Pharm

Mirtazapine

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Mirtazapine, Remeron, Norepinephrine Antagonist Serotonin Antagonist

  1. Unresponsive to other Antidepressants
  2. Comorbid Anxiety Disorder
  3. Comorbid Insomnia
  4. Cachectic or chronically ill patients
  • Mechanism
  1. Tetracyclic piperazinoazepine
  2. Norepinephrine Antagonist Serotonin Antagonist
    1. Blocks Pre-synaptic Alpha 2 Adrenergic Receptors
      1. Enhances central noradrenergic activity
    2. Blocks Post-synaptic 5-HT2, 5-HT3 Serotonin Receptors
      1. Enhances central Serotoninergic activity at 5-HT-1
  3. Significant Antihistamine activity
    1. Dose dependent effect
      1. Dose 15 mg: Antihistamine effects predominate
      2. Dose 45 mg: Noradrenergic effects predominate
    2. Antihistamine Symptoms
      1. Weight gain
      2. Sedation
  • Pharmacokinetics
  1. Half-Life: 20 to 40 hours
  • Dosing
  1. Start: 15 mg PO qhs
  2. Effective dose: 15 to 30 mg PO qhs
  1. Superior to Placebo
  2. As effective as Elavil, Desyrel, and Prozac
  • Adverse Effects
  1. Somnolence (54%)
    1. Consider dosing at bedtime to improve sleep
  2. Dry Mouth (25%)
  3. Increased appetite (17%)
  4. Weight gain (12%) may be significant
  5. Dizziness (7%)
  • Precautions
  1. Agranulocytosis (occurs in 0.1% cases)
    1. Similar Incidence to other Antidepressants
    2. Does not warrant routine CBC monitoring
  2. Do not use within 14 days of MAO inhibitor
  3. Do not use with drugs causing excessive sedation
    1. Alcohol
    2. Benzodiazepines
  • Advantages
  1. No cardiac effects
  2. No or minimal Orthostatic Hypotension
  3. Low incidence Antidepressant Induced Sexual Dysfunction
  4. No deaths have occurred in overdosage
  • Drug Interactions
  1. Minimal Cytochrome P450 inhibition