Mirtazapine withdrawal

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If anyone could share some of their experiences and perhaps advise on when this nightmare is going to end I'd really appreciate it. 

I’m 34, otherwise healthy, started Mirtazapine (in some sense against my instincts) about two years ago due to severe anxiety (no depression at all) and panic attacks. My Doctor prescribed Mirtazapine 30mg, to be tapered upwards from 7.5mg. 

I remember the first few days I felt a weird sensation when swallowing (simply felt like uncoordinated swallowing, where the food/drink seemed to be going at the wrong velocity towards its target). However, after a while and increasing dosage this symptom vanished more or less. 

Fast forward about a year and a half forward, and (apart from helping my IBS by making me numb) - the drug was totally useless anxiety-wise. I was still feeling very bad. True, I had not gotten many panic attacks, but I found that they were just transposed with a very generalized anxiety which I believe (self-diagnosed) had almost become a phobia: I became afraid of trying new things altogether from fear of having e.g., an allergic reaction (never had any of those ever in my life and never feared them before either). I had quit sports because I could not stand the sensations involving an increase in heart rate or blood flow. Done all of the tests and all is fine with my heart and everything else for that matter. It’s all in the head but the head controls your body and your mind.

 

The Mirtazapine just made me numb; I could feel less love to my fiancée (now wife!) and cared less about the world in general. Realizing that I had just become more anxious (if less panicky) the Doc upped the dosage to 45mg. What a disaster. More than a month afterwards I was just getting more and more anxious on a daily basis.

 

Eventually, AMA, I decided that going on Mirtazapine was the biggest mistake of my life. I started tapering, very VERY slowly. I think I went from 45 to 15mg with relative ease, taking more than two weeks at a time to decrease the dosage by 3-4mg at a time. Each time, I would feel great for 2 days, then start developing quite severe cramps and feel lousy for another week or so, then I’d get slightly better. Knowing that I am really ultrasensitive to any change in physiological parameters I tapered from 15mg to 3.75mg in a turtle’s pace: 3.75mg at a time, with more than a month (and even two sometimes) between each taper. I have a PhD in Chemistry so I know what I’m doing. Again, every time, after 2-3 victorious days where I’d feel like I’ve conquered mount Everest, I’d then feel lousy for 4-8 days; but then things would seem to be a bit better. Weirdly, at the lower doses of 7.5mg and 3.75mg I started again experiencing swallowing difficulties; I started choking on water and became very mindful of my swallowing dyscoordination. Still I felt altogether quite alright – and I believed that the remainder would be similar.

 

How wrong was I. I have come off it completely exactly two weeks ago. Again 2-3 days where I felt fine, then a few more days with cramps. Then, good old panic hit, with terrible anxiety that just keeps getting worse and worse. I feel terrible weakness, zero energy, I have withered due to loss of appetite (since when I eat my stomach just cramps a few hours later; actually not so bad since I had put on some weight during my time on Mirtazapine). I feel completely overwhelmed by the symptoms: every time there is something new. I feel weird tingling sensations and I have strange feelings of pressure in my stomach. I get dizzy a lot and then just feel weak. My muscles are sore without any reason. I was certain that these issues would resolve in a few days; Mirtazapine’s half-life is quite long and I know that receptors can take 2-3 weeks to get re-modulated (actually that’s why they always say that the beneficial effects of Mirtazapine will take around 2-3 weeks to become effective when you go on it). But I did not expect this gradual and horrible worsening of symptoms over the last 14 days. I have had to start treatment with Benzo’s (as needed, I try to avoid them but sometimes there’s just no way around it) and they seem to help in some instances, whereas in others they only seem to do a moderate/poor job at managing the symptoms. For the first time in my life yesterday I suffered from ED. Never happened to me before and despite a very supporting and loving wife, I felt that was yet another crushing blow. The weird thing is that all these things are not getting me depressed – just really anxious.

