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  1. Hi Everyone, Well i am 36 years old and my journey with antidepressants started at the age of 16 (in 1999) when i started having panic attacks, i had always been a sensitive person and prone to bouts of anxiety as far back as i can remember. The list of medications went from Aropax, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Fluoxetine etc etc and i had tried numerous times basically since i first got put on them at 16 to stop them, i resented the fact that the doctor was telling me i would need them probably for the rest of my life and that i had a "chemical imbalance" which was determined through an extremely flimsy set of written questions, with no science at all backing it up! But unfortunately i was young and naive and this was back when you trusted what your doctor was telling you, so i reluctantly agreed. Every time i tried to come off this medication i would fail spectacularly and end up in severe distress at which point the doctor would use this as "proof i needed medication" when actually this was a withdrawal symptom all along which unfortunately took a lot of pain and anguish and time for me to come to understand, but i am where i am. I had been on the Fluoxetine for over a decade (can't remember exactly how long) and was tapering off in 2016 (before i knew anything about tapering), anyway i reached a point after a difficult breakup where i had a complete meltdown anxiety wise to the point where it was unbearable and the doctor put me on Mirtazapine where my weight ballooned to the biggest i'd ever been and i am only 155cm tall and since being put on antidepressants have put on close to 30kg! I used to be quite fit and active until this happened. Anyway at the end of 2017 after being on 15mg of Mirtazapine for a year as well as remaining on the reinstated 20mg of Fluoxetine i began tapering the Mirtazapine because the weight gain was making me even more miserable. The taper was going quite well and i had been tapering for 18months and was down to 0.5mg! and found out my mum needed to have some pretty serious surgery and lost my job which sent me into a spiral and unfortunately because i didn't know any better at the time i reinstated the full 15mg of mirtazapine again instead of just pushing it up 1mg or something and holding for 6 weeks (which seems to be the magic number for me). Anyway, after discussing with my doctor we decided to change the 20 mg of Fluoxetine over to 20mg of Vortioxetine after i had done a DNA test which supposedly tells you which medications may work better with your genetic makeup. So now i find myself on a new drug and also still taking the 15mg of Mirtazapine. The medication change was 10 weeks ago now and 5 days after the switch i did have some vomiting, diarrhea, headache and anxiety which passed but have had a steady stream of side effects including - intermittent Anxiety (sometimes panic), mild vertigo, some headaches, nausea, teariness and feelings of DEEP sorrow, irritability, ruminating thoughts the list goes on and on really but they all seem to pass quite quickly at this stage so i am hoping to power through and hoping that these side effects won't get any worse. Once i have had a solid period of time where there are no side effects and i feel physically and mentally ready then i will attempt at weaning from the mirtazapine (I wish i could do it immediately so i could finally fit into my old clothes again but alas the evil antidepressant side effects stop this from being a reality right now). I am being careful to keep a journal of my symptoms and become more aware of what my body is telling me, as well as learning from other people's stories from this website, which are immensely helpful as well as listening to James Moore's youtube channel called "Let's talk withdrawal" which i highly recommend to everyone who needs some encouragement. So glad to have found Surviving Antidepressants and reading all your experiences, it really helps to know I am not alone through this process
  2. MOD NOTE: This is Gemma92's topic. Before Gemma joined SA her sister icerose posted requesting assistance. I've merged the two topics so that all of Gemma's history is in one place. _________________________________ Hello. I am new here, and I’m posting on behalf of my 26 year old sister who has been in a psychiatric unit for a week. My sister has a history of mild depression and functionable anxiety. She had occasional bouts of anger, periods of intense fatigue, and nightly hallucinations usually during sleep paralysis. She started having occasional panic attacks a few years ago. (The only psychiatric medication she had been on prior was Prozac during her childhood.) Despite her struggles , she was generally happy and enjoyed life. In August 2017, she had her right thyroid removed due to the growth of a large, benign nodule. Her anxiety slowly seemed to increase over the months and she experienced a panic attack after taking Benadryl (something that never happened before when taking Benadryl.) To help combat her anxiety, she started taking 10 mg of Lexapro in May 2018. Not knowing the danger of taking it intermittently, she took it whenever she remembered. Her doctor increased her dose to 20 mg which she took daily for 2 weeks. In early July, she developed strep symptoms, but tested negative for strep throat. Her doctor diagnosed her with laryngitis. Her throat hurt so bad, that she cold turkeyed off Lexapro because it hurt to swallow the pills. She continued to show symptoms of strep throat and was finally diagnosed on July 4, 2018. After 2 doses of Penicillin (and a couple days off Lexapro) she experienced an episode lasting a couple hours where her moods alternated between intense fear (needing to hold Mom’s hand, impending doom, confusion, depersonalization, terror from Hell) and fits of giddiness (giggling, silly talk). She hallucinated once during this episode (shadow in kitchen.) She stopped taking the Penicillin because she thought it caused the episode. Her doctor told her the strep would probably go away on its own. A week later, she noticed swollen lymph nodes on her neck (near collar bone.) She started another antibiotic which she finished. She started noticing increasing anxiety in the morning that would subside at night. She took Effexor for 5 days, but cold turkeyed because she thought it was worsening her anxiety. She lost her appetite around this time and had to quit her job. At the end of August 2018, she admitted herself into a psychiatric unit for 5 days. On one of the days, she had a fever and sore throat. It was not addressed. They put her back on Lexapro at 5 mg which she took daily for 1 month. During this time, she also took 0.5 mg of Lorazepam as needed. (10 pills over the course of a month) She cold turkeyed again off the Lexapro and Lorazepam because of bad heartburn and no help with anxiety. After this, she developed physical symptoms such as bad night vision, light sensitivity, ear ringing (stopped as of now), cold sweats (stopped as of now), bone chilling