Remeron (A complete review)

Remeron

In this blog article, we will discuss what remeron is used for, common side effects, and who is likely to be prescribed this medication. 

What is Remeron (mirtazapine)?

Remeron ( mirtazapine) is an antidepressant medication prescribed for people who are diagnosed with depression or major depressive disorder (MDD). 

Remeron (mirtazapine) is thought to work by increasing levels of norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain, which are neurotransmitters involved in mood, appetite, energy levels, and sleep.

Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers in the brain that relay information to other neurons, or nerve cells.

They are molecules that transmit messages between neurons and neurons to muscles by our nervous system. 

The functions that are controlled by norepinephrine and serotonin are usually impaired in patients with depression, and remeron can help restore the balance of these neurotransmitters. 

Remeron (A complete review)

Who should take remeron (mirtazapine)?

If you suspect you have MDD, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), an anxiety disorder, or another related condition, talk to your doctor about taking remeron.

In addition, a loved one or friend may reach out to discuss these symptoms with you and point you in the direction of help.

These are debilitating mental health conditions and you should not feel like you have to go through them alone. 

MDD is a mood disorder that causes feelings of worthlessness and loss of interest in daily activities.

Common symptoms of MDD are as follows: 

·      Chronic feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness, or hopelessness

·      Loss of interest in activities that once used to bring enjoyment (i.e., sex, hobbies) 

·      Outbursts of anger 

·      Irritability

·      Frustration

·      Issues with sleeping too much or insomnia

·      Lack of energy and fatigue 

·      Changes in eating patterns and weight (i.e., increased appetite and weight gain or reduced appetite and weight loss)

·      Anxiety

·      Agitation

·      Restlessness

·      Slowed speaking, thinking, and movement 

·      Feelings of worthlessness 

·      Ruminating on past failures

·      Feelings of guilt 

·      Trouble concentrating, making proper decisions, and remembering things 

·      Physical problems such as back pain or headaches that cannot be explained by another medical condition 

SAD is a subtype of depression that is heavily related to changes in seasons. It usually begins at the same time every year and usually occurs during fall and winter months. If you have any of the following symptoms, you may be diagnosed with SAD: 

·      Feelings of depression most of the day almost every day

·      Low energy

·      Loss of interest in activities that used to bring enjoyment

·      Trouble sleeping, usually oversleeping 

·      Changes in appetite or weight 

·      Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, or guilt

·      Feeling agitated or sluggish 

·      Frequent thoughts of death or suicide

In the winter months, people with SAD may frequently oversleep, gain weight due to food cravings high in carbohydrates, or have fatigue and lack of energy.

More rarely, people can suffer from SAD in the spring or summer months.

These patients are likely to experience trouble sleeping (insomnia), reduced appetite and weight loss, and agitation or anxiety. 

To get more insight into depression and to see some interesting articles, click here. 

Remeron (mirtazapine) might also be prescribed to people in a depressive phase of bipolar disorder. 

Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that causes extreme shifts in mood, energy, and activity levels, and severely interferes with everyday life. 

Remeron (A complete review)

Symptoms of bipolar disorder include both manic and depressive episodes.

Signs of a manic episode are: 

·      Feeling very “up” or elated

·      Increased energy and activity levels

·      Feeling jumpy or wired 

·      Trouble sleeping (insomnia)

·      Talking very fast about a lot of different things

·      Agitation or irritability

·      Thoughts racing 

·      Think they can do a lot of things at once 

·      Taking risks such as spending a lot of money or having reckless sex 

The following are symptoms of a depressive episode: 

·      Feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness 

·      Very low energy and activity levels 

·      Trouble sleeping (either sleeping too much or too little) 

·      Loss of enjoyment in hobbies or activities

·      Feelings of worry 

·      Trouble concentrating and trouble remembering things 

·      Changes in appetite (either eating too much or too little)

·      Feeling sluggish 

·      Thoughts of death or suicide

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, seek help immediately. 

There are two main types of bipolar disorder: Bipolar I Disorder and Bipolar II Disorder. 

Bipolar I Disorder is defined by manic episodes that last at least 7 days, or severe manic symptoms that require immediate hospitalization.

Depressive episodes occur as well and usually last at least 2 weeks.

Bipolar I Disorder patients may also have mixed episodes with both manic and depressive symptoms simultaneously. 

Bipolar II Disorder is characterized by a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes.

Hypomanic episodes have some features of typical manic episodes, but are not severe enough to be considered manic. 

It is important to note that people with bipolar disorder taking remeron as an antidepressant during a depressive episode are at risk of switching into a manic episode. 

Remeron (A complete review)

What is some important information I should know before taking remeron? 

Do not stop taking this medication even if you feel better; talk to your doctor about tapering off.

If you stop remeron abruptly, you are at risk for experiencing unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. 

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant, discuss with your doctor before taking remeron.

Remeron passes into breast milk and might harm a newborn baby. 

