Mirtazapine for treatment-resistant depression: a preliminary report.

Journal of psychiatry & neuroscience : JPN

PubMedID: 12587851

Wan DD, Kundhur D, Solomons K, Yatham LN, Lam RW. Mirtazapine for treatment-resistant depression: a preliminary report. J Psychiatry Neurosci. 2003;28(1):55-9.
To describe the effectiveness and tolerability of mirtazapine, a noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressant, in the open-label treatment of patients with depression who were resistant to other antidepressant agents.

The charts of 24 patients who met the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, (DSM-IV) criteria for major depressive disorder and were treated with mirtazapine after partial or nonresponse to standard antidepressants were reviewed for clinical response. Outcome was determined by using the Clinical Global Impressions of Improvement (CGI-I) Scale.

Symptomatic improvement was observed in 9 (38%) of 24 patients during an average of 14.1 months of mirtazapine treatment at a mean dose of 36.7 mg/day. Five (21%) patients discontinued mirtazapine because of side effects such as fatigue, weight gain and nausea. Five (21%) patients were receiving combination therapy with another antidepressant when mirtazapine treatment was initiated.

This open-label study suggests that a subgroup of patients with treatment-resistant depression may benefit from mirtazapine treatment. Further controlled studies are required to demonstrate the efficacy of mirtazapine in treatment-resistant depression.