cold, dizziness, nausea, poor appetite, extreme weakness, chest pain (went to ER twice because she thought it was a heart attack), and mucus in her stool which was ongoing since before Lexapro. Her mental symptoms increased as well. Her anxiety became “anxiety from Hell” that resided in the pit of her stomach. She experienced impending doom (worse upon waking up), crushing depression, hopelessness, and inconsolable crying spells where she appeared to be very agitated. She obsessed over her health and started doing research. She self diagnosed herself with Lexapro withdrawals, adverse reactions, kindling, neurotoxicity, and brain damage. After seeing a psychiatrist on October 23, 2018, she started 15 mg of Mirtazapine. It dulled the massive anxiety, but brought out rage, verbal aggression, and threats directed at her family. She cold turkeyed the Mirtazapine after 6 days (last day was 7.5 mg). Her rage went down and her anxiety went back up. A few days later, she had a few hours a day where she felt like herself. (Was it the Mirtazapine starting to work?) A couple days before Thanksgiving, she went to the ER after a day of inconsolable crying, anxiety, and impending doom. They sent her home saying “there are too many questions marks in this case so follow up with your psychiatrist.” She had another intense crying/anxiety episode the following day where she was begging for help and immediate relief. She had stopped eating and drinking as was planning her suicide by starvation or going out to the woods to die. She went back to the ER via ambulance and was admitted into the psychiatric unit. After almost a week of refusing meds, she agreed to try 7.5 mg of Mirtazapine. It’s been 3 days since then and she is experiencing numbness in her head and discomfort on the ride side of her body. They are suggesting an antipsychotic (Zyprexa) or electroshock therapy. Since this nightmare began, she never stabilized on any medication and cold turkeyed off everything. She keeps calling me and begging me for advice. I don’t know what to do because I don’t know what’s wrong. No one has an answer. I thought maybe she had Lyme but her test came back negative. I thought maybe she had PANDAS because of the strep. Or maybe it is the fact she never stabilized on medication and kindled her brain. I came here for hope though because I’ve been lurking for a month and I know many of you have recovered from many years of psychiatric drugs and withdrawals. She wasn’t even regularly on anything for more than a month or two at a time. So we need to get her stabilized and we can begin to treat underlying issues. My question is how do we do that?
  3. Hi I am new to this forum and this is my first post . I am currently on 30mg mirtazapine and 200mg of pregablin , I have been on these mess for about 3 to 4 months . I have just cut my mirtazapine from 30mg to 15mg and in the space of 4 days I have have horrible side effects , anxiety through the roof , shaking , lack of appetite poor sleep crying spells and the general feeling of feeling crap . The reason I have started to withdraw from the mirtazapine is that after 3 months I feel no benefit only get awfull side effects . No help with my anxiety and depression if anything it's made me more depressed . I have gone through withdrawing from Effexor and that was really tough , however just the drop for a few days of the mirtazapine has left me crushed , my doctor told me that mirtazapine was a easy drug to withdraw from , but after 4 days it has left me house bound . Has anyone got any idea on how I get through this or any experience in mirtazapine withdrawals
  4. Is it possible that I have permanent brain damage from an anti-depressant. I came of Zispin 12 years ago cold turkey and am still suffering withdraw symptoms that come and go. The symptoms are so severe at this moment that I think I'm losing my mind. I am keeping two words in mind 'Courage & Dignity". I'm going through this so long now that I don't talk about it any more to the people in my life. However, its getting harder to deal with because I'm getting older (60) and my physical health is poor. Two years ago I was told I had terminal cancer I was scared but also relived to know I was getting free of this withdrawal problem. The doctor then decided to operate, she told me I had less than a twenty percent chance of surviving. Well, I got free of cancer, I had my lung removed (and my quality of life) and everybody said I was a miracle. I don't feel like a miracle, I feel like a pathetic mess. Can anyone give me a little hope please.
  5. First of all thank you for the support you give on this site. I am from Spain, using Google translator. I started with psychiatric medications at age 16 from panic attacks, I'm currently 37. I've been trying to quit the medications for two years. Before starting the last withdrawal I was taking: EFFEXOR XR 150 mg1-0-0; TRANKIMAZIN RETARD 1mg 1-0-1; MIRTAZAPINE 15 mg 0-0-1. In January 2019 I started withdrawing TRANKIMAZIN 0.5 mg every 15 days; at the end of the cone I did not recover from withdrawal symptoms but despite that when the withdrawal of TRANKIMAZIN ends I began with the withdrawal of EFFEXOR. I removed 0.75 mg of EFFEXOR for two months. At this point I was very tired, I had muscular stiffness in my neck and many pains and had gained a lot of weight, I decided to remove MIRTAZAPINE first to see if the symptoms described above were solved. From there I eliminate MIRTAZAPINE in just one week, five months ago. There begins the greatest abstinence hell I've ever lived; panic attacks every thirty minutes, vomiting, diarrhea, sensitivity to light and sound, itching and skin sensitivity, burning eyes, lack of appetite, muscle aches throughout the body, extreme fatigue, anhedonia, depersonalization, dizziness ... As the symptoms were intolerable, reading in this forum that a benzodiazepine can help I start with DIAZEPAM. 2.5 mg - 0 - 2.5. The benzo works and the symptoms become more tolerable. the panic attacks almost disappear and I start eating a little. From this moment I try to hold on to see if the symptoms disappear. Today, sensitivity to light and sound, skin sensitivities have improved, I have no insomnia, no vomiting or diarrhea. However, I have had to abandon all my daily activities because any effort makes me feel very sick (flu symptoms). prolonged anhedonia and depersonalization have led me to a deep depression. My life is to be asleep as long as possible because the reality is too distressing, I have no appetite, I live with demotivation and hopelessness and ideas of death. I do not know if all these symptoms are an accumulation of the different withdrawals or are due exclusively to MIRTAZAPINE. I am afraid of restoring medication because my quality of life with her was very poor, the EFFEXOR caused my personality changes and psychic changes that wreaked havoc on my life. I would like to know what you think and what you would do in these difficult times. It is very difficult in Spain to find medical support that belives my story. Thanks for your support.
