The tolerability and safety profile of the noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressant (NaSSA) mirtazapine reflects its unique pharmacological profile. The 5-HT(2) blocking effect contributes towards its anxiolytic effects and benefits on sleep, as well as preventing the sexual dysfunction that may occur with non-specific stimulation of the serotonin system by drugs such as the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). In addition, 5-HT(3) blockade by mirtazapine helps to prevent nausea and vomiting. Weight gain is the most commonly reported side-effect of mirtazapine, although there is evidence to suggest that this is not a significant problem during long-term treatment. In conclusion, mirtazapine has a good tolerability and safety profile that demonstrates several benefits over other antidepressants.
Copyright 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.