How long does it take for Mirtazapine to work for anxiety?

This article will discuss the approximate time taken by Mirtazapine to work for anxiety. We will also discuss what factors can affect the time taken by this antidepressant to work and what other medications can be used to manage anxiety effectively.

How long does it take for Mirtazapine to work for anxiety?

Mirtazapine can take 2-4 weeks to work for anxiety and related symptoms. In some cases, it can take up to 6-8 weeks to see the full effects of the medication and for your body to adjust to it (1). 

If you’re wondering when you might start feeling its effects, it’s essential to understand that it can vary from person to person. Generally, many individuals may notice some changes within the first few weeks of starting the medication, but the full benefits may take longer.

It’s essential to give the medication some time to work. During the initial weeks, some people might experience certain side effects, like drowsiness or changes in appetite (1). These side effects are often temporary, and the body may need this adjustment period.

Is Mirtazapine approved by the FDA for the treatment of anxiety disorders?

No, Mirtazapine is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the management of anxiety disorders (2). It is a tetracyclic antidepressant primarily approved for the management and treatment of major depressive disorder (1,2).

However, treatment of anxiety is one of the off-label uses of Mirtazapine and it has helped a number of people recover from anxiety symptoms. 

What does research suggest?

There is limited research on the anxiolytic effects of Mirtazapine, as the drug is primarily used to treat depression, not anxiety. However, some research studies did investigate the anti-anxiety effects of this antidepressant.

In a 2005 research study, researchers looked at whether Mirtazapine works for treating generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). They gave a fixed dose of Mirtazapine (30 mg) to 44 adult outpatients with GAD for 12 weeks (3). 

They used a scale to measure anxiety levels and found that 79.5% of the patients showed improvement, and 36.4% achieved remission, meaning they felt much better (3). 

This suggests that Mirtazapine can be effective and well-tolerated for GAD, but more studies are needed to confirm this since this study had some limitations and didn’t use a placebo for comparison.

What to do if Mirtazapine does not help your anxiety? 

If you find that Mirtazapine isn’t effectively helping with your anxiety, it’s important to talk to your doctor. Mirtazapine is primarily used for depression, and while it can sometimes help with anxiety, it might not be the best fit for everyone. 

Your doctor may opt for other, more promising medications that are approved by the FDA for the management and treatment of anxiety disorders. Just make sure you don’t stop using Mirtazapine or make any changes to your prescription without consulting your doctor first.

What medications are approved by the FDA for anxiety disorders?

The following medications are approved by the FDA for the management and treatment of anxiety disorders and they are commonly prescribed for such cases:

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

SSRIs are a commonly prescribed class of medications for the management and treatment of depression, anxiety, and several other affective disorders (4). 

These medications work by increasing the availability of serotonin in the brain, which is a neurotransmitter responsible for many psychological functions, including mood regulation. 

Examples of SSRIs include: 

  • Zoloft (Sertraline)
  • Lexapro (Escitalopram)
  • Prozac (Fluoxetine)
  • Paxil (Paroxetine)
  • Celexa (Citalopram)
  • Luvox (Fluvoxamine)

Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)

SNRIs are another class of antidepressant medications that can also be effective in treating anxiety. They work by increasing the levels of both serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain (5). 

Examples of SNRIs include:

  • Cymbalta (Duloxetine)
  • Effexor (Venlafaxine)
  • Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine)
  • Fetzima (Levomilnacipran)
  • Ixel (Milnacipran)


Benzodiazepines are medications that provide fast-acting anxiolytic effects, as compared to antidepressants which can take weeks to kick in. However, they are typically not recommended for long-term use due to the risk of dependence and withdrawal (6). 

Examples of Benzodiazepines include:

  • Xanax (Alprazolam)
  • Valium (Diazepam)
  • Ativan (Lorazepam)
  • Klonopin (Clonazepam)


Buspirone is another medication which is specifically approved by the FDA for the management and treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). (7)

It works by affecting certain neurotransmitters in the brain. Buspirone is considered a non-addictive option, making it a suitable choice for some individuals who need long-term anxiety management.

Other therapeutic approaches

In addition to medications, therapy can be a valuable component of anxiety treatment. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), exposure therapy, and other therapeutic modalities can help individuals learn coping skills, challenge negative thought patterns, and reduce anxiety symptoms (8).


In this article, we have discussed the time taken by Mirtazapine to work for anxiety. We have also discussed some other treatment options for anxiety, as Mirtazapine is more commonly used for depression. 

However, all the above-discussed medications are prescription meds and should never be taken without a doctor’s approval. 

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