Mirtazapine 15mg vs 30mg: What is the difference?

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In this blog post, we are going to talk about the difference between 15mg mirtazapine and 30kg mirtazapine. It is an antidepressant which is used to treat a number of mental health related problems. We will talk about how this medication works and what are the important concerns related to mirtazapine. 

What is the difference between 15mg and 30mg mirtazapine? 

The only difference between 15mg and 30mg mirtazapine is the intensity of therapeutic effects these two produce. Both of these dosage strengths are of the same medication and they have exactly the same mechanism of action. They also have the same active ingredient and almost the same excipients. 

Mirtazapine (Brand name: Remeron) is an antidepressant. It does not belong to any typical class of antidepressants and its mechanism of action is different from SSRIs and SNRIs. It does not block the reuptake of serotonin by any pathway. 

Mirtazapine (Remeron) belongs to the tetracyclic antidepressants. It has a dual mode of action. Mirtazapine is believed to be responsible for the activation of 5-HT1 receptors, which are one of the serotonin receptors. This antidepressant also acts on the noradrenergic system. 

Experts believe that remeron enhances the stimulatory action of the noradrenergic system which increases the secretion of serotonin. It also prevents the inhibitory action of the noradrenergic system which hinders the release of serotonin. 

This way, it actively increases the amount of this excitatory neurotransmitter in your system. 

What is the clinical significance of mirtazapine? 

Mirtazapine can be used to treat the following health conditions:

Depression 

Mirtazapine is used in the treatment of mild to major depression disorder (MDD). It is a state of mind which is concerned with disturbing thoughts, especially about one’s self. 

It is associated with symptoms like hopelessness, tearfulness and emptiness. Depression is caused by the deficiency of excitatory neurotransmitters. 

Mirtazapine increases the amount of active serotonin to help relieve the symptoms of depression. Serotonin is an excitatory neurotransmitter responsible for modulating mood, cognition, reward, learning, memory, and various other psychological processes. 

Anxiety 

Mirtazapine is also used to treat generalised anxiety disorder. As the name implies, this mental health condition is associated with general worry or anxiety about pretty much everything without having any logical reason. 

People suffering from GAD worry about small matters related to family, friends, relationships, study, work, health, wealth etc. 

Treatment resistant depression 

Treatment resistant depression is the kind of depression that does not go away after typical antidepressant treatment. Experts believe that mirtazapine is a good option to treat depression that has been resistant to normal SSRI or SNRI treatment. 

Depression in elderly patients

Mirtazapine has been a good antidepressant to treat depression and the disturbing symptoms associated with it in geriatric population. The drug seems to control mood problems quite well in such patients. 

Post-operative nausea

Mirtazapine can also be used to help control nausea that usually becomes a problem after operative procedures. 

Alcohol dependence

Mirtazapine can also be used to control alcohol dependence or alcoholism. Its mode of action in this case is still a topic of research and so is its safety and efficacy. However, it is not recommended to take mirtazapine with alcohol as the two don’t pair that well together. 

Insomnia or inability to fall asleep 

Mirtazapine can significantly help improve your sleep cycle by providing relief in the disturbances that might occur when you try to fall asleep. It also increases the duration of your sleep and reduces the frequency of nighttime wakefulness, especially in people who have insomnia comorbid with depression. 

Neuropathic pain

Mirtazapine can also be used for neuropathic pain. The med can significantly reduce the intensity of this throbbing kind of pain and increase the frequency of pain-free episodes. 

Inability to feel hungry/hunger suppression

Mirtazapine can be used to boost appetite in people who are not always hungry. Several studies revealed that mirtazapine can significantly help people with anorexia nervosa. However, when the drug is solely used for the treatment of depression, it may make you gain weight as a side effect. 

What are the recommended doses of mirtazapine? 

Mirtazapine is recommended in the following doses:

Depression 

  • For adults: The treatment is usually started from 15 mg/day, taken usually at morning or whatever time is suggested by your healthcare provider. However, the dose can be adjusted by the healthcare provider if needed and should not exceed 45 mg/day. 
  • For children: Dose is suggested by the doctor according to the condition and body weight.

Other health conditions

  • For adults: The treatment is usually started from 15 mg/day, taken usually at morning or whatever time is suggested by your healthcare provider. However, the dose can be adjusted by the healthcare provider if needed and should not exceed 45 mg/day. 
  • For children: Dose is suggested by the doctor according to the condition and body weight.

Make sure you take your medication properly and take just as much as your healthcare provider has recommended. It is not suitable for you to take more or less than that. In case of overdose, immediately reach out to the hospital. 

Make sure you properly guide them about how much drug you have taken and when. If you have missed a dose and you’re way past the usual time at which you take your med, do not take it. It will cause you to overdose when you take your next dose, which is not too far away. 

