In this blog post, we are going to answer the question, “Does Mirtazapine affect your cholesterol levels?. Mirtazapine is an antidepressant which is used to treat a variety of mental health conditions.
However, this antidepressant can also cause some unwanted effects in you, like increasing your cholesterol levels. This blog will cover why this medication acts this way and what could be done to prevent this side effect.
Does Mirtazapine affect your cholesterol levels?
Yes, Mirtazapine does affect your cholesterol level. It can elevate the levels of serum triglycerides and low density lipids in healthy individuals. There are a few factors that may also contribute to high cholesterol levels, but studies have shown that Mirtazapine alone can make that happen.
What does research suggest?
Many researchers have investigated the effects of Mirtazapine on your serum cholesterol levels. It is a known fact that an underlying health condition can make you more susceptible to medication induced side effects.
People who already have cholesterol levels higher than the body’s usual requirement can suffer badly from complications associated with high cholesterol levels associated with Mirtazapine. A 2003 research study monitored the levels of cholesterol in healthy people taking Mirtazapine.
These people were screened first and several serum tests were performed. All of them were absolutely normal and they were given a normal diet. It was observed at the end of study that Mirtazapine did affect the levels of triglycerides.
However, it showed little to no effects on low-density lipid (LDL) levels. Higher levels of low density lipids can be dangerous for your health and can lead to creating blockage in your coronary arteries, which is one of the most common reasons for heart attacks.
In some test participants, the levels of LDL were slightly raised, while in others, there were no significant changes. The levels of high density lipids (HDL) were undisturbed. Similarly, another group of researchers performed a comparative trial.
They gathered 50 volunteers and divided them into two groups, control group and Mirtazapine group. This study focused on the effects of Mirtazapine on cholesterol levels. When the results of the test group were compared to the control group that was taking placebo, both had a difference.
The group that took placebo showed no changes in their serum cholesterol levels, whereas the test group had various results. It is a known fact that no medication works in the exact same way for every other individual.
This is exactly why the results were variable as well. In some people, the results were prominent and high cholesterol levels were observed, while in some other patients, there was just a slight change. However, some individuals were leaning a bit on the extreme side.
They not only suffered from one, but a number of side effects which made the treatment with Mirtazapine unbearable for them. Such people were removed from the study.
This indicates that Mirtazapine is capable of increasing cholesterol levels, but there is literally no way to be certain which person will develop this side effect.
There is literally no way to predict how your body will react once it is exposed to Mirtazapine. You may suffer from unusual side effects, or you may get away with minor gastrointestinal disturbance. Who knows?
What to do if Mirtazapine affects your cholesterol levels?
The first and the most important thing is to consult your healthcare provider. Your doctor will run some tests and will check your lipid profile a few times, before being certain that Mirtazapine is impacting your cholesterol levels negatively.
Once confirmed, there are a few things your doctor may suggest. First, dose reduction can be considered if that’s appropriate in your case. In some people, the symptoms of depression and some other mental health conditions are so severe that dose reduction could not be a suitable option.
This is exactly why your condition is first monitored. No medication is free from side effects. If it’s giving you more benefits and minimal risks, it is considered a good option.
If your mental health condition is stable, your dose will be reduced and this will help you with your cholesterol levels. If this doesn’t work and the side effect persists, your doctor may think of switching your antidepressant to a safer option.
However, this side effect also depends on any underlying health condition. People, who have some disease that can affect their cholesterol levels, are more susceptible to developing this kind of side effect.
You can imagine yourself that if a healthy person can be affected by this side effect then how sensitive a diseased person would be.
Always make sure you inform your healthcare provider about all the side effects you experience while being treated with Mirtazapine. Immediately report to the hospital if you exhibit any sign of an allergic reaction or any unusual side effect.
Is there anything you can do to lower your cholesterol levels naturally?
There are a few things that can help you lower your cholesterol levels. These include:
Stop the consumption of trans fats
Trans fats are your biggest enemy when you’re trying to reduce your cholesterol levels. This is considered a bad fat and is responsible for many heart related conditions as well. The trans fats are basically unsaturated fats that are not handled that well by our body.
They not only increase your LDL levels, but also reduce your HDL levels, which is a good type of lipid in our body and is responsible for many physiological functions.
