FDA approves new drug to treat major depressive disorder


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Brintellix (vortioxetine), a new drug for the treatment of major depressive disorder in adults.

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is also commonly referred to as depression. It is a mental disorder characterized by mood changes and other symptoms that interfere with a person’s ability to work, sleep, study, eat and generally enjoy life.

A 'disabling' disorder

Depression can occur in episodes throughout a person’s lifetime, or it can take place in a single occurrence that does not repeat. Depression usually involves a loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable, a change in appetite, difficulty sleeping, increased fatigue, feelings of guilt, slowed thinking or impaired concentration, and thoughts of suicide or even suicide attempts. Most people experience a combination of these symptoms which can last for any length of time.

“Major depressive disorder can be disabling and can keep a person from functioning normally,” explained 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.”

An effective treatment for MDD

In six clinical studies in which adults with MDD were assigned to receive Brintellix or placebo, Brintellix was proven effective in treating depression. In an additional study, Brintellix also decreased the likelihood of the participant becoming depressed again after symptoms of their MDD episode had diminished.

Sources: Takeda Pharmaceuticals, MedicalNewsToday


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