In a study of 15 patients affected by major depressive disorder and complaining of insomnia, initiating treatment with vortioxetine for their depressive symptoms led to significant improvements in subjective sleep quality and daytime sleepiness. The British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology findings may have important clinical implications because sleep problems affect an estimated 70% to 90% of patients with depression.
Vortioxetine differs from selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors that are prescribed to treat depression because it has a multimodal effect on serotonin transport and reuptake.
“Considering that sleep impairment is a frequent comorbid symptom in patients affected by major depressive disorder, we suggest the possible use of vortioxetin for treating depressive symptoms and improving sleep quality in patients showing comorbid depression and insomnia,” the authors wrote. “However, future studies investigating sleep by using polysomnography, the gold standard tool able to study sleep architecture, are invited in order to confirm this preliminary observation.”