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What is agomelatine used for?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Sep 20, 2022.

Official answer

by Drugs.com

Agomelatine is used to treat depression in adults in many countries but is not approved for use in the United States. Its most common foreign brand names are "Valdoxan" or "Thymanax". Agomelatine is available as a 25 mg oral tablet.

Agomelatine is classified as an antidepressant. It works by stimulating the melatonin (MT1 and MT2) receptors and by blocking the serotonin (5-HT2c) receptors in the brain. This may lead to increases in the levels of dopamine and noradrenaline neurotransmitters, which help regulate mood and may relieve the symptoms of depression.

Symptoms of depression may include:

  • sadness
  • feelings of worthlessness
  • loss of interest in social activities
  • tearfulness
  • sleep disturbances
  • lethargy
  • anxiety
  • changes in weight
  • suicidal thoughts or actions.

In short-term clinical trials, its effectiveness for depression was superior to placebo and similar to other antidepressants. However, in longer-term studies up to one year, the medicine was not effective. It has a strong effect on circadian sleep phase disturbances, improving time to sleep onset and quality of sleep.

Agomelatine may cause liver toxicity, so your healthcare provider will need to check your liver function tests frequently. If you have liver disease, you may not be able to use this medicine.

A review from Health Canada showed that it produced improvements in sleep disturbances, better tolerability in terms of sexual side effects (vs. SSRIs), and a lack of withdrawal symptoms after abrupt discontinuation of treatment.

Foreign names for agomelatine may include:

  • agomelatinum (Latin)
  • agomelatin (German)
  • agomélatine (French)
  • agomelatina (Spanish)

Foreign brand name products for agomelatine include:

  • Agoprex (India)
  • Alodil (Chile)
  • Inspago (Egypt)
  • Melitor (Serbia, Georgia)
  • Thymanax (Spain; Estonia; Lithuania; Sweden; Netherlands; Croatia)
  • Valdoxan (Russian Federation; Chile; China; France; Romania; Slovenia; Cyprus; Argentina; Australia; Brazil; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Egypt; Finland; Hong Kong; Indonesia; Ireland; Iceland; South Korea; Lithuania; Latvia; Malaysia; Poland; Portugal; Sweden; Slovakia; Thailand; Turkey; Uruguay; Belgium; Greece; United Kingdom; Oman; Netherlands; Croatia)
  • Valdoxan 25 (Spain; Austria; Switzerland; Germany; Hungary; Luxembourg)
  • Valdoxane (South Africa)
  • Vestin (Argentina)

Products may not always be reliable, safe or available in every foreign country listed. Some products may have been discontinued by foreign manufacturers, and this list may be incomplete. Use extreme caution if you are purchasing any medicine over the Internet, either domestic or international.

This is not all the information you need to know about agomelatine for safe and effective use and does not take the place of your doctor’s directions. Review the full product information from the country of origin and discuss its use with your health care provider before you take it. This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this product.

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