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Aardvark: Tapering mirtazapine, concerns about diabetes


Aardvark

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Hi everyone and thanks for operating this great site.  I found it by googling "How to survive antidepressants" -- sardonic LOL

 

I am so angry about these drugs after reading _Anatomy of an Epidemic_ and then reading some people's stories on here. 

 

I feel like I dodged a bullet because I hadn't been on meds for that long when I came across that book.  I feel sheepish asking for help when a lot of people are so bravely facing getting off of multiple psych meds and I am just dealing with one or two and at low doses.  

 

Nevertheless here's my story…I'm a 36 year old woman who has been struggling with health anxiety/hypochondria.  There's a lot of anxiety in my family and a lot of history of benzo use among parents, grandparents etc.  I haven't seen great things happen with psych meds and I resisted for a long time but I finally got desperate 5 months ago and accepted my PCP's repeated offers of Paxil.  Paxil was a nightmare with ever increasing heart palpitations and other side effects too.  (Oh, and it didn't help) I was just taking 10 mg, I quit that almost cold turkey and was unbelievably wretched with anxiety for a while.  

 

Then I took 30 mg Zoloft for a month or two and had such bad headaches that the ENT sent me for a brain MRI; he was adamant that it wasn't the Zoloft.   :angry:  I am very thankful that my brain was fine; and I still think it was the Zoloft.  I also had a lot of other side effects.  Then I started seeing an actual psychiatrist and she had me start Remeron/mirtazapine; severe insomnia has been a big part of my problem with anxiety and Remeron at least made me sleep so that may have helped.  I did feel a little better after I'd been on Remeron for a while but I was gaining half a pound a day with no sign of slowing, and I couldn't remember things well.  I normally have a great memory and the weight gain really bothered me because exercise is the only thing that actually helps me and I felt like the rapid weight gain was setting me up for injury and being sidelined from jogging.  

 

I had gotten up to 22.5 mg of Remeron because I didn't sleep well with 15 mg--also I think I may have taken 30 mg a few times but I don't really remember  :wacko:  Anyway I spent another week at 22.5, a week at 15, and then a week at 7.5.  I sleep really well taking 7.5 (it's a weird drug, the side effects are higher at lower doses--? and sleeping well is a side effect; so is extreme appetite stimulation) Now I have been at 7.5 every other day for 2 plus weeks.  I've tried twice to take 2 days off between doses, and the first time I had a killer headache and the second time I was insanely anxious.  Having a lot of minor headaches and pretty high anxiety whether it's the day after I've taken it or the day after I haven't taken it--just unpredictable.  

 

The psychiatrist prescribed me Trazodone to take instead of Remeron and I have taken it maybe 5 times on the nights I'm not taking Remeron--but I just realized it is also an SSRI.  Is it then counter-productive to take it?  Should I just push through the insomnia and hope that eventually I'll start sleeping better?  I typically fall asleep easily but wake up after 4 hours and am done sleeping for the night.  On the nights I haven't taken either Remeron or Trazodone I've taken a Dramamine (Dimenhydrinate) at 3 when I wake up to go back to sleep but I don't want to be mixing and matching drugs in my system like that  :(

 

I'm seeing the info about tapering by 10% so I should probably go get a pill cutter from the drugstore.  I have no idea whether I'll sleep or not if I take 3.25 mg of Remeron.  The search bar wasn't showing up for me before I became a member so I can use that now to try and get more info but I would really appreciate any advice anyone has to share when you read this, whether about getting off meds or about the anxiety itself!  I've tried CBT, hypnotherapy, and self-help books like _When Panic Attacks_ and each thing may have a helped a little bit…but I'm essentially still in the same place I fear.  

 

Thanks SO Much for your time!!!

