Mirtazapine versus other anti-depressive agents for depression

Added January 7, 2020

Citation: Watanabe N., Omori I.M., Nakagaw A., et al. Mirtazapine versus other anti-depressive agents for depression. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 12. Art. No.: CD006528. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006528.pub2

Mirtazapine is likely to have a faster onset of action than SSRIs during the acutephase treatment for depression over a 6-12-week period.

Depression is characterised by a persistent low mood, loss of interest and pleasure, loss of appetite, insomnia, fatigue, poor concentration and even suicide.  Anti-depressants, including mirtazapine which has a unique pharmacological profile, are the mainstay of treatment for major depression. The aim of this review was to assess the efficacy and acceptability of mirtazapine compared with other anti-depressants in the acute‐phase treatment of major depression in adults.  This review included findings from 29 randomised controlled trials (4974 participants in total) and concluded that mirtazapine is likely to have a faster onset of action than selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). However, mirtazapine causes adverse events that lead to a similar frequency of dropouts as SSRIs and tricyclic antidepressants. It is likely to cause weight gain or increased appetite and somnolence but is less likely to cause nausea or vomiting and sexual dysfunction than SSRIs.


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