 

I can only hope that things will start to get better. I have no idea when these things would begin to get back on track. Doctors seem to be quite oblivious to my suffering, not really believing that withdrawal could be so powerful yet not finding ANYTHING else wrong. The situation is really frustrating.

 

One thing is clear to me: I’m never, EVER going back on this horrendous drug. It was a huge mistake beginning with it, and for all of you who need these kind of drugs: ask your GP or Psychiatrist what are the withdrawal difficulties expected for the medication. I know I sure wish I had asked it.

 

If anyone could share whether they’d experienced similar withdrawal symptoms and how long they’d persisted, I’d really appreciate your comments. I hope that by posting this someone else will also benefit as the internet searches are really frustrating as well.

 

 

 

  

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  • Posted

    I found 30 mg made me sleep for up to 12 hours and reduced it myself to 15 mg. I stopped taking it 6 weeks ago because it was painful to urinate. The effect of going off it was miraculous - my backpains went away immediately.
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  • Posted

    Hi, I ve been off mirtizapine for two weeks, I ve noticed your last post was 20days ago,I. Was just wondering how you are getting on.i agree with you 100% about this tablet !!! I will never touch again I was on it for 3 months I was only taking a quarter of 15mg tablet,I went down even lower for a week and stopped taking them,first few days I felt fine,then it hit me,the cramps,the nausea the total feeling of sheer panick the whole of my shakes inside I just never feel like eating I am a total mess.before I took these tablets I had anxiety like you I could choke on a drink of water I was always feeling like I couldn't t swallow food,I have trouble with my inner ear which causes me to have anxiety hence why I was put on these vile tablets,I also wish my gp had warned me about the side effects.i hope you are feeling well now, I hoping you can tell me how long these withdrawl symptoms will last. Many thanks
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  • Posted

    I was on 45mg for about 10 months. Four weeks ago I dropped to 30mg for around a week, then down to 15mg every second day for a week.

    Two weeks in I experienced a terrible rage. Once I recognised it was probably the withdrawal I spoke to my GP who wanted to increase the dose again. I told her I would think about it and then reduced the dose once more.

    Emotionally I feel like a fog has been lifted. A coupe of times I have become tearful but not accompanied with the bleakness I felt before starting the meds. Knowing that these were probably withdrawel symptoms I looked at them as a good sign as it meant the medication was leaving my body.

    i wasn't quite ready for the physiological symptoms. I had 3 nights of waking up after about an hour absolutely soaked to the skin and freezing cold. I would spend the rest of the night dozing in and out whilst trying to keep warm (duvet, electric blanket, onesy and dressing gown JUST kept me comfortable.

    During the day I would swing between hot and cold.

    My mood has remained positive but in the last week I had to go for an urgent chest X-ray to rule our lung cancer because I had developed a cough that just wouldn't go away or develop further. I was out of breath just going up the stairs and would have to sit to recuperate.

    The X-Ray came back fine. I now believe the coughing is also linked to the withdrawel. I am feeling worse today than I have in the last week. The hot and cold sweats have gone but I am still changing temperature all the time ( jumper on, jumper off all the time).

    I am begining to get weaker because even the thought of eating makes me nauseous knowing that if I eat even a small portion of anything I will feel sick for hours after. I am now forcing a slice of toast and egg a day to just get something into my body.

    In all it's been about six weeks since I started the whole weaning but I did do it rapidly. I will be riding out the physical effects as I am finding life has colour once again and I can feel positive emotions (it's been a while since I felt much of anything except grey) I see this as a battle and one I am going to win, with each new symptom I see it as the death throws of the medication and a step closer to my victory. It works for me. 

    Good luck to everyone and just remember none of us are alone and we genuinely know what it feels like. 

     

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    • Posted

      Hi Susan,it was very interesting reading your post, I m having hot and cold moments and I have mild asthma which has felt worse since coming off miritizapine, I take cyclizine for for sickness,as my inner ear problem causes severe sickness,they are marvellous I can take them up to 3 times a day if I want.i m struggling to eat at the moment but after taking cyclizine  half an hour later I m able to eat something light.please ask your doctor about them as I know how ill you can feel when you can t eat, I used to be sick up to 15 times a day when I was at my worst with my ears and these tablets saved me! Take care xx
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    • Posted

      Hi

      I know you posted this discussion months ago,

      I am starting mirtazapine withdraw starting tonight.

