Mirtazipine / pregabalin / phenegram / zopiclone

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Hey so, I've been on medication since January for severe anxiety and depression, and borderline insomnia.

my mirtazipine was bumped up to 45 mg and I was on 75 mg or pregabalin, and I took the phenegram and zopiclone to basically knock myself out to physically sleep.

As the time went by I no longer needed to take the phenegram and zopiclone and I was sleeping at reasonable times if not early (7-9 pm up at 7-9 am)

But recently I went back to the docs and told her I was sleeping better but my moods weren't picking up or stabilising, so she upped my pregabalin ( 1 morning 2 night) from 75 to 100 and then completely dropped my mirtazipine, the last 4 days have been the worst days of my life,I stopped doing things I wanted to do.

Id started trying to get things running again, I'd planned to start learning to drive, and the meds had made me gain weight so I'd started going to the gym and was starting to be a little more pleasant to be around and I went back to wanting to be alone away from people, inactive and hating every breath I take.

I had to call my emergency line because it was unbareable, and I wanted to know if it was really the best option to drop me off it entirely or not? If im depressed and anxious was it really good to take me off it suddenly?

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    I'm not surprised you feel ill.  What on earth is your GP thinking giving you all that lot. She sounds totally irresponsible in my opinion.  I hate the thought of these drugs originally given for epilepsy prescribed for anxiety.  Some of them have the most awful side effects.  You are never supposed to drop anything off suddenly but gradually.  Obviously I dont know what has happened to you in the past, but might be a good idea to wean yourself gradually off all of them.  Some of the other members on the mirtazapine discussions have had horrible side effects from leaving them off too quickly.   I have only been taking the mirtazapine which I was reluctant to take in the first place and although I am aware of these other drugs and the side effects, I would not dream of taking them.  The mirtazapine does make you put on weight and it seems more on the stomach than anywhere else.  Maybe you should take a small dose of the mirtazapine again and gradually cut down on the other stuff and then ease off the mirtazapine. 

    ?I am sorry nobody has come back to you with better answers than me.

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    • Posted

      so sorry for the late reply, There's been too much going on than I'd like.  I'm currently on my last week of 30mg, and going down the 15mg this monday.

      It's been a rocky road, but not nearly as bad as my cold turkey experience. i've been keeping busy as a means to 'distract' myself from the side affects.

      I wish I knew what she was thinking so I wouldnt have to go through all the withdrawals. i've put on over 14lbs or so since i was first started on medication and I've been on mirazipine for around 3 or so months, and every other visit to the GP has resulted in it going up in dosage.

       I'd personally love to come off all of the medications or at least find a balance where I don't have to take handfulls of pills every day.

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  • Posted

    Hi

    WOW, doctors !!!  Not many General Practitioners, and even some P.docs know very little about the necessary tapering from Mirtazapine and other anti depressents.  I am so sorry to read you have been told to simply STOP Mirtazapine with out a taper plan in place.  

    You know mixing Mirt with Zopiclone is pretty risky, my doctor said this eas a definate NO, as it could be hazardous.  Then there is pregabalin  in the mix too.  You don't say how long you have been on Mirt ??

    For a full explanation/educted informed choice, read the following regarding tapering from AD's, maybe print and take to your doctor?

    For advice on tapering Mirtazapine slowly at the recommended rate of no more than 10% every 3 or 4 weeks, please see the following which is within this forum, 

    http://patient.info/forums/discuss/depression-resources-298570

    Wishing you well 

    and then click on the link "REDUCING AD'S USING 10% WITHDRAWAL METHOD".   

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    • Posted

      Hey! Sorry for the late reply also! Yeah I always make a habit to read up on medications so I wanted a second opinion on my medication history. I've been on mirtazipine i'd say since march, but only the last month or so has been 45mg. it was upped every visit to the GP or so, and that was usually once a month. she'd keep saying you won't know if its working till 3 months as it's an anti-depressent so I kept taking it obediently, 

       I was really shocked when she told me to stop taking it, considering she upped the pregabalin to which 1x 25mg in the morning and 3x 25mg at night.

       I don't feel any difference to when i was on the lower dose in my own personal opinion.

       The zopiclone was a short term 'sleep aid' because i could only physically sleep by passing out. and now I can't naturally stay up past midnight, so I no longer use them.

