Mirtazerpine withdrawal - A count down to being me again....

Posted , 6 users are following.

So comebacktolife nickname has come about from 8 months on mirt, now at 45mg. I was suffering from depression, anxiety etc in Feb of 2019. I suppose the mirt did its thing and helped numb me for a few months, but now I believe it is now the cause of bouts of depression, anxiety and feelings of dred. I know myself well and I know that these negative feelings are no longer of my own personal makings and it is this drug which is no longer my friend. Simply, I want my life back, I want to be me again, how I was before the mirt and of course before the depression, which I know has now run its natural course and so if I can only just get off the mirtazapine I can lose the weight, my tongue won't feel numb and tingly, my muscles will no longer feel painful, I won't feel as drowsy, I will wake up with energy and the dred and anxiety will be a thing of the past. Now here is the difficult bit, to begin withdrawing. I have to also add here, that if I had done some research of my own before starting the mirt, to understand the withdrawal process, then I may have reconsidered. I would be irresponsible if I didn't add that mirt for some people may be the drug that fixes their problems and coming off it isn't too much of an effort. We are all very different and drugs will react with us in very different ways. Unfortunately, I think I may be one of the percentage that may suffer with the withdrawal. I only say this as I recently went from 45mg to 30 and had the most painful headaches. I also experienced anxiety, which would come about for no reason at all. I would wake up, the day was going to be an average day, but there was that anxiety and sometimes dred creeped into the mix also.

Where am I now? I am back on 45mg of tablet mirtazapin. I have been on this high dose for about 10 weeks. I wanted to come off the mirt completely over the next two months, but my doctor says that is too quick. I have to admit that it is pretty scary to think that I am trapped with having to take this drug now, like it or not, for the next several months. Any other drug I've had in the past (Non brain effecting drug) I have completed the course and that's it, but antidepressents appear to be a whole new ball game. I may be one of the lucky ones where a quickish withdrawal will not be a problem, but for safety I think I will do it slowly. I have the liquid form of mirt ready to pick up from the pharmacist and once I have begun with that I will keep anybody who is interested (May be nobody, that's fine) up to date with a two to three week account of how things are going. So, just to recap, I am on 45mg tablet, I presently am suffering anxiety, headaches, numb tingling of the tongue, painful muscles, tiredness and, on a bad day, a feeling of dred. I know none of this is me and it's the mirt. My goal to be completely off mirt is 1st of jan 2020. Let's see how I get on. Fingers crossed!

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16 Replies

  • Posted

    hi i was on 45g of Mirtazapin for 7 years and then June this year i had a big op and had to take Tramodol and saw that it wasnt a good mix with Mirtazapin so decided to stop it altogether on my own.i was lucky i dont recall having any side effects,the only issue im having now is i wake up alot through the night and sometimes find it hard to get off to sleep again.But im so happy i am no longer on the tablet,so keep it up it will be worth it in the end.

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  • Posted

    I was/am in the same boat as you, on it about the same length of time, on 45mg. It can be hard to tell what is the drug and what is actual anxiety you'd normally be experiencing. I actually found coming down from 45-30 no problem. It wasn't until I lowered it to 15 that I really noticed a change - paranoid, anxious, etc but even then when I rode it out after a few days I started to feel level. I still get bouts of anxiety especially in the morning but I can ride it out. That's where I'm at just now I was on 30 for a month and have been on 15 for 2-3 weeks.

    I hear that the last step is the hardest one. Just listen to your body and if things get too much alternate at first so maybe take 30 one day, 45 the next for a while if you're getting bad anxiety from jumping right down to 30. I plan on going slow as I lower from 15 - I get it, I'm desperate to lose the weight I gained on this and feel like myself again, but it's better to take things as slow as you need as I know quite a few people who cut down too soon too quickly and ended up having to start back where they started.

    Good luck!

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    • Posted

      Thanks for sharing with me. Good luck to you too! How I forgot to mention in my original post I don't know but weight gain is also an issue/symptom of my mirt taking. In addition, restless legs, about an hour after taking my dose, I won't miss either! I will begin the liquid dose from this Friday, 5th October. If I only knew everything I now know about mirt and withdrawing I wouldn't have started. I'm not afraid of much in life but not being in my own mind does concern me. I just hope I can be me again one day....

