HELP-Pregabalin,fluoxetine withdrawal-Mirtazapine symptoms

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Hi I hope someone can help me!!

I have been taking fluoxetine on and off for roughly 3 years.  I was put on them following the death of my premature baby, I had turned to alcohol as a coping mechanism for 4 years wen I finally admitted defeat and tried antidepressants..

However, My doctor and I came to the conclusion about 4 months ago that the fluoxetine was not working, we noticed the pattern that a week before my period I was still becoming sucidal, anxious, withdrawn and emotionally unstable (longer periods without alcohol have enabled me recognise my symptoms better).

We decded I needed to be treated for the anxiety and I was prescibed 150mg of pregabalin at night and betablockers as and when needed for the anxiety..

A month ago my doc recomended that I reduce from 20mg of fluoxetine daily to one every other day, however, I stupidly just stopped them!

Since this I stopped sleeping, became severly anxious and withdrawn, began having panick attacks, been snappy, angry, had headaches, felt like ive had flu, extreme lows etc.

Bcus of this I stopped the pregabalin aswell as I thought these symptoms were bcus of them, as it was the only thing id been taking and it had been 4 weeks since stopping the fluoxetine so I thought that the fluoxetine couldnt be causing any problems, as it would be out of my system and the symtoms did not start immediatly after stopping the fluoxetine.

So, last Sunday I was extremely suicdal, depressed etc, a friend took me to the doc on Monday who prescibed me mirtazapine 15mg for the first 5 nights (to help me sleep) then 30mg a night thereafter.

last night after my second dose I slept for 16 hours!! I awoke today feeling shaky, tired, clumpsy, weak, blurred vision, spaced out etc so I called my doc who has advised me to stop the mirtazapine as I was having a bad reaction and restart the fluoxetine as I may be having withdrawals!!

I feel like im back to square one (back on the fluoxetine) which doesnt even work!! I dont know who I am anymore, whether im withdrawing, actually anxious or goodness knows what.  I dont want to be on any meds anymore bcus I dont like the side affects but I also cant continue like this....

Has anyone experienced these withdrawals or side affects to any of theses meds?? OR can anyone help at all???

I know I was stupid to stop the meds but I thought as they were not helping it was best, but now Im just confused and lost as to what to do next.. sorry for waffling im just trying to paint the whole picture 

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  • Posted

    Hi Tara

    Can only really comment on the mirtazapine. You have certainly been given odd advice. The withdrawal of Prozac would definitely be adding to your symptoms. Not sure why doc took you off mirtazapine so quickly. I changed from sertraline to mirtazapine and ad you say whacked me out sleeping but worked great for me once it was given a chance. It does make you gain weight though which is why I came off it recently. I was on 30 then 15. Maybe give it another try as its very good for depression with anxiety once the sleepiness settled down.

    Good luck. Don't suffer in silence go back to doc

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    • Posted

      Mirtazapine doesn't always make you gain weight. I have been on it for 4 months along with Venlafaxine and have only gained a pound or two if that. I really have lost my anxiety that I had, don't like being on meds particularly the bad taste but there is a price for most things and I consider it worth paying.. Suggest you go back to the GP and see if you can work a new regeme out. Maggie
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  • Posted

    Hi Tar4, 

    I am so sorry for all that you are experiencing as well as the loss of your baby.  Discontinuation syndrome definitely causes all that you are experiencing, so your doctor was correct in wanting to put you back on fluox because of withdrawal.  I think what happened is that the fluox "pooped out" on you, what is also known as tolerance withdrawal.  You begin to have withdrawal symptoms even though you didn't chage the med dose.  

    The best thing you can do is reinstate the fluox and then begin a very slow taper.  You might want to join a support forum called surviving antidepressants.  Do a search for that and it will turn up.  If I put it here, my post will get quaranteened.  

    I have read reports that reducing the dose will actually make you feel better.  The withdrawal site recommends a 10% per month taper schedule, only reducing if you feel stable at the current dose.  Some people are so sensitive that they have to hold at a dose longer than four weeks before the next cut.  Others can only make 5% reductions to avoid WD grief.  And then there are the lucky ones who can go off quickly without any troubles.  That seems to be a common story, that people can off the first time without trouble, but when they go back on and then try to come off again, they run into WD troubles.  I guess our systems get sensitized.

