Positive experience of Mirtazepine so far

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I have been an avid reader of people's experiences of this drug and wanted to share my own, positive (so far) experience. I'm starting to withdraw after 7 months on it and will post back about how it goes following what I think must be a 10% taper (link below).

I started 15mg of mirtazepine in october 2018 as I had become severely depressed due to a very difficult living situation. I had not eaten properly for three months, had been having trouble sleeping for most of that period and by the time these were prescribed I had been barely sleeping, getting out of bed or eating for two weeks. I refused anti depressants from my GP as he’s always given me SSRIs which have nasty side effects of reducing my appetite and increasing anxiety even further and I was too weak to endure awful side effects.

As I was so desperate I paid to see a private psychiatrist who prescribed mirtazepine. Once I received the prescription I spent about four days googling about it (during this time my living situation improved and I hoped I might not need them afterall) however I finally took the plunge after a very desperate day. I can say I didn't look back. Within 30 minutes I prepared and ate a small meal and the next day I was on three full meals a day plus snacks. I'd dropped about from over 60kg to about 52kg during the prior three months. My mood didn't take long to lift, in fact the suicidal thoughts I'd been having went within a few days. After two weeks I did a phased return to work which was successful although (unfortunately) I’ve had a lot of practice at going back to to work after these episodes so have learned how to pace myself. I can only work part time atm as I just don’t have the energy for more because of the Mirtazepine.

I've now been on the meds about 7 months and taken the decision to do a very slow taper off. As anyone who has looked up the withdrawal effects will know it's a very hard drug to get off because it makes you sleep! I decided to come off because I am getting frustrated with having lower energy levels than I would like and I have more than put back on the weight I lost.

After endless googling I have come up with the following strategies:

I found what I hope is an excellent taper schedule here http://www.citap.org.uk/SSRI-Tables.pdf and I’m in the very early stages of the taper. So far I’ve only had two days at 7.5mg. I did find it very hard to sleep on those days and am addressing this through using CBD oil. Last night despite being on 15mg I couldn’t sleep so I used the CBD oil which helped. Today I feel extremely relaxed and wonder if the effects of the oil are building up to create more calmness!

I also ordered omega 3 fish oil which is supposed to be very good for your brain as it heals from the illness and anti depressants.

I did buy HTP-5 which is supposed to help you sleep but it didn’t the first time I tried it and I prefer the CBD oil. So I am not using it at the moment.

As I get further into the withdrawal I will have more information about how it’s going and aim to come back to share it. I found so much information myself online and wanted to contribute, hence this post. At the moment I feel very positive because I think I’ve got some helpful strategies in place. I’m also working on taking things 1 day at a time and trying not to worry about what may lie ahead in terms of withdrawals; easier said than done!

Since writing this I have had another dose at 7.5mg and had more energy than usual the following day. There was some slight anxiety although only about 2/10 and nothing that affected my ability to go about my day as usual.

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    tbh, wonder why you are coming off mirt of 15mg to begin with. youve had anxiety issues in the past. you need to be sure you are in a better place, its not going to happen again? think you might be over thinking taper. do 11.75mg for 1 or 2 months, then 7.5mg for same, then 3.25mg for same. dont do down then up next day, will mess with you. no rush to taper. do it slow like above, no issues, and no surprises.

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  • Posted

    if you have never tried to come off mirt you cannot know how hard it can be.

    it is a powerful drug that it is not healthy to stay on long term. my health has been significantly impacted over years.

    it can be a serious issue coming off AD s for some and planning is a good idea. coming off too fast can cause a relapse. making lifestyle changes whilst on AD s then slowely and carefully reducing is sensible.

    it is only certain diagnosis that require lifelong meds.

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  • Posted

    Hi

    I am also in the process of mirtazapine withdrawal. I was on 15 mg for seven months for severe anxiety and depression and am tapering by dropping approx 10% per week - I'm now on week 6 into the withdrawal and am down to 7.2 mg. I have had no problems at all and apart from the odd tough anxiety day which I had on the mirtazapine anyway. Feeling better just to be getting off the drug .

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  • Posted

    Glad to hear of your positive experience taking Mirtazapine. Will be interested to see how your tapering goes. I started taking 15mg Mirt at night about 10 weeks ago. I'm in no real hurry to get off it as overall I'm feeling so much better.

    Positives for me: I sleep like a log, anxiety reduced to zero, mood stabilized (was really struggling with anger and rumination following difficult life circumstances). Being able to relax and feel peaceful in my mind has been wonderful.

    Negatives for me: feel groggy in the morning, dry mouth, blunted emotion (I guess that is the flip side of stabilizing negative emotions), occasional brain fog , intense carb cravings and endless hunger in the first month or so. Fortunately my appetite has stabilized and I have only gained 2 kg overall. I'm an active person anyway and sport is my therapy.

    Wishing everyone well in their journey to better mental health.

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    • Posted

      good news you've only gained 2kg. I've gained 15 but needed at least 10 of them! The carb craving hasn't disappeared but I've stopped buying snacks. I feel groggy most of the day which is a major reason I decided to taper off. I am capable of so much more than I'm currently able to do. It didn't matter for a while but now I'm feeling much better it's frustrating. They are amazing in that the work so fast. I'll try to post back about the taper.

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    • Posted

      just a thought. you could ask your dr, about taking a low mirt dose, with a larger venlafaxine dose. its what im on. benefit of sedation from mirt at night, but ven during day, so no groggy feeling. its working well for me.

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    • Posted

      Well it's a very good sign that you want to do more now, hopefully that means your motivation and mood are a lot better than before. Amazing that you felt so much better in only 2 weeks and were able to start working again. All the best.

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  • Posted

    Coming to the end of my fourth week withdrawing and all is well so far! The taper schedule seems to be a sensible and safe way of doing things. I am finding that at the end of week 3 / start of week 4 when I take the full 15mg I get funny feelings in my legs for the rest of that evening, maybe almost restless leg syndrome but nothing that's difficult to handle. Because of that I'm moving a few days ahead to get to every other day on 7.5mg. The CBD oil has really helped with relaxing about getting to sleep on the 7.5mg days. As I've done more doses of 7.5mg (interspersed with 2-3 days of 15mg) it has got easier to get to sleep. Initially it took up to 3 hours to get to sleep, now around an hour.

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  • Posted

    After 5 weeks following the withdrawal schedule in my original post I was ready to go to 7.5mg daily (about 6 weeks early!). I knew this because the days I took 15mg I felt worse. I had a day with low levels of anxiety followed by one where I set a personal record for grumpiness but now on day 3/4 of 7.5mg I feel brilliant! Lots of energy and good mood. I'll stay at 7.5 for 2 weeks then start cutting as per the schedule in my initial post. It's so important we all listen to ourselves and follow what our bodies are telling us. So far this medication has worked amazingly well for me. It's a relief to have found something that works without the unbearable side effects (nausea, vomiting, worse anxiety, starvation) I got from starting up every SSRI.

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