Mirtazapine Withdrawal- the key to success

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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!

Kathryn.

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  • Posted

    I everyone i just want to know can i go from 30mg of mirt dwn to 15mg overnight i have been doing the back to life book going up and dwn from 30 to 22 but im having not slept for 2 nights can i now just go to 15mg and stay there for a while as im comming off benzo. i just feel going up and down nightly from 30 t22.5 is confusing my body i was originaly on 15 and was k there

    thanks broomegirl

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  • Posted

    hiya peeps cheesygrin

    broomegirl why were you put on mirt and benzos for in the first place and how long have you been on them ?

    its not a good idea to try and come off both drugs at the same time, your setting yourself an almost impossible task sad

    come off them one at a time, if you are not depressed come off mirt completely first as the benzos will help with withdrawl/sleeping etc get used to no mirt then tackle the benzo reduction, do it nice and slow, if you need to stay on 15 for a while thats ok but do try and avoid going up and down with the mirt as it just confuses the issue rolleyes

    cheers,

    Ken~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ cheesygrin

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  • Posted

    Hi ken,

    thankyou so much for yr relpy its been so confusing here is my story i have been on benzo(valium) for close on 12 years and have tried to come off them this is my second attempt i was put on mirt 18 months ago it did help for me in the begining i am not a good sleeper and was having depression (mild) but more anxiousness and the sych doc put me on it as i was trying to come off valium and he said it will help comming of benzos and help with sleep.

    But for the last 12 months my panic attacks and anxiouness is out of control i get nausea back pain gut issues the list goes on but they kept puting my dose of mirt higher because they said mirt is good for despression and anxiouness,but i just got worse i really want to get off benzo but they do help with my anxiouness and i believe my problem is more the mirt than the valium.

    Its so confusing because i think i am in tolorence from the benzo as i have been on them so long so my question is do i stay on a low dose of mirt until i come off the benzo as the back to life book said come off benzo first as a tryclic ad will help for sleep and depression while comming off the benzo.

    I know this is a tricky question and need so much help from anyone that can help me as im so distressed with the process i know comming off mirt is harder than benzo as other people like kathrine said its the hardest drug to come off its harder than benzo to withdraw from

    So if anyone is in the same boat as me or at least knows wt i can do i know i need to do this slowly but witch one first (THATS THE BIG QUESTION), i was thinking if i can get to a low dose for just sleep with mirt ten maybe my benzo withdrawal might be alot smoother, the first time i came off benzo it was not this hard butthis time it is really difficult im sure the high level of mirt is just killing me.

    By the way im down to 6mg of valium daily and will try just staying on 15mg of mirt at the momment until i hear from someone that can really help me,i do know comming off valium is hard but i now as i have tried going off mirt before and it nearly killed me.

    I hope i havent confused anyone as i havent slept for days mike i do beliieve the going up and down with the mirt has confused my body it doent know wt to do the problem is im on 2 drugs i hate the only reason i stayed on mirt is that i dont sleep

    Pleassssse help me as i am desperate foe some feed back

    thankyou and i pray for a solution of this hell im in

    regards Tracy x

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    • Posted

      Hi Tracy.

      ive had your problem as well. Go to 15 mg remeron / mirtazapine and slowly go off the benzo...as directed by CITA. 

      Comtinue with the mirt another six months ....but the point is to get stable. No switching on the mirt. Stay at the comfortable spot. Can't do two drugs at once, way to hard on the body💜💙💚

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  • Posted

    Hi Broomegirl, I agree with Psychochief, try to deal with just one withdrawal at a time. For the period of when I followed the Back to Life plan, I found the going up and down difficult too, which is why I asked my doctor for the liquid mirt at that point. That way I could do smaller drops than the tablets allowed and then I could stay constant on a dose while my body adjusted before dropping again. The liquid mirt is a lot more expensive for the NHS to prescribe than the mirt tablets so your doc might be a bit reluctant at first, but try to explain how badly doing the jumps in dose is affecting you and then hopefully your doc will realise that there is a clinical need for liquid mirt. Then as Psychochief says take it as slowly as you need.

