Mirtazapine withdrawal 2 months, still suffering.

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Hi

I've been on mirtazapine 15-30mg for about a year for depression. I decided to stop becuase I want to be med-free. I tapered very fast going from 15mg to 7,5 in 1 week and then 7,5 to 0 in 1 week.

Its now been 2 months since i took my final dose and i'm still suffering badly from withdrawal. My stomach aches and rumbles and feels like needles hitting my chest. Very very anxious and a constant feeling of that there is something very wrong with my mood. This does'nt seem to get better and I'm considering going back on mirt, because it's almost unbearable. I'm thinking i'll never be able to get off this.

Is this normal? It can't be my depression only because there is no way my chest/stomach/mood would be like this otherwise.

Very thankful for any help.

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Roy

    I think you have reduced far too quickly. Personally, I would restart at 15mg and taper 10% every 2-3 weeks. I know it's fiddly and seems to take forever but that's the best way to avoid these withdrawal symptoms. Look for older posts in this forum, in particular follow David's story (he has a cute Yorkshire terrier). Look back to Jun/Jul and you should be able to pick up. He describes in great detail the horrors of stopping this medication cold turkey. All the best.

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  • Posted

    Hi roy like you i have had very bad withdrawl i have just had to go back onto 15mg  mirt started again yesterday allready feeling like my old self again i did taper off from 45 mg got to 7mg over 3 to 4 months then stopped from 7 mg lasted two and a half months from stopping at 7mg  untill yesterday couldent take the withdrawwl and panic anymore going to taper off it slower starting after xmas a lot slower hope you are feeling better soon
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  • Posted

    You are definitely in protracted withdrawal and went way too fast on the taper.  Anxiety and depression are common withdrawal effects, tricking people and doctors into thinking you are relapsing.  You could probably get away with reinstating at 7.5 mg.  Since you want to be off eventually, no point in going higher than that if that will give relief.

    I'll put the link to the post that I created for getting off psych meds safely.  There are links there that point you to more help on how to taper.  The problem is, the meds are not made in increments that facilitate getting off.  So, decreasing by half tablets and such leads to failure and people going back on the drug, perhaps the reason they make the tablets in such large sizes!

    Mirtazapine is hell to come off of.  The method that is most ideal is to taper by 10% of the previous dose.  So, if you went back on 7.5 mg, you would stabilize there for a month, and then remove 10% of that for three to four weeks (so, 6.75 mg).  Then, as long as you feel stable, you would then cut another 10%, removing .68 mg, for about 6.1 mg.  If you keep halving the previous dose, that is a 50% cut and your nervous system will definitely rebel, especially as you get down to the very lowest amounts.  How to get such dosages, you ask?  You buy a jeweler's milligram scale (we can get them from Amazon in the US for about $25), and we break off bits of the tablets to get those amounts.

    You might find this all too fussy, but when you have been through the horrible withdrawal and fear you will never be able to come off the drug because it is too horrible, it is amazing what lengths you will go to!

    If you are in the UK, you may be able to get a liquid version of mirt from the pharmacy.  You dose it with a syringe, and try to get as close to the 10% as you can with the little marks on the barrel of the syringe.  At the lowest doses, it may be necessary to dilute with water 50:50 or such, to get the right amount more easily.  If math isn't your strong suit, you can ask me!

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  • Posted

    Hi Roy,

    This sounds like Mirt WD. I tried to go off Mirt twice and went back on and my symptoms went away. The third time I was able to get off Mirt. 

    Go back on a low dose get stable and then do the recommended very slow withdrawal that was recommended by Betsy. 

    Good luck and I hope you feel better quick. Maybe start low like 7.5. This should put you in a much better spot. ( if not then do go back to 30 but it would be more ideal to try 7.5 first ) 

    This WD can be very bad ...get well soon...

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  • Posted

    Hello again! Thank you for your kind answers, it really helps.

    Listening to you guys, you conclude that I've withdrawn way too fast. But according to my doctor "Withdrawal from mirt only last for about a week and what you feel is something else".