It’s better to skip the missed dose and take the next one. If you remember your missed dose earlier, it’s safe for you to take it. Antidepressants are not that simple when it comes to missing a dose. 

It’s a common practice among people who have busy schedules to forget to take their meds. But antidepressants, including mirtazapine, are a bit typical in case of missing a dose. 

Most people can experience symptoms similar to those of discontinuation syndrome, especially those who are at higher doses. Symptoms are much more intense in people using antidepressants with shorter half-lives.

For people on lower doses, symptoms associated with missing a dose are mild but it’s still hard to predict as people have different tolerance levels. Common symptoms include:

  • Anxiety 
  • Vomiting 
  • Nausea
  • Vivid dreams
  • tremors
  • Headaches 
  • Excess sweating/night sweats
  • Disturbed sleep, insomnia, nightmares
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • You might feel something called brain zaps, which feels like a shock firing in your brain 
  • Heightened anxiety and nervousness
  • Mood swings

Other rare symptoms include:

  • Brain zaps
  • Auditory or visual hallucinations
  • Hypertension
  • Arrhythmia 
  • Heart palpitations

The above mentioned are possible symptoms of missing a dose. They rely on several factors, including the duration of your antidepressant use and your dose. You will not necessarily go through these symptoms but it is possible for some people to experience them.

What are the side effects associated with the use of 15mg and 30mg mirtazapine? 

The common side effects of mirtazapine include:

  • Sleepiness or drowsiness 
  • Excessive tiredness or fatigue 
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness 
  • Xerostomia or dry mouth 
  • Anxiety 
  • Agitation 
  • Confusion 
  • Gain of appetite
  • Weight gain 
  • Gastrointestinal side effects including nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea/Constipation 

Mirtazapine is also associated with some serious side effects, which may include:

  • Allergic reaction associated with symptoms like redness of skin, itching, burning sensation, blisters, blue-purple patches, tightness of chest, wheezing, difficulty in breathing, hoarseness etc. 
  • Convulsions 
  • QT prolongation 
  • Pain and tightness in chest
  • Arrhythmia 
  • Flu like symptoms 

These side effects can vary from person to person. People who are on higher doses are more susceptible to these side effects. Report any problems with bleeding or bruising to your doctor. 

If you see any unexplained blisters or rashes on your body, or experience any problems with urination, or if you feel changes in your vision, immediately report to your healthcare provider. 

Mirtazapine come with a suicidal warning in people younger than 24 years of age. If you have someone who shows suicidal behavior or you see hopelessness in them, make sure you keep an eye on them and get medical attention as soon as you can. 

Do not stop this med abruptly. If it’s time for you to stop mirtazapine, your doctor will simply make a taper schedule for you, which should be followed vigilantly if you wish to keep withdrawal symptoms at bay. 

Conclusion 

In this blog post, we have discussed the difference between 15mg and 30mg mirtazapine. We have found that the only difference between these two dosage strengths is the intensity of the effects they produce. 

Both of these dosage strengths are of the same medication and they have exactly the same mechanism of action. They have the same active ingredient and almost the same excipients. 

Make sure you use this medication or any other medication only when your doctor has advised it. Using medications which can affect your brain is not something ideal and should not be encouraged unless it is absolutely necessary to do so. 

FAQs: mirtazapine 15mg vs 30mg 

Will 30mg of mirtazapine make you sleep?

Yes, 30mg mirtazapine can help you fall asleep. Mirtazapine can significantly help improve your sleep cycle by providing relief in the disturbances that might occur when you try to fall asleep. It also increases the duration of your sleep and reduces the frequency of nighttime wakefulness, especially in people who have insomnia comorbid with depression. 

Is 15mg of mirtazapine enough?

15mg mirtazapine is usually an initial dose of the treatment. It is always recommended to start from the lowest effective dose because it is impossible to predict how your body will react once it is exposed to this medication. The side effects vary from person to person and some people may exhibit the signs of allergic reactions soon after taking the first ever dose of mirtazapine. 

Is 30mg of mirtazapine good for anxiety?

Yes, 30mg mirtazapine is good for anxiety. Anxiety is a mental health condition associated with general worry or anxiety about pretty much everything without having any logical reason. People suffering from GAD worry about small matters related to family, friends, relationships, study, work, health, wealth etc. 

Is mirtazapine more effective at lower doses?

Mirtazapine is effective at lower doses only for the treatment of insomnia. However, the more complex mental health conditions require a proper dosage schedule in order to get better. 

What are the most common side effects of mirtazapine? 

The common side effects of mirtazapine include:

  • Sleepiness or drowsiness 
  • Excessive tiredness or fatigue 
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness 
  • Xerostomia or dry mouth 
  • Anxiety 
  • Agitation 
  • Confusion 
  • Gain of appetite
  • Weight gain 
  • Gastrointestinal side effects including nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea/Constipation 

References 

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