AIM :This medication is intended to correct the chemical changes in your body, which are associated with depressive illness.  This normally takes 3 to 4 weeks, but may take 6 weeks.   This medication is a class of antidepressant, known as the Serotonin and Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs).    This medication is designed to simultaneously improve transmission of chemical messages in the brain using the two chemical pathways current research suggests are most relevant in depressive illness, being the Serotonin pathway and the Noradrenaline pathway.

 

We know that the vast majority of individuals with depressive illness will benefit from one of the available antidepressant agents, but we do not know how antidepressants achieve this effect, similar to the initial years when antibiotics were first used.  At present it is not possible to predict which particular medication is best suited to any individual patient’s chemistry, so that the antidepressant first prescribed may need to be changed after some time if it is not effective.  Statistically, any antidepressant has a 70% change of helping an individual patient.

 

DOSAGE :The normal dosage of this medication is between 1 and 2 tablets per day, normally taken at night.

 

SIDE EFFECTS :You may experience some or none of the following :

 

1.Sleepiness: for this reason the tablet is normally best taken at night.  It is best to start with a half tablet at night.

2.Weight gain: this can be a significant problem with Avanza in some patients.  Be careful about what you eat, and try to increase your exercise, ideally walking for half an hour to an hour each day.  Exercise may offset the slowing up of your metabolism associated with many antidepressants.

3.Swelling of the ankles: fluid retention is a problem in some patients taking Avanza, and will probably mean that you will have to stop this medication.

4.Dizziness.

5.Epileptic seizures: if you have a history of epilepsy, or a family history of epilepsy, do not take this medication until you have further discussed the situation with me.

6.Dry mouth – if you develop this, good dental hygiene is important as you are at risk of teeth and gum damage, due to the absence of saliva.  Bitter drinks, sugarless gum or an antidote medication (Urocarb) may help if needed.

7.Other fairly common side effects: dizziness (especially when standing up suddenly), headache, joint pains.

8.Rare side effects: Stop Avanza if you develop jaundice or severe infections of the throat.

 

 

NEED TO VARY DOSAGE :This medication will eventually overwhelm your symptoms, if it works for you.  With no symptoms left to absorb the powerful medication, you may experience yawning, drowsiness, difficulty finding the right word, or simple errors in spelling or calculation.  Reduce the medication for 2 or 3 days, until these problems resolve, and restart at a lower dose.  At times of extra stress, you may need to increase the dose (so that your concentration and memory are back to normal, being good indicators or good symptom control).

 

LENGTH OF TREATMENT :Once you recover, you will need to keep taking the tablets for some months afterwards, to prevent the chemical imbalance from returning.  These tablets are not at all addictive.  It is important to reduce the dose gradually.

 

STOPPING AVANZA: Unlike other antidepressants, withdrawal reactions are rare when stopping this medication.

 

PRECAUTIONS :Do not take these tablets :

 

1 If you develop a rash or hives

2 If you have taken Parnate or Nardil within the previous 2 weeks.

3 If you intend becoming pregnant in the next month.

 

 

USE OF ALCOHOL :You can have a small amount of alcohol quite safely with these tablets, but do remember that one drink may have the effect of 2 or 3 drinks.

COUGHS & COLDS:  The warning not to take Sudafed, Sinutabs etc if taking antidepressants does not apply to this medication.

20 thoughts on “INFORMATION ABOUT AVANZA (mirtazepine)

  1. Lesley Curnow says:

    I am currently taking 15mg at night also taki ng 7.5 mg of serapax morning and 7.5mg in the evening the avanza I have only been on 4 2 weeks and finding myself very tired morning and night should I reduce the avanza or the serapac.

  2. Julia says:

    Hi there, Lesley…can I suggest you back off of the serapax! i am sure that drug would definately be making you tired. Also after some time try and come off the avanza. I have been taking them for approximately 6 years !,,,. while it helped heaps it messes up the salt in your body…resulting in me having cramps!! Good luck but back off of the serapax.

