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Mirtazapine

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Sep 5, 2020.

Pronunciation

(mir TAZ a peen)

Dosage Forms

Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling. [DSC] = Discontinued product

Tablet, Oral:

Remeron: 15 mg [DSC] [scored]

Remeron: 15 mg [scored; contains corn starch]

Remeron: 30 mg [DSC] [scored]

Remeron: 30 mg [scored; contains corn starch]

Remeron: 45 mg [DSC]

Generic: 7.5 mg, 15 mg, 30 mg, 45 mg

Tablet Disintegrating, Oral:

Remeron SolTab: 15 mg, 30 mg, 45 mg [contains aspartame]

Generic: 15 mg, 30 mg, 45 mg

Brand Names: U.S.

  • Remeron
  • Remeron SolTab

Pharmacologic Category

  • Antidepressant, Alpha-2 Antagonist

Pharmacology

Mirtazapine is a tetracyclic antidepressant that works by its central presynaptic alpha2-adrenergic antagonist effects, which results in increased release of norepinephrine and serotonin. It is also a potent antagonist of 5-HT2 and 5-HT3 serotonin receptors and H1 histamine receptors and a moderate peripheral alpha1-adrenergic and muscarinic antagonist; it does not inhibit the reuptake of norepinephrine or serotonin.

Absorption

Rapid and complete

Metabolism

Extensively hepatic via CYP1A2, 2D6, 3A4 and via demethylation and hydroxylation

Excretion

Urine (75%) and feces (15%) as metabolites

Onset of Action

Anxiety disorders (panic disorder): Initial effects may be observed within 2 weeks of treatment, with continued improvements through 4 to 6 weeks (WFSBP [Bandelow 2012]); some experts suggest up to 12 weeks of treatment may be necessary for response (BAP [Baldwin 2014]; Katzman 2014; WFSBP [Bandelow 2012]).

Depression: Initial effects may be observed within 1 to 2 weeks of treatment, with continued improvements through 4 to 6 weeks (Papakostas 2006; Posternak 2005; Szegedi 2009).

Time to Peak

Serum: ~2 hours

Half-Life Elimination

~20 to 40 hours; increased with renal or hepatic impairment.

Protein Binding

~85%

Special Populations: Renal Function Impairment

Clearance is reduced ~30% in patients with moderate (GFR 11 to 39 mL/minute/1.73 m2) and ~50% in patients with severe (GFR <10 mL/minute/1.73 m2) kidney impairment.

Special Populations: Hepatic Function Impairment

Clearance decreased by 33% and half-life and serum concentration increased by 39% and 55%, respectively, following a single dose of mirtazapine in elderly patients with mild or moderate hepatic impairment (Mauri 2014).

Special Populations: Elderly

Clearance is reduced 40% in elderly men and 10% in elderly women.

Special Populations: Gender

Women have a longer elimination half-life (37 hours) than men (26 hours).

Use: Labeled Indications

Major depressive disorder (unipolar): Treatment of unipolar major depressive disorder (MDD)

Off Label Uses

Headache, chronic tension-type, prophylaxis

Data from a limited number of patients studied suggest that mirtazapine may be beneficial for the prophylaxis of chronic tension-type headache [Bendtsen 2004].

Based on the EFNS guideline on the treatment of tension-type headache, mirtazapine is probably effective and a second-line option for the prophylaxis of chronic tension-type headache.

Panic disorder

Data from a limited number of patients studied suggest that mirtazapine may be beneficial for the treatment of panic disorder [Boshuisen 2001], [Carli 2002], [Montanes-Rada 2005], [Ribeiro 2001], [Sarchiapone 2003].

Based on the Canadian clinical practice guidelines for the management of anxiety, posttraumatic stress and obsessive-compulsive disorders, mirtazapine is a second-line treatment option for panic disorder.

Contraindications

Hypersensitivity to mirtazapine or any component of the formulation; use of monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) including linezolid or methylene blue IV (concurrently or within 14 days of stopping an MAOI).

Dosing: Adult

Headache, chronic tension-type, prophylaxis (alternative agent) (off-label use): Oral: Initial: 15 mg once daily at bedtime; may increase after 1 week to 30 mg/day based on response and tolerability (Bendtsen 2004)

Major depressive disorder (unipolar): Oral: Initial: 15 mg once daily at bedtime; increase dose in 15 mg increments at intervals no less than every 1 to 2 weeks based on response and tolerability. Maximum dose: 45 mg/day (product labeling); however, doses up to 60 mg/day have been used in clinical trials (VA/DoD 2016; Watanabe 2011).

Panic disorder (alternative agent) (off-label use):

Note: As monotherapy or adjunctive therapy in patients nonresponsive to SSRIs.

Oral: Initial: 15 mg once daily at bedtime; may increase in increments of 15 mg at intervals of no less than 1 week based on response and tolerability, up to a usual maximum of 45 mg once daily (product labeling). Average doses in clinical trials were ~30 mg/day; doses up to 60 mg/day have been evaluated (Boshuisen 2001; Montañés-Rada 2005; Ribeiro 2001).

