Side effect What is it? What should I do if it happens to me?
DROWSINESS Feeling sleepy or sluggish. It can last for a
few hours after taking your dose
Don’t drive or use machinery. This may wear off with time. If it is
still a problem after a few weeks, see your doctor.
Eating more and putting on weight,
especially just after you start taking
Avoid fatty foods like chocolate, crisps and fizzy drinks. A diet
full of vegetables and fibre will usually help, as will physical
activities such as walking. If it becomes a problem or you are
worried, ask to see a dietician.
Your liver is not working as normal. You
should not feel any symptoms. This is only
discovered if your doctor does a blood test.
Your doctor will probably want to do regular blood tests to make
sure your liver is OK.
DRY MOUTH Not much saliva or spit. Sugar-free boiled sweets, chewing gum or eating citrus fruits
usually helps. If not, your doctor can give you a mouth spray. A
change in medicine or dose may be possible.
HYPOTENSION A low blood pressure. You may feel faint
when you stand up.
Try not to stand up too quickly. If you feel dizzy, don’t drive. This
dizziness is not dangerous
TREMOR Feeling shaky Contact your doctor now.
Loss of white blood cells, and may show
as fever or sore throat.
Contact your doctor now.
Lack of libido or no interest in sex. Inability
to maintain an erection
Mention it to your doctor on your next visit.
What about alcohol?
It is officially recommended that people taking mirtazapine should not drink alcohol. This is because both mirtazapine and
alcohol can cause drowsiness. If the two are taken at the same time, severe drowsiness can result. This can lead to falls or
accidents. As well as this, drinking alcohol often makes depression worse. Excessive drinking is especially likely to do this.
Once people are used to taking mirtazapine, they can sometimes drink alcohol in small amounts without any harm. Avoid
alcohol altogether for the first one or two months. After this, if you want a drink, try a glass of your normal drink and see
how you feel. If this doesn’t make you feel drowsy, then it is probably OK to drink small amounts. It pays to be very cautious
because alcohol affects people in different ways, especially when they are taking medication.
Don’t stop taking your medication because you fancy a drink at the weekend. If you do drink alcohol, drink only small
amounts. Never drink any alcohol and drive while on mirtazapine. Discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor or
When I feel better, can I stop taking mirtazapine?
No. If you stop taking mirtazapine, your original symptoms may return. To reduce your chances of becoming depressed
again, you may need to take your antidepressant for at least 6 months after you feel better, and sometimes longer. This is
not thought to be harmful. You should decide with your doctor when you can come off it.
Remember, leaflets like this can only describe some of the effects of medication. You may find other
books or leaflets also useful. If you have access to the internet you may find a lot of information
there as well, but be careful, as internet based information is not always accurate.
2001 United Kingdom Psychiatric Pharmacy Group www.ukppg.org.uk
This leaflet is to help you understand about your medicine. It is not an official manufacturer's Patient Information Leaflet.
For more information call the UKPPG National Telephone Helpline, 11am to 5pm, Monday to Friday on 020 7919 2999 or
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