Highlighting uses, dosage, how to take & discontinue, side effects, pros & cons, and more


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Brand & Generic Names; Drug Classes

US brand name: Viibryd
Generic name: vilazodone

Drug Class(es)

Primary drug class: Antidepressants
Additional drug class(es): Miscellaneous Antidepressants, Serotonin-Selective Reuptake Inhibitors. Even though Viibryd is technically not and SSRI, it may as well be considered one.

Approved & Off-Label Uses (Indications)

Viibryd’s US FDA Approved Treatment(s)

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Approved 21 January 2011.

Uses Approved Overseas but not in the US

Off-Label Uses of Viibryd


When & If Viibryd Will Work

Viibryd’s Usual Onset of Action (when it starts working)

At least a month, which surprises me. Given how Viibryd works, including how selective and potent it is, I expected more people to respond sooner. Some people respond sooner, of course, but fewer than I originally thought. Return to Table of Contents

Likelihood of Working

So far it looks as if Viibryd is a decent antidepressant. If your doctor thinks that an SSRI is the way to go based on something more than the basic algorithm of “Give them Celexa first” and you have a strong stomach (i.e. don’t have GI problems as soon as you take any medication, crazy or otherwise), then Viibryd is a pretty good med to start with.

My now-retired doctor said he had “surprisingly” good results from Viibryd. I was in pretty bad shape when I saw him, so I may be misremembering the adjective, but he was very happy with Viibryd, and he knows when someone needs serotonin tweaking and when they don’t.

I’ve been reading other reports in the field. People are reasonably happy with Viibryd. So, for now, Viibryd has moved up from “coin toss” to “more likely to work than not.”

Return to Table of Contents

Taking and Discontinuing

How to Take Viibryd

Manufacturers’ Recommendations

Forest Pharmaceuticals and Merck recommend:

The recommended dose for VIIBRYD is 40 mg once daily.
VIIBRYD should be titrated, starting with an initial dose of 10 mg once daily for 7 days, followed by 20 mg once daily for an additional 7 days, and then an increase to 40 mg once daily . VIIBRYD should be taken with food.

--the Viibryd PI sheet

Crazymeds’ Suggestions

At this point we don’t have much to suggest, other than taking it with breakfast instead of dinner when you first try it. Based upon Viibryd’s mechanism of action (how Viibryd works), side effects, and consumer experiences, taking Viibryd in the morning seems to work better for more people.

Since Viibryd tends to take a long time to work it’s hard to tell if staying at 20mg (or even 10mg) for longer than a week would be helpful or not. Obviously if it works at 10 or 20mg, then just stay at that dosage. If the side effects become too harsh at 40mg, and you feel like 20mg of Viibryd was starting to do something, then talk to your doctor ASAP about going back down to 20mg and giving it a chance to work at that dosage. Return to Table of Contents

How to Stop Taking Viibryd (discontinuation / withdrawal)

Manufacturers’ Recommendations

Forest, being Forest, are vague and state the obvious. The only thing helpful they offer is a highly detailed description of SSRI-discontinuation syndrome symptoms:

5.6 Discontinuation of Treatment with VIIBRYD
There have been reports of adverse events occurring upon discontinuation of serotonergic antidepressants, particularly when discontinuation is abrupt, including the following:
dysphoric mood, irritability, agitation, dizziness, sensory disturbances (e.g., paresthesia, such as electric shock sensations), anxiety, confusion, headache, lethargy, emotional lability, insomnia, hypomania, tinnitus, and seizures.
While these events are generally self-limiting, there have been reports of serious discontinuation symptoms. Monitor patients for these symptoms when discontinuing VIIBRYD. Reduce the dose gradually whenever possible. If intolerable symptoms occur following a decrease in the dose or upon discontinuation of treatment, consider resuming the previously prescribed dose. Subsequently, the dose may be decreased, but at a more gradual rate. --the Viibryd PI sheet

Crazymeds’ Suggestions

As with any potent SSRI: very slowly and carefully. Withdrawing Viibryd the same way you titrated (increased the dosage) should work for most people: from 40mg to 20mg for 7 days, then 10mg for 7 days, then you’re done. You might be able to get a starter kit from your doctor. Some people may need to do 40mg to 30mg to 20mg to 10mg. Return to Table of Contents

Viibryd’s Pros and Cons


Return to Table of Contents


  • Takes a long time to work.
    • Which isn’t a great property for a med that you want to use when you’re feeling suicidal!