  6. I am so glad that I came across this forum! I feel like crying when reading peoples stories and their struggle with coming off the antidepressants! I was prescribed Zoloft for anxiety and Depression which I have been suffering for years! Mainly anxiety and panic disorder! I am otherwise healthy. Zoloft caused PGAD that has caused me so much anguish, I feel like I am living in a nightmare! I only took Zoloft for 3 days 25mg and this happened to me! I wanted to and still have thoughts of suicide! I felt that I was some kind of a freak and pervert! It has been 4 weeks and things have improved but not completely gone! I constantly feel burning sensation, and tingles that drive me crazy! I can deal with the burning sensations but tingles I can not stand! I got better then I took a herbal supplement for anxiety and it has come back today! I am taking fish oil supplement and I wonder if I am now sensitive to fish oil too??? Should I stop or cut back on fish oil? I just don't know what to take anymore! I never could imagine that this could happen to me as I was not aware! The doctor did not mention anything so I had no idea! I am naturally a slim person and my only worry at the time was if I was going to gain weight while on antidepressants, and my doctor reassured me "Very Unlikely". I took her word for it and I took the medication. In did not want to deal with, anxiety, depression and plus weight issues as a result of antidepressants! I told my doctor what happened to me and like many others have reported "she has never heard of it". That made me feel so humiliated and embarrassed. The point is that the doctors are not educated in regards to this issue. I recently went back to her and told her that I am still experiencing issued down below, burning sensation ever since Zoloft and she said that it is a coincidence! I am sick of doctors, they are full of ****! You tell them one thing and they turn it around! I just prey this eventually goes away and settles down! If this does not settle down I would consider removing sensitive part of my anatomy! I hate it! I can't stand it! How is everyone else coping with this? What have you found that helps? I have not felt peaceful down below for the last 4 weeks! I have never heard of this condition prior to taking antidepressants. Please help, Thank you.
  7. Hello everyone i’m a 26 years old male. End of 2017 the doctor give me mirtazapine because I was sleeping very bad for over a year. She said it wasn’t addictive and if I dont like it I can stop anytime. I never had depression or anxiety in my life the only thing was the lack of sleep. I started it in december 2017 at 15mgs in the evening. The first day I take it I got some kind of panic attack I couldnt think, everthing feels strange and my hands were tingling. I went back and asked if it was the medicine but she thinks it was just a panic attack because of the lack of sleep. I stop taking it for a couple of days. Then I started it again because the doctor assured it wasnt the medicine. When I started again the only thing I noticed when I took them are some kind of brain zaps and restless legs. But that did go away after a few weeks. Everything went good after that for 4 months,I sleep during that 4 months the only side effects i noticed were that I eat a lot and sometimes I got the tingling in my hand and feet. After the 4 months I became very scared because I was just sitting at home and out of nowhere I getting very scared and noticed that what I now know getting intrusive thoughts. I never had them in my live. Then I started googling and find out I wasnt the only one who has problems with this drug. I was so scared that I decided to quit the drugs so I went to the doctor again. This was around March 2018. She tould me to take 7,5mg for 3 weeks and after that 3,75mg for 3 weeks and then quit. When I jumped to 7,5 mg I felt great for a few weeks then I go to the 3,75mg and felt terrible I couldnt function at all I was very tired and even watching television became to much. I couldnt eat,sleep and noticed I get tinnitus and my ears got very sensitive to sounds. I hold it for a couple of weeks but then I cant take it anymore so I went back to 7,5mg and felt relief after three days. That worked for a couple of weeks but after that I noticed the intrusive thoughts are back and they would get worse. After that I googled the whole day and became obsessed about the withdrawal. I hold at the 7,5mg for a couple of months because I was to scared to decrease. Sometimes I felt good but most of the time I felt realy bad and scared that I never get better. In July of this year I decided to taper because the symptoms get very bad again. I went to the doctor and asked for the liquid mirtazapine and she agreed. At the moment I am doing a four month taper, every 2 weeks I am going to drop 1mg and at the moment Im at 4,5mg. I know it is way too fast but I never stabilize on a dose and Im already sick all the time. At this moment my symptoms are: Racing thoughts Tinnitus Nausea cant eat much losing weight. Obsessive about withdrawing Some kind of brain zaps/tension in head. Muscle twitching I get some sleep I think 4 or 5 hours but some days i dont sleep at all. I follow some topics here about mirtazapine for a while and I know it is a very bad drug.
