Going Cold turkey off mirtazapine by bridging to fluoxetine?

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Hi all, hope you are doing well. Im writing today because i am scared whats going on inside my head. I went from 30mg mirtazapine to 15mg for a week and switched straight to fluoxetine. I don't know if im getting withdrawal or weird side effects from the new meds. I wake up every morning shaking, I'm worrying a lot, I've stopped eating, been getting headaches, nausea, horrible digestion problems and the worst of them all I got some homicidal thoughts about a family member i love very much. I had a panic attack last night wondering why i would think up something like that. Then it was near enough impossible to get my mind off it because it deeply disturbed and worried me. I know im not crazy and would NEVER do anything like that because i have nothing but love towards my family, but it just really scared me. Is this a withdrawal effect? It seems crazy to me how it can make thoughts like that if so.

I'm a very sensitive person with multiple anxiety disorders so i have put it down to anxiety to try and rationalise it. Can anyone offer some advise and inform me how long this withdrawal will last? Thank you for reading.

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18 Replies

  • Posted

    I had been on mirtazapine for over 2 years by the way.
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  • Posted

    Hi beezwax

    sorry to hear your not feeling great , I was on 30mg mirt and dropped to 15mg overnight by my gp and had all the same withdrawals but not the thoughts... I was then taking of 15mg mirtazapine and switched to a different anti depressant the next day so withdrawals were horrible...anixty was major one for me ,I'm now of mirtazapine almost 6wks... I also use propanalol (beta blockers) which do help a little with the anixety...maybe once the new tablet gets working fully in your system you will feel a little bit better..... the withdrawals of mirt are absolutely horrible....

    hopefully it's not too long until you start feeling some what better but going by what people sy it takes a while for them to get out of your system,maybe your doc would give you a beta blocker if you told him how your feeling ? 

    Kaz

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    • Posted

      Hi Kaz, thanks for your reply. I feel like I am going crazy and breaking down into tears about these thoughts I'm having. I have a constant dread feeling, I'm shaking and worrying about everything. I really don't feel like myself. I don't want these thoughts I'm having to become a reality or alter my mind. I'm scared to death about that. I keep obsessively telling myself that I love my Family because of these horrible thoughts and I just don't know who to talk to or how to get any help for this. The doctor can't see my till next Tuesday so I am currently wondering how I will last. 

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  • Posted

    You need to get in touch with your gp and ask for a call back if they can't see you to next wk, tell them how your feeling and you need to speak to a doc asap... did you get the message I sent you ? 

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  • Posted

    Hi beeswax my story is a bit different to yours. I was on amitryptyline for 20 years it stopped working. My doctor decided to do a straight swap on to mirtazapine. She told me to stop in the space of 5 days something I had took for 20 years. Big mistake. Now I'm suffering horrible side affects and withdrawal from these pills. I've had shaking like a leaf heart racing bad stomach and all sorts. I don't know exactly which is causing me all the problems I got a feeling it could be the both of them. Just thought I would write and say I know what your going through.

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    • Posted

      Yeah I think its wrong to just stop you like that even if it is being bridged by another medication. I don't think the doctors really know what they put you through when they make a decision like that. Hope you feel better as soon as possible smile

       

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    • Posted

      They don't beeswax. I withdrew like she told me and had 4 days of hell.i had to reinstate to 15 mg. They don't know how these pills work when taking or coming off them.my faith in doctors is at a all time low. Luckily I found a great group. On Facebook that tells me all I need to know and I won't be visiting the doctors anytime soon either.

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  • Posted

    Hey Beezwax,

    I am sure that it is nothing to worry about. But, I would make a phonecall to your Dr. and let them know what is going on. I have had alot of the same symptoms, GI,anxiety, etc. And I am just withdrawling from mirtz. Try not to worry, that will accomplish nothing, but I would ring the office. You are not alone. I have my phone with me all day and checkk messages sporadically. Im here for you. Stay strong.

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much, just gotta remember it will pass. smile For me its really hard for me not to worry, its always at the back of my head. I've been doing some gaming today with a friend and that's honestly helped. I just have to remember this is anxiety and try to stay calm and when the fluoxetine kicks in it should help.

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  • Posted

    Hi Beezwax, 

    I'm sorry you are going through this hell.  This "bridge" was done incorrectly, first of all!  You don't abruptly stop one and start another.  All the digestive/headache side effects are likely mirt withdrawal, but the horrible thoughts could be the Prozac.  These drugs have a blackbox warning on them for suicidality and harm towards others.  This is not something to just ride out.  

    It's not a matter of getting the drugs out of the system when coming off.  These drugs modify neurons, so even when the drug is totally gone the modifications remain, unopposed by the drug - this causes the withdrawal, and it isn't just a matter of days or weeks for them to modify back.  Also, Prozac and Mirt work on different receptors, so it isn't a simple ;swap of one for the other.

    I would definitely insist on seeing your doctor right away.  People potentially harm themselves or others when in this state.  

