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Remeron Alternatives

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Medically Reviewed Fact Checked

Last Updated on February 1, 2023 by Carol Gillette

Alternative to Meds Editorial Team
Medically Reviewed by Dr Samuel Lee MD

Remeron alternatives may be an answer to how to treat depression without unwanted medication side effects. Antidepressants are often prescribed without consideration of life factors, lab testing, or much investigation into what factors may be contributing to a person’s symptoms.

For some, depression could resolve with corrected vitamin and micronutrient deficiencies, or getting better quality sleep, exercising more, and learning de-stressing techniques — which makes a partial list of possible areas to address. Without investigating, one may never know the most efficacious way to proceed that can out-perform Remeron® for better mental wellness.

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successful Remeron alternatives
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Why Choose Remeron Alternatives?

Remeron is classed as a tetracyclic antidepressant. Tetracyclic refers to the structure of the drug, having 4 connected atomic rings. Mirtazapine has been around since the 50s, but only received FDA approval for treating major depressive disorder in the 90s. Remeron is often used as a “second-line, or third-line treatment option” when other antidepressants did not prove effective. Remeron has also developed a laundry list of off-label applications for quite a wide range of symptoms. These include insomnia, headache, PTSD, OCD, anxiety and panic disorders, and others.32 Antidepressants don’t work most of the time, according to Trivedi et al’s 2006 study on the effectiveness of various antidepressants. The researchers reported that after 10-14 weeks, 25.3-39% (that is, one quarter to one-third) of the 565 participants experienced relief or remission of symptoms, even when using multiple types of antidepressants simultaneously.22

Apart from no results, there is another problem with pharmaceutical solutions to mental health issues. Using medication to quell or mask symptoms could be a welcome but short-sighted solution because prescription drugs can quickly introduce new health complications. Because of adverse reactions to Remeron, as noted on the drug’s label,3 the drug may not be tolerated for more than a very short period. After trying different antidepressants and achieving no results, and the adverse reactions that occur, it is unfortunate that physicians generally are not trained regarding the many natural Remeron alternatives that are available. These are two very compelling reasons to consider alternatives to Remeron when seeking authentic help for mental health symptoms.

Natural Remeron Alternatives

Patients who don’t respond successfully to drug treatment are often called “treatment-resistant,” but is this really the case? Or, is it possible that the treatment offered missed the mark? Possibly vitamin D deficiencies were never tested for and never corrected. Or, inadequate levels of omega-3 fatty acids were overlooked. There are many examples of nutritional deficiencies that cause psychiatric symptoms and seeing a whole new field of nutrition-based psychiatry emerging.1 Below you will find a few more examples of natural alternatives to Remeron, and similar pharmaceutical drugs, and further below you will find a brief description of how and why these strategies work, and other information you may find helpful.

Natural Alternatives to Remeron Include:
  • SAMe 12
  • natural alternatives to remeronZinc, magnesium, selenium 8
  • Vitamin D3
  • B vitamins 10
  • Ginkgo Biloba 11
  • Talk therapy 9,13
  • Omega-3 fatty acids 7
  • Regulate blood sugar through corrected diet 15
  • Exercise 19
  • Light therapy 16,17,18
  • Avoid toxic exposures 29
  • Support microbiome health with probiotics and fermented foods 30
  • Improve sleep quality 31

Micronutrients and Supplements as Natural Alternatives to Remeron

micronutrients as remeron alternativesMicronutrients are essential to good health both physically and mentally. However, the body does not create many of these on its own, and they can only be obtained from supplements or nutrient-dense foods. However they are gotten, these molecules are essential for the proper functioning of all the complex systems in the body. Vitamin D, for example, is created by the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight. If sun exposure is too little, one can supplement by taking vitamin D in capsule form. Lack of vitamin D is associated with depression. Some of the micro-nutrients that the body doesn’t create on its own, or might be unable to create sufficient quantities of, are zinc, SAMe, and amino acids like taurine and tryptophan. Correcting any of these deficiencies can help eliminate symptoms like depression, mood swings, lack of energy, insomnia or disturbed sleep, and others, that may stem from a lack of essential nutrients in the body.6,8,10,11,12

Testing can show what you are deficient in. Then you can research which supplements or foods are needed to obtain the micronutrients needed, and begin to add these to your daily regimen.

