(BPT) - Have you been feeling sad? Have you lost interest or pleasure in daily activities? Have you been feeling this way for two weeks or more? These feelings/symptoms may be signs of depression and your healthcare provider can help. In this article, you’ll find answers to common questions about depression from Dr. Larry Culpepper, a primary care physician and professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Boston University. Take the first step toward regaining control and start a conversation with your doctor about your symptoms. There is no need to suffer alone.
1. What is major depressive disorder (MDD)?
Major depressive disorder, also known as depression, is a serious medical condition that can significantly impact your life and the lives of those close to you. Depression is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, along with other symptoms, are persistent and interfere with one’s normal day-to-day activities for a long period of time (nearly every day for at least two weeks).
Nearly half of people with MDD are not receiving any treatment and the consequences can be devastating.Some believe they should just “snap out of it” on their own. Others do not discuss depression with a doctor because it doesn’t seem like a health concern. It’s important to understand that depression is a real medical illness that can be treated.
2. What are the symptoms of MDD?
Those suffering from depression may experience different symptoms that go beyond a feeling of sadness. Along with a depressed mood and/or loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities, a person must experience at least four of the following symptoms:
- Increased irritability
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Agitation or restlessness
- Fatigue and loss of energy
- Trouble thinking, making decisions, or concentrating
- Disturbed sleep, such as insomnia
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Thoughts of death or suicide, suicide attempts
3. I may be suffering from MDD. What should I do?
The first thing you should do is schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss how you’re feeling and determine the appropriate next steps. It’s important to remember that depression is a common but serious illness.In fact, each year, depression affects 5-8 percent of adults in the United States, accounting for about 25 million Americans.
4. Why can’t I just snap out of it?
It is widely believed that major depressive disorder is the result of an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain, which may influence a person’s mood.Due to this believed imbalance, depression, like other medical conditions, often requires treatment. Many people with a depressive illness never seek treatment, but many people with depression can get better with treatment.
5. What types of medications are available?
There are a number of different antidepressant options available that can help reduce symptoms of depression. The antidepressant most recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of depression in adults is VIIBRYD® (vilazodone HCl), which became available in 2011. While the exact way VIIBRYD—or any other medication for depression—works is unknown, it is thought to affect the activity of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter known to play a key role in regulating mood.
Talk to your doctor to determine the best treatment option for you.
Important Risk Information
VIIBRYD® (vilazodone HCl) is indicated for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults.
Important Risk Information
What is the most important information I should know about VIIBRYD?
VIIBRYD and other antidepressant medicines may cause serious side effects. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the symptoms described below, or call 911 if there is an emergency.
Suicidality and Antidepressant Drugs
Antidepressants increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, teens, and young adults. Depression and certain other psychiatric disorders are themselves associated with increases in the risk of suicide. Patients of all ages who are started on antidepressant therapy should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior. VIIBRYD is not approved for use in patients under 18. For more information on this risk, please read the VIIBRYD Medication Guide in the accompanying full Prescribing Information.
Serotonin Syndrome: Agitation, hallucinations, coma or other changes in mental status; coordination problems or muscle twitching; fast heartbeat, high or low blood pressure; sweating or fever; nausea, vomiting or diarrhea; muscle stiffness or tightness.
Abnormal bleeding: VIIBRYD and other antidepressant medicines may increase your risk of bleeding or bruising, especially if you take the blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin®, Jantoven®), a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), or aspirin.
Seizures or convulsions.
Manic episodes: Greatly increased energy; severe trouble sleeping; racing thoughts; reckless behavior; unusually grand ideas; excessive happiness or irritability; talking more or faster than usual.
Low salt (sodium) levels in the blood: Elderly people may be at greater risk for this. Symptoms may include headache; weakness or feeling unsteady; confusion, problems concentrating or thinking or memory problems.
Who should not take VIIBRYD?
- Do not take any drugs known as MAOIs within 14 days of stopping VIIBRYD
- Do not start VIIBRYD if you stopped taking an MAOI in the last 14 days
- Do not start VIIBRYD if you are taking linezolid (a specific antibiotic) or are receiving intravenous methylene blue
People who take VIIBRYD close in time to taking an MAOI may have serious or even life-threatening side effects.
What should I tell my healthcare provider before starting VIIBRYD?
- Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter medications, vitamins and herbal supplements you are taking or plan to take, including:
— Triptans used to treat migraine headaches; medicines used to treat mood, anxiety, psychotic or thought disorders, including tricyclics, lithium, SSRIs, SNRIs, buspirone, or antipsychotics; tramadol, mephenytoin (Mesantoin) or over-the-counter supplements such as tryptophan or St. John’s Wort; this is necessary to avoid a potentially life-threatening condition
— Aspirin, NSAID pain relievers, or blood thinners (warfarin, Coumadin, or Jantoven) because they may increase the risk of bleeding
- Speak with your doctor if you:
– Have kidney or liver problems
– Have or had mania, bipolar disorder (manic depression), seizures or convulsions
– Have or had bleeding problems. VIIBRYD may increase your risk of bleeding or bruising
– Have low salt (sodium) levels in your blood or are taking diuretics (water pills)
– Are nursing, pregnant, or are planning to become pregnant or to breastfeed
Do not stop VIIBRYD without first talking to your healthcare provider.
- Stopping VIIBRYD suddenly may cause serious symptoms including: anxiety, irritability, high or low mood, feeling restless or sleepy; headache, sweating, nausea, dizziness; electric shock-like sensations, tremor, and confusion.
What should I avoid when taking VIIBRYD?
- Until you know how VIIBRYD affects you, you should not drive, operate heavy machinery, or engage in other dangerous activities. Avoid drinking alcohol while taking VIIBRYD.
What are the most common side effects of VIIBRYD?
- The most common side effects in people taking VIIBRYD include diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, and trouble sleeping.
- Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
These are not all the possible side effects of VIIBRYD. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
Please also see Medication Guide within the full Prescribing Information.
Please visit www.viibryd.com for more information and to view the full Prescribing Information, including Medication Guide, or contact Forest Laboratories, Inc. at 1-800-678-1605. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
VIIBRYD® is a registered trademark of Forest Laboratories, Inc.
All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
# # #
© 2013 Forest Laboratories 047-14000028 05/13