Trintellix (vortioxetine) is a prescription antidepressant, used to treat major depressive disorder (MDD). While its mechanism is not fully understood, research has shown it is effective for this purpose. (Learn More)
Trintellix can cause nausea, constipation, and vomiting in the short term, as well as a number of other potential side effects. Familiarize yourself with its more serious side effects. While rare, they generally signal something is wrong and you need to contact your doctor. (Learn More)
Trintellix will usually cost about $400 for a 30-day supply when purchased from a pharmacy. It should be covered under most insurance plans, meaning you will not be paying the full amount in most cases. (Learn More) This is important, as no generic version of Trintellix will exist until at least 2022. (Learn More)
Trintellix is an immediate-release tablet that is taken orally, usually once daily. It has been shown to be effective in helping adults with major depressive disorder (MDD).
While the mechanism is not fully known, the drug is believed to boost the activity of serotonin by blocking its reuptake. This is not unusual for antidepressants. Many others use this same mechanism of action.
The drug also works on serotonin receptors in a mechanism that is even less understood. While the risks of these unknowns may seem serious, the drug is comparable to other antidepressants, even if it has its own set of risks and downsides (discussed below).
Trintellix has been shown to provide genuine help to many patients. If your doctor determines Trintellix is a good fit for you, discuss any concerns you have with them.
Risks and Side Effects
Short-term side effects commonly associated with Trintellix include the following:
The nausea is generally mild to moderate, and the frequency of nausea episodes is usually dependent on the dose. Symptoms usually last for about two weeks after starting Trintellix. If they are long lasting or especially severe, contact your doctor.
Other common side effects that Trintellix can cause include the following:
- Dry mouth
- Strange dreams
- Lowered sex drive
Trintellix can also rarely cause more serious symptoms that warrant immediate attention from a doctor or calling 911.
Contact a doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:
- Serotonin syndrome: This condition, which can be life-threatening, is characterized by agitation, hallucinations, variations in psychological status (including coma), difficulty controlling movements (including muscle twitches, rigidity or tightness), accelerated heartbeat, high or low blood pressure, sweating or fever, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
- Manic episode: This is when a person experiences greatly increased energy and high amounts of unexplainable and even irrational happiness. While initially this may sound like a positive, it can lead to dangerous and unreasonable behavior, serious trouble sleeping, and other issues.
- Vision problems: These symptoms can include eye pain, changes in vision, swelling, or redness in or around the eye. Any change in vision warrants a visit to an eye doctor to make sure no serious damage is occurring.
- Low sodium levels in the blood: Low sodium levels, which can be deadly if untreated, usually manifest as memory problems, confusion, trouble concentrating, headache, weakness or unsteadiness, hallucinations, seizures, or even coma. If you experience any of those symptoms, do not wait for them to get severe before calling a doctor.
If these symptoms are intense, call 911 immediately. Inform the operator of your location and any drugs you take, as well as any relevant medical information.
As with any prescription medication, talk to your doctor honestly about what drugs you take and any health conditions you have. If you are pregnant or nursing, talk to your doctor about other options.
Cost of Trintellix
Trintellix is not inexpensive. It has a list price of $383.67 for a 30-day supply. Many pharmacies charge around $400 for a 30-day prescription, even when using a coupon to get the best price.
Most patients will not be paying such high prices. Most insurance plans will cover Trintellix, as they almost always cover medications needed for mental illnesses the same way they do for physical ailments. They are usually required by law to do so.
Is Generic Trintellix Available?
No. Trintellix is marketed by Takeda Pharms USA, and they have a patent locking it down until at least 2022. For this reason, no generic version of the drug exists, and there won’t be a generic version available until at least 2022.
While certainly controversial, the logic behind these laws is that a company needs an incentive to research new drugs and products. Having to compete with generics right away would disincentivize such research.
If Trintellix is too expensive for you, and your insurance doesn’t offset the cost sufficiently, talk to your doctor about other medications that may work well for you. There are many generic versions of other antidepressants on the market. You can also get discounts on brand name medications via discount sites.
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How Trintellix Is Thought to Work. H. Lundbeck A/S.