Mirtazapine to Venlafaxine

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Hi I'm new to this but have found some interesting information on here.

I started mirt 6 months ago. This was at my request as I had heard so many good reports with the drugs effect to battle depression. I changed from Trazadone to mirt as 300mg of Trazadone was giving me chronic headaches. I settled on 45mg of mirt which worked somewhat but I was experiencing at least one week a month of crippling depression. I have also put on 31lb! This is despite goin to the gym daily and sticking to a low carb 1200 cal diet most weeks.

I decided to come off mirt 6 days ago. The original plan was to augment with Venlafaxine (Google- California rocket fuel) however I decided to titrate down the mirt and titrate up the ven. Withdrawals have been nasty; nausea, dizziness, eye twitching, trouble sleeping, hot and cold sweats, headaches, foggy head, cold legs and feet, no appetite, extreme fatigue, but I'm persevering. (Nothing compared to opioids withdrawal). Luckily my mood has not dipped as yet. I also take chlorpromazine 100mg and melatonin 2mg to help me sleep.

Due to dizziness and not eating properly I am finding it difficult to exercise so at the moment I am just doing spinning classes. I figured I'm sat down do can't fall down. I am hoping that the withdrawals will get better with time and that I can lose the belly my partner calls fondly "the cushion". The cushion is massive!

I was wondering if anyone else has switched to Venlafaxine 225mg in a similar manner? How did you find the withdrawals from mirtazapine and how long did it last? Thanks for reading, feel free to post smile

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Lauralol

    I came of mirt a month ago and now just on venlafaxine. I found the withdrawals lasted approx 3 weeks, mine was mainly hot flashes/perfuse sweating and dizziness/nausea. My sleep pattern only returned last night. The good news is the loss of appetite meant I lost my big swollen stomach and other mirtazipine weight over this period. I am only taking 75 ven now as the higher doses don't agree with me. I think I am on the up now but still get easily tired.

    Persevere as the withdrawals from mirt will steadily drop away.

    wishing you better ?

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  • Posted

    Hi lauralol

    I just checked my dates and I have been off mirt for three weeks, not the month as I stated in my last message. So my guess is in the next two weeks you will be feeling much better and your cushion will be a thing of the past lol! ♥

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  • Posted

    Hi Lauralol,

    Thank you for this information, I'm seeing my GP on Friday to discuss coming off Mirtazapine. I've been on the combination of Mirtazapine and Venlafaxine for about 13 years, with doses gradually increased over time. My weight has gradually increased, but over the last year, despite joining a gym and exercising 40 mins x3/week, I continued to baloon. Up until now I've accepted the weight gain as I felt well. But now I'm experiencing long periods of depression despite the meds and in no small part caused by my appearance. I've gone from a steady UK size 14-16 to size 20-22. This is also due to learning to drive and a change in job (I'm a nurse), but even when I was employed in active ward work (12 hrs shifts, on feet all day) I was gaining weight. The more sedentary work has definitely impacted but I would have expected to lose weight at the gym. I've read a lot of accounts on this site and other blogs re the effects of Mirtazapine. It seems to me that some of my other symptoms, particularly anxiety and stress may be exacerbated by the Mirtazapine. So I'm taking the plunge, I'm planning to do it very slowly. Unfortunately mental health provision in the UK is not widely available so I may have to 'go private'. Only the most severe cases get referred under the NHS, and though GPs can prescribe psychiatric meds they lack the expert knowledge when people like me need guidance.

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    • Posted

      Hi Catherine

      you are so right in doing it slowly. I cut my mirt down to just a shaving of mirt before stopping. I think ven may be the tricky one for me to stop. (Not ready for that yet!) The weight started dropping off within days of stopping mirt. My appetite was zero so I decided when I ate it would be without carbs eg meat and veg/salad etc. I have lost over a stone in three weeks. My mirt belly has disappeared which is great!

      Please let me know how u get on ♥♥

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    • Posted

      Hi Catherine

      that's a big jump down and you may feel a bit ropey on day four/five. I would suggest considering the standard 10% drop for the first week to avoid any nasty withdrawals. Then if you feel stable drop another 10% and continue that way eg. Stabilising before each drop. I have successfully come off by doing it slowly and avoided horrid withdrawals. The first time I stopped at 7.5 and took the plunge to come off, I got so ill I had to reinstate. 2nd time around I took it slowly and the withdrawal was not a problem at all. (Apart from insomnia) please be careful Catherine, the doctors don't seem to recognise that big drops cause us to become very unwell. Please give me updates when you can ?

      God bless xx

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    • Posted

      I was on 45mg so I've reduced that by 7.5mg so I'm on 37.5mg. I talked to my pharmacist last week and yesterday, I asked for a tablet cutter so I could cut the 7.5mg down to 3.75mg and reduce the dose by that much each interval. He said I shouldn't need to make such small reductions, that it wouldn't be any more beneficial. So I'm giving it a go. If I feel I need to I'll cut it again. I'm going to stay on this dose for a month, then reduce it again if I feel ok.

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    • Posted

      Hi Catherine

      just gauge how your feeling after each taper. You will know if you have gone to fast within 3 - 5 days after the taper. When you reach your final reduction of 7.5 then it's important to reduce to 3.75 then split again to 1.87 don't jump off completely at 7.5 dose. I know the pharmacist understands meds, but like gp's they really don't understand how to taper with minimum distress to our brains and bodies. Have you looked on line at the 'surviving antidepressants' info. Its really informative. CatherineIi wish you loads of luck with your taper ? listen to your body and all will be fine. How you feeling generally? Do you feel ok?

      Sending positive thoughts and prayers to you ???

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    • Posted

      Yes Lorraine is right to add caution to the pharmacists advice; in mho, if you take baby steps firstly with the taper, (suck it and see) and its good for you, you can maybe next time try a little bit bigger taper, but if you take a too larger taper suffering may arise.

      Too many people are stuck in limbo with anxiety because their taper was too mighty, they step up the doses and zero - nothing seems to help, not meaning to scare, just best to be safe, not sorry.

      Wishing you well Catherine x

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  • Posted

    Hi I was on mirt for 5months I think ..never known side effects like it ever in my life.. should be banned. My pdr told me to come straight off it & on to venlafaxine. .which I didn't. . I really needed a break from the twisted pill ..so a 2 week break with the help of zopiclone .. its been 4months & I'm only just starting to feel better I put it down to the mirt with being so I'll on it. Alot of people on here swear by venlafaxine. . Only real side effect I have is head sweats ..just your head n face sweat terrible at times.tc

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    • Posted

      Hi Sharon, yes the sweats are an issue but I haven't found this unbearable. I see now that I did modify my activities in the early years because of them, so that hasn't helped my weight gain, but now I'm aware of this and I'm taking steps to get more exercise. The Mirtazipine did help me but now I can see, through reading the accounts of others, that the side effects are building up and impacting negatively on my well-being. 

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  • Posted

    I'm making the most of the nausea in a messed up way. A bit like when you wish yourself a bout of gastroenteritis to lose a few pounds lol. Headaches and muscle tension isn't great. I can handle the physical symptoms as long as my mood doesn't drop, that's what worries me the most.

    I've felt a little more human today. I don't count on withdrawals leaving me just yet though x

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