New antidepressant works differently than existing medications

January 27, 2011

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of vilazodone hydrochloride for the treatment of major depressive disorder, also called major depression.

Marketed as Viibryd™ by Clinical Data, Inc., vilazodone is a new combination of two medications: a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and a 5HT1a receptor partial agonist, according to the drug label. It will be available in pharmacies starting in Spring 2011.

"Major depressive disorder is disabling and prevents a person from functioning normally," said FDA official Thomas Laughren, M.D. "Medications affect everyone differently, so it is important to have a variety of treatment options available to patients who suffer from depression."

Vilazodone, like other drugs for depression, will carry a "black box" warning and a patient medication guide to alert users to the risks of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents and young adults ages 18 to 24 during the early stages of use. These individuals need monitoring when they start treatment with antidepressants like vilazodone.

The most common side effects to vilazodone are diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and insomnia. Possible sexual side effects include decreased libido, abnormal orgasm, delayed ejaculation and erectile dysfunction.

Vilazodone should not be used along with monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, such as the Emsam skin patch (selegiline), Marplan (isocarboxazid), Nardil (phenelzine) or Parnate (tranylcypromine).


FDA news release

Viiibryd™ medication label (Jan 2011)

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 27 Jan 2011

Last Modified: 10 Sep 2015