Hi guys. I've just been prescribed mirtazapine 30mg.

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Two years ago I lost my son tragically, my father, my former partner (father of my younger son) and other-extreme  tragic events. Since then I have suffered severe insomnia. I was only finally diagnosed yesterday with post traumatic aniexty and depression. My country of residence is not happy to dish out pills and so I have not had any help since these debilitating life incidents. But my new doctor blieves I need these without doubt. Can anyone tell me the true side effects? Are there any skin problems? And how hungry do they make you? I would love just to feel even half a functioning human again. I don't drink or have any other follies, I've tried to keep as strong as I can but these tablets I am told I need and should of had years ago to help me through Some nightmare years. Would love to know others e periences. Thankyou, hug to you all xx

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  • Posted

    I am terribly sorry to hear what had happened to you. I'm not a medic and can only speak from my experience. I am firmly of the belief that you cannot medicate grief effectively. And the risks of taking this drug are high. There are potentially serious side effects and as I have only discovered after a year of taking it, coming off this drug can bring truly horrible withdrawal symptoms. I wish I had never touched it.

    Appetite enhancement is virtually certain and it will almost certainly help you sleep, for a while at least. But in my personal opinion, the risks are too high. I was already a very traumatised person when i was put in this drug. It has only made that trauma much worse.

    I don't want to scare you but I feel I must be candid about my experience. Taking psychiatric medicine to deal with grief was far and away the biggest mistake of my life, and the consequences have been worse even than the bereavements themselves. Much worse. It's a huge risk. You might be fine, but if you're not, it will make your situation 100 times more painful.

    If I could do it again I would refuse all medication and get good counselling / CBT.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do. smile

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    • Posted

      hi Chris. Thankyou for sharing your experiences, I appreachiate to hear everyone's opinions, good and bad. I've never had medications before and such a varied response. I hope you find some peace and wellbeing again, and thankyou for the food for thought.x

      kind regards

      wendy xx

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  • Posted

    PS I *wish* more than anything that someone had told me what I just told you. These drugs have destroyed my life. It is unrecognisable from when I started taking them. That's all I will say. I hope you're ok

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    • Posted

      Chris, I hope you will find some peace and happiness again too. I went on the meds after being diagnosed with major depressive disorder with psychosis, not because I was dealing with grief. Grief, as crippling as it can be, is a natural response to tragedy. My illness was the result of my brain not functioning properly. Medication may not be the answer to deal with depression caused by tragic circumstances.

      I wish you all the best and would like to hear how you are doing. I hope you will get the counselling and/or CBT that you need to help you get your life back and be happy again. Good luck.

      Take care,

      Phyllis

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  • Posted

    Hi Wendy,

    I'm so sorry for all the tragedies you've suffered. I read Chris's reply to your post, and have read about other people's problems with withdrawal from mirtazapine. I have taken 15 mg mirtazapine and 300 mg  venlafaxine since July 2015. I do have a bigger appetite than I used to have, but only gained an extra 15 pounds and have managed to lose a few now. They definitely help me sleep better. I'm happier now than I'veeven in years with this combination of meds. They have given me my life back. I know meds can affect different people in different ways, and I have never tapered or had to go through withdrawal from either medication. I sincerely hope you will find meds that work for you and allow you to enjoy life again. 

    Chris, I hope you will find

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    • Posted

      Thankyou for taking the time to reply Phyllis. I don't know much about medications as I have never been on any before, despite probably needing anti depressants in the past. Before I lived in Sweden ( where they are very reluctant to prescribe anything) I lived in a country where I did not have access to free or cheap medical care for 10 years. The private option was not affordable. So here am I in my 40's with no Medical medically prescribed history. I even self administered my own stitches to a head wound I suffered from an accident. Story for another day. wink

      thankyou for your positive response, and I'm happy you are finding the medication helps you. So far I'm fine, although ravenous in the evenings and it's only the 4th day. The possible weight gain does bother me as I am 17kg up already the last 2 years from comfort eating. My drug of choice it seems sad . The help with sleeping would be a godsend, not experiencing that yet, I am also on sleeping tablets however I'm still not sleeping. 

