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In a month I will have come off mirtazapine completely and for some of that time I have been able to work and do my job pretty darn well.
I went on mirtazipine for anxiety and it did not work and I put on 1 stone in weight was drowsy all the time and generally doped out. In some ways it was actually causing more anxiety and depression as well. Withdrawing from mirtazapine is different for every person and everyone has to go at their own pace. For me, it was extremely slowly when I got down to 7.5mg and lower. The tablets don't allow you to do this so request the mirtazapine solution that you dispense with a 1ml syringe into a little bit of water every night. Going cold turkey is a terrifying experience, the one most awful experience of my life and its also dangerous. I do not agree with people advocating taking valium during the withdrawal process because for anxious or depressed people a drug that powerful leaves you vulnerable to addiction because speaking from personal experience that is exactly what happened to me. Valium in my experience is nowhere near as hard to withdraw from than mirtazipine because it is so short term whereas the mirtazipine is a long drawn out business making it hard to lose perspective on what is a withdrawal symptom and what is your underlying problem. I kept a diary of my symptoms so I could look objectively at what I was experiencing and sort it out, but I still forget sometimes. As I said earlier about some of the time I have been able to work Im talking about the past 6 months where I have been following a plan devised by myself that works if you find the quicker withdrawals like \"half a table for a week then nothing\" or cold turkey dont work. There is a website by the organisation called CITA (google it) and they have a Back To Life handbook that you pay £13 for and it gives you a specific plan for mirtazipine withdrawal, tells you supplements to take such as the powerful detox drink Noni Juice, how to alter your diet to help decrease withdrawal symptoms. I had my vitamins tested and whereas before the process I was fine, afterwards I had a chromium deficiency making me very sensitive to sugar. If you can hack it I have found that a low carb, low sweetner, low sugar diet like the Atkins or the Dukan diet work very well as the mirtazipine plays around with your blood sugar levels and therefore makes you even more unstable. My basic way of withdrawing was this:
Ill use the drop from 0.1ml to 0ml (of syringe solution which with the 7.5mg solution equates to about 0.75mg very very tiny!!) as an example because that is what I am doing right now:
Week 1, take 0.1ml apart from wednesday when you take nothing
Week 2, take 0.1ml apart from monday and wednesday \"\"\"
Week 3, take 0.1ml apart from monday, wednesday and friday \"\"\"
Week 4, take 0.1ml apart from monday, wednesday, friday and sunday
Week 5, take 0.1ml apart from monday, tuesday, wednesday, friday and saturday (only take 1ml on thursday and sunday)
Week 6, take 0.1ml only on thursday.
week 7 , take nothing!
So each week you are cutting out one day of the week's dose which I have found really suits mirtazapine because if you just drop down a dose the withdrawal hits you really hard 2 weeks after and by 3 weeks on the dose I was horrifically depressed. If its too fast you can do the week 1 pattern for 2 weeks etc which I did for a while. I do see what they mean about mirtazapine having a short half life because it does hit you in the face at the 3 weeks marker, it is as if it just leaves the body very quickly between 2 and 3 weeks of dropping a dose. The gradual withdrawal that I ended up doing I think really suits mirtazipine because of this aspect.
The drop downs I did was, 30mg, 15mg, 7.5mg (half a tablet) (with the tablets I simply dropped the dose again when the withdrawal symptoms subsided) this bit was debilitating and I do not advocate it. Use the plan set out in the Back To Life booklet instead. When I tried to go to nothing from 7.5 then I experienced absolute horribleness. So I switched to solution and did 1ml (7.5mg), 0.9ml, 0.8ml, 0.7ml, 0.6ml etc etc down to 0.1ml which Im doing now. I got the solution from my GP so it is not hard to obtain it in the UK, it costs the same as a regular prescription, i think it is available in America aswell but im not too sure.
Finally i will just outline my withdrawal symptoms: vivid dreams, disrupted sleep/over-sleeping (I did a test using SleepCycle, an app for the iPhone to test whether a small dose of mirtazipine could affect my sleeping and I found with the analysis tool that I had much less deep sleep and was much more easily disturbed to being fully awake during the night than when I didnt take any mirtazipine. I think this is why you oversleep on mirtazipine.) Paranoia, itching skin, body shocks (like tingles that run from the top of your head to your toes), headaches, fatigue, bruxism or teeth grinding (can make my jaw ache), depression, anxiety, nausea, burning mouth syndrome (like a numb tingling in your tongue), floating sensations when going to sleep, cravings for sugar and carbs, confusion, forgetfulness, angry outbursts, irritability, hot/cold flashes, insomnia (the most disturbing for me but on my really slow plan I dont get this problem at all), social withdrawal (probably because my emotions were so erratic i was embarassed for anyone to see me), body aching especially in my back where I hold most of my tension, sensitivity to noise and light, blurred vision.
Some more tips: People often fear it is their illness coming back when they are experiencing withdrawal symptoms, this was not true for me because as I am nearly off mirtazipine now it is the best I have felt since I started taking antidepressants. They are only supposed to be used short term but I ended up on them for 6 years. If you felt no effect with the antidepressants after a few months it is best to come off them. Dont even risk it with drinking alcohol, it makes the withdrawal even worse, your body is going through a lot and it needs as little rubbish to deal with as possible. If you feel a burst of energy as I have done during this process even if it is 9pm go for a jog. Dont just sit around waiting for it to turn into a panic attack. And finally go with the flow and remember its not real and only temporary. \"This too shall pass.\" So just do your best at real life and hibernate through it all. This drug is not easy to come off just as all antidepressants are hard to come off, it has been compared to heroin withdrawal and having researched heroin withdrawal I agree with the comparison. If you drop too suddenly and end up seeing the doctor because you are suicidal and at your wits end you must slow down and dont let them just pump you back up to 30mg, just go back up to the last dose you took before you went crazy and go slower next time. A word of warning: the majority of GPs and doctors do not understand antidepressant withdrawal and from my experience neither do psychiatrists fully, they just prescribe. However you must not blame them for their ignorance even though it is hard not to when you are in hell, you put the drugs in your mouth so YOU have to get yourself rid of them at YOUR pace. It is sadly the ways things are in the UK at the moment.
The best of luck to anyone who is on this road.
I hope something I said in there helped you.
If it didn't nothing lost!
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