The FDA has announced its approval of Brintellix (vortioxetine) to treat adults with major depressive disorder.
“Major depressive disorder can be disabling and can keep a person from functioning normally,” said Mitchell Mathis, M.D., acting director of the Division of Psychiatry Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Since medications affect everyone differently, it is important to have a variety of treatment options available for patients who suffer from depression.”
People suffering from depression often experience mood swings and other symptoms including loss of interest in usual activities, significant change in weight or appetite, insomnia or excessive sleeping which can interfere with their ability to work, study, sleep, eat and enjoy different aspects of their lives. Exaggerated feelings of guilt or worthlessness slowed thinking or impaired concentration, and suicide attempts or thoughts of suicide are often common, although not everyone suffering with MDD experiences the same symptoms. And even when they seem to dissipate from time to time, they often recur throughout a person's lifetime.
Brintellix is available in 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg and 20 mg tablets. While the most common side effects include nausea, constipation and vomiting, the drug (and other antidepressants) comes with additional boxed warnings that it “can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in children, adolescents and young adults ages 18 to 24 during initial treatment.”
Clinical studies, however, have shown that adults over the age of 24 don’t seem appear to have an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior,* while those 65 and up appear to have even more of a reduced risk.
*If you or anyone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts and behavior call your doctor, or 911 for immediate help. MDD sufferers can also reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 800-784-2433).