    I lost track of how long you've been off mirt and on Prozac.  If less than a couple of weeks, I'd stop the Prozac and go back on the full Mirt, stay there for maybe even a month before trying anything else, and then do a 10% taper off mirt.  Certainly drops of 50% are too much (ie. going from 30 to 15).  Smaller cuts allow the nervous system to heal without causing undo suffering from withdrawal.  It's a pain, but that is the bind we are put in when put on these drugs.  I know, having been on ADs for 20 years before suffering horrid withdrawal from coming off too fast, and then reinstating and doing the slow taper over the last two years. It's hasn't always been easy but at least the wheels haven't come off the bus, so to speak!

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    • Posted

      Hi Betsy, thanks for your reply. You said the drugs modify neurons and its not a case of weeks for them to go back to normal. So is it a case of never returning to normal or a longer time?

      I have been off mirtazapine now for about 9 days since my last tablet. I was coping before hand, but the anxiety the past couple of days has gotten ridiculous. These thoughts I've been having have definitely been down to anxiety now that i look back.

      So would you say to start mirt again? I've just been striving to get off that drug and the doctor made it sound like it was more of a transition onto a similar drug, rather than something that works differently in the brain. I don't think doctors think what they put you through when they put you on these meds. I also don't think they know any of the science behind the pill seeing as from what you've said, he's done the process completely wrong.

      Can i just ask if i was to not take a mirtazapine again, would it affect me long term or will it just make the withdrawal a harder process? I really wish i never got onto these meds now because i genuinely feel worse than ever.

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  • Posted

    Hi - I have been posting on this web site as I too am struggling with mirt withdrawal. Anxiety, weight loss and total insomnia. I am about 10 weeks into this and feeling worse rather than better. Monday doc prescribed beta blocker 10mg x 3 per day for 2 weeks to calm anxiety but so far it doesn't seem to have much effect. Taking zoplicone at night but know that I cant do that forever as it is addictive. Have got some 5HTP night from healthspan and am wondering if it is safe to take with the zop.  Its like being in a merry go round - cant sleep - worry about not sleeping.  I also am struggling to eat - don't fancy food although know I must to counter my weight loss.

    ?Doc really thinks I should go back on mirt or Sertraline but on looking at side effects of Sert. I really don't fancy it and it wont have any effect on sleep.  If I go back on mirt then I will have to endure the side effects of that - which is why I decided to come off it.  Nightmares, broken sleep.  Like everyone else on this forum I wish I had never taken mirt in the first place although it did initially help with sleep and weight gain which I needed.

    I realise this post is not at all helpful - just needed to put my thoughts down..........

    ?I too am looking for a magic cure -

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    • Posted

      Hi Linda

      Sorry to hear you not feeling good..i am also going through withdrawals 6wks today from my last mirtazapine. Are you not feeling any better at all ? Some people do end up back on mirtazapine because of such horrid withdrawals. If you could ride it out with the beta blockers? You have came so far 10 wks.. I really don't know why these tabs are still being handed out as doc must have so many people going back to them complaining of withdrawals, guess they work for some people (I wasn't one of them ) and guess theyr some people who get away with no withdrawals (wasn't one of them either) what does were you taking ? Did you taper of them ? I was took of 15mg over night and put on a new anti depressant.

      Kaz

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    • Posted

      About 4 years I think. taking 30mg.  I reduced over 5 months to 3.75 and stopped in September.  Slept ok last night on 7.5 zoplicone and with a clear head this morning seriously considering going back on15mg mert as there is nothing else out there to cure my insomnia which is my biggest problem.  I long to sleep naturally, fancy food and put some weight back on.
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    • Posted

      see my reply to ninjawarrior.  The sleep issue is my greatest problem.  Reduced mirt from 30 to 3.75 over 5 months. Last dose September.  As far as I can see there is nothing out there that will cure the insomnia apart from going back on mirt.  I came off because I was feeling well but didn't like the nightmares, weight gain and actually sleep was deteriorating.  Having said that - I was managing to sleep on a very tiny dose of zoplicone - now I take 6 or  7.5 which is top whack.

      I was hoping that maybe if I go back on it, stabilise, and review it in 6 months - maybe doing what others have suggested and do a really tiny gradual taper over a longer period.

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    • Posted

      Hi Linda, sorry you are going through withdrawal like this after so long without the tablet. It seems you tapered off it correctly too, so I'm really surprised its giving you so much hassle. I hate this damn drug... I have constant anxiety atm, stomach issues, headaches and the sorts but the thing i thought I'd 100% get, i didn't. And that's insomnia. I used go be able to manage 3-4 hours usually before waking up and now I'm managing 6? Its really took me by surprise because i was told for so many years mirt was the reason i was sleeping at all. So i believed i needed the pill to sleep, yet i seem to be fine in that regard at the minute (touch wood). I have been on zopiclone in the past and feel the quality of sleep sucks when you do get it. When i was on mirt i had very vivid horrible nightmares and dreams all night, and itd be the kind of dreams i would always remember upon waking. Hope you get some relief soon.

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