FDA approves Viibryd for Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder

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Yesterday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Viibryd tablets (vilazodone hydrochloride) to treat major depressive disorder in adults.

Major depressive disorder, also known as major depression, is characterized by symptoms that interfere with a person's ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy once-pleasurable activities. Episodes of major depression often recur throughout a person's lifetime, although some may experience only a single occurrence.

Not all people with major depression experience the same symptoms. A person with major depression may experience signs and symptoms which include: depressed mood, loss of interest in usual activities, significant change in weight or appetite, insomnia or excessive sleeping (hypersomnia), restlessness/pacing (psychomotor agitation), increased fatigue, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, slowed thinking or impaired concentration, and suicide attempts or thoughts of suicide.

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“Major depressive disorder is disabling and prevents a person from functioning normally,” said Thomas Laughren, M.D., director of the Division of Psychiatry Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Medications affect everyone differently, so it is important to have a variety of treatment options available to patients who suffer from depression.”

Viibryd, manufactured by PGxHealth, New Haven, Conn, will be available in 10, 20, and 40 milligram tablets. The most frequent adverse reactions reported by patients taking Viibryd in clinical trials included diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and insomnia.

Viibryd and all other antidepressant drugs have a boxed warning and a patient medication guide describing the increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults ages 18 to 24 during initial treatment.

The warning also says data did not show this increased risk in adults older than 24 and that patients ages 65 and older who take antidepressants have a decreased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior. The warning says depression and other serious psychiatric disorders themselves are the most important causes of suicide and that close monitoring of patients starting these medications is necessary.

For more information:
FDA: Antidepressant Use in Children, Adolescents, and Adults
National Institute of Mental Health: Depression

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