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  • Posted

    Hi Yukishiryu

    I have been on all those meds bar Phenegram. For me I found the pregabalin made me unbearably anxious and disorientated. The Mirtazapine helped me at first for sleep and appetite but that has stopped working and I am currently weening off it. My advice would be to tell the doc and ween off the meds by week. Cold turkey will make you feel uncomfortable. Mirtazapine made me fuzzy and lethargic but the pregab was a big no no. Hopefully you will be able to talk to the doc and find something more suitable. I still haven't found any med that does so I'm giving up on them and going to do it myself, purely because I tried meds they made me worse and the cocktail over the past year or so of maybe 8 different meds has messed me up. Sometimes just enough to get you out and about is the best but a lot of docs like to go with high doses. Hope you feel better soon.

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    • Posted

      Hey, late replies! Terrible sorry.

      Honestly I don't really feel like the pregabalin has really helped with my anxiety, i'm still easily distressed over small things and I get physcially sick and my stomach churns, and I get twitches from time to time, I can't stop fidgeting and If i'm not doing anything with my hands I'm biting my nails til there aren't any left.

      I understand she may of stopped the mirtazipine because i told her i was sleeping better, but I never once in my chat with her (with my mother present) Told her that my moods were solidly stable. I told her I was still fluctuating  in my moods, nothing was in the green. So Although i can see she thought i was sleeping fine, I was definitely not 'well' when she decided to cut me off completely.

      I will be looking in to lowering my pregabalin, I definitely don't want anymore weight gain. I'm pretty small so it's pretty darn visible for me.

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  • Posted

    Ummm, dear God in heaven your body must be screaming in some form of with- drawal (or Sudden Cessation Syndrome, as pharma likes to call medicines they don't want to be considered addictive, but will cause hell if the medicine is suddenly not taken, or not tapered..... Full Disclosure: I am not some conspiracy-driven anti Big Pharma person - if it wasn't for pharmacy research I would have not had a mentally and even spiritually rewarding career for 16 years in research in pharmaco-genetics - ok, the $$$ wasn't great, but I didn't care - that's another story) but I am sure 4 days into that change of drug regime your were on being effectively wiped, I would NOT  be able to write a coherent letter to patient.info . People are different in how they react to medicines and the protocol / regime of doses etc - hence my long interest in genetics and pharmacy as a field of research - and I am NOT a doctor, AND it has been quite a while since my head in a current book - though I maintain a laboratory, but I have to question that combination of drugs you were on, even worse, the sudden stopping of a "Z" drug like zopiclone (they thought they were onto a sedative / sleep aid that wasn't going to turn into a benzo problem like valium, alprazolam and nitrazepam - they were wrong..) and mirtazipine - those two just can't be stopped suddenly. I figure your condition must have been severe, and perhaps you were given a combination to effectively, knock you out in different modes of action. Did this Dr prescribe all these drugs? Or over a different time..actually I will stop asking these questions, I am going into a morbidity assesment review mode which I used to do which isn't helpful. I will point out it is odd (nicest way to put it - I don't know your history or the dr, so I can't judge) that telling your doctor you are in a good place mentally, and her not saying "great! let's reduce the addicitive cyclopyrolone class drug" < OK, no-one actually says it like that - but you read like you are rather intelligent and get what I am trying to say, I am sure> "by slow taper, and see how we go from there, sound like a plan?" - I can think of a few reasons why a prescriber MIGHT do why she is doing the way she has, but I don't want to be sued by a doctor for libel - they can afford good lawyers, whereas I would have to sell one of my children. Plz tell her you are in withdrawal, and you never took more than prescribed of the Zopiclone, and plz return the mirtazipine. I am not sure what "phenegram" is? Is that a proprietary name I am not familiar with? Different countries have different names for the same drug, just to make it hard for people like me. I keep having to re-read your post, and think what fresh hell your must be going through. Again, I don't have your medical background / history, so I can't 2nd guess your dr's diagnosis or selection of treatment - but your posty indicates something is up, and it isn't your fault AT ALL they way you are feeling right now. It is easy to suggest finding another dr / second opinion,  but in many countries there is a Catch-22 where you can't go to most Dr's in a case like yours, and they treat you for withdrawals from a Scheduled restricted drug like Zopiclone - it has to be done by the original doc as part of your overall management, or by a doc with a license to print money, which is what privately funded treatment for management of withdrawals from a scheduled restricted drug is. Might be different in your country - if you feel too dreadful to make phone calls, perhaps a trusted friend? Or a family member you can confide in - that's why we have cousins - I think.

    I can tell you this your case can be fixed, quietly and with confidence. 

