Mirtazapine - one month off it. Let's talk about weight

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So I have been off mirtaapine for a month now and I want to let you know what I have observed about weight.

When I gained 20lbs after being on mirtazapine for a while, I started to watch what I ate. It was hard because as you all know, it gives you a huge appetite! Soon just watching what I ate wasn't enough. I used an online calculator which worked out that with my age, height and activity level, I needed 2100 calories a day. So to lose a pound a week I needed to eat no more than 1600 calories a day. Soon it became clear that doing this did not make me lose a pound a week. In fact it was bearly a quarter pound. So I upped my exercise to vigorous cardio every day and finally lost that pound a week. Over the weeks and months, I calculated that the mirtazapine was causing me to need 400 calories less than what all the online calculators said I needed. People who say they gain weight on mirt even though they are not eating any more than before, are telling the truth. It is not just the cravings that make you put on the weight.

Anyway, as I tapered off the mirt, the cravings stayed with me until I reached just 5mg a day. But I still needed the same amount fewer calories a day to maintain my weight. This effect stayed until two weeks AFTER I came off the mirt. I was still gaining weight as soon as I ate normally!

Then suddenly, three weeks after being free of mirtazapine I am losing half a pound a day, without even trying. I have no nausea causing this and am actually consuming close to 3000 calories a day. Yesterday I had 3 chocolate bars and still lost weight. I work very hard physically mucking out horses etc, so need a lot of calories, yet on mirt I actually only needed 1800 calories to stay the same weight when working out every day plus doing the horses. That's a difference of 1200 calories! No wonder so many people gain weight on mirtazapine.

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  • Posted

    Thankyou so much for this .. just what I really needed to hear before I had a breakdown.. Iv been living on 500-600 cals a day for the past 7 weeks & I can't do it anymore .. I'm off to the hospital now to get off it.. its pure mental tortoise .. I just feel like crying all the time. .it's not a life having to live like this..I'm more depressed now than ever .. people have told me to try citrolpram. . So I'm hoping that's a good choice & change ..
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    • Posted

      Quite right, Sharon. It's just not sustainable. I was using online calculators, but in truth, my energy output is way beyond their scale. So I thought the effect was just 400 calories, when in fact, for me, it is closer to 1200 calories different. That would tie in with what you are saying about tring to survive on 500 - 600 calories. Impossible to do long term. Good luck with the citalopram!
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    • Posted

      Hi staz not good . I broke down because of what this drug has done to me . She said why didn't you come sooner .. because I was desperate for it to work.. I hate seeing her heart of stone. I mentioned going on citrolpram as iv done research (she hates that) she said no as not much call for it here & put me back on venlafaxine which I was on many years ago.. I can't remember why I came off it. She said that's the last drug I can be offered as can't take many along side lithium. There's no tapering either just straight off it she said . 😕
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    • Posted

      Hi Sharon,

      Sorry to here that and much love from me.

      Ven is supposed to be very effective as well. I didn't realise the lithium issue with cit though. Don't get too hung up on tapering either. Very often the fear of switching is worse than the actual effects of doing so. All you can do is give it a go so give it your best shot and hopefully things will start to improve. For you.

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    • Posted

      Arhhhhh thanks lots staz that means alot right now 😊

      We have a small amount of meds here ..& get given the cheapest before the best.. she wouldn't entertain cit just said we dnt really use it here ... when i told her of the side effects she said shes never heard such thing from any patient.. she just made me feel like a hypercondriack. I I'm gona see my gp ..I need to no why I came off venlafaxine last time. I'm scared it's gona be another weight gain problem. .this is what has triggered off the relapse with mirt .. I convinced myself it's not a problem but then my head exploded with it .iv tried to get some info on here about ven bt had no joy.

