Mirtazapine and Sertraline : Hypnic Jerks

Edited , 6 users are following.

Hello all,

I really need some desperate help. I have included my history below

February - 2 Week on Citalopram

March - Started 15 mg mirtazapine as citalopram was not helping

April - Started Sertraline 50 mg as Mirtazapine was not as effective

June- Still on Sertraline 50 mg and stopped Mirtazapine based on Doctor Review

In the last 3-4 days I have been getting Hypnic Jerks just as I am about to fall asleep or just when i have fallen asleep. I am so scared and annoyed. I have never taken Anti deppressants but in February I was getting adrenaline surges just on sleep onset due to which doctor put me on antidepressants.

I am really upset and not sure why this is happening. I read somewhere that it could be Mirtazapine withdrawal. Any helps is so so much appreciated. Do these go?

I keep having them as i am about to sleep or just when i am sleeping in the first stage.

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    I haven't ever tried coming off mirtazapine so I am not sure whether it could be a cause, but I've certainly experienced your problem - hypnic jerks when trying to get to sleep, sometimes keeping me awake for virtually the whole night. once this happened when I tried to come off paroxetine suddenly (I eventually successfully tapered off it). Did you stop mirtazapine all in one go? I have also heard that sertraline is not so good for sleep, as it is an 'activating' anti-depressant rather than a 'sedating' one so to speak. So I don't know whether that could be a factor too. Maybe worth trying taking a sleep aid like nytol, just for a few nights, to see if it tides you over the period adjusting to no mirtazapine? Also I just want to say I know how awful these hypnic jerks are, I sympathise.

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    • Posted

      Thanks so much Alison,

      I appreciate your response. I am just so fed up with this. The doctor didnt think i would have any issues as it was only 15 mg. I am speaking to him today but i am really scared. Do these jerks go?

      I really would sell my soul to the devil to get me out of my sleep issues.

      Nytol never works on me but i will try it. Just v fed up

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    • Posted

      I think the only way I escaped from them was to go back onto paroxetine and then taper off it very gradually. I think sometimes we still have issues with things even on low doses - I was only ever on 20 mg paroxetine, which my GP thought I should be able to come off in a few days, but actually it took me 3 months in the end to get off of it, going really really slowly! I guess these medications affect everyone differently. I do hope that you get past the hypnic jerks.

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  • Posted

    I had these jerks coming off Mirtazipine after being on for 11 weeks. The jerks went after a few weeks although the insomnia lasted longer

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  • Posted

    Thank you for your response llorc,

    Were you able to sleep through these?

    i am really scared i am not able to sleep. I am just really upset.

    What did you do about these jerks?

    Thank you

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  • Edited

    Yes, I have this from time to time and when I get it, it last sometimes days or weeks. Take in mind though that im tapering off mirtazapine. I also get it from sleeping in the right position or left, is very weird. Now im getting another symptom that I can say is worse than that one, and it starts from my neck,a pain and numbness going up, then I feel shivering and very dizzy, vertigo, the like if i was going to faint or get a Seizures and my hearts rates fast and my nerve system gets all messy and is very scary. Have you got any of that? I know is the medication, mirtazapine but is still scary.

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  • Edited

    Hi yari98362

    Yes i also get that its not a nice symptom and always happens when i am about to fall asleep and in bed.

    I had very few jerks last night. I did the following changes

    1. Started calcium citrate ( took 3 times ) 300 mg

    2. Started chelated magnesium glycinate ( 3 times ) 300 mg

    3. Ate a bowlful of cherries

    4, Took zinc 15 mg

    1. Ate a banana before bed with milk + nutmeg

    2. Bath before bed with Magnesium salts + lavender oil

    I could sleep through the night with very few jerks

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  • Posted

    I also suffer from the exact same hypnic jerks and for a long time I couldn't work out the cause. It happens to me only in three settings -

    1. While suffering from withdrawal (which it sounds like is the case for you too)
    2. Anxiety. And by this I mean chemical anxiety, not "worrisome thoughts" - like when I'm in a really bad place mentally after many nights of insomnia
    3. Back in the day (not for a long time!) I used to take a lot of illegal drugs and often I would get this a couple of days after

    My belief is that it is something connected to the fight or flight part of the brain, or some part of the brain or chemical that these medications and things like clinical anxiety affect. In all cases in my experience it will pass once the trigger has passed. Did you just come straight off Mirtazapine when you went on to Sertraline? It sounds to me like absolutely withdrawal from the Mirt. Doctors are awfully ill informed about the consequences of stopping medications too quickly. You have two choices- either ride it out and wait for it to pass (it will, once your poor brain rebalance itself) or reinstate the Mirt at a low dose and then slowly taper off.

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