Highlighting side effects, warnings, interactions, and more


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US brand name: Brintellix
Generic name: vortioxetine

Brintellix’s Potential Side Effects

Potential Side Effects All Crazy Meds Have

No matter which neurological and/or psychiatric drug you take, you’ll probably get one or more of these side effects. These will usually be gone, or at least will diminish to the point where you barely notice it most of the time, within a week or two.

  • Headache
  • Drowsiness / fatigue - even when taking stimulants in some circumstances.
  • Insomnia, instead of or alternating with the drowsiness.
  • Nausea
  • Assorted other minor GI complaints (constipation, diarrhea, etc.)
  • Generally feeling spacey / out of it
    • Which can all add up to the ever-helpful “flu-like symptoms” listed as an adverse event on the PI sheet of practically every medication on the planet used to treat almost any condition humans and other animals could have.1
  • All crazy meds can, and probably will affect your dreams as well. There is no way of telling if that will be good or bad, let alone if this side effect is permanent or temporary.
  • Any of the above side effects you see listed again below means they’re even more likely to happen and/or stick around longer and/or are worse than most other meds.

Typical Potential Side Effects

The usual for anything that affects serotonin. Brintellix’s main problems are GI complaints , especially nausea that’s almost as bad as as Viibryd’s, and the ever-contradictory diarrhea or constipation . There’s also headache , dizziness , and dry mouth . And, like every crazy med ever made, your dreams will be different .

Weight gain doesn’t seem to be a problem. I’m still collecting data to see how bad the sexual side effects are, but so far they seem to be less of an issue than SSRIs and SNRIs.

Uncommon Potential Side Effects

Itchy skin without a rash (pruritus) , sweating , flushing/hot flashes , vertigo , taste perversion (dysgeusia) , fatigue, daytime tiredness (somnolence) , severe indigestion (dyspepsia) and acid reflux that can eventually become ulcers .

One thing I’ve noticed from reading user experiences, the really severe GI problems happen to people who have a history of such things (or this is how they find out their stomachs are especially med-, or serotonergic-med-sensitive), or people are taking too much because their doctors are idiots and prescribed 20mg of Brintellix along with Wellbutrin.

Freaky Rare Side Effects

Nothing yet. I’m really disappointed.

Not all side effects have been listed here, just the most likely and most interesting. For all reported side effects, see Brintellix’s PI Sheet.

What You Really Need to be Careful About

Serotonin syndrome. Every serotonergic medication has a warning about the extremely rare, but greater than zero chance of this painful and potentially, but usually not, fatal reaction. Especially if you mix drugs that act on serotonin in different, but complimentary ways, like SSRIs and triptans. Well, since Brintellix is almost a triptan and does a bunch of other stuff that enhances serotonin, it’s one of the few meds where serotonin syndrome moves from extremely rare to very rare. Or merely uncommon if your doctor does something stupid like prescribe 20 mg a day while you’re taking Paxil or Prozac and you’re a poor, or even intermediate CYP2D6 metabolizer.

Pregnancy Category

Brintellix’s Noted Drug-Drug, Drug-Food & Drug-Supplement Interactions

will require a dosage adjustment. I’ve read too many reports of people taking Brintellix with Prozac, Paxil, or Wellbutrin who weren’t able to tolerate the side effects because their doctor had them at 20 mg a day. That’s the equivalent of 40 mg! It’s just like Lamictal and Depakote and is on the very first page of the PI sheet.

While you will require the same dosage adjustment if you’re a CYP2D6 poor metabolizer, you may need a similar one if you’re a poor metabolizer of CYP2C9 and taking one or more meds that also affect CYP2C9 and CYP3A4, such as Zoloft.

Like all serotonergic meds, you need to be careful if you take NSAIDs like aspirin or Celebrex on a regular basis. The same goes for other types of blood thinners, from warfarin to omega-3 fish oils . Based on the pharmacokinetic data, you need to be more careful than with SSRIs.

Mixing St. John’s Wort - assuming you’re even taking St. John’s Wort and not ground-up basil that’s too old to have a scent - and serotonergic drugs is always dicey. Taking it with Brintellix can be especially problematic, especially since St. John’s Wort induces CYP2C9 and CYP3A4. Would that require a dosage adjustment? Probably not, but it’s still a dumb idea to take the two at the same time.

Check for Other Drug-Drug, Drug-Food & Drug-Supplement Interactions Brintellix may have at

Drugs.com’s drug-drug and drug-food interaction checker

It’s always a good idea to check for drug-drug interactions yourself. Just because most people in the crazy meds business know about really important interactions (e.g. MAOIs and a lot of stuff, warfarin and everything on the planet) doesn’t mean the person who prescribed your meds told you about them, or the pharmacist has all the meds you take at their fingertips like they’re supposed to. Or they have the time to do their jobs properly when not dealing with complete idiots or playing Angry Farmers on teh Faecesbooks.
Learn more about drug-everything interactions on our page of tips about taking crazy meds.

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Pages and Forum Topics Google Thinks are Relevant to Your Mental Health

1 As well as being an indication of half of said conditions.

Last modified on Wed, 04 May, 2016 at 16:42:05 by JerodPoorePage Author Date created Thursday, 02 October 2014 at 15:17:50
“Brintellix (vortioxetine) Pharmacology” by Jerod Poore is copyright © 2014 Jerod Poore Published online 2014/10/02

Brintellix, and all other drug names on this page and used throughout the site, are the trademarks of someone else. Brintellix’s PI Sheet will probably have the name of the manufacturer and trademark owner (they’re not always the same company) at or near the very bottom. Or ask Google who the owner is. The way pharmaceutical companies buy each other and swap products like Monopoly™ real estate, the ownership of the trademark may have changed without my noticing. It may of changed hands by the time you finished reading this article.

Page design and explanatory material by Jerod Poore, copyright © 2003 - 2016. All rights reserved. See the full copyright notice for full copyright details.
Don’t automatically believe everything you read on teh Intergoogles. No warranty is expressed or implied in this information. Consult one or more doctors and/or pharmacists before taking, or changing how you take any neurological and/or psychiatric medication. Your mileage may vary. What happened to us won’t necessarily happen to you. For more details see the Crazymeds big-ass disclaimer.

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