Trans fats have been banned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because of the health concerns it can generate. The most common sources of this type of bad fat include:
- Fast food
- Butter flavoured microwave popcorn
- Dairy free coffee creamers
- Certain types of pizzas
Make sure you cut back on these artificial foods as much as you can. They may taste good for a while, but once you completely understand how badly they can affect your body, I’m sure you will give them up.
Add a sufficient amount of fibre in your diet
Fibre has been a well known remedy for reducing cholesterol levels. Some studies suggest that soluble fibre can significantly help reduce your total cholesterol levels.
This raised a concern as we have good cholesterol or HDL which is actually required by our body for normal functioning. Several other studies later revealed that fibre does not affect the levels of good cholesterol.
This made this roughage more important and is widely used for this purpose now. In some clinical practices, when teenagers are diagnosed with early grade fatty liver, they are not prescribed any medication.
Instead, most healthcare providers advise them to eat fibre, like psyllium husk, to help reduce their cholesterol levels. Make sure you add fibre in your diet. Some natural sources include:
There are plenty of fibre supplements as well. Your doctor may ask you to take one.
Drop a few pounds
If you’re overweight, you’re more likely to suffer from Mirtazapine induced high cholesterol. Being obese usually make things a lot more difficult because your body is not as healthy as it should be.
As far as your body cholesterol is concerned, you don’t need to lose a huge amount of weight to control it. Try losing 5 to 10 pounds and the levels will start to drop.
Being at your ideal weight can do wonders for your health. It is a known fact that excess body fat can cause a number of complications on its own. You can get diabetes, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
It also promotes muscle weakness and makes you extremely sluggish. This is why it is always advised to stay at your ideal weight or the weight which is healthy for you.
Don’t forget to exercise
Exercise should always be an important part of your routine. It is not just necessary for fat loss, but it can help you in several other ways. Working out for 3 to 4 days every week can make your muscles and bones strong, treat your depression, activate your immune system, and protect you from a number of potential health conditions.
Eat good fats
Not all fats are bad for you. Some fats are actually necessary for the normal physiological functioning of your body. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can help make your body more healthy, strong, and disease free. Some good sources include fish, nuts, and seeds.
In this blog post, we have discussed Mirtazapine induced high cholesterol levels. It can elevate the levels of serum triglycerides and low density lipids in healthy individuals.
We have also discussed some tips to help you control your serum cholesterol. Always make sure you tell your doctor everything. Do not stop or change the dose of Mirtazapine without your doctor’s approval.
FAQs: mirtazapine cholesterol
Does mirtazapine increase LDL?
Mirtazapine increases triglycerides levels for sure, but the effects of Mirtazapine on LDL are a little inconclusive. One study indicated that Mirtazapine did affect the levels of triglycerides. However, it showed little to no effects on low-density lipid (LDL) levels.
Do antidepressants cause high cholesterol?
Antidepressants can cause high but there is literally no way to be certain which person will develop this side effect. It is a known fact that no medication works in the exact same way for every other individual.
There is literally no way to predict how your body will react once it is exposed to antidepressants. You may suffer from unusual side effects, or you may get away with minor gastrointestinal disturbance
What are the long term side effects of mirtazapine?
- QT prolongation
- Pain and tightness in chest
- Flu like symptoms
- Gain of appetite
- Weight gain
Is mirtazapine hard on the kidneys?
Mirtazapine may affect the kidneys, but it may not cause this side effect in healthy individuals. People who are already suffering from some renal disease are more susceptible to Mirtazapine induced kidney damage.
Does everyone put on weight with mirtazapine?
No, not everyone gains weight on Mirtazapine. Every human body is different. Just like every human being reacts differently to different situations, similarly every human body reacts differently when they are exposed to medications.
If the medication increases your appetite and you eat more, you’ll gain weight. For some people it decreases their appetite and they lose. It’s not the medication itself, it’s how your body reacts to it.
- Linda M Nicholas et al. J Clin Psychiatry. (2003) – The effects of mirtazapine on plasma lipid profiles in healthy subjects https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12927002/
- Obesity and Lipid Abnormalities Fact Sheet https://www.obesityaction.org/resources/obesity-and-lipid-abnormalities-fact-sheet/
- 11 Tips to Cut Your Cholesterol Fast https://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/features/11-tips-to-cut-your-cholesterol-fast