Discontinuation of therapy: When discontinuing antidepressant treatment that has lasted for >3 weeks, gradually taper the dose (eg, over 2 to 4 weeks) to minimize withdrawal symptoms and detect reemerging symptoms (APA 2010; WFSBP [Bauer 2015]). Reasons for a slower taper (eg, over 4 weeks) include use of a drug with a half-life <24 hours (eg, paroxetine, venlafaxine), prior history of antidepressant withdrawal symptoms, or high doses of antidepressants (APA 2010; Hirsch 2019). If intolerable withdrawal symptoms occur, resume the previously prescribed dose and/or decrease dose at a more gradual rate (Shelton 2001). Select patients (eg, those with a history of discontinuation syndrome) on long-term treatment (>6 months) may benefit from tapering over >3 months (WFSBP [Bauer 2015]). Evidence supporting ideal taper rates is limited (Shelton 2001; WFSBP [Bauer 2015]).

Switching antidepressants: Evidence for ideal antidepressant switching strategies is limited; strategies include cross-titration (gradually discontinuing the first antidepressant while at the same time gradually increasing the new antidepressant) and direct switch (abruptly discontinuing the first antidepressant and then starting the new antidepressant at an equivalent dose or lower dose and increasing it gradually). Cross-titration (eg, over 1 to 4 weeks depending upon sensitivity to discontinuation symptoms and adverse effects) is standard for most switches, but is contraindicated when switching to or from an MAOI. A direct switch may be an appropriate approach when switching to another agent in the same or similar class (eg, when switching between two SSRIs), when the antidepressant to be discontinued has been used for <1 week, or when the discontinuation is for adverse effects. When choosing the switch strategy, consider the risk of discontinuation symptoms, potential for drug interactions, other antidepressant properties (eg, half-life, adverse effects, and pharmacodynamics), and the degree of symptom control desired (WFSBP [Bauer 2013]; Hirsch 2018; Ogle 2013).

Switching to or from an MAOI:

Allow 14 days to elapse between discontinuing an MAOI and initiation of mirtazapine.

Allow 14 days to elapse between discontinuing mirtazapine and initiation of an MAOI.

Dosage adjustment for concomitant therapy: Significant drug interactions exist, requiring dose/frequency adjustment or avoidance. Consult drug interactions database for more information.

Dosing: Geriatric

Major depressive disorder (unipolar): Oral: Initial starting doses of 7.5 mg once daily at bedtime have been suggested (VA/DoD 2016). Use with caution; clearance may be reduced; refer to adult dosing. Note: Some experts consider mirtazapine to be useful for stimulating appetite in older adults with depression and weight loss (Ritchie 2018).

Discontinuation of therapy: Refer to adult dosing.

Switching antidepressants: Refer to adult dosing.

Administration

Oral: Administer without regard to meals.

Orally disintegrating tablet: Do not remove tablet from blister pack until ready to administer; peel back foil to expose tablet; use dry hands to remove tablet and place immediately on tongue. Tablet dissolves rapidly in saliva; water is not needed. Do not chew, crush, or split tablet.

Dietary Considerations

Some products may contain phenylalanine.

Storage

Store at 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F); excursions are permitted between 15°C and 30°C (59°F and 86°F). Protect from light and moisture. Use orally disintegrating tablets immediately upon opening individual tablet blister; once removed it cannot be stored.

Drug Interactions

Abametapir: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Avoid combination

Alcohol (Ethyl): May enhance the CNS depressant effect of Mirtazapine. Avoid combination

Alizapride: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Almotriptan: May enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonergic Agents (High Risk). This could result in serotonin syndrome. Management: Monitor for signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome/serotonin toxicity (eg, hyperreflexia, clonus, hyperthermia, diaphoresis, tremor, autonomic instability, mental status changes) when these agents are combined. Monitor therapy

Alosetron: May enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonergic Agents (High Risk). This could result in serotonin syndrome. Management: Monitor for signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome/serotonin toxicity (eg, hyperreflexia, clonus, hyperthermia, diaphoresis, tremor, autonomic instability, mental status changes) when these agents are combined. Monitor therapy

Alpha2-Agonists: Mirtazapine may diminish the antihypertensive effect of Alpha2-Agonists. Management: Consider avoiding concurrent use. If the combination cannot be avoided, monitor for decreased effects of alpha2-agonists if mirtazapine is initiated/dose increased, or increased effects if mirtazapine is discontinued/dose decreased. Consider therapy modification

Amphetamines: May enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonergic Agents (High Risk). This could result in serotonin syndrome. Management: Monitor for signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome/serotonin toxicity (eg, hyperreflexia, clonus, hyperthermia, diaphoresis, tremor, autonomic instability). Initiate amphetamines at lower doses, monitor frequently, and adjust doses as needed. Monitor therapy

Antiemetics (5HT3 Antagonists): May enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonergic Agents (High Risk). This could result in serotonin syndrome. Management: Monitor for signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome/serotonin toxicity (eg, hyperreflexia, clonus, hyperthermia, diaphoresis, tremor, autonomic instability, mental status changes) when these agents are combined. Monitor therapy

Antipsychotic Agents: Serotonergic Agents (High Risk) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Antipsychotic Agents. Specifically, serotonergic agents may enhance dopamine blockade, possibly increasing the risk for neuroleptic malignant syndrome. Antipsychotic Agents may enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonergic Agents (High Risk). This could result in serotonin syndrome. Monitor therapy