    Your doc probably should not have had you incease the mirt to 30 so quickly.  Mirt aids sleep at the lowest dose, 7.5 mg, and if that was what it was for, then you should have stayed there.  Given that, mirt is another horrid one to get off of, so it may be better that you never got going on it.  I went on it because, unknowingly, I was in WD from Effexor and couldn't sleep or eat, had horrible anxiety and insomnia.  The low dose helped with sleep, but quickly pooped out on the emotional symptoms and so up up and away I went.  I was at 37.5 mg and totally depressed, apathetic, no enjoyment in life, and so went back on Effexor and felt better instantly, a sure sign of dependency!  Like a junkie getting a hit!

    My humble opinion is that when you are in withdrawal from another drug, mirt isn't going to replace it very well other than for sleep, and yes, I gained weight and am not happy about it!  So, I am doing a slow taper off the mirt first.  Now that I know that my previous hell was due to Effexor withdrawal, I will be tapering that one once I get off the mirt.

    Check out the forum I mentioned.  You will get knowledgeable support there.  

    Furthermore, after 19 years of being on ADs and realizing that during all that time my life wasn't great in terms of depression, I finally have realized that ADs are not ultimately the answer and that we still ultimately need to deal with our issues that landed us on ADs to begin with.  ADs can be useful for acute situations to help us through, but IMHO were never meant to be THE long term answer and actual perform miserably in the long term.  We just get "spellbound," not realizing that the re-emergence of depression/anxiety, as well as other complaints such as insomnia and physical ills, are due to the meds and not "us."

    I'll give an example.  I developed a skin picking habit, and grind my teeth horribly at night, such that I have gum and bone loss.  I just thought that was "me," and part of aging, but now I have learned that these are side effects of the medication!  I also got clumsy, not able to grasp objects such that I was always dropping things.  I thought I was just clumsy, but it turns out that's also a side effect of long term AD use!

    So, I applaud you for recognizing that ADs are not the road you want to go down.  Mindfulness, meditation, cognitive behavior therapy and other self- help resources are a much more benign and constructive way of dealing with the emotional troubles that cause depression and anxiety, so you can start investigating those things so that you'll have tools once you are off meds.

    I hope this helps and that you get relief soon!

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    • Posted

      I agree that AD should not be offered so lightly. They only help 10 to 20% anyway according to a psychiatrist yesterday the rest is up to yourself to deal with the underlying issues.
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  • Posted

    Yes, shaking and blurred vision are textbook Mirtazapine symptoms for some people.
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    • Posted

      Yup, my vision has deteriorated, near and far, and again, didn't put 2 and 2 together!  Also thought it was just age, but boy am I constantly blinking and trying to focus!

       

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    • Posted

      Sorry to hear that. I had perfect vision before the Mirt, I'm only 35. Now it's just not quite right, it's like theres a layer of glue over my eyes and I cant look at the sky without squinting my eyes. Hopefuly my sight will reajust once I've fully withdrawn. My stomach concerns me to, I was diagnosed with a hiatus hernia a while back and I dont know if its that or the Mirt. While I was on the Mirt I had no problems with it and had no problems with it before the Mirt. Did you ever get nausea and bloating from the withdrawal ?
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    • Posted

      I've heard that vision problems can be a problem with this and other ADs, exactly as you described it, Ian!  I have not had bloating per se but do get diarrhea some days.  There are serotonin receptors in the gut so it stands to reason that there'd be internal distress.  Heck, there's receptors throughout the body - 80% are outside the brain!  So, lots of fun WD symptoms beyond anxiety and depression!
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    • Posted

      Definitely nausea big time. Wondering about my eyes now too. I am 53 and wear reading glasses so put it down to age. Interesting as they deteriorated a lot last year I was on mirtazapine.
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    • Posted

      Hi carolyn79.. the WD seem to be from me stopping fluoxetine (only 20mg), yet I was having 'side effects' off the mirtz. . (Symptoms from a combination of both)... my doc put me on mirtz when I explained that I was not sleeping, anxious, suicidal etc. However, when she realised that I was WD from fluoxe & having a bad reaction (her words) to the mirtz she advised me to stop it & go back on the fluoxe.
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    • Posted