Adequate exercise as a Natural Remeron Alternative

According to the research of Monika Guszkowska, the greatest benefits of exercise are attained through moderate and low-intensity regular exercise sessions, that net significant improvements in anxiety, depression, and mood. She reports that even a single exercise session can have profound positive effects regardless of gender or age.28

Psychotherapy as a Natural Remeron Alternative

Various genres of talk therapy are available as a drug-free treatment for depression, anxiety, and all of the things that antidepressants are prescribed to treat. CBT is well-established as a helpful depression therapy for many, according to clinical trials and reviews.2,4,9,13 Working with a trusted counselor can allow free expression and facilitate working out new strategies to replace unhelpful patterns of thinking. This doesn’t require drugs at all but can produce more joy and satisfaction and less despair in life.

Change Diet to Control Blood Sugar Levels as a Natural Alternative to Remeron

Many studies have been done on the effects of modifying the diet with benefits including balancing mood, avoiding energy burn-outs, and other improved mental health and physical health benefits. Strategic food choices might include avoiding sugars and other glycemic spiking foods like white flour. A diet that helps control blood sugar spikes and crashes may be helpful for optimal energy and function and can be a foundational therapy for improving mental health, according to Knuppel et al in a study published in the Journal of Scientific Reports in 2017.15

Light Therapy as a Natural Alternative to Remeron

Earlier, vitamin D and its relation to sunlight were discussed. Mental health can be supported by getting proper amounts of exposure to sunlight because sunlight is a known mediator of depressive symptoms. When natural sunlight isn’t available, using a therapeutic bright light device is an option designed to take the place of natural sunlight.16,17,18

Natural Remeron Alternatives vs Substitute Drugs

Let us not confuse Remeron “substitute drugs” with alternatives to drug-based treatment. Natural Remeron alternatives might include psychotherapy, correcting micro-nutrient deficiencies, and other non-drug-based therapies as discussed above. It is unfortunate that antidepressant medications often create secondary negative effects 3 that may obfuscate any relief that may have been provided by taking them, especially over long-term use.14

Remeron is primarily prescribed for depression. However, one of the possible side effects is a worsening of depression.14 More and more, people are becoming aware of other options than this or similar prescription medications. Some people may be searching for a more natural way of managing their mental health and improving their mood without suffering the side effects of drug-based treatment, including drug dependence or addiction. Antidepressants such as Remeron may not offer any lasting relief or effectiveness, as they do not fix depression overnight. It may take weeks or months to see an improvement.21 Possibly, the most effective antidepressant alternative is figuring out the causes of a person’s depression or other symptoms of mental health. That’s where we come in. That is our specialty at Alternative to Meds Center.

Doctors have become accustomed to prescribing drugs as a first line of treatment, and perhaps don’t have the time required for detailed inquiry of their patients, and often the natural alternatives to Remeron get completely overlooked.

Holistic Alternatives to Drugs for Depression

remeron holistic alternativesWhen an individual is looking for an alternative to prescription drugs, they may ask their doctor about what natural Remeron alternatives help symptoms that they are suffering from. The person may be referred to a natural, holistic, or alternative medical doctor who can provide natural options for treatment. Nutritional psychiatrists are becoming more widely known and in demand across the US. Studies have shown natural alternatives to be a productive and successful option.2,4,5,20

A wealth of holistic antidepressant alternatives exist that people have been effectively using, some in fact for hundreds or thousands of years as opposed to the modern-day false hope of a quick fix by popping antidepressants. Antidepressants take weeks or months to work if they work at all.21

Though Remeron may appear well-tolerated, and side-effect-free during the onset, eventually many problems and side effects may emerge. Evidence shows that acupuncture, dietary changes, lifestyle changes, exercise, yoga, nutrients, supplements, and vitamins are a few effective therapies for depression, that don’t come with side effects.

Finding Root Causes for Depression at ATMC

remeron alternatives treatmentsPerhaps testing showed deficiencies in micro-nutrients or other essentials for optimal health. And was any program embarked on to correct these? Were there any other investigations? Was there low thyroid? 23 Were there exposures to neurotoxins like heavy metals (lead, cadmium, mercury, etc.) or accumulations of other toxins that destroy energy metabolism? 24 Were allergies to food present whereby internal inflammations caused the metabolism to slow? 25 Were lifestyle factors looked at, such as never exercising or spending all of one’s time indoors out of the sun? 26,27 All of these precursors have been conclusively shown to play a contributing role in depression.

Alternative to Meds Center finds the real-time biological, lifestyle, and medical reasons why an individual might be suffering from symptoms such as depression, anxiety, or inability to sleep. We vigorously and effectively investigate and correct what was found. Our drug treatment program includes lab tests, stabilizing the neurochemistry using natural substances, detoxification that safely removes accumulated neurotoxins, colon hydrotherapy, medically supervised medication tapering and withdrawal, IV treatment, diet modification and targeted nutritional therapies, peer support programs, yoga, therapeutic massage, equine therapy, art therapy, acupuncture, and the use of other holistic therapies that can combat depression.

