Vortioxetine for major depressive disorder, vasomotor, and cognitive symptoms associated with the menopausal transition

Ann Clin Psychiatry. 2017 Nov;29(4):249-257.


Background: In a preliminary trial, we assessed the efficacy of vortioxetine for major depressive disorder (MDD) during the menopausal transition. Secondary outcomes included hot flashes (HFs), anxiety, and cognitive complaints.

Methods: Perimenopausal and early postmenopausal women with MDD (N = 27) received 8 weeks of open-label, flexible-dose treatment with vortioxetine. The Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) was the primary outcome measure. Secondary measures included: HF frequency, the Greene Climacteric Scale (GCS), Menopause-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire (MEN-QOL), Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), Cognitive and Physical Functioning Questionnaire (CPFQ), Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST), and Cogstate testing.

Results: Of the 27 women, 24 (88.8%) were evaluated (≥1 follow-up), and 21 (77.8%) completed the study; 1 discontinued because of adverse effects. The mean MADRS score decreased significantly (P = .0001) from 31.3 (standard deviation [SD] = 5.5) at pretreatment to 8.1 (SD = 7.8) at posttreatment. The depression response rate (≥50% reduction in MADRS) and remission rate (final MADRS ≤10) were 75% and 70.8%, respectively. GCS, MEN-QOL, BAI, CPFQ, and DSST scores improved significantly (P = .0030, P = .0001, P = .0001, P = .0001, and P = .0133, respectively); Cogstate test scores did not. Frequency and severity of HFs improved significantly (P = .0291 and P = .0299, respectively).

Conclusions: These data support further study of vortioxetine for treating menopausal depression and associated symptoms.

MeSH terms

  • Cognition / drug effects*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Menopause / drug effects*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Piperazines / administration & dosage*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Sulfides / administration & dosage*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vortioxetine


  • Piperazines
  • Sulfides
  • Vortioxetine