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Mirtazapine vs Trazodone for sleep

Are you wondering about the differences between mirtazapine vs trazodone for sleep?

In the quest to find an effective, safe, and reliable treatment for insomnia, many doctors have explored the relaxing benefits of antidepressants. 

Unfortunately, not all antidepressants are designed to deliver sweet dreams. There are many pills out there which may actually worsen your sleep. 

However, a handful of specific “sedating” antidepressants are rapidly gaining approval as a powerful treatment for sleep problems. 

When natural solutions and better sleep hygiene don’t work, your doctor might recommend taking something like Mirtazapine, or Trazodone for sleep. 

Both of these anti-depressants can assist with various sleep disorders. The right pill will reduce restless legs syndrome, and potentially even help with obstructive sleep apnea. 

So, which option is best?

Mirtazapine vs Trazodone for sleep: Antidepressants and insomnia 

Both Trazodone and Mirtazapine are ”sedating” antidepressants. Mirtazapine also goes under the name Remeron. 

Your doctor will look at your background and specific requirements before prescribing either medication. In some cases, they may even look into a different pill entirely. 

Sedating antidepressants can calm the nervous system, reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, and prevent common issues which keep many of us awake at night. 

However, even these pills have their limitations. Although many doctors recommend Remeron for sleep (mirtazapine), there are patients who suffer with common mirtazapine side effects. Weight gain and drowsiness are common unwanted symptoms. 

Trazodone side effects are similar, and many patients find the impact of the pill wears off over time, requiring higher doses. Trazodone can also reduce recovery rates in depression for some younger patients. 

When choosing the right tools for sleep, doctors need to weigh the pros and cons of each pill. This is why you should always follow the instructions of your doctors when choosing trazodone and mirtazapine for sleep. 

Trazodone and Mirtazapine: What is Mirtazapine?

So, how do Trazodone and Mirtazapine differ?

Mirtazapine is a common tool for insomnia. Also known as Remeron, Mirtazapine helps to increase the effects of chemical messengers in your brain, to reduce feelings of depression. 

The ability of Mirtazapine to relax the nervous system and cause drowsiness also makes it a popular tool for sleep conditions. 

Like many antidepressants for sleep, Mirtazapine can assist with your sleep pattern in two ways. First, the drug helps to reduce feelings of anxiety and low mood which may disturb sleep. Second, Mirtazapine reduces states of “hyperarousal”, which commonly occur in insomnia. 

According to one study, Mirtazapine was able to improve sleep quality and time spent asleep significantly, even when patients were distracted by traffic noise. 

The biggest downside to Mirtazapine for sleep, is the potential side effects. Many people worry about mirtazapine weight gain, which is one of the more often reported side effects of long-term use for this drug. 

Additionally, Mirtazapine side effects can also include constipation, lack of energy, increased appetite, and even consistent feelings of drowsiness. 

Remeron vs Trazodone for Sleep: What is Trazodone?

Trazodone for sleep is an alternative treatment option to Mirtazapine, which also works in multiple ways to address sleep problems. Like mirtazapine, trazodone can regulate the serotonin levels in your brain, helping brain cells to communicate for better sleep, mood, and behavior. 

Trazodone is a common choice for insomnia issues, because even at low doses, it helps the body and brain to feel relaxed and sleepy. The medication can block chemicals in the brain which would otherwise cause feelings of anxiety and stress. 

There are various documented benefits of Trazodone for sleep. One review found the medication was effective at dealing with secondary and primary insomnia – particularly at low doses. 

The pill is less expensive and easier to access than other insomnia medicines. What’s more, it’s not addictive. This isn’t true of other medications like benzodiazepines.

If you have sleep apnea, Trazodone is more likely to be the right choice. Some sleep medications negatively influence sleep apnea, but 100mg of Trazodone can have a positive impact on this condition, according to one study

Trazodone also helps with improving slow wave sleep, which supports the memory. However, Trazodone side effects are common, especially when you first start taking the medication.

Trazodone weight gain can be likely, and you may experience other adverse effects. Sleepiness, dizziness, fatigue, dry mouth, and nervousness are all common. 

