Will Mirtizipine help me sleep?

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Hi guys I have had severe insomnia for 8 months, tried all the over the counter stuff, herbs etc. Nothing worked. Tried Zopiclone but was scared only 1 pill would not work so first night I took 2 (15mg) and I got 8 hours uninterrupted sleep. Felt great the next day but my doctor only gave me 7 pills so soon used them up.

Anyway for the past month I have been drinking alcohol every night to get to sleep and whilst alcohol knocks me out (if I drink enough) I've become more and more depressed and find it hard to enjoy life, I guess regular alcohol consumption is the culprit as alcohol is a strong depressant?

This evening I went to the doctor and explained things and he gave me Mirtizipine 15mg a night to try, my question is do these work as well as sleeping tablets? I've heard great things said about them that first some people they are even more sedating than the hypnotic z drugs (Zopiclone, Zolpidem).

Thanks.

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  • Posted

    Yes it does help you sleep and in fact the lower the dose the more sedating it is so 7.5mg is even more sedative but for depression they do start you on 15mg

    I’ve just spent five months tapering to get off mirtazapine be warned the withdrawals from this drug are brutal and I’m now six weeks off and finding it tough constant headaches and brain zaps and insomnia do think carefully before to go on this research everything about it then make your decision 

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  • Posted

    Hi.  I recently discontinued taking Mirtazapine so I can tell you a little about my experience.  Before I do, I want to caution you against drinking alcohol with these medications.  I'm sure some will say it's ok, but the reality is you are subjecting yourself to potential danger by drinking and taking these meds.

    Will Mirtazapine allow you to sleep?  Yes, it should.  You will feel quite groggy the first few days of taking it, but this feeling will subside.  That being said, you will still have difficulty getting out of bed and being motivated/productive.  This drug works in an unusual way in that you would expect higher doses to be more sedating and lower doses to be less sedating.  Mirtazapine works in reverse.  15 mg is still within the sedating range.  As you increase the dose, it has more of an effect on norepinephrine receptors and is more "activating."  You may find that your ability to sleep wanes over time.  My first week of taking the drug, I was able to get some restorative sleep waking up after about 7-8 hours.  As time went on, I wasn't sleeping as much, maybe more like 5-6 hours.  The main issue for me with this drug is that I was incredibly unmotivated.  All I wanted to do was hang out in my recliner.  It also made me feel jittery, particularly in the morning, like I drank way too much coffee.  I would routinely wake up with extreme nausea.  Also, it caused bad restless leg and arms, my left hand felt like it was dissociated from my body and left me having difficulty typing with my left hand. 

    This drug made me feel like complete hell.  For some it works so I don't want to dissuade you, but you should know what you're signing up for.  I would like to emphasize that the withdrawal symptoms coming off this drug are excruciating.  I was only on Mirtazapine for one month; that was enough for me to decide that it wasn't working.  The longer you're on it and the higher the dose you are on, the more difficult it will be to taper off the drug.  I suggest you do some research in the Mirtazapine forum as there are many posts discussing withdrawal.  I have been off the drug for a little over a week, and it it causing me a lot of brain zaps, body zaps, etc.  I pray that these side effects are not permanent.  This is one potent medicine.  Even a small sliver will have a pretty strong effect.  If you need sleep, I think there are potentially safer alternatives.  I just met with my pdoc about this today since I am now having insomnia again after being off mirtazapine for a week now.  Pdoc is prescribing me low dose doxepin as it helps with sleep maintenance (my issue) as opposed to initiating sleep.  If you decide to take Mirtazapine, I would suggest you start off at 7.5 mg and see how that goes.  Get a pill cutter.  Also, I have heard bad things about the Z-drugs (Ambien, Lunesta) so you might want to stay away from those.  My Pdoc also suggested trazodone for sleep, but it's a little stronger that doxepin and will make you groggy in the morning.  Doxepin is non-addictive and I was told that (depending on the dose) it will not have you as tired during the day.  Best of luck, but I urge you to seriously contemplate whether you want to take mirtazapine if you are just having sleep issues.  They give this drug to anorexics as it makes many people eat like crazy (particularly at night).  In my case, I was losing a lot of weight and had a poor appetite so this was beneficial.  I can honestly tell you that I'm raiding the cookie jar multiple times per night and others will say the same thing.  The drug seems to make you crave sweets. 

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    • Posted

      Well said John, I certainly wouldn't recommend mirtazapine. My 3 month experience of it has helped me sleep and still feel like a zombie for the next day. I'm weaning off them now and can't wait to get them out of my system. I felt like my head was going to explode, felt uptight all the time. I thought they were supposed to relax and calm you, certainly didn't do that for me.

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  • Posted

    I take 15mgs every night & have a great sleep 👍been taking them since Nov last year.

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    • Posted

      It suits some I suppose but I was on it for over a year and getting off it was and still is hell
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    • Posted

      Hi Caroline , hope your doing well ? ? I was just wondering what symptoms have you had trying to come down off Mirtazapine? ? Do you or have you had any problems with your legs like nerve pain / spasms / aches an pains etc ?? I was on 60mg of Mirtazapine for several years and reduced down to 30mg approx 4-5mths ago. I'm also going thru Withdrawals from Zyprexa for past 9wks. Im just not sure if all of my Withdrawal Symptoms are due to the Zyprexa an in part due to my reduction of Mirtazapine. Thats why im asking if you've had any of the leg symptoms i allready mentioned ?? Take care an best wishes.. Lloyd from Oz

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  • Posted

    Are you in the UK? If so, have you tried Nytol - not the herbal ones, the anti-histamine ones (active ingredient = diphenhydramine)? They can't be taken night after night but e.g. for say up to 3 nights in a row, with then a few days off, then back to it, I find they can help, at least if you take the full dose on the 1-a-nights. Just wondering whether, though it's not every night, it might be enough to get you through? (I just tried mirtazapine, tho for depression not insomnia, but it didn't agree with me.)

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    • Posted

      Yes im in the UK. I have tried all the over counter antihistamines and only had low success. Some nights they did not work at all such is the severity of my insomnia, even Promethazine would not work even at 50mg. Best thing that worked so far was Zopiclone but they are addictive and I took two at a time. Maybe one wouldn't work. Really fed up with not sleeping well, it has made me depressed and anxious.

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  • Posted

    Hi Gareth , sorry to hear your having problems with getting to sleep mate. Have you tried Melatonin slow release tablets not the over the counter type but by Prescription from your G.P ?? There not cheap bout $38 for 30 tablets in Australia. They starting to work for me for my Insomnia. Best of luck an take care mate. . Lloyd from Oz
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  • Posted

    I was put on 15 mg 9 months ago and not once has it made me sleep. Also I very rarely want to eat. I'm currently tapering off it and am at 11.4 sooner I'm off it the better.

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  • Posted

    Thanks for the replies guys. I guess peoples reactions to Mirtizipine is a mixed bag. I'm going to pick them up from the pharmacy later and see how I go tonight.

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    • Posted

      Good luck Gareth but be warned if you take them for an extended period. If they turn on you and you're not one of the very lucky ones who gets hit with withdrawal you will have big problems getting off them. I'm in groups and see the suffering of people trying to get off on a daily basis. I've struggled with sleep for 20 years and if i new what I did now I wouldnt of touched any drugs off that doctors had given me. There is no warning of the addiction and withdrawal process of getting of them. Once I'm off I won't ever be going back on I know that much. Just think carefully about your next move.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the advice Pudsey. I will give Mirtizipine a try and if I start to get bad effects I'll stop and get advice from my doctor.

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