Discuss with your doctor if you have the following: 

  • Thoughts or self-harm or suicide 
  • Other medications you are currently taking
  • Any other psychiatric or medical problems, including a history of bipolar disorder
  • Non-medical treatments such as psychotherapy or therapy for a substance use disorder
  • Any side effects from the medications you are currently taking
  • If you consume alcohol or use any drugs

The prescribed dose of remeron is usually 15 mg to 45 mg. Do not take this medication without a prescription from a doctor.

Only a licensed physician can determine the right dose for you. 

If you think you have overdosed on remeron, seek emergency medical attention immediately. 

What are some common side effects of remeron (mirtazapine)? 

Side effects of remeron include:

  • Drowsiness 
  • Increased appetite or weight gain
  • Dizziness
  • Increased cholesterol or triglyceride levels 
Remeron (A complete review)

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about remeron:

What is remeron used for?

Remeron is an antidepressant prescribed to treat major depressive disorder (MDD).

Is remeron a sleeping pill?

Remeron is prescribed as a medication to treat depression, but due to its sedative effects, can also be used to treat insomnia.

What are the side effects of taking remeron?

Some of the most common side effects of remeron are increased appetite and weight gain, dry mouth, vision changes, strange dreams, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea or vomiting, muscle stiffness.

Is remeron a strong antidepressant? 

Remeron is at least as effective as other medications for treating mild to severe depression. 

Is remeron like Xanax?

Both remeron and Xanax can be used to treat depression and anxiety, but they are from different classes of medications.

Remeron is a tetracyclic antidepressant and Xanax is a benzodiazepine.

How long does remeron take to kick in?

It should take about 1-2 weeks before you notice improvements in your sleep, energy levels, and mood. 

In this blog article, we discussed how remeron works to treat depression and other mental illnesses, common side effects, and important things to know before taking this medication. 

Want to learn more about remeron or depression? Try these recommended readings!

The Mindfulness Journal: Daily Practices, Writing Prompts, and Reflections for Living in the Present Moment

As described above, journaling is a great way to give yourself a stress release.

Whether you are dealing with mental health issues, heartbreak, a problem at work, or any other life stressor, this journal is for you.

This Mindfulness Journal can easily be added into your daily routine and can serve as an outlet for stress-reduction that will help you appreciate every single day and moment.

It includes 365 daily writing prompts divided into 52 weekly mindfulness topics.

The prompts are extremely unique, fun, and engaging, so you will never get bored while journaling.

Additionally, each prompt is on its own separate page so you will have more than enough room for reflection and to write down all of your thoughts, big or small.

Although it is suggested to journal once a day, you can spend as much or as little time as you want on each prompt. 

I am not in recovery. I am in discovery: Journaling my mental illness

Journaling is a great way to help process and keep track of your experiences and feelings while you are going through depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

This journal contains 94 daily templates to aid in your discovery process. 

Medications for Anxiety & Depression – A no-nonsense, comprehensive guide to the most common (and not so common) antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs available

If you are suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD), including treatment resistant depression and dysthymia, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, phobic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), or any mood disorder on the depressive or anxious spectrum, this book is for you.

It is important to understand which medications might be prescribed to you and how they work, as well as common side effects.

Benjamin Kramer provides extensive details on common and non-common antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications (anxiolytics) including SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as Zoloft, Paxil, Prozac and Lexapro), SNRIs (Serotonin and Norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors such as Effexor and Cymbalta), atypical antidepressants (such as Remeron, Buspar and Wellbutrin), TCAs (Tricyclic antidepressants, such as Endep and Anafranil), Benzodiazepines (such as Xanax, Ativan and Klonopin), “Off-label” and experimental options including stimulants (amphetamine, methylphenidate), Lyrica, tramadol memantine and ketamine.

This book also discusses upcoming drugs for depression and anxiety that are supposed to become available soon. 

A Spectrum Approach to Mood Disorders: Not Fully Bipolar but Not Unipolar–Practical Management

In A Spectrum Approach to Mood Disorders, the author writes an in-depth exploration of the signs, symptoms, and nuanced presentations of the mood disorder spectrum.

He focuses on the broad gray area between Major Depressive Disorder and Bipolar I Disorder.

Using both theoretical explanations and real-world scenarios, the author provides practical knowledge regarding the treatment and identifying of mood disorders.

Good Mood, Bad Mood:Help and Hope for Depression and Bipolar Disorder

In this book, the author examines whether we are in an epidemic or if we have simply changed how we label our sad moods.

The author explores how current research suggests that the criteria used to diagnose depression has resulted in an increased and incorrect labeling of typical human sadness as depression. 

References

Mirtazapine: A Newer Antidepressant. American Family Physician. January 1st, 1999. 

Mirtazapine (Remeron). National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). December 2018. 

Depression (major depressive disorder).Mayo Clinic. 2019.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD).Mayo Clinic. October 25th, 2017. 

Bipolar Disorder.National Institute of Mental Health. April 2016. 

Juanita Agboola

Juanita Agboola is the editor in chief of HFNE and an expert in mental health online. She has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues since 2012. All Guides are reviewed by our editorial team which constitutes various clinical psychologists, PhD and PsyD colleagues.