Mirtazapine withdrawal - Ongoing sleep trouble

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Hi,

I have been off Mirt for 3.5 month now. My sleep never recovered so far. I wake up every night after 3-4 hours and then can't go back to sleep. I have tried all kind of remedies from sleeping teas to 5 HTP, Tryptophan and Seriphos, accupuncture,.... Trying to avoid sleeping pills and Trazodone but running out of options as I am getting to a breaking point. Any suggestions what could help or did somenone had similar experiences

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  • Posted

    Hi Georg

    I'm withdrawing also and have been reading around this for what seems like light years !!  So an idea I have in reserve and have been recommended many times on this forum and elsewhere is Phenergen - non addictive. 

    Also making sure there is plenty of Magnesium in your diet and if concerned could take Magnesium Glycinate before bedtime, although I havn't tried this but am eating food rich in Magnesium.  I make a smoothie up and keep it in the fridge, you can google foods rich in magnesium, the moderator will take off my post if I put on a web site.  

    Also of course, meditation, every day, just 2 x 10 minutes to start with then build it up to 15 or 20 - no need for more unless you want to.

    Hope some of this may help and wishing you well.

    C

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    • Posted

      Just another thought .......... you didn't say how you actually withdrew from Mirt' - from what mg and how long on for - I think this makes a difference to your body/mind readjusting.

       

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    • Posted

      Calmer is right on!  Knowing how you came off would be very helpful.  What was your highest dose, and how did you come off, what kind of taper schedule or was it a cold turkey quit?  Sometimes reinstating a small amount of mirt could help relieve symptoms, and after a period of stabilization you would then do a very slow taper off.  A 10% taper per month is recommended for harm reduction.  I know Calmer does 5% every two weeks.  Some people can only handle 5% per month; it just depends on the individual.  Your brain and body adapted to the presence of the drug, usually adding or subtracting neurotransmitter receptors, and when the drug is decreased too quickly or quit altogether, you are left with quite an imbalance again, and it takes time for the neurons to adjust again.  Adding more drugs for sleep and/or anxiety only complicate the issue since they also affect neurons and neurotransmitter levels and production.

      Poor sleep is a very common WD symptom for mirt.  

      I would add that you could try emotional freedom techniques (google that), also known as tapping.  You can use it for insomnia and anxiety, and just about anything.  I find tapping the acupressure points on the head and face very calming and will actually drop off asleep pretty quickly when I practice it.  

      I hope you get some relief soon!  I know how much worse it makes things when you can't sleep!

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    • Posted

      Hi Ian

      Stomach upset along with nausea are very common symtoms of WD, especially is you are going too fast.  But no I personally have not as I'm doing a megga slow WD plan.

      How are you withdrawing Ian & from what dose to begin with?  Such a difficult AD to come off unless you do it right ggrrrr !

      Best wishes.

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  • Posted

    Sorry to hear Georg that  you still have trouble sleeping after mIrt WD. Join the ranks as we all seem to have a problem to a very small extent or a much bigger extent after MIrt.

    from what I've read the reason mirtazapine is such a good medication for sleep is that is has an H1 histamine block. Once I knew that what I tried to do is replicated the H1 block once off the mIrt for sleep.

    Most popular OTC  H1 histamine blocks would be Benadryl. 

    Very sedating 

    Phenergan used for stomache issues is also an antihistamine. 

    For me replacing the histamine block for a few months was important to getting sleep. I looked at it like this. I was replacing the antihistamine that mIrt supplied without the mirt, yet non of these are nearly as heavy as the block mIrt supplys. 

    second generation anti histamines don't provide the drowsy affect but can still be an advantage while in mIrt WD.  ( Claritin ) 

    Why not research this angle and ask your doctor if an  antihistamine would be best for you.

    for short term sleep problems antihistamines are good for most. Non addictive no WD and could be what you might want to try to get back to a healthy sleep pattern. I used them for about 4 months and it was easy to drop.

    Good luck. And I hope you get a good nights sleep soon ! X

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  • Posted

    Hi I totally sympathise, I am on my first week after tapering down very slowly and averaging 4 hrs sleep at night, that is with zopiclone! 

    Dont nut know how much longer I can keep this up, thinking of looking into magnesium supplements

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    • Posted

      Don't delay on the mag supplements!  I take magnesium glycinate, 400 mg at bedtime, and it has helped get me sleeping better when I had been having restless nights.  It is relatively benign, though you might start with 200 mg and see how that goes.  The form you get matters as to absorption, and the glycinate form is one of the better choices though a little more expensive than the citrate and other forms.

       

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    • Posted

      Claire, how big of a cut did you make?  If you do the slow taper, you shouldn't be impacted so greatly?  I did a 10% cut Sunday night, three nights at that dose now, and no impact on my sleep.  Groggy this morning if anything.  I went from 19 to 17 mg. I am using a scale, though.  You all will suffer greatly if you try to go down by quarter tablets - it's just too much!

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Betsy, I was on 15mg and went down by 1.5 for ten weeks, I had no symptoms until I stopped completely. This is my 3rd attempt as the last 2 were disasters with my gp instructing me to half my tablet for 4 weeks and then just stop!
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    • Posted

      Where are you located, Claire?  I'm glad you did the slower taper.  So, you jumped off from 1.5 mg? How did you measure such small amounts?
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    • Posted

      Hi Betsy, I'm in Alton, Hampshire -you? I got liquid form and a 1ml syringe, although I had to fight to get it as it's more expensive than the tablets
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    • Posted

      Lucky you, Claire!  I'm in California and for some reason we can't get liquid mirt in the states :-(  I heard that maybe a compounding pharmacy can do it but it is very expensive.  Mirt isn't very soluble in water so making your own liquid can be tricky.  I'm glad you were able to get it.  Take it way slow!  Can you take 90% of 1.5 mg?  If it is too small, you could make a dilution of the liquid with water.  If you tell me what the concentration of the liquid is (mg/ml), I can help you with it.  At least don't go more than a 20% cut.  Are you reinstating your last dose, 1.5 mg?  That's what I'd recommend:  reinstate, stablize for a good few weeks, and then do micro cuts from there.
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    • Posted

      No I am going to stay off for the moment, the magnesium seems to have helped and I am definately less anxious. I am going to try and stay off for another week and then see if there's an improvement, if not then I will consider going back on a small dose. Seeing GP next week. 

      Thats annoying you you can't get it in liquid form as it does make it easier, also it's a pity you don't live nearer as I have half a bottle left!

       

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    • Posted

      LOL!  I'd be all over that half bottle, Claire!  Well, I am certainly happy for you that the magnesium is helping!!!
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