Mirtazapine for depression, brain zaps - scared

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I've long suffered from depression, hashimotos thyroid, and chronic migrained. The last two conditions, I've been very active in treating with an endocrinologist and neurologist, but depression has never been under control. 

For thyroid I take, 113.5mg desiccated organic thyroid (naturethroid) and have been steady for years.

For migraines, I take topamax 75mg nightly, which i realize is also a mood stabilizer. I actually tolerate it very well and have been on it for 4 months with minimal side effects - just weight loss. And additionally I take magnesium oxide 800mg and b2 300mg.

And abortive migraines I take naratriptan 2.5mg.

My migraine medicine routine cut down attacks from 12 a month to 2-4, making life livable again.

So now I finally set out to treat depression, and first found lexapro untolerable. I was drunk and slurring and unable to drive, my psych deemed that class out of the question for me. 

So now I'm on mirtazapine 7.5mg, nightly, and i'm supposed to go up to 15 in two weeks. This is my 4th day, and i'm already experiencing terrible brain zaps and clicking in my eyes and head every afternoon around 1pm. It's really scary, and kind of feels similar to the beginning of how the lexapro experience started for me. I read somewhere that triptans for migraines and seratonin meds shouldnt mix but my doctors never mentioned this concern and all know my meds.

I really really want to tackle my depression and try to have a fulfilling life. I just got a new job and have a few weeks over the holiday to test out these side effects and or deal with withdrawals. Does anyone have any advice or hope on the brain zaps? Im so scared that mirtazapine will stop me from being able to work at my new job, or contribute to migraines. But if i stop the medicine im not sure ill try another antidepressant for a long while. I'm not sure what to do. 

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  • Posted

    This may sound like an unusual response, but I would recommend juicing. My son suffered from depression as well as a host of other medical issues and the doctor suggested we clean up his diet and start juicing. I juice cucumbers, celery, apples and a bit of ginger every morning and the family drinks it on an empty stomach. After about two weeks, some of his symptoms started to disappear, including his anxiety and depression. It has been about 5 months now and he is well again. My husband’s chronic migraines and acid reflux have also gone away. For me, my mood has improved dramatically (I got off Mirt a year ago) and my daughter’s anxiety has gone away. We are all sleeping better now and it has been like a miracle to see my son heal. The dr also had my son go gluten free, dairy free and sugar free but this was a while after we started juicing and he was healing. 
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  • Posted

    I see you got off mirtazapine a year ago,can I ask what dose you were on?and for how long?and how exactly you went about tapering down,and what what withdrawel effects     did you suffer? And how long they lasted etc? I had been on 45mg for 6 years,worked well for major depression,but last two years awful nightmares and bizarre vivid dreams.I have tapered from 45mg to 15mg since May (with all the awful withdrawels mentioned) and will taper down rest after new year.
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    • Posted

      Hi Crisy,

      In response to your questions, I was on 30 mg for 4 years. After a horrendous CT stop after 3 years, I slowly tapered down over a year’s period. I had a local pharmacy compound a liquid for me. This allowed me to reduce by approximately 5% every two weeks. I did have WD effects during the taper but it was mainly mental though the fatigue did get worse at lower doses. 

      I tapered down to 0.25 mg and thought I would be home free when I got off. The first month was manageable. However, I was prescribed an antibiotic at the one month off mark and all hell broke loose. I kept thinking it was the antibiotic but after a few weeks, I realized they were classic WD symptoms. Horrendous insomnia, depression and anxiety, toggling daily, and overall, feeling like I was going crazy. I’d wake up very early in the mornings with hot flashes and racing heart. It was not pleasant. However, my family supported me to stick it out. Months 2 and 3 were tough. Months 4through 6 were better but still not easy. My mood was flat and I was still tired a lot. When I started juicing, I noticed my mood lifted and I had more energy.  Most importantly, my brain processing is much better. I was unable to multi task while on Mirt and little stressors were too much for me. I’m now handling stress much better these days. And I actually laugh again!!!

      It has now been a year since I got off and life is much better. I am still somewhat tired compared to how I used to be but that could just be age related. 

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your response,and very well done on getting off the mirtazapine,it seems that almost nobody escapes the withdrawels symptoms Scott free so to speak,will be tapering off the last 15mg come April with liquid which my GP has prescribed,and hope withdrawels manageable.have already done 45mg down to 15mg since May this year (and with most withdrawels everyone seems to have) just hope come jan2nd when I start my 10% decrease every 4 weeks,withdrawels will be kind to me.hoping they can't be any worse than what I have previously suffered with first 33% decrease,from 45mg down to 30mg then slower,between 25% or 16% per 4 to six weeks down to 15mg.now holding until Jan 2nd.

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  • Posted

    Hi Rob I wouldn’t try to advise you what to do with your meds as I think only your Doc can do that. However I share my experience for what it’s worth.

    I have been taking 15mg Mirt at night for 18days to treat anxiety and depression. I am just beginning to feel better. I continue to have periods of lethargy in theday and periods of energy. Also times when I just feel ‘strange ‘ and yes it’s a bit scary but it passes. I do hope things improve for you. I do think this site is helpful in sharing experiences so we don’t feel so alone.

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