Vee Rants

So, I started taking an anti-depressant in November called Viibryd.

While I’ve had mixed feelings about its effectiveness, my doctor has assured me that it’s the correct drug for me and that it’s the correct dose. It has helped over the months. It just hasn’t helped to the extent that I want it to, and it has a rather unfortunate side effect for me. Well, two side-effects. Though my doctor thinks one of them isn’t the drug.

Anyways, I’m getting ready to move at the end of this month, and I also have about 14 days left of the medication.

Prior to my insurance expiring, I went to the pharmacy and asked if they could refill it for me early, so I could have insurance pay for it before the insurance expired. They agreed. However, they said that they would have to order it in because of the fact that I take the highest dose, and they don’t keep it on the shelf.

That’s been normal for me for the past however many months. Because it is the highest dose, they order it in and I come back the next weekend to get it.

Well, I ordered it on May 29th. I did this because my insurance expired on May 31. The pharmacy pushed the payment through and I was just going to have to pay the ‘filling fee’ when I came to pick them up – which is the difference of like $400. The next weekend I called before I went down there, and the pharmacist told me it hadn’t come in yet, so I could not pick it up. He asked for two more days

Since I only go there on weekends, that meant I would go down this weekend.

Thinking it had been two weeks and that was plenty of time, I went down there today without calling ahead.

Viibryd isn’t there.

The pharmacist told me that he’s been notified by the manufacturer that due to production issues, it’s on back order ‘until further notice’. The ‘until further notice’ part is what worries me, as this drug isn’t something that people just dole out here, it’s more of a rarity. It’s not like escitalopram, which is more commonly prescribed. My pharmacist has told me that I’m only one of two people at the pharmacy who takes it, and that the other only takes 10 mg dose, so that’s why he always has to order mine special. I live in a city of 1.4 million, I have no idea how many people use my pharmacy but I’m guessing just two people taking one medication makes it more of a rarity.

Until further notice.

What options do I have?

Well, anything I do now is going to be more expensive, due to the fact that since it’s not my dose, they’ll have to cancel the prescription going through my insurance that expired May 31. I won’t have insurance for anything I do now and without insurance, and proper dose, these are usually around $400. That’s going to hurt the bank account.

The pharmacy told me that he doesn’t carry the next lowest dose either, he actually only carries the minimum dose. He told me that he wouldn’t have enough to give me 4x as many of the minimum dose, so he cannot fill it. He asked me to call around to different pharmacies to see if I could find it and that he’d send my prescription there.

I called twelve pharmacies today.

All of them carry only the minimum dose, and none of them carry enough to give me 4x the minimum dose to be the equivalent of what I take.

So what are my options?

Also, buying four times as many pills at a lower dose is more expensive than paying for my regular dose. So, great… love that for me.

What do I do?

Go back to the doctor and get a second prescription so I can get this filled at multiple pharmacies? Start breaking my pills in half now to slowly ween myself down? My doctor won’t like it if I tell her I am doing that. I can’t exactly wait until I run out to find out what “until further notice” means. Especially since the pharmacist I normally get it from told me he can’t even tell me what he thinks it means.

Honestly, the amount of struggle this drug has caused in my life since November, some days I wonder if it’s even worth the benefit it’s giving me.

12 thoughts on “Vee Rants

  1. This is so irresponsible of the medical community. People get put on drugs that they become physically habituated to, then for all sorts of reasons suddenly the drug is not available. What next?..oh withdrawal symptoms/stress/anxiety. I know exactly the sort of frustration you have except your situation is worse. The doctor who got you on that drug should pick up the bill for replacement. In her (?) place I would feel morally obligated, particularly as the doctor knows the amount of stress you are carrying. I am so tired of doctors and all their bs. Nobody seems to stick up for patients anymore. It’s outrageous .

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I would like to blame my doc, but the truth is, she couldn’t have predicted this. I think I’m going to wind up going to see her on Thursday to see if I can get the prescription split to get two places. It’s unfrotunate, and while I don’t love this drug, I know it has helped and I’d rather have it, even if I have to buy 2x or 4x as many, than not have it.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. In Canada, there are two options you have to get insurance. One – you can become employed and the employer will pay for it. You contribute small amounts out of your pay cheque, but the majority of it (probably 95%) is paid for by the employer. The second option is that you obtain it as a private citizen. If you are a private citizen and go to obtain it, you are subject to health/medical examinations that determine the how much you have to pay for it. People with autoimmune conditions (me), history of family cancer (me), history of mental health issues (me) would need to pay considerably more.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Its so easy for Doctors and often the community at large to say “take your meds” but actually paying for them and then TAKING them at the right time, on time, all the time – that’s a whole ‘nother things. I’m so sorry they hiked up the price to $400!!! OMG. Who has that kind of cash?!? I hope you will find a way to wean yourself down to the lower dose that seems easier for the Pharmacy to provide?


  3. I kind of think it’s highly unlikely that that’s the only antidepressant you can take. How many have you tried? What have you tried? It just seems kind of hooey that your doctor claims that that’s the right one, when you aren’t getting complete or even near complete relief, and if you haven’t tried literally every other AD out there. Are you seeing a psychiatrist or is this your GP? Is she getting monetary compensation or some kind of incentive for prescribing this from the company that makes this drug? It’s also highly fucked up that there’s become a shortage of this med. This is why I don’t like the uncommon drugs.

    That being said, this is a bad time for you to go off of your meds, even if you taper.


    1. I have tried five different anti-depressants since 2018 when my mother was diagnosed with cancer. This is the only anti-depressant that has given me some semblance of relief without really scary side effects. The side effects of this drug is that it affects my sleep. Which is tolerable compared to some of the side-effects I dealt with when my mom had cancer.


  4. Last year in the US, Viibryd was 232 a month. This year 400 for all doses. I’m lucky that I had to stop because of serotonin syndrome, and had enough time to tamper off. It’s bullshit that it’s so much. I’m sorry you’re going through this…

    I believe that it’s going generic soon.


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