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thistime Trying! to go off mirtazapine, on drugs since age 14


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Hello I'm just writing to introduce myself and tell my story. I've been on anti depressants for a long time (20 years). I was first given them when I was 14. Firstly it was lofepramine. This didn't work and so I was then prescribed paroxetine (seroxat). This was before they realised that giving this medication to teenagers made them suicidal. And lo and behold this medication did in fact make me feel suicidal and so I was switched to mirtazapine at the age of 16. I've been on mirtazapine ever since (I'm 34 now), despite several unsuccessful attempts to get off it.
The first few times I tried to go cold turkey and had the worst insomnia I've had in my whole life (literally awake all night). These efforts unsurprisingly failed and I went back on the meds pretty sharpish. I tried again about a year ago. I told the GP I was concerned about the possible long term effects of being on antidepressants and wanted to try and get off them, she said I was being 'unnecessarily anxious' about this... I'm not so sure I am overly anxious when there's no studies about the long term consequences of taking this medication. To me it's quite a rational concern!
I asked for advice on coming off them and they said to take a half dose for a week and then to have one night on, one night off, for a week and then just to stop. I was given some anti histamines to help with the insomnia.
My God!! I cannot describe how horrific this was (although I imagine lots of people on this site understand). I felt like I was withdrawing from heroin. I had cold sweats, dizziness, nausea, constant flu like symptoms, I had worse anxiety than I've had in my whole life. I started crying for no reason (in odd and unpredictable places like a queue in a clothes shop..!). And weirdly I got this thing about people's faces looking weird and feeling like I was looking in on a world that I wasn't part if. Like i was completely disconnected from everything, not really alive). It was horrendous.
So after 2 weeks of this I asked to go back on the meds. The doctor told me this was all 'psychological' although I wholeheartedly disagree with this. I know they say it's not withdrawal but withdrawal is exactly what it is. The side effects of coming off the medication.
It's taken me another year to feel ready to give it another try. So I've started again and this time I'm going really slowly, I was really grateful to find this site as its given me a plan for how to taper. Also to know that I'm not alone in how this is affecting me. I'm dropping ten per cent once a month but I wait until I've stabilised before I drop down again (sometimes this takes longer than the month). I've noticed my anxiety increase and insomnia increase but at the minute it's manageable. I wait until I'm feeling ok for a week or so before I drop down again. Medication wise I'm at half the dose I was when I started. It's going ok so far.
It worries me that I've been on anti depressants my whole adult life and that I've been on these meds as my adolescent brain was developing. Will my brain be able to adapt to cope without them?? What does it do to your brain taking these drugs at that age? To be honest I don't know if my brain will adapt, I just want to try. I'm concerned that in the long run I might end up with all manner of mental and physical health problems as a consequence of taking these drugs for decades. I don't think the medical profession have any idea what the long term effects are. If I can get off them I want to.
So that's me! Just wanted to share my story. I'm trying and hopefully I'll get there. If the tapering works by 2016 ill be drug free!
Good luck to everyone else withdrawing x

Edited by Altostrata
added paragraph breaks
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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello thistime!  Your new taper plan sounds better than the previous tries.  Waiting to stabilise between drops is a good idea.  Are you dropping by 10% of the starting dose or 10% of each dose along the way?

2001–2002 paroxetine

2003  citalopram

2004-2008  paroxetine (various failed tapers) 
2008  paroxetine slow taper down to

2016  Aug off paroxetine
2016  citalopram May 20mg  Oct 15mg … slow taper down
2018  citalopram 13 Feb 4.6mg 15 Mar 4.4mg 29 Apr 4.2mg 6 Jul 4.1mg 17 Aug 4.0mg  18 Nov 3.8mg
2019  15 Mar 3.6mg  21 May 3.4mg  26 Dec 3.2mg 

2020  19 Feb 3.0mg 19 Jul 2.9mg 16 Sep 2.8mg 25 Oct 2.7mg 23 Oct 2.6mg 24 Dec 2.5mg

2021   29 Aug 2.4mg   15 Nov 2.3mg

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Hiya thistime!   Glad you found this site - you've got it right this time - sloooooow taper.  Pleeease don't worry about how long it takes.   if it takes years, who cares - if you rush it, you may find, as many of us have, that we have to back-track and we lose the time anyway.   Welcome :)

Put on Prothiaden for severe depression in 1989.  Recovered.   Prescribed Paxil for another bout of depression around 2000.   Have been trying to taper ever since but always crash about 2 months after getting to zero.   Because of the crashes, for years I thought that there was something wrong with me.   Then found that the crashes were simply withdrawal.   Now following a maximum of a 10% reduction every month or so and ready to slow down any time I feel any symptoms whatsoever.  Feeling good:).