  8. Hi there, I'm new to this site but need help! Have had 15 years of AD use, which include a couple of changes due to 'poop outs'. My last change was 9 weeks ago when the 15mg paroxetine that I'd been on for 7 years pooped out. Ended up under crisis team and physchiatrist switched me to 15mg Mirtazapine (straight switch from one day to the next). I had done a similar switch back in 2007 when my lexapro pooped out (tapered down over 2 weeks then switched straight over to the paroxetine). Over the last 6 weeks on Mirtazapine, the physchiatrist titrated me up to 45mg as I was in a bad state. 45mg WAY too high for me and caused akathisia, so he dropped me back to 30mg (after 3 weeks on 45mg). Akathisia better, but still lingering, so he wants to drop me down to 22.5mg. What do I do... I need this akathisia to stop ASAP, so a drawn out taper seems like far too long to wait! But I'm sure my body is in crisis from the med switch and titrating up then quick drop back down. Also used benzos over 4 weeks during switch, and titrated off them. Am I better to put up with the akathisia and do a slow taper? He thinks that drop percentage is fine (25%), but after reading this site combined with the weird experiences I'm having I'm too scared (so I'll need to enlist the help of a chemical compounding pharmacy) . Am I better to do that drop (25%) to stop the akathisia quickly, or just let my body settle down? Do 10% in another 2 weeks time (so that will be 4 weeks after my drop from 45mg to 30mg). I don't know what to do... I have been under the care of the crisis team and been going along with the plan, but can't help but feel these side effects are worse than having no treatment! I'm only 43 with a beautiful husband and son, but I'm scared that I've screwed my poor body up for life. I need advice, and stories of hope (and of easy withdrawls, not just horror stories, to give me hope). P. S Could my akathisia actually be paroxetine withdrawls even though I went straight onto another med?
  9. Hello Im new here. Thank you for taking time to read this if you are. :) I have been on Mirt for only 12 days at 15 mg. Im looking to come off due to side effects, its just not suited for me. I was going to do 11.25 for 4 days, 7.5 for 4 days, 3.75 for 4 days, then off. Is that too quickly? I thought not since I have only been on it for 12 days at 15 mg. I appreciate everyones input and advice! :)
  10. I have been taking Trazadone since January 2014. I started with .75 Traz and have been slowly tapering the past six months. I am now down to .38 Traz after making a cut 2 nights ago from .45 Traz.. I take it at night to sleep along with 7.5 Remeron. I have been doing well with sleeping on the .45 which I have been holding the past 2 months. Last night my sleep was very light and fitful after the cut. I doubt I got that much sleep. Also, this October I will be on year off Ambien 10 mg. I am looking for some encouragement from folks who have been down this road before with Trazadone. Any success stories out there? How did you feel along the way with tapering? How was your sleep? How did you feel one week off Traz, three weeks off, a month off?
  11. Hi all. I have been on a combo of Risperdal and Zoloft since 2012. I reached 3mg risperdal and 200mg zoloft in early 2016, tried to taper off both starting in June of that year, and had a bout of insomnia in November, at which time I reinstated along with an additional 15mg remeron. Adding the remeron, I've learned, was a huge mistake and most likely unnecessary. Since then I've slept at most 6 hours instead of my usual 8. For the first 2 months on remeron I avoided caffeine and tobacco. Then, after picking up both again, my sleep suffered, and I eventually had nights with 2-3 hours. I've since learned that caffeine and tobacco induce the enzyme CYP1A2, which metabolizes remeron, explaining this. By abstaining from both, my sleep has returned. I have also tried shaving a sliver off my 15mg pill with no luck...getting a full night without sleep. I would like to be able to drink coffee and smoke again. That leaves me with 2 options, get off the remeron (seemingly impossible) or tolerate the lack of sleep. If I do the latter, will my sleep eventually not recover even when abstinent due to repeated withdrawals? I had been planning to use coffee and cigs only sporadically, letting my sleep return before using them again, or using only on the weekends. If I that is not sustainable, then how do you recommend I get off the remeron, given my sensitivity to even a small dose decrease? My doc has suggested trazodone as a replacement, but that med interacts with my other meds and a post about it here scared me away. Thank you so much for your help.
  12. Hi everyone, I am writing to seek support during what has become a frightening experience for me. I have a history of severe depression and as I started to come out of the last one in the middle of 2018, I accepted the proposition put by al psychiatrist that I needed to be on high doses of psychiatric drugs. The two most significant were Lexapro at 45mgs and Mirtazapine at 90mgs daily. He also had me on Epilim and Propanolol to counter the impact of the benzodiazepines I was withdrawing from. The Lexapro was causing me to be uncomfortable with wind and I came off it over a couple of weeks at the end of last year without any difficulty. The Epilim and Propanolol were also removed. The massive dose of Mirtazapine remained, however. Even though it is prescribed off label for sleep, I was finding getting to sleep increasingly difficult. This is what led me to make a mistake seven weeks ago. Without consulting anyone I reduced the drug to 45mgs for three nights. This led to the onset of a nasty nauseous sensation in my body. I rang the psychiatrist and he told me that if I reinstated the dose the symptoms would go away. They didn't. So we reduced the dosage to 67.5mgs to see if that would enable me to stabilise on the drug. The symptoms continued. So we agreed to get off the drugs. Over the course of a week the drug was reduced to zero. Now after three nights the symptoms are worse and I am getting little sleep. This morning I was aching so much that I got up and tried to watch the cricket. My mistake was that I assumed as anti- depressants are not addictive and that because I had come off the Lexapro so easily that a reduction in my Mirtazapine dosage would cause me no problems. Moreover, I did come off 30mgs on another occasion with no problems. As as it looks as if reinstatement is not an option given the nature of my symptoms, I simply don't know where to turn. I fear that I am looking at an extended period of massive discomfort which could lead to a return of the depression.
