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Noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressants

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

  • an example of this class of drug is mirtazapine
  • a pre-synaptic alpha-2 receptor blocker which is used to treat depression. It also has a useful anti-anxiety action Mirtazapine probably acts by increasing the release of noradrenaline from presynaptic nerve terminals.
  • drug interactions include:
    • alcohol and benzodiazepine potentiation
  • side effects include increased appetite, dry mouth and drowsiness. Side effects are significantly less than tricyclics. Reversible blood dyscrasias have been reported.
  • mirtazapine should be viewed as one more alternative for patients unable to tolerate established first-line therapies, but more studies are needed to clarify its optimum place in treatment, especially in more severely ill patients


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