Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Sleep. 2013 May 1;36(5):661-9. doi: 10.5665/sleep.2622.

Mirtazapine provokes periodic leg movements during sleep in young healthy men.

Author information

1
Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Munich, Germany. stephany.fulda@gmail.com

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVES:

Recent evidence suggests that certain antidepressants are associated with an increase of periodic leg movements (PLMS) that may disturb sleep. So far, this has been shown in patients clinically treated for depression and in cross-sectional studies for various substances, but not mirtazapine. It is unclear whether antidepressants induce the new onset of PLMS or only increase preexisting PLMS, and whether this is a general property of the antidepressant or only seen in depressed patients. We report here the effect of mirtazapine on PLMS in young healthy men.

DESIGN:

Open-labeled clinical trial (NCT00878540) including a 3-week preparatory phase with standardized food, physical activity, and sleep-wake behavior, and a 10-day experimental inpatient phase with an adaptation day, 2 baseline days, and 7 days with mirtazapine.

SETTING:

Research institute.

PARTICIPANTS:

Twelve healthy young (20-25 years) men.

INTERVENTIONS:

Seven days of nightly intake (22:00) of 30 mg mirtazapine.

MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS:

Sleep was recorded on 2 drug-free baseline nights, the first 2 drug nights, and the last 2 drug nights. Eight of the 12 subjects showed increased PLMS after the first dose of mirtazapine. Frequency of PLMS was highest on the first drug night and attenuated over the course of the next 6 days. Three subjects reported transient restless legs symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS:

Mirtazapine provoked PLMS in 67% of young healthy males. The effect was most pronounced in the first days. The possible role of serotonergic, noradrenergic and histaminergic mechanisms in mirtazapine-induced PLMS is discussed.

KEYWORDS:

Mirtazapine; periodic leg movements; restless legs syndrome; sleep

PMID:
23633748
PMCID:
PMC3624820
DOI:
10.5665/sleep.2622
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center