Please give us a call and receive a better understanding of how natural Remeron alternatives can help individuals just like you or your loved one effectively, gently, and comfortably regain natural mental health, without the negative side effects associated with prescription drugs.

1. Sarris J. Nutritional Psychiatry: From Concept to the Clinic. Drugs. 2019 Jun;79(9):929-934. doi: 10.1007/s40265-019-01134-9. PMID: 31114975. [cited 2022 June 14]

2. “Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy compared with maintenance antidepressant treatment in the prevention of depressive relapse or recurrence (PREVENT): a randomized controlled trial” Clinical Study published in The Lancet 2015 Apr [cited 2022 June 14]

3. FDA Label Remeron (mirtazepine immediate release oral tablets) approval 3/17/1997 [cited 2022 June 14]

4. Gavin K, “In the Long Run, Drugs and Talk Therapy Hold Same Value for Depression Patients.” M Health Lab University of Michigan [Internet] 2019 Oct 29 [cited 2022 June 14]

5. Ross E, Vijan S, et al., “The Cost-Effecitiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy vs Second Generation Antidepressants for Initial Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder in the United States.” Annuls of Internal Medicine 2019 Dec 3 [cited 2022 June 14]

6. Ristic S, Kocic SS, Milovanovic DR, et al. VITAMIN D STATUS IN PATIENTS WITH MENTAL DISORDERS: A CROSS-SECTIONAL ANALYSIS OF SINGLE COHORT FROM ROUTINE PRACTICE. Acta Endocrinol (Buchar). 2017;13(1):40-46. doi:10.4183/aeb.2017.40 [cited 2022 June 14]

7. Wani AL, Bhat SA, Ara A. Omega-3 fatty acids and the treatment of depression: a review of scientific evidenceIntegr Med Res. 2015;4(3):132-141. doi:10.1016/j.imr.2015.07.003 [cited 2022 June 14]

8. Wang J, Um P, Dickerman BA, Liu J. Zinc, Magnesium, Selenium and Depression: A Review of the Evidence, Potential Mechanisms and Implications. Nutrients. 2018;10(5):584. Published 2018 May 9. doi:10.3390/nu10050584 [cited 2022 June 14]

9. Health Quality Ontario . Psychotherapy for Major Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A Health Technology AssessmentOnt Health Technol Assess Ser. 2017;17(15):1-167. Published 2017 Nov 13. [cited 2022 June 14]

10. Young LM, Pipingas A, White DJ, Gauci S, Scholey A. A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of B Vitamin Supplementation on Depressive Symptoms, Anxiety, and Stress: Effects on Healthy and ‘At-Risk’ Individuals. Nutrients. 2019;11(9):2232. Published 2019 Sep 16. doi:10.3390/nu11092232 [cited 2022 June 14]

11. Dai CX, Hu CC, Shang YS, Xie J. Role of Ginkgo biloba extract as an adjunctive treatment of elderly patients with depression and on the expression of serum S100B. Medicine (Baltimore). 2018;97(39):e12421. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000012421 [cited 2022 June 14]

12. Sharma A, Gerbarg P, Bottiglieri T, et al. S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe) for Neuropsychiatric Disorders: A Clinician-Oriented Review of Research. J Clin Psychiatry. 2017;78(6):e656-e667. doi:10.4088/JCP.16r11113 [cited 2022 June 14]

13. Gautam M, Tripathi A, Deshmukh D, Gaur M. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression. Indian J Psychiatry. 2020;62(Suppl 2):S223-S229. doi:10.4103/psychiatry.Indian J Psychiatry_772_19 [cited 2022 June 14]

14. Fava GA. Can long-term treatment with antidepressant drugs worsen the course of depression? J Clin Psychiatry. 2003 Feb;64(2):123-33. doi: 10.4088/jcp.v64n0204. PMID: 12633120. [cited 2022 June 14]

15. Knüppel A, Shipley MJ, Llewellyn CH, Brunner EJ. Sugar intake from sweet food and beverages, common mental disorder and depression: prospective findings from the Whitehall II study. Sci Rep. 2017;7(1):6287. Published 2017 Jul 27. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-05649-7 [cited 2022 June 14]

16. Mårtensson B, Pettersson A, Berglund L, Ekselius L. Bright white light therapy in depression: A critical review of the evidence. J Affect Disord. 2015 Aug 15;182:1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2015.04.013. Epub 2015 Apr 11. PMID: 25942575. [cited 2022 June 14]

17. Campbell PD, Miller AM, Woesner ME. Bright Light Therapy: Seasonal Affective Disorder and Beyond. Einstein J Biol Med. 2017;32:E13-E25. PMID: 31528147; PMCID: PMC6746555. [cited 2022 June 14]

