NICE recommends multimodal antidepressant for depressive episodes

Vortioxetine (Brintellix) has been approved by NICE as a possible treatment for adults having a first or recurrent major depressive episode that has not responded to 2 antidepressants.

Vortioxetine can now be prescribed on the NHS for patients with depression meeting certain conditions. | WELLCOME DEPT. OF COGNITIVE NEUROLOGY/ SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Vortioxetine can now be prescribed on the NHS for patients with depression meeting certain conditions. | WELLCOME DEPT. OF COGNITIVE NEUROLOGY/ SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Patients who were already started on vortioxetine before the new guidance was issued but do not meet the specified conditions should be able to continue treatment until their clinician deems it appropriate to stop. 

Vortioxetine is thought to modulate several neurotransmitter pathways including serotonin, GABA, noradrenaline and dopamine. These different modes of action are believed to be responsible for the cognitive, learning and memory improvements seen in animal studies of the drug.

Further information
NICE technology appraisal TA367

As with all antidepressants, treatment should continue for at least 6 months after symptoms resolve.

GI upset, pruritus, dizziness and abnormal dreams are the most common adverse effects of vortioxetine. Studies have shown that vortioxetine does not increase the incidence of somnolence or insomnia relative to placebo. In both short- and long-term studies vortioxetine had no effect on weight, heart rate or blood pressure compared with placebo. 

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