Mirtazapine drowziness - Help :0(

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I've only been taking 15mg of Mirtazapine for 2 days after trying various other AD's and not able to tollerate due to side effects.  I was put on these due to severe low mood and sadness BUT OMG! I can hardly function due to the sedative effect.  I did not have major sleeping problems before taking these but I know drowziness is a side effect.  Yesterday I slept all day pretty much, today I feel the same, like I've just come round from a general anaesthetic!! I'm worried because although off work this week I have to return next week and have to run a business!! I tried to take at 6pm last night and the other half at 10pm before bed in the hope that it would not make me feel so out of it but it's made no difference :0( PLEASE tell me it gets easier?? The other MAJOR worry is weight gain as I can I'll afford to gain weight even though I've had no appetite for a while.  It seems for every positive of this medication there is a MASSIVE negative?

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  • Posted

    I can perhaps partially reassure you that it's not inevitable that you will gain weight on mirtazapine. I've been on it for several years and not gained a pound. In fact I wasn't aware that weight gain was a side effect until I read about it in a post on this site. As to the sedative effect, it does wear off in time, so I've been told by many people. I can't remember if i had it when i started, Iwas in such a state with depression and anxiety, I was just relieved that Mirtazapine helped those symptoms.
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    • Posted

      Thank you for taking the time to reply pixie22.  My sadness and low mood is REALLY bad which is why they have put me on to this.  I realise we all respond differently.  Its a vicious circle, cant work due to the depression but cant afford not too, the downside to being self emplyed i guess.  Just creates even more problems.  thanks again.
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  • Posted

    Hi

    Sorry to hear of your sleepiness. Yes it is a side effect. I was put on it back in January and knocked me out straight away. I was on 30mg. Came off it this month due to 2 stone weight gain. Never had a problem with my weight in my life but it makes you crave sugar and carbs badly, for some people. My niece was on the 15mg and told that the side effects are worse on lower dose as she was over eating too. Overall though it saved my life as Sertraline, which I had been on for 2 months, did nothing for my depression. I had been on it for a year in the past and it was fine. Just shows you how everyone is different. 

    I did cut down to 15mg in July as was sick of the morning sleepiness but as I said I was on 30mg then and I did see a huge improvement. I am back on Sertraline at the moment and straight away the food cravings stopped immediately though I am now waking up at 5am......

    Keep going for the moment I would say and see how you get on. I used to take it 10.30pm so maybe that was why I was sparko next morning. Good luck.

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    • Posted

      Hi carolyn79,

      thank you for taking the time to reply.  I too have tried sertraline but it did nothing for my low mood and gave me nightmares.  At least if im aware of weight gain issues from the start i could adjust my diet accordingly?  part of the reason for giving me this was to increase my appetite as i was on Vie-Pax and it gave me terrible nausea and loss of appetite. The other reason was my extreme low mood/sadness. you just cant win can you.  I see my GP again on 28th,  By then she wants me to increase to 30mg! im worried about upping the dose as i need to function to be able to run my business!! vicious circle. we are all different though arent we so i guess ill stick with it and see how it goes like you say.  was your niece over eating on the 15 and 30 mg doses?

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    • Posted

      Hi there. I had lost nearly a stone while on Setraline, as felt too down/nauses to eat. My husband was getting really worried. I get empty retching when I have anxiety. This is my second episode of depression. So I ended up in hospital and psychiatrist there suggested Mirt to make me eat. Boy did it. First morning eating crap hospital food, cheap cereals and toast. Never ate chocolate or cakes or biscuits in my life and never saw the attraction. Do like savories though. But suddenly I was in Lidl buying up choc bars. Scoffed a box of maltersers to my daughters horror. That is the thing. Yes, it gives you cravings but you dont have to give in and I would advise not buying it in the first place. So, just to say that as I had lost a stone, down to 9 st 9lbs gained it back and a second one. I was 11st 7lbs few weeks ago but have already lost the 7lbs but just going back to my normal appetite. I havent drank any alcohol either in about a month so guess that helps too.

      Please dont worry about it too much. As I said the 30mg is tolerated better from what I hear. No idea why. But it was my miracle AD and having come off it wondering why I didnt stay with it. Miss my good nights sleep too.

