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Karlos: Looking to taper Remeron


Karlos

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Hello everyone,

I have been reading many posts regarding Remeron/ Mirtazapine in the last few weeks. I found the information very helpful. I wish I had found this site earlier...

 

I started taking 4mg of Ativan and 30mg of Remeron in February of 2014. In May 2014, I reduced Ativan from 4 to 3mg overnight. Was unaware of proper tapering technique, felt terrible side effects from 25% reduction. After becoming familiar with the Ashton manual, started a crossover taper 3mg Ativan to 30mg Valium in August 2014. Completed a slow taper on May 19 2016. Benzo free as of today, but still on 30mg of Remeron. 

 

I believe I am currently feeling strong side effects from the Remeron. I started feeling this way a few days after stopping the Valium. I am feeling dizziness like “walking on moving ship”, headaches, nausea, concentration problems, upset stomach. I find it difficult to function in this condition.

I thought I had accomplished the hard work when I finished my benzo taper. I began reading about the Remeron on Surviving Antidepressants. I was really surprised by what I read: “When you remove the Benzo, the AD’s adverse effects come to the forefront.” and “ Mirt likely to be stimulating and might be uncomfortable without the Benzo.” The recommendations on which drug to taper first goes against what you would find in the Ashton Manual or a site like Benzo Buddies.

“Benzo withdrawal before Antidepressant withdrawal increases the risk of a difficult antidepressant withdrawal.” All these ideas are news for me.

I have read many comments on the forum which reflect the symptoms I have been feeling from the Remeron.

 

I believe I need to taper the Remeron. 

 

I am questioning wether I can taper Remeron successfully in my present condition or in order to do this properly would I need to reinstate a low dose of Valium, possibly 2mg.

 

I should add that where I am currently living I do not have access to liquid remeron or special pharmacies. I will need to create my own liquid mirt  by using the Remeron Soltab 30mg.

 

From reading the recommendations, 10% cut every 4 weeks is the way to go. A first cut would be by 3mg to 27 mg.

 

Had a doctor (that helped me with my Benzo taper) suggest a Remeron taper by taking : 

30 mg 1st night then 15mg 2nd night, back to 30mg 3rd night, then down to 15mg on 4th night, and so on for 3 weeks. If ok then stay at 15mg.

Sounds risky to me…

I am trying to figure out the best way forward. I would appreciate any suggestions.

Thanks

Karlos

Started taking 4mg of Ativan and 30mg of Remeron in February of 2014. In May 2014, I reduced Ativan from 4 to 3mg overnight. Was unaware of proper tapering technique, terrible side effects from 25% reduction. After becoming familiar with the Ashton manual, started crossover taper 3mg Ativan to 30mg Valium in August 2014. Completed slow taper on May 19 2016. Benzo free as of today, but still on 30mg of Remeron. 


Feeling strong side effects from Remeron w/o Valium. Feeling dizziness like “walking on moving ship”, headaches, nausea, concentration problems, upset stomach.  Would like to begin Remeron taper. 

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FunkyBaboon

Hey Karlos,

 

Welcome to the forum - glad you've found us. Sorry to hear that you're in this situation and experiencing symptoms, but you've come to the right place we have all been there and there are some wonderful people here who will be able to provide you with some sage advice.

 

Only thing I can really comment on is that your doctor's suggestion to alternate doses 30mg/15mg/30mg/15mg would cause big problems for anybody who is sensitive to antidepressant dose changes. I'm sure a large percentage of the population, the lucky ones with pretty resilient central nervous systems, could embark on such a regime without too many serious upsets but from personal experience as somebody with an extremely sensitive central nervous system I can attest that dose alternating like that caused me to experience a lot of crazy withdrawal symptoms.

 

I see you've already discovered the recommendation to taper by 10% max every 4 weeks. This is certainly the way to go, and from there you can make the judgement on whether you can increase the rate of taper or decrease it further by listening to your body and making the call. This is best approach for harm reduction and will assist you in getting off the Remeron for good whilst causing the least upset to your nervous system.

 

As far as the benzo situation goes I'm sure somebody with more knowledge on that will be along soon to give you some proper advice. I wouldn't recommend you embark on your Remeron taper whilst you're experiencing the symptoms you describe it sounds like you need to let your nervous system settle down first. That might require you to hold for a while to see if symptoms settle down or you may need to reinstate a small dose of benzo but again this is not my area of expertise so will leave to someone else.

