home >> fact sheets >> Mirtazapine


This information is not a replacement for full discussion of risks and benefits with your doctor.

Other Names: Avanza

Principal Uses: Depression

Cost (in New Zealand): Mirtazapine is now fully funded but requires a special authority application from Pharmac. To be eligible for funding, you must have tried at least 2 other antidepressants.

Dose: Treatment should begin with 15mg and be increased as necessary up to 45mg daily. Medication should be taken once a day at night-time.

How it works: Mirtazapine works in the brain by increasing levels of serotonin and noradrenaline.

Possible Side Effects: It is generally well tolerated. The most common side effects are sedation, increased appetite, weight gain and localised swelling.

Use in Pregnancy: Category C
There are not many studies of mirtazapine in pregnancy at this stage. What evidence there is suggests that mirtazapine does not cause major abnormalities to the baby.

Use in Breast Feeding: Category L3
There are few studies on the use of mirtazapine in breastfeeding mothers, but the available evidence is that mirtazapine goes into the breastmilk in very small amounts. There are no reports of adverse effects on the baby.

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