Aprepitant: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

Azelastine (Nasal): May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Avoid combination

Blonanserin: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Blonanserin. Management: Use caution if coadministering blonanserin and CNS depressants; dose reduction of the other CNS depressant may be required. Strong CNS depressants should not be coadministered with blonanserin. Consider therapy modification

Brexanolone: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Brexanolone. Monitor therapy

Brimonidine (Topical): May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Bromopride: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Bromperidol: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Avoid combination

Buprenorphine: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Buprenorphine. Management: Consider reduced doses of other CNS depressants, and avoiding such drugs in patients at high risk of buprenorphine overuse/self-injection. Initiate buprenorphine at lower doses in patients already receiving CNS depressants. Consider therapy modification

BusPIRone: May enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonergic Agents (High Risk). This could result in serotonin syndrome. Management: Monitor for signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome/serotonin toxicity (eg, hyperreflexia, clonus, hyperthermia, diaphoresis, tremor, autonomic instability, mental status changes) when these agents are combined. Monitor therapy

Cannabidiol: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Cannabis: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Chlormethiazole: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Monitor closely for evidence of excessive CNS depression. The chlormethiazole labeling states that an appropriately reduced dose should be used if such a combination must be used. Consider therapy modification

Chlorphenesin Carbamate: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Cimetidine: May increase the serum concentration of Mirtazapine. Monitor therapy

Clofazimine: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

CNS Depressants: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of other CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Conivaptan: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Avoid combination

Cyclobenzaprine: May enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonergic Agents (High Risk). This could result in serotonin syndrome. Management: Monitor for signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome/serotonin toxicity (eg, hyperreflexia, clonus, hyperthermia, diaphoresis, tremor, autonomic instability, mental status changes) when these agents are combined. Monitor therapy

CYP3A4 Inducers (Moderate): May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Monitor therapy

CYP3A4 Inducers (Strong): May decrease the serum concentration of Mirtazapine. Monitor therapy

CYP3A4 Inhibitors (Moderate): May decrease the metabolism of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

CYP3A4 Inhibitors (Strong): May increase the serum concentration of Mirtazapine. Monitor therapy

Dabrafenib: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Management: Seek alternatives to concomitant therapy when possible. If concomitant therapy cannot be avoided, monitor for reduced clinical effects of the CYP3A4 substrate. Consider therapy modification

Dapoxetine: May enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonergic Agents (High Risk). This could result in serotonin syndrome. Management: Do not use serotonergic agents (high risk) with dapoxetine or within 7 days of serotonergic agent discontinuation. Do not use dapoxetine within 14 days of monoamine oxidase inhibitor use. Dapoxetine labeling lists this combination as contraindicated. Avoid combination

Deferasirox: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Monitor therapy

Dexmethylphenidate-Methylphenidate: May enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonergic Agents (High Risk). This could result in serotonin syndrome. Management: Monitor for signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome/serotonin toxicity (eg, hyperreflexia, clonus, hyperthermia, diaphoresis, tremor, autonomic instability, mental status changes) when these agents are combined. Monitor therapy

Dextromethorphan: May enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonergic Agents (High Risk). This could result in serotonin syndrome. Management: Monitor for signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome/serotonin toxicity (eg, hyperreflexia, clonus, hyperthermia, diaphoresis, tremor, autonomic instability, mental status changes) when these agents are combined. Monitor therapy

Dimethindene (Topical): May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Doxylamine: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: The manufacturer of Diclegis (doxylamine/pyridoxine), intended for use in pregnancy, specifically states that use with other CNS depressants is not recommended. Monitor therapy

Dronabinol: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Droperidol: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Consider dose reductions of droperidol or of other CNS agents (eg, opioids, barbiturates) with concomitant use. Consider therapy modification

Duvelisib: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

Eletriptan: May enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonergic Agents (High Risk). This could result in serotonin syndrome. Management: Monitor for signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome/serotonin toxicity (eg, hyperreflexia, clonus, hyperthermia, diaphoresis, tremor, autonomic instability, mental status changes) when these agents are combined. Monitor therapy

Enzalutamide: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Management: Concurrent use of enzalutamide with CYP3A4 substrates that have a narrow therapeutic index should be avoided. Use of enzalutamide and any other CYP3A4 substrate should be performed with caution and close monitoring. Consider therapy modification

Erdafitinib: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Monitor therapy

Erdafitinib: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

Ergot Derivatives: May enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonergic Agents (High Risk). This could result in serotonin syndrome. Management: Monitor for signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome/serotonin toxicity (eg, hyperreflexia, clonus, hyperthermia, diaphoresis, tremor, autonomic instability, mental status changes) when these agents are combined. Monitor therapy

Esketamine: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Fenfluramine: May enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonergic Agents (High Risk). This could result in serotonin syndrome. Monitor therapy

Flunitrazepam: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Flunitrazepam. Management: Reduce the dose of CNS depressants when combined with flunitrazepam and monitor patients for evidence of CNS depression (eg, sedation, respiratory depression). Use non-CNS depressant alternatives when available. Consider therapy modification

Fosaprepitant: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

Fosnetupitant: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

Fusidic Acid (Systemic): May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Avoid combination