 

Cheers

Funky

A convenient link to my introduction post

 

2003 Paroxetine (20mg I think) daily for 5 months due to extreme anxiety before final exams and stopped cold turkey. From 2003 onwards I have suffered with extreme anxiety, akathisia, severe muscle tension & digestive problems whenever off I'm off anti-depressants.

2007 Clonazepam (unsure of dose) - took approximately 100 tablets to try and self medicate for anxiety.

2007-09 Amitryptyline 10mg - was advised to take this "as and when needed" for anxiety.

April/May 2011 Diazepam 2mg - 2 week course followed by complete inability to sleep upon finishing so started Citalopram 40mg and I was able to sleep again.

Mid 2012 Diazepam 10mg - took approximately 100 tablets.

Mid 2012 Started Citalopram taper - 5mg reductions every month or two, severe withdrawal symptoms throughout taper.

Apr 2013 Completely off Citalopram and continued to have severe withdrawal.

Oct 2013 Completely fell to pieces mentally and alongside had a whole host of debilitating physical symptoms too. I went to the doctors who performed whole batteries of tests but had no idea what was wrong with me. They tried me on Sertraline and Amitryptyline to which I had terrible reactions which made symptoms worse. Eventually got put on Nortryptyline 25mg, which I tolerated and over 3 months withdrawal symptoms started to abate.

Mid 2014 discovered survivingantidepressants.org and hallelujah! I knew what was wrong with me - slow taper FTW!

Late 2014 & 2015 Reduced Nortryptyline 22.5mg & 20mg respectively in November & December of 2014. In 2015 Tapered Nortryptyline from 20mg to 10 mg in 2mg increments. Withdrawal symptoms with each dose reduction are debilitating but in a much different way to Citalopram.

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Thanks Funky,

 

Regarding the taper, I guess it's impossible to know if you are one of the lucky ones that can handle a quick taper without side effects.

I wonder if having just completed a slow benzo taper makes me more susceptible to having a difficult time with an AD taper.

I should add that my benzo taper was slow and relatively easy.

Karlos

Started taking 4mg of Ativan and 30mg of Remeron in February of 2014. In May 2014, I reduced Ativan from 4 to 3mg overnight. Was unaware of proper tapering technique, terrible side effects from 25% reduction. After becoming familiar with the Ashton manual, started crossover taper 3mg Ativan to 30mg Valium in August 2014. Completed slow taper on May 19 2016. Benzo free as of today, but still on 30mg of Remeron. 


Feeling strong side effects from Remeron w/o Valium. Feeling dizziness like “walking on moving ship”, headaches, nausea, concentration problems, upset stomach.  Would like to begin Remeron taper. 

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FunkyBaboon

Yep,

 

The only way to find out if you're one of the unlucky ones is by trying to taper quickly, as I have done with both Paroxetine and Citalopram. Yeah, I found out the very hard way that I wasn't one of the lucky ticket holders in the genetic lottery. If you do have bad results then it's too late, you've already injured your nervous system and that will take time, possibly a long time, to heal - and we don't want that for anyone.

 

You say that your benzo taper was slow and relatively easy, I'm guessing that means you didn't have too many symptoms during your benzo taper. So I wonder, when did your symptoms like "walking on a moving ship", headaches, nausea, concentration problems and upset stomach all start? Did they start after you finished with your benzo taper or did they start as you were performing your taper?

 

Funky

A convenient link to my introduction post

 

2003 Paroxetine (20mg I think) daily for 5 months due to extreme anxiety before final exams and stopped cold turkey. From 2003 onwards I have suffered with extreme anxiety, akathisia, severe muscle tension & digestive problems whenever off I'm off anti-depressants.

2007 Clonazepam (unsure of dose) - took approximately 100 tablets to try and self medicate for anxiety.

2007-09 Amitryptyline 10mg - was advised to take this "as and when needed" for anxiety.

April/May 2011 Diazepam 2mg - 2 week course followed by complete inability to sleep upon finishing so started Citalopram 40mg and I was able to sleep again.