      I to suffer from middle ear problems, this makes me anxious and to be honest I think if my ears were ok I would not be depressed or anxious.

      Are you still off mirtazapine ?

      Your reply will be much appreciated.

      Matt.

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    • Posted

      Hi Matthew,Yes I m still off Mitizapine,I m still pretty anxious and a Quarter of diazapam now again when I m having a bad day with my ears,I also think I would t be anxious is t wasn't for my ear problem,but when you feel so unsteady it s hard not to get a little freaked out.i ve decided to see a counsoller.

      i wish you luck on your withdrawl,are you withdrawing slowly?

      i won't lie it did affect my balance for a little while I got vertigo.

      I m here if you need any help along the way x

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    • Posted

      Hi

      My thanks so much for the reply

      I only started mirtazapine withdrawal last night, I am currently on 45mg but last night I put the dose down to 40mg.

      I am going to do this for the next 7 days and then if I'm lower it to 35mg and so on.

      I haven't noticed a increase or decrease in amxiety today just seems to be consistent.

      I'm not sure if I feel dizzy because of the anxiety or if it's my ears playing up,

      Are you completely off mirt now, if so how long have you been off them.

      Do you feel clearer now your off them or worse

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    • Posted

      Hi Matthew,

      i was only on 15 mg of mirtizapine for three months,so I m not an expert on withdrawl,but from what others say,they seem to drop their dose every 2 weeks until they feel ok then lower again,the only thing I can say is take it slowly,some people don't suffer many withdrawl symptoms but there are others like me who suffered badly,I m totally off mirt,I stopped last September.

      i was only on it a short time,I didn't like the way it made me feel numb,I couldn't remember anything and I was putting on weight,I feel loads better without them,but I still have my ear problm,anxiety seems to come with ear problems,I know exactly how you feel about that problem,there is a patient.info forum for people with balnce/ear problems,it's good to hear others experiences it us feel not so alone.

      if you ve got any questions you know where I am,good luck and take care 

      https://patient.info/forums/discuss/browse/vertigo-and-dizziness-2395

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    • Posted

      I wanted to know how you are doing. Looking for hope. I have a acebook Page. Positive People Heal Quicker  Please look it up and send a friend request. That way we can communicate in real time. And if you have a positive story, please consider posting it. Thanks Mike Allen
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  • Posted

    Are your withdrawal s. completely over?
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    • Posted

      Hi, I m still not sleeping well and I ve had to take a low doze of diazapam to stop me shaking,my whole body shakes on the inside,my appetite is a little better but I m still feeling quite sick,it's 24 days since I stopped taking it and I just want it out of my system,or and the anxiety is through the roof without the diazapam,thank you for asking,I hope you are well 
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    • Posted

      If you stopped taking it 24 days ago, it means that only by the third week began to really abandon your system...What was your last dose?
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    • Posted

      Oh I didn't t realize,I have never taken anything that has such bad side effects !! My last dose that I took for a week was just the tiniest amount I could break off the tablet,I only took a quarter of a 15mg tablet for three months so I really didn't t expect to be so ill.my doctor is lovely but dons t seem to know much about the withdrawl symptoms ,how long do think it will take to get out of my system altogether.i take it you have been through the same nightmare at some time
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    • Posted

      Ah! There is a scientific reason I found out a few weeks ago:

      The serotonin transporter (SERT) occupancy after long-term antidepressant treatment (steady-state) at minimum clinical doses has been reported to be approximately 80% (e.g., Meyer 2007, J.Psychiatry Neurosci;32(2):86-102, review). However, this value is mostly calculated in the striatum, therefore the occupancy values in other brain areas might be better associated to clinical parameters.

