Vilazodone for the treatment of major depressive disorder: Focusing on its clinical studies and mechanism of action

Sheng Min Wang, Changsu Han, Soo Jung Lee, Ashwin A. Patkar, Prakash S. Masand, Chi Un Pae

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


We tried to review and update clinical and preclinical studies evaluating vilazodone’s role as an antidepressant for patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). In terms of its mechanism of actions, we sought to elaborate them mainly through preclinical animal studies. A data search was conducted in November 1, 2013, using the key terms “vilazodone” or “Viibryd,” in PubMed and Medline databases. All published and unpublished studies are included and citations from publications were also reviewed for additional references. Five unpublished, phase-II and two pivotal published phase-III clinical trials with nearly identical design (8-week, double-blind, randomized, and placebo-controlled) investigated efficacy of vilazodone, were found for the treatment of patients with MDD. Two post-hoc studies and one long-term open study were also included. Data were thoroughly reviewed to incorporate the pharmacology, action mechanism, efficacy and safety for the vilazodone in the treatment of major depressive disorder. Vilazodone is an antidepressant with novel mechanism of action because its chemical structure is unrelated to conventional antidepressant, and it has a selective serotonin (5-HT) reuptake inhibitor and 5-HT1A receptor partial agonist profile. Vilazodone is an effective and safe treatment option with its novel action mechanisms for patients with depression. Its putative benefits compared with other antidepressants must be thoroughly studied in adequately-powered and well-designed future clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-163
Number of pages9
JournalPsychiatry Investigation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Antidepressant
  • Efficacy
  • Novel mechanism
  • Safety
  • Vilazodone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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