Mid 2012 Diazepam 10mg - took approximately 100 tablets.

Mid 2012 Started Citalopram taper - 5mg reductions every month or two, severe withdrawal symptoms throughout taper.

Apr 2013 Completely off Citalopram and continued to have severe withdrawal.

Oct 2013 Completely fell to pieces mentally and alongside had a whole host of debilitating physical symptoms too. I went to the doctors who performed whole batteries of tests but had no idea what was wrong with me. They tried me on Sertraline and Amitryptyline to which I had terrible reactions which made symptoms worse. Eventually got put on Nortryptyline 25mg, which I tolerated and over 3 months withdrawal symptoms started to abate.

Mid 2014 discovered survivingantidepressants.org and hallelujah! I knew what was wrong with me - slow taper FTW!

Late 2014 & 2015 Reduced Nortryptyline 22.5mg & 20mg respectively in November & December of 2014. In 2015 Tapered Nortryptyline from 20mg to 10 mg in 2mg increments. Withdrawal symptoms with each dose reduction are debilitating but in a much different way to Citalopram.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome Karlos!It sounds as if you did a great job with your benzo taper.
 
I'm sorry that you're getting some "kickback," whether from the benzo w/d or the Remeron, which set in a few days after stopping valium. That must have been disappointing and disconcerting. In order to understand what might be going on for you, we'd be assisted with details about:

  • the details of your Valium taper, i.e. what were the dosage steps from 30 mg to 0 if you can recall them
  • what was your last dose of valium on May 16, how did you feel on that dose?
  • at what time do you take Remeron
  • timing & intensity of your symptoms: all the time, symptoms come and go (when), symptoms change intensity (when)

Keep track of this on paper so that you can see patterns, if any. I'll ask one of the benzo forum moderators to have a look at this thread and contribute, just in case there's something going on.

 

It's a rotten situation we're in -- the drugs are prescribed freely and are so very easy to start, but medical expertise on stopping is severely lacking, to the point of being non-apparent. As FunkyBaboon has posted, our recommendation is to taper from 10% of current dose each time and track your symptoms while holding for a month. Doing this a few times allows you to see what your withdrawal symptoms are.

It sounds as if you've scoped out SA and seen some key topics. I'll post them here for your reference:


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?
Tips for tapering off Remeron (mirtazapine)
Making a liquid from a tablet or capsules
About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Link to post

Funky,

The first time I felt motion sickness was during my benzo taper when I cut from 3.5mg to 3mg Diazepam. I stayed at 3mg for 4 weeks but I felt dizzy when I went out everyday for walks. The sensation was that I walking on a ship. It's much stronger now in comparison. I almost always feel that way now wether I am sitting , laying down or walking.The side effect went away when I tapered again to 2.5mg. I did not feel that side effect again until I tapered down to .5mg.

 

Hello Scallywag,

 

Here is a timeline of my benzo taper.

 

9/21/14 Began taper from 30 mg Diazepam to 28mg

9/28/14 26mg, 10/5/14 24mg, 10/12/14 22mg, 10/19/14 20mg, 12/21/15 18 mg

1/25/15 17mg, 2/8/15 16mg, 5/11/15 15mg, 5/19/15 14mg, 5/26/15 13mg

6/2/15 12 mg, 6/9/15 11mg , 6/16/15 10mg, 6/23/15 9mg, 8/11/15 8mg

9/27/15 7mg, 10/25/15 6mg, 11/15/15 5mg, 12/13/15 4.5mg, 12/27/15 4mg

1/12/16 3.5mg, 1/24/16 3mg, 3/1/16 2.5mg, 3/29/16 2mg

4/10/16 1.5mg, 4/20/16 1mg, 5/2/16 .5mg

5/18/16 finish taper

 

As you can see my last dose of Diazepam was .5mg which stayed on for 16 days.

I did not feel well on .5mg which surprised me because I felt fine on all my cuts from 2.5mg to 1mg.

 

I take my 30 mg of remeron between 10pm and 10:30 pm.

I sleep better now than anytime during my benzo taper.

 

My side effects usually start around an hour or so after I wake up.

They stay most of the time until I sleep.

They tend to get worse when I am hungry.

 

I hope I have answered some of your questions.

Thanks for your help.