Struggling with health anxiety and after reading _Anatomy of an Epidemic_, determined to keep struggling, without meds. I started Paxil at the beginning of January 2016 and took 10 mg for about 5 weeks.Then after 2 weeks on nothing I started Zoloft 15 mg for 2 weeks, 30 mg for 3 weeks. (About--I'm guessing)Switched directly to Remeron 15 mg with no taper at beginning of April. Went up to 22.5 fairly quickly. Took 30 mg just 3 or 4 times.Down to 15 mg May 3Down to 7.5 mg May 10Started taking 7.5 every other night May 17. Headaches, anxiety, etc.

June 1st started 3.75 mg every night instead of alternating. Thanks everyone for advice!

Also took 50 mg Trazodone several times but quit that based on info from the site.

 

<p>OTC I also take Vitamins B, C, D, Magnesium, and a multi vitamin.

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daveycrocket

Hi Aardvark, just wanted to say welcome. As a fellow anxiety and insomnia surferer and also someone that wants off meds, I can relate to your story. I'm going to let one of the moderators give tips on the meds and tapering -- but one method that has helped me a lot in addressing my anxiety is "Acceptance and Commitment Therapy" or ACT. (There are several workbooks you can buy.) Additionally, I just finished Kelly Brogan's book "A Mind of your Own" -- inspiring read with a lot of helpful advice. Hang in there, we will be okay!

Currently: 4G of Fish Oil (4 Capsules) w/ Vitamin E; Sam-E @ 400MG

 

May 1, 2016: CT from .5MG of Risperdal & 1MG of Clonapin 

Feb 1, 2016: CT from 75MG of Nardil (MAOI) - used for anxiety/panic/depression for 2+ years.

 

Prior to 2014: Tried several meds with varying success and generally for less than a year: Lexapro (some success, stopped working); Effexor (worked for a bit); Paxil (worked but lost my sex drive); Zoloft (again, sexual side effects); Cymbalta (didn't do much)

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Thanks DaveyCrocket and I love your comic!!! I have one ACT workbook that I haven't really done, thank you for the recommendation--I should try it.

Struggling with health anxiety and after reading _Anatomy of an Epidemic_, determined to keep struggling, without meds. I started Paxil at the beginning of January 2016 and took 10 mg for about 5 weeks.Then after 2 weeks on nothing I started Zoloft 15 mg for 2 weeks, 30 mg for 3 weeks. (About--I'm guessing)Switched directly to Remeron 15 mg with no taper at beginning of April. Went up to 22.5 fairly quickly. Took 30 mg just 3 or 4 times.Down to 15 mg May 3Down to 7.5 mg May 10Started taking 7.5 every other night May 17. Headaches, anxiety, etc.

June 1st started 3.75 mg every night instead of alternating. Thanks everyone for advice!

Also took 50 mg Trazodone several times but quit that based on info from the site.

 

<p>OTC I also take Vitamins B, C, D, Magnesium, and a multi vitamin.

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  • Moderator Emeritus
SquirrellyGirl

Hello Aardvark - welcome to SA!

 

I think we'll start by asking you to fill out your signature block with your med history, including what you've been on and when, dosages, what you are on now, how you tapered, etc.  Include all meds you are taking, OTC and Rx.  This signature will show up under all your posts and give context so that we don't have to dig through your thread for details as it grows.  Write it with the intent of it giving all the pertinent details.  You can use other peoples' as a guide.  Instructions are here:  Please put your Withdrawal History in Signature

 

So, are you still on Zoloft with the Remeron?  I think it would be helpful if you could tell us the following:

 

1)  What meds are you on and at what dosages?

2)  What time do you take your meds?

3)  What is your symptom pattern; when do the symptoms arise and abate?

