Pregnancy Exposure Registry
There is a pregnancy exposure registry that monitors pregnancy outcomes in women exposed to antidepressants during pregnancy. Healthcare providers are encouraged to register patients by calling the National Pregnancy Registry for Antidepressants at 1-844-405-6185 or visiting online at https://womensmentalhealth.org/clinical-and-research-programs/pregnancyregistry/ antidepressants/.
Prolonged experience with mirtazapine in pregnant women, based on published observational studies and postmarketing reports, has not reliably identified a drug-associated risk of major birth defects, miscarriage or adverse maternal or fetal outcomes. There are risks associated with untreated depression in pregnancy (see Clinical Considerations).
In animal reproduction studies, oral administration of mirtazapine to pregnant rats and rabbits during the period of organogenesis revealed no evidence of teratogenic effects up to 20 and 17 times the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of 45 mg, respectively, based on mg/m2 body surface area. However, in rats, there was an increase in postimplantation loss at 20 times the MRHD based on mg/m 2 body surface area. Oral administration of mirtazapine to pregnant rats during pregnancy and lactation resulted in an increase in pup deaths and a decrease in pup birth weights at doses 20 times the MRHD based on mg/m 2 body surface area (see Data).
The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown. All pregnancies have a background risk of birth defect, loss, or other adverse outcomes. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2 to 4% and 15 to 20%, respectively.
Disease-Associated Maternal and/or Embryo/Fetal Risk
Women who discontinue antidepressants during pregnancy are more likely to experience a relapse of major depression than women who continue antidepressants. This finding is from a prospective, longitudinal study that followed 201 pregnant women with a history of major depressive disorder who were euthymic and taking antidepressants at the beginning of pregnancy. Consider the risk of untreated depression when discontinuing or changing treatment with antidepressant medication during pregnancy and postpartum.
Mirtazapine was administered orally to pregnant rats and rabbits during the period of organogenesis at doses of 2.5, 15, and 100 mg/kg/day and 2.5, 10, and 40 mg/kg/day, respectively, which are up to 20 and 17 times the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of 45 mg based on mg/m 2 body surface area, respectively. No evidence of teratogenic effects was observed. However, in rats, there was an increase in postimplantation loss in dams treated with mirtazapine at 100 mg/kg/day which is 20 times the MRHD based on mg/m 2 body surface area. Oral administration of mirtazapine at doses of 2.5, 15, and 100 mg/kg/day to pregnant rats during pregnancy and lactation resulted in an increase in pup deaths during the first 3 days of lactation and a decrease in pup birth weights at 20 times the MRHD based on mg/m 2 body surface area. The cause of these deaths is not known. The no effect dose level is 3 times the MRHD based on mg/m 2 body surface area.
Data from published literature report the presence of mirtazapine in human milk at low levels with relative infant doses for mirtazapine ranging between 0.6 and 2.8% of the maternal weight-adjusted dose (see Data). No adverse effects on the breastfed infant have been reported in most cases of maternal use of mirtazapine. There are no data on the effects of mirtazapine on milk production.
The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for mirtazapine and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from mirtazapine or from the underlying maternal condition.
In a published pooled analysis of 8 breastfeeding mother-infant pairs, the mean (min, max) total relative infant doses for mirtazapine and its desmethyl metabolite were 1.5% (0.6%, 2.8%) and 0.4% (0.1%, 0.7%) of the maternal weight-adjusted dose (median (min, max) dose of 38 mg (30 mg, 120 mg), respectively). No adverse drug effects were reported for any of the infants.
The safety and effectiveness of mirtazapine tablets have not been established in pediatric patients with MDD. Two placebo-controlled trials in 258 pediatric patients with MDD have been conducted with mirtazapine tablets, and the data were insufficient to establish the safety and effectiveness of mirtazapine tablets in pediatric patients with MDD. Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in pediatric patients [see Boxed Warning and Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
In an 8-week-long clinical trial in pediatric patients receiving doses between 15 to 45 mg per day, 49% of mirtazapine tablets-treated patients had a weight gain of at least 7%, compared to 5.7% of placebo-treated patients. The mean increase in weight was 4 kg (2 kg SD) for mirtazapine tablets-treated patients versus 1 kg (2 kg SD) for placebo-treated patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)].
Approximately 190 patients ≥65 years of age participated in clinical studies with mirtazapine tablets. Mirtazapine tablets are known to be substantially excreted by the kidney (75%), and the risk of decreased clearance of this drug is greater in patients with impaired renal function. Pharmacokinetic studies revealed a decreased clearance of mirtazapine in the elderly [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
Sedating drugs, including mirtazapine tablets, may cause confusion and over-sedation in the elderly. Elderly patients may be at greater risk of developing hyponatremia. Caution is indicated when administering mirtazapine tablets to elderly patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5.12),(5.15) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be conservative, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.
The clearance of mirtazapine is reduced in patients with moderate to severe renal or hepatic impairment. Consequently, plasma mirtazapine levels may be increased in these patient groups, compared to levels observed in patients without renal or hepatic impairment. Dosage decrease may be necessary when administering mirtazapine tablets to patients with moderate to severe renal or hepatic impairment [see Warnings and Precautions (5.13),Use in Specific Populations (8.5), and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
In premarketing clinical studies, there were reports of mirtazapine tablets overdose alone or in combination with other pharmacological agents. Signs and symptoms reported in association with overdose included disorientation, drowsiness, impaired memory, and tachycardia.
Based on postmarketing reports, serious outcomes (including fatalities) may occur at dosages higher than the recommended doses, especially with mixed overdoses. In these cases, QT prolongation and Torsades de Pointes have also been reported [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5),Adverse Reactions (6.2), and Drug Interactions (7)].
No specific antidotes for mirtazapine are known.
Contact Poison Control (1-800-222-1222) for the latest recommendations.
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