Karlos

Started taking 4mg of Ativan and 30mg of Remeron in February of 2014. In May 2014, I reduced Ativan from 4 to 3mg overnight. Was unaware of proper tapering technique, terrible side effects from 25% reduction. After becoming familiar with the Ashton manual, started crossover taper 3mg Ativan to 30mg Valium in August 2014. Completed slow taper on May 19 2016. Benzo free as of today, but still on 30mg of Remeron. 


Feeling strong side effects from Remeron w/o Valium. Feeling dizziness like “walking on moving ship”, headaches, nausea, concentration problems, upset stomach.  Would like to begin Remeron taper. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Karlos: that's clear and complete, thus very helpful.  As I said, I'll ask other mods to review and one of us will come back with a suggestion or two for you to consider.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Link to post

Karlos.....am just stopping by to say hi and welcome. Many congrats on your Benzo WD.......

I am a bit behind you in this and am tapering Zopiclone before tackling the Mirt. 

Zopiclone has been described a Benzo in disguise and thus I am dealing with something similar. 

In effect I am on 5 mg Valium, according to Ashton, and intend to switch to Valium to do my taper, 

Valium has a longer half life and thus will help with the inter dose WD.....

 

My guess is that you are still having some WD from your Benzo taper .....

Many seem to continue to have some side effects after tapering a Benzo even if they have gone quite slowly. 

Hopefully they will improve with the passage of time. In my case I know it is the Zop WD which is giving me side effects. 

I have decided to get well clear of Zop before tackling the Mirt but in your case you may be ready to start reducing soon. 

I hope so.....you have made great strides and freedom is well in sight. I am sure that someone with more experience will be

along soon to give you good advice. Many congrats and all the very best. It does get better even though there may be difficult days. 

 

Bruin.

Anti Depressants for  25 years. Valium between 2006 to 7 tapered off over a month without too bad withdrawals.

For last 15 years 150 mg of Effexor and 30 mg of Mirtazapine. Occasional short term benzo use without habituation.

March 2015 stopped Effexor after rapid taper. 6 weeks. 

One month fluoxetine June 2015...stopped CT July 2015.

October 2013 to December 2015 Zopiclone 15 mg at night,

Dec 2015 to Early March 2016 Lyrica 75 mg at night. 

Stopped too quickly as  adverse side effects.

January to May 2016 tapered Zopiclone to 7.5mg 

Crossed over to Valium and now ..March 28th 2017 Benzo Free.

Also on 30 mg Mirtazapine and holding until have finished Benzo taper.

IN protracted WD from Effexor.

 

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Karlos.

 

As they started right after dropping the benzo, whether your symptoms are from stopping the benzo or side effects from Remeron isn't clear.

 

Please keep daily notes on paper of your symptoms, when you take your drugs, and their dosages. (Are you taking anything else?)

 

What is your current symptom pattern? How has it changed since you went off Valium May 15? Are there any times of the day when you don't have symptoms?

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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savinggrace

Karlos,

 

My first thought, before I was even done reading your first post, was that you are now in the acute withdrawal stage of the benzo.  With its very long half-life, there is still benzo in your body, and your brain needs time to adjust to this withdrawal.  While your steady taper is admirable, and 2 years is a long time, 30 mg. of valium was a lot of valium to get rid of  and adjust to.

 

I am on valium and remeron so I know how rotten they can both make you feel.  That said, I would stop and think long and hard before even beginning to think about  a remeron taper.  That is just me but I have learned to respect what my brain/body tell me.

 

It may be somewhat comforting to know that the remeron is more sedating at lower doses, so hopefully that will be the case when you begin tapering it.  I, too, had read to taper benzos first before tackling other drugs.  I was unable to taper valium any further so I turned to my other drugs and I am glad I did.  It makes sense to me now, but I understand how/where you got this information.  There really is no one correct answer for anyone.  We are all very different and what works for one, doesn't work at all for the other.

 

It is clear you are going to get off these drugs successfully; you just may need to slow down.  Read the link about "the slowness of slow tapers" on the home page.  I read that piece years ago and it really helped me.