      Would you mind if I asked you your age and gender? I got depression for the first time in my life aged almost 51 and convinced it is menopausal related. Take care of yourself, you will get better I promise. Day at a time, or even an hour at a time if that helps. 

      Have you been offered any talking therapies, please push for it. GPs can refer you easier now and it all helps.  Other suggestion is a book called "Depressive Illness: curse of the strong" by Tim Cantopher is brilliant. 

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    • Posted

      I was put on mirt due to weight loss, lack of appetite, and insomnia, all related to withdrawing from Effexor, though I didn't realize it at the time.  I slept wonderfully at the lowest dose, 7.5 mg, and my depression lifted a bit, but very quickly I was increasing the dose because the mood improvements weren't lasting (my doc said it was safe to increase as needed!) and so I ended up at 37.5 mg and on the couch, totally apathetic, agoraphobic, not able to enjoy life.  I was on that dose for six weeks before reinstating Effexor because I was doing so poorly, and in that time I did not gain weight.  However, even as I began a slow taper of mirt, I began to gain weight and have put on 10 lbs even though I really don't eat more.  I do crave sweets, but keep that to one serving a day (always have to have some chocolate!).  Before my appetite went in the toilet due to Effexor WD, I always had chocolate everyday and had gradually lost weight (purposefully) over the course of a year and a half, so I do believe mirt changes your metabolism for the worse.

      So, I was on 6 weeks before starting to reduce slowly, and it turns out this drug is a horror to get off of!

      So, my recommendation if you are worried about weight gain is to run from this drug, because by the time you find you are gaining you will have been on it long enough that withdrawal from it will be horrible if you try to go off.  Many people have ended up reinstating mirt over and over every time they tried to get off because the WD was intolerable!

      So, what is your depression about?  Are you generally depressed, or do you ruminate over negative thoughts?  There is so much that you can do to help yourself move out of it beyond medication.  Medication just covers up, numbs the feelings, but doens't cure anything.  I've been on ADs 20 years and still had depression break through due to low self esteem, messages and insecurities that were ingrained very young.  I was always so negative about myself, feeling worthless even on meds, but meds allowed me to not care quite so much.  Now, I have been addressing those thought processes and have improved quite a lot.  It is a known fact that cognitive behavior therapy performs better than ADs, and that ADs are only marginally better than placebo (and even that improvement washes out in meta analyses!).

      ADs are good for acute depression/anxiety, but should be used for the short term, not as a way of life.  They tend to make depression become chronic, ironically!  That was my case.

      I wish you well in finding a solution, but boy, I would run screaming from mirt!  I know, some have been helped greatly by it, but how are you to know until you are dependant on it at which point it is horrifying to get off?

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Carolyn79,

      Thanks for such a detailed reply. I don't mind you asking at all, I'm female aged 45. I have suffered with depression on off for many years, all of my life really but not had an episode this bad for 20 years. I'm in a bad place, very sad, can't talk to people without crying, the list goes on. I'm hoping this drug will help me and not add to the misery with awful side effects? It seems to be a case of have the "black dog" of depression OR become a zombie who eats everything in site?? But I know I can't see the up side at the moment. I had a total hysterectomy at 41 and feel exactly the same from a tiredness point if view as when I came round from that general anaesthetic. It's good to talk to people who are going through it too though as so many people don't understand. I'm glad I found this site and managed to pluck up the courage to post. You are right when you say menopause could be a factor, hormones have a lot to answer for don't they! Thanks again. :0)

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    • Posted

      I do go on a bit, dont I ? Its the Irish in me. If you want to speak to me privately I will send you my email. Are you HRT too due to your hysterectomy? I can totally promise you you will feel a lot better on this medication and sod the weight for now at least. Give yourself the time to heal again and get your spirits back. If you had a physical illness you wouldnt hesitate to take time to recover. This illness is still so misunderstood, even with the medical profession. You have got this. You will get better in no time. X

      Emis Moderator comment: I have removed the email address as we do not publish these in the forums. If users wish to exchange contact details please use the Private Message service.