Haloperidol: QT-prolonging Agents (Indeterminate Risk - Caution) may enhance the QTc-prolonging effect of Haloperidol. Monitor therapy

HydrOXYzine: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Idelalisib: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Avoid combination

Ivosidenib: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Monitor therapy

Kava Kava: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Larotrectinib: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

Lasmiditan: May enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonergic Agents (High Risk). This could result in serotonin syndrome. Management: Monitor for signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome/serotonin toxicity (eg, hyperreflexia, clonus, hyperthermia, diaphoresis, tremor, autonomic instability, mental status changes) when these agents are combined. Monitor therapy

Lemborexant: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Dosage adjustments of lemborexant and of concomitant CNS depressants may be necessary when administered together because of potentially additive CNS depressant effects. Close monitoring for CNS depressant effects is necessary. Consider therapy modification

Linezolid: May enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonergic Non-Opioid CNS Depressants. This could result in serotonin syndrome. Avoid combination

Lisuride: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Lorcaserin (Withdrawn From US Market): May enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonergic Agents (High Risk). This could result in serotonin syndrome. Management: Monitor for signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome/serotonin toxicity (eg, hyperreflexia, clonus, hyperthermia, diaphoresis, tremor, autonomic instability, mental status changes) when these agents are combined. Monitor therapy

Magnesium Sulfate: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Metaxalone: May enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonergic Agents (High Risk). This could result in serotonin syndrome. Management: Monitor for signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome/serotonin toxicity (eg, hyperreflexia, clonus, hyperthermia, diaphoresis, tremor, autonomic instability, mental status changes) when these agents are combined. Monitor therapy

Methotrimeprazine: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Methotrimeprazine. Methotrimeprazine may enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Reduce the usual dose of CNS depressants by 50% if starting methotrimeprazine until the dose of methotrimeprazine is stable. Monitor patient closely for evidence of CNS depression. Consider therapy modification

Methylene Blue: Serotonergic Non-Opioid CNS Depressants may enhance the serotonergic effect of Methylene Blue. This could result in serotonin syndrome. Avoid combination

Metoclopramide: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

MetyroSINE: CNS Depressants may enhance the sedative effect of MetyroSINE. Monitor therapy

MiFEPRIStone: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Management: Minimize doses of CYP3A4 substrates, and monitor for increased concentrations/toxicity, during and 2 weeks following treatment with mifepristone. Avoid cyclosporine, dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, fentanyl, pimozide, quinidine, sirolimus, and tacrolimus. Consider therapy modification

Minocycline (Systemic): May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Mitotane: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Management: Doses of CYP3A4 substrates may need to be adjusted substantially when used in patients being treated with mitotane. Consider therapy modification

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (Antidepressant): Serotonergic Non-Opioid CNS Depressants may enhance the serotonergic effect of Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (Antidepressant). This could result in serotonin syndrome. Avoid combination

Nabilone: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Nefazodone: Mirtazapine may enhance the serotonergic effect of Nefazodone. This could result in serotonin syndrome. Nefazodone may increase the serum concentration of Mirtazapine. Management: Monitor for signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome/serotonin toxicity (eg, hyperreflexia, clonus, hyperthermia, diaphoresis, tremor, autonomic instability, mental status changes) and for increased mirtazapine toxicities when these agents are combined. Monitor therapy

Netupitant: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

Ondansetron: May enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonergic Agents (High Risk). This could result in serotonin syndrome. Management: Monitor for signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome/serotonin toxicity (eg, hyperreflexia, clonus, hyperthermia, diaphoresis, tremor, autonomic instability, mental status changes) when these agents are combined. Monitor therapy

Opioid Agonists: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Opioid Agonists. Management: Avoid concomitant use of opioid agonists and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants when possible. These agents should only be combined if alternative treatment options are inadequate. If combined, limit the dosages and duration of each drug. Consider therapy modification

Orphenadrine: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Orphenadrine. Avoid combination

Oxitriptan: Serotonergic Agents (High Risk) may enhance the serotonergic effect of Oxitriptan. This could result in serotonin syndrome. Management: Monitor for signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome/serotonin toxicity (eg, hyperreflexia, clonus, hyperthermia, diaphoresis, tremor, autonomic instability, mental status changes) when these agents are combined. Monitor therapy

Oxomemazine: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Avoid combination

Oxybate Salt Products: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Oxybate Salt Products. Management: Consider alternatives to this combination when possible. If combined, dose reduction or discontinuation of one or more CNS depressants (including the oxybate salt product) should be considered. Interrupt oxybate salt treatment during short-term opioid use Consider therapy modification

OxyCODONE: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of OxyCODONE. Management: Avoid concomitant use of oxycodone and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants when possible. These agents should only be combined if alternative treatment options are inadequate. If combined, limit the dosages and duration of each drug. Consider therapy modification

Ozanimod: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Serotonergic Agents (High Risk). Management: Concomitant use of ozanimod with serotonergic agents is not recommended. If combined, monitor patients closely for the development of hypertension, including hypertensive crises. Consider therapy modification

Palbociclib: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

Paraldehyde: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Paraldehyde. Avoid combination

Perampanel: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Patients taking perampanel with any other drug that has CNS depressant activities should avoid complex and high-risk activities, particularly those such as driving that require alertness and coordination, until they have experience using the combination. Consider therapy modification

