I'm convinced mirtazapine has been the cause of my panic attacks and anxiety!

Posted , 9 users are following.

Have been on mirtazapine for 6 years and the last 3 have been pure hell!

They worked to start with was put on them after birth of daughter because i wasn't sleeping making me depressed.

Tried sertraline but made insomnia worse.

First 3 years they worked great either on 30 or 45 depending how i was at at the time.

Then 3 years ago i increased to higher dose within 7 weeks I had my first full blown panic attack! Never ever had one before.

My oartner at the time called an ambulance we both thought i was having a heart attack! I was a very chilled laid back bubbly girl whocould handle pretty much anything.

I dealt with my problems and whoever else needed my help I'd take it all in my stride. I had no reason to panic and still don't now. Didn't occur to me that it could have been the meds causing this

Quite the opposite. That maybe i was really ill and I needed them more than ever.

The paramedics told me that it was just a panic attack but I was first one in the docs the following morning.

My usual doc was on a sebatical so had to see stand in. She gave me diazipams and told me to relax and see how I feel. They helped but id be wakingbthrough night with attacks

Whichbi found impossible to calm down from. I was scared! Why was this happening to me?

Doc said i think youre on wrong meds and cross tapered mirt with citalopram. Long story short I got much much worse. How i still functioned I dont know.

Thingd did calm down a bit on 30nof mirt and 40 of citbbut not much panicking daily only think that helped was alcohol.

I was afraid to take diazipams due to addiction. Wt? I remember the days I used to taoevthese for fun?

Cit made my belly bad. So weaned myself off those felt a bit better so struggled through for 6 months using diazipams if i got too bad. Wasn't having full blown panic attacks just terrible morning anxiety which carried on low through the days.

Started to hate diazipams because of sedating effects I wanted to be able to get on with things as it made me feel better. I was getting quite frustrated. Not depressed. I wasn't scared to go out and do anything just didn't have the energy for it.

So went back to doc who increased my dose back to 45. Within 7 weeks BAM!! Id been set back 3 years.

So finally think weve got to the root of it. But now having to withdraw. I keep my focus on that I can already seeing great improvment already. Ie no panic attaks or anxiety spikes and the ones ibdo get are manageable and down to withdrawal.

I thought id start this thread now to see if 1 anyones experienced anything simular/or is expierencing it now! 2 to gain support from people who understand.

I will check in regularly to help supprt anyone who thinksbi maybe able to helpnand let you know how withdrawal process is getting on

Currently on 30 mirt day 9 of reduction from 45.

Pahic attacks have stopped and anxiety spikes have dropped. Diazipams help when needed. Tried propranolol but they kade me tired flat and depressed.

Have a headache and feel sick but if i lay still I'm fine. Funny though in the evenings i feel instantly better after taking my mirt. Like a sense of calm.

Anyways thanks if youve made it this far and look forward to hearing your views


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64 Replies

  • Posted

    I was on mirt 45mg for 6 years  for depression they stopped working in December and thats when my anxiety started.

    I tapered off on doctors advice too fast and horrendous withdrawal symptoms but Im still on 15mg at night for sleep(15mg is more sedative than 45mg!!!!) Im also on 150mg sertraline.

    Im still not sure Im on the right meds but have tried a lots of AD's that have not worked for me.

    My doc now wants me off the 15mg of mirt in the next two weeks, Ive tried before and its really difficult

    Mirt was great for me for 6 years apart from weight gain but when it goes wrong its a really difficult AD

    Stay Strongcool

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    • Posted

      Hi Lynne

      Thanks for the reply smile can I ask did you have anxiety when you originally went on mirtazapine?

      The withdrawal is hard but I can cope with anxiety just don't want to be depressed on top of it. Havent felt too bigger dip in mood during withdrawal except when i tried propranolol.