Return to Table of Contents

Interesting Stuff your Doctor Probably didn’t Tell You about Viibryd

From the PI sheet: ‘’Absorption is decreased by approximately 25% if vomiting occurs within 7 hours of ingestion.’‘
The only reason that’s interesting is it’s the first time I’ve found the answer to the question, “What happens if I puke after taking my meds?” Viibryd is turning out to be pretty boring.

Vybrid - note the spelling difference - is the name of a microprocessor used in industrial machinery (assembly-line robots e.g.) and a line of shoes with the “five-finger” design. Like gloves for your feet. As a common misspelling for Viibryd I’m sure both companies are pleased to no end that crazies conflate their products with a crazy med. Return to Table of Contents

Best Known for

Giving you diarrhea that’s worse than what you’d get from drinking a quart of Tijuana tap water.1

Return to Table of Contents

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Viibryd’s Potential Side Effects

Potential Side Effects All Crazy Meds Have

No matter which neurological and/or psychiatric drug you take, you’ll probably get one or more of these side effects. These will usually be gone, or at least will diminish to the point where you barely notice it most of the time, within a week or two.

  • Headache
  • Drowsiness / fatigue - even when taking stimulants in some circumstances.
  • Insomnia, instead of or alternating with the drowsiness.
  • Nausea
  • Assorted other minor GI complaints (constipation, diarrhea, etc.)
  • Generally feeling spacey / out of it
    • Which can all add up to the ever-helpful “flu-like symptoms” listed as an adverse event on the PI sheet of practically every medication on the planet used to treat almost any condition humans and other animals could have.2
  • All crazy meds can, and probably will affect your dreams as well. There is no way of telling if that will be good or bad, let alone if this side effect is permanent or temporary.
  • Any of the above side effects you see listed again below means they’re even more likely to happen and/or stick around longer and/or are worse than most other meds.

Typical Potential Side Effects

Diarrhea, nausea & vomiting, the shits, excessive sleep or insomnia, and the runs.
I’m still trying to get a handle as to how common or uncommon, permanent or transient, sexual dysfunction and weight gain really are. The lack of weight gain could be a function of puking and/or shitting out everything you eat ten minutes later. Return to Table of Contents

Uncommon Potential Side Effects

Dizziness, tremor, anxiety, and headaches that reach migraine intensity.

Even though it annoys me to no end that people freak out about strange dreams when taking medications that affects their brains, especially since I have written all over this site that “ALL crazy meds can affect your dreams,” for an antidepressant Viibryd seems to really mess with people’s dreams. Return to Table of Contents

Freaky Rare Side Effects

Pollakiuria. In English: an overactive bladder. Viibryd is just way too new to have any decent freaky rare side effects. Give it time. Return to Table of Contents

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What You Really Need to be Careful About

Return to Table of Contents

Pregnancy Category

Return to Table of Contents


Viibryd’s Half-Life & How Long Until It Clears Your System

Half-life: 25 hours. Plasma Clearance: five-six days.

Steady State

Steady state is reached in 3 days

Half-life is the average time it takes for you to process half of the drug’s active ingredient. If a drug has a half-life of around 24 hours and you take a dose of 100mg, you’ll have roughly the equivalent a 50mg dose after one day, a 25mg dose after two days, and so on. The rule of thumb is: multiply the half-life by five and you get how long it is for the dose you took to be cleared from your bloodstream3, so there’s nothing swimming around to attach itself to your brain and start doing stuff. That’s called “plasma clearance.” Complete clearance is a complex equation based on a lot of factors which may or may not: be published in the PI sheet, include personal data like your weight, or even completely figured out by corporate and independent researchers. It usually winds up being 2–5 days after plasma clearance no matter what4, but can take weeks. Sometimes a drug will clear from your brain and other organs before it clears from your blood.

Steady state is the flipside of half-life. This is when you can expect to get over side effects caused by fluctuating amounts of a medication in your bloodstream. Often, but not always the same amount of time as the plasma clearance above.