  3. Helen Mathieson says:

    I’ve started on half a tablet at 10:00 pm but seem to be very agitated unable to get more than two hrs sleep. Should I try taking it earlier? Have been on it for 4 nights.

  4. Dazzler says:

    I started taking Avanza and remron 15mg for PTSD condition ( now I am on 30mg). I like the taste of these medications but my psychiatrist told me to break the tablet instead of taking the full one because my mum started complaining about serious side effects of the medication unbeknown to me because I feel completely normal on it but she can see what it is doing to me because she lives with me and sees me every day.

  5. Josie says:

    My doctor prescribe this to me but I’m scared to take it because of the side effect of weight gain. Really don’t need something else to be depressed about. Has anyone taken this and not put on weight?

    • Dawn Churchward says:

      Yep, taking them. I went off sugar, white bread and milk. I lost ten kilo. Used organic Stevia in place of sugar, use rice milking sourdough bread

  6. Tameeka says:

    @Josie Yes, i have been on and off with taking avanza, I’m back on it now for good but yes i have put on sooo much weight and am feeling really down about it the dr said there are other antidepressants i can take but this works best for me and at the end of the day i would rather a few extra kgs then feel the way i was feeling. So my point is there are always other options in medications.

  7. Robyn Drinkwater says:

    Please does anyone know if Avanza can affect your sugar levels as I am a.type 2 diabetic an my levels have gone to 22 for no other reason …I am on a 30mg at night ….

  8. Chris says:

    I took my first tablet early last night (30mg). Great sleep, but still sleepy at 9 am today. I feel lazy. Lucky not scheduled for work today! It will be a half tablet tonight I think, as the sleepiness feeling is a bit strong for me especially if planning to do my day job.

  9. rachel says:

    im taking half a tablet each night, have been taking for a month now , has worked a treat , i weighed 38kgs due to my depression and now im nearly 50kgs, only problem is a really dry mouth, great sleep and feel ok the next day to go to work.. very happy.

  10. Linda says:

    I am taking 150 mg of prestique each morning and 30 mg of Avanza of an evening I’m worried as I had serotonin syndrome earlier this year I’ve only been taking Avanza for 2 weeks is it ok to take both theese

  11. Debbie Randle says:

    i took 15mgs for 4 nights and i now have taken 30mgs for 2 nights, my local doctor said my slight weird feeling is because the hospital doctor took me off pristiq to quickly, i now sleep better and feel abit better through the day already. i still take my Seroquel at night.

  12. Hazel cash says:

    Excellent. My husband started on 15mg and we noticed a difference straight away. He now sleeps through the night which helps with his energy levels and anxiety due to severe COPD. Now on 30mg after one month to help with anxiety through the day. No side effects apart from eating more which he needed to do. No significant weight gain or rise in sugar levels.

  13. PC says:

    It is an incredible drug. I used so many antidepressants to stop my anxiety and depression and beside them my migraine attacks. The others never helped and the side effects were terrible like speaking without thinking about the third party and feel like being the centre of the world, rushes and nightmares… After this medicine (AVANZA 30mg), all of them settled. I am using this medicine for more than 2 years only side effect is gaining extra weight. I can say that my medicine finished and for two days I am not taking and what I feel is ” I want to cry, anxious about everything and have a rush and nightmares”. So tomorrow I will run to the pharmacy and buy my loyal medicine that is balancing all my feelings and making my life easier……….

    • robin hawken says:

      having chronic depression and anxiety for at least 10 years has meant I have taken 30mg of Avanza each night for that period of time. Recently I was involved in a stressful situation and my Dr increased my dosage to 45 mg. This takes the edge off those dreadful panic attacks and I have never experienced any side effects. During that 10 year period I weaned myself off thinking I was able to cope without medication but I soon realised the panic attacks were returning so went back on to it.It allows me to sleep well and having a glass or two of wine does not have any adverse effects.

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