      Wanted something other than diazipams. I tried going on sertraline but they made me rush like I'd taken speed within an hour of taking 25mg lol. Then the panic attacks started so figured I'm going to wean off slow and see if the anxiety gets better before i try anything else.

      I dont feel depressed just anxiety symptoms not thought. I had a few days of high anxiety but found it wore off a bit if I got out and kept busy.

      How were the side effects of the sertraline. If I get in trouble coming off mirt i may consider it. But all meds seem to do to me is make me panic which ive never done before.

      Cant you ask your doc to do a slower taper? You should really at all times feel in control of this. Its your body

      S x

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    • Posted

      Hi Suzannah

      My anxiety only started in December, I was put on mirt for depression.

      They say I cant be on mirt and sertraline at the same time even though I know other people who are on it and it works.

      The Sertratine keeps getting increased its ok for a couple of weeks then the anxiety starts again and my mood is low.

      They wont put the sertraline up again until Im off the mirt but I have serious problems with sleeping.

      It really is a vicious circle also the mental health service in the north west of England is shocking its like dumb and dumber meet the chuckle brothers.cry

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    • Posted

      Lol. Aww bless you.

      Mental health in the south east aren't any better. I've been discharged they said I was on wrong meds and that gp could deal with that and self referral fir councilling.

      I did attempt to start sertraline but I only took half a pill and the rushing was too much. Though either was withdrawal or side effect and didn't want to combine the 2 so doing withdrawal first,

      I feel better in a lot of ways. So going to give my own bidy and mind a chance for once. When I was on citalopram as well I felt mentally retarded. Like if my brain wasn't so foggy i can sort my issues easier. So came off cit and felt better. I'm hoping coming off mirt will do the Sam

      Now to you.... have you considered as someone said to me that the meds might have pooped out because we no longer need them therfore they become counter productive? I too have heard of success stories with combination meds but i can't help but think now. But for how long? I dont think i can even remember what depression feels like anymore. All I feel is ill and panicky.

      Its never right. Dont do the med increase then maybe. Just try reductiin first? It could all be the oroblem to start with and when you stop taking it you could feel tons better.

      But I get that it's scary to try.

      I tell myself I've got nothing to lose and will deal with complications when they come up rather than waiting for them. Youre gonna surprise yourself.

      Ive read so much in here about mirt withdrawal. But after a few months most of these people disappeared. Because they wetebgetting on with their lives

      Im always here if u need a lift smile

      S x

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  • Posted

    Hi,been on mirt for 16 months approx I was ok last yr but last4 months a dread

    Waking up as I wake with anx which eventually goes about 5pm.also the tiredness

    ! Fatigue is really depressing me.i also get aches all over.i have an appt with regular

    Gp next wk.i want to get off mirt.i am much better than when I first got on them

    But side effects are now too much.i have also put on 3 st,and have had to buy

    Ñew clothes.

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    • Posted

      Hello plainden and welcome to my feed smile

      You soundnvery similar to me. That's how mine started three years on only just realising it's the med.

      Did you have anxiety before starting the med? I didn't gain weight to start with in fact it suppress my appetite. When i was on citalopram too i gained 3 stone but haven't lost the weight since giving them up and still don't have much appetite.

      Til i take meds in evening then everything settles and I'm able to eat.

      I too ache all over. Body wants to be in bed mind wants to be chasing dreams it's all really frustrating. No way couldni go to gym I would definitely have a heart attack!!

      How are you going about your withdrawal. Are you starting other meds?

      S x

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    • Posted

      Hi,I had a nervous breakdown (now called reaching a crises bu docs) about 18 months ago.My anxiety was so bad all I cld do was pace the room 24 hours a day.I was a wreck.Mirt was great for about 1 year,it worked within 3 days.Today is a good day,I even had breakfast ! (at noon mind you) and been out walking  for 2 hours and am still aching.What I have noticed when walking is i get out out of breath very quickly even on the slightest of small gradients.Ok I may be out of shape but I have been walking fairly often for months now and I shld be buiding up some stamina -so i think the meds are resp for breathlessness.I bought a bike to go on last year and ,like you there is no way i cld get on it due to exhaustion and aches and pains i endure daily.As regards withdrawal I see doc next fri and we'll take it from there.No panic attacks for 4 months aswell so i do want to get off it.Will keep you posted.
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    • Posted

      Well done you for getting out. I had a bad day today too just so incredibly tired. Im putting it down to withdrawals and I'm only on day 9 of reduction.

