Does mirtazapine affect exercise performance?

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I've recently quickly gone up from 15 to 45mg. Before, I could just about run a 5k, whereas after six weeks on 45mg I seem to conk out at the 10 minute mark no matter how hard I push myself. Could this be the mirtazapine?

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  • Posted

    hello, no, its not the mirt, directly. its your anxiety/tension levels are higher. you would get this whether on any antidepressant, or not. if you have anxiety or tension, you are working much harder, as you are working against yourself. you mention no matter how hard i try, that will make it worse. you cant exercise against anxiety. exercising hard, means you produce cortisol/adrenaline, which increases your anxiety/,tension further. you need to relax into your exercise, and dont push too hard. you will have this issue, whenever your anxiety is high. fighting it makes it worse.

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  • Posted

    Hi Anthony

    I started on 15 mg Mirt about 10 weeks ago. I'm into outdoor sport in a big way, especially road cycling and MTB , and I have definitely been feeling very sluggish for the first say 20 min of every ride. After that, I get into my ride and it's ok. Only noticed this since starting Mirt . I take it at night and although my sleep is amazing (out like a light for 8 hours) , I feel groggy in the mornings and also feel tired in my body when I start out on a bike ride. So I think I'm experiencing something similar to you. I 've been taking Venlafaxine for years (v low dose when I'm well and 150 mg when I'm not) and never had any issues with fatigue.

    I guess we're all different, but I don't recognise with what Nigel wrote about exercising hard worsening anxiety. I'm the best version of myself when doing outdoor sport, and doing it hard. In fact my fail safe strategy for when things are really bad is to push myself to my limits on my bike. A safe way to release the angst.

    Hope you feel better and get back into your running soon!

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    • Posted

      hello, your anxiety may not be that high. and the mirt has got it under control, ie its more or less normal. if you dont experience increased tension/anxiety when excercising hard, carry on. if you do, then back off. it was when i was most anxious it happened. now im less anxious, it doesnt. just realised you are on 15mg, ie a low dose. anthony is on max dose of 45mg, so presumably worse anxiety, hence symptoms.

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    • Posted

      Hi DaytimeNapper!

      I know your post is old but hope you may be checking the forum. I just started the Mirt (7.5 mg) for insomnia. I am a cyclist too and feel about sports the same you describe. I wonder how you are doing now. Are you still taking it? I did just a few rides so can't judge the performance yet. I noticed that I am so drowsy at the beginning of the ride I do not feel my HR the same way and I am pushing myself harder. I was able to do back to back rides so far, I guess I sleep better and recover better. How is your performance? Were you able to maintain you weight? Wish you all the best

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    • Posted

      Hi Svetlana!

      Thanks for your message. I'm doing much better now and have been signed off by my psychiatrist.

      In the late summer I halved my doses of Mirt to 7.5mg and Venlafaxine to 75mg and will continue to taper down on both drugs when the time is right. My psych is encouraging me to come off completely in time. I'm conscious not to make too many changes right now when I have a lot on at work and when it's darker during winter. My psych also recommended a daylight lamp which is incredibly helpful (I'm sitting by it now) - 30 min every morning and my general mood is loads better and my sleep has improved amazingly.

      My summer cycling didn't go so well before I reduced my doses. I felt drained at the start of rides and nauseous if I pushed up a hill. I know that antidepressants in general can cause low sodium so I'm wondering if that was it (I never had a blood test to know).

      In terms of my weight, I put on about 4kg when I first started on 15mg Mirt and another 2kg by the end of the year, so I added about 10% of my body weight. Mirt has definitely changed my metabolism and I don't lose weight as easily as I used to. Another reason to get off it as I really notice the extra weight. But on balance I would rather be a bit heavier and without the mental torment.

      Let me know how you get on - all the best!

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the reply! I am happy to know that you are doing so well! I am at the beginning of the road, walking one baby step at a time. I completely agree that feeling well is the priority even if we have to sacrifice the performance on the bike and weight. I will check the lamp, sounds like a great idea while doing Zwift sessions during dark winter mornings. Were you able to lose weight since you reduced the dosage? Keep me posted. Wish you many happy rides and good health of course

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    • Posted

      Hi Svetlana,

      Definitely worth giving the lamp a go, especially if you tend to feel low during winter. The advice I had is that the lamp should be 20cm away from your face (eyes) for maximum effectiveness. So if you can set that up with your turbo trainer somehow - cool! I built it into my morning routine so I get up around 6-6.30 and immediately sit at the table with the lamp next to my laptop and do my emails. 30 mins of light therapy and planning my day in peace - I feel much more in control of myself. I hated getting up early before I started with the lamp. Now it's fine because my sleep is good and I wake up feeling great. Sorry to rabbit on, but I REALLY love my lamp!!

      The weight question - no I did not manage to shift any weight whilst taking 7.5mg Mirt. Well actually, I managed to lose 2 kg over the summer but I had to train like a demon and almost starve myself, so I decided - stuff it. I'll just be a bit heavier for now. Mirt has definitely changed my metabolism and I feel as if I have a higher set point now, 4 kg above normal. At first I hated it because I guess I had my self identity as the fit skinny one 😃 but I bought some new jeans and with time I got used to it and I don't care as much 😃 Also Mirt has made me gain weight around my belly and I hate that feeling of having a spare tyre. But meh.

      Just to emphasise how much Mirt seems to make me cling onto weight these days - the whole month of Jan I have been ill with tropical gastroenteritis and eating next to nothing. And yet I'm still 2kg heavier than I was before I started Mirt. It's crazy.

      I wish you well - let me know how you get on.

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  • Posted

    not sure how you are getting on. just wanted to add, my anxiety came down quite a bit a couple of months ago. as a result, now doing twice the amount of excercise per day, than previously, and its easy to do. on same dose. its not the meds, its how anxious you are, that causes the issue.

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