      I started getting the shakes whilst on Mirt so it wasnt part of the withdrawal and I've read about people who got pretty bad side effects and withdrawals after just a couple of doses. Theres no doubt about it, it affects the eyes. On every medical journal I've read blurred vision is always one of the main symptoms. I see a halo around the TV , computer etc. My vision still seems sharp but blurred at the same time. Its hard to explain, everything just looks weird. My nausea is still pretty bad, cant eat much, burp a lot, regurgitate. I was only on them for 5-6 months at 15mg and the withdrawal has lasted 8 months so far but according to the doctor "it's anxiety" lol
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    • Posted

      I love how they will agree it's wd when the symptoms are within six weeks or so, but after that they call the same symptoms a relapse!  I think it should be reuquired of all docs who prescribe this crap to spend some time in the withdrawal forums such as surviving antidepressants which has been around for years.  The docs will add drugs to the unsuspecting patient's regimen when he/she has side affects of the drugs such as anxiety and insomnia, so that now the poor patient is on a cocktail of four, five, six drugs!  I've read of people developing mania as a side effect but the docs treat it as a new symptom so put them on anti-psychotics, and benzos for the anxiety...And heave forbid those poor patients try to go cold turkey off of any of it; I personally know people through the forums whose lives have been ruined in the aftermath of withdrawal trying to come off too fast or from trying to taper more than one drug at a time.  Grave harm has been done.   So when people say listen to your doctor, trust your doctor, holy wow, I don't think so!  We have to advocate for ourselves ultimately.  It's our bodies and we ultimately have the say so as to what goes into it.  Unfortunately, we have to do our own research when it comes to getting off because most doctors don't have a clue about this stuff and are in the dark about how to get people off these drugs safely!  And the low stats about people having withdrawal issues?  That's likely because they call the WD symptoms relapse rather than what they really are, WD!

      Ian, I know what you mean about the eyes, being sharp but blurred at the same time - same for me!

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    • Posted

      Exactly, during the early period of my withdrawal my head was a mess, I couldnt stop thinking about stuff 24/7 stuff that didnt even matter, I couldnt even leave my house or talk to my own family. When I forced myelf to go to the Dr he looked at me as if I was insane, I knew fine well I didnt have any psychiatric disorder I knew it was the withdrawal. Then guess what he said, he said he wanted to start me on SSRI's which are even stronger than Mirt. He gave me the Mirt in the first place only for insomnia. I wasnt even told what it was or that there would be side effects. I trusted him so I just took them. Not only did he mess me up with the Mirt, he wanted to start me on SSRI's. I would have better off not seeing the Dr in the first place.
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    • Posted

      So glad you became aware, Ian!  Many who aren't would go ahead and do what that doc wanted, thinking he knows best!

      Before I realized all my nightmare was due to Effexor WD, I got in with the doc who prescribed me mirt, but meanwhile my therapist, thinking I was in a REALLY BAD WAY, wanted me to see the p-doc in their office.  Well, it took time to get in with him, and in the  meantime, the first one reinstated the lowest dose of Effexor because the mirt wasn't working.  I started having a numb/tingling sensation of the lips and tonque.  I got in with the new doc and he said to go to my GP to have bloodwork done.  He said raise the Effexor to 75 mg and we'd see how that works but that there may be changes to my meds in the future....Then I learned about withdrawal and that I had been in protracted WD from Effexor.  I saw the first p-doc once more and told him about the numb/tingling thing wondering if it was a side affect of mirt plus Effexor, but he had no answer.  Well, later, I come to realize that numbness/tingling/burning sensations are a withdrawal symptom!  When he reinstated the Effexor, he dropped my mirt by 20%!  Neither p-doc put two and two together, yet I have read online that this is a comon WD symptom! Well, that's when I became certain that I wanted off all psych drugs!

      Many people are put on these drugs for non-psych reasons such as pain and insomnia (well, the latter may be a symptom of anxiety, but still...).  This stuff is way too powerful and dangerous to be handed out like candy.

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