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  • Posted

    i was on 45 and have been tapering for 19 months and am now on 3 mg.

    it definately gets harder the lower you get. i will take about 6 more months to get off

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    • Posted

      There with you Sarah. I just know, for me, there won't be any chance of short cuts and can see me still coming off in the new year. I begin my liquid mirt from this Friday, the 4th. I wish I could just go away from everything for 6 months instead of having to work and behave to colleagues like all is well. I'll just have to see.....

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  • Posted

    i hve been on mirtazapine from april 2018 to march 2019. i had acute anxiety last year and gp prescribed it. started on 15mg but i was fighting it. hence i cut it into half after 3 wks but had terrible withdrawal symptoms. but i endured the symptoms. decided to take it slow. then managed to come off last march. now 6 momths mirt free. sleep is back as well. i have taken it really slow, weaning off every 3 wks by 10%.

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  • Posted

    Wow, I have to say it is pretty exciting to see that everyone on this thread has learned about taking it slow to come off this drug! And I was happy to hear that a doctor actually discouraged a patient from coming off over two months, that it was too fast! Doctors have been the worst about understanding that when it comes to psych meds, we can't rush it!

    I remember the numb tongue well, though happily it is a thing of the past. I am at 0.8 mg using a homemade liquid with the SolTabs since the liquid isn't an option, here. If you get or make the liquid, do not alternate days - the whole point of the liquid is that you can more easily micro-dose down and have a consistent dose every day. Alternating is like playing basketball with your brain: full dose one day and cold turkey the next. I know it is hard to achieve those cuts as you get lower for those on the tablet. I've known people to make a liquid from the tablets as well. Warning: they do NOT dissolve in water on their own and need to be powdered, and the solution shaken well before every dose since the powder will settle out.

    I look forward to reports of your journey, comebacklife. You are wise to recognize that the symptoms you experience are not yours but due to the drug or the withdrawal. I remember the anxiety and especially the dread, the dread being the worst! I'd never experienced those feelings before mirt and effexor. The anxiety is a body feel, not a worry about something real. I had the headaches as well, and even digestive upset/diarrhea. As I got lower, I developed severe anhedonia and low motivation, low energy. At 11 mg I remember waking in the morning feeling like a zombie, a super sedated feeling. That may have been the point mirt crossed to being just an antihistamine and not a serotonin since it has different binding of neurotransmitter receptors at different dosages. Primarily a histamine blocker at the lower doses. Ride through it if that happens. That is why mirt is so often prescribed when people have insomnia since the antihistamine effect sedates; unblock those receptors and you have rebound = wait for it, INSOMNIA!

    I understand the frustration and impatience regarding having to go so slow. It's a tough pill to swallow that the taper may take longer than the period you were actually on the drug at full dose! I was on it 6 weeks before beginning to taper. I was also on Effexor, had been in a bad protracted withdrawal from Effexor and was put on mirt for sleep and appetitie issues before finally reinstating the Effexor. Now I was on two ADs when I finally recognized that all the hell I'd been going through was Effexor withdrawal and not worsening mental illness. Since I had stabilized, I didn't want to throw myself back into hell by coming off the mirt too fast even though I'd only been on it for 6 weeks, so co-tapered both very slowly. I still had numb tongue and burning skin/hot flashes in the beginning despite that! I am happy to report I am finally off Effexor and am on the last leg of the mirt taper!

    I look forward to reports of your journey, hopefully all positive! Mirt and Effexor have the reputation of being two of the worst to come off, so tread cautiously and updose/go slower if it gets really ugy. If you take it slow (10%) to begin with, you should be able to tolerate and push through whatever comes. Don't hesitate to hold for an additional 2-4 weeks if you hit a rough spot, giving your system extra time to adapt and get solid before marching onward.

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    • Posted

      hi

      i too am on mirt and venlaflaxine. down from 45 to 3 of mirt and on 150 mg if ven xr.

      i am absolutely terrified of the ven taper. i plan to go slow. how slow did you go on the ven taper and waa it better than the first time ?

