Looking for support for withdrawal symptoms

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Hello... I was taking mirtazapine 7.5mg for the past year as a supplement for an SSRI.  I gained a ton of weight and decided to come off of it.  I tappered down the medication and have been completely off of it for the past week and a half.  I generally feel terrible.  About every other day I have sneezing fits that generally last the entirety of the day.  Additionally, I have felt depressed, experience crying spells, weird pains in my muscles, insomnia, overall cold symptoms, and itchyness.  I am planning to stick it out but looking for some support to see if theres a bright side coming soon...  I'm getting really tired of feeling so terrible all the time.  I've also been off from work, as a am a teacher and will be going back to work next week.. I'm feeling nervous about that.  I just want to feel better!  Any suggestions or support are welcome.  Thanks.

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  • Posted

    Hi Haley!

    If your symptoms are being caused by stopping mirtazapine, it should go away within a week or two. If it doesn't, then it's something else. Generally. Every time I hear of someone having a hard time coming off mirtazpaine it seems that they're also taking another med like an SSRI with it, and most people that are coming off mirtazapine alone appear to have less "problems."

    Mirtazapine at 7.5mg is basically just a sleeping pill. It doesn't do much for anxiety or depression at that dosage.

    Did you taper off it with your doctor or on your own? Could you speak to her about it?

    Hang in there!

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the input. I did speak with my dr. About it but he wasn't as helpful as I thought e would be. I kind of did the tapering on my own because I just wanted to be off it.

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  • Posted

    A lot of people take antihistamines when going off Mirtazapine. It helps alot with all the above and can help with sleep. I've taken large doses of antihistamines all my life for allergies so I don't get the "benefits" they have such as a sleep aid. But it will help. Hope it works out for you I had to go back on it temporarily due to lack of sleep.

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    • Posted

      I agree about the antihistamines. I did some research in the past and I discovered that Doxylamine is the strongest, most sedating over the counter antihistamine available in the United States. You can get that in generic form at most drug stores in the allergy or sleeping aid sections. I would add, make sure you don't take any allergy meds with a decongestant in there too, that can keep you awake.

      And of course, stay away from any stimulants, like coffee. I switched to decaf because I love the taste of coffee, I just can't handle the nervousness I get from it.

      I would also highly recommend l-theanine, taken first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. It really calms you down without making you tired. It was a lifesaver for me. Thing is you have to take it on an empty stomach or it won't work, with a glass of water only. It's an amino acid and if you take it with any other kind of protein it gets cancelled out. 

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  • Posted

    Mirtazapine acts as an antihistamine as well as an antidepressant. The itching and sneezing will be due to withdrawing from it. It would help you a lot to take some antihistamine such as cetirizine hydrochloride. Or you could take one of the ones which helps with sleep such as benadryl. Good luck
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    • Posted

      Hi Toni,

      ?You will start to notice a pattern when making drops which is different for everybody, but for me the worst day was day 4-5 after a drop. Sometimes you can feel initially better after making a drop before feeling worse. My main problem was nausea. The kind of nausea which made every task much more difficult to do. I didn't get an increase in anxiety and actually felt better mentally. However, this returned with a vengence 4 weeks after finishing mirtazapine, but I discovered it wasn't WD but was anxiety cause by my thyroid being overactive. Good luck with your taper. Overall, I didn't find it hard, but I came off very slowly indeed, making a homemade liquid for the last few mg and reduced by 0.1mg every few days at the end. So jumping off completely was hardly noticable. I got far worse WDs when cutting my larger doses than cutting the end bit.

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  • Posted

    Hi. Sorry to hear you're going through this. I started a thread a couple of weeks ago about the same thing and you sound similar to me. I am 5 and a half weeks into withdrawal completely and still so ill. I'm suffering from severe stomach cramps, diarrhoea, motion sickness (I can't hold a face to face convo I get so dizzy or scroll on my phone for long), tiredness and an inability to sleep. It has got better since i first came off it so do try to persevere. Make sure you are putting really healthy good food into your body and you're drinking your two litres of water a day!!

