 2019
I have been on Viibryd for 2 weeks and have gained 7 lbs. I was taking Trintellix before and it wasn’t working so my Dr switched me to this. But I can’t deal with the weight gain and I’m stopping it immediately and will see Dr to get something else. I am also on Wellbutrin XL 300mg and Topamax. I also suffer from Bulimia so any weight gain gets me more depressed. Does anyone have any recommendations for meds that do not cause weight gain?