Return to Table of Contents

How vilazodone Works

the current best guess at any rate
Viibryd is a potent serotonin-selective reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) with the added bonus of being a partial 5-HT1A agonist. In English: It’s like taking Paxil and BuSpar.

Return to Table of Contents

Active Ingredient

vilazodone hydrochloride

The active ingredient is usually the same as the generic name, but more often than not it’s a chemical salt of the substance identified as the generic. E.g. Fluoxetine is the generic for Prozac, but the active ingredient is fluoxetine hydrochloride (or HCl). It usually doesn’t make much of a difference outside of the more esoteric aspects of a drug’s pharmacology, but not always.

Return to Table of Contents

Shelf Life

2 years, per Viibryd’s heavily redacted NDA.5 Return to Table of Contents

Viibryd’s Noted Drug-Drug, Drug-Food & Drug-Supplement Interactions

As Viibryd (vilazodone) is metabolized by CYP3A4 you should avoid:

  • grapefruit juice
  • pomegranate juice
  • Earl Grey tea
  • charbroiled (seared, blackened) meat
  • and other foods

otherwise it will be as if you’re taking more than your actual dosage.

See the Tips on Taking Crazymeds page for details about drug-food interactions involving CYP3A4/5. This includes the extra-special interaction of medications which are metabolized by CYP3A4, like Viibryd (vilazodone) is, with being obese. Return to Table of Contents

Check for Other Drug-Drug, Drug-Food & Drug-Supplement Interactions Viibryd may have at

Drugs.com’s drug-drug and drug-food interaction checker

It’s always a good idea to check for drug-drug interactions yourself. Just because most people in the crazy meds business know about really important interactions (e.g. MAOIs and a lot of stuff, warfarin and everything on the planet) doesn’t mean the person who prescribed your meds told you about them, or the pharmacist has all the meds you take at their fingertips like they’re supposed to. Or they have the time to do their jobs properly when not dealing with complete idiots or playing Angry Farmers on teh Faecesbooks.
Learn more about drug-everything interactions on our page of tips about taking crazy meds.

Name, Address, Serial Number (Generic and Overseas Availability)

Available in the US as a generic? No

Other Trade Names and Overseas Availability

Not including controlled/extended/sustained release suffixes (Efexor ER, Trevilor retard e.g.) or branded generics that are a hyphenate of the generic name and the drug company name (Apo-Citalopram e.g.).

Other Trade Names

ビラゾドン ( Birazodon ) - Japan Return to Table of Contents

Shapes & Sizes (How Supplied)

 Oval tablets with the dosage printed on one side. The colors are:
  • 10mg - pink tablets
  • 20mg - orange tablets
  • 40mg - blue tablets

Return to Table of Contents

Comments, PI Sheet, Ratings, Reviews and More


I’m disappointed with Viibryd. Not from taking it, as anything like an SSRI and I don’t get along. I disappointed because this is the most boring drug on the planet. When I started studying its mechanism of action I thought it would be something really useful, even if it is essentially Paxil and BuSpar in one pill. Once I started reading people’s experiences it turns out that a Paxil and BuSpar cocktail isn’t universally effective for people who sort of respond to SSRIs. If an SSRI worked for you and later pooped out on you (tachyphylaxis), Viibryd is worth a shot. Although “pooped out” will probably take on an entirely new meaning, as you’ll probably poop out everything you eat within 10 minutes for the first few weeks. Or for as long as you take it. If SSRIs or SNRIs never worked for you, Viibryd would be a waste of time and side effects.

Viibryd supposedly has fewer sexual side effects than SSRIs. I don’t believe that, and neither does Dr. Carlat.

One thing I have noticed from reading the reviews and various experiences with Viibryd, when it does work it works really well. Viibryd isn’t hated any more than other crazy meds, like Effexor is, so it’s either going to be the best thing that ever happened to you, or it will be just another drug that didn’t work out.

Viibryd is potent. If Paxil was too much for you, don’t even think about getting near a bottle of Viibryd. The only things that keeps it from being legal LSD are being an agonist at a 5-HT receptor just to the left of the psychedelic sweet spot, and its (literally) shitty bioavailability6.

