Xanax and Mirtazapine for a sleep combo possibly causing depression

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I have been taking xanax for sleep for over 3 years .05 mg it has stopped working. My psych sugggested Mirtazapine 2 hours before taking the xanax (7.5 of the Mirtazaplne) this does work but I am having depression which was not a problem before. My hopes with this was to reduce the amount of xanax i use any Ideas would be most appreciated.

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  • Posted

    7.5 mg of mirtazapine? I think you must be in the US because you mention xanax. Mirtazapine in this country comes in doses of 15mg, 30mg and 45mg, so You must be taking half of the 15mg one?

    Bearing in mind that mirtazapine is an anti-depressant, and you weren't depressed until you took it, maybe you need a higher dose (for the depression) or something completely different.

    It sounds like your main problem is the xanax. You've become tolerant to it, so the 0.5mg you've been taking is too low a dose to get you off to sleep.

    If you're serious about coming off xanax, you need to see a specialist in drug addiction. By now, your brain has forgotten how to go to sleep without the xanax. I am in the same position, except not with xanax, but something very similar.

    I have been slowly tapering off by being prescribed diazepam (valium) in ever reducing doses, overseen and prescribed by an addiction expert. So far I'm doing well, with a couple of slip ups.

    I think you have two choices - either ask for a different anti-depressant or an increase in mirtazapine, or forget the mirtazapine and the depression and concentrate on lowering your xanax dose. My feeling is that you would be better off on diazepam, which stays in your body for a long time, thus reducing the possibility of withdrawal effects. Look up the Ashton Method and show it to your doctor, and ask his/her help in reducing.

    Wishing you lots of luck.

    Tess.

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    • Posted

      Thank you Tess for your reply I have tried diazepam for withdrawal I am sensitive to it. My psychiatrist did a dna test on me for drug sensitivity.It is called  genesight and is spot on as to all the meds I have had problems with it is a very interesting tool diazepam was the only benzo on the warning list.I have a follow up appointment soon she said we will brainstorm and come  up with a plan so I feel I am in good hands just waiting to see what we can come up with she said to take the mirtazapine 2 hours before the xanax. It does work we will deal with the xanax in time she did nor rush to write a prescription but chose to wait for the test results which I have a copy of very insightful.Just had the blues wondered if it might be the cause a friend of mine I spoke with today said that is typical of the first 2 weeks so we will see.
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    • Posted

      Hi Carol I had that test done too. Showed all the antidepressants that were ok to use, use with caution and ones to avoid.

      There were only 4 on the ok list. I tried one of them, Zoloft, and I had the same bad side effects as the ones on the other lists.

      But you say the test was accurate for you?

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    • Posted

      Hi tess

      I was wondering if you could advise me I have been on zopiclone 15mg for 18 years and the doctors now want to take me of them I went to see a shrink but he said that I wouldn't get any side affects and that its all in the mind so he perscibed me pregabalin but I don't want to take the stuff because it makes me feel spaced out can you recommend anything that I can say to my doctor about reducing my zopiclone and putting me on a drug that does work to help me sleep thank you

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    • Posted

      Hi Carol,

      I'm very glad that you're so aware of what you can and can't take. It sounds like you have a good doctor, which is a huge benefit.

      I took mirtazapine (for depression) at the 45mg daily dose. I didn't find it helped me to sleep, but it definitely helped the depression.

      I'm really interested in what your doctor will suggest, and am hoping that you will find a way out of this mess. Please keep in touch - I'm sure your story will resonate with others on this site and in any case, we like to know how our fellow contributors are doing, so that we can ofer support. I'm kind of talking for myself there, but I know from experience that others will be rooting for you.

      Love Tess.

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    • Posted

      Dear Kelly,

      Is your doctor seriously going to stop your zopiclone prescription after eighteen years? That is dangerous and will make you feel absolutely dreadful.

      How dare the shrink say that withdrawal effects are all in the mind! And why pregabalin, for goodness sake?

      I think you should do a google search for The Ashton Method, copy it and take it to your doctor. It's very detailed and it absolutely does NOT recommend stopping any benzos or Zs suddenly. On the contrary, it has a very detailed list of meds on it, and how to come off them - slowly.

      It's people like your doctor who are forcing people like us to visit drug websites to obtain our own supplies.

      The usual method is to stop zopiclone but immeddiately replace it with a long-acting benzo, usually diazepam. That's what I've been doing and it works. I truly didn't think it would, but it has. I can sleep, I feel good about myself, and I'm not wasting a fortune on dangerous meds from the internet.

      Try to get your GP to understand this - and if all else fails, go to a different GP. Even a different sugery, if necessary.

      Bearing in mind that it was doctors who started us all on this road of destruction, they seem remarkably ill-informed about helping people either to come off them or change their dose. I'd like to start a campaign group to lobby MPs to take this seriously. It's a massive problem and if we don't find help on our own, the GPs are so ill-informed that they make things worse.

      Have you got a local drug addition clinic? Go there. That's what I did and that's how I can say with confidence that you need an expert to help you with this. I was lucky - I found my expert at the drug addiction clinic.

      All the best - I'd love to know how you're getting on.

      Tess.

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    • Posted

      So far she has not prescribed anything yet.I took Effexor 10 years ago now I have horrible side effects so who knows. Many of the ones on the red and yellow lists I have tried and have had problems with. I have just about given up on these meds. The Mirtazapine helps me sleep but my anxiety is ramping up, who knows at this point. Have you found anything that works just curious this is one awful jouney to be on. I will let you know.

      Carol

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    • Posted

      Nothing that I've tried, even on green/ok list is suitable for me. Even when I cut the smallest dose in a quarter I get bad side effects.

      Trying out 5-6 ad's in 4 months made me lose 25lbs. And just felt so weird in my head, off balance, drunk and severe brain fog. So at a loss as to what to do.

      Sorry I'm not much help.

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  • Posted

    Thank you Tess I will let you know how it goes.Yes, I do feel my Dr. is good I was afraid she would just start throwing meds at me but no she is taking a more measured approach
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  • Posted

    *Dear carol I have recently been given zoloft and mirtazapine for anxiety.The first time I took it I was a zombie all day. The Dr. told me to take 1/2 tthe mirt. That was just as bad for me. I can't take an Sleeping substance. I get b sometimes with a 5 melatonin and lorazepam, have you tried this coombo? I have both T & H. Best regards,william     
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    • Posted

      William I have tried melatonin and just about everything else. The half tab of mirt does help me sleep but seems to make my anxiety worse.I am very sensitive to meds. I have yet to find one I can take
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  • Posted

    I am in same position, trying to reduce mirtazapine and valium which i take for sleep, also 2mg valium in am to level off anxiety. I am anxious about nothing sometimes and i think its these drugs which are making me worse.

    Did you have any success?  I have tried six anti deps, the ssris are the worst for me and i cant tolerate any for more than a few weeks

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  • Posted

    I have been on several different benzo medications before and the one way that I was able to get off of it completely without going through withdrawal was the doctor prescribed me Lyrica so that it would counter the side effects of the withdrawal. Many people are different from me but I would suggest that you ask your doctor for a non addictive medication to help get off the medicine. Good luck!
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