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    • Posted

      All you can do is give it a go and eat healthy Sharon. Approach it with an open mind and don't believe any scare stories. These AD's have differing effects for each individual and you won't know the impact until you have tried it. I've lost a stone while I've been on mirt which illustrates my point. If you've been on ven before can you remember if it impacted your weight?
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    • Posted

      I think putting weight on I can deal with as long as i can get it off & it stops piling on. It was the cravings with mirt that made it a constant battle in my head . That's what made me so ill. Because I couldn't sleep then either .. Iv been on a diet for 7 weeks with very low carbs if none & I felt this how it is for me forever ..as soon as i ate different just for 1 day I put 2lb on that week. Iv never researched my meds before phyciatrist don't like it ..but after the relapse I had I needed to. I was so desp for it to work I needed answers . Seems alot of people had the same side effects .. no I cnt remember anything about being on it ..just that I was..the phyciatrist knows this but had nothing to say about the matter . That's why I think I should go speak to my gp but iv got a feeling he can't go over her head.
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    • Posted

      I couldn't sleep at 30mg mirt either Sharon. I've dropped to 15mg since last Thursday with no ill effects and my sleep has returned to a good 8 hours per night and more if I didn't force myself out of bed. Did the cravings for food get worse with the higher mirt dose?
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    • Posted

      Oh that's great staz .. they most likely started from near the beginning but I didn't really notice .. looking back i remember endless eating after taking the pill & never feeling full.. i thought i was comfort eating .. but then going onto 30mg i realised it was sugar i was craving ..Iv never been.a candy/ sweet eater.. then i had a major relapse ..next day filled my face witj all sugery foods & felt fine, like yday hadnt happened. So i began to research then, mirt is hestime blocker ..so our natural insulin is taking all the suger from our blood..which then makes us crave ..makes so much sence .. so then I found this forum & seen that there's alot of people having same side effects..Iv also had the flu every other week , which is down to low blood count in white cells due to mirt. Im just so unlucky ..Iv always said i should be called back2front sharon .. 1st 2weeks or so on mirt I felt amazing ..just so typical of me .
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    • Posted

      Weird isn't it? I noticed no increase in appetite at all and no cravings for sugar or anything else for that matter.  I've not heard of mirt affecting count though. Where did you find that bit of info Sharon?
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    • Posted

      It gave me a low white blood cell count too, but not bad enough that I was suffering recurrent infections. I had nuetropenia, and my total white blood cell count was below normal range. It is a rare side effect of mirtazapine and so you are supposed to have a blood test a few weeks after starting and then at 6 months and annually after that.
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    • Posted

      I so wish it didn't effect Me the way it has.. I put a discussion up coming off mirt to go on citrolpram. . Some1 asked why.. I said I'm ill all the time .. with flu/colds she said low white blood cells on mirt ..that will be why. 😕
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  • Posted

    Hi evergreen

    hope you are well ♥ that's really interesting and like you did, I'm now counting calories on my phone app. I have never had a weight issue, so I knew it must be mirt induced.

    Whilst you're here .....lol

    can you give me your view. ♥ I am once again feeling grim, no energy, sporadic feeling that I'm going to pass out and once again very agitated. Been back on mirt for 4 weeks, the last two at 15 mg. Any ideas, this is what happened to me the first time on mirt, then doc told me to stop cold turkey! It was around the four week mark too! Fed up big time 11 months trying to get better!

    Would welcome your views xx

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    • Posted

      No i didn't, believe it or not my doc said I can adjust it to suit me! Rather vague advice lol. First time I only had two days at 30 and felt rotten! Maybe I should have given it a longer duration? Did you experience that weird feeling in the early days where you felt something very wrong and retreated through fear of passing out?

      Feel lost with it all evergreen ♥♥

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    • Posted

      It sounds as though it has reaally lowered your blood pressure. It did mine but I only felt I would pass out when getting up from a sitting or lying position. I have low blood pressure anyway so am used to i but the mirt made it ten times worse. I used to hang onto something and stay rock still until the feeeling passed and then I would carry on. Sometimes though when doing something which required a lot of bending over I felt really bad like something bad was happpening and I might pass outSeveral times I would be down the field cleaning up horse droppings and almost dial 999, I felt so bad. But nothing actually happened so I don't know how much was physical and how much was mental. So sorry you are feeling so lost xx
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    • Posted

      Sorry one last question lol!

      I may try 30 tonight would I be correct in thinking I need to give it a good week and then analyse? ♥

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    • Posted

      Yes, ideally. I think it takes 4 - 5 days to register its effects. I say that because when tapering off it, it is usually day four or five when you feel any withdrawal symptoms. So I would give it at leat five doses, unless of course, you have a really adverse reaction.
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