 

You have already read up on the 10% taper method we advocate, but I will include some important links just so you cover all the bases:

 

Introduction to AD Withdrawal Syndrome

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Symptoms Checklist

Neuro Emotions

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

Anxiety may have been prevalent for you before meds, but it can also be a neuro emotion of destabilization.  For anxiety, I think these two links about Claire Weekes are very important:

 

Claire Weekes' Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System

http://www.anxietycoach.com/claire-weekes.html

 

Remeron is a tricky one for the fact of the weight gain and heavy histamine block at lower doses, which can lead to rebound insomnia when you reach a critical point....Tips for tapering off Remeron (mirtazapine)

 

Your doctor trying to switch you from Remeron with trazadone is a horrible strategy, because he is subjecting you to Remeron withdrawal and expecting the trazadone take up the slack, which it can't.  I'm glad you haven't used it to any extent. Not that you have to taper it, but this link gives good information about the drug:  Tips for tapering off trazodone (Desyrel)

 

We do not recommend alternating days as a way to taper meds, because the brain sees the variation as a cold turkey one day and the full dose on another day; how is it to know whether to up-regulate and repair or stay with the status quo?  It's a great way to destabilize the nervous system.  This should help you understand the healing process a bit better:

 

Brain Remodelling (Rhi's Description of Brain Healing)

 

It is much better to provide your system with the same dose every day so that it can decide what it needs to do and go about doing it.  

 

I am tapering Remeron and using the SolTabs to make a liquid which I can easily and accurately measure using an oral syringe.  I use OraPlus suspension vehicle to help keep the drug suspended since it is not very soluble.  If you come to make a liquid with the regular tablets, be sure to shake well right before measuring.  There's more info in the Tips link if you haven't read it yet.

 

You tapered rather aggressively off the Remeron to 7.5 mg, and it is no wonder that trying to go two days off and one day on caused you big problems.  

 

 

 

Are you saying that you no longer sleep well on the Remeron?  Is it only the nights you don't take it that sleep is worse? Since you did the alternating days for two weeks, I need to consult with the other mods to see what is recommended in the way of a daily dose to get on.  Whatever it is, I'd suggest staying on it for a couple of months, to allow your system to get caught up from the steep drops you had done.  When people go into severe withdrawal from Remeron, it isn't a pretty sight, and it can be very difficult to up-dose and stabilize. 

 

Sleep is a warning sign with Remeron.  When people fall into rebound insomnia, again, it is really hard to recover and get the sleep back, and we're talking people not being able to sleep AT ALL sometimes for days.  Many can only get a few hours a night on a good night.  Remeron is a strong histamine blocker at low dosages, causing sedation, but when you go so low as to start freeing up H1 receptors too quickly, I think that is when people run into trouble with insomnia.  Best to creep ever so slowly down in an effort to preserve sleep.

 

For those already having trouble with sleep:  Sleep problems - that awful withdrawal insomnia

 

I've given you a ton of material to consume, so when you are done, come back with your questions!

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

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

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Wow, thank you SO MUCH!  It means a lot for you to take all that time to reply to me.  I really appreciate it!  

 

I will spend more time following the links you gave me but I read everything at the Claire Weekes link and YES.  "Sensitized" is the *exact* word for what has happened to me with my anxiety.  I did a full course of CBT and I was trying to explain to the therapist that I don't even think "This happened SO it means XYZ, I'm going to die" or whatever anymore--I just go straight from "my lymph node is swollen" to full-fledged panic without any of the steps in between.  So it's hard to use cognitive therapy on it because it is hardly on a thought level anymore.  I cannot WAIT to get those books and read more about her approach.  Thank you!

 

You asked a couple of questions.  No, I am not taking Zoloft--I went straight from that to Remeron without tapering, at the beginning of March.  

1. So right now I am just taking 7.5 mg Remeron every other day, and I started that about 2 weeks ago now.  

2. I take it around 9 PM.  

3. I haven't had any bad withdrawal symptoms other than headaches and anxiety, but I have anxiety anyway so it's hard to disentangle.  Both HA and anxiety were really bad the two times I attempted to skip two days in a row of the Remeron.  But I can't find any pattern for the more moderate headaches and anxiety that I'm having at other times.