 

Grace

amitriptyline from 1980-2002, along wi/ intermittent, infrequent use of benzos over 2 decades

2002-2010 Klonopin 1-2 mg., ambien 10--20, mg, remeron 4 mg. and  trileptal 300 mg

2011 Stopped ambien and crossed over to valium 17.5 mg. (updosing 2.5 mg. to cover ambien C/T ) tapered valium w/ long holds to 12.74 mg.

2015-present  tapered from 300 mg. trileptal to 123 mg.; tapered to 12.74 valium and stayed at 4 mg. remeron

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Karlos,

 

Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants.

 

Regarding the feeling of dizziness you are experiencing, it is often reffered to as  a " boaty feeling" and it is typical of benzodiazepine withdrawal.  My experience with Remeron and benzos, although not founded in hard evidence, is that Remeron can mask the withdrawal symptoms from benzos.  It is possible that if you tried to taper the Remeron now, you would feel strong withdrawal symptoms, part of which would be caused by the tolerance caused by the benzos.  

 

 

It can be difficult to see the "forest for the trees" in withdrawal.  One person's strong withdrawal symptoms is a walk in the park of another.  Other than the physical symptoms that you stated ("walking on a moving ship", headaches, nausea, concentration problems and upset stomach), are you feeling strong emotional symptoms like anxiety, depression, derealization/depersonalization symptoms.  Are you functional, can you go about your day, work, cook, drive?  

 

On the plus side, the fact that you are sleeping is a really good sign.

 

The jump from 0.5 mg Valium, although recommended by Ashton, can be too high for some people.  The Valium should be out of your body by now.   If you are stable now and not getting worse, a hold before tackling the Remeron would be a good idea. 

 

 If you are getting worse, or if you are seriously disabled, you could consider reinstating 0.5 mg V and going down to 0.05 mg over a few weeks. 

 

The "boaty" feeling will go away in time, but it can take a while. 

I do not have a medical background, any opinions are my own.

 

I took zopiclone ( z-drug) for situational insomnia. Three weeks later I was having panic attacks. I was given Benzos, A/D, anti-psychotics, "mood stabilizers" and I kept getting worse and worse. I got very sick.

 

I have been off all drugs now for over 5 years and I'm healing nicely.

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  • Moderator

Hey Karlos, I agree with Wellness, this sounds you are frayed from benzo withdrawal, and that a long hold before starting another taper will help stabilise you.  Maybe even as long as 6 months!  To let all of that benzo restructuring of your neurotransmitters settle down before adding the trauma of another taper.

 

You wrote:  

 

Had a doctor (that helped me with my Benzo taper) suggest a Remeron taper by taking : 

30 mg 1st night then 15mg 2nd night, back to 30mg 3rd night, then down to 15mg on 4th night, and so on for 3 weeks. If ok then stay at 15mg.

Sounds risky to me…

 

Your doctor put you on a relentless, straight line benzo taper.  Some people can do this, but it can also be punishing. His suggestions for mirtazapine are unwise.

 

Every other day is Cold Turkey (CT), rinse and repeat. It is like asking for destabilisation.  See this post:  Every-other day dosing

 

Please read the topics Scallywag put up for you, especially Why taper by 10% of my dosage? and Tips for Tapering off Remeron / Mirtazapine / Avanza  It will tell you more about how to make doses small enough for a safe taper.

 

Here is the thread that Grace was talking about:  The slowness of slow tapers 

 

Rhi said it like this:

Rhi's description of healing the brain

and

Rhis's Start Small Listen to Body Taper Plan

 

You cannot withdraw to a formula, a calendar or a schedule.  You need to learn to listen to your body, hold and slow down when you get hit with symptoms like this.  Holding is an important part of healing your brain, because it takes weeks, sometimes, to restructure what has been done to your brain by the drug.  The drugs are not like aspirin, they ***do things*** while they are in your system - so having the drug out of your system is only a fraction of the problem.  

 

Healing from Antidepressants: Patterns of Recovery (Toxic Antidepressants)

 

They will pass, they will change, the will return, they will pass again.  Recovery comes in Waves and Windows.

 

OMG, I just used a day's quota of links in one post!  If you cannot get to them now, you can always come back later.  But it's always a good idea to follow mod guidance first around the site, SA is a big place, and we work hard at knowing the material.  We're more like SA "librarians" than we are "support."