Return to Table of Contents

Rate Viibryd

Give your overall impression of Viibryd on a scale of 0 to 5.

Get all critical about Viibryd

3.5 stars Rating 3.1 out of 5 from 112 criticisms.
Vote Distribution: 16 – 9 – 8 – 12 – 45 – 22

Rate this article

If you’re still feeling judgmental as well as just mental7, please boost or destroy my self-confidence by honestly (and anonymously) rating this article on a scale of 0 to 5. The more value-judgments the better, even if you can criticize my work only once.

Get all judgmental about the Viibryd (vilazodone) Synopsis

3.5 stars Rates 3.4 out of 5 from 61 value judgments.
Vote Distribution: 6 – 3 – 3 – 13 – 23 – 13

Return to Table of Contents

Pages and Forum Topics Google Thinks are Relevant to Your Mental Health

Full US PI sheet, Global SPCs & PILs, Other Consumer Review & Rating Sites, and Other Sites that may be of Interest

Discussion board

If you have any questions not answered here, please see the Crazymeds Viibryd discussion board. Return to Table of Contents

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  1. Viibryd’s Full US Prescribing Information
  2. Faught, Edward. “Topiramate in the treatment of partial and generalized epilepsy.” Neuropsychiatric disease and treatment 3.6 (2007): 811-821.
  3. Stahl’s Essential Psychopharmacology: Neuroscientific Basis and Practical Applications (Essential Psychopharmacology Series) Fourth edition ISBN:978-1107686465 by Stephen M. Stahl © 2013 Published by Cambridge University Press.
  4. Primer of Drug Action 12th edition by Robert M. Julien Ph.D, Claire D. Advokat, Joseph Comaty © 2011 ISBN:978-1429233439 Published by Worth Publishers.
  5. Clinical Handbook of Psychotropic Drugs 20th edition Kalyna Z. Bezchlibnyk-Butler, J. Joel Jeffries, Ric M. Procyshyn, Adil S. Virani © 2014 Published by Hogrefe & Huber Publishers.
  6. Vilazodone: A 5-HT1A Receptor Agonist/Serotonin Transporter Inhibitor for the Treatment of Affective Disorders Lee A. Dawson & Jeannette M. Watson
  7. Neurochemical evaluation of the novel 5-HT1A receptor partial agonist/serotonin reuptake inhibitor, vilazodone Zoe A. Hughes, et al.
  8. Thomas L. Schwartz, Umar A. Siddiqui and Stephen M. Stahl
  9. Behavioral and Neurochemical Effects of 5-{4-[4-(5-Cyano-3-indolyl)-butyl)-butyl]-1-piperazinyl}-benzofuran-2-carboxamide (EMD 68843): A Combined Selective Inhibitor of Serotonin Reuptake and 5-Hydroxytryptamine1A Receptor Partial Agonist Michelle E. Page et al.
  10. Vilazodone HCl (Viibryd): A Serotonin Partial Agonist and Reuptake Inhibitor For the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder Martin Paspe Cruz
  11. Clinical utility of vilazodone for the treatment of adults with major depressive disorder and theoretical implications for future clinical use Mandeep Singh and Thomas L Schwartz
  12. Four “New” Antidepressants. Or Are They? Jim Phelps & Daniel Carlat
  13. Viibryd’s heavily redacted NDA

Return to Table of Contents

1 In all fairness to Mexico I found the tap water in San Jose del Cabo to taste vastly better than the tap water in Peoria, IL. Then again, the water in San Jose del Cabo tastes better than the unfiltered tap water from my house, while the water in Peoria tastes almost as bad as the oral solution of some meds.

2 As well as being an indication of half of said conditions.

3 Based on Julien's calculations from A Primer of Drug Action, the half-life multiplied by five is the generally accepted estimate of how long it takes a single dose of any given drug to be eliminated from the blood stream/plasma of someone with a normal metabolism. That's also the rough estimate for steady state if they can't get, or won't provide a number for that.

4 For crazy meds. I have no idea what the average complete clearance is for other types of medications. For all I know there are drugs that utterly vanish from your system in under five passes, and others that won't let go of your squishy bits for years after you stop taking them.

