Mirtazapine Withdrawal

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I have a history of addiction and anxiety and was on citalopram a few years ago. I had a nightmare time coming off citalopram and hoped I would never need to go on medication again. However, I was paid off from my job in May and had, what I realise now, a mid life crisis. I just felt myself sinking into a pit of hopelessness.

I went to see my doctor and the options were psychology or meds. I've been down the NHS psychology route and couldn't face it again, so I reluctantly agreed to go on meds, but stressed I didn't want citalopram again as coming off of them was terrifying.

I was put on mirtazapine which were supposed to be easier to withdraw from. Well, I took them for 3 months and they were a wonderful antidepressant, but I built up a tolerance to them very quickly and put on 2 stones. I got to the stage where I was going to have to up them to 45mg and I had to way up the consequences. I didn't want to put on more weight and build up more tolerance.

I decided that I had dealt with the mid life stuff, so I would come off meds and make a new start. I hate missing out on sleep, so I came off them gradually and 4 weeks ago stopped them altogether. I haven't slept all weekend and have been having attacks of intense rage. My eyes were popping out of my head at one stage and I was afraid of feeling like that.

The upshot is, coming off these is hell also. They say these pills are non addictive, who are they trying to kid. Granted, they got me through hell, but there is a heavey price to pay. I hope to god this is the last time I need to go through this.

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi John

    Been off mirtazapin for 5 weeks its been horrendous i felt so bad. So bad today i have finally taken some more didnt want to do it but couldnt stand it no more the anxiety was crazy did u have this reaction or do u think the deppression is back?

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  • Posted

    From previous experiences it takes me about 6 weeks to recover from AD discontinuation. In the interum it's very hard to seperate the withdrawals from the negative thinking. I'm having a good day today, but feeling a bit run down as I was on an emotional rollercoaster over the weekend.

    I haven't had a major panic attack for 4 years now since I did CBT. However, I'm not cured of anxiety. but certainly do not suffer from it the way I used to. I've also did some excellent work through a 12 step based program which has helped me to grow and mature.

    I'm giving myself the permission to be a bit anxious and depressed until I'm free of the withdrawals, before I make a decision on whether the original depression has run its course or not. I wont hesitate to go back on meds if I need to, but going to try really hard through other non medication strategies to cope with life. I have a wonderful spiritual life which is helping me.

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  • Posted

    I'm in week 5 of complete withdrawal now and still alternating between cold symptoms, insomnia and anger. It's definetly not amusing any more. Hang in there to anyone who is going through the same. You are not alone.
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  • Posted

    Last day of week 5. Still experiencing withdrawals but hardly noticable now. Another week and I will be completely clear of them. I know from experience now that it takes about 6 weeks for me to settle down on meds, then about 6 weeks of complete abstinence to come down off them.

    I've booked up for a retreat next week. Need to shut the world out for a few days and get a chance to process everything that has happened to me lately, then start a new chapter in my life.

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  • Posted

    Do you get the same symptoms you had before the medication,as when you stop?i.e i seem to have chronic insomnia whether I am on medication or not.So i don't think they are helping much.i don't have any other discontinuation symptoms as such
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  • Posted

    Well, its still too early to say whether the original depression has been exacerbated. The baptism of fire will be getting a job and seeing if I can cope with the stress. If I can get settled into a job, I believe that everything else will fall into place.

    As for insomnia, I seem to be getting a regular sleeping pattern now. I don't know much on that subject, but I'm sure there are forums dedicated to insomnia that will be helpful.

    All the best

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  • Posted

    Thanks,

    I know a job can be a problem,especially with no sleep for 3 weeks like me.I do evening classes for 3 hours a night,even that makes me feel worse.

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  • Posted

    I'm in week 6 now and just had a sleepless night. The night before when I eventually fell asleep, I had the most depressing dreams. Had to come back from my retreat early, as I just felt irritable around people and needed my own space. Wasn't until I checked this site again that I remembered that I'm still suffering withdrawals from these bloody pills and life isn't really as bleak as it appears at the moment.

