Categories: Side effects

Contraindications and side effects of Vortioxetine

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Discover the contraindications and side effects of Vortioxetine.

This antidepressant drug is effective against major depression.

A drug-related to the regulation of serotonin.Contraindications and side effects of Vortioxetine


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

One of the most representative examples is the appearance on the market of vortioxetine, commercially known under the name Brintellix.

It is a highly effective antidepressant drug that we will discuss throughout this article. As well as its functions, side effects, and precautions during its consumption.

What is vortioxetine and what is it for?

Vortioxetine is a relatively new drug cataloged within the drugs known as modulators of serotonin and whose main purpose is to increase the flow of this neurotransmitter, promoting 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 the fact that it has been described as the first drug, within a new conception of antidepressants, with multimodal mechanisms of action.

In addition to having shown great and extensive efficacy in the treatment of depression, it is also distinguished by being a drug with a magnificent tolerability profile.

Regarding its multimodal action, vortioxetine has shown not only an effective antidepressant effect, but it also turns out to be very effective in reducing the cognitive symptoms of depression, as well as in achieving 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 and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) for those patients who do not respond well to treatment with these.

Another of the many benefits of vortioxetine is its outstanding effectiveness as a maintenance treatment in preventing the reappearance of symptoms or relapses in adults and elderly patients with depression.

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

Therefore, it is hypothesized that this multimodal action is responsible for producing the antidepressant and anxiolytic effects and the reduction of the cognitive symptoms so characteristic of this drug; without, also generating a large number of unwanted side effects.

How is this antidepressant administered?

Vortioxetine is available in tablet form 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 for administration, so it is vitally important that the patient follow the instructions given by the medical professional to the letter.

This means that the patient should never modify the recommended vortioxetine dose, either by excess or by default.

On the contrary, he will likely experience serious side effects such as severe mood disturbances or strong outbursts of anger.

Since vortioxetine is a psychiatric drug, drug treatment may start gradually, starting with lower doses that increase as the first weeks of treatment pass.

The therapeutic effects of vortioxetine may take several weeks to be perceived. Therefore, whether the patient does not feel any improvement or if he experiences some type of side effect that may be bothersome, under no circumstances should he stop taking the medication, but go to his doctor and have him readjust it.

Side effects associated with abrupt withdrawal of vortioxetine may include severe headaches, increased muscle stiffness, mood disturbances, dizziness, dizziness, or a runny nose.

Side effects Vortioxetine

As with the vast majority of psychiatric medications, vortioxetine can have a series of side effects that, depending on the intensity and duration with which they appear, can be 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 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 health risk, we find the following:







•Dry mouth

•Dizziness or lightheadedness


•Unusual dreams

•Alterations in sexual desire and/or ability or performance.

2. Serious side effects

If 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 changes such as rashes, hives, or itching.

•Inflation of the eyes, face, lips, tongue, or throat.


•Trouble breathing or swallowing.

•Bruising, bleeding, or bruising with no apparent or known cause.


•Bleeds in the nose.


•Concentration problems.

•Memory impairment.

•Feeling of confusion

•Muscular weakness.





•Fainting or loss of consciousness for some time (coma).

What precautions should be taken with its consumption?

Before starting treatment with vortioxetine, the patient should report any special health conditions in which they find themselves, as well as if they are taking any type of medication, with or without a prescription. Especially if it is monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor drugs since they can seriously interfere with treatment.

In the same way, before starting the treatment, the patient must inform the medical specialist if he suffers from any allergies or if he is taking some type of vitamin supplement or even a complex of natural herbs since these can also interfere with the action of vortioxetine.

Regarding 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 must inform if she is pregnant or if she plans to be pregnant to adjust or modify the medication.

Finally, vortioxetine can affect reasoning ability as well as the accuracy of movements, so those patients who include driving or operating heavy machinery in their daily routine should pay special attention to these symptoms and, to the extent If possible, stop these activities during treatment


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