 

Be patient and kind to yourself.  Your nerves are probably quite raw from the benzo taper, so being gentle is an important part of getting your nervous system to settle down.

 

You can do this, please be patient with yourself and hold and heal.

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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Hello Bruin, Altostrata, Grace and Wellness 


Thank you for your reply.


It seems that it's difficult to differentiate wether I am feeling Benzo WD or Remeron side effects.


How can one tell?


For Bruin, Grace and Wellness, you seem to be thinking that it’s Benzo related


If I am feeling Benzo WD, better wait before tapering the Remeron.


 


I should add, I am not sure if it’s relevant, that I spent 2 nights(May 10+11) in the hospital for severe diarrhea and some fever. Are these things connected to my meds or did I just catch some infection.My stomach has been upset since I finished the Benzo taper. My bowel movements are mostly loose and watery. Excuse the imagery, I am not sure of the proper terminology. 


 


Bruin, 


Good luck with your taper.


Do you find that the 30mg of Remeron has helped you with sleep?


I have found that my sleep improved as I tapered the Benzo.


 


 Altostrata,


I am only taking 30mg Remeron before sleep. 


I have not been very good at keeping notes of my symptoms. I need to work on that.


The symptoms are pretty constant throughout the day until sleep.


They are more pronounced if I feel tired or hungry. 


 


Wellness,


I am not feeling strong emotional symptoms.


However, I am feeling frustrated because I am not feeling well and I am not sure what to do to get better. It’s like I am on a new drug and I have learn to cope with it’s side effects.


I can be functional but it takes effort.


 


Grace, 


Is 4mg the only dosage of Remeron that you have been on?


Does it help you sleep at that dosage?


The Remeron has been very effective for sleep for me at 30mg. 


I will check out the “slowness of slow tapers”


Thanks again,


Karlos


Started taking 4mg of Ativan and 30mg of Remeron in February of 2014. In May 2014, I reduced Ativan from 4 to 3mg overnight. Was unaware of proper tapering technique, terrible side effects from 25% reduction. After becoming familiar with the Ashton manual, started crossover taper 3mg Ativan to 30mg Valium in August 2014. Completed slow taper on May 19 2016. Benzo free as of today, but still on 30mg of Remeron. 


Feeling strong side effects from Remeron w/o Valium. Feeling dizziness like “walking on moving ship”, headaches, nausea, concentration problems, upset stomach.  Would like to begin Remeron taper. 

Link to post

Hello JanCarol,


Thanks for the post and the many links.


it looks like you think I am suffering from the Benzo taper.


I hope you are right.


All I can do is wait for things to get better.


If things don’t improve after some time, the AD may be at fault.


I have never taken the Remeron on it’s own.


I am usure of it’s side effects.


It really helps me for sleep. I know that.


The rest I am unsure about.


 


I agree with you that my doctor’s taper suggestion for the remeron is unwise.


I should let you know that I determined my Benzo taper schedule.


My doctor was mostly helpful in the crossover from Ativan to Valium.


I never felt the need to go quickly.


 


Thanks again


 


Karlos

Started taking 4mg of Ativan and 30mg of Remeron in February of 2014. In May 2014, I reduced Ativan from 4 to 3mg overnight. Was unaware of proper tapering technique, terrible side effects from 25% reduction. After becoming familiar with the Ashton manual, started crossover taper 3mg Ativan to 30mg Valium in August 2014. Completed slow taper on May 19 2016. Benzo free as of today, but still on 30mg of Remeron. 


Feeling strong side effects from Remeron w/o Valium. Feeling dizziness like “walking on moving ship”, headaches, nausea, concentration problems, upset stomach.  Would like to begin Remeron taper. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Karlos

 

Feeling fever and having diarrhea is a pretty good indication that you have a bug, in which case, you should improve in a couple of weeks.  Of course it's just an opinion, not medical advise.

 

Since you are not feeling strong emotional symptoms, consider kissing benzos goodbye forever. Congratulations on ditching that drugs.  One down, one to go.

 

... and remember:  "Slow wins the race".

I do not have a medical background, any opinions are my own.

 

I took zopiclone ( z-drug) for situational insomnia. Three weeks later I was having panic attacks. I was given Benzos, A/D, anti-psychotics, "mood stabilizers" and I kept getting worse and worse. I got very sick.