      Thanks again, and I hope you continue to enjoy life . smile xx

      kind regards

      Wendy x

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  • Posted

    Hi Wendy ... my heart goes out to you, and wish I could take some of the pain the pain away for you.. iv read what Chris had put and WOW that's enough to scare the best of us and put u off taking mirt .... like I think we all have said each person reacts to these tablets very differently and I also think maybe it's all trail and error to which will work for you, I was put on to a drug called trazadone 15yrs ago and it seem to work for me and had good sleep, but last year for no reason at all I started to not be able to sleep more then 1 hour a nite, and became depressed again, so in a flood of tears was back at my docs, and last October was put on mirtazapine 15mg to start with then up to 30mg, I seem fine on 15mg, but 30 mg seem to not help me sleep again, so with the help of some one on this forum I just stuck at 15mg my sleep is great again, (yeah) but still have days of feeling low on just 15mg, but I'm trying to cope with this, as a good nite sleep helps every one, maybe if I'd stuck at the 30mg I might of got through the bad sleep, but I needed my sleep, I may go bk to doc to see if I can stop on mirt for sleep and try some thing eles for depression.... uv had a terrible time and maybe no amout of tablets will help u over come this, except time to heal, and not forget, but to cope with what as happend to you... as for the weight gain I MYSELF have lost 5kg so again what's happens to one person, may not be the same for the next person.... I would never tell any one don't take this or any meds at all, as we are not all the same, and iv heard people being on mirt for years and swear by it, where others don't like it, I'm sticking by mirt for now while I'm getting a good nite sleep, if that stops then I will just go bk to the docs for the help... my heart and love goes out to you, I hope u do find some peace in your life, which ever way you take and look at other forums to and see some positive about mirt, also the bad and I hope it gives you a small insite in to these tablets... good look x

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  • Posted

    Wendy, I can't begin to imagine how it must be to go through so much grief. My heart really does go out to you. As for mirtazapine, I was on it for four years and have been off it for a year. I have good and bad to say about it. The good:

    ?It works extremely quickly, much quicker than all the other ADs I have tried such as lofepramine, citalopram, amitryptiline (can never spell that one), trazadone, and prozac. If it's going to work for you, you should feel a lessening of your depression within a week. I started feeling better after 3 days. If you don't feel better within ten days then I would get off it. It's probably not going to work for you and it's a powerful drug.

    It gave me the best years sleep of my entire life. I am permanently on temazepam without it.

    It stopped my migraines and itching.

    It gave me more energy.

    It worked for my depression. Really, really well.

    So to the bad points:

    ?It causes most (not all) people to put on weight. A significant amount of weight in some cases. This is not just due to the ravenous appetite it gives you, but also you need fewer calories to maintain weight whilst on this drug if you are one of the majority that it has a weight gaining effect on. I'm a naturally skinny person but I gained 20lbs. You can diet whilst on it and I did lose 14lbs of what I gained, but it is much harder than for a person who is not on mirtazapine.

    ?It gave me kidney disease (this has improved since I have been off it).

    It MAY have left me with hyperthyroidism as I was diagnosed with that shortly after coming off it.

    It is REALLY hard to come off it unless you taper VERY slowly, in which case it is not bad at all. But by slowly, I mean cutting just 10 - 20% of your dose every 2 - 4 weeks. It takes a long time.

    ?It has a habit of 'pooping out', like it did for me after 3 years. Sometimes it is a shorter time, sometimes longer, but sooner or later, it poops out.

    Good luck. I really hope that it helps you.

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  • Posted

    Hello Wendy,

    My experience of Mirtazapine goes back 13 years. Not on high dose all that time, but over time increased to full dose, I am also on Venlafaxine. I was put on this combination for severe depression. No real causes just one of those with a chemical imbalance, life's ups and downs got to me. I'm in the process of withdrawal from both.

    My experience is that low doses of Mirtazapine are just as effective for sleep as high. High doses created extreme anxiety symptoms which I didn't find out until being on 45mg for 4 years, as soon as I became reducing the anxiety started to ease off.

    I've put on 5 stone in weight. The food cravings are extreme. I can eat a full meal including desert, feel full, but still crave more.

