How long will it take to withdraw from Mirtazapine?

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Hi there.

I was taking mirtazapine for a couple of months, last December and January. I decided to go off it -- I was down to 1/2 of a 30 mg tab and just stopped taking it around the end of January. Big mistake, I guess.

For the past six weeks or so, I have been having extreme anxiety and panic attacks, cold sweats, shaky hands and nausea, mild paranoia and mild agoraphobia.

I didn't put two and two together until today -- must be mirt withdrawal.

I am wondering how much longer this might last?

Every day is a huge challenge.

Fortunately (or not) I am retired, so not busy during the daytime, although it helps if there are people around.

Any advice/support/sympathy will be most welcome.

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello V,

    I am sorry to hear of your troubles, I hope they pass soon.

    On reading your note two things occur ... Firstly, assuming 30mg for 8 weeks, then reduced to 15 mg for 2 weeks and now zero for the last 8 weeks, then I think there is no Mirt in your system today. It's my experience the therapeutic effect of Mirt 30mg comes in fairly quickly, over a few days to a few weeks and the reverse timing is also likely. So you will likely be experiencing life without Mirt primary effects or side effects by now ... The second thing is what has caused you to start Mirt based treatment and why did you stop? Sorry to say most of us with anxiety and depression are only just stabilised after 2 months of treatment.

    Your symptoms suggest that you are suffering from anxiety and depression. Mirtazapine helps many people with anxiety, I take it and Venlafaxine ea day and I am a better person for it. If there is no reason not to, then I would restart Mirt at 15mg and anyway discuss this with your GP.

    All the best, David.

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  • Posted

    Hi David.

    I hated the weight gain associated with mirtazapine and really wanted to get off the stuff.

    I do not want to start taking it again.

    I am hoping the effects of withdrawal will end soon -- unfortunately, they have not ended yet.

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  • Posted

    Hi Vancouver, I'm on 15mg since December. And yes I too find that I can't stop eating. I am looking to come off them very soon. But with the guidance of my psychiatrist.. Go back to your GP asap. There may be an alternative one that doesn't cause weight gain but helps with anxiety. I know how exhausting anxiety can be. :-)
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    • Posted

      I have been told that the worst thing to do is to stop your medication cold turkey.  If you feel you must stop it, do it very gradually over a few weeks time.  Mirtazapine is considered one of the better anti-depressants.  I have a dear friend who suffered deep depression. She is now on mirtazapine for many years - 30 mg. per day - and said it has saved her life. I've been taking 15 mg. for a few months.  It has        somewhat alleviated the depression but I get sleepy in the afternoon which is my main objection to it.  I have never felt the desire to eat much more and have only gained about 3 poungs..  As with all drugs each person's reaction is different.  I wish you better  feelings of wellbeing - with or without medication. 

       

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    • Posted

      Thanks so much! I odn't know if I am suffering from withdrawal from Mt or not -- there are several other factors that could be causing all my anxiety. I am really trying to stay active and get out of the house to see friends and go to the gym, and that helps somewhat.

      Thanks for your good wishes.

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    • Posted

      Hi Vancouver,  any updates on how your doing now? Would be interesting to hear!

      Hope all went well.

      Warmest regards

      Norman (UK ex pat in Malaysia)

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    • Posted

      Hi Norman. How thoughtful of you to ask after my well-being! Thank you.

      I have to say that I am not doing well, but I don't think it has anything to do with Mirtazapine. I have been taking escitalopram (Ciprolex) for about a year (I took it with the mirt), and my doctor is now augmenting it -- first with Dexedrine, which did not seem to help, and now we are trying a thyroid medication. I have to say I can't take much more of this -- it's been going on for a cuple of years and every day is a challenge.

      Hope you are doing well.

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    • Posted

      Hi Vancouver,

      Its a long twisting road we all travel and I truly believe that our jouneys success depends upon a combination of things, such as accurate medical diagnoses, medical support/advice and meds, knowledge of our problem area such as depresseion, family and friends understanding and support, also our determination to get better, supported by as much knowledge as we can take in, including CBT (self or other), and also a prayer or two wouldnt hurt!  Its a real battle Vancouver! 

      I don't have the understanding of your problem but it looks like meds arent doing the job for you? Have you thought about trying a different approach? I was med's resisstant, only Mirtz helped some which made me into a shaking zombie!!! (without the flesh eating), but I think helped some. I'm almost tappered off it now, but even coming off it has been a strugle, and I'm waiting to see what lays beneath!!!I'm hoping after 6 months of depression and 5 months of med's I can use my CBT to recover and regain my former self, and also get back to work.  I actualy woke from a serious operation last December to clinical depression, I didnt know what the hell hit me, I was shaking and scared, and also in recovery from my op.  I have searched for links for this with depression and found some interesting facts, but too long to go into here.