 

4. I am still sleeping really well whenever I take the 7.5 mg Remeron.  Then, of the nights when I have NOT taken it, the 5 nights I've taken 50 mg Trazodone I slept well and the other few nights I fell asleep fine and woke up after 4 hours.  I took one tablet of Dramamine at those times and fell back asleep.

 

It makes a lot of sense that taking something every other day is not good and doesn't allow your brain to adjust well.  

 

The rebound insomnia you described sounds *terrible.*  I hope I can somehow avoid that.  Should I ask my psychiatrist for something different than Trazodone to help with sleep during this period?  Or does it seem that with a slower taper I may not have this problem?  It sounds like there is no point taking the Trazodone and it will just cause more problems!  Which is really good to know.  So glad I found this site.  

 

I feel a real sense of urgency to get off of this stuff especially because I am breastfeeding, and once I learned more about these drugs I felt in an absolute panic to stop passing them on to my daughter.  But as I'm reading more on here and seeing where people are having terrible symptoms sometimes cropping up suddenly 3 months after apparently having an easy time going off pretty quickly, that's pretty scary too.  

 

Thanks again and I will be following all those other links.

 

PS Also, do you know whether I can expect the weight gain and extreme appetite to continue at these low doses?  I don't feel quite as starving right now as I did at higher doses, I don't think--and I'm not gaining half a pound a day anymore, but I think I'm still gaining a little bit.  

Struggling with health anxiety and after reading _Anatomy of an Epidemic_, determined to keep struggling, without meds. I started Paxil at the beginning of January 2016 and took 10 mg for about 5 weeks.Then after 2 weeks on nothing I started Zoloft 15 mg for 2 weeks, 30 mg for 3 weeks. (About--I'm guessing)Switched directly to Remeron 15 mg with no taper at beginning of April. Went up to 22.5 fairly quickly. Took 30 mg just 3 or 4 times.Down to 15 mg May 3Down to 7.5 mg May 10Started taking 7.5 every other night May 17. Headaches, anxiety, etc.

June 1st started 3.75 mg every night instead of alternating. Thanks everyone for advice!

Also took 50 mg Trazodone several times but quit that based on info from the site.

 

<p>OTC I also take Vitamins B, C, D, Magnesium, and a multi vitamin.

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savinggrace

Aardvark,

I have been taking low dose remeron for 14 years; 4 mg. right now. I noticed in my first six months that when I dropped from 7.5 to 3.75, I immediately slept better. For me, it has never caused weight gain. A previous AD I had been on for 2 decades had me 30 pounds heavier.

 

So, there is hope that you won't keep gaining weight and that you MIGHT sleep better as you lower your dose. The whole histamine thing as Squirrely Girl described MAY happen, but why don't you tell yourself it probably won't.

 

You are catching this thing early enough to get healthy and well and free from drugs. Keep a positive attitude, listen to the experts here, and you will heal.

 

Best wishes,

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

Hi Aardvark. Just thought I'd stop by to say hi and welcome you too.

 

I also wanted to speak to the sense of urgency you feel to get off the med. I think that feeling is common here. Once you begin thinking more and more about the drug in your body and wanting it out, it's hard not to just wish it were gone yesterday. And if seems so appealing to taper quickly and be done with it. You may not even be entertaining the idea of reducing quicker than reccomended, but I thought I would encourage you to stay the slow and steady course and fight the feeling of urgency, just in case. :-)

 

The weight gain is tricky mostly because no one is exactly the same in this regard. I will say that I put on 8 or 9 lbs since my taper from 60 - 20mg of Prozac (and maybe another 2 since Ben and Jerry's non-dairy ice creams came out), but in all honesty I've been less inclined to watch my food intake and found myself feeling more comfortable with my body at the lower dose. This is sort of ironic because I was originally prescribed Prozac to treat an eating disorder fueled by disgust for my body. Generally speaking , Anxiety/stress ( I.e. cortisol) can Influence metabolism and our body's fat storage, so fluctuation in weight during withdrawal seems like it could be a somewhat normal by-product of withdrawal. Eating healthy and mindfully, along with stabilizing would probably mediate some of that.

