New antidepressant has fewer sexual side effects - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

New antidepressant has fewer sexual side effects

(NBC) - An antidepressant that studies suggest has fewer sexual side effects will hit store shelves some time this year.

That is a major issue for people who take drugs for anxiety and depression. Dr. Darren Tate is an OB-GYN, but he sees patients every day who are struggling with depression.

"A lot of our patients come to their gynecologist as their sole provider, particularly when they're having menopausal issues or depression issues," Tate said.

He often prescribes antidepressants, which frequently leads to another complaint: Decreased libido. It is one of the reasons patients often choose to stop taking those medications.

"Decreased libido and decreased sexual function in the studies is up to 40 percent, but I think we see more of that, honestly, I think that's underreported," Tate said.

A new option for those patients is expected to hit the market this year. In January, the FDA approved Vilazodone HCL tablets to be marketed under the brand name Vibryd, for the treatment of adults with major depressive disorder.

Tate says drug company representatives have been stopping by his office, and patients are already asking about it.

"Like a lot of doctors, I'm a little cautious on giving new medications, but what I'm reading is encouraging because it is in the SSRI category which we know these are safe drugs, so I think we will be using this very soon with our patients," Tate said.

Vibryd was originally slated to be released in the second quarter, but the company is being sold so customers may not be able to get it in drug stores until later in the year.

Doctors warn that no one therapy works for everyone, and side effects vary from person to person.

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