9 Foods to Avoid While Taking Mirtazapine For Depression

If you want to learn what foods to eat and avoid while taking Mirtazapine, this article is for you.

Mirtazapine (Remeron) is an antidepressant medication that is used to treat major depressive disorder and other mood disorders. 

It belongs to a class of drugs called tetracyclic antidepressants. 

Mirtazapine works by increasing the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin and norepinephrine, which play key roles in regulating mood.

While Mirtazapine can be effective in alleviating symptoms of depression, it is essential to be mindful of dietary considerations to ensure its optimal efficacy and safety. 

Some foods can interact with Mirtazapine, affecting its absorption, metabolism, and overall effectiveness. 

On the other hand, certain foods can help manage the condition the medication is designed to treat or reduce potential side effects.

In this article, we will explore the foods to avoid while taking Mirtazapine, foods that complement the medication, and other interactions to be aware of.

9 Foods to Avoid When Taking Mirtazapine (Remeron)

When prescribed with Mirtazapine, it is essential to be mindful of certain foods that could interact with the medication and compromise its effectiveness. 

This section highlights the foods you should avoid to ensure safe and optimal use of Mirtazapine. 

1) Alcohol

Avoiding alcohol is essential while on Mirtazapine as it can exacerbate the sedative effects of the medication and impair cognitive function

Moreover, studies show alcohol can worsen depression symptoms, negating the benefits of the antidepressant.

2) Monoamine-Rich Foods

Certain foods that are rich in monoamines, such as tyramine, can cause a potentially dangerous interaction known as the “cheese effect.” 

Foods like aged cheeses, cured meats, fermented products, and some wines contain high levels of tyramine, which, when combined with Mirtazapine, can lead to a sudden and dangerous increase in blood pressure. 

This interaction may result in a hypertensive crisis, which can be life-threatening.

3) Grapefruit and Grapefruit Juice

Grapefruit can inhibit an enzyme called CYP3A4 that is responsible for metabolizing many medications, including Mirtazapine. 

Consuming grapefruit or grapefruit juice can lead to higher levels of the drug in the body, increasing the risk of side effects.

4) Caffeine

While moderate caffeine intake is generally considered safe for most people, it’s essential to be cautious while taking Mirtazapine. 

This antidepressant can enhance the stimulating effects of caffeine, leading to increased nervousness or restlessness.

5) High-Fat Foods

Mirtazapine is known to cause weight gain as a side effect. Consuming high-fat foods may exacerbate this issue, leading to further weight gain. 

It is advisable to opt for a balanced and healthy diet to manage weight while on this medication.

6) Processed Foods

High consumption of processed foods, which often contain excessive salt, unhealthy fats, and additives, can contribute to overall health issues and may counteract the benefits of Mirtazapine.

7) High-Sodium Foods

Excess sodium intake can lead to fluid retention and potentially elevate blood pressure. Avoiding the following foods can help manage sodium levels while on Mirtazapine.

  • Canned soups
  • Processed meats
  • Salty snacks

8) Artificial Sweeteners

Some studies suggest that artificial sweeteners may influence gut bacteria and potentially impact mood. Minimizing the consumption of artificial sweeteners may help support the treatment’s efficacy.

9) High-Sugar Foods

While there is no direct interaction with Mirtazapine, excessive sugar intake can negatively affect mood and energy levels. Reducing the consumption of sugary foods and beverages can contribute to overall well-being.

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6 Foods to Eat While on Mirtazapine

Maintaining a well-balanced and nutritious diet can significantly impact the effectiveness of Mirtazapine while promoting overall mental well-being. 

In this section, we explore the foods that complement Mirtazapine’s therapeutic effects, potentially reducing side effects and supporting mood management.

1) High-Quality Protein

Protein-rich foods can be beneficial while taking Mirtazapine. Proteins are a source of tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin, and including them in your diet may support the production of neurotransmitters that promote a positive mood.

Foods rich in protein to eat while taking Mirtazapine include:

  • Lean meats
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Legumes
  • Dairy products

2) Complex Carbohydrates

Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are excellent sources of complex carbohydrates. These foods can help regulate blood sugar levels and provide a steady source of energy, preventing mood swings and promoting overall well-being.

3) Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids have been associated with improved mood and brain health. Incorporating the following foods into your diet may complement the effects of Mirtazapine.

  • Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, and sardines)
  • Flaxseeds
  • Walnuts

4) Foods High in Folate

Folate, or vitamin B9, is essential for proper brain function and mood regulation. The following foods are good sources of folate and can be beneficial for those taking Mirtazapine:

  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Legumes
  • Fortified cereals
  • Citrus fruits 

5) Vitamin D-Rich Foods

Some studies suggest a link between vitamin D deficiency and depression. The following foods can contribute to maintaining adequate vitamin D levels:

  • Fatty fish
  • Fortified dairy products
  • Egg yolks

6) Antioxidant-Rich Foods

Fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants may have neuroprotective properties and support overall brain health.

Antioxidant-rich foods include:

  • Berries
  • Oranges
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli

Foods to avoidFoods to eat
AlcoholHigh-quality protein
Monoamine-rich foodsComplex carbohydrates
Grapefruit and grapefruit juiceOmega-3 fatty acids
CaffeineFoods high in folate
High-fat foodsVitamin D-rich foods
Processed foodsAntioxidant-rich foods
High-sodium foods
Artificial sweeteners
High-sugar foods

Other Interactions with Mirtazapine

In addition to dietary considerations, there are several other factors to be mindful of when taking Mirtazapine. 

These Mirtazapine interactions can occur with other medications, herbal supplements, and certain medical conditions. Below are some important considerations:

Interactions With Medications

Mirtazapine may interact with other drugs, including other antidepressants, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, and sedatives. 

Combining Mirtazapine with certain medications can lead to increased side effects or reduced effectiveness of either medication. 

It’s essential to inform your healthcare provider about all the medications you are taking, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements, to avoid potential adverse interactions.

Herbal Supplements

Some herbal supplements can also interact with Mirtazapine and may cause adverse effects. St. John’s Wort, a popular herbal remedy for depression, can reduce the effectiveness of Mirtazapine and should be avoided unless specifically recommended by a healthcare professional.

Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions, such as liver or kidney problems, can affect how the body metabolizes or clears Mirtazapine. 

In such cases, the dosage of the medication may need to be adjusted, and close monitoring is necessary.

Central Nervous System Depressants (Alcohol, Sedatives)

Mirtazapine is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, and combining it with other CNS depressants, such as alcohol or sedatives, can lead to increased sedation and impaired cognitive function. 

Avoiding alcohol and discussing the use of other CNS depressants with your doctor is crucial to ensure safety.

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Should You Take Mirtazapine with Food?

Mirtazapine can be taken with or without food. However, some people may experience certain side effects, such as drowsiness or dizziness, especially when they first start taking the medication. In such cases, taking Mirtazapine with food can help alleviate these discomforts. 

Taking Mirtazapine with food does not significantly impact its absorption or effectiveness. So, whether you choose to take it with a meal or on an empty stomach is primarily a matter of personal preference or as advised by your healthcare provider. 

If you find that taking Mirtazapine on an empty stomach leads to any discomfort, you can try taking it with a meal or a snack. 

On the other hand, if you prefer taking it without food and do not experience any issues, that is also acceptable.


Maintaining a healthy diet while taking Mirtazapine can play a crucial role in supporting its effectiveness and managing potential side effects. 

Avoiding certain foods that can interact negatively with the medication, such as alcohol and tyramine-rich foods, is essential for safety. 

Conversely, incorporating nutrient-dense foods like high-quality proteins, complex carbohydrates, and omega-3 fatty acids can complement the effects of Mirtazapine and promote overall well-being. 

As with any medication, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before making any significant changes to your diet or medication regimen. 

With proper dietary choices and adherence to medical advice, you can optimize the benefits of Mirtazapine in your journey towards better mental health.

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  2. Anderson, M.C., Hasan, F., McCrodden, J.M. et al. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors and the cheese effect. Neurochem Res 18, 1145–1149. 1993.
  3. Schmiedlin-Ren P, Edwards DJ, Fitzsimmons ME, He K, Lown KS, Woster PM, Rahman A, Thummel KE, Fisher JM, Hollenberg PF, Watkins PB. Mechanisms of enhanced oral availability of CYP3A4 substrates by grapefruit constituents. Decreased enterocyte CYP3A4 concentration and mechanism-based inactivation by furanocoumarins. Drug Metab Dispos. 1997.
  4. Bilia AR, Gallori S, Vincieri FF. St. John’s wort and depression: efficacy, safety and tolerability-an update. Life Sci. 2002.
  5. Szopa, A., Poleszak, E., Wyska, E. et al. Caffeine enhances the antidepressant-like activity of common antidepressant drugs in the forced swim test in mice. Naunyn-Schmiedeberg’s Arch Pharmacol 389, 211–221. 2016.

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