 

And quickly, when in the depths of a bad crash, and even sometimes now, I found Magnesium to be helpful for anxiety and sleep, adding a sleep mask if insomnia was an issue.

 

Anyway, welcome. Glad you found this site and I'll "see" you around!

1988-2012: Prozac @ 60mg to treat an eating disorder. Several unsuccessful attempts to discontinue.Fall 2012: Failed attempt to discontinue then -> 40mg Prozac and added 150mg Wellbutrin.Late summer 2013:Began slower Prozac taper.Spring 2014:Got to 10mg Prozac, 75mg of Wellbutrin -April 2014: 9mg Prozac & 37.5mg Wellbutrin 2x/day -> 9mg Prozac & 25 mg Wellbutrin 2x/day->9mg Prozac 1x/day & ~8mg Wellbutrin 2x/day -> 8.1mg Prozac, 0 WellbutrinSept '14: 8.1mg Prozac -> crashed hardOct '14: 10mg ProzacNov '14: 20mg -> 30mgDec '14: 30mg, Feb 10: 27mg. Mar 7: 25mg Mar 21, 2015: 20mg. May 21, 2016: 20mg and holding strong.

 

My experience: http://rxisk.org/antidepressant-withdrawal-a-prozac-story/

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Thank you so much, Addax and Grace, for the encouragement!  And best wishes to both of you in your own journeys getting off meds.  

 

Last night if I had kept doing the 7.5 mg every other night thing would have been a night off, but after everything I'd read here I decided to try 3.25 mg and I slept well except, TMI, that I am having some bladder pain/spasm which woke me up a couple of times.  I had this last summer for a while, saw a urologist, and changed my diet and it hasn't been too big of an issue except when I eat too many things that aren't on the diet.  This is more pain than I've had and I'm connecting the dots that it's probably happening because of going off Remeron, since Remeron turns out to be such a strong anti-histamine and I know histamine is involved in this type of bladder problem.  

It sounds like this is going to be a much longer road than I had thought it would be/wanted it to be-- :( I'm definitely willing to stick at a certain dose for a few months to stabilize and then proceed more cautiously, given everyone's experience here.  Can anyone give me some advice what that dose should be?  I have a sinking feeling it's going to be 7.5 even though I thought I had left that dose behind.  Thanks again to each one of you who has responded to my intro!

Struggling with health anxiety and after reading _Anatomy of an Epidemic_, determined to keep struggling, without meds. I started Paxil at the beginning of January 2016 and took 10 mg for about 5 weeks.Then after 2 weeks on nothing I started Zoloft 15 mg for 2 weeks, 30 mg for 3 weeks. (About--I'm guessing)Switched directly to Remeron 15 mg with no taper at beginning of April. Went up to 22.5 fairly quickly. Took 30 mg just 3 or 4 times.Down to 15 mg May 3Down to 7.5 mg May 10Started taking 7.5 every other night May 17. Headaches, anxiety, etc.

June 1st started 3.75 mg every night instead of alternating. Thanks everyone for advice!

Also took 50 mg Trazodone several times but quit that based on info from the site.

 

<p>OTC I also take Vitamins B, C, D, Magnesium, and a multi vitamin.

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  • Moderator Emeritus
SquirrellyGirl

HI Aardvark, 

 

I've had the odd bladder spasm as well, not for a long time but the one I remember most recently was a year ago.  I had recently reinstated Effexor after having been put on Remeron (it failed to help against the Effexor wd I was in).  My doctor dropped my Remeron by 20% when the Effexor was added, and I think the bladder spasm related to that, along with having a numb lip/tongue sensation.

 

Anyway, if you did well with 3.25 mg, you could try sitting tight with that for a couple of months and then reassess.  I wasn't sure if that would be the dose (half of 7.5, having taken 7.5 every other day) since you had only been alternating for two weeks, plus aggressively cutting prior to that.  But perhaps 3.25 mg will be all you need to become stable with sleep and anxiety.  

