Hi Everyone, My Psoitive Mirtazapine Withdrawal Experience

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Hi All,

I just hope this helps in some way. After consultation with my GP, 7 days ago, I decided to fast taper from Mirtazapine 30mg, After careful consideration, I had become convinced that the Mirt was having a major sedative effect.

Bear in mind I do take 60mg Cymbalta and over the last 2 years I've had 2 years CBT, turned my social well being around, achieved a tertiary qualification and changed my career to something I actually enjoy, eliminated bad relationships, I exercise and have built good structure into my life. In short, I've done a lot of hard work to ensure that there no reasons left (other than the possibility of a chemical imbalance)  to continue with AD's.

7 days ago I cut my Mirt down to 15mg, the physical withdrawals were challenging but nothing compared to the living death of previous depression. I had the sweats and quite severe shivers on the second day, I also felt extremely weak and had a mild headache. On the third day I had bounced back so I went to 7.5mg. I had the same withdrawal symptoms but much less severe, easily tolerated. From the 6th day I didn't take any Mirt at all. Had very, very mild withdrawals from there.

So, what were the positives? Well, I have to say I have more energy AND my state of mind has improved. I feel more positive and the fog has parted. I have had no negative impact on my mental health.

I now plan to monitor myself over the next two months, after which I will tackle the Cymbalta. I'm going to make a slow taper plan for this drug, expecting brain zaps (as I've had with SSRI's)  as an absolute minimum but hoping for a similar experience to Mirt as a maximum.

I just wanted to share what I think is a positive experience withdrawing from Mirt, of course in NO way would I encourage anyone to taper fast like I did. My GP and I made a thorough evaluation of all my individual circumstances and worked out a plan a and b before I started just in case something went horribly pear shaped.

Best of luck to everyone who tries to withdraw, I know some of you will have a much tougher time of it, I guess I'm lucky or just highly tolerant of physical withdrawals.

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20 Replies

  • Posted

    Wow Graham

    What an inspirational message to wake up to on this beautiful sunny Mothering Sunday.

    I am down to 15mg one day and then 7.5mg the next.

    I am doing ok feel some anxiety and at times a little nauseous but hey hoo I am an anxious person so I keep telling myself this will pass and eventually it does.

    Am excited that I have an end in sight 

    Having at one time been on 45mg of this drug which saved my life at the beginning as I just couldn’t eat after a nasty appendix operation which all went spectacularly wrong

    Good luck to everyone out there who are taking on the challenge of reducing or coming off this drug 

    Life is good look for the little things to make you smile

    Happy Mothering Sunday to those it applies to,

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  • Posted

    Hi Graham

    This is what we need to read; more positive posts.  And good of you to take the time to post it.  Bear in mind though that you have undoubtedly had positive support from your GP.  Sadly that is not the case in many situations when trying to taper, withdraw and stop ADs, as many refuse to acknowledge the withdrawal symptoms and simply don't understand that many of these ADs take an insidious hold.  Admittedly everyone is different and therefore will have vastly different experiences.  But there are far too many patients  battling extremely negative experiences whilst attempting to taper on this particular drug for the medical profession to adopt the attitude it does by denying the withdrawal process.

    Having said all this your post is still what people need to read.

     

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  • Posted

    I was on 45mg of mirtz, Ive managed to bring it down to 22.5mg without many withdrawal symptoms... I will speak to my doctor about bringing it down to 15mg. I am coming off these as other than the lovely sleep I get, Ive not gained much anti depressant relief from it. I am now on citalopram. 
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  • Posted

    Hi

    absolutely true - there are always going to be good experiences along with the bad, and as we know in all areas of life it is the bad experiences which tend to be reported. I’m sure there are many many people who have no trouble coming off Mirt. I really hope it stays this way for you :-)

    However - just a small word of caution - 7 days is a VERY short time. I can only speak from personal experience, but for me the worst withdrawals kick in after perhaps a few weeks, or even months. If that happens, then a fast taper can be regretted...

    All the best. It would be good if you could update with your experience over the next few weeks. Your positivity is a great encouragement to us :-)

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  • Posted

    Hi  Graham well done! I find that all very helpful as I am going to start tapering off Mirt next weekend. I am only on 15mg  for the past 16 weeks, and no other meds, I am also having therapy and depression has improved, but I have put on a stone in weight. Anyway thank you again for your post all the very best.
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  • Posted

    Hello again All,

    Thank you all for your thoughtful, encouraging and insightful replies.