    So, still hanging in there and hoping not to go back on meds, but will if I have to. I'll just keep myself busy one day at a time. I hope this log is helping people out there.

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  • Posted

    Dear John g, Are you still feeling better? I reduced my dose of Mirt, from 7.5mg to 3.75mg, 6 weeks ago and suffered terribly all the way thru. Couldn't face doing last 3.75mg reduction slowly so as of yesterday I stopped my Mirt completely! My problem is I am in recovery from Valium addiction that I stopped 13 months ago and still have some residual withdrawals from that. I feel extremely nauseaous at the moment and can feel the terrible headaches coming back. You get a strong nervous sensation in your belly? Can you list your symptoms you had coming off? Did you have itchiness, tension, cramps, tinnitus, etc? Please reply to this cos I am desperate to know how long I can expect to feel ill. Thank you and good luck in your recovery/life.
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  • Posted

    Hi danray

    I'm still experiencing a protracted withdrawal from alcohol, very similar to protracted valium withdrawal. Low moods, nervous, intense feelings, headaches, constant ringing in my ears and generally feeling miserable. I'm sorry to hear that you are going through a similar hell.

    I'm on my last day of week 6 of total abstinence from Mirt. Have slept well the past 2 nights. My feelings of rage have diminished to a kind of dull headache. I've put on 2 stones since starting Mirt. I weighed myself yesterday and decided it was time to take the weight off again. So went without my Saturday night binge last night. Good sign that my general mood is improving, cause if it wasn't, I would be giving a shit about my weight.

    They said valium wasn't addictive when it came out, and now we know they are highly addictive. We seem to be follolwing the same pattern for antidepressants. People can't get off them because the brain has built up a tolerance to them. Don't get me wrong, they got me through hell, but there is a heavey price to be paid for it.

    On a positive note, I do believe I'm through the worst of it now at around 6 weeks of complete abstinence. Hang in there buddy and get busy with your spiritual life. And if you don't believe, form your own conceptions.

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  • Posted

    Justshort message JohnG cos feel SO TERRIBLY ILL. Thanks for yor support! What was your last dose of Mirt? Mine was 3 days ago from 3.75mg to zero. Did you have muscle problems as symptoms? If you can list your symptoms. May be few days til I reply cos feel like I'm dying! Regards danray
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  • Posted

    3.75 was my last dose 6 weeks ago. My symptoms have alternated between

    anxiety

    sneezing / flu like symptoms with joint pain

    aggression / rage / headaches

    insomnia

    and periods where I'm feeling o.k.

    Symptoms come and go and progressively get weaker, but they just seem to keep lingering on. Definitely feel I'm through the worst of them now and my general outlook is improving.

    Hang in there, your doing great.

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  • Posted

    Just over 6 1/2 weeks now. Felt really low yesterday and not sure whether still withdrawals or original depression. Still having small sneezing fits in the morning which whould suggest that I'm still experiencing Mirt withdrawals. Finding it hard to motivate myself to find a job until I know where I am and what my future is with regard to my mood.

    Forced myself to walk 5 miles yesterday and it certainly did get me out of myself for a while.

    Just want to get some closure on this chapter now and get on with my life. I'm 41 and life is slipping through my fingers.

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  • Posted

    Hello John G I succeeded in coming off mirtazapine earlier this year. I had to have have two gos at it because the panic and anxiety were so bad. I was also allowed saome valium to ease the withdrawals and panic attacks. I also mangaged to shed all the excess weight that I had put on with it (20lbs) unfortunately I'm back on the mirtazapine 30mg as I have had a relapse. This is fine for the depression and I'm not our of the woods yet. I have started to put on weight again but still attending weightwatchers so I'm hoping that I can keep it all in control. I wish you well John with your drug free life.
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