Piribedil: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Piribedil. Monitor therapy

Pitolisant: Mirtazapine may diminish the therapeutic effect of Pitolisant. Avoid combination

Pramipexole: CNS Depressants may enhance the sedative effect of Pramipexole. Monitor therapy

QT-prolonging Agents (Highest Risk): QT-prolonging Agents (Indeterminate Risk - Caution) may enhance the QTc-prolonging effect of QT-prolonging Agents (Highest Risk). Management: Monitor for QTc interval prolongation and ventricular arrhythmias when these agents are combined. Patients with additional risk factors for QTc prolongation may be at even higher risk. Monitor therapy

Ramosetron: May enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonergic Agents (High Risk). This could result in serotonin syndrome. Management: Monitor for signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome/serotonin toxicity (eg, hyperreflexia, clonus, hyperthermia, diaphoresis, tremor, autonomic instability, mental status changes) when these agents are combined. Monitor therapy

Rasagiline: May enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonergic Non-Opioid CNS Depressants. This could result in serotonin syndrome. Avoid combination

ROPINIRole: CNS Depressants may enhance the sedative effect of ROPINIRole. Monitor therapy

Rotigotine: CNS Depressants may enhance the sedative effect of Rotigotine. Monitor therapy

Rufinamide: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of CNS Depressants. Specifically, sleepiness and dizziness may be enhanced. Monitor therapy

Safinamide: May enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonergic Non-Opioid CNS Depressants. This could result in serotonin syndrome. Avoid combination

Sarilumab: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Monitor therapy

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors: May enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonergic Non-Opioid CNS Depressants. This could result in serotonin syndrome. Management: Monitor for signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome/serotonin toxicity (eg, hyperreflexia, clonus, hyperthermia, diaphoresis, tremor, autonomic instability, mental status changes) when these agents are combined. Monitor therapy

Selegiline: May enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonergic Non-Opioid CNS Depressants. This could result in serotonin syndrome. Avoid combination

Serotonergic Agents (High Risk, Miscellaneous): May enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonergic Non-Opioid CNS Depressants. This could result in serotonin syndrome. Management: Monitor for signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome/serotonin toxicity (eg, hyperreflexia, clonus, hyperthermia, diaphoresis, tremor, autonomic instability, mental status changes) when these agents are combined. Monitor therapy

Serotonergic Opioids (High Risk): Serotonergic Non-Opioid CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Serotonergic Opioids (High Risk). Serotonergic Non-Opioid CNS Depressants may enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonergic Opioids (High Risk). This could result in serotonin syndrome. Management: Consider alternatives to this drug combination. If combined, monitor for signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome/serotonin toxicity and CNS depression. Consider therapy modification

Serotonin 5-HT1D Receptor Agonists (Triptans): May enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonergic Agents (High Risk). This could result in serotonin syndrome. Management: Monitor for signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome/serotonin toxicity (eg, hyperreflexia, clonus, hyperthermia, diaphoresis, tremor, autonomic instability, mental status changes) when these agents are combined. Monitor therapy

Serotonin/Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors: Mirtazapine may enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonin/Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors. This could result in serotonin syndrome. Management: Monitor for signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome/serotonin toxicity (eg, hyperreflexia, clonus, hyperthermia, diaphoresis, tremor, autonomic instability, mental status changes) when these agents are combined. Monitor therapy

Siltuximab: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Monitor therapy

Simeprevir: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

St John's Wort: May enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonergic Agents (High Risk). This could result in serotonin syndrome. St John's Wort may decrease the serum concentration of Serotonergic Agents (High Risk). Management: Monitor for signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome/serotonin toxicity (eg, hyperreflexia, clonus, hyperthermia, diaphoresis, tremor, autonomic instability, mental status changes) when these agents are combined. Monitor therapy

Stiripentol: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Management: Use of stiripentol with CYP3A4 substrates that are considered to have a narrow therapeutic index should be avoided due to the increased risk for adverse effects and toxicity. Any CYP3A4 substrate used with stiripentol requires closer monitoring. Consider therapy modification

Suvorexant: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Suvorexant. Management: Dose reduction of suvorexant and/or any other CNS depressant may be necessary. Use of suvorexant with alcohol is not recommended, and the use of suvorexant with any other drug to treat insomnia is not recommended. Consider therapy modification

Syrian Rue: May enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonergic Agents (High Risk). This could result in serotonin syndrome. Management: Monitor for signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome/serotonin toxicity (eg, hyperreflexia, clonus, hyperthermia, diaphoresis, tremor, autonomic instability, mental status changes) when these agents are combined. Monitor therapy

Tetrahydrocannabinol: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Thalidomide: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Thalidomide. Avoid combination

Tobacco (Smoked): May decrease the serum concentration of Mirtazapine. Monitor therapy

Tocilizumab: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Monitor therapy

TraZODone: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of Mirtazapine. TraZODone may enhance the serotonergic effect of Mirtazapine. This could result in serotonin syndrome. Management: Monitor for signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome/serotonin toxicity (eg, hyperreflexia, clonus, hyperthermia, diaphoresis, tremor, autonomic instability, mental status changes) and CNS depression when these agents are combined. Monitor therapy

