, Volume 4, Issue 5, pp 139-145

Mianserin: result of a decade of antidepressant research

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Mianserin is a new tetracyclic compound being the active principle of the antidepressant drug Tolvon®. Originally synthesized as an antiallergic, the discovery of the antidepressant activity of mianserin was serendipitous.

This review describes the historical development of mianserin as the first representative of a second generation of antidepressants. A summary is given of the clinical trials performed leading to a therapeutic profile of an antidepressant of similar efficacy as tricyclic products, however, with fewer and less severe side effects. Unlike tricyclic products mianserin lacks cardiotoxicity resulting in a superior safety also in overdosage.