5 If you want to read the entire document without the naughty important, national security-related embarrassing trade secrets(?) grayed-out, you'll need to file a FOIA request, and be prepared to wait a long time.

6 OK, at 72% Viibryd's bioavailability, and pharmacokinetics in general, really aren't all that bad. But you get that 72% bioavailability only if you take vilazodone with food. You'd be lucky to get 43% bioavailability if you took vilazodone on an empty stomach.

7 Thank you! I'll be here all weak. Be sure to tip your content provider. And don't try the veal, it's cruelicious!

If you have any questions not answered here, please see the Crazymeds Viibryd discussion board. We welcome criticisms of the articles, notifications of bad links, site problems, consumer experiences with medications, etc. I’m not always able to write back. Hence I never answer questions about meds via e-mail that are answered by this or other articles. Especially if they have been repeatedly asked on the forum. That’s why we write these damn things. Questions about which meds are best for your condition should also be asked on the forum; because this is a free site, so the price of admission is making things easier for somebody else searching for the same answer. We don’t deal with children on the forum or in private because after doing this for ten years I don’t have the emotional stamina to deal with kids who have brain cooties. How to contact Crazymeds. — Jerod Poore, CME, Publisher Crazymeds (crazymeds.us)

Last modified on Wednesday, 04 May, 2016 at 17:59:38 by JerodPoorePage Author Date created Saturday, 14 July 2012 at 13:07:53
“Viibryd (vilazodone): a Review for the Educated Consumer.” by Jerod Poore is copyright © 2012 Jerod Poore Published online 2012/07/14
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Viibryd, and all other drug names on this page and used throughout the site, are a trademark of someone else. Viibryd’s PI Sheet will probably have the name of the manufacturer and trademark owner (they’re not always the same company) at or near the very bottom. Or ask Google who the owner is. The way pharmaceutical companies buy each other and swap products like Monopoly™ real estate, the ownership of the trademark may have changed without my noticing. It may of changed hands by the time you finished reading this article.

Page design and explanatory material by Jerod Poore, copyright © 2003 - 2016. All rights reserved.
Keep up with Crazymeds and and/or my slow descent into irreparable madness boring life. Pick your preferred social media target(s):

Almost all of the material on this site is by Jerod Poore and is copyright © 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 Jerod Poore. Except, of course, the PI sheets - those are the property of the drug companies who developed the drugs the sheets are about - and any documents that are written by other people which may be posted to this site will remain the property of the original authors. You cannot reproduce this page or any other material on this site outside of the boundaries of fair use copying without the express permission of the copyright holder. That’s usually me, so just ask first. That means if want to print out a few pages to take to your doctor, therapist, counselor, support group, non-understanding family members or something like that - then that’s OK to just do. Go for it! Please. As long as you include this copyright notice and something along the lines of following disclaimer, I’m usually cool with it.

