Wellbutrin XL, a once-a-day medication for the treatment of depressive disorders in people 18 and over, received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration on Thursday.

According to GSK, the drug creates fewer side effects such as weight gain and loss of sexual function.

The drug should go on sale in September.

In a statement released by GSK, a University of Virginia health system psychiatrist praised the new drug.

“Approximately 14 million adults in the U.S. suffer from depression, and while the number of available treatments has increased in the past decade, some antidepressant medications have left patients coping with other problems, such as side effects, which may include sexual dysfunction and weight change,” said Anita Clayton, MD, professor of psychiatry at the University of Virginia Health System. “Wellbutrin XL is a long-awaited treatment option
because it offers a low risk of sexual side effects and weight gain – with the convenience of once-daily dosing.”

The drug was developed by Biovail in 2001 and licensed by GSK.

GSK already sells Wellbutrin SR which is a twice-a-day treatment.

The company says the active ingredient in Wellbutrin XL interacts with two chemicals in the brain known to help regulate various aspects of behavior, mood and cognition.

GSK: www.gsk.com