Viloxazine in the Management of CNS Disorders: A Historical Overview and Current Status

Robert L. Findling, Shawn A. Candler, Azmi F. Nasser, Stefan Schwabe, Chungping Yu, Jennie Garcia-Olivares, Welton O’Neal, Jeffrey H. Newcorn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Viloxazine has a long history of clinical use in Europe as an antidepressant, and has recently been repurposed into an extended-release form for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in the USA. An immediate-release formulation was approved for the treatment of depression in the UK in 1974, and was subsequently marketed there and in several European countries for 30 years with no major safety concerns. In contrast to first-generation antidepressants (e.g., tricyclic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors), viloxazine was associated with a relatively low risk for cardiotoxicity. Gastrointestinal symptoms were the most commonly reported side effects. The therapeutic effects of viloxazine are thought to be primarily the result of its action as a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, although in vitro and preclinical in vivo animal data suggest that viloxazine may also impact the serotoninergic system. This review summarizes the evolving knowledge of viloxazine based on information from previously published preclinical and clinical investigations, and acquired unpublished historical study reports from both open-label and blinded controlled clinical trials. We review the chemical properties, mechanism of action, safety, and tolerability across these studies, and discuss the contemporary rationale for the development of this agent as an extended-release oral formulation for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-653
Number of pages11
JournalCNS Drugs
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


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