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What Is Mirtazapine Used For?

How Mirtazapine Works

It is not entirely clear how mirtazapine works, since no other medications work exactly like it. The drug blocks several different kinds of receptors, including serotonin, norepinephrine, histamine, alpha, and muscarinic receptors.
 
It is thought that the antidepressant effects of mirtazapine are due to its actions on serotonin and norepinephrine. These are chemicals used to send messages in between nerves. However, if serotonin or norepinephrine levels become unbalanced, it can cause a variety of conditions, including depression. It is thought that mirtazapine's actions on other types of receptors cause some of the side effects of mirtazapine, such as drowsiness or low blood pressure.
 
Certain receptors decrease the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine released by the nerves. Mirtazapine blocks these inhibitory receptors, causing more serotonin and norepinephrine to be released. This may help to relieve symptoms of depression.
 

Is Mirtazapine Used for Children?

Mirtazapine is not approved for use in childhood depression. Two studies on children and adolecents did not show that mirtazapine was effective for depression in these age groups. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using mirtazapine to treat depression in children.
 

Is Mirtazapine Used for Off-Label Reasons?

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend mirtazapine for something other than depression. This is called an "off-label" use. For example, at this time, mirtazapine is also used to treat tremors (shakiness), especially benign familiar tremors.
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