7th Jan 15 - 3.6mg

28th Jan 15 - 3.2mg

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I definitely have similar worries as you because I was also put on these drugs at a young age. I started Paxil when I was two months shy of my 18th birthday, and I am now 34. Right now I believe if we go as slow as our brain needs us to go we will be able to function without them, despite being on so long. Unfortunately, I've been tapering for years but please don't let that worry you. Most people don't need to go as slow as I do. It is important in this process to find out works best for you, because there is no "one size fits all" taper. As you go along you might find you have to take smaller drops or wait longer in between drops or both. But you can absolutely do it and we will be here to help you along!

a.k.a JMarie

Paxil since Mar.1998

2009: 20mg to 14mg 2010: 14mg to 10.5mg 2011: 10.5 to 7.6mg  2012: 7.5 to 6.8mg

2013: 6.7-6.3mg 2014: 6.2mg-5.8mg 2015: 5.7 to 5.15mg 2016: 5.1-4.6mg

1/19/17: 4.5mg 3/17/17: 4.4mg

6/15/17: 4.35mg 8/10/17: 4.3mg

1/29/18: 4.1mg 5/07/18: 4.0mg

7/31/18: 3.9mg


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The advice about going slow is really good. I was on Mirtazipine and had rough time trying to come off. I made the mistake of taking Cipro (antibiotic) while reinstating. Something went horribly wrong and I ended up in the hospital. Cipro ruined my taper. Doc had to change me to  different meds of which I'm currently tapering. I am much better though.


Try to avoid antibiotics while on this drug, especially the floroquinolones (cipro, levaquin and avelox).

Prozac 1999-2009 quit semi cold turkey.


2012 Placed on Seroquel 25 mg, Tranxene (Clorezepate) 3.75 mg 3x a day, Remeron 30 mg for anxiety/akathesia.


Weaned off Seroquel and Tranxene .to Remeron 15 Mg.

In May 2014 tried quitting Remeron at its lowest dose. Had severe withdrawals.Reinstated Remeron at 30 mg by doctor. August 5 2014 entered hospital. Doctor pulled the Remeron and bridged it to Pamelor (Nortriptyline) 40mg and Zyprexa 2.5mg.After removing the Remeron all my bad symptoms went away and I am stable.


9/11/14 - 7.5 mg tranxene, 40mg Pamelor, Zyprexa 2.5mg

12/29/14 -  20mg Pamelor, 1/6/15,  7/31/15 3.5mg, 8/10/15 3.2 mg, 9/15/15 2.2mg, 10/15/15 1.8mg

(Feb 2016 - 1.4mg Pamelor only -  OFF OF TRANXENE AND ZYPREXA SINCE DEC 2014 BENZO FREE Since 2014. Nortrityline (Pamelor) .8mg Aug 2016

March 2017 DRUG FREE

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Hi guys thanks for all the comments. Songbird - initially I was dropping 10% of the starting dose but now I've switched to 10% of the last dose.

Totally agree with you all that slow is good! I think for me, if it takes a long time then so be it. I really don't want to have to experience the withdrawal I had last time I tried.

I am worried about how I'm going to adapt but then if I take it very slowly then it gives my brain a fighting chance. It's reassuring that you feel it's possible ladybird!

And thanks chicken about the advice about steering clear of antibiotics!

Cheers guys :)

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  • Administrator

Welcome, thistime.


If you're getting withdrawal symptoms from a 10% dosage decrease, you might want to try a 5% decrease. You've been on drugs a long time. No need to race to go off, you'll want it to work this time.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Hello thisisme,

I too am going off remeron. What mg. are you down too?



April 2014 remeron 45mg.

June 2014 abilify 2.5 remeron wasn't working so abilify was then added

September 2014 woke up with anxiety x 100!!!!

Pdoc then took me from 45 to 7.5 within a month and took abilify from 2.5 to 0


Remeron 7.5

Vitamin d 5,000 iu taking for about 3 years

October 2014 added fish oil/omega 3 1000 mg per day

Levothyroxitine 100 10 years or so

Dec 2014 started tapering 10% every 10 days-no problems.

August 2015 down to 0.1 mg

Woke up with severe anxiety-sleep issues-racing thoughts-depression. 9/9/15 up dose 1 mg.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Thistime,


I have been on Mirtazapine since 2005 and had the same experience as you - a couple of CTs or too fast tapers.  Extreme insomnia (at one point I couldn't even focus my eyes I was that sleep deprived)


Have been tapering for a couple of years now, slowly, slowly, slower, stop for a while, slowly, slower ....


and I feel better than I have in a decade.  It's possible


With my mod hat on, could I please ask you to fill out your signature for ready reference    Here is the details of how to do that - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/


Take care



Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.


DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017


>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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