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    • Posted

      Hello,

      ive been off mirtazapine for about four weeks I think (my dates are a bit blurry). I have never been quite as ill and still am but the gp thinks I have an an infection of some sort now but they can't locate it. My white blood count is really high which indicates an infection....yet none to be found. They have given me a high dose of antibiotics.

      Stick with it, the withdrawal does get better, the gp says it is out of my system now. The sweats have stopped and I do feel much clearer mentally than I have in years. I am now taking meds for the nausea and they work sometimes although my appetite is very poor. I think I have lost almost a stone in just over a month, never had a big appetite but now it's silly.

      I have palpatations all day and taking meds for that. I'm confident it will all settle down and it is probably my body just finding its natural levels again. 

      I responded earlier but the page froze up so I couldn't send. 

      Look after yourselves and be kind to yourselves .... We will get there in the end x 

       

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    • Posted

      Oh I am also extremely breathless and walking just up the stairs is quite a trial, something I have never experienced before. I also have a cough that started when I started reducing them. 

      I believe that the docs are not totally clear on all the withdrawal symptoms and it's possible we will be affected differently dependant on our own different bodies and coping mechanisms.

      Although I'm not very well at present (today was my first day off sick, the doc wanted me to take a week to fight the invisible infection.... No can do)  I do feel significantly better able to cope now that the night sweats have stopped and I at least get a decent nights sleep.  

      Try focus on sleeping well, it will give your body the rest it needs to recover. At the end of the day that is what we are doing.... Recovering. Take it as easy as you can x 

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    • Posted

      Hi Susan I'm sorry to hear that you re still not well , it's crazy what this drug does to people,I have asthma I never really have a problem with it but this last week my chest has been bad,I swear it's something to to with the withdrawl but my doctor dons t believe me.thank you for replying its so nice to know there are people who understand. I will stay strong, take care and keep in touch,x
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    • Posted

      Mirtazapine weakes our immunitary system...Yours it's just a very common reaction. The body gets a bit miffed when we take this stuff. What was your last dose again?
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    • Posted

      Aw Susan I don t know how you are working?? I m taking aloe Vera gel just to get some goodness back in my body.i just wish the doctors would warn us a little more about side effects I hate taking tablets take care x
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    • Posted

      Of course it has to do with the withdrawal, tell your doc to read the leaflet. The first time I trie to reduce the dose from 15 to 7.5 (At that time I had no idea about withdrawal), I woke up with a heavy breath and I freaked out. Then I understood I had to reinstate 15. Then after one month I had the guts to reduce at 11mg. Mild flu like symptoms, nausea, heavy breath for a week. Now, I'm planning to reduce 10 per cent every 2 weeks. Even though I'm reading many stories of people who went cold turkey from 45mg. The body is a miracle...In those cases they had no w.s. It's as if the drug had tapered itself off automatically.
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    • Posted

      I just did another long response and it froze ... Bah humbug.

      i went down to 15 mg every second day for around a week. It was quite a quick cessation .... I'd just had enough but wasn't expecting the withdrawals to be quite so intense. Once I realised I was half way there and decided to just go with it. I think you area ight that the immune system takes a massive knock, unfortunately I almost passed out driving to work because I was not able to eat at all. I made an emergency appointment and got tablets for the nausea, they have helped. At least I eat a little something every day now. 

       

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    • Posted

      GINGER TEA against nausea works great. You've been very brave...Jumping from 15mg to 0 ?! When I was at 15mg I felt so tired and drowsy that I had to stop working. Now, at 11, I feel better, I can function. I hope you can feel well asap!
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    • Posted

      Hi

      Can I ask what medication you got from the doctor for the nausea please? I've got some Metoclopramide but am a bit scared to take it as I've been so sensitive to other drugs!