    I tend to agree with Chris that bereavement is better treated with CBT. Grieving is a process that can't be cushioned by meds. Once you are at a point where you feel you are ready to come off the meds, you will still have the issues of withdrawal. See if you can get counselling first. I have had CBT and it's helped me a lot. (CBT- cognitive behavioural therapy)

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  • Posted

    I really thought long and hard about my posts, I know these drugs can work well for some people. I just felt I had to be totally honest because the OP was being given them for grief. Grief is an awful but. Natural reaction to awful loss. In my case, being given highly addictive pills (benzos and mirt) compounded my situation enormously.

    The whole thing is a crap shoot: some people can stop taking this stuff with virtually no side effects. For some, even the slowest withdrawal is agonising. And there are people right across that spectrum. I honestly didn't mean to scare anyone, I'm not a medic but I am someone with a huge amount of experience in iatrogenic psychiatric drug dependency. I have been a journalist for 22 years and have applied my skills from that career to studying this issue. I think the important thing is that people are made aware of the risks. We really don't know what % of people will have a hard time coming off psychiatric drugs. But we do know that if you're in the unlucky group, physiologically, it can and often is an utterly devastating experience. People need to make choices with informed consent, and not bring told about the risks and potential scale of side effects means they just can't...i posted with the best of intentions, I promise you, and I hope you will be well again, I am sure you can be. Take care.

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    • Posted

      Hi Chris, 

      When I was started on Mirtazipine, by a psychiatrist, I was told it was the wonderful new drug and worked even better with Venlafaxine. I wasn't warned of the issues of excessive appetite and extreme weight gain. I wasn't told that higher doses, rather than helping depressive symptoms, can actually make them worse. But Mirtazipine was a new drug and seemed to work well with the Venlafaxine. So I went on it. For about 5 years things seemed ok. Then the depression started dipping in and out. I was told by a psychiatrist that even with anti-depressants we get peaks and troughs in mood, just not to such extremes. So I persevered. When I suffered an emotional breakdown due to burnout from work my Venlafaxine was increased to 225mg, when this reoccured a year later my Mirtazipine was increased to 45mg. The changes were made by my GPs as I'd been discharged from Psychiatry. This time last year I became ill again, my GP didn't know what to do so suggested a psych referral or CBT. Thank goodness I opted for the CBT! Its helped me no end and I'm now down to 7.5mg of Mirtaipine and 150mg of Venlafaxine. 

      I too looked into the effects of Mirtazipine. I learned that it not only makes you want to eat, (they give it to old people who are reluctant with food), it changes the way your body deals with it, and it prevents the convertion of fat stores into glucose, your blood sugar drops so you feel like you're going to pass out, so you eat more frequently to prevent this happening. Your fat stores are already overloaded and not being used so you put on excessive weight. With me it took several years. But even when I was doing 12 hour hospital shifts, then went to the gym 3 times a week I still gained weight.

      I can forgive my doctors prescribing it all those years ago when little was known about it but now I think its scandalous.  GPs haven't a clue about withdrawal. Although I notified them I was stoppping they had little advice on how I should go about it. It was the usual take the 30mg for a while then down to 15 then stop. Even my pharmacy said the same. He said that people don't need to reduce by small amounts. When I told my GP I was on 7.5mg she actually sniggered, and stupid me I said I Know the advice says I shouldn't need to cut by small amounts, but I've been on a forum that advises small reductions. I wish I'd criticised her snigger. 

      I tried going without the Mirtazipine after going down to 3.75mg for a week, I couldn't sleep so I'm stuck on 7.5mg for now at least. 

      I would love to go and talk to GPs about life on Mirtazipine and withdrawal but if they are just going to snigger what's the point. 

      People do need all the information but when you're depressed you don't know what questions to ask. 

       

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    • Posted

      Hi , Catherine , I have just read your post and found it very interesting, I'm on a lot of medication and over the years , I have doubled in size but I take a lot of steroids medication and have done for years ,I always blame them for a lot of my weight gain as they really increase my appetite and on occasions the are increased if I get a chest infection, but also take a lot of pain relief meds , I recently read about one of them causing weight gain as well . At the moment I have just started taking orlistat to try and help me to loss some weight as over the years I have doubled in size , it not all the medications s im not mobile and do comfort eat as well, but it interesting what you have posted , my gp just said that I have to weight up the benefits of the medication that i need to breath and for pain , but was happy for me to try orlistat with healthy eating to see if it helps , he isn't concerned about my weight although I can only see that I might help me even feel better about myself, 