 

I have been off all drugs now for over 5 years and I'm healing nicely.

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FunkyBaboon

We're rooting for you Karlos! You'll get there.

 

You've just gotta ride out these symptoms while your brain recovers and then once you're feeling improved you can embark on a nice slow taper from the Remeron, listening to your symptoms as you go for guidance on taper speed....

A convenient link to my introduction post

 

2003 Paroxetine (20mg I think) daily for 5 months due to extreme anxiety before final exams and stopped cold turkey. From 2003 onwards I have suffered with extreme anxiety, akathisia, severe muscle tension & digestive problems whenever off I'm off anti-depressants.

2007 Clonazepam (unsure of dose) - took approximately 100 tablets to try and self medicate for anxiety.

2007-09 Amitryptyline 10mg - was advised to take this "as and when needed" for anxiety.

April/May 2011 Diazepam 2mg - 2 week course followed by complete inability to sleep upon finishing so started Citalopram 40mg and I was able to sleep again.

Mid 2012 Diazepam 10mg - took approximately 100 tablets.

Mid 2012 Started Citalopram taper - 5mg reductions every month or two, severe withdrawal symptoms throughout taper.

Apr 2013 Completely off Citalopram and continued to have severe withdrawal.

Oct 2013 Completely fell to pieces mentally and alongside had a whole host of debilitating physical symptoms too. I went to the doctors who performed whole batteries of tests but had no idea what was wrong with me. They tried me on Sertraline and Amitryptyline to which I had terrible reactions which made symptoms worse. Eventually got put on Nortryptyline 25mg, which I tolerated and over 3 months withdrawal symptoms started to abate.

Mid 2014 discovered survivingantidepressants.org and hallelujah! I knew what was wrong with me - slow taper FTW!

Late 2014 & 2015 Reduced Nortryptyline 22.5mg & 20mg respectively in November & December of 2014. In 2015 Tapered Nortryptyline from 20mg to 10 mg in 2mg increments. Withdrawal symptoms with each dose reduction are debilitating but in a much different way to Citalopram.

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savinggrace

Hi Karlos,

 

I was on 7.5 mg. remeron at my highest (I am very sensitive so I always start low) but when trying to taper many many years ago, and failing, I discovered the sedation I needed at half the dose which is technically 3.75.  I made a bunch of changes about 2 years ago and started using a digital scale and rounded that number up to 4 mg. but honestly, I have no idea if it helps me sleep.  I sleep terribly, but haven't stopped it because of w/d.  I plan to start doing so as soon as I get through the current health crisis I am in.  I guess I will find if, after 15 years, the remeron has been doing anything therapeutic for me, but I don't expect tapering off of it to be any picnic.

 

I think it may be different for you though.  If you were sedated at 30 and are continuing to sleep all right, sleep might not be a big problem for you.  Sleep problems have been my Achilles' Heel my whole life and is why I ended up in this poly-drugged mess!

 

Again, congrats on the benzo taper.  You may be in a wave from it now, but you made it to the finish line....don't look back!

 

Grace

amitriptyline from 1980-2002, along wi/ intermittent, infrequent use of benzos over 2 decades

2002-2010 Klonopin 1-2 mg., ambien 10--20, mg, remeron 4 mg. and  trileptal 300 mg

2011 Stopped ambien and crossed over to valium 17.5 mg. (updosing 2.5 mg. to cover ambien C/T ) tapered valium w/ long holds to 12.74 mg.

2015-present  tapered from 300 mg. trileptal to 123 mg.; tapered to 12.74 valium and stayed at 4 mg. remeron

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

It seems that it's difficult to differentiate whether I am feeling Benzo WD or Remeron side effects. How can one tell?

 

Altostrata,

I am only taking 30mg Remeron before sleep. 

I have not been very good at keeping notes of my symptoms. I need to work on that.

The symptoms are pretty constant throughout the day until sleep.

They are more pronounced if I feel tired or hungry. 

 

Wellness,

I am not feeling strong emotional symptoms.

However, I am feeling frustrated because I am not feeling well and I am not sure what to do to get better. It’s like I am on a new drug and I have learn to cope with it’s side effects.

I can be functional but it takes effort.