The FDA also outline additional risks like serotonin syndrome, hypotension, cardiac arrhythmias, and blurred vision. 

Is Mirtazapine stronger than Trazodone for sleep?

When offering antidepressants for insomnia, doctors will often start you on an exceptionally low dose. Most of these pills are more effective in smaller amounts.

One double-blind study into hospitalized patients found Mirtazapine is generally more effective than Trazodone for treating depression, whereas other studies found no difference in effect on sleep. 

While Mirtazapine improves your mood and helps you sleep better, it can lead to Mirtazapine weight gain. Trazodone works as a sleep aid, but it also has risks for more significant side effects, particularly in higher doses. 

In many ways, Mirtazapine and Trazodone are very similar. Their common side-effects are almost exactly the same, including increased appetite, weight changes, dizziness, and drowsiness. However, Trazodone can cause more side effects, and at a more significant level when given at high doses. 

Is Trazodone the same as Remeron for sleep?

As mentioned above, both Trazodone and Mirtazapine are very similar. 

Both of these products are “sedating” anti-depressants, which make them a popular choice for treating insomnia. Most of the time, the pills are more likely to be given for insomnia than for depression. 

However, Remeron and Trazodone are different kinds of anti-depressant, which has an impact on their performance. Trazodone is defined as a “serotonin modulator”, which means it’s more likely to cause problems like serotonin syndrome. Alternatively, Mirtazapine is a tetracyclic antidepressant, which are becoming increasingly less common in the treatment of mood issues. 

Both kinds of sedating antidepressant seem to work best in patients who suffer from both mood problems and insomnia at the same time. 

Crucially, Mirtazapine and Trazodone don’t just help people to fall asleep. These pills are designed to assist with improving sleep architecture. 

When it comes to assessing Trazodone side effects and Mirtazapine side effects, the risks of Trazodone are higher. Mirtazapine, or Remeron, is more likely to cause weight gain and increased appetite. However, Trazodone can cause side effects like:

  • Diarrhea
  • Tiredness
  • Blurry vision
  • Muscle pains
  • Headaches
  • Dry mouth
  • Changes in sexual ability
  • Constipation
  • Stuffy nose
  • Bad taste in the mouth

Mirtazapine’s side effects are also more significant within the lower dosage range, which may not be useful for treating depression. Trazodone is more likely to be given in higher doses because its sedative effects reduce over time. 

Is Trazodone or Mirtazapine better for sleep?

Both Trazodone and Mirtazapine have their limitations and benefits. Each sedating antidepressant can improve the quality of your sleep. These pills may also have a positive impact on your mood. However, they can come with a range of side effects.

Your doctor will give you guidance on how to use either pill safely, if it’s prescribed to you. For instance, both Remeron and Trazadone can interact negatively with other medications, like sedatives, narcotic pain medication, and medication for anxiety. 

These products can also interact poorly with alcohol and substances that make you sleepy, like St. John’s Wort. 

There’s no direct answer to whether Trazodone or Mirtazapine are better for insomnia or anxiety. Like with many medication options, the key to success is often finding the pill best suited to your specific condition. 

Experts will usually recommend cognitive behavioral therapy and other natural insomnia treatments before using any medication for sleep. Although antidepressants can be amazingly effective for supporting sleep in some cases, they also often come with many side effects. 

Should you take Mirtazapine or Trazodone?

Speaking to your doctor is the best way to ensure you get the best treatment for your sleep conditions. Trazodone and Mirtazapine are just two out of many sleeping pill solutions available. These products may work for some people better than others, depending on their condition. 

If you’re having trouble with bad sleep, speak to your doctor about the options available for treating your condition. 

It will be important for your doctor to conduct an examination before prescribing any treatment. There may be underlying conditions contributing to your sleep issues which need to be addressed. 

To learn more about medical treatments for sleep disorders, check out our other guides: 

Ramelteon vs melatonin
Melatonin for insomnia
Caffeine and melatonin
Zolpidem vs Zopiclone

Siestio. Sleep Matters.

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