Tricyclic Antidepressants: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of Serotonergic Non-Opioid CNS Depressants. Tricyclic Antidepressants may enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonergic Non-Opioid CNS Depressants. This could result in serotonin syndrome. Management: Monitor for signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome/serotonin toxicity (eg, hyperreflexia, clonus, hyperthermia, diaphoresis, tremor, autonomic instability, mental status changes) and CNS depression when these agents are combined. Monitor therapy

Trimeprazine: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Warfarin: Mirtazapine may enhance the anticoagulant effect of Warfarin. Monitor therapy

Zolpidem: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Zolpidem. Management: Reduce the Intermezzo brand sublingual zolpidem adult dose to 1.75 mg for men who are also receiving other CNS depressants. No such dose change is recommended for women. Avoid use with other CNS depressants at bedtime; avoid use with alcohol. Consider therapy modification

Adverse Reactions

The following adverse drug reactions and incidences are derived from product labeling unless otherwise specified.

>10%:

Endocrine & metabolic: Increased serum cholesterol (15%), weight gain (12%; weight gain: ≥7%: 8%)

Gastrointestinal: Constipation (13%), increased appetite (17%), xerostomia (25%)

Nervous system: Drowsiness (54%)

1% to 10%:

Cardiovascular: Edema (1%), hypertension, peripheral edema (2%), vasodilation

Dermatologic: Pruritus, skin rash

Endocrine & metabolic: Increased serum triglycerides (6%), increased thirst

Gastrointestinal: Abdominal pain, anorexia, vomiting

Genitourinary: Urinary frequency (2%), urinary tract infection

Hepatic: Increased serum alanine aminotransferase (≥3 times ULN: 2%)

Nervous system: Abnormal dreams (4%), abnormality in thinking (3%), agitation, amnesia, anxiety, apathy, confusion (2%), dizziness (7%), hypoesthesia, malaise, myasthenia, paresthesia, twitching, vertigo

Neuromuscular & skeletal: Arthralgia, asthenia (8%), back pain (2%), hyperkinetic muscle activity, hypokinesia, myalgia (2%), tremor (2%)

Respiratory: Dyspnea (1%), flu-like symptoms (5%)

Frequency not defined: Cardiovascular: Orthostatic hypotension

<1%, postmarketing, and/or case reports: Abnormal healing, abnormal hepatic function tests, abnormal lacrimation, accommodation disturbance, acute myocardial infarction, ageusia, agranulocytosis, akathisia, alopecia, altered sense of smell, amenorrhea, anemia, angina pectoris, angle-closure glaucoma, aphasia, arthritis, ataxia, atrial arrhythmia, bigeminy, blepharitis, bone fracture (osteoporosis), bradycardia, breast engorgement, breast hypertrophy, bullous dermatitis, cardiomegaly, cellulitis, cerebral ischemia, chest pain, chills, cholecystitis, colitis, complex sleep-related disorder, conjunctivitis, cystitis, deafness, dehydration, delirium, delusion, dementia, depersonalization, diabetes mellitus, diplopia, drug dependence, dysarthria, dyskinesia, dysmenorrhea, dystonia, dysuria, ejaculatory disorder, emotional lability, enlargement of abdomen, enlargement of salivary glands, epistaxis, eructation, erythema multiforme, euphoria, exfoliative dermatitis, extrapyramidal reaction, eye pain, facial edema, fever, gastritis, gastroenteritis, gingival hemorrhage, glossitis, goiter, gout, hallucination, heavy menstrual bleeding, hematuria, hepatic cirrhosis, hostility, hyperacusis, hyperprolactinemia, hyperreflexia, hypomania, hyponatremia, hypotension, hypothyroidism, hypotonia, impotence, increased acid phosphatase, increased libido, increased serum aspartate aminotransferase, increased serum creatine kinase, intestinal obstruction, left ventricular failure, leukopenia, leukorrhea, manic reaction, mastalgia, migraine, myoclonus, myositis, nausea, neck pain, neck stiffness, nephrolithiasis, neurosis, nystagmus disorder, oral candidiasis, ostealgia, otalgia, pancreatitis, pancytopenia, paranoid ideation, petechia, phlebitis, polyuria, priapism, prolonged QT interval on ECG, psychomotor agitation, pulmonary embolism, rhabdomyolysis, rupture of tendon, seizure, serotonin syndrome, severe neutropenia, sialorrhea, skin photosensitivity, somnambulism, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, stomatitis, stupor, suicidal ideation, suicidal tendencies, syncope, tenosynovitis, thrombocytopenia, tongue discoloration, tongue edema, tonic clonic epilepsy, torsades de pointes, toxic epidermal necrolysis, ulcer, urethritis, urinary incontinence, urinary retention, urinary urgency, urticaria, uterine hemorrhage, vaginitis, vascular headache, ventricular premature contractions, ventricular tachycardia, weight loss, withdrawal syndrome, xeroderma

ALERT: U.S. Boxed Warning

Suicidality and antidepressant drugs:

Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in pediatric and young adult patients in short-term studies. Closely monitor all antidepressant-treated patients for clinical worsening and for emergence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Mirtazapine is not approved for use in pediatric patients.

