Vilazodone for Major Depression in Adults: Pharmacological Profile and an Updated Review for Clinical Practice

Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2022 Jun 14;18:1175-1193. doi: 10.2147/NDT.S279342. eCollection 2022.

Abstract

This article provides an updated review of the pharmacological profile and available efficacy and tolerability/safety data for vilazodone, one of the most recent antidepressant drugs to be approved in the USA for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults. The efficacy of vilazodone for MDD in adults is supported by four positive short-term (8-10 weeks), randomized, placebo-controlled trials. Beyond these pivotal trials, we review updated research findings pertaining to the clinical effects of vilazodone for MDD including the results of switch studies, small comparative efficacy trials, key pooled and secondary data analyses focused on important depressive subtypes (anxious depression) and predictors of treatment outcome, and safety studies including direct studies of sexual side-effects. Despite these additional research efforts and use for over a decade, important gaps in the clinical evidence base remain with vilazodone. Hypothesized differences in efficacy and adverse effects between other antidepressants and vilazodone based on its multimodal mechanism of action (combining serotonin reuptake inhibition with serotonin 5-HT1A partial agonist effects) have not been comprehensively demonstrated in clinical studies and its effectiveness as a continuation- or maintenance-phase therapeutic is not yet established. Questions remain regarding its reproductive and lactational safety profiles and its efficacy as a potential next-step therapeutic for patients with MDD who do not respond to first-line antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Suggestions for clinical use of vilazodone and discussion of its place among the broad range of pharmacotherapies for adults with MDD are provided.

Keywords: comparative effectiveness; depression; efficacy; major depressive disorder; safety; vilazodone.

Publication types

  • Review