      Perhaps you need to re-thing your strategy for getting better, I'm sure you have done a lot of research over the last couple of years, did you come accross a website by Douglas Bloch? I found it very useful.

      Take care and warmest regards

      Norman

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    • Posted

      Hi Norman. I am 69 and have had bouts of depression all my life, starting at 19 after a distastrous love affair. My depression/anxiety have been particularly bad since I retired -- I have no family and apparently, very few friends! Everyone is so busy with their own families. I am struggling but will keep on trying the drug path. I have done CBT, and try to keep very active -- I cycle and take classes in literature + philosophy, so I am not sitting at home feeling sorry for myself. But nothing seems to make me feel better for very long.

      I don't know about Douglas Bloch and will look him up.

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  • Posted

    hi i am on 30mg and had enought of the side effects..i have headaches ,,blurred vision ! feel tired all the time and it asnt helped with the anxiety..time to come off had enuff been hoping for 18months that these feelings will go and havent...last few weeks ive had thoughts of sucide ! how can i get off these with out terrible side effects..please help! thank you in advantage    julie
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    • Posted

      Hi Julie,

      When I was on 30mg suicide also kept creaping into my mind, but since almost tapering off Mirtz these thoughts have stopped! Hmmm, I guess thats why in nthe states Mirtz comes with a black box suicide warning!  If you think this is also whats causing your thoughts then I think you need to quickly see your Dr and tell him/her, and get off the Mirtz.  But if you do be careful about just going cold turkey, some people can with little or no withdrawel's, but many go through a tough time and need to taper very carefully and slowly, there's lots of tapering advice on this forum.

      Julie, when you get these thoughts just think to yourself its the Mirtz, this isnt your own mind thinking, then tell your self it will pass soon, give yourself a lifeboat to get over that period of time, just say, I know this isnt me, ok, well then I'll give myself till the end of the day, and then when you reach the end of the day and if you still have those thoughts then give yourself another lifeboat, I think you get the idea! If it gets too much always call somebody, have a back up plan, becuase I tell you know at some point in the future you will be OK and look back on these times and kick yourself for even entetaining such thoughts!

      I read a lot of people struggling with their problems here, we all have them.  There's no easy way out, just find our as much info as you can on your problem, knowledge and understanding is the key to beating this.  I mentioned above a guy named Douglas Bloch, go find his website, it's full of great advice and stories we can all relate to.  One thing he say's is 'when going through Hell, keep going, don't stop' becuse what ever your problem it will pass, nothing ever stays the same.

      Don't forget your not alone Julie, we all come to this site for help and firendship. Stay strong.

      Warmest regards

      Norman

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    • Posted

      thank you for you reply norman. i want so much to get through this ..u have helped me so much. i have an appointment with doc next week they are looking into giving me something else..have u any advise? they will ask me why i havent said anything but the sucide thoughts have only happened in last few weeks and ive been on 30mg for nearly 6 months..is this normal? i took 25mg last night and the night before..i really do need support i have no one to turn to here .so hard ..julie
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    • Posted

      Hi Julie,

      Suicidal thoughts are part of the depressed state or condition, so yes normal for being depressed, only most thoughts just wonder on by us.  Some med's seam to make these thoughts stronger, like Mirtz, perhaps your having a particularly hard time right now and the Mirtz is acting on this, which is why their happening now?  As long as your Dr knows see how it goes with the tapering, if it all goes wrong get back to the last dose you were ok at, then assess another longer tapering schedule. 

      I didnt take well to the meds I tried so cannot advise you on what to try next, and then we're all different on how we take to them.

      I actualy hate AD's, I think their a sledge hammer to hit a fragile system and nobody really understands them, just that for some people they work, and at many trials placebos often do as well or close!  If they worked then we'd only need one AD.  But Mirtz did seem to help me when I was at my worst. although I was definately Zombiefied!  It got me eating and sleeping as well which is proberly what made me feel better intially.

      Have a chat with your Dr, discuss what your sensistive to and try what you feel is your next best AD.  You could also discuss therapy, at the end of the day many people reason themselfes out of depression using med's to help stabilise them.

      Try not to over wory, certainly not over things you have no control of, and your not alone here, keep your chin up and take care.

      Warmest regards

      Norman

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    • Posted

      hi norman thanks for your reply...yes i am going through a hard time at the moment..im seeing a councillor at the moment and thats helping me so much. i have been on these mirtz for 18months i liked the sleeping part of them! but headaches and weight gain and lack of motivation are making me worse! my condition is more anxiety than depression . i think these meds are turning my anxiety into depression! i have never had these thoughts before so a shock to me! being less motivated is making me depressed ..i feel poorly on these! my councillor said if your not feeling well in your self this can play a part in low moods! im trying not to worry..thank you for ur support..hope u are well ..julie
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