  13. Hi Guys. I have been on every SSRI over the past 2 years, apart from Paroxetine. This all started from some situational anxiety at work. Each time i took a medication i was on them for about 3 month without any benefit at all. I would loose time at work, cold turkey and return back to work. Each time i did this i was getting worse and worse. I would then return back to the doctor and ve started on something else. This has basically gone on for 2 years. All this time i have got worse. I have now come to understand withdrawal and the fact i could have well been prescribed numerous medications due to an illness been mistaken for withdrawal. 8 weeks ago after stopping my second attempt of Escitalopram for 3 months i decided to stop for good with a fast taper. I feel anxious, dizzy, fatigued, poor cognition and inability to focus. I know if i take a dose of SSRI that this will improve however i will return to the Zombie state of meds. I am finished with medication!!! On reflection my problems i encountered prior to any medication was far easier than the problems i have had the past 2 years on medications. I think i have been a victim of Psychiatry! I dont think i ever needed medication! My chemical imbalance was created by meds! If i had no knowledge of this i would be stuck in Psychiatry! I just want to know ppls experiences and can i still be in withdrawal at 8 weeks after 2 years of messing about with meds. Thanks Lee
  14. I have been taking Mertazapine for 12 mths for anxiety and insomnia (got good results with sleep and was less anxious) and now things have levelled out some what in my life would like to stop taking it. I am only just starting to reduce and after doing some reading I will be doing it slowly and see how my body reacts. Three days ago I reduced from 15mg to 7.5 (half tablet), have been feeling fine, sleep is OK but have read symptoms will set in after about 1 week. Will see how it progresses.
  15. Hello everyone, At age 4 I developed PANDAS (unknown at the time). It was characterised by extreme OCD and comorbid Tourette Syndrome and ADHD. In my teens I was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. At age 7 I recieved my diagnoses. At age 8 I was medicated with Paxil. My OCD improved dramatically. I was switched to Zoloft because of anti-cholinergic side-effects experienced with Paxil. I was maintained at 150 mg of Zoloft for several years. I developed worsening akathisia and emotional numbing. At age 15 I developed severe apathy in the absensce of depression. With the help of my mother over the next 3 years I titrated to 2/3 of a 25 mg pill. I could feel the difference between 12.5 and roughly 16 mg of sertraline, and I could not go lower than 16 mg without side-effects. Due to my lower dosage, some emotional range was restored and I fell in love and started what would become a 3-year long-term relationship. At some point I figured I could do without sertraline. I stopped it and did not notice much. Eventually a creeping relapse overtook me with intense obsessive thinking. I started back up on fluoxetine. It caused bruxism and akathisia. I switched to sertraline after realizing this. It caused me to become hugely dysphoric (with superimposed hypomanic features). I got into a fight and broke several bones in my face. I was sent to a psychiatric ward. I found a study that found that fluoxetine caused an increase in diazepam concentrations by as much as 50%. I decided that I was probably undergoing acute benzodiazepine withdrawal, so I requested to be switched to Luvox, which also vastly increases diazepam concentrations. I have a long history with benzodiazepines which I will not expand upon here, except to say that my GP, who is handling my medication, is always pushing me to go faster on my taper. I got him to approve an Ashton schedule, although I think I would do better if he gave some leeway to hold at a dosage for a while so I can adjust. I stabilized within a few days of the change, and my akathisia was relieved (or masked by diazepam?). I left the ward at 100 mg of Luvox. To achieve further reduction in my OCD, Luvox was titrated up to 300 mg by my GP. This again caused emotional numbing and akathisia. I reduced my dose to 200 mg. I sat at this dose for a while, but by accident, or fate, I started missing a few doses here and there. This triggered intense emotion reactions. Life had me hooked. I had an emotional reaction to a song, and I have told myself that I am never going back into no-where land. I am going to decrease my Luvox to 100 mg, as 200 mg leaves me wishy-washy about wanting to taper. I will request my diazepam be increased to 25 mg and hold for 1 month, and then recommence taper. I have taken an SSRI for the vast majority of my life, and I have a question: Here is what I believe to be one of the enigma's of SSRIs. I know that it is true for myself. I hope to see if it is true of others. At the dose of an SSRI required to stave off withdrawal, the desire to get off of the SSRI diminishes. This can shave years of "living" off of your life. On the other hand, if you CT or cut too low too fast, the withdrawal will force you to reinstate. I have also struggled with intense DP/DR at times. It was at its height when it was 24/7 and I felt like "I", (insert my real name, let's pretend Jay) had died. That was the most excruciating time of my entire life, save brief periods of bash-your-head-in-the-wall akathisia after being given an antipsychotic at a psychiatric ward. Thank you so much to anyone who made it to the end of this post, it means a lot, Peace. EDIT: Also, sometimes when experiencing distress I wonder if it is the SSRI or the benzo, withdrawal from either of these, or just normal.
  16. Hi all, in a bit of a dilema here. I was prescribed Mirtazapine in October 2017 for a severe bout of anxiety and depression. Within about 1 month I saw great progress. After 4 months i decided to taper. Im 28 and dont want to be on ADs longterm. My taper: 15mg for 4 months 7.5mg for 40 days 3.7mg for 10 days 2mg for 7 days (Smaller doses were innacurate) Initially upon stopping i had bad stomach pains, this went after 4 days and I spent the next 3 weeks feeling great. Then boom! Something triggered me and I was sent straight back to feeling super anxious. Since then ive been having 2/3 week waves of sevre anxiety, insomnia, loss of appetite. Ill slowly recover, feel good for a few weeks then relapse again. Now its been 3 months off mirtazapine and im worried that I have caused permanent damage from the drug for tapering too fast. Would I benefit from reinstating this late on? I dont know how many more of these waves I can handle. Each time they rock me to the core and I consider hospitilisation. Im not suicidal like I was when I had my first anxiety episode but need some answers. Im back doing CBT again with my therapist and starting exposure therapy to my triggers. Any advice welcome!
