Depression Home > Remeron for Sleep Apnea

Although Remeron is approved to treat depression, some studies have shown that it may also be useful in treating sleep apnea. In studies on sleep apnea, Remeron was shown to be effective for treating the condition in both rats and humans. However, larger studies are needed before it can be concluded that Remeron is safe and effective for this use.

An Overview of Remeron for Sleep Apnea

Remeron® (mirtazapine) is a prescription medication approved to treat depression. Recent studies have suggested that the drug may also be useful in treating sleep apnea, although it is not approved for this use.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder characterized by brief interruptions of breathing during sleep. With this condition, your breathing stops or gets very shallow while you are sleeping. Each pause typically lasts 10 to 20 seconds, but can last longer. These pauses can occur 20 to 30 times or more an hour.
If left untreated, sleep apnea can increase the chance of having high blood pressure and even a heart attack or stroke. It can also increase the risk of diabetes and the risk for work-related accidents and driving accidents.
Treatment for sleep apnea is aimed at restoring regular nighttime breathing and relieving symptoms (such as very loud snoring and daytime sleepiness).
Treatment options for sleep apnea include:
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
  • A mouthpiece
  • Surgery
  • Medications.

Research Findings on Sleep Apnea and Remeron

Two small studies on Remeron for sleep apnea treatment have been published. One study involved rats, while the other study involved humans. Both studies showed that the medication was effective for treating sleep apnea.
However, it is important to note that both of these studies were quite small, and larger studies are necessary before it can be concluded that Remeron is safe and effective for treating sleep apnea.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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