18. Wang R, Liu Y, Xue D, Yao Y, Liu P, Helbich M. Cross-sectional associations between long-term exposure to particulate matter and depression in China: The mediating effects of sunlight, physical activity, and neighborly reciprocity. J Affect Disord. 2019 Apr 15;249:8-14. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2019.02.007. Epub 2019 Feb 6. PMID: 30743021. [cited 2022 June 14]

19. Sharma A, Madaan V, Petty FD. Exercise for mental healthPrim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2006;8(2):106. doi:10.4088/pcc.v08n0208a. [cited 2022 June 14]

20. Adan RAH, van der Beek EM, Buitelaar JK, Cryan JF, Hebebrand J, Higgs S, Schellekens H, Dickson SL. Nutritional psychiatry: Towards improving mental health by what you eat. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2019 Dec;29(12):1321-1332. doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2019.10.011. Epub 2019 Nov 14. PMID: 31735529. [cited 2022 June 14]

21. Machado-Vieira R, Baumann J, Wheeler-Castillo C, et al. The Timing of Antidepressant Effects: A Comparison of Diverse Pharmacological and Somatic TreatmentsPharmaceuticals (Basel). 2010;3(1):19-41. Published 2010 Jan 6. doi:10.3390/ph3010019 [cited 2022 June 14]

22. Trivedi MH, Fava M, Wisniewski SR, Thase ME, Quitkin F, Warden D, Ritz L, Nierenberg AA, Lebowitz BD, Biggs MM, Luther JF, Shores-Wilson K, Rush AJ; STAR*D Study Team. Medication augmentation after the failure of SSRIs for depression. N Engl J Med. 2006 Mar 23;354(12):1243-52. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa052964. PMID: 16554526. [cited 2022 June 14]

23. Rack SK, Makela EH. Hypothyroidism and depression: a therapeutic challenge. Ann Pharmacother. 2000 Oct;34(10):1142-5. doi: 10.1345/aph.10022. PMID: 11054982. [cited 2022 June 14]

24. Mason LH, Mathews MJ, Han DY. Neuropsychiatric symptom assessments in toxic exposure. Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2013 Jun;36(2):201-8. doi: 10.1016/j.psc.2013.02.001. Epub 2013 Apr 15. PMID: 23688687. [cited 2022 June 14]

25. Lu Z, Chen L, Xu S, Bao Q, Ma Y, Guo L, Zhang S, Huang X, Cao C, Ruan L. Allergic disorders and risk of depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis of 51 large-scale studies. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2018 Mar;120(3):310-317.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2017.12.011. PMID: 29508718. [cited 2022 June 14]

26. Weir, K. (2011, December). The exercise effect. Monitor on Psychology, 42(11).  [cited 2022 June 14]

27. Kent ST, McClure LA, Crosson WL, Arnett DK, Wadley VG, Sathiakumar N. Effect of sunlight exposure on cognitive function among depressed and non-depressed participants: a REGARDS cross-sectional study. Environ Health. 2009;8:34. Published 2009 Jul 28. doi:10.1186/1476-069X-8-34 [cited 2022 June 14]

28. Guszkowska M. Wpływ ćwiczeń fizycznych na poziom leku i depresji oraz stany nastroju [Effects of exercise on anxiety, depression and mood]. Psychiatr Pol. 2004 Jul-Aug;38(4):611-20. Polish. PMID: 15518309. [cited 2022 June 14]

29. Mason LH, Harp JP, Han DY. Pb neurotoxicity: neuropsychological effects of lead toxicity. Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:840547. doi: 10.1155/2014/840547. Epub 2014 Jan 2. PMID: 24516855; PMCID: PMC3909981. [cited 2022 June 14]

30. Järbrink-Sehgal E, Andreasson A. The gut microbiota and mental health in adults. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2020 Jun;62:102-114. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2020.01.016. Epub 2020 Mar 9. PMID: 32163822. [cited 2022 June 14]

31. Steiger A, Pawlowski M. Depression and SleepInt J Mol Sci. 2019;20(3):607. Published 2019 Jan 31. doi:10.3390/ijms20030607 [cited 2022 June 14]

32. Jilani TN, Gibbons JR, Faizy RM, et al. Mirtazapine. [Updated 2022 May 2]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: [cited 2022 June 14]

Originally Published Nov 5, 2019 by Diane Ridaeus

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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Nothing on this Website is intended to be taken as medical advice. The information provided on the website is intended to encourage, not replace, direct patient-health professional relationships. Always consult with your doctor before altering your medications. Adding nutritional supplements may alter the effect of medication. Any medication changes should be done only after proper evaluation and under medical supervision.

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