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Vortioxetina: uses and side effects of the psychopharmaceutical

Vortioxetina: uses and side effects of the psychopharmaceutical

August 8, 2022

The psychiatric or psychological medication, like the rest of pharmacological treatments are not perfect. Therefore, research in the pharmaceutical field is essential to achieve new advances that guarantee not only more effective medicines, but also safer ones.

One of the most representative examples is the appearance in the market of vortioxetine, commercially known as Brintellix . It is a highly effective antidepressant drug which we will discuss throughout this article. As well as its functions, side effects and precautions during its consumption.

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What is vortioxetine and what is it for?

Vortioxetine is a relatively new cataloged drug within the drugs known as serotonin modulators and whose main task is to increase the flow of this neurotransmitter, favoring mental or psychological stability. For this reason, its main field of action is related to the treatment of depressive disorders.


This drug was launched on the market in 2016 by the pharmaceutical company Lundbeck and its importance lies in that it has been described as the first medicine, within a new conception of antidepressants , with mechanisms of multimodal action.

In addition to having demonstrated great and extensive efficacy in the treatment of depression, it is also distinguished as a drug with a magnificent tolerability profile. Regarding the multimodal action of this, vortioxetine has shown not only an effective antidepressant effect, but also turns out to be very effective at diminishing the cognitive symptoms of depression, as well as to achieve a general improvement in major depressive disorder .


In the same way, it has also been revealed as an effective alternative to treatments with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin reuptake inhibitors and noradrenaline (SNRI) for those patients who do not respond well to treatment with these. Other of the many benefits of vortioxetine its outstanding effectiveness as a maintenance treatment when it comes to preventing the reappearance of symptoms or relapses in adults and elderly patients with depression.

The main difference between this drug and traditional SSRI and ISRN antidepressants is that vortioxetine, in addition to inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, has the ability to regulate the activity of some receptors of this.

So it is hypothesized that this multimodal action is responsible for producing the antidepressant, anxiolytic and the decrease of cognitive symptoms so characteristic of this medication; without, in addition to generating a lot of unwanted side effects.


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How is this antidepressant administered?

Vortioxetine is marketed in tablet format for oral administration . Usually, it is recommended to take a dose of between 5 and 10 milligrams daily, depending on the patient's condition. That is, a daily tablet preferably always at the same time.

However, it is necessary to specify that these are only general indications of administration, so it is of vital importance that the patient follow the instructions given by the medical professional to the letter . This means that the patient should never modify the dose of vortioxetine recommended, neither by excess nor by defect. On the contrary, it is very likely that this will experience serious side effects such as severe mood swings or strong fits of anger.

Because vortioxetine is a psychiatric medication, it is very possible that the pharmacological treatment starts gradually, starting with lower doses that increase as the first weeks of treatment pass.

The therapeutic effects of vortioxetine may take several weeks in being perceived. So, whether the patient does not feel any improvement or experience any type of side effect that may be annoying, under no circumstances should you stop taking the medication, but go to your doctor and readjust it.

Side effects that lead to the sudden withdrawal of vortioxetine may include severe headache, increased muscle stiffness, mood disorders, dizziness, dizziness or runny nose.

What side effects can it have?

As with the vast majority of psychiatric medication, vortioxetine it can lead to a series of side effects which, depending on the intensity and duration with which they appear, can be really annoying for the patient.

These consequences can be divided between those side effects that are not serious, so they do not require medical attention and those more serious or serious ones in which it will be necessary to go to the specialist's consultation as soon as possible.

1. Non-serious side effects

Among the side effects that do not pose a serious risk to health, we find the following:

  • Sickness .
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea.
  • Constipation .
  • Flatulence
  • Dry mouth.
  • Vertigo or dizziness .
  • Unusual dreams
  • Alterations in desire and / or sexual ability or performance.

2. Serious side effects

In the event that the patient experiences any of the following side effects, they should not abandon the medication but it is necessary to inform the relevant professional so that they can adjust it.

  • Skin disorders such as rashes, hives, or itching.
  • Inflation of the eyes, face, lips, tongue or throat.
  • Hoarseness.
  • Problems breathing or swallowing .
  • Cardinals, bleeding or bruising without apparent or known cause.
  • Bleeding in the nose.
  • Headaches .
  • Concentration problems.
  • Alterations of memory .
  • Sensation of confusion.
  • Muscular weakness.
  • Imbalance.
  • Hallucinations
  • Convulsions
  • Fainting or loss of consciousness for a period of time (comma).

What precautions should be taken with their consumption?

Before starting treatment with vortioxetine, the patient must report any special health condition where you are, as well as if you are taking any type of medication, with or without a prescription. Especially if it involves monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor medications, since they can cause serious interference with the treatment.

In the same way, before starting the treatment the patient should inform the medical specialist if you suffer from any allergies or if you are taking any type of vitamin supplement or even a complex of natural herbs, as these can also cause interference with the action of vortioxetine.

As for pregnant patients, it has been observed that vortioxetine can cause a whole series of problems in newborns, especially if it is administered in the last months of pregnancy. Therefore, the patient should report if she is pregnant or if she plans to be pregnant to adjust or modify the medication.

Finally, vortioxetine can affect the reasoning ability as well as the accuracy of the movements, so those patients who are included in their daily routine driving or handling heavy machinery they should pay special attention to these symptoms and, as far as possible, stop these activities during treatment.


Brintellix (Vortioxetine) Monograph (August 2022).


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