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    • Posted

      Thanks so much for your advice. I begin my liquid on 4th of October, this Friday. I have a journalist, reporting type job, working on the environment. This means I need to be on the ball and considering my next move all of the time. I prefer work colleagues don't know about my situation and so I can only hope I can keep my emotions and odd feelings under wraps. I upped my dose back to 45mg last night after going down, for a few days, to 40. Today the feeling of dread is not so strong, anxiety, restless legs, tongue issue, some serious hearburn and painful muscles are still very much there. Oh and I have never been so overweight! Have to say that I was relieved to read that being overweight is to do with the mirt and so once I have fixed my mind I can then get back into the gym, once I get my motivation back that is. Anyway, thanks for replying to me.

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    • Posted

      Oh lordy, the first time I came off was over the course of weeks after I had been on it for 12 years and others for 7 years prior to that. Ten months of gradually worsening emotional disturbance far beyond my original cause for going on. I was put on mirt because I couldn't sleep or eat and was dropping weight, but it couldn't stave off the withdrawal and so I reinstated ven at the minimum dose. Within one hour of taking it, the clouds parted and the sun shone. But that made it quite obvious that I'd been in withdrawal, and now I was on two ADs! I won't go into why I became adamant to come off beyond the fact that I didn't want to be stuck on drugs that could cause such horror for their absence! So, I learned about the 10% taper. Problem was, I wanted off two drugs and I didn't want to do one first and then the other. So, I did both at the same time, but averaged 5% each per month. Some months I would cut one by 10% and hold the other one. I have been at this for over four years now. There were times where I felt withdrawal but not so badly that I felt I needed to reinstate. Because of the small cuts, I would have only backed up to the last dose rather than go all the way back up to a full pill. Didn't need to, just held when I felt it get uncomfortable. I have been off Ven for several weeks now, having jumped off from the mini bead. My brand Teva had various sizes of beads so when I got to one bead, it was one large bead, then one medium one, and then one small one, 3-4 weeks each. The small one was probably about 0.375 mg. I wanted to be sure to be successful coming off. I am so happy to be done with that one!

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    • Posted

      You have done great to get down to 3 mg mirtazapine, Sarah! How long did that take you? What version of Ven are you on? Don't be afraid - just go slow! Slow and steady wins the race!

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    • Posted

      you have done so well.

      19 months to get from 45 to 3 mg of mirt. will probably be another 6 months till i am off

      i am on vensir. so 12 tablets in the capsule so will have to crush and weigh. i will take a 6 to 12 month break after the mirt is gone.

      i hate that this will take so long but it is the only way to get off and stay off. i also have 10mg of diazepam to come off. i was on 4 olanzapine as well but tapered of that in 2017. so been tapering over 2 years already.

      could you work through out taper ? i need to go to work soon.

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    • Posted

      To be honest, I hadn't worked since we moved to our current location 8 years ago. Even before the "big crash" when I was still on higher amounts of Ven (I think 75 mg) I was very depressed with the move and my confidence was destroyed. We live out in the country so work opportunities for me were few and far between, but emotionally I just couldn't do anything. Over the last few years, while tapering, I began to build a dog training business doing my hobby, herding - so began taking herding students. I finally happy being engaged in that and wish I could get the business going better.

      I obsessed over the taper the first 1 1/2 years, but finally put it at the back of my mind by making one or two weeks of doses at a time with the ven and eventually liquid mirt, too, which made dosing easy so I didn't have to think a lot about it. Once I got engaged in life more, tapering was really at the back of my mind, which is how four plus years managed to fly by, really! When I thought about how long it was going to take in the beginning, I got angry and depressed, being stuck on the meds and HAVING to go so slow. But I did it, and so can you!

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    • Posted

      I am sure my depression and anxiety, prior to taking any meds, has gone, only to be taken over by a drug which now, chemically, produces similar symptoms plus others and even though I have a desperate need to come of the mirt, I cannot or at least I cannot for several months. Nice trick for those who have developed this drug! Anyway, I'll not go on moaning about my predicament and will check in every couple of weeks to those who may be interested, to give an update on how I'm getting on with my liquid mirt. So I am on 45mg tabs and have been for about ten weeks. I went down to 40 the other week but became moody, anxious and suffered with a feeling of dread. I have been back on 45 for the past week or so and my emotional mind has leveled out, enough for me to function okay in day to day life. Tonight I start the liquid. I will begin with 42mg for two weeks and if all okay I will drop it down again. Will check in again in a couple of weeks. 👍

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