    One of the other posts has given you a link to a taper down tritation schedule (I think you would be surprised how many people will be reading your post and feel ache in their heart for you and what you are going through - there are those who might not believe in god but read your post and hope their is one and that She will help you. 

    This is a link to another tapering schedule by Professor Ashton (you don'thave to read the whole thing - I had to at uni  ( come to think of it - it just might rid you of your insomnia! idea )just find the equivalency of Z drug dose to diazepam, and go from that dose down. 

    http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/

    I hope you find the will and mind to keep us occasionally informed of your progress., when you are up to it.  

    We wish we could do more for you,

    good luck Miss Yukishiryu

     

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    • Posted

      Hey there! So sorry for the super late reply, been keeping busy!

      I believe the Phenegran was given to me because it's a neuroleptic medication. I believe the other name for it  Promethazine. Basically a sedative that was given to me to help me sleep also.

      ( lots of sleeping pills I know!) 

      I've been on mirtazipine from what I'd like to guess is march. I have terrible memory and the medication has made it even worse.

      However i've been taking medication since january, to the point that I was signed off from my job by my GP and left it because of circumstances in work.

      I'd be treated for Depression on a few occassions, but only recently this past year had i been flagged with Anxiety as well ( Wish I knew more)

      I've been on Fluoxitine in the past, and citalopram (taken off due to unliveable side affects) before i was put onto Mirtazipine and Pregabalin.

      i personally stopped taking zopiclone and phenegran when i noticed i was struggling to stay awake during the day and waking up at 8pm and unable to stay awake til 7pm.

       This is the only thing I can see that would prompt my GP to stop the mirtazipine because it was a similar aspect of causing tiredness, but I never informed my doctor that my moods were stable. I'd told her i was stuggling to stay awake but my moods and emotional and general chemical balance was still fluctuating. (mother present!)

       Ever since I've been put back on a smaller dosage of 30mg of mirtazipine it's been rough but alot smoother than the latter was, I'm now planning to take 15mg soon(Hoping this week rather than 2week on 30mg and 2 on 15mg) and to ween off it completely, I hate having to take so many pills and being 23 I feel I'm too young to be taking so much stuff every day.

      My mother also suggested since I'm seeing a counseller (mental health practitioner) to ask to be referred to a psycologist or somebody that know's more about these things, rather than just a GP. Anything is worth trying, and may even save me from taking any other medications before finding the right one.

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  • Posted

    So an update:

    getting severe withdrawal on the pregabalin and mirtazipine, doesn't seem to be easing and I'm giving up on everything again. I don't want to eat, sleep, and I'm feeling like everyone's out to get me or lie to me.

    It feels extremely unbareable and lack of support just makes it worse, I'm being made out to be the cause of everyone's problems and just makes me feel worse about existing.

    Everyone's too busy saying how much of a misery I make their lives and saying I'm selfish and ungrateful, and belittling me comparing my lives to theirs that I have to wonder if this is how they help me.

    Despite how I feel I try to help out but some days I can't function and I just get attitude for not helping out. I keep trying to explain but it only falls on deaf ears. I'm battling my own internal war and it just seems like they just want me to get over it because they can't physically help me. But giving me a hard time doesn't help me either.

    Whenever I say how im feeling I just get a cold 'then go see the doctor' which would be fine but I also feel like every visit makes me worse, yes I'm scared, and yes I want to get better. But the only support I do get now is off the gp or counsellor because that's their job, and I feel like I'm just being handed off.

    I'm not perfect, I know that, infact I probably think less of myself than most people, but i don't need help putting myself down every morning, my brain does that for me.

    Too much info I know, I'm sorry >< just I think circumstances are a probable cause to my road to recovery being in the grey area,

    I know I'm not easy to live with, my issues make that clear. But I think if things could just improve at home that maybe it wouldn't have to be so hard to want to keep breathing. Yknow.

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    • Posted

      Hey Yukishiryu

      Sorry to hear that you are going through this. I had the same with Pregabalin and I'm currently 3 days Mirtazapine free, can't sleep or eat and feel generally rubbish but ah well it has to get better . It only can cant it!

      As far as the support goes I too have experienced that especially with friends and in past relationships. At times it was so bad and I lost who I was as a person and didn't recognise the shell I had become. The only advice I can give is this is ignorance to mental health on their part, so many people don't understand it and don't like the unknown. You will find out who your friends are and you will become stronger in yourself over time. I don't take 💩 from anyone now and I speak my mind. Keep the good and let the rest go. Things will get better. Keep fighting because you are worth it.

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