    I should highlight that I would not have attempted a fast taper if this was the only AD I was taking, or I had not made so many positive lifestyle changes. I would have been much more cautious and elected for a massively slower taper. I should also say that if I found I was unable to tolerate this speed of taper I would have gone to plan b immediately (either staying on 15mg or indeed going back to 30mg). Also, I have a store of the medication so that if I feel anxiety or depressive symptoms recur I will reinstate the Mirt quick-smart. This is a safety measure, I don't want the crippling suicidal ideation back.

    Everyone is unique and should be acknowledged by clinicians as being the expert in their own illness. It saddens me to hear that many GP's do not appear to attribute much seriousness to the needs of their patients when considering withdrawals.

    Another major point I'd like to make here is that I have come to understand that (at least with mild to moderate depression/anxiety) two powerful anti depressants exist without negative side effects, these are social engagement and exercise and this is the deal I made with myself - I cease Mirtazapine and increase my social outlets and exercise. I like to think of it as substituting the drug with healthy activity. So, another way of describing this is to say I'm attempting to create a healthy brain by substituting the drug for a change in behaviour. Does that make sense? I hope it does.

    I forgot to mention in my first post that I have not over imbibed alcohol for many years now, (this also being a factor in my decision to quit Mirt) I used to miss-use alcohol to mask my symptoms of anxiety and a harmful marital relationship, if I feel that I ever need a drink, I'll know I have a problem again. I'm now one of those guys that can take it or leave it (alcohol), I usually leave it.

    My overall message is that if I can be in a total emotional mess and make a good recovery, then there is hope for us all.

    If there is anybody who wishes to PM me (is that an option on this site?) I am happy to be of support.

    I will update this thread from time to time with the aim of furnishing my experiences (positive AND negative) over time.

    Take care of yourselves, be kind to yourselves and always accept hugs. smile

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  • Posted

    Hello Graham

    Although I’m happy for your d/c experience from Mirtazapine, I think it important you know that the w/d symptoms do not really show until 2-4 weeks after your last dose.

    The majority of folks have a few symptoms but over all feel really GREAT in those 2-4 weeks before the egregious w/d effects take hold.

    I’m praying you are one of the lucky group that doesn’t experience w/d and you’ve successfully eliminated this unstable toxic drug from your body and life.

    #BanMirtazapine

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    • Posted

      Hi Jo.r

      I wholeheartedly agree with your post.  This drug is insidious and many do not experience full blown withdrawal for many weeks.  This same drug is renowned for its so called "windows and waves" where for some months you can see the light at the end of the tunnel and then the shutters come down and you are back to struggling through the bleakest of times.  I write this not to scaremonger.  This is indeed facts experienced by many desperate people that have battled with mirtazapine.  But despite the bad effects, all this sharing of information helps.

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    • Posted

      No Raj, mirtz never helped me. It was given me for sleep and worsened that as well as gave me anxiety & panic for the first time in my life. 

      The drug is very unstable. Trying to withdraw from it is a horror.

      Cant tell you how many hundreds, if not thousands, of stories I’ve  read where someone is told by their provider to taper off fast and high, only to experience the most acute and hospital-worthy effects a few weeks later.  They’re severe and long lasting.

      Everyone thinks they’re great cuz those weeks before the w/d hit you feel pretty awesome. Those weeks are the last of mirtz leaving your liver.

      This drug is a rogue drug and the majority of providers (docs & psychs alike) deny there is any w/d. The least they could do is concede there are a percentage of people who do indeed suffer greatly from withdrawal and proceed with caution when advising a patient how to taper. Because once your CNS is unstable it can be very unforgiving. 

      #BanMirtazapine

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  • Posted

    Hi feel pretty humble reading your latest musings what a great idea on the substituting will certainly be doing this 

    I wish you all the very best and will look forward to you posting again at some point.

    Next week I am going to do a month of 7.5 and see how it goes

    Anxious is anxious I will not die from this feeling , hateful as it is and it will pass if I keep busy and garden and embroider and be the best hospital guide ever

    Anghared x

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  • Posted

    Hi All,

    Thank you Jo and Christine, I embrace your insights. I will watch for the windows and waves and report back. I wonder if anyone who experienced the w/w's was taking another AD? (As I am).

    I understood that Mirt has a half life of 12 hours and that 99% of the drug is out of the system by 2.5 days? If it is hanging around in my liver wouldn't it be being metabolized and got rid of? I dunno but My GP is monitoring me (she has told me I have to see her every week while this is happening for at LEAST 6 weeks). I am going to ask my her about this, she'll set me straight. If I do get the w/w's thanks to you guys I'll be able to explain it as at least the Mirt messing with me or my brain saying WTF? Where's my Mirt? smile

    For Anghared - you have anxiety and your'e a hospital guide? Now that's an achievement! Keep up the good work, I know anxiety is tough, I had to do my whole graded exposure thing before I went off to college again, but I found that when I faced my fears this was the only way to beat anxiety. And you're right - anxiety doesn't kill you, but it does lie to you, once I understood that, it became easier to beat anxiety. Love to you.