All rights reserved. No warranty is expressed or implied in this information. Consult one or more doctors and/or pharmacists before taking, or changing how you take any neurological and/or psychiatric medication. Your mileage may vary. What happened to us won’t necessarily happen to you. If you still have questions about a medication or condition that were not answered on any of the pages you read, please ask them on Crazy Talk: the Crazymeds Forum.
The information on Crazymeds pertains to and is intended for adults. While some information about children and adolescents is occasionally presented (e.g. US FDA approvals), pediatric-specific data such as dosages, side effects, off-label applications, etc. are rarely included in the articles on drugs or discussed on the forum. If you are looking for information regarding meds for children you’ll have to go somewhere else. Plus we are big pottymouths and talk about S-E-X a lot.
Know your sources!
Nobody on this site is a doctor, a therapist, or a pharmacist. We don’t portray them either here or on TV. Only doctors can diagnose and treat an illness. While it’s not as bad as it used to be, some doctors still get pissed off by patients who know too much about medications, so tread lightly when and where appropriate. Diagnosing yourself from a website is like defending yourself in court, you suddenly have a fool for a doctor. Don’t be a cyberchondriac, thinking you have every disease you see a website about, or that you’ll get every side effect from every medication1. Self-prescribing is as dangerous as buying meds from fraudulent online pharmacies that promise you medications without prescriptions.
All information on this site has been obtained from the medications’ product information / summary of product characteristic (PI/SPC) sheets and/or medication guides - which is all you get from sites like WebMD, RxList, NAMBLA NAMI, etc., the sources that are referenced throughout the site, our personal experience and the experiences family, friends, and what people have reported on various reputable sites all over teh intergoogles. As such the information presented here is not intended as a substitute for real medical advice from your real doctor, just a compliment to it. You should never, ever, replace what a real doctor tells you with something from a website on the Internet. The farthest you should ever take it is getting a second opinion from another real doctor. Educate yourself - always read the PI/SPC sheet or medication guide/patient information leaflet (PIL) that comes with your medications and never ever throw them away. OK, you can throw away duplicate copies, but keep at least one, as that’s your proof of purchase of having taken a med in case a doctor doubts your medical history. Plus they take up less space than a bottle, although keeping one inside of a pill bottle is even better.
Crazymeds is not responsible for the content of sites we provide links to. We like them, or they’re paid advertisements, or they’re something else we think you should read to help you make an informed decision about a particular med. Sometimes they’re more than one of those things. But what’s on those sites is their business, not ours.
Very little information about visitors to this site is collected or saved. From time to time I look at search terms used and which pages they bring up in an effort to make the information I present more relevant. And the country of origin, just because I’m geeky like that. That’s about it. Depending on how you feel about Schrodinger, our privacy policy should either assuage or exacerbate your paranoia.
Crazymeds is optimized for ridiculously large screens and browsers that don’t block ads. I use Firefox and Chrome, running under Windows 72. On a computer that sits on top of my desk. With a 23 inch monitor. Hey, at least you can make the text larger or smaller by clicking on the + or - buttons in the upper right hand corner. If you have Java enabled. Like 99% of the websites on the planet, Crazymeds is hosted on domain running an open source operating system with a variety of open source applications, including the software used to display what you’ve been reading. As such Crazymeds is not responsible for whatever weird shit your browser does or does not do when you read this site3.
Crazymeds now uses a secure server, but it is not so secure that you can discuss anything having to do with nuclear power facilities, air traffic control systems, aircraft navigation systems, weapons control systems, or any other system requiring failsafe operation whose failure could lead to injury, death or environmental damage. Just so you know. So if you’re mentally interesting and have a job that deals with that sort of thing, talk about said job elsewhere. Otherwise feel free to discuss your meds and brain cooties.
No neurologists, psychiatrists, therapists or pharmacists were harmed in the production of this website. Use only as directed. Void where prohibited. Contains nuts. Certain restrictions may apply. All data are subject to availability. Not available on all mobile devices, in the 12 Galaxies Guiltied to a Zegnatronic Rocket Society, or in all dimensions of reality. Hail Xenu!

‘Everything is true, nothing is permitted.’ - Jerod Poore

1 While there are plenty of books to help you with hypochondria, for some reason there’s not much in the way of websites. Then again, staying off of the Internet is a large part of curing/managing the disorder.

2 Remember kids, Microsloth operating systems are like TOS Star Trek movies with in that every other one sucks way, way more. With TOS Star Trek movies you don’t want to bother watching the odd-numbered ones. With Microsloth OS you don’t want to buy and install the even-numbered ones. Anyone who remembers ME and Vista knows what I mean.

3 Have I mentioned how open source operating systems for commercial applications is one of the dumbest ideas in the history of dumb ideas?* I don’t even need my big-ass rant any more. Heartbleed has made my case for me. And that’s just the one that got all the media attention. The very nature of an open source operating system makes security as much of an illusion as anonymity on teh Intergoogles. Before you flip out too much: the domain Crazymeds is hosted on uses a version of SSL that is not affected by the Heartbleed bug. That’s one of the many reasons why I pay a lot of money and keep this site on Lunarpages.

* Yes, I know I’m using open source browsers. I also test the site using the now-defunct IE and Safari browsers. Their popularity - and superiority - killed IE and Safari, so that’s why I rely on the open source browsers. It’s like brand vs. generic meds. Sometimes the generic is better than the brand.

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Burning Mind Books

Psychopharmacology tomes at Burning Mind Books

Books & Other Media for the Mentally Interesting

Use this link for your manic Amazonian shopping sprees
It won’t cost you anything extra, and I’ll get a kickback.