    If you can't get the liquid, then the tablets can be quartered with a pill splitter, I got mine in a well known high street health food shop. First work out your average dose for the week eg week 8 of the B2L prog has an av dose of 26.8g so if you were at that point, say, the following week you could take a 15mg + three quarters of a 15mg tablet giving a total of 26.25mg and take that dose for a week say. Then drop your dose by a quarter of a tablet each week therefore avoiding the constant ups and downs. Then if you were coping fine with such a small drop you could drop the dose by more the next week depending on how you felt.

    Good luck with the withdrawal. xx

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  • Posted

    Hi this is BG again well its been a real battle thanks tina B and sycochief for yr help i have managed in the last 2/12 weeks to get down to 22.5 of mirt,i made the desition that mirt was causing me more grief than the valium even though on benzo buddies uk they tried to talk me into dropping my valium first as i have been on in 12 yrs.But the thing is i just cant handle 6 months of getting off valium slowly and having to stay on mirt or 6-12 more months because its just killing me.

    I wished i never went on mirt i always thought my gi issues back pain muscle pain ANXIOUSNESS AND PANIC ATTACKS were valium they proberly are too but i just cant handle another long period on mirt any more my hubby really hates to see me this low and he can see how far i have fallen in the last 12 months on mirt so i believe this week im trying to cut another quater of my tablet and that will bring me to around18mgs of mirt,then in a couple of weeks start with the liquid mirt hopfully my doctor can organise it im from australia so im praying i can get a compounding pharacy that can get the liquid.

    Even though im on 22.5 it does not work for me anymore i dont even get the sleep any more and the nausea is horrific .I just wanted to check in and see if anyone else is still on benzos and mirt they both do the same thing to our brain,and one must go first i always thought of dropping the valium and keeping mirt for sleep but that just isnt a issue anymore,i know this is going to be hard for me as all i do is think the whole time about how mirt has ruined my life and im hoping the valium will support me a bit while i withdraw

    For anyone going through what i am or has gone through this support to me would be fantastic as i do get confused of which med to drop first,but i am going through this now, there is no turning back staying on it isnt an option any more,as i cant handle this any more .Wish me luck friends as this will be a battle.

    Just remember we are not alone alot of people say to me mirt makes you so anxious so it isnt just me

    Good luck to others just like me going through theToughest Time Of Our Life

    love to you all

    broome girl

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  • Posted

    Hi Kathryn,

    What you wrote in 2011 sounds really helpful. I propose to try this soon after talking to my Doctor.

    What is the latest news on you? All ok I hope.

    Thanks,

    Janet.

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  • Posted

    Hi to anyone still around who posted on this thread, there's not been any new posts for a long while. I hope someone out there will post again to help me, as I've found all the old posts very interesting and helpful. I am on mirt for anxiety also pregablin (lyrica, remaron) 150mg a day for the past 8 wks, I have put on a stone in weight, but I'm sure to the mirt. I really don't want to be on this med anymore as its more for depression I think. After reading about cita, I am going to contact them for the book suggested and start to withdrawal as they suggest. Before finding this forum, I have dropped from 30mgs to 15mgs in 2wks, first drop was no problem only 1 rough day, anxiety, disturbed sleep, but the second drop last wk has proved to be more difficult, so realise was maybe too big a jump too soon. The anxiety, headaches and insomnia hit on the third day, five days after I still feel rough, but managed to sleep for 5hrs which was much needed.

    I think withdrawal from mirt is going to be a struggle. Then I have to try to get off the pregablin!!

    I hope someone replies .... I don't want to be talking to myself, that will be another thing to add to the list paranoia lol

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  • Posted

    Hi Pat50, I was put on mirt for depression but I found it gave me awful anxiety. When I mentioned this to my psychiatrist she told me that mirt doesn't cause anxiety and is often used to treat it, and it must just be my underlying anxiety coming out. However, I never had that bad anxiety levels to start with and the anxiety I had significantly decreased as my mirt dose decreased so in my mind it was def the mirt causing my anxiety. That's just my experience, but if you feel the mirt is not controlling your anxiety or making it worse then I just want you to know you're not the only one! I would still approach your doc if you haven't already, it's good for them to know what you're planning to do so he/she can support you through it and they may be able to offer alternatives. Yes, Mirt withdrawal was a struggle for me, it may not be as bad for you. One thing to keep in mind is it does get easier the lower the dose and for me, the weight all came off too once the mirt was no longer making me hungry all the time. Just stick in there and know that you are not alone. Good luck. xx
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  • Posted

