Mirtazapine Treatment for Pathological Laughing and Crying After Stroke

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Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have been recognized as the treatment of choice for pathological laughing and crying (PLC), which is a common, distressing condition that follows stroke. There have been few reports about other treatment options for PLC. Here, the authors report rapid responses to mirtazapine in two patients with poststroke PLC who failed to respond to SSRIs or bupropion. In the first case, a 63-year-old woman with severe long-standing crying spells that had persisted for 3 months responded well to low-dose mirtazapine within a few days; she could not tolerate citalopram or sertraline. In the second case, both the laughing and crying spells of a 64-year-old woman were improved within a few days of mirtazapine administration, after they had not responded to bupropion. This is one of the first reports to suggest that mirtazapine may be an alternative to SSRIs for treating poststroke PLC.

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