  17. I was prescribed 15mg Mirtazapine in May 2019 for sleep and anxiety following a diagnosis of PVFS (now ME/CFS) in Jan 19. Developed tinnitus 4 weeks later and advised to come off by MD. Both the MD and pharmacist advised that what I now know as a FT would be ok as I was only taking the drug for almost 3 months. In fact, my MD said that Mirtazapine would be ok to just stop. Dropped from 15mg to 0 in about 4 weeks and unsurprisingly got the whole raft of symptoms. The worst was my inability to sleep and brain tremors that would come on as I was just falling asleep and if I did fall asleep would wake me at every sleep cycle. I went for some nights with no sleep and became suicidal. Reinstated after 16 days, under the advice of my MD at 3.75mg for 2 days, with little improvement, then up to 7.5mg, where I have been for two months. I have been a heavy meditator since the start of June as part of an ME/CFS recovery program, called ANS Rewire (highly recommended), which includes brain training. I am taking a supplement regime as part of this protocol, I also take melatonin (2mg). Two months on from reinstatement pretty much all withdrawal symptoms have disappeared apart from minor tingling and skin crawling sensations (this could be withdrawal, the drug side affects, or my illness) and the sleep disturbance, and I am seeking advice on whether to up the dose to 11.75mg as suggested by MD. It has improved a great deal and I am getting a number of hours a night. Initially the brain tremor would be very intense, making my whole body tingle/tremor and my tinnitus gets very loud, stopping me from falling asleep and waking me on each sleep cycle (perhaps on REM part as I can always remember dreams and never could prior). After a bit, it became much milder and less frequent, still stopping me falling asleep and waking me, but feeling more like an odd sensation. More recently it appears to have worsened and when I wake my heart is pounding. I think I wake on each sleep cycle and after about 4.30 am, its constant as a fall asleep and will happen multiple times until waking. Oddly, I have noticed that on days where my meditation feels particularly deep, the night is much worse and this worries me, because it makes me feel as though there is something wrong with my brain. I also wonder whether having ME/CFS (a dysfunction of the ANS), means that things are harder. Anyway, I am thinking of upping the dose to 11.75mg and am seeking advice. Also, I wondered if anyone else has experienced that meditation makes symptoms worse? I do go very deep and believe that I have high brain neuroplasticity.
  18. Cloudskishawna

    Cloudskishawna: 5 weeks on Remeron / mirtazapine

    For maybe the past 5 days I've only been getting 5 hours and its starting to really get to me on those 5 days 2 of those days I had they were good but now things are starting to get dark now I'm so tired and exhausted I've been taking cbd oil 600 mg and today I smoked a hemp plant on those days I think it was on Friday where I had took unisom 50 mg and I was out for a very long time invest sleep I had in a while I have a appointment with a cranial therpist at 3 and I also took some iodine because I heard it cam help with the tinnitus please any advice I just want my sleep back
  19. Hello Everyone! My name is Tomek, I'm 33 years old and my miserable adventure with antidepressant started 9 years ago in December 2009. My entire history with antidepressants is in my Signature. Suffice to say that I had some experience with withdrawing from many meds especially from SSRI and benzodiazepines. Xanax withdrawal. In 2014 after an accident I was very much addicted to Xanax, taking it every day. During that time I had some very unpleasant incident with this med. On one Sunday I started to feel extremely bad. From very early morning to late night I had many unpleasant symptoms like: extreme sweating (all the time I looked like I've just had a shower), muscle pain, muscle stiffness, tachycardia, extremely dry mouth and problems with my eyesight. I completely stopped taking Xanax at that moment. I was in this terrible state for the next five days. The good thing is that after this incident I practically stopped taking benzos for good. During the last 4 years, I've taken them maybe once per year and even that in very small doses. The bad thing is that since then I still have problems with my eyesight, specifically, my eyes have some strange problem with focusing on objects, like my vision becomes shaky when I try to focus my eyes. To this day I'm still not 100% sure what happened to me. Was it benzo withdrawal like my psychiatrist suggested or something else, for example, serotonin syndrome (I was on Clomipramine and Mirtazapine back then). After this incident for the next 6 months, I had a terrible anxiety almost every day. Anyway, in December 2014 I started taking Paroxetine 30mg (Seroxat) again. Since September 2014 I’m also on Mirtazapine 15mg. From 2015 to 2017 I actually felt pretty well on those meds. Even problems with my eyesight weren't very bothersome, although it never completely healed after the incident with benzos. Paroxetine withdrawal. Finally, at the end of 2017, after 3 years I decided to start withdrawing from those meds. My liver tests weren't very good so that's one of the reasons but not only. My first attempts weren’t really successful as I hesitated between 30mg and 20mg. During January 2018 I went three times between those doses. One of the reasons is that my close friend died during that time. This made me feel very depressed and anxious. I don't know if this was because of changing those doses or because I was very stressed back then but I started to feel physically ill. I was nauseous, weak, I had dizziness and photophobia. After three weeks I started to feel a little better. I decided to tamper the doses very gradually. For two weeks I was reducing from 30mg to 20mg. After that, I stopped reducing and was on 20mg for 2 months. Then again reducing from 20mg to 10mg for 2 weeks. Then 3 months on 10mg and after that reducing to 0mg for 3-4 weeks. I finally stopped taking Paroxetine in August 11th 2018r. Changing the dose slowly from 30mg to 20mg wasn't that bad. However, going from 20mg to 10mg was a whole different story. I had unpleasant brain zaps and was nauseous. The worse part was actually my mental state. I was constantly irritated, even the smallest things could make me feel angry. Never in my life felt something like that. Fortunately, after 2-3 weeks, I started to feel better. Not as good as before changing the dose but I could make through the day without hitting my desk with fists. So somewhere in the middle of July, I decided to finally go for it and try to reduce my dose to 0mg. During it, my photophobia and afterimages increased. On August 11th, 2018 was the first day since more than 3 years that I finally survived the day without Paroxetine. Since then I'm depressed almost every day, especially in the mornings, a few times I had panic attacks during the night and couldn't sleep. I'm still on Mirtazapine so that helped me with sleeping. Then fun fact though is that without Paro I managed to finally go on vacation after 5 years ;-). In the past, I always felt too lazy to go somewhere. Mirtazapine withdrawal. My next plan was to withdraw from Mirtazapine. I started reducing doses from 15 mg to something like 11mg at the end of September. At the end of October, I was on 7.5 mg for almost three weeks. Unfortunately, I started feeling worse, more often had panic attacks and my eyesight went even worse. At the beginning of November, I've returned to 15mg but that didn't help me very much. My eyes still have a problem with focusing and my vision is shaky, I'm experiencing brain zaps although they're not as strong as they were before. At this point, I'm not sure if it is a good idea to withdrawing from Mirtazapine so fast when I've just stopped taking Paroxetine like 3 months ago. On the other hand, I really want to try to get off this med. I apologize for any mistakes in this text due to my poor English.