    I find this really weird and not good at all. How can the idea about withdrawal be so different? Because I know this can't be right.

    Should I try to withstand another 1-2 months in hope of feeling better? Or do I have to reinsate the medication just to be able to get off it at all?

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    • Posted

      Hi Roy

      Sorry for your suffering, so many doctors seem to believe you can get off Mirt' within a couple of weeks which of course is so very wrong, leaving us bewildered!.  The majority of folk who have been on Mirt for a while need to follow this slow taper method.

      Don't let the quick WD or practically cold turkey experience that you have experienced scare you too much, once you stabilise back on Mirt at your choice of mg - once reinstated on Mirt (it may take several days or more to feel "Mirt" well again).  Because then, you can have a safe ride off the Mirt' doing a slow taper using the 10% plan.  Are you UK Roy??

      Wishing you well Roy

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  • Posted

    Calmer is right.  The doctors are good at getting us on the drugs (sometimes not so good!) but haven't got a clue about getting you off.  The drug manufacturers do NO research on how to get people off, but due to reports of exteme side effects coming off, they now put a disclaimer saying something like "sudden cessation of this medication may cause discontinuation syndrome."  

    Many of us, especially the older we are, were raised to always trust the doctor, the doctor knows best.  Unfortunately, there are many bad doctors out there, and some good doctors with bad information.  We are ultimately in charge of what goes into our bodies.  Why would symptoms that are called withdrawal if they fall within two weeks, four weeks, or six weeks of stopping these drugs be called withdrawal, but the same symptoms that fall outside that line are now called "something else?"  I've seen many people chase symptoms with expensive testing only to find they are totally normal.  The docs really need to go on the withdrawal support forums and listen to the collective experience that is withdrawal there.

    Yes indeed, very fast your taper was.  I think I mentioned in another thread that you could reinstate at 7.5 mg and see if that brings you back after a few days to a week.  If not, then try 10.75 etc. 

    I've just spent the last hour weighing out my doses for the next two weeks.  A real pain in the butt, but I've suffered severe protracted withdrawal and don't want to go there again!  Also, those who go too fast at the lowest doses really lose their sleep, unable to get any sleep for nights at a time. You really don't want to go there.  And unfortunately, when folks have made such big drops that their sleep is affected that way, a lot of times reinstatement doesn't bring the sleep back!  Much better to go too slow than to make that error. Little to no sleep is the worst thing that any of us can do stress-wise.

    Also try to protect yourself from big stressors during this time.  Some find that or even too much exercise to exasperate withdrawal symptoms.

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    • Posted

      Hi Betsy

      So you grind the tablets & weight the powder into nightly doses - I was wondering how you store these small amounts ??

       

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    • Posted

      Yes, the madness of it all!  I bought empty gel caps off Amazon.  Right now I am weighing 16 mg which is actually 160 mg.  I have 30 mg tablets so break them in half, weigh that, and add powder from tabs I grind up.  Put that in the capsule.  I weigh out doses for two weeks at a time so that there is consistency across those doses.  Might not be as critical with mirt, but when my Effexor dosing was off, lower than I thought, I had WD and only figued it out when I went back and re-weighed those doses.  I have a pretty sensitized system from protracted Effexor WD last year.  First timers might not have to be so exacting!

       

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    • Posted

      Yes, might seem a palavor but well worth the effort.   So the active ingredient (being Mirt') is only actually 10% of the whole tablet, the rest being some carrier powder ... didn't know that, I've never weighed them, learn something new all the time!

      Kdeep up the good work Betsy.

      X

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    • Posted

      Thanks, Calmer!  Yes, lots of carrier/binder in those tablets!  My 30 mg tabs weigh 300 mg. I've heard that the original manufacturer has a lifetime patent on their binders, though the active ingredient goes off patent and can be made by the generics; therefore, the generics have to come up with their own binders, and that is why different generics can have different affects at the same dosage!
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    • Posted

      And once I get down to the single digits of gross weight, I will try to switch to the Soltabs so I can make my own liquid and keep the 10% going from there.  The mg scales lose their accuracy at those low doses - have a +/- 3 mg error!
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