 

Karlos, the best way to differentiate is to keep track of the symptoms.  If they decrease in intensity and frequency, then the most likely suspect is benzo withdrawal. A tool that some people find useful is Joseph Glenmullen's symptom checklist. You can find that here: Glenmullen’s withdrawal symptom list

 

Tiredness and hunger are strong signals from and for your CNS. Symptoms becoming more pronounced when those are present would be very common.

 

Not feeling well is bad enough, please try to do what you can to let go of the frustration about it. We have an expectation  that after going off the drugs -- especially if we had a doctor's supervision, support and/or advice -- we'll feel better. For some people it works out; it hasn't for those of us around these forums.  It's a very human thing to feel frustrated in the face of an unfulfilled expectation.  People have tapered off all kinds of psych drugs in the past and have recovered to fully engage in and embrace their lives. You will too.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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Wellness and FunkyBaboon thanks for the support and the words of encouragement.,


I think I need to accept my current condition and be patient.


Hopefully my symptoms will subside in time.


 


Grace


I too have had problems with sleep in the past. That is partly why my doctor had originally prescribed Ativan and Remeron to help me sleep. It helped me sleep but I started not to feel well after a couple months.


 


Scallywag,


Thanks for the link to the Symptoms list. I have printed a copy. I need to keep better track of these symptoms daily. I understand what you are saying regarding expectations. I just thought everything would be better once I had finished with the Benzo taper. 


Thanks again.


Karlos

Started taking 4mg of Ativan and 30mg of Remeron in February of 2014. In May 2014, I reduced Ativan from 4 to 3mg overnight. Was unaware of proper tapering technique, terrible side effects from 25% reduction. After becoming familiar with the Ashton manual, started crossover taper 3mg Ativan to 30mg Valium in August 2014. Completed slow taper on May 19 2016. Benzo free as of today, but still on 30mg of Remeron. 


Feeling strong side effects from Remeron w/o Valium. Feeling dizziness like “walking on moving ship”, headaches, nausea, concentration problems, upset stomach.  Would like to begin Remeron taper. 

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savinggrace

Wishing you peace in your healing....

 

Grace

amitriptyline from 1980-2002, along wi/ intermittent, infrequent use of benzos over 2 decades

2002-2010 Klonopin 1-2 mg., ambien 10--20, mg, remeron 4 mg. and  trileptal 300 mg

2011 Stopped ambien and crossed over to valium 17.5 mg. (updosing 2.5 mg. to cover ambien C/T ) tapered valium w/ long holds to 12.74 mg.

2015-present  tapered from 300 mg. trileptal to 123 mg.; tapered to 12.74 valium and stayed at 4 mg. remeron

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello everyone,


 


I just wanted to give an update on a new type of symptom I have felt recently.


Five days ago, after my daily walk. I felt really strange. It was like voices and sounds felt really unfamiliar. They were distorted. it was pretty scary. This lasted for around an hour. I just went to bed and turned off the lights and waited for it to go away. It happened again today during my daily walk. I walked for around 45 minutes feeling like my reality was distorted. Sounds and voices felt distorted. I felt a little like my reality was altered. It’s hard to describe these feelings.


I feel better now. i am able to focus on writing these words. I am not sure what to make of these latest symptoms. Does this sound familiar? I understand those feelings are difficult to describe.


Thanks Karlos


Started taking 4mg of Ativan and 30mg of Remeron in February of 2014. In May 2014, I reduced Ativan from 4 to 3mg overnight. Was unaware of proper tapering technique, terrible side effects from 25% reduction. After becoming familiar with the Ashton manual, started crossover taper 3mg Ativan to 30mg Valium in August 2014. Completed slow taper on May 19 2016. Benzo free as of today, but still on 30mg of Remeron. 


Feeling strong side effects from Remeron w/o Valium. Feeling dizziness like “walking on moving ship”, headaches, nausea, concentration problems, upset stomach.  Would like to begin Remeron taper. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Karlos, nice to see that you've posted and I'm glad that your experience of distorted sounds and voices, though disturbing, was brief  The symptoms you describe are part of antidepressant and other psych drug withdrawal. They are listed here as "perception" symptoms:

Introduction to antidepressant withdrawal syndrome

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Link to post

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