      Thanks

      Jo x

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    • Posted

      Hi Jo I take anti sickness tablets called cyclizine, I m also sensitive to tablets and these ones are good, I have an inner ear problem that causes me to sick at times and these tablets help so much.x
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    • Posted

      Hi Susan,how are you? my weekend has been a little crazy,I couldn't t stop doing housework on Saturday even though I felt like rubbish,on Sunday felt like I was losing my mind,it felt like couldn't t think one minute and the next minute my brain was so busy I couldn't t settle,I watched a meditation dvd from the internet and I managed to get it all to die down,I ve got a permanently thick head,I have never felt so out of control.i hope you are feeling a lot better x
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    • Posted

      Hi Fudgeybear,

      sorry you are feeling so rotten, I think it's just a matter of riding it out and keeping ourselves as well as possible through the transition.

      I am certainly feeling much better than previously and the palpatations only appear after going up stairs or anything physical.

      I had to go back to work yesterday and I suffered last night with pains that felt like spasms and came and went. I'm full of nurofen and hoping that makes it manageable as I need to got to work shortly. I think my doctor was right and my body needed rest (it's very difficult for me to have time off as it will affect others) so I'm just trying to rest up as much as I can when not at work. Back at the docs Weds so we shall see.

      Try to get as much rest as you can but if you feel you are struggling speak to your GP. Try and eat things that will give your body an extra boost from within. I am finally able to eat something every day now and it is making a big difference.

      Hope you are feeling much better soon. I will check in on weds after the gp to let you know what they say and if they can figure if it's al related.

      Take care and remember each day is a day closer to complete recovery biggrin

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    • Posted

      Hi Susan thank you for replying,i m so pleased you re feeling a lot better,I m sleeping a bit better,and eating little bit,the anxiety still comes on pretty bad I keep doing relaxation DVDs they seem to help get over the panic for a short while.did you ever have the sensation that you couldn't t swallow,i guess it's just another withdrawl symptom.i m looking forward to hearing how you get on at the doctors take care x
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    • Posted

      To reassure you: yes, it's a ws As regards anxiety, it's also because this drug depletes you of vitamin D. Just had my blood analysis. They confirm what I had found out during a very deep research. Unfortunatelly nobody tells you. You should supplement with vitamin D right away.
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    • Posted

      Thank you for your advice Manuuel,I ll get some vitamin D,I hate the numb feeling in my throat I hope it passes soon,my doctor is lovely but I don think she believed that all my symptoms were as a result of the withdrawl it's so nice to be able to talk to people who have gone through the same thing. 😀
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    • Posted

       Hi guys,

      i had had real problems swallowing as if it was out of sync and I would end up wretching. That has gone now.

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    • Posted

      Having to respond bit at a time as it keeps crashing.... Feeling much better today, no palpatations
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    • Posted

      And no palpatations. Little bit tender in places but seems to be going in the right direction.
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    • Posted

      I think coming here has been extremely helpful and has shown that the GP's are not totally aware of all the withdrawals which might lead them to 
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    • Posted

      Prescribe more meds ...... It's been a bit of a nightmare but it would have been easier if I had known about all the possible side effects before stoping. That way we could be more prepared. 

      Will check  in tomorrow after docs x

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    • Posted

      Sorry I meant no nausea and without tablets... First day! Yayyy! 
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    • Posted

      Hi Susan that is fantastic news,I m so pleased you re feeling so well,thank you for your support it's been a great help.i m ache all over today and had a few moments of numbness and nausea this morning but I don t panic now because you have all assured me it's just withdrawl symptoms.thank you so much xx
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    • Posted

      Hi Fudgeybear,

      how are you feeling today? How is then nausea? It's really important that you eat to keep your strength. X

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    • Posted

      Hi Susan,I m eating a little better thanks,I take my anti sickness tablets so that helps,I m still aching all over and I ve for a thick head,but I m thinking a lot better,my thoughts don t seem so be so muddled so that's a positive.you should be so proud of yourself for getting through the nightmare.please visit us now and again 😀x
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    • Posted

      Please let me know how your doing  Go to Facebook Page Positive People Heal Quicker and send a friend request. Thanks Mike Allen
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