Mirtazapine

 
What is Mirtazapine and why is it prescribed?
Mirtazapine is prescribed for the treatment of major depression. Mirtazapine is thought to work by adjusting the balance of the brain's natural chemical messengers, especially norepinephrine and serotonin. Mirtazapine makes some people drowsy or less alert, and may affect judgment and thinking. Don't drive or participate in any hazardous activity that requires full mental alertness until you know whether Mirtazapine has this effect on you.

How should you take Mirtazapine?
Follow your doctors directions for taking Mirtazapine. Mirtazapine may be taken with or without food. It is preferable to take it in the evening before you go to sleep. Even though you may begin to feel better in 1 to 4 weeks, continue taking this medication exactly as prescribed. Regular daily doses are needed for the drug to work properly. If you are using Mirtazapine SolTabs, an orally disintegrating form of the drug, make sure your hands are dry before removing the tablet from the blister pack and immediately place the tablet on your tongue. Do not attempt to split the tablet; it will fall apart rapidly and can be swallowed with saliva. If you miss a dose take the forgotten dose if you remember within a few hours. Otherwise, skip the dose. Never try to "catch up" by doubling the dose. Store Mirtazapine at room temperature in a tight, light-resistant container.

Are there any Mirtazapine side effects?
Mirtazapine side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. More common Mirtazapine side effects may include abnormal dreams and thinking, constipation, dizziness, dry mouth, "flu-like" symptoms, increased appetite, sleepiness, weakness, and weight gain. Less common Mirtazapine side effects may include back pain, confusion, difficult or labored breathing, fluid retention, frequent urination, muscle pain, nausea, swelling of ankles or hands, and tremors.

What are the possible food and drug interactions when taking Mirtazapine?
If Mirtazapine is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Be sure to inform your doctor of all the prescription and over the counter medications you are taking. Never combine Mirtazapine with an MAO inhibitor; and do not drink alcohol while taking this medication. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Mirtazapine with tranquilizers such as Valium, Xanax, and Ativan.

Are there any special warnings about Mirtazapine?
Serious, sometimes fatal reactions have been known to occur when drugs such as Mirtazapine are taken in combination with other drugs known as MAO inhibitors, including the antidepressants Nardil and Parnate. Never take Mirtazapine with one of these drugs or within 14 days of discontinuing therapy with one of them; and allow at least 14 days between stopping Mirtazapine and starting an MAO inhibitor. If you develop "flu-like" symptoms, a sore throat, chills or fever, mouth sores, or any other signs of infection, call your doctor; these symptoms may signal a serious underlying condition. Mirtazapine tends to raise cholesterol levels in some people. If you have a cholesterol problem, be sure to mention it to your doctor before starting therapy with Mirtazapine. Mirtazapine should be used with caution if you have active liver or kidney disease, or heart or blood pressure problems. Also be sure to tell your doctor if you have a history of seizures, mania, hypomania, drug use, or any other physical or emotional problems. While first taking this medication you may feel dizzy or light-headed, especially when getting up from a lying or sitting position. If getting up slowly doesn't help, or if this problem continues, notify your doctor. If you must avoid phenylalanine, do not use the SolTab form of Mirtazapine, which contains this substance.
 

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