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Canadian Med Center

Trintellix for Major Depressive Disorder

Thursday 21 March 2024
5 minute(s) read

Table of Contents

I. What is Trintellix?

II. How Does Trintellix Work?

III. Trintellix Side Effects

IV. Trintellix Dosages

V. How to Take Trintellix

VI. Conclusion

Major depressive disorder can be a debilitating condition that leaves many searching for relief. Finding an antidepressant that works effectively is often a frustrating process of trial and error. However, new options are still emerging that may help.

Trintellix is one of those newer antidepressant medications that is providing hope for those who have not responded well to other options. It has a unique mechanism of action that sets it apart from many other antidepressants on the market today.

In this article, we’ll discuss what Trintellix is, how it works, how to take it, dosages, and potential side effects.

What is Trintellix?

There are many medication options when it comes to treating depression. If you've tried other medications without success, your doctor may suggest Trintellix. This prescription medication offers a different approach that may provide relief from symptoms of major depressive disorder (MDD).

Symptoms of major depressive disorder can include:

  • Long-lasting sad mood
  • Loss of interest in daily activities
  • Appetite and weight changes
  • Changes in sleep behavior
  • Increased restlessness
  • Decreased energy
  • Long-lasting feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Trouble making decisions
  • Thoughts or plans of suicide [1]

If you have any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to contact your doctor. They can help you find the right treatment to manage these feelings.

Trintellix is known as an atypical antidepressant. It works a bit differently than the widely used selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and other common antidepressants. [2]

Atypical antidepressants like Trintellix are often prescribed when other medications haven't provided relief from depression. However, depending on a person's specific symptoms and medical history, they may also be used as an initial treatment. [2]

How Does Trintellix Work?

A cut-out of a head with a smiley face drawn into the brain

Although the exact mechanism of Trintellix is not fully understood, experts believe that Trintellix helps increase serotonin levels by blocking its reuptake. [3]

Normally, after serotonin is released and transmits signals between neurons, it is reabsorbed by the body. Trintellix blocks this reabsorption, leaving more serotonin available in the spaces between neurons. With more serotonin free to activate receptors, communication between neurons is enhanced. [3]

Trintellix Side Effects

While Trintellix can be an effective medication for depression and anxiety, it may produce certain side effects. Many side effects are mild and temporary, but some can be more serious. Knowing the range of possible side effects can help you understand what to expect from treatment and when to contact your doctor.

Common mild side effects of Trintellix include:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Itching
  • Mild allergic reaction [4]

These side effects are usually temporary and go away on their own or with minimal treatment. However, if they persist or bother you, be sure to talk to your doctor.

In rare cases, Trintellix can cause severe side effects requiring immediate medical care. Contact your doctor right away or call emergency services if you experience any of the following:

  • Serotonin syndrome: Symptoms may include high fever, rapid heart rate, shakiness, sweating, agitation, and muscle spasms. This rare condition results from too much serotonin building up in the body.
  • Severe bleeding: Coughing up blood, bloody vomit or stools, and red urine signal internal bleeding. Seek help immediately.
  • Low sodium levels: Confusion, headaches, difficulty concentrating, and muscular weakness can indicate dangerously low sodium levels in the blood.
  • Suicidal thoughts: Trintellix may increase suicidal thinking, especially for children and young adults. Call your local emergency number if you experience any suicidal thoughts. [4]

Trintellix Dosages

When taking Trintellix for depression, finding the right dosage is key to managing your symptoms effectively.

Trintellix comes in three strengths:

  • 5 mg tablets
  • 10 mg tablets
  • 20 mg tablets [4]

When deciding on the right dosage, your doctor will consider factors like:

  • The symptoms of your depression
  • Your medical history and any other conditions you have
  • Other medications you're currently taking [4]

To start, your doctor will prescribe a low dose and slowly increase it over time until you reach the lowest amount that improves your depression. Typically, the starting dose for major depression is 10 mg once daily, with the possibility of increasing to 20 mg if necessary. If you experience side effects, your doctor may decide to lower the dosage to alleviate any discomfort. [4]

How to Take Trintellix

An elderly man taking medication with a glass of water

Trintellix should be taken orally once daily, either with or without food. To maintain steady levels in your body, try to take it at the same time each day. [4] Follow your doctor's instructions carefully regarding how much and how often to take it.

It can take time for Trintellix to start working. You may begin to feel some effects within two weeks, but it typically takes four weeks or longer to experience the full benefits. Be patient through the initial weeks of treatment. [5]

Even when you start feeling better, take Trintellix exactly as prescribed. Stopping the medication abruptly can lead to withdrawal symptoms like:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle tension
  • Return of depressive symptoms [1]

If you do experience these effects, contact your doctor right away. They will help you safely stop the medication under medical guidance.


Trintellix offers a unique approach to treating major depressive disorder that sets it apart from other antidepressants on the market. Its innovative mechanism of action provides an effective option for those seeking medication solutions for their struggles with depression.

However, it is crucial to remember that everyone's journey is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s important to consult with your doctor to determine if Trintellix is the right choice for you.

To learn more about Trintellix, visit our dedicated Trintellix blog.

The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.