Remeron Side Effects in Cats

Remeron side effects in cats are minimal, usually resulting in drowsiness. Rarely does the side effect of serotonin syndrome result. This is when the brain levels of serotonin get too high, which can also be caused by Remeron being taken with other serotonin increasing medications. Symptoms of serotonin syndrome are elevated heart rate, dilated pupils, elevated body temperature, difficulty breathing, shivering and/or tremors, high blood pressure and general hyperactivity. In the event of serotonin syndrome, Cyproheptadine can be used as an antidote. Concurrent use of both tramadol and Remeron can also increase the risk for serotonin syndrome.

Remeron Has Anti-Nausea Properties

Originally developed as an antidepressant for moderate to severe depression for human use, Remeron’s side effects as an anti-nausea and appetite stimulant in cats helps in the treatment where poor appetite and nausea are symptoms of a disease. Such is the case as liver disease, kidney disease, intestinal disease, stomach disease, chemotherapy or any other disease involving nausea and appetite loss.

Although Remeron also has antihistamine properties, other antihistamines are more readily available, so it is unlikely that this drug would be used for that purpose. Inhibitors of monoamine oxidase-A cannot be used with Remeron. In order to prevent the onset of serotonin syndrome, use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) should not be used in conjunction with Remeron so that serotonin levels in the brain do not increase. The most commonly used SSRI would be Prozac or fluoxetine.

What Does Remeron Do?

Since it is composed of four chemical rings, Remeron is a member of the tetracyclic class. Remeron increases norepinephine and serotonin in the brain although no one is exactly sure how this takes place. Norepinephine is a stimulating neurotransmitter while serotonin is a neurotransmitter associated with comfort and relaxation so increasing these chemicals in the brain offers treatment of depression.  Although depression is sometimes treated in veterinarian medicine, it is the side effects of Remeron that are actually sought after. Remeron communicates with the brain’s vomit center and acts on the neuroreceptors in the stomach and intestine thus acting as a strong anti-nausea agent. It also acts as a strong appetite stimulant as well. Although Remeron increases central nervous system serotonin levels, it actually antagonizes serotonin levels in the gastro-intestinal tract.

Remeron Dosages For Cats

Remeron comes in two formulas: regular formula or rapid dissolving formula, either of which can be used in cats. Also known as mirtazapine, Remeron is given twice a week in three possible sized dosages: 15 mg, 30 mg and 45 mg tablets.  In the case of liver disease or kidney disease, the clearance of the drug from the body is reduced approximately 30% so the dosage should be accordingly reduced.

Although Remeron reduces cortisol secretion by the adrenal glands, it has not been used to treat Cushing’s syndrome. Cushing’s syndrome in when the adrenal glands produce excess adrenal steroids.

Remeron should be reduced in dosage or in administration in patients with either liver disease or kidney disease. The safety in the use of Remeron in lactating or pregnant cats is presently unknown.