A synthetic tetracyclic derivative of the piperazino-azepines with antidepressant activity.
Although its mechanism of action is unknown, mirtazapine enhances central adrenergic and serotonergic transmission, possibly by acting as an antagonist at central presynaptic alpha 2 adrenergic inhibitory autoreceptors and heteroreceptors. This agent is a potent antagonist of 5-hydroxytryptamine type 2 (5-HT2), 5-HT3, and histamine 1 (H1) receptors, and a moderate antagonist of peripheral alpha 1 adrenergic and muscarinic receptors.
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