We present six case reports of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) at various stages, who experienced major depressive episodes that were successfully treated with vortioxetine.
The patients whose cases are reported in this manuscript were treated in the setting of daily clinical practice.
Of the six cases presented (2 females and 4 males, aged between 56 and 80 years) three had long-standing PD. The remaining three cases were diagnosed with PD at presentation. Most patients had a history of depressive episodes preceding the onset of the motor symptoms typical of PD, or experienced depressive symptoms concomitantly with the onset of the movement disorder. Most patients had therefore been previously exposed to conventional antidepressant medications. Vortioxetine proved consistently effective on depression and related aspects and was generally well tolerated. Symptoms of depression commonly shown by patients with PD, including apathy, cognitive function and sleep disturbances, responded particularly well to vortioxetine.
These observations suggest that vortioxetine has a potential for the management of depressive episodes occurring in the complex and heterogeneous population of patients with PD. Vortioxetine also appears to be well tolerated when taken concomitantly with antiparkinsonian medications. This potential is worth investigating in adequately designed, prospective studies.