Mirtazapine withdrawal

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Hi all

I’m looking for some advice and reassurance. I was put on mirtazapine 30mg 18 months ago for post natal depression. I was hospitalized with my baby in a mental health facility. I took the 30mg for 2 nights and found it gave me vivid dreams so the psychiatrist dropped my dose to 15mg which I found incredibly sedating (in a good way at night) and have been taking that for about 15 months. I have very slowly been reducing my dose by purchasing 15mg tablets and 1/4 them, removing a 1/4 at a time month by month. I had barely noticed the lesser dose - it worked fantastically well. It’s interesting to note that when I ran my plan via my psychiatrist he told me to just stop taking it and thought I was over thinking it! For the last 6 weeks I’ve been on 3.75mg and still found this sedating at night. Two weeks ago today was my sons 2nd birthday and I decided enough is enough - I want to give him a sibling one day and I want to get off this drug so I stopped it. The first week I was absolutely fine, sleeping through the night perhaps not quite as deep but well rested but this last week has been tough to say the least. The first 5 nights I would wake at 2 am and often not go back to sleep and the last two nights have been incredibly restless (maybe 3 hours all up). Has anyone experienced this and how long do you think it might last on average? I’m afraid I’ll never sleep normally again. I used to sleep 9/10 hours a night like a dream before baby and medication! I am also a registered nurse and fully admit that the medical girls are poorly informed in this area. It’s dangerous territory. My thoughts and sympathy go out to anyone else struggling - I’m with you!

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  • Posted

    Hi Catherine,

    I’m so sorry you are struggling. Sadly, what you are experiencing are classic WD or discontinuation symptoms. 

    Since you were able to drop larger doses, your symptoms might be manageable. To give a point of comparison, I dropped down to 0.25 mg and still experienced WD symptoms. But I tapered much slower than you as I was/am more sensitive to reductions. 

    There is a reasonably short window within which you would ideally reinstate if it is indeed too much for you. And realize that it could take months for some sense of normalcy to return.  And the lack of sleep might last a while so you might want to look at other options to help support your sleep. 

    If things don’t settle down pretty quickly, there is also a secret fb group you could join that will help support you with advice on how to move forward and help you to understand that what you are experiencing is quite real. 

    Best of luck to you. Hopefully you will be one of the lucky ones to get through this reasonably intact. 

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    • Posted

      Thanks kindly for your reply KC

      Can I ask if you were able to successfully cease the medication? And if so how long did the WD symptoms last from that final drop. In hindsight perhaps I should have incremented it down more so! I thought I was being super cautious compared to what my psych advised :s

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    • Posted

      Hi Catherine,

      Yes, I was able to get off I have been off for almost 2 years now. 

      It, honestly, took me about 6 months to get stable and another 6 months to feel normalish, so it was a long journey for me. 

      I also began juicing at the 6 month mark, which I believe helped my body to detox from the residue of Mirt as well as other stuff in my body and my overall health has improved dramatically. So it was a multi-prong approach for me. 

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  • Posted

    hi, I wasn't on it that long, but when I quit I made it 31 days and started back on it, I've only been on been on it a few weeks , went back to 7.5 , now on 3.75 so I'm still stuck with it, but when I quit I had problems sleeping , my doctor put me on a 2 week.sleep schedule, go to bed the same time every nite. he said to take 10 mg melatonin, then go to bed, if after an half hour take if not asleep take an otc sleep aid doxylamine succinate 25 mg, then if still awake take a tazapam, I never had to take the tazapam, took the doxy a couple times, but the schedule worked for me, I also drank 2 beers in the evening before bed, I'm no expert I'm still on 3.75 but I'm trying to get off the med, and I'm having problems too, hope you sleep

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  • Posted

    Hiya Catherine, my sympathies are with you and anyone suffering on this awful medication. Check out my story I posted the other day about my struggle to get off Mirtazapine and battling insomnia. Doctors are not aware Mirt is addictive and cant understand how badly it gets the hooks into you, unless they have been on it themselves I reckon. I have been free of Mirt for 7 months. Even after 4 months off I could still feel the effects, and was gobsmacked because I couldnt believe it could still have a hold that much later. But then things steadily got better. Take care
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    • Posted

      Thanks for your post Dan

      Did you take something to help combat the WD / sleep disturbances? I have nitrazepam as a back up but don’t want to become dependent on that either.

