Remeron is a brand name for the drug mirtazapine. If your veterinarian has prescribed Remeron for your best friend he probably has a medical condition that has made him lose his appetite and needs to be encouraged to eat so that he doesn’t deteriorate further. It is often used as an appetite stimulant for dogs suffering from renal failure, stomach disorders and cancer.
Mirtazapine was originally designed and intended for human use to treat depression and post-traumatic stress disorder; it also acts as a strong appetite stimulant and anti-nausea agent. Although it can be used as an anti-anxiety treatment in dogs, it is more commonly used for its anti-nausea and appetite stimulant effects. It can be used for long-term control of conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, and liver or kidney disease. Mirtazapine is also used to help dogs with cancer to regain their appetite and curb nausea associated with chemotherapy treatment.
Remeron raises the levels of norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain that elevates mood. It increases the level of serotonin, a feel-good chemical, in the central nervous system and blocks signals from neuroreceptors of the intestine and stomach that trigger vomiting, giving it anti-nausea properties. It also has antihistamine properties. Remeron is available as 15 mg, 30 mg or 45 mg tablets. Dogs are given a daily dosage based on their bodyweight and small dogs only require a quarter of a 15 mg tablet daily. It is important to follow the dosage instructions to prevent side effects and toxicity.
The most common side effect of this medication is drowsiness. Some of the side effects of the antihistamine properties include dry mouth, urine retention and increased water consumption. A potential side effect is serotonin syndrome, where the levels of serotonin in the brain become too high. This leads to rapid heart rate, dilated pupils, tremors, difficulties breathing, high blood pressure and sometimes hyperactivity. Serotonin syndrome is most likely to occur if Remeron is used with other serotonin-increasing medications.
Remeron can interact with other medications, so you must consult with your veterinarian if your dog is on other treatments. Remeron interacts with drugs classified as monoamine inhibitors, which can be present in tick-protection collars and dips used for skin mange. It should not be used in combination with selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs); the combination can trigger serotonin syndrome.
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