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Using Remeron for Anxiety: The Facts You Need to Know

Using Remeron for Anxiety: The Facts You Need to Know
Written by:

Rabia Khaliq

MSc in Applied Psychology
Reviewer:

Umar Javed

Dr. MBBS

Content

Medical Disclaimer
The medications listed on this website are provided for informational purposes only. Their inclusion does not guarantee that they will be prescribed to any individual, as treatment decisions are ultimately at the discretion of healthcare providers. This list is not exhaustive, and healthcare providers may prescribe other medications, including non-stimulant options, based on the patient’s unique health circumstances and needs.Read more
The medications listed on this website are provided for informational purposes only. Their inclusion does not guarantee that they will be prescribed to any individual, as treatment decisions are ultimately at the discretion of healthcare providers. This list is not exhaustive, and healthcare providers may prescribe other medications, including non-stimulant options, based on the patient’s unique health circumstances and needs.

More than 40 million American adults [1*]  suffer from an anxiety disorder yearly. Sometimes, psychotherapy is chosen as first-line help while for some patients, pharmacological treatment is more suitable. There are different medications prescribed for anxiety, and one of them is Remeron (mirtazapine). It helps improve a patient’s mood and foster feelings of well-being. In this post, let’s learn more about this medicine.

Consult a doctor to know what medication will help you manage anxiety best.

What Is Mirtazapine?

Mirtazapine, sold under the brand name Remeron, is an antidepressant. It belongs to the tetracyclic class of medications [2*] . The most common off-label Mirtazapine uses include the treatment for anxiety and panic attacks, while the FDA had initially approved it for the treatment of major depressive disorder only.

How Does Mirtazapine Work?

Remeron for sleep and anxiety improve a patient’s mood, increasing the levels of the feel-good neurotransmitters — noradrenaline and serotonin — in the brain by blocking presynaptic α2 -adrenergic receptors. It also blocks postsynaptic serotonin 5-HT2 and 5-HT3 receptors which reduces anxiety and insomnia and stimulates appetite.

Doctors don’t typically prescribe Mirtazapine as a first-line treatment for anxiety. Still, the initial treatment for anxiety disorders often includes drugs on the antidepressants list, like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Nonetheless, a doctor may prescribe Mirtazapine if anxiety symptoms are severe enough and first-line medications fail to produce desired effects.

Using Remeron for Anxiety: The Facts You Need to Know

Remeron Dosage for Anxiety

Mirtazapine is available in the form of dispersible tablets of 15 mg, 30 mg, or 45 mg dosages. There is also a dosage of 15 mg/ml in a liquid state. As it has a sedating effect, the best time to take Mirtazapine is before bed.

Doctors usually recommend a starting dose of 15-30 mg of Mirtazapine each day before bedtime for two to four weeks when treating depression or anxiety. After this period, the doctor may adjust a patient’s dose based on their body’s response.

Remeron may be more effective in treating insomnia and anxiety than other antidepressants. While many people report feeling better soon after beginning treatment, the full benefits of the medication may not become apparent for up to six weeks.

Remeron: Side Effects

Like any other medication, Remeron can have side effects:

Common Side Effects of Mirtazapine

The most prevalent side effects linked to Remeron include:

  • Weight gain
  • Sleepiness
  • Disturbing dreams
  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Increased appetite
  • Constipation
  • Muscle pains

Patients will likely experience side effects as their body adjusts to the medication. Their doctor will probably begin treatment with a low dose and gradually increase it as their body adapts.

Serious Side Effects

Some people using Mirtazapine may experience severe side effects, which may include:

  • Unusual thoughts
  • Confusion
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Aggressiveness
  • Severe rash
  • Confusion
  • Lightheadedness
  • Blurred vision
  • Neutropenia
  • Increased cholesterol
  • Acute pancreatitis

Consult a doctor before stopping any medication. MEDvidi is here to help you avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Remeron Overdose and Withdrawal Symptoms

Signs of an overdose can include drowsiness, memory loss, confusion, and a rapid heart rate. If a person has overdosed, call a doctor or emergency services.

Stopping taking Remeron for anxiety suddenly can make one experience withdrawal symptoms. Patients should consult their doctor about tapering off Mirtazapine when they feel better or need to stop taking the prescription.

Warnings and Precautions

Unfortunately, Mirtazapine may not be an excellent choice for everyone. If a person has any of the following health issues, they should not take Mirtazapine:

  • Heart problem: Mirtazapine can arrhythmias.
  • Epilepsy: Although it is highly unusual, Remeron may raise the chances of seizures.
  • Glaucoma: When people use Mirtazapine, their eye pressure may increase.
  • Allergy: People with a history of severe reactions to the medication should not use Mirtazapine.

Mirtazapine may also make it more challenging to maintain healthy blood sugar levels for people with diabetes. Patients should also avoid alcohol when taking the drug, as it can increase the sedative effects of Mirtazapine.

Using Remeron for Anxiety: The Facts You Need to Know

Drug Interactions

Interactions between Remeron and other medications may reduce the effectiveness of both drugs, change how long it takes for the medicine to take effect, or increase the risk of side effects.

When combined with other drugs that stimulate serotonin, such as certain antidepressants, migraine drugs, pain relievers, and the antibiotic linezolid, the risk of serotonin syndrome [3*]  increases.

If a person is currently taking any of the following, they should inform their doctor or pharmacist:

  • Anticoagulants
  • Buspar
  • Lithium
  • Abilify (Aripiprazole)
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), including Celexa, Lexapro, Luvox, Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft.
  • Selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), including Cymbalta, Effexor, and Pristiq.
  • St. John’s Wort
  • Valium
  • Warfarin

Patients should not take Remeron and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) such as isocarboxazid, phenelzine, or tranylcypromine 14 days before or after using one.

This is not a complete list of interactions with Remeron. Patients should always consult their doctor to familiarize themselves with all the possible drug interactions.

Final Word

Remeron or Mirtazapine is an antidepressant prescription medication that is prescribed to relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. The FDA approved it for treating major depressive disorder (MDD). It may also help if anxiety prevents a patient from getting a good night’s sleep.

A patient may use it as a standalone medication or in combination with others. Although the sedative effects kick in immediately, the full effect takes 4-6 weeks. To know more about the effectiveness and risks of taking Remeron in your particular case, contact MEDvidi and book an appointment today.

Sources

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+3 sources
  1. Anxiety Disorders - Facts & Statistics
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  2. Mirtazapine. (2022)
    Source link
  3. Serotonin Syndrome. (2023)
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Written by:

Rabia Khaliq

MSc in Applied Psychology
Reviewer:

Umar Javed

Dr. MBBS
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This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by experts.

Our team of experts strive to be objective, unbiased, honest and to present both sides of the argument.

This article contains scientific references. The numbers
in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.