Agomelatine (Valdoxan)


Overview: Agomelatine, known by the brand name Valdoxan, is an antidepressant of the Atypical class. Agomelatine is used purely to treat Depression. Agomelatine has helped many people recover from their mental health problems – and has a favourable profile epitomised by few side effects. Agomelatine is one of the youngest antidepressants to be in widespread use – having only been on the market for just over a decade. Agomelatine is only available on prescription.

Note: Agomelatine has recently lost its license in the United Kingdom to treat Depression, as per NICE Guidelines. This update was added in July 2018.




Key Facts: Agomelatine will normally take around 4-6 weeks to take full effect. Minor improvements might be visible after around a week. There are some side effects to Agomelatine, and some cautions too. Agomelatine should be used without interruption – you shouldn’t suddenly stop taking the medicine. The medication should help jump start your mood, and slowly make you feel like your old self again.


How do they work?: Unfortunately, it isn’t entirely known how antidepressants work. Atypical antidepressants work by changing the levels of some neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters are linked to mood and emotion. How the exact process works and links together isn’t entirely known, but antidepressants have a proven track record of working.


Dosage: The normal dosage of Agomelatine is 25mg per day. It is recommended that you take one tablet of Agomelatine just before bedtime. Agomelatine can be taken with or without food. The dose of Agomelatine can be risen to 50mg if necessary. It can take some time to find the correct dose. A typical treatment course of Agomelatine is nine months, though a longer treatment is common.


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Side Effects

With each box of Agomelatine, there will be an information leaflet enclosed. This will provide an exhaustive list of side effects. Side effects from Agomelatine should only last a few days. It is natural to experience some side effects as your body gets used to the medication.


Common side effects of Agomelatine include excessive sweating, nausea, constipation, fatigue, dizziness, tiredness and anxiety. Agomelatine does not cause sexual dysfunction, and very rarely causes suicidal ideation.


Serious side effects include suicidal thinking, seizures, chest pain and psychosis. An overdose should be avoided, as it can cause the potentially fatal Serotonin Syndrome and cardiovascular problems. You should contact your doctor if any of these serious side effects take place.




You should always read the information leaflet that comes with your medication as it will include important information. You should tell your doctor if you are taking any other medication. It is important that you don’t use the herbal remedy St. Johns wort. Do not combine MAOI antidepressants with Agomelatine. Always ask your doctor if you are unsure on combining medicines.


Alcohol acts as a depressant, therefore it is recommended that anyone taking an antidepressant stays away from drinking alcohol. Combining Agomelatine with recreational drugs is also not recommended.


Agomelatine is not recommended in pregnancy or the breastfeeding stage. Antidepressants are generally considered unsafe to use in pregnancy.


Agomelatine is not normally prescribed to anyone under the age of 18. Instead, some form of psychotherapy is recommended. Younger people have been shown to be more vulnerable to suicidal thoughts when using antidepressants. In the case that an antidepressant needs to be prescribed, Fluoxetine will instead generally be prescribed.


Other Atypical Antidepressants: