Remeron is an antidepressant that affects the chemicals in the brain. It is used to treat major depressive disorder and works by increasing the activity of norepinephrine and serotonin. Remeron was approved by the FDA in 2001 and is made by Organon. Doctors have prescribed this drug for many off-label uses, such as treating panic, anxiety, bipolar disorder, sleep disorders, arthritis, lupus and many other conditions.
In 2006, the FDA announced that the use of Remeron in young adults could be more dangerous than previously thought. In a study that analyzed 372 different studies and 100,000 patients, it was made clear that young adults between ages 18 to 24 had a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors when prescribed to antidepressants.
Remeron has also been linked to death in patients with coronary heart disease, blood and bone marrow abnormalities, as well as liver problems and hallucinations. Bone marrow damage has been reported 4-6 weeks after beginning Remeron treatment and should be discontinued if discovered. Patients were seen to recover fully after discontinuing the drug.
Remeron has been linked to liver damage because the drug has been known to increase the body’s production of liver enzymes.
This drug has also been seen to cause birth defects in infants whose mothers took the antidepressant while pregnant. Many of these birth defects were seen after the women took Remeron in the first trimester—a time when many women are unaware of the pregnancy. Infants have been seen to suffer from atrial septal defects, ventricular septal defects, persistent pulmonary hypertension, and more. Remeron has been classified as a Category C drug, which means that animal studies have shown that it can have an adverse effect on a fetus.
Serious side effects may include:
- Agitation, hallucinations, fever, fast heart rate, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination
- Very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors
- Feeling like you might pass out
- Fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms
- White patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips
- Headache, trouble concentrating, memory problems, weakness, or feeling unsteady
Less serious side effects may include:
- Drowsiness, dizziness
- Increased appetite
- Weight gain