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Remeron Addiction

This entry was posted in Addiction on by .
Medically Reviewed Fact Checked

Last Updated on September 17, 2022 by Carol Gillette

Alternative to Meds Editorial Team Published Nov 4, 2019
Medically Reviewed by Dr Samuel Lee MD

Remeron addiction or dependence and eventual withdrawal symptoms may be problems that are too complex to solve without help. Remeron dependence seems to be increasingly occurring and can create just as troublesome side effects as many other drug addictions. After becoming addicted, a person often requires Remeron addiction treatment to overcome it. This medication is approved by drug regulators only for unipolar depression but has acquired many other uses, as explained below.

How Does Addiction to Remeron Develop?

Remeron commonly causes an individual to feel overly drowsy upon consumption, and this medication can help to induce sleep. Remeron has a half-life of 20-40 hours, and is prescribed for daily or pre-bedtime use. Some individuals may become reliant on Remeron taken regularly for a significant period of time. Some may not be aware of their developing dependence on this medication until they try not to take it. Long-term use is likely to cause the user to form tolerance (lack of effect, needing a higher dose) and dependence will develop as a result.

Is Remeron Addiction Possible Even When Non-Prescribed?

Remeron (mirtazapine) is primarily an antidepressant, which produces anxiolytic effects including sleepiness, drowsiness, relaxation, and sedation. These feelings can become habit-forming. Some individuals, prescribed or not, may take this medication in combination with other intoxicating substances such as alcohol or other drugs. Taking this medication without being prescribed by a medical doctor who is familiar with the person’s medical and drug history may risk interactions with other drugs including alcohol, as well as harsh side effects that can put their health at risk. Some side effects may be life-threatening. Accidental overdose is also a risk. Remeron side effects, allergic reactions, and other potential problems are described in more detail below.

Adverse Interactions When Combining Remeron and Other Substances

Remeron is metabolized in the liver by CYP enzymes. CYP enzymes are majorly involved in the metabolism of drugs, and because many drugs can decrease or increase certain CYP activity, this is one major cause of adverse interactions between drugs. For example, when the first drug limits CYP metabolism of the second drug, the second can accumulate in the body to levels that are toxic, potentially causing an overdose. Many such interactions are possible, and like a roulette wheel, their outcomes are pretty unpredictable.1,2,5

Drug interactions including additive effects can occur if combing Remeron and alcohol, any serotonergic drugs, and drugs that enhance or inhibit drug metabolism. The drug label states that drug-drug interactions are a largely untested area of pharmacology, so caution is emphasized.1

If a patient has impaired liver or kidney function, the drug will take longer to clear before the next dose is taken. This is of particular concern to females, whose half-life averages 37 hours, compared to males, whose half-life on average is 27 hours. Elderly males showed slower clearing rates as compared to younger males according to the clinical trial data.

Is Remeron an SSRI?

No, Remeron is not classified as an SSRI, though the effects are similar to SSRIs. It is a “non-SSRI”, one of a vast number of “new generation” antidepressant drugs that have come on the market since SSRIs. Remeron is a NASSA drug, an acronym for Noradrenaline And “Specific” Serotonin receptor Antidepressant.

In addition to the SSRIs, SNRIs, and “classic” TCAs and MAOs, there are now NASSAs, SARIs, NeRIs, MASSAs, NRIs, NDRIs, SNDRIs, SMIs, SMSs and many other newer types of new generation antidepressant drugs (NGAs). This ever-expanding arsenal of antidepressant drugs are designed to manipulate various combinations of naturally found neurochemicals that are found in the human body.4,5

What is Remeron Prescribed for?

Remeron is FDA approved to treat MDD (major depressive disorder). Remeron’s sedative effects have led to the common practice of “off-label” prescribing for conditions including insomnia, panic disorder, PTSD, OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), SAD (social anxiety disorder), tension headaches, and fibromyalgia.2,6

Why is Remeron Addiction So Hard to Deal With On Your Own?

Though a person may want to stop using this drug, they are often unable to do so easily because after Remeron addiction or dependence has developed, withdrawals can be extremely harsh, especially after suddenly stopping the drug. Original symptoms are likely to return and often with a vengeance, which will magnify the difficulties.1-3,7

After Remeron addiction or tolerance has developed, withdrawals can include:
  • Mania
  • Seizures
  • Low-sodium plasma level
  • Physical discomforts — electric shock-like sensations, tingling, shaking, sweating
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Insomnia, disturbed sleep, unusual dreams, vivid nightmares
  • Headache
  • Achiness
  • Fatigue
  • Vertigo, dizziness, lightheadedness
  • Irritability, anxiety, agitation, hyperarousal
  • Mental confusion

However, withdrawing from this medication can be done safely, simply, and made more tolerable by accessing proper Remeron addiction help. Remeron withdrawal may be a very difficult monster to manage on your own without medical and clinical guidance and support. Whether you have a prescription for this medication or not, medical providers will not judge or refuse your treatment. The safest way to withdraw from this addiction is in an inpatient Remeron rehab center with a protocol of safe tapering, hydration, CBT, neurotoxin removal, diet correction and nutritional supplementation, and other clinical and personal support in place.1

Side effects of Remeron can include:
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions (see black box warning on package material)
  • Increased white blood cell count
  • Increased cholesterol
  • Serotonin syndrome
  • Worsened anxiety
  • Worsened depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Violent or aggressive behavior
  • Compulsive behavior, dangerous impulsive actions
  • Sedation, impaired ability to drive or operate heavy machinery

Can Depression Be Treated Without Addictive Drugs like Remeron?