  20. Hi All, I looked through the forums and didn't see alot of info on the this topic or even online there is not alot of general info regarding antidepressants and effects on kidney. In particular I have been on 7.5 mg of mirtzapine for 18 years. Unfortunately in the last couple years my kidney GFR has dropped to about 60 ml/min/1.73m2, indicating stage 3 CKD...very scary :( I am extremely upset about this as my gfr was holding at around 85 ml/min upto a year ago so I thought things were ok. the Drs are not sure as to the cause as i do not have diabetes or high blood pressure, nor has kidney scans revealed any structural issues. My feeling is the mirtzapine over the long period caused this decline but if I look online there are no reports really of antidepressants causing kidney damage. I would have figured by now there would be at least a fair amount of cases reported or studies looking at this but aside from the occasional comment stating antidepressants may affect kidneys there is nothing really substantial. Has anyone here had kidney damage due to antidepressant use (mirtzapine in particular) , or know of any evidence of this? Really appreciate any info/links...
  21. Hello: I am here after a person on another forum (BenzoBuddies) alerted me to the existence of this one when I queried if anyone there had experience with tapering/eliminating Aripiprazole (Abilify). I am currently working on titrating down from the Clonazepam I have been taking. I have hopes of eliminating all the medications listed in my signature, in time. Once I have eliminated the Clonazepam, I would next like to work on the aripiprazole, then the Mirtazapine. I have only very occasionally used the alprazolam. So, I do not see that as a real hurdle. There is an erroneous date listed in my signature. It should be 2012. If someone could guide me in editing it, I would sure appreciate it. It was kind of a mystery just to create it. I hope to find some useful information and encouragement here. I did a big drop of the Clonazepam (50%) on September 19, as instructed by my doctor. Withdrawal symptoms were uncomfortable, but not terrible. Days 1-3 met me with needing a bit more time falling asleep. Days 15-21 met me with some irritability, headache (most days), one night of insomnia, a few days of mild depression and some free-floating anxiety. Day 22 and onward, the aforementioned symptoms were gone and I was feeling better than what was my normal self. I am glad for this. After reading a lot of information (Professor Ashton's manual & on the BenzoBuddies forum), I decided to continue with reducing the Clonazepam at a rate of 25% every 14 days. Yes, I know it is more than recommended (5-10%), but I believe I am capable of proceeding at this rate and take comfort in the fact that I can always adjust my dosing, if needed. My dose tonight will be ~.4700. When I began taking the medications (in 2001), I was diagnosed with PTSD and Major Depressive Disorder (without psychotic symptoms). I did spend some time in a psychiatric hospital (~3.5 weeks), during which time several different medications were tried/thrown at me. I don't remember all of them (prozac & paxil, are two that were tried...). I did not take any but the Clonazepam longer than a few days/weeks. Oh, except lamictal. I took that for about 6 months (in 2001). Almost forgot about that one. A couple other antidepressants were tried just before I began taking the Mirtazapine in 2010: Effexor, Celexa and Trazadone. They all made me feel loopy, so I rejected them. Sleep is what I needed and the Mirtazapine helped to deliver that. The Abilify was a depression add-on which did seem to give me an overall improved affect/mood. Since 2001, I have remained steadfastly committed to and deeply engaged in an in-depth therapeutic relationship (with a couple practitioners). As a result, I have achieved a complete psychological, emotional and spiritual make-over. Over the course of the past couple years, I have questioned if I really have a need to continue taking the medications, for I simply am not the same person I was 17 years, 10 years, 5 years or even 1 year ago. It is my deep hope and desire that I will eliminate the medications. It will be very nice to see who I am today, without the medications. That's my history, in a nutshell. Cleerity
  22. cathnz

    cathnz: Tapering off Mirtazapine

    Hi there, I'm getting ready for a future reduction in Mirtazapine. It won't be any time soon (I need to get stable first) but am just wondering how I will go about this. I live in NZ and Mirtazapine only comes in the form of tablets (i.e not liquid or capsules with beads). I have 2 options... getting a compounding pharmacy to make up capsules (very expensive), or getting some gemini scales and shaving the tablets. All the info I can find on here is about taking beads out of capsules (which isn't possible with a compacted tablet). Is the shaving off and weighing on a gemini scale an option? And the pink coating that is on the tablet... is this part of the active ingredient too?
