Understanding the Side Effects of Mirtazapine

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Andreas Meistad
Dec 27, 20224 min read

Understanding the Side Effects of Mirtazapine

Mirtazapine, also known as Remeron, is a prescription medication that is commonly used to treat depression and anxiety. It is part of a class of medications known as selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), which work by increasing the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. While mirtazapine can be effective for improving mood and reducing anxiety, it can also cause a number of side effects. In this blog post, we will explore the potential side effects of mirtazapine, as well as what you can do if you experience them.

Common Side Effects of Mirtazapine

Some of the most common side effects of mirtazapine include:

  • Drowsiness or sedation: Mirtazapine can cause drowsiness or sedation, especially when you first start taking the medication or when the dosage is increased. This can make it difficult to perform tasks that require alertness, such as driving or operating heavy machinery, and it may also increase the risk of falls and accidents.
  • Weight gain: Mirtazapine may cause weight gain in some people, as it can increase appetite and alter metabolism. If you are concerned about weight gain while taking mirtazapine, it is important to discuss this with your healthcare provider.
  • Dizziness: Mirtazapine can cause dizziness, which may be more pronounced when you first start taking the medication or when the dosage is increased. If you experience dizziness while taking mirtazapine, it is important to take precautions to prevent falls and accidents.
  • Dry mouth: Mirtazapine can cause dry mouth, which may be uncomfortable and can also increase the risk of tooth decay. To alleviate dry mouth, it is important to drink plenty of fluids and chew gum or suck on hard candy to stimulate saliva production.
  • Constipation: Mirtazapine can cause constipation, which can be uncomfortable and may also lead to other digestive issues. To alleviate constipation, it is important to drink plenty of fluids and eat a high-fiber diet. You may also want to talk to your healthcare provider about taking a stool softener or other over-the-counter medication to help with constipation.

Less Common Side Effects of Mirtazapine

In addition to the common side effects listed above, mirtazapine can also cause a number of less common side effects, including:

  • Increased appetite: Mirtazapine may increase appetite in some people, which can lead to weight gain. If you are concerned about weight gain while taking mirtazapine, it is important to discuss this with your healthcare provider.
  • Changes in blood pressure: Mirtazapine may cause changes in blood pressure, which can be more pronounced when you first start taking the medication or when the dosage is increased. If you experience changes in blood pressure while taking mirtazapine, it is important to monitor your blood pressure regularly and discuss any changes with your healthcare provider.
  • Changes in heart rate: Mirtazapine may cause changes in heart rate, which can be more pronounced when you first start taking the medication.

If you are experiencing side effects while taking mirtazapine, there are several things you can try to manage them:

  • Drink plenty of fluids: Drinking plenty of fluids, particularly water, can help manage dry mouth and constipation.
  • Eat a high-fiber diet: Eating a diet rich in fiber can help alleviate constipation.
  • Stay active: Staying active and getting regular exercise can help manage weight gain and improve overall health.
  • Avoid activities that require alertness: If you are experiencing drowsiness or sedation while taking mirtazapine, it is important to avoid activities that require alertness, such as driving or operating heavy machinery.

If you are experiencing side effects that are severe or persistent, it is important to contact your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider may be able to adjust your dosage or switch you to a different medication to help manage your side effects.

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Conclusion

Mirtazapine is a prescription medication that is commonly used to treat depression and anxiety. It can be an effective treatment, but it can also cause certain side effects, including drowsiness or sedation, weight gain, dry mouth, constipation, and dizziness. If you are experiencing side effects while taking mirtazapine, there are several things you can try to manage them, such as drinking plenty of fluids, eating a high-fiber diet, staying active, and avoiding activities that require alertness.


Andreas Meistad@s profile picture
Andreas Meistad

Therapist specializing in applying CBT principles for the treatment of insomnia.

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