      Do you still feel anxious? Even tho panic attacks have stopped? Don't get me wrong mirtazapine served me well for 3 years, just wish i had got off them while i felt better.

      Like you I hage no energy and everything aches. Even when I felt better i always remember being crap in the evenings because I'd get so worn out during day. Bang went free time and social life. Hard enough to maintain with 2 children 1 of which is autistic.

      Then tiredness crept into the day and my looks went with it.

      Although still feeling like crap I am at least now not panicking and anxiety is manageable.

      I see doc next thurs so will update then what he thinks.

      Hopefully bybthen we'll have some news for you too.

      Docs think as long as our mental state is ok we can put up with side effefts. Truth is as we get better theres less were willing to put up with.

      I hope we both get some answers soon

      S x

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  • Posted

    Thanks for the support Suzannah 
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    • Posted


      Youbare very lynne. I read somewhere that when you try lots of meds your tolerance level goes up and can take quite a while for you to feel relal benefits from meds.

      Mqybe you just need more time forna build up. Please stay in touch when you do finally jump off mirt

      Will help any way i can

      S x

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  • Posted

    Glad you figured it out, suzannah, or you'd be on the medi-go-round for sure!

    The fact is that these drugs may be helpful for the short term, but when used chronicly the negatives begin to pile up and definitely outweigh the positives.  Doesn't help that doctors don't ever look as these drugs as a short term band-aid to help one get one's footing anymore; instead they will let you keep taking them indefinitely.

    When the negatives pile up, they increase your dose.  When that doesn't work, they switch you, but the nervous system has become sensitized and so switching often causes chaos, since after all, now you'd be withdrawiing from the original drug on top of it all.  So, they add more drugs to deal with the withdrawal or negative symptoms of that have come up with the original drug, and now you've got a real mess.  The only real answer is to reduce.


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    • Posted

      Hello betsy smile

      Well put on every part i completely agree with you. Ive nev3r ever had panic attacks until the med increase. Think thats where my anxiety comes from.

      Doesn't make it any easier going through these withdrawals though. But been through worse. Currently feeling better as have taken my dose for the night.

      Evenings are fine but well all kick off again as soon as i wake up tomorrow.

      Thank you for your kind words this site is awesome smile

      S x

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  • Posted

    Hi all

    New symptoms of the day

    Sneezing!! For an hour! No joke!

    Chills that come in waves. Like someone is walking over my grave!

    Feeling cold.

    This must be the flu like symptoms I've read about.

    On a reduction?

    Rediculous but manageable.

    Hope you're getting some peace this evening

    S x

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  • Posted


    I am gladI saw your thread,I am cutting down from 15mg this is my 12 day on 3/4 of tablet had the usual withdrawals but I now have sickness and very little sleep 2hrs if lucky guess this is all the side affects for dropping down plan to do a drop too7.5mg tonight I want my life back,agree with you the gp will not amitt to this tablet being adictive

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    • Posted

      Hello orchid

      I havent suffered with the insomnia yet. I did have a few nights of waking Rediculously early and not being able to get back to sleep.

      High anxiety then it calms down and i start drifting off to sleep just as alarm goes off!!

      All very trustrating. Doc gave me some zopiclones for a week so have been sleeping ok. Tonight will be the first night without so I'm sure my attitude will change tomorrow

      Or i might surprise myself don't know til i try

      Stick it out and don't reduce until you are ready.

      I can understand the frustration of wanting them out of your system quick but if the making you feel bad on such a low taper imagine what IT COULD be like if you dropped more

      But if you feel tough enough then go for it

      Everybody is different but do let me know how you get on

      Will help any way I can

      S x

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    • Posted

      Hi Suzanna

      Sorry to read your post and of the suffering you have been through, such a long time too since you first took Mirt' after having your baby.  Although I can understand what relief it must be to be able to sleep again, initially anyway when we start Mirt.

      I notice you dropped down from 45mg to 30mg, 33% taper, very big, no wonder you can't sleep without Zopiclone.  I just wonder if you could do a slower taper next drop down maybe?  Be a little kinder to yourself and save yourself from so much suffering.  It is safe to do a 10% taper every 3-4 weeks, maybe for an informed choice take a little look here:


      and then click on the link "REDUCING AD'S USING 10% WITHDRAWAL METHOD".   

      Sorry if you already know this, just thought is very well worth while sharing. 

      Wishing you well smile


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    • Posted

      Hello calmer

      Thanks for replying

      Yes I have to agree when I look back now maybe i could've been more cautious

      But for me the increase from 30 to 45mg was what started the pahic attacks again

      I initially got no side effects from increase except nausea and stomach acid-cramps. I was on the increase over 7 weeks before sheer panic set in for no reason

      Ive been working hard these past 3 years on myself and was no reason for it. Id never hadba panic attack on 30 so I just dropped back down to the last dose i was stable on

      On 30 now after the first attacks 3 years ago i have like a lurking anxiety over nothing just more of a nervous belly

      I've tried cross tapering i was worse than i am now pdoc said i was over loaded so I came off cit and did feel better on just mirt

      But im so tired and this sicky nervous belly is the reason I don't want to go far. I get tired easy have had all sorts of gastro troubles ibs etc. So I figured in one of my clarit

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    • Posted

      Clarity moment if i get mor anxious on a higher dose maybe i get less anxious on a lower one

      Intend to go to 22.5mg next and start going slower but not until I get over this round first get some life back and go again

      Been doing this 3 years so far

      I got plenty of time

      Its all about me lol

      I will look into your link thanks for that smile

      Hope your having a peaceful weekend

      S x

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    • Posted

      Warning warning warning!  Do not make another cut when you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms!!!  Withdrawal symptoms mean your nervous system is destabilized, unbalanced, and to add another cut on top of that is even more destabilizing and asking for disaster/suffering.  Hold at a dose for 3-4 weeks before making another cut, only cutting if you feel stable.  Rebound insomnia is a big red flag.  Mirt's sedating effect caused the brain to push back in the oppositie direction, and when you pull the mirt away too fast you are left with that oppositional change that results in insomnia.  The best way is to do such gradual cuts that the brain can adjust back without great upset.

      10% per month of the previous dose is the most-reductionist method to follow.  Most people aren't patient enough to do that and go bigger too fast.  If you go bigger, then hold for longer since your system has that much more recovery to do.

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    • Posted

      I will follow up with a bit more education, as most people think these drugs are like aspirin, that they only have an effect while in the system, so the sooner out of the system the better . This is not true with ADs.  ADs block receptors, for the most part, which causes an increase of neurotransmitters in the gap between nerves.  The brain doesn't like this increased level and pushes back to bring about homeostasis by remodeling nerves.  When you remove the drug, it's like yanking a trellis out from under a vine that has relied on its support - huge imbalance and chaos!  Getting it out of the system has nothing to do with this and is fact the problem and cause of withdrawal symptoms, which are caused by the now-imbalance created by removing the drug!
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    • Posted

      Haha love it Betsy

      And trust me I have no intention of reducing while I stil feel bad. I will ride out each time and thanks to this forum i won't be in a hurry about it either

      My priority at the moment is restoring some balance then I'm gonna prepare for the next go.

      I wil get the hang of this

      Thank you for the information

      S x

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