     

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    • Posted

      Hi Graham

      Mirtz half life is 20-40 hrs x five half lives. 

      Upon discontinuance or after a large dose drop, that equates to 2-4 weeks on the outside.

      If one did a smaller reduction, say a 10% drop, you’d be looking at 4-7d before seeing the w/d effects.

      #BanMirtazapine

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    • Posted

      I’m encouraged to know your GP is monitoring you. But if you start to experience severe w/d, the horse is already out of the barn. I’m truly hoping you’re not in the unlucky group

      Don’t be surprised when your GP tells you there is no such thing as mirtz w/d and the symptoms you have are your anxiety or depression returning. 

      The medical community are clueless not only about how this drug works (or doesn’t in most cases) but also what to do when you experience withdrawal. 

      Best of luck.

      #BanMirtazapine

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    • Posted

      Hi Jo,

      Awesome information, I quoted the half life of Cymbalta and not Mirtazapine (my bad). Luckily, I have 3 months off work to manage w'd's as they arise. I certainly experienced some challenging physical w/d's within 48 hours of reducing the dose. Those challenging symptoms have passed it seams. I believe I can handle any physical w/d's but how I'll tolerate any emotional downturn is unknown at this point. The next 3 weeks will be interesting and I look forward to reporting on my experience.

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    • Posted

      Hi Graham

      May I ask how your sleep is going right now?  As I understand it, you are currently taking another AD?  And you are no longer taking Mirtazapine?

      If you are still getting to sleep at night that can go a considerable way towards cutting through the anxiety and panic.  Sleep improves your daily routine and enables positivity even when you may feel anxious or depressed.

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    • Posted

      Hi again Graham

      I’m sorry to sound like the grim reaper, but mirtz w/d after going cold turkey, because that’s pretty much what you’ve done with those large dose reductions, lasts many many months. Much more than 3 months, and it gets expedentially worse as time goes by.  

      Again, this is only if you’re in the unlucky group of people who experience mirtz w/d.  

      Providers are not doing their job by telling their patients to taper off any AD in such large doses and so fast, most especially Mirtazapine. They are playing Russian roulette with people’s lives.

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    • Posted

      Hi Jo.r

      As you can see by the time, I'm struggling with insomnia thanks to mirtazapine.  I stopped taking it at the end of May last year.  And to my horror I've battled crippling insomnia since.  I'm not on any other drug at all and I only took it for 5 months at 15mg but I'm really angry about the way this drug has been touted as one of best ADs for depression/anxiety by a medical profession who know very little about it and refuses to accept there are serious withdrawals from tapering/stopping.  It is an addictive drug simply because many find it impossible to taper and stop.  I've done everything I possibly can to help myself.  I'm a runner, I'm not on any other medication, I've seen a counsellor and fully participated in a 10 week mindfulness course, all to alleviate what this pernicious drug has done to my natural sleep rhythm.  I have absolutely no faith in the medical profession and was given no support.  Thanks for your message btw.  I will accept.

      cheers

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Christine,

      I'm sleeping well, I'm averaging 8 - 9 hours per day however, today I've been feeling weak physically but my mental health is still good if not a little better. I'm still going for a walk later on. I may seem to write at odd hours but I live in Australia. I have to admit that I do have training in mental health and agree totally that good sleep hygiene is one of the pillars essential to recovery.

      You are correct regarding me taking another AD, I have for two years taken Mirt AND Cymbalta. Now I just take Cymbalta. I do not wish to return to Mirt, the side effects are too debilitating (terrible weight gain and somnolence). 

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Jo,

      Please, there is no need to apologise, I appreciate your thoughts. I'm relying heavily on the new coping skills I have along with the positive life changes and continuation of Cymbalta to mitigate negative impacts of withdrawing from Mirt. I may well be in the lucky group (which we just can't quantify, i can't find major studies). Only time will tell for me. I will report the positive and negative w/d's as they occur.

      I always make a deal with my GP, she presents the information and I make the decision, we both were happy that because I take Cymbalta I could attempt fast taper but would vary the taper if needed. I also have the luxury of a free health care system here in Australia, I can present to my GP as often as I need/want  or even to the hospital and it costs me precisely nothing.

      I really don't know the future for me, I'm just reporting what's happened to me so far and adding to the knowledge of w/d from Mirt.

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