Warnings/Precautions

Major psychiatric warnings:

• Suicidal thinking/behavior: [US Boxed Warning]: Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in pediatric and young adult patients in short-term studies. Closely monitor all antidepressant-treated patients for clinical worsening, and for emergence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Closely monitor patients for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior, particularly during the initial 1 to 2 months of therapy or during periods of dosage adjustments (increases or decreases); the patient's family or caregiver should be instructed to closely observe the patient and communicate condition with health care provider. A medication guide concerning the use of antidepressants should be dispensed with each prescription. Mirtazapine is not FDA approved for use in children.

- The possibility of a suicide attempt is inherent in major depression and may persist until remission occurs. Worsening depression and severe abrupt suicidality that are not part of the presenting symptoms may require discontinuation or modification of drug therapy. Use caution in high-risk patients during initiation of therapy.

- Prescriptions should be written for the smallest quantity consistent with good patient care. The patient's family or caregiver should be alerted to monitor patients for the emergence of suicidality and associated behaviors such as anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, impulsivity, akathisia, hypomania, and mania; patients should be instructed to notify their healthcare provider if any of these symptoms or worsening depression occur.

Concerns related to adverse effects:

• Akathisia/psychomotor restlessness: Most likely to occur within first few weeks of treatment and characterized by unpleasant or distressing restlessness and need to move often accompanied by an inability to sit or stand still. Increasing the dose in these patients may be detrimental.

• Anticholinergic effects: May cause anticholinergic effects (constipation, xerostomia, blurred vision, urinary retention); use with caution in patients with decreased gastrointestinal motility, paralytic ileus, urinary retention, BPH, xerostomia, or visual problems. The degree of anticholinergic blockade produced by this agent is low relative to other antidepressants.

• Arrhythmias: QT prolongation, torsade de pointes, and ventricular fibrillation have been reported (rarely); case reports are mostly associated with mirtazapine overdose (although one case series of single-agent mirtazapine overdose in 84 patients did not identify any cases of QT prolongation [Berling 2014]) or patients with risk factors for QT prolongation or receiving concomitant QT-prolonging agents. Use caution in patients with cardiovascular disease, history of QT prolongation, or receiving concomitant QT-prolonging agents.

• Blood dyscrasias: Discontinue immediately if signs and symptoms of neutropenia/agranulocytosis occur.

• CNS depression: May cause CNS depression, which may impair physical or mental abilities; patients must be cautioned about performing tasks that require mental alertness (eg, operating machinery or driving). The degree of sedation is moderate to high relative to other antidepressants.

• Dizziness: Dizziness may occur; it is unclear whether or not tolerance may develop to dizziness.

• Fractures: Bone fractures have been associated with antidepressant treatment. Consider the possibility of a fragility fracture if an antidepressant-treated patient presents with unexplained bone pain, point tenderness, swelling, or bruising (Rabenda 2013; Rizzoli 2012).

• Hyperlipidemia: May increase serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

• Hyponatremia: May cause hyponatremia. Use caution in patients at risk, such as elderly or patients who are volume depleted or concomitantly treated with medications known to cause hyponatremia. Discontinue treatment if symptoms occur.

• Ocular effects: May cause mild pupillary dilation which in susceptible individuals can lead to an episode of narrow-angle glaucoma. Consider evaluating patients who have not had an iridectomy for narrow-angle glaucoma risk factors.

• Orthostatic hypotension: May cause orthostatic hypotension (risk is low relative to other antidepressants); use with caution in patients at risk of this effect or in those who would not tolerate transient hypotensive episodes (cerebrovascular disease, cardiovascular disease, dehydration, hypovolemia, or concurrent medication use which may predispose to hypotension/bradycardia).

• Serotonin syndrome: Potentially life-threatening serotonin syndrome (SS) has occurred with serotonergic agents (eg, SSRIs, SNRIs), particularly when used in combination with other serotonergic agents (eg, triptans, TCAs, fentanyl, lithium, tramadol, buspirone, St John's wort, tryptophan) or agents that impair metabolism of serotonin (eg, MAO inhibitors intended to treat psychiatric disorders, other MAO inhibitors [ie, linezolid and intravenous methylene blue]). Monitor patients closely for signs of SS such as mental status changes (eg, agitation, hallucinations, delirium, coma); autonomic instability (eg, tachycardia, labile blood pressure, diaphoresis); neuromuscular changes (eg, tremor, rigidity, myoclonus); GI symptoms (eg, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea); and/or seizures. Discontinue treatment (and any concomitant serotonergic agent) immediately if signs/symptoms arise.

• Weight gain: May increase appetite and stimulate weight gain.

Disease-related concerns:

• Hepatic impairment: Use with caution in patients with hepatic impairment; clearance is decreased and half-life and plasma concentrations are increased in mild to moderate impairment. Clinically significant transaminase elevations have been observed.

• Mania/hypomania: May precipitate a shift to mania or hypomania in patients with bipolar disorder. Monotherapy in patients with bipolar disorder should be avoided. Combination therapy with an antidepressant and a mood stabilizer may be effective for acute treatment of bipolar major depressive episodes, but should be avoided in acute mania or mixed episodes, as well as maintenance treatment in bipolar disorder due to the mood-destabilizing effects of antidepressants (CANMAT [Yatham 2018]; WFSBP [Grunze 2018]). Patients presenting with depressive symptoms should be screened for bipolar disorder. Mirtazapine is not FDA approved for the treatment of bipolar depression.