Persons are usually put on antidepressant drugs before there have been any significant efforts to investigate why they may be depressed, experiencing migraines, PTSD, or suffering from lack of sleep. For many persons, it may be after or during an event that is emotionally traumatic that they start using these medications. But years later they are likely still on the drug, whose masking effects have waned, and are still suffering the same symptoms as before. But now they could also be suffering from antidepressant addiction and withdrawal symptoms. This can be extremely debilitating, leaving a person feeling hopeless in their continued suffering.2

Like fast food, drug therapy is meant to be fast. And like fast food, it may temporarily quell hunger, but does nothing to improve health. Antidepressants are not a cure. Drugs can only mask symptoms, which is a non-sustainable treatment for many persons. It takes time to properly treat symptoms because it takes time to discover their root causes.

Alternative to Meds Center uses a combination of orthomolecular principles, lab testing, neurotoxin removal, neurotransmitter rehabilitation, and other holistic detox methods to regain natural mental health without drugs. Tapering is slow and safe and monitored carefully while a client progresses through their inpatient program at the center. Depression and other unwanted symptoms in life can be investigated for prior causes and those are what need to be addressed, whether nutritional, lifestyle in origin, trauma-based, neurotoxin exposure related, or whatever is traced back to its causal factors. If these are addressed and resolved, the symptoms are authentically resolved. We have had tremendous success in using this holistic approach to recovery of natural mental health for our clients. The results are long-term, safe, and drug-free.8-12

Where to Find the Best Treatment for Remeron Addiction?

Alternative to Meds Center is a drug treatment facility that is dedicated to discovering the medical reasons why an individual could be depressed, feeling anxious, or having trouble sleeping. Our Remeron alternative rehab protocol includes lab testing, natural substances for stabilization of the neurochemistry, body cleansing to remove accumulated environmental toxins, medication withdrawal techniques, targeted nutrition therapy, nebulized glutathione treatmentspeer support, personal exercise training, yoga, massage, and spa services, and many other natural therapies that can address and relieve troublesome symptoms, that drug therapy didn’t prove to be the answer for. Please call us for more details on the Remeron addiction help that we offer.

1. FDA drug label Remeron (mirtazapine) tablets approval 1984, revised or reissued 2009 [cited 2022 Sept 8]

2. Jilani TN, Gibbons JR, Faizy RM, et al. Mirtazapine. [Updated 2022 May 2]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. [cited 2022 Sept 8]

3. Gabriel M, Sharma V. Antidepressant discontinuation syndrome. CMAJ. 2017 May 29;189(21):E747. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.160991. PMID: 28554948; PMCID: PMC5449237. [cited 2022 Sept 8]

4. Protti M, Mandrioli R, Marasca C, Cavalli A, Serretti A, Mercolini L. New-generation, non-SSRI antidepressants: Drug-drug interactions and therapeutic drug monitoring. Part 2: NaSSAs, NRIs, SNDRIs, MASSAs, NDRIs, and others. Med Res Rev. 2020 Sep;40(5):1794-1832. doi: 10.1002/med.21671. Epub 2020 Apr 13. PMID: 32285503. [cited 2022 Sept 8]

5. Mandrioli R, Protti M, Mercolini L. New-Generation, Non-SSRI Antidepressants: Therapeutic Drug Monitoring and Pharmacological Interactions. Part 1: SNRIs, SMSs, SARIs. Curr Med Chem. 2018;25(7):772-792. doi: 10.2174/0929867324666170712165042. PMID: 28707591. [cited 2022 Sept 8]

6. Holm KJ, Markham A. Mirtazapine: a review of its use in major depression. Drugs. 1999 Apr;57(4):607-31. doi: 10.2165/00003495-199957040-00010. PMID: 10235695. [cited 2022 Sept 8]

7. Warner CH, Bobo W, Warner C, Reid S, Rachal J. Antidepressant discontinuation syndrome. Am Fam Physician. 2006 Aug 1;74(3):449-56. PMID: 16913164. [cited 2022 Sept 8]

8. Brown JS Jr. Psychiatric issues in toxic exposures. Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2007 Dec;30(4):837-54. doi: 10.1016/j.psc.2007.07.004. PMID: 17938048. [cited 2022 Sept 8]

9. Gautam M, Tripathi A, Deshmukh D, Gaur M. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression. Indian J Psychiatry. 2020 Jan;62(Suppl 2):S223-S229. doi: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_772_19. Epub 2020 Jan 17. PMID: 32055065; PMCID: PMC7001356. [cited 2022 Sept 8]

10. Brinsley J, Schuch F, Lederman O, Girard D, Smout M, Immink MA, Stubbs B, Firth J, Davison K, Rosenbaum S. Effects of yoga on depressive symptoms in people with mental disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med. 2021 Sep;55(17):992-1000. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2019-101242. Epub 2020 May 18. PMID: 32423912. [cited 2022 Sept 8]

11. Carek PJ, Laibstain SE, Carek SM. Exercise for the treatment of depression and anxiety. Int J Psychiatry Med. 2011;41(1):15-28. doi: 10.2190/PM.41.1.c. PMID: 21495519. [cited 2022 Sept 8]

12. Saeed SA, Cunningham K, Bloch RM. Depression and Anxiety Disorders: Benefits of Exercise, Yoga, and Meditation. Am Fam Physician. 2019 May 15;99(10):620-627. PMID: 31083878. [cited 2022 Sept 8]

Originally Published by Diane Ridaeus Nov 4, 2019

This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Samuel Lee

Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente.  He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

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Remeron Addiction
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