    It may be worth going to your doctor and asking for some help. They may be able to give you antihistamines which help for the itching and sneezing.

    Keep going!

    L

    It may be

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  • Posted

    Hi Hayley

    Sorry to read of your suffering.  How long did you taper for and how long in between any dosage drops?

    Mirt' contains a huge anti histamine; over time our bodies grow to rely on this, once the Mirt' is whipped away the body receives an assault of histamines flooding a system that has forgotten how to deal with them,  hence the itching and sneezing.  So taking a simple over the counter anti histamine from maybe the supermarket will cover those symptoms, some say to take it for about a month.

    All the symtoms you describe, crying, pains, flu like, insomnia (any nausea?) all discontinuatoin syndrome.  

    Hope some of this helps, wishing you well  x

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  • Posted

    Most definitely withdrawal from the drug.

    Even at that dose - it works on dopamine and serotonin plus multiple other receptors. They make changes to the brain so when the drug is taken away it can cause havoc. That is what withdrawal syndrome is. Sometimes - for some, it can be delayed....I know some who were hit with withdrawal 6 months off the drug but this is usually after long term use.

    When was your last dose? It sounds like you came off too quick. I recommend people do 10% every 4 weeks and hold if feeling uncomfortable.

    You may want to go back on - maybe just a small dose to see if it helps.

    I'm sorry to say doctors have no idea how to come off these drugs safely. If you need any help, I know of a very good withdrawal site.

    I've been doing this for nearly three years now - adverse reaction and withdrawal. some people have no issues coming off - some not so lucky and if not done right it can be nasty.

    Sorry you are suffering.

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    • Posted

      I have to chime in here.

      Mirtazpaine does not cause true withdrawal, because it's not addictive. You don't need to take more and more for the same effect, like benzos or vicodin or alcohol. Iit's just discontinuation syndrome. It sucks, it's not fun, but it's not withdrawal. 

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    • Posted

      Mirtazapine is not psychologically addictive but it does cause withdrawal symptoms. Some of these can be mental such as an increase in anxiety and difficulty sleeping, but many of them are physical. Severe nausea, aches and pains, itching, stomach cramps, sweating, etc. These effects can last for wweeks, even months. Just because mirtazapine does not cause addiction, does not mean discontinuation of the drug does not cause withdrawal. I think this stance belittles people that are having a really hard time coming off it. We are all different. I take temazepam every night. But I have come off it several times over 20 years without any WD sympptoms. I use it for sleep. I do not need to increase the dose which has remained at 10mg even though I have taken it for periods of up to a year at a time. I have no problems stopping, except that at the moment I need it to sleep due to thyroid problems. But the fact that I have no WD symptoms from stopping a benzo, does not mean that others do not have the most horrendous time doing the same thing. I had a much harder time trying to stop mirtazapine than I did stopping temazepam. I also stopped oxazepam that I had taken for five years without any WD symptoms, but I wouldn't then try to tell others that you don't get severe WD symptoms from stopping, just because I didn't.

       

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    • Posted

      I totally agree with Evergreen. I had 7 1/2 months of pure hell coming off of this medication cold turkey. Suicidal thoughts ect. I had severe nausea, aches and pains, itching, stomach cramps, sweating (drenched in sweat), anxiety and panic attacks like the world was ending, sensitivity to foods, couldn't watch t.v., couldn't be alone, couldn't perform the simplest of activities due to anxiety ect. All of this lasted that long!! I was ready to end my life over this drug and just found out Robin Williams was on this drug before he committed suicide. 

      People can say what they want but this has been the worst experience of my life to date. I can say this, depression has no hold over me after going through this roller coaster ride. The thoughts and emotions were something my own mind could never come up with on their own. I was definitely withdrawing from this drug. 

      They need to take this off the market and do some research on the effect of this to the public. It is a nightmare. If you are just taking this medicine, get off of it asap and find another one that suits you. The ride is not worth it!!