 

When we recommend reinstatement, we don't want to overshoot where you are in the healing process because that could trigger side effects or even an adverse reaction, plus we don't want  to put you further out from getting off the meds!

 

So, keep track of your symptoms daily on paper.  Note the time you take your meds, and the times that symptoms rise and fall.

 

Some find vitamin B to be too activating, so that is something to consider if the anxiety continues.  You are already taking magnesium, but which form and how much?  Here's our thread on Magnesium.

 

We also suggest Omega-3 Fish Oil.  Some people have luck with Melatonin when it comes to sleep issues, but care must be taken to start very small - it can go paradoxical.  Yesterday I was reading peoples' threads on what they do for sleep, and Lemon Balm came up.  I haven't tried it so can't comment, but I did order some last night to have in my toolbox.

 

I'm glad you were able to sleep last night.  If the bladder spasm keep up or other symptoms come up that are intolerable, perhaps a slightly higher dose would be beneficial.  However, it takes four days for a dosage to become steady state in the blood and a bit longer for your nervous system to really respond, so I'd give this a week before making more changes, unless things become too extreme. In that case, definitely post here and we'll work on it!

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

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

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Ok thank you so much for the advice!! I'm so surprised that I slept ok on 3.25 mg and also surprised that I didn't realize on my own that 7.5 every other day would be bad and confusing for my brain. Feeling really hopeful thanks to all his great info and support!!

 

That is really interesting that you also may have had that problem from Remeron decrease. Also I had no idea about vitamin B, maybe I will stop that while I'm getting off of mirt. I just started that one about 3 weeks ago, thinking I might be behind due to a mostly vegetarian diet, but I'm also eating more meat now so it might be wise to just focus on nutrition and trying to get what I need from food. I take a chelated mg, 250 mg split between morning and evening. It has definitely helped with palpitations and muscle twitching. Hard to say about anxiety and insomnia bc there have been so many other factors. I've been taking mg for over six months.

 

I *will* now start keeping track of stuff on paper. i keep thinking I should, but now I really will :) thanks for the encouragement.

Struggling with health anxiety and after reading _Anatomy of an Epidemic_, determined to keep struggling, without meds. I started Paxil at the beginning of January 2016 and took 10 mg for about 5 weeks.Then after 2 weeks on nothing I started Zoloft 15 mg for 2 weeks, 30 mg for 3 weeks. (About--I'm guessing)Switched directly to Remeron 15 mg with no taper at beginning of April. Went up to 22.5 fairly quickly. Took 30 mg just 3 or 4 times.Down to 15 mg May 3Down to 7.5 mg May 10Started taking 7.5 every other night May 17. Headaches, anxiety, etc.

June 1st started 3.75 mg every night instead of alternating. Thanks everyone for advice!

Also took 50 mg Trazodone several times but quit that based on info from the site.

 

<p>OTC I also take Vitamins B, C, D, Magnesium, and a multi vitamin.

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  • Administrator
Altostrata

Welcome, Aardvark.

 

Please don't skip doses of Remeron. Please stay at 3.75mg every night for at least a week to see how you do. Perhaps those pesky symptoms will go away.

 

After a month or so, you might reduce very gradually using a liquid, see Tips for tapering off Remeron (mirtazapine)

 

Trazodone is not a harmless drug. Taking a very low dose of Remeron passes less of it to your baby.

 

If you are sensitive to histamine in foods, any aged meat such as beef, ham, bacon, etc. contains lots of histamine. Fresh meat that hasn't been aged has less histamine. See our Symptoms and Self-care forum  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/8-symptoms-and-self-care/for suggestions about how to cope with symptoms and special diets.

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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Thank you Altostrata! I will follow your advice. Yes it is comforting to think that now I'm at 3.75 the baby is getting very little. I just wish I had never passed any psych meds