Vortioxetine: A review of the pharmacology and clinical profile of the novel antidepressant

Pharmacol Rep. 2017 Aug;69(4):595-601. doi: 10.1016/j.pharep.2017.01.030. Epub 2017 Feb 1.


The aim of this paper was to review the up-to-date evidence base on pharmacology and clinical properties of vortioxetine. Vortioxetine is a novel antidepressant, approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD). Because vortioxetine exhibits both an antidepressant and anxiolytic effect, it may be effective in treating both depressive and anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Based on its pharmacodynamics profile and preclinical studies, it is believe that the drug's clinical action is mediated mainly by selective blockade of serotonin reuptake (by inhibiting the serotonin transporter [SERT]) and direct modulation of 5-HT receptors activity (such as 5-HT3, 5-HT7, 5-HT1D and 5-HT1B). In patients with MDD the recommended doses range is 5-20mg/day. Vortioxetine was shown to be more effective than placebo both in MDD and GAD. In terms of side effects, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and dry mouth were most commonly observed in individuals receiving vortioxetine. In direct comparison to duloxetine, vortioxetine is found to have a smaller efficacy but had a lower risk of developing the common antidepressant-induced adverse effects.

Keywords: Antidepressant; Anxiety; Depression; Lu AA21004; Vortioxetine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antidepressive Agents / pharmacology
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Piperazines / pharmacology
  • Piperazines / therapeutic use*
  • Sulfides / pharmacology
  • Sulfides / therapeutic use*
  • Vortioxetine


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Piperazines
  • Sulfides
  • Vortioxetine