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    • Posted

      I agree. I've been in a terrible state for years now because of this drug. I've lost all emotions, have severe depression, sensitivities to foods and chemicals, severe memory issues, suicidal thoughts, can't function for my children. I had none of this before the drug. I have nearly died so many times and still wish I wasn't alive because the symptoms are unbearable. Nasty drug.

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    • Posted

      Really sorry to hear this! Don't think it is the kind of support she is looking for for coming off the drugs though when she's already feeling scared. Everyone reacts differently is a shame you've reacted this way.

      X

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    • Posted

      Mud, 

      It is hard for people to believe it is not addictive as the majority of folk just cannot get by without it, plain and simple fact.  Lets not get caught up in thinking if one person can quit easily so should all people, it's just not the case.

      Sychoactive prescription drugs (such as antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications) are often very difficult to stop taking. Many people experience difficulties stopping or reducing their drugs without support from Doctors and Psychiatrists (and people on this forum who can empathise and help them).  We are not all the same, you may have stopped easily but this is not the case of the general majority.

      Because stopping or reducing these drugs is so difficult, many people feel trapped into taking these tablets for many years, giving them side effects and causing much more suffering.

      Although not the same as addiction, many of these drugs cause a physical dependance and the best way to avoid any unpleasant symptoms is to reduce the dosage slowly over an extended period.

      As it is now, many people who want to stop have no option but to reduce to the lowest possible dosage then “jump off” which can be extremely challenging. Some users simply carry on taking a drug beyond the point at which it was effective and useful to avoid the challenge of stopping.

       

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    • Posted

      I would never say ADs are easy to quit. Paxil was really tough for me to quit, Mirtazapine was easier for me but I still felt awful for at least a week. Everyone IS different. I think the only reason it was easier for my personally to quit mirtazapine is because my anxiety and depression probably weren’t as debilitating at the time, compared to when I quit Paxil, when I was younger, the anxiety was still relatively new to me and I was having panic attacks nearly every day.

      But we must be careful not to eschew science and critical thinking just because it's difficult to stop taking ADs. Mirtazapine is not physically addictive. Period. Neither is Paxil. Neither is Prozac, or Effexor, or Zoloft or any other SSRI, SNRI, tricyclic, tetracyclic, etc.

      Addictive drugs all have potential for abuse. Addictive drugs require an increase of dosage over time to achieve the same effects as before. Addictive drugs cause cravings. These ADs do not do that, therefore, according to science, they do not meet the qualifications to be deemed addictive substances. 

      I would never belittle anyone's experience with quitting ADs and I would want to throttle anyone that belittled mine. So I just want to be clear: I call stopping mirtazapine and other ADs "discontinuation syndrome" because that is the clinical, medically-accurate term. And I call stopping addictive substances "withdrawal" because that is the accurate term. 

      I have gone through benzodiazepine withdrawal and alcohol withdrawal, and I know some of you probably have as well. And if you have, then you know that it is not comparable to AD disconnection. Benzo and alcohol withdrawal is hell on earth and can last for months, even years, and can cause dangerous, life-threatening conditions like seizures and delirium tremens. Addictive drugs like benzos and alcohol and other substances tat mess with your GABA neurotransmitters can and do kill thousands and thousands of people every single day. Stopping AD meds makes you feel like utter crap for weeks—it can be horribly debilitating—especially because the folks that are on ADs are suffering from depression and/or anxiety in the first place, so the effects are 1000x worse for us then it would be for a "normal" mentally healthy person that doesn't need an AD. But stopping mirtazapine will not hurt you. It will not and cannot kill you. in a few weeks you’ll be back to normal. If you’re not, then something else is going on—most likely, your depression and anxiety symtoms have just roared back worse than before because you are no longer taking the med that kept your symptoms under control. This is normal. It’s not fun, it can make you want to die, but that’s the way our brains work and with time it goes away. It gets better.

      You can disagree with me, but you can’t disagree with science, because science is fact-based, and facts are indisputable.

      We’re in this together and I sure don’t want to upset anyone that’s already having a hard time, because I’ve been there too, and in fact I’m still there. But not believing in facts is not doing to do you or me or anyone else any good.