  23. Hi folks, First of all I'm new to this site, so feel free to tell me I'm in the wrong area or redirect me.. But here's my story... I currently have what I think is severe anhedonia. Last July, I was a bit depressed (I stress a bit, not majorly).......doctor gave me lexapro 10. After taking this, I vomited on the first night and developed sleep problems. Later in the week, I was given 25 seroquel which apparently would help balance out adverse effects of lexapro.......by the end of the week, I wasn't sleeping and I was suicidal. I subsequently was admitted to hospital. In hospital, I got more and more meds thrown at me and my mid august I was on 125 seroquel, 30 mirtazapine, 20 lexapro, 20 Olanzapine/Zyprexa....My main problem was the medication ripped my stomach apart.....the docs didn't believe me and just gave me more and more meds. I left hospital anyway on the concoction I mentioned.....I spent the following four months on these meds. During those four months, I felt no emotion whatsever, nothing. I felt suicidal, and that I would never recover. I had no desire to do anything. I just stayed in bed until late in the day, even though my sleep did not feel like real sleep. By mid November, i realised that the medication was messing me up, I demanded that I gradually come off everything. On that day, the doctor dropped the mirtazapine, and cut everything else in half. There was a quick taper, maybe too quick, and by christmas eve I was off everything. There were brief windows of emotion during the taper but still 95% anhedonia. Days after I went off everything....I cried for the first time in six months.....days later I laughed for the first time in months... I'm now 6 weeks off everything, I had huge headaches up unitl last week. My stomach started to improve after going off everything and is on the mend. However, I'm still worried about emotions/desires/thoughts etc.....over the last six weeks....I've had maybe 5 occassions where I felt strong positive emotions...and maybe 3 times where I've been sad/angry to the point of proper crying. outside of those 8 occassions, there's still an awful amount of flat feeling, apathy etc... I'm worried and wonder how long or if I will recover at all. Feedback welcome!!
  24. Moderator note: Link to Nikki74's benzo thread: lexapro kindling akasthesia Mirtazipine diazepam Help. i recently stopped lexapro after a short taper from ten to five mg over 9 days. i had been on 20mg since 2011 then tapered quickly in June and stopped. This was a few weeks after stopping pregabalin 150mg v abruptly. all this time I was also on 15mg Mirtazipine. my anxiety went crazy and gp told me to double Mirtazipine dose to 30. I lasted 3 weeks of hellish symptoms and was put on diazepam and Zopiclone. im now off Zopiclone which was tough. 6 weeks ago GP told me to go back to 15mg Mirtazipine and add in 10mg lexapro. This didn't help so now have stopped lexapro three days ago but took 2.5 mg last night as am feeling withdrawal. gp wants me to start tapering diazepam as I'm getting worse akasthesia when it wears off or even a paradoxical reaction to it. i have akasthesia. Insomnia. Severe anxiety. Shaking. Muscle weakness. Obsessive thoughts and suicidal ideation as cannot go on like this. The only brief ride break I get is the 15mg Mirtazipine which calms me for 2-3 hours. How can I go on? i am a single mum and have CFS already for many years. do I stay off the Lexapro now? How do I cope with withdrawals, akasthesia, and tapering diazepam?? I take 7mg a day been on it three months. i can't stop in one place and am smoking (just tobacco) every half hour. i got sober in 2013. this is hell.
  25. Hi, I was healthy, happy person until 2017. Unfortunately I went through situational stressfull period in the beginning of 2018 and was prescribed Mirtazapin to calm down and to go it over easier. I took 7.5mg for 2 months. Already 3rd day on it neuroanxiety started, I was scared to death but accepted it as starting symptom (I even didn't know it was anxiety). Overall I slept 13hrs a day, felt dizzy and anxiety was there about twice a week so after 2 months I stopped CT knowing nothing about ad wd. 6weeks after non-stop massive anxiety started, I was put on Sertraline, which caused 100% insomnia, fever, vomitting so stopped after 10 days and I was put back od Mirtazapin and stepwisely went to 30mg to "cure" neuroanxiety from Mirt (I didn't know it, I was thinking having serious anxiety disorder)...however anxiety persisted even in lesser extent and I slept good...After 1 month on 30mg I started to be extremely agitated and shortly after anxiety increased and my sleep crashed to 4hrs as well some melancholic spells started. I finally started to google in English and found out that Mirtazapin is cause of my state.. Since Nov 2018 I started tapering 10% every 2 weeks, I know, fast taper but still manageable for me (I had absolutely no pattern in wd sxs). I was on sick leave and still am. Last cut was to 4mg (23rd June). Since July I hit the wall as severe nonstop anxiety hit me again with high BP spikes and terrible other symptoms (sxs were at scale from 1-10 at 5 until June, since July 9-10), I'm bedridden. I hardly sleep, waking from anxiety, sweating terribly, up at 4 a.m. I have to say I have never had anxiety, depression, insomnia my whole life as well any disposition to it (no childhood trauma, very sociable), I have hormonal issues. Currently I know I will have to hold to stabilize. But I'm desperate because my anxiety is so severe it is unbearable for me. Should it be unavoidable during wd I'm not able to go through...I lost already 20lbs on Mirt and have no more reserves. Just I have feeling I'm stuck in this forever but feeling terribly so it can't go on so. Any supportive words?
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