Mirtazapine - is side-effect of feeling drowsy and lethargic long-term?

Posted , 8 users are following.

I have started to take Mirtazipine (lowest dose, of 15mg) a week ago. It has solved my long-term problem of insomnia. However, I feel very drowsy all the time. I therefore take a nap for about two hours in the daytime, and, despite that, after 8pm or so I can hardly keep my eyes open. So I'm back to bed fairly early (say, 10pm) and then getting up at about 10am.

I have got responsibilities and can't continue to live like this, wasting so much time sleeping and not feeling sharp when I am awake.

I have read widely about the medication and the lethargy and drowsiness is a common side-effect, but it says in some places that this side-effect subsides over time.

To what extent does the feeling of lethargy and drowsiness reduce over time? Is it significant or minor please?

If it is significant, then it may be worth me persisting with the drug, but if it is only a slight reduction I can't go on like this and am considering trying a more natural remedy like St John's Wort.

Your advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks very much.


1 like, 15 replies

15 Replies

  • Posted

    Has your doctor suggested you progress to a higher dosage after a few weeks? Personally I started on 15mg then went up to 30mg after a month. The drowsiness seems to go if you're on the slightly higher dosage, plus your body does get used to the levels and adapt. 
    • Posted

      Thanks very much for your prompt feedback.

      Yes, the doctor wanted me to take 30mg, but I myself suggested the lower dose as I didn't want to suffer so many side-effects.

      Logically one would imagine that 30mg would have more side-effects than 15mg?

      How drowsy / lethargic do you feel now please?

      Do you feel as alert or sharp in the daytime as you used to before taking the medication?



    • Posted

      For me the drowsiness was only at the start. Of course everyone reacts differently so I cannot say for sure that this will be your experience. When my doctor suggested Mirtazapine, she warned me that the medicene should be taken at night because of the liklihood that it would make me sleepy and it was made clear to me that you have to go through that phase, but that once you are on the higher dosage that affect would diminish. So I knew before I started that the aim was to get up to 30mg and passed that drowsiness phase.

      As I recall I felt fine. I saw my doctor every fortnight to give a running report on how I felt. I've been on Mirtazapine for a year now, and the only thing I've noticed is a dip in my lidibo. This is a common problem as anti-depressants such as Mirtazapine target the same chemical balance in yout brain. I'm considering coming off of Mirtazapine because of this but it's helped me through a problematic period in my life and side effects, such as sleepiness, were mild if noticeable at all.

  • Posted

    Man up.Ive been on 45mg for 2 yrs and sleep 5 hrs a day
    • Posted

      Being new to a drug can be quite daunting, especially if it's going to affect your daily routine. There's nothing wrong with seeking other people's experience for some reassurance.
  • Posted

    Hi Fana,

     I was on 15 mg to start and the drowsiness wore off for me after a couple months, it's tough to remember cause it's been awhile. But I know for me it did go away. I would not suggest going up on this medication. It's difficult to discontinue and also why add more if it's doing a good enough job. I'd stay at 15 for two months and it you are still lethargic then maybe it's not the good choice for you. It worked well for insomnia, and anxiety ...for me.

  • Posted

    Don't worry : get to 3/4 of 15 mg. You sleep without Being drowsy in the daytime. I Celular had your same problem until I found it out . I had to stop working for months!
  • Posted

    Second advice: get off mirtazapine NOW, since it'a ONLY one week and get St. John's Wort. Right away.
    • Posted

      Hi Manuel, You recommend St. J Wort.   Did it work for you, Is this what you did?  Intrerested in your experience.
    • Posted

      St. John's  Worth ONLY 2 weeks after Mirtazapine to avoid interactions.
  • Posted

    I totally agree with manuelmanuel get off it.I started at 45mg 4yrs ago, I'm now trying to get off it and the side effects of comeing off it is worse than your feeling now.Im down to 15mg and that's took me about 3months and it's getting harder.Theres to much to go into but on the leaflet of tablets they tell you side effects of going on them ,but not the side effects of comeing off them.Take manuelmanuel advice and try something else.
    • Posted

      Ops... You Just gave me another reason for my lawsuit. No indications on the leaflet about withdrawal reactions. 
    • Posted

      That goes for tablets manuelmanuel .A couple of years ago life threatening chest infection as I suffer with Emphesema ,I was on a life support machine my family didn't think I'd pull through,but the point I'm trying to make here is they took me off all my Meds as they were just concerntrateing on keeping me alive including 45mg of Mirtazapine and I was in a really bad way.My doctor put me straight back on it plusDiazepam.Trying to come off it now is really hard.Sorry I was just trying to make a point,I would advise anyone to go back to there doctor and try something else. 
  • Posted

    Hi Mirtazapine doesn't make me sleepy, but if the dose is high it can be hard to wake up in the morning, that's why I set the alarm so I do get up.


  • Posted

    Thanks a million everyone for your feedback. It has been incredibly useful.

    As well as studying everyone's comments, I have spent a few hours reading up on Mirtazipine online.

    The literature on it also says somnolence (“sleepiness”) is a side-effect for around 54% of people who take it, which is a very high ratio.

    For whatever reasons, the somnolence is affecting me perhaps more than most. After only four or five hours of waking up, I just want to hit the sack. I resist it, but that’s the only thing on my mind and it makes my day a struggle, as I am resisting my urge. It also makes me slower and less productive in whatever I am doing. By comparison, previously I could spend about 14 hours a day doing 1001 tasks without feeling much fatigue.

    I am feeling delighted on the one hand that my long-term insomnia issue has finally been resolved, and I feel better as a result of that, but, on the other hand, I can’t live like this (I am aware than the impact will reduce as I continue taking it, but perhaps not significantly). If my life was settled and ostensibly successful, then I could sit on the drugs and go through several months of enabling them to benefit me, while living a more relaxed pace of life.

    However, the underlying issues in my life, which are what causes the depression, would not get resolved. The docs could argue that I would then be in a better frame of mind to deal with them, but I can’t afford to only do a few routine tasks in a day and then drop into my bed. I need to be on full form, sharp, and work hard to deal with the underlying issues.

    Putting the chemicals from such a powerful mediction in my body to make me more chilled out and relaxed reminds of how people take (illegal) drugs to make themselves feel better rather than dealing with the actual issues in their lives. With dangerous side-effects for me: wasting hours everyday sleeping too much, eating too much, not getting enough exercise, and ultimately being in no better a position in terms of my actual life-situation, say, a year down the line – indeed, in a worse situation, as I and the people I look after get older and weaker.

    So I’m going to have to, very reluctantly, come off the medication (slowly) and then try an alternative, natural regime to get better. My Bible for that will be a brilliant book that I have been reading and trying to employ the strategies in it: improving my diet, getting fitter etc. The book is called "Younger Next Year". It has already enabled me to lose 1.5 kg in weight in the last few weeks and if I stick to a much healthier diet etc. I am hoping I can boost my serotinin levels in a natural way.

    Thanks a lot again for the incredibly useful information.

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