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    • Posted

      I have experience of a number of addictive substances. Tobacco (not life threatening to give up but addictive non the same). Gave that up but it was hard. Tramadol for a bad back; now that was 'hell on earth' and by far the most difficult thing I have had to give up. Various benzos; no problem either physically or mentally for me to quit. Lofepramine; easy peazy for me to quit. Mirtazapine; on a par with tramadol. So for me, somme antidepressants are easy to quit, others are very difficult. Mirtazapine had a huge physical effect on me. It stopped my chronic itching, IBS, migraines etc and also, as it turned out, controlled the symptoms of an underlying hperthyroidism. Quitting it caused this to rebound seriously with life threatening effects on my heart. Mirtazapine withdrawal for me had huge physical consequences, far greater than anything else I have taken. So I reject the idea that it is not physically addictive and that WD does not have liife threatening consequences.

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    • Posted

      I meant to say, don't believe all he doctors or 'science tells you, mud. Tramadol was despensed like Smarties not so long ago. It was not thought to be addictive. Patients knew otherwise but received no support because GPs were told it wasn't an addictive substance. I got prescribed 100 at a time, no questions asked. I had no idea I was addicted until I tried to stop. Now, it's a controlled substance and kept with the benzos in the locked cabinet. Another substance; zopiclone was thought not to be addictive. Patients know otherwise. How long before that too becomes 'controlled'? Benzos; I can take them or leave them, but my mother has had no end of problems and terrible WDs. i know they are addictive, but not for me. Mirtazapine was far more addictive. We have to listen to what patients say, not science. What is addictive to some, is not to others. I wouldn't dream of going onto a benzo forum and saying 'hey, it may feel bad for a week or so, but it's not hell on eath like when I quit tramadol or mirtazapine'.

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    • Posted

      Ah, but you had an underlying thyrpoid condition which is what caused the problems, not mirtazapine itself. Mirtazpine is used for anxiety and depression, not hyperthyroidism. 

      It's not physically addictive. You can "feel" that it is, but according to the laws of science, it's not. if it was you'd have to take more and more of it for it to work properly, like benzos, opioids, alcohol, cocaine and amphetamines. And quitting it doesn't have life threatening consequences. Now if you have an underlying condition that could cause life-threatening issues when mixing it with a dug, like a thyroid problem, then sure. 

      But that's like saying peanuts are toxic and will kill you. That's not true. They're totally safe and a great source of fat and protein, except for those unfortunate enough to be deathly allergic to them. Peanuts aren't the problem—the condition of a relatively few number of people, is the problem. 

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    • Posted

      I actually think that mirtazapine caused my underlying condition, just as it caused my kidney disease.

      ?I don't care how science defines what is addictive, because it has frequently been wrong in the past (as with the two examples I have given above of tramadol and Z drugs where doctors were told they were not addictive). I am also not saying that mirtazapine is addictive in the same way as benzos. What I am saying is that some people have a harder time coming off mirtazapine with all the physical WD symptoms that are common with drugs such as benzos, than they do coming off benzos or alcohol etc. It is unfair to say it is any less difficult or lasts any less time just because you had such a hard time coming off 'addictive' substances. Some people are still suffering WD symptoms over a year after discontinuing mirt. One is not harder than the other to do, and people do not suffer any less because mirtazapine is not deemed to be 'addictive'. Everyone is different.

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    • Posted

      Hi mud. Not doubting anything you say but could you point me in the direction of a reliable source for when you said "If your symptoms are being caused by stopping mirtazapine, it should go away within a week or two. If it doesn't, then it's something else."

       Sound

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    • Posted

      Also i can't ignore this statement (more in general and not for what we are talking about). "You can disagree with me, but you can’t disagree with science, because science is fact-based, and facts are indisputable".

       The world was flat at one point...

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    • Posted

      I feel sorry  for the many scared and fragile people that come to this site seeking advice about Mirt  withdrawals  and read the above article.
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