Mirtazapine is a noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressant (NaSSA) with a novel mode of action, which has recently been registered in a number of European countries. Worldwide, to date, up to 2800 patients have been treated with mirtazapine, and its antidepressant efficacy was confirmed in a series of double-blind randomised clinical studies performed in hospitalised patients and outpatients in Europe and the USA. The results consistently showed that mirtazapine demonstrated superior efficacy when compared with placebo, and equal efficacy when compared with amitriptyline. A meta-analysis of amitriptyline-controlled studies involving patients with severe depression shows that mirtazapine is as effective as the tricyclic agent in this group of patients. Mirtazapine is well tolerated, with transient sedation and bodyweight gain reported in a limited number of patients.
Thus, with its unique mode of action, established efficacy, and good tolerability profile, mirtazapine represents a valuable addition to the available options for treating patients with depression.
KeywordsAmitriptyline Mirtazapine Trazodone Hamilton Depression Rate Scale Brief Psychiatric Rate Scale
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