      well done for reducing the medication,

      loraine 

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    • Posted

      It's true that steroids cause weight gain through fluid retention and by increasing your appetite, but I believe that is on the higher doses you may be put on if you have an exacerbation of a chest condition. I'm not sure if a maintainence dose of maybe 5mg of prednisolone (if you are in the UK) would cause the same bloating. It may be worth asking on a steroid forum. As for Mirtazipine, it definitly causes weight gain and extreme cravings, but I wasn't told about the cravings. I thought my symptoms of hypoglycaemia were hormonal, I am of the age for the menopause, and also it was worse at certain times of the month. I thought I was just greedy. I used to go to Slimming World and before I started Mirtazipine I did well at sticking to the diet. When I realised the weight was creeping up I went back to SW but my will-power was zilch, I craved food all the time, again I called myself greedy and gave up. Now I know why I couldn't get food off my mind. GPs like to preach weight management but they aren't the one's having to do it. They say my back hurts because I'm over-weight, that I'm late going through the menopause because I'm over-weight, that my mood would improve if I did more exercise, if I would only try harder everything would be better! They skirt the issue of what caused the weight gain because that would put the responsibility on them. I used to be a size 14 until I started Mirtazipine, then despite working on a busy ward I started to gain weight, no matter how much I was run off my feet, and I was obsessed with having my breaks by a certain time or I'd go hypo. I changed my job 4 years ago to a more sedentry life style in the community, so I joined the gym to counteract the lack of activity, I went 3 times a week, exercised for 40 minutes getting my heart rate well up and in the 18months I was going I put on 1/2 stone! It was only when I noticed a doctor on my team often prescribed Mirtazipine for elderly patients who were not eating that I looked it up and found this forum. It was a real light-bulb moment. I was also experiencing severe anxiety and was seeing a counsellor for CBT. She told me that some people find Mirtazipine can suddenly stop working, and that it can also heighten anxiety. Bingo! It all made sense. The symptoms got worse when it had been increased but at that same time I had been told by a GP that depression can get worse as people age and that some people are very hard to treat, so I gave myself this label and thought this was my lot. If the CBT counsellor hadn't told me different who knows where I'd be. Probably dosed up with unneccesary meds. As soon as I reduced the Mirtazipine I started to feel less on edge, less paranoid and less angry with the world. I can honestly say that things have been said to me recently that if said nine months ago I would have taken as deeply hurtful, now I see things in the spirit they are intended. My mood has changed and so has colleagues' attitude to me. 

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    • Posted

      Hi I agree that a lower dose of mirt seems better then the high dose, for me that is cant answer for any one eles, as we are all different, but as for the weight gain, once again it depends on the person, I'm on 15mg of mirt, and also loads of other tablets due to ill Heath, yet iv never put a ounce of weight on since taking these tablets, or have food cravings, iv lost 5kg of weight, I don't do a great deal of excercise either as health not the best, and I don't beleave in diets, as been there done that, so once again what's ok for one person, is different for another one, so not all have side effects from mirt, if we did then mirt would be taken of the market or docs would not give out any more, my doc did tell me I may put weight on with mirt, but I had to out way what was best, havin a good nite sleep or a few pounds put on, I needed the sleep as it was destroying me and making me more depressed , so now I sleep well, but just coping with feeling low on and off ....

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    • Posted

      I Catherine , my maintenance is15mg prednisolone, up to 40mg when I have a infection but as dawn said I have to way up the benefits of the medication as I take mycrophenolate which is a chortisoidsteriod as well and gabapentin is apparently another one that puts weight intact it was due to a post about that which made me seem my gp about trying orlistat to see if it would help me lose some weight but he isn't worried about my weight but while I was in hospital a junior doctor did mention my weight and it's stuck in my head , as you say if you smoke thats why you are ill or if you are overweight they blame that anything but find out the real cause of the problem, insmoked years ago so of course that was always the reason that I was ill but when I stopped they had to look for something else , it laughable, 

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    • Posted

      hi dawn , what you say is so true and we are all different , as I have basically been on the same medication for years but only really blowned in the last 2-3  years and my medication has not had any real changes although the streriods are constant whether in high or small doses but i need to breath lol,
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