Posted , 12 users are following.
I would like to share my withdrawal experiences in a bid to encourage all of those having a hard time coming off this drug.
I was prescribed mirtazapine for sleep issues in April last year. I was assured by my Doctor that they are 'totally non addictive' and that I 'could come off them at anytime' This was appealing to me as I was desperate for a solid 8 hours sleep (I had been sleeping around 3-4 hours a night for 2 months)
Please note, insomnia was the only reason for taking these tablets. I didn't feel depressed, just desperate and anxious for sleep.
My sleep improved dramatically from the first tablet I was sleeping for at least 9 -10 hours each night. At times I'd feel a little groggy but most of the time I felt refreshed and I was so relieved to be sleeping well again.
About 4 months later, my sleep pattern started to become very erratic. I'd sleep for 10 hours one night and then I wouldn't be able to sleep at all the following night. I contacted my Doctor and she advised me to double the dose. I didn't double but I did increase it from 15 mg to 22.5mg This seemed to do the trick. Apart from the occasional bad night I was sleeping well again.
My sleep continued to improve for at least 3 months, until my sleep became erratic again. The mirtazapine had obviously pooped out and I had become too tolerent for this dose. Of course my Doctor advised increasing the dose again, but I had wised up this time. I wasn't going to set myself up for another fall, I couldn't keep increasing the dose for the same thing to happen again.
I decided to taper off the medication. I had no idea of the misery and suffering that lay ahead. I would go up to 3 consecutive days without any sleep at all. Not even the dozing type! Instead I would have heart palpitations and repetetive songs playing in my head throughout the night. (I later realised this is a common withdrawal symptom) I had it really bad.
I felt completely depersonalized. I didn't have any interest in anything and I could barely muster up the energy to leave the house. I have my own business and this really suffered. I was a wreck, a complete zombie. I'm ashamed to say that there were times that I felt suicidal. What had this drug done to me?
I was able to seek comfort from other peoples experiences on this site. I also contacted the charity CITA, I spoke about my troubles and the state that I was in. It was a relief to do this, as I tend to keep things to myself so nobody around me would've known the extent of the problem. They helped devise a plan to gradually come off the medication altogether. It was reassuring to know that my symptoms were very common and that the situation would improve. They weren't able to give me a timeframe as recovery varies for different people.
I had spent 5 months on a slow taper from November - April. I cut the tablets up into smaller pieces and remained on 2 mg for a month. I then continued to miss one 2mg tablet over 7 weeks. So I'd take 7 one week, then 6 in a week, then 5 etc.
I have been off the tablets completely for over 6 weeks. I'm not out of the woods yet but I feel so much better. I sleep between 6.5 - 7 hours each night. I have been taking 100 mg of 5htp capsules an hour before bed.I could only take these after I had quit mirtazapine completely in order to avoid the risk of seretonin syndrome.
My advice to anyone suffering from withdrawals is know that the symptoms will pass eventually. stay strong and do the best you can to get on with life. Try not to dwell on the withdrawals and know that each day you're getting furher away from mirtazapine. There will be set backs, that's part of the withdrawals. Just accept it and keep moving forward.
Good luck to everyone trying to come off this drug. You wil get there!
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