• Renal impairment: Use with caution in patients with renal impairment; clearance is decreased with moderate and severe renal impairment.

• Seizure disorder: Use with caution in patients at risk of seizures, including those with a history of seizures, head trauma, brain damage, alcoholism, or concurrent therapy with medications which may lower seizure threshold.

Dosage form specific issues:

• Lactose: Tablets may contain lactose.

• Phenylalanine: SolTab formulation may contain phenylalanine.

Other warnings/precautions:

• Discontinuation syndrome: Abrupt discontinuation or interruption of antidepressant therapy has been associated with a discontinuation syndrome. Symptoms arising may vary with antidepressant however commonly include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, lightheadedness, dizziness, diminished appetite, sweating, chills, tremors, paresthesias, fatigue, somnolence, and sleep disturbances (eg, vivid dreams, insomnia). Less common symptoms include electric shock-like sensations, cardiac arrhythmias (more common with tricyclic antidepressants), myalgias, parkinsonism, arthralgias, and balance difficulties. Psychological symptoms may also emerge such as agitation, anxiety, akathisia, panic attacks, irritability, aggressiveness, worsening of mood, dysphoria, mood lability, hyperactivity, mania/hypomania, depersonalization, decreased concentration, slowed thinking, confusion, and memory or concentration difficulties. Greater risks for developing a discontinuation syndrome have been associated with antidepressants with shorter half-lives, longer durations of treatment, and abrupt discontinuation. For antidepressants of short or intermediate half-lives, symptoms may emerge within 2 to 5 days after treatment discontinuation and last 7 to 14 days (APA 2010; Fava 2006; Haddad 2001; Shelton 2001; Warner 2006).

Monitoring Parameters

Patients should be monitored for signs of agranulocytosis or severe neutropenia such as sore throat, stomatitis or other signs of infection or a low WBC; renal and hepatic function; mental status for depression, suicide ideation (especially at the beginning of therapy or when doses are increased or decreased), anxiety, social functioning, mania, panic attacks; signs/symptoms of serotonin syndrome; lipid profile; weight gain

Reproductive Considerations

If treatment for major depressive disorder is initiated for the first time in females planning a pregnancy, agents other than mirtazapine are preferred (use of mirtazapine is not preferred in pregnant women) (Larsen 2015).

The incidence of sexual dysfunction with mirtazapine is generally lower than with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (WFSBP [Bauer 2013]).

Pregnancy Considerations

Mirtazapine crosses the placenta (Hatzidaki 2008).

A significant increase in major teratogenic effects has not been observed following exposure to mirtazapine during pregnancy; however, information is limited (CANMAT [MacQueen 2016]; Larsen 2015).

Untreated or inadequately treated psychiatric illness may lead to poor compliance with prenatal care. Therapy with antidepressants during pregnancy should be individualized (ACOG 92 2008; CANMAT [MacQueen 2016]). Psychotherapy or other nonmedication therapies may be considered for some women; however, antidepressant medication should be considered for pregnant women with moderate to severe major depressive disorder (MDD) (APA 2010). If treatment for MDD is initiated for the first time during pregnancy, mirtazapine is not recommended (CANMAT [MacQueen 2016]; Larsen 2015; WFSBP [Bauer 2013]); mirtazapine is considered a third-line agent for the treatment of mild to moderate depression during pregnancy (CANMAT [MacQueen 2016]).

Data collection to monitor pregnancy and infant outcomes following exposure to antidepressants is ongoing. Pregnant women exposed to antidepressants during pregnancy are encouraged to enroll in the National Pregnancy Registry for Antidepressants (NPRAD). Women 18 to 45 years of age or their health care providers may contact the registry by calling 844-405-6185. Enrollment should be done as early in pregnancy as possible.

Patient Education

What is this drug used for?

• It is used to treat low mood (depression).

• It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

• Fatigue

• Constipation

• Dry mouth

• Increased hunger

• Weight gain

• Loss of strength and energy

• Nightmares

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

• Depression like thoughts of suicide, anxiety, emotional instability, agitation, irritability, panic attacks, mood changes, behavioral changes, or confusion

• Infection

• Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.

• Low sodium like headache, trouble focusing, trouble with memory, confusion, weakness, seizures, or change in balance

• Redness or irritation of palms or soles of feet

• Flu-like symptoms

• Mouth irritation

• Mouth sores

• Restlessness

• Fast heartbeat

• Abnormal heartbeat

• Severe dizziness

• Passing out

• Joint pain

• Vision changes

• Eye pain

• Eye swelling

• Eye redness

• Serotonin syndrome like dizziness, severe headache, agitation, sensing things that seem real but are not, fast heartbeat, abnormal heartbeat, flushing, tremors, sweating a lot, change in balance, severe nausea, or severe diarrhea.

• Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Talk to your doctor if you have questions.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a limited summary of general information about the medicine’s uses from the patient education leaflet and is not intended to be comprehensive. This limited summary does NOT include all information available about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. For a more detailed summary of information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine, please speak with your healthcare provider and review the entire patient education leaflet.

Further information

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