Treatment with Remeron (mirtazapine) may improve pain, sleep, and quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia, a Department of Veterans Affairs review study suggests.
But more long-term studies are needed to provide additional clinical evidence of Remeron’s therapeutic effects in these patients, the authors said.
The study, “The role of mirtazapine in patients with fibromyalgia: a systematic review,” was reported in the journal Rheumatology International.
Patients with fibromyalgia are often treated with several medications, including antidepressants, anti-convulsants, muscle relaxants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and opioids. While they have shown to be effective in treating some specific symptoms, these therapies often fail to effectively treat the complete list of symptoms linked to fibromyalgia.
Remeron is an antidepressant that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of major depressive disorders. The drug can increase the release of some brain signaling molecules, and it can also inhibit the activity of others.
Its broad mode of action helps explain why Remeron can modulate mood as well as act as a sedative, at the same time helping to manage sleep disturbances.
Previous studies have suggested that Remeron could be a potential treatment for fibromyalgia, but until now its use has not been recommended by The European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR).
To further evaluate its potential in fibromyalgia, a team at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center reviewed information available in the literature. The analysis included data from three randomized, placebo-controlled trials and one open-label trial.