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Exploring Auvelity for Depression Treatment

Axsome’s Auvelity antidepressant could be a potential game changer for depression treatment.
— by Kyle Lakey


In our quest to understand the intricacies of human psychology and mental health, we are continually transforming the landscape of treatment possibilities. One of the latest revolutions in this regard has been the groundbreaking FDA approval of the rapid acting oral antidepressant drug Auvelity, manufactured by Axsome, to treat Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).

According to recent statistics, in 2021, about 21 million American adults had experienced at least one major depressive episode, making depression the leading cause of disability worldwide. The current approach to treating depression with oral antidepressants has been in place for the past 60 years, but there is a need for new and improved treatments that can achieve higher remission rates, have a faster onset of action, and are better tolerated.

However, traditional antidepressants like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, commonly take weeks to months to achieve their full effect, and many patients still experience residual symptoms. Moreover, remission rates are low, and current antidepressants come with side effects that include sexual dysfunction, sleep disturbances, weight gain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and cognitive impairment.

A recent study called the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) trial, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, revealed some unfortunate insights into depression treatment. The study found that over 12.6 million American adults have received treatment for depression in the past year.

Shockingly, nearly two-thirds of diagnosed and treated patients failed to achieve remission with first-line therapy. The majority of those who failed to respond to the initial treatment also failed to respond to the second-line treatment. To be precise, 6