Vortioxetine is used for the treatment of depression. This is a prescription already approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Depression can happen at any age, but often begins in adulthood. It is now recognized as occurring in children and adolescents, although it sometimes presents with more prominent irritability than low mood. Many chronic mood and anxiety disorders in adults begin as high levels of anxiety in children.
Depression, especially in midlife or older adults, can co-occur with other serious medical illnesses. This condition causes severe symptoms that affect how you think, feel, and handle daily activities. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks. If you have been experiencing some of the following signs and symptoms most of the day or for at least two weeks, you may be suffering from depression:
• Feelings of hopelessness, or pessimism
• Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
• Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
• Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
• Moving or talking more slowly
• Decreased energy or fatigue
• Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still
• Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
• Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
• Appetite and/or weight changes
• Aches or pains, cramps, headaches, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and that do not ease even with treatment
• Thoughts of death or suicide
Not everyone who is depressed experiences every symptom. Some people experience only a few symptoms while others may experience many. Various persistent symptoms in addition to low mood are required for a diagnosis of major depression, but people with only a few but distressing. The symptoms may benefit from treatment of their sub-syndromal depression. The severity and frequency of symptoms and how long they last will vary depending on the individual and his or her particular illness. Symptoms may also vary depending on the stage of the illness.
How does Vortioxetine work?
Brain cells called neurons release a number of chemicals which go on to stimulate other neurons. This leads to electrical impulses which control the functions of the brain and body. Serotonin is one such important chemical in the brain. It is also called 5-HT. Once released, serotonin stimulates other neurons before being taken back up and recycled. This drug stops serotonin being taken back up by the neurons and so increases the amount of circulating serotonin available in your brain.
Vortioxetine also works in other ways. Serotonin stimulates neurons by attaching to small ‘receptors’ on the surface of the cells. There are different types of serotonin or 5-HT receptor which leads to the release of chemicals with different effects in the brain. The medicine blocks some 5-HT receptors and stimulates others in order to re-balance the chemistry of the brain and ease symptoms.
How to use Vortioxetine?
Take the tablets exactly as your doctor tells you to do. The usual starting dose is 10 mg taken once a day. Depending on how you respond to the medicine it may be increased to 20 mg or reduced to 5 mg once daily.
You can generally take the drug at a time to suit you, but try to take your dose at the same time of day, each day. You can take it before or a meal food. Swallow the tablet with a glass of water. If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the following day, skip the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
It may take a week or two after starting this treatment before the effect begins to build up, and 4-6 weeks before you feel the full benefit. Do not stop taking it after a week or two. Do not stop taking vortioxetine unless your doctor tells you to do so. You should expect that a course of treatment will last for several months. This is normal and helps to prevent your symptoms from recurring. It is important to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress and adjust your dose if needed.
What are the side effects of Vortioxetine?
Common side effects:
• Dry mouth
• Sexual dysfunction
• Abnormal dreams
Warnings and Precautions
• While you are taking Vortioxetine, you may have thoughts about harming yourself or ending your life. These thoughts may also be associated with your depression. It is very important that you tell your doctor about this if it happens.
• If you drink alcohol, ask your doctor for advice. Your doctor is likely to recommend that you do not drink alcohol while you are having this treatment.
• If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are taking vortioxetine for depression.
• Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
• Call for medical help right away if you have any signs of an overdose.
• Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
• Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Before taking Vortioxetine, tell your doctor if you:
• are pregnant, trying for a baby or breastfeeding
• have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine
• are under 18 or over 65 years of age
• have any problems with the way your liver works or the way your kidneys work
• have epilepsy or have had a fit in the past
• have ever had a bleeding disorder
• have been told you have low levels of sodium in your blood
• have ever had abnormally ‘high’ moods, called mania
• are being treated with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
• have taken an antidepressant known as a monoamine-oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) within the previous two weeks
• are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.