Mirtazapine is an oral medication used to treat depression. The medication is usually prescribed in doses of 15 mg to 45 mg. This treatment can help patients fight symptoms of depression, including loss of energy, insomnia, feelings of hopelessness and body aches.
A psychiatrist will prescribe mirtazapine to a patient if he or she believes the medicine will benefit the patient's condition. As with many antidepressant medications, mirtazapine is usually first prescribed in its lowest dose. Patients will work their way up to taking a larger dose, if necessary. Mirtazapine tablets dissolve on the tongue, so no water or swallowing is necessary. Antidepressants work best when taken consistently over long periods of time, so patients should not get discouraged if their symptoms of depression do not improve immediately.
Almost all medications can have side effects and mirtazapine is no exception. One of the most common side effects of this medication is drowsiness. This factor leaves many doctors to encourage patients to take their daily dose of mirtazapine around bedtime. Other typical side effects of this medication can include dry mouth, dizziness, nausea and constipation.
Patients should not abruptly stop taking an antidepressant just because they do not like the side effects. Most antidepressants require the patient to be slowly weaned. A person who wants to stop taking mirtazapine should contact his or her doctor, who will gradually lower the dosage. The doctor also may want to start thinking of alternative treatments or other medications for the patient to try.
Although this medication is most commonly used to help fight depression, it can have other uses. Some psychiatrists may prescribe mirtazapine as a sleep aid or an anti-anxiety pill. All medications should be taken in appropriate doses, at the correct time and by the person to whom the doctor has prescribed them. Taking the incorrect amount of a medication or taking a medication intended for another person can cause a person to accidentally overdose or have an allergic reaction.
Taking an antidepressant medication can be used as just one component to help battle depression. Depressed people also can benefit from regular talk therapy sessions and regular exercise. Some people with depression also may need to work with a therapist to come up with new ways to cope with stressful situations that can lead to depression. Anyone who may be suffering from depression should work with his or her doctor to come up with a specific treatment plan.