      http://patient.uservoice.com/knowledgebase/articles/398331-private-messages

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    • Posted

      Hi betsy0603,

      Thank you for the reply. I'm unsure exactly "why" my depression is back with a vengeance. I'm a great believer in talking therapies and practice yoga. I think mirt has been prescribed because other drugs have not been well tolerated and I am SO sad, I am unable to function normally and it has reached a head, perhaps, when I can function more normally and feel stronger I can then begin to explore the reasons behind the depression although having suffered on and off for many years am a believer in that is some people there is a chemical imbalance in the brain for whatever reason? This may be the case for me, it may not but I don't see drugs as a means of curing the illness, more enabling me to get to a place where I can cope with life and then deal with any issues. I totally respect that this drug and many others are not for everybody and that there can be issues for coming off them but I have to believe that my GP has my best interest at heart and this is the preferred option to being on the floor in a heap unable to function. I'll deal with withdrawal when the time is right for me. I will take a look at the videos you mention. I think mindfulness and lots of other therapies out there can all be beneficial and in an ideal world we would not need drugs but if they didn't have a place they would not be available? At the end of the day, we are all individuals, it's a case if finding what works for you I think. I HAVE to try. I have to remain positive that this is the best option for me at the moment?

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    • Posted

      Hi Onlywayisup

      There's some great advice on this page, I only want to add that it's worth bearing in mind that the lower dose of Mirt' is more sedating (oddly enough), and after the initial start up period of a week or more you may well feel less sedated, also remember that this drug has a slow-release sedative in it that lasts pretty much all day.  24 hours for me!!

      Taking it an hour before bed is usually what seems to go well with most.  You don't speak of any anxiety with your depression which is a blessing - praise the lord - so I wonder if this is the drug for you.

      I've put on 20 lbs in a year whilst taking 15 mg of Mirt, there doesn't seem to be a difference in the food craving mania whatever the dose, and mania it can be!  I'm withdrawing very slolwly now from 15, and the lower I go (at present) the more sedating during the afternoon it seems to be.

      I think your doctor is dead right starting you on 15, worth a mention that upping to 30, a lot of people on this forum have increased anxiety.

      If I had a choice of another AD I would go for it if I were you - Mirt' is great for insomnia and anxiety but you don't appear to have either.

      Wishing you well

      C

       

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    • Posted

      I sent you another reply but not showing and on checking it was because I gave my email address. I thought you might like to pm me rather that share here publicly. Stay well and things will get better in time.
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    • Posted

      Did you know that you can private message someone by clicking on the "envelope" icon on the right hand side of their post, when you are logged into the site? There's one on your posts, and on Onlywayisups.
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    • Posted

      Hi Onlywayisup, 

      I totally get it, and respect your path.  I only offer up caution because I am coming out the other side of spending the last 19 years on antidepressants.  Depression and anxiety run in my family, and so I thought I had the imbalance deal, but there are plenty of reasons that depression runs in families without it actually being genetic, and the imbalance hypothesis has never been proven.  For instance, my parents didn't instill in me life skills that would have helped me be a happier, more confident adult because they didn't have the skills to give, didn't receive them from their own parents, and in that way, patterns can be passed down.

      At any rate, antidpressants are best used for those acute suffering situations, to get through to a place of more stability, but just beware the long term, as was how I ended up.  I wish you well :-)

      I had tolerance withdrawal whereby depression came back up even as I was on the meds, and additionally, I had withdrawal depression and anxiety as I made dosage drops.

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    • Posted

      I agree that AD should be saved for crisis times only. Yet docs tell you to stay on them for 6 months after you feel better. After my first episode I was on them one year only. This time 11 months but having changed this month will not stress to much and follow docs advice.
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  • Posted

    I have been on 15mg per night for about Four months, this med does work and also the tiredness will decrease once it gets into your system. After two weeks I suddenly found that my mood was so much better. I have put on a bit of weight, but now know I need to watch what I am eating. I have just been advised to increase to 22.5mg and again with the increase have started to have a few side affects. But I am hoping after a few days this will vanish. I am now on day four. Hope you get good results as I did. The only reason I increase the dose was because I was feeling a bit depressed because of weight gain. good luck.
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