    HI ting b, Thanks for the reply, its nice to know someone is out there still. After dropping from 22.5 to 15mg nearly 2wks ago, & seeing my doc, who said most people don't get withdrawal from mirt !! Agreed I should try to come off it, but didn't really offer any further advice. I think I will try to cut with a pill cutter a 15mg pill into quarters then take 3/4 of a pill for a couple of wks and see how I feel, then see if I can get mirt solution.

    How did u get off tina b? How long had u been on?

    I have also contacted C.I.T.A and bought the book.

    My thoughts are with anyone going through this nightmare.

    Pat 50 F fr uk

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  • Posted

    I now have some liquid Mirtazapine from my Doctor, and she said that it will be better to start withdrawal aftermy holiday. I think that I will start with 15mg one day then halve it to 7.5mg the next day. Then if that is ok, I

    will drop to 7.5 mg and see how that goes. If this goes ok I will then start more gradually with the liquid,

    and reduce week by week. I will report back when I know how I'm getting on.

    Best wishes to all who are attempting to do this,

    Janie Lee

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  • Posted

    Hi Janie lee

    Good luck with your withdrawal from mirt, please keep in touch to let me know how wot are doing. I'm going to get the liquid mirt and cut down from 15mg one ml at a time, I found the jump from 30mgdown to 15 in 2wks was too farstfor me, and I suffered nasty withdrawal symptoms.

    Does and one know any good support sites for anyone going through withdrawl? I feel so alone going through this nightmare?

    Good luck to all

    Pat

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  • Posted

    Hallo All

    I have read your posts with fascination and am finding it very helpful to hear your experiences of coming off Mirtazapine. Not for myself- I am power of attorney for my aunt who is on 30mg per day and in a nursing home and age 88. She was put on it to deal with the depression and anxiety of moving into a Home but has a history of depression and sleepless nights etc. as do several of my other relatives.

    What do you think of my wish to take her off it? I think the nursing home will co-operate if the GP agrees but so many of you are saying that the medical professionals do not understand the withdrawal symptoms and I do not want to cause trouble of discomfort for my aunt or for the staff. Your withdrawal programmes sound so sensible and the drops for the smaller doses although how easy are they to measure for the staff?

    My aunt has been extremely depressed recently and even aggressive although she also has Parkinsons so this could be a progression in dementia. I am not trying to play at being a Dr but hate her being on so many pills this late in life.

    Any opinions and advise from you guys who have real experience would be very helpful and thank you for sharing what you have already.

    Good luck on all of your journeys back to health

    Harmony

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  • Posted

    Hi

    I hadn't been on Mirtaz very long, about 2 weeks @ 15mg. The tiredness effect was absolutley terrible. Okay I was seriously low but I still wanted to be able to function and go to work. I wanted to persevere until one day I flipped and called my ex loads and loads, saw him up the road, got out of my car, went to talk to him, didn't like how he was with me and then went home but went mad! Kept phoning him, wrote a letter to his new supposed girlfriend, threatened to take it round to her, threatened I'd turn up at his house etc.

    This is NOT me, the medication I'm sure made me much much worse. He ended up almost reporting me to the police and this is when I threw my tablets in the bin and have been off them now for a week. I have still been tired but not nearly as bad as before. I have the odd deep dream about people I knew 20 years ago! But I am determined to see this through. I have been emailing Samaritans almost daily am now volunteering to be a befriender at the Altzheimers society group and am starting to feel a little better.

    I say to the man whose Mother is on these. I would certainly wean her off them. Try a change in diet, alot more fruit, possibly herbal supplements and PuraEPA cod liver oil. I'm never going back to the doctoes about depression again. I am 49 and they have never been able to help me.

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  • Posted

    Thank you Sandra

    I am still unsure what to do since she is in a nursing home and I have less control over what happens. I don't want to risk them taking her off suddenly from reading all of your experiences on here...

    It is so helpful to hear real people's experiences and I am discussing it with family

    Harmony

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