A new anti-depressant, Viibryd (vilazodone hydrochloride) has been approved for treatment of depression, and even more so the symptoms of major depressive disorder (MDD). The FDA approved the anti-depressant, which is said to be more effective at alleviating the symptoms of depression.

MDD is the diagnosis of a depression that affects daily life, with symptoms such as; low mood, loss of interest in activities, changes in weigh or appetite, and changes in weight. Depression and its symptoms can be reoccurring, and not just the result of a negative change in mental health. SSRIs such as Zoloft and Prozac have generally been prescribed and recommended by psychiatrists specializing in depression.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), depression; and more specifically major depressive disorder, occurs in about 10% of the US population. Last year, psychiatrists wrote over 100 million prescriptions for Zoloft and Prozac. Cymbalta is often prescribed, but at a much lower rate for depression.

Side effects of Viibryd include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and insomnia. Viibryd, like other anti-depresssants, comes with a boxed label warning explaining that there is also an increased risk of suicide. There is not yet a consensus amongst the medical community as to the effectiveness of Viibryd compared to the typical SSRIs such as Prozac and Zoloft.

Viibryd is manufactured by PGXHealth. The pharmaceutical company operates out of New Haven, Connecticut. Currently, the NIMH recommends the drug be prescribed only for adults suffering from depression or MDD. More studies are needed to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of the drug in children and young teenagers. Additional information is available from the NIMH website at www.nimh.nih.gov.