Mirtazapine is an antidepressant medication sold in the United States under the name Remeron. It’s primarily used to treat depression, but it may also be used to treat insomnia off-label. It’s a unique medication that’s separate from other antidepressants like SSRIs and SNRIs.
Mirtazapine can take up to four weeks to become fully effective as an antidepressant. It can also be helpful in depression cases that are complicated by insomnia or anxiety disorders.
Mirtazapine has been used in the United States since 1994, and today, it’s a widely used medication. However, it’s important to know the potential adverse effects of prescription medication and how it might affect you. Learn more about the side effects of mirtazapine and whether or not it’s a good option for your needs.
What are Mirtazapine’s Side Effects?
Drowsiness is one of the most common reported side effects of mirtazapine. In some cases, it can cause severe sedation. The drug can have sleep-inducing effects, which is why it has been studied and sometimes used as a sleep aid. Thus, it may not be the best option for people looking for daily depression management without drowsiness. A medication that significantly affects your energy levels can lower your ability to complete daily tasks and may do more harm than good.
Mirtazapine can also have the opposite effect by preventing sleep or contributing to insomnia. A lack of sleep can lead to other potential health issues, including obesity and heart disease. Plus, a lack of sleep can harm your mental health, which can worsen your depression or anxiety. Weight gain and increased appetite are also associated with mirtazapine as a side effect. Other common side effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Sleep disturbances
- Hot flashes
- Heart palpitations
- Strange dreams
- Decreased libido
Managing Mirtazapine Side Effects
Treating mental health issues often involves a trial-and-error period that you go through with your doctor or therapist. No medication or therapy works for every person. Finding the right medication and the right dosage for your needs may take time.
If you start taking a prescription drug, it’s important to communicate with your doctor about your symptoms, especially if they change, get worse, or last for long periods. You should also make a note of the overall effectiveness of the medication and let your doctor know about your progress. It may help to keep a journal of your experience throughout your treatment.
Can Mirtazapine Cause Chemical Dependence?
Mirtazapine isn’t considered an addictive drug. Though you need a prescription to get it in the United States, it’s not considered a scheduled, controlled substance. Still, drugs that cause sedative, depressant effects can sometimes be abused to achieve an alcohol-like high. However, mirtazapine works differently in the brain from other depressants.
Abusing the drug can increase your risk of experiencing unpleasant or dangerous side effects. However, the drug only causes a low level of toxicity during an overdose. Still, it may be more dangerous to mix the drug with other substances like alcohol or opioids.