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    • Posted

      Yes and no. I was offered Quitiepine to help to get to sleep while tapering Mirt but didnt want to replace one problem with another. When I first had insomnia I tried Melatonin to no effect, but may have not been on it long enough. Once I stopped Mirt, the sleep clinic put me on Melatonin  again, but for 3 months and it was really good this time. I also took 150mg tablets of magnesium - they are great in fact I still take them. Seem to naturally knock you out just before bed. Make sure you are tired once you go to bed (exercise is good) and dont read/ watch TV in bed because the brain wont associate the bed with sleep. Got that from CBT techniques at the sleep clinic. A few other things, I had very low Vitamin B12 from my always upset stomach which affects your ability to think, so its good to get comprehensive blood tests to see if you are low in anything. Dr should give you all the results if you ask. Getting off was like 3 steps forward and 2 or 3 back. Some days were a breeze and a lot were a b****. But there is nothing like finally getting your facilities and sleep back. Good luck!
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    • Posted

      PS. I also tried progressive muscle relaxation for a while at bedtime. Another good one is with eyes closed imagining observing clouds floating over you in the sky. Lastly I wear blue light blocking glasses from about 7 pm. They look dorky but stop the blue light in normal household lighting and screens. The main benefit is they make me start yawning and feel tired.
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    • Posted

      I was on mitrazapine too when I came off too I suffered from insomnia some nights it was only 50mins per few hours. I now take magnasium too help me but I still struggle with sleep since being on it. Xx
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  • Posted

    Hi, I'm withdrawing and sleep is getting better. I take magnesium tablet a hour before bed and sometimes melatonin. I also take if desperate a antihistamine as these make you sleep. I also use mindfulness to relax me and breathing exercises. A glass or two of red wine on Friday and Saturday nights also helps. It does get better. The more u think I won't sleep , then u won't. Try to relax, read a book before switching the lights off. Remember most people don't get more than 4 hours sleep a night anyway. I googled this and knowing this helps get your mind off not panicking about sleep. As a last resort stay awake for 24 hrs as this resets your body clock. Good luck.

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    • Posted

      how are you doing on your withdrawal , I saw your taper plan on here, I quit for 31 days after being on for 2 months, 15 for 2 weeks and 7.5 for 6 weeks, withdrawal got bad my 4 th week so I had to go back to 7.5 , I took 7.5 for 12 days, and my doc said to cut to 3.75 this will be my sixth day on 3.75, been pretry rough but I see him next week so I am hanging in there,
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    • Posted

      Hi, I'm doing really well. Took last mirt on Wed after doing the method I discussed last time. No now hopefully that will be the last. Had no real problems, just the anxiety like I mentioned before. Feel back to my normal self. So hang on in there.

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  • Posted

    Hey guys

    Thanks for all the advice and support - this forum has been more helpful than the $100s spent on psychiatrist. Last night I took this herbal sleep aid it’s just valerian, magnesium and lemon balm. Much much better night. I followed the pack (took for when retiring then another 1 when woke).  Also I’ve cut caffeine and alcohol for now to help my body detox but totally get that a glass of wine/ beet could help some. Here is the link to the tablets. Ps I feel fine this morning- no hangover.

    Moderator comment: I have removed the link(s) directing to site(s) unsuitable for inclusion in the forums. If users want this information please use the Private Message service to request the details.

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  • Posted

    For sleep, I now use Progesterone, magnesium and C B T oil. When that doesn’t work, a wellmind tension relief tablet. And then phenergan. The first three do the trick most nights. 
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  • Posted

    My theory is that our bodies are not getting the nutritional support we need which gets the body out of balance and then issues arise. 

    When my family started juicing, each our our health issues began to clear up. We also cut out gluten, dairy, and most processed foods. It is mainly plant based these days. But if you saw the health improvement in our family, you would understand why we continue with this way of eating. 

    My nurse practitioner told me that if our gut works properly that the body will heal itself (my son was incredibly ill at the time for 18with undiagnosed health issues).  She suggested I get the first book by the Medical Medium and follow the dietary protocol, but most especially the juicing, and he would heal, regardless if his underlying issue. We also started the heavy metal detox smoothie with mist of the ingredients 

    My son ended up having lead poisoning and EBV but by the time we got the diagnosis, he was already 4 weeks into the healing process.   

    While the symptoms you are experiencing are coming from your brain trying to find its center of balance again after getting off of Mirt, I would suggest this very clean way of eating to help support your body so it can have all the nutritional support to heal itself, including removing whatever has built up over years from our current way of eating. The juicing is important for many reasons and you can google it to see how the Medical Medium explains how it helps. 

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