Is mirtazapine addictive?

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Well the answer to this question is something I am going to find out in the next few weeks. He obviously sees an improvement in me and has aggreed that I can go back down to 15mg of mirtazapine as well as my other meds lithium and prothiaden. I expect that he was surprised to see me so chirpy. Me being only a few days out from surgery on my leg but feeling woozy and light headed. I think that I might be addicted to mirtazapine after ten months usuage and then trying to stop it by gradually tapering it off and experiencing massive panic attacks and sleepless a feeling that I was 'tripping'. So I am to be Dr Js guinea pig while he figures out what to do before I 'crash' again. (his words) He has mentioned risperidone in the past a much smaller dose to be added into the mix. I'm less scared now because I am feeling a lot better but please I do not want to experience all that anxiety panic and tripping again. Once I was back on the meds these symptoms disappeared. I know that mirtazapine is sometimes used for addicts withdrawing from drink or other drugs but addiction to mirtazapine is also well documented. I have become over weight my BMI is now 25 so this will give me a chance to lose it plus to continue swimming as I did on holiday certainly raises endorphins.

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  • Posted

    Hi Pooh Bear,

    I can't give you advice on addiction to Mt, my experience was shocking and I was only on it for 18 days before I said 'enough!'. However, if you're suffering from Panic and Anxiety I would really recommend Propranolol (40 mg), which slows your heart rate right down (CAUTION: increases blood pressure, so have this tested first). I find it invaluable for panic/anxiety, it is so effective that about 5-10 minutes after taking I feel much more in control. Propranolol is a Beta-Blocker, usually prescribed for a dicky ticker, but in lower doses it is fabulous for reducing panic. I used to panic in most situations (e.g shopping in Sainsbury's, or even waiting in my GP's clinic) but knowing thatI can control it stops me just exting at high speed. If this fails, try Diazapam (Valium) 5 mg, but note this is highly addictive. It is a muscle relaxant and generally calms me down but the Propranolol is absolutely ace!

    Silent..

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  • Posted

    hi Silent I have tried all these drugs over the years. I had thought that my mega panic and anxiety was a withdrawal from mirtazapine rather than me entering some sort of major depressive/psychotic episode as my psych had thought. Reading up about mirtazapine on the net made me realise that my symptoms were possibly signs that I had already become addicted to it. Unless I split my 30mg tabs into two I will stay on it until I can get a new prescription next week. I really think that the psych is doing this to see if I will freak. I'll try and manage without the valium and propanolol at the moment. I am recovering from a minor op and need to make sure that the drugs from that have left my system. I really can't afford to flip/freak out etc at the moment. My job is moving premises, my son starts school again and there are all the pressures of being a mum running a home etc some things that I dont feel very familiar with. I hope all goes well for you. Obviously if I start to experience feelings of melt down I shall be heading straight for the docs.
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  • Posted

    Hi again Pooh Bear,

    A hug to you for having such a hard time recently.

    I've known addiction only to Diazapam, but can relate to how difficult and desperate this feeling is. Since you've got so many changes in your life which can stress you out, maybe you should talk to your GP/Psych about not reducing Mt at this time, and wait for a quieter moment where you'll feel more relaxed about withdrawals?

    Hope you can cope, respect,

    Silent..

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  • Posted

    Oh Pooh,

    My heart goes out to you because of your stress, makes my life very simplified in comparison but no less a struggle. I read your msg again now (awake due to insomnia... cursed thing) and note that you've said

    'So I am to be Dr Js guinea pig while he figures out what to do before I 'crash' again. (his words)'

    That's really boiled my blood!! It's such a dishonest statement, and an abdecation of his responsibility to you as a patient, I can't express the fury I feel from this without resource to many and often words unacceptable on this disscussion board. YOU ARE NOBODIES GUINEA PIG and to treat you like that is clueless and must really tear you up inside.

    One thing I've learned through being ill recently is that it is a joint responsibility between patient and doctors to find the most suitable solution to help the patient. You're obviously a v. intelegent woman, so put your GP and Dr. J straight - You're not coping well and need their help, not a fu*k-off answer as you've been given. Tel them the basic problem and what you think would be a suitable solution, don't let them fob you off with platitudes/crap like above.

    Again, I'd recommend that you come off Mt WHEN YOU ARE READY TO DEAL WITH IT, not as some lab-rat for their examination. Assert your right as a patient to have the appropriate level of care. It's a difficult thing to do when you're in limbo (believe me, I know this to my cost) but it is the right thing for you.

    I'm sorry if this seems harsh, believe me that I have only the best for you in mind. You are the only person to experience what you feel, so express this and don't let docs/psych's push you around.

    Your with the best intentions for your health and well-being,

    Silent..

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  • Posted

    Thanks silent for your lovely caring post. I think that Dr J cares it's just that he is keen to put me on something else as well as the lithium and prothiaden that I'm already on. I just dont think that he believes that I'm addicted to mirtazapine and that it will be as stuggle to come off it. I see him privately and he has suggested couples counselling and a self esteem course at the hospital. I genuinely think that he sees me as a whole person preferably well but is aware that I've put on loads of weight and felt very flat and unfeeling on 30mg of mirtazapine. His only suggestion so far has been to add a small amount of risperidone into the mix. I resisted this because of the risks of weight gain and extra monitoring. The problem is that when I'm well I'm very well and when I'm ill I am completely crippled and disabled by this illness. I have been like this for years and years. I have had various hospital admissions and different types of therapy. I have given up thinking that I would be completely well. Now my depression is'managed'. However this a positive step because it is up to me to alert the docs when I think that I am becoming ill again. I had thought that I would be able to come off the prothiaden as well but this looks less likely. Inspite of all this I work and run a home and have a social life. Most of my friends accept that I have this illness but I usually feel embarassed telling someone new and what value judgements they might make of me because of it.
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  • Posted

    Hi Poor Bear,

    I guess I might have gotten the wrong end of the stick re your relationship with your docs. It's just I've had such bad luck in the past that it has put me right off medics who sometimes seem as if they don't care. I had one particular lady who was embarrissed when I told her I needed psychiatric help and this totally threw me off. I'm lucky now to have great carers, some private, some NHS whom I can trust.

    Like yourself I've suffered this terrible illness for years and am honestly trying to break the cycles, but sometimes I get so self-destructive like you wouldn't believe. I guess I'd like to help everyone here cope as I know the pain too well, but this also makes me prone to fits of madness when I see how helpless we all can be sometimes. I honestly can't make head-nor-tales of my own sickness, the frustration of this can be unbearable. I think I'm glad to stumble accross people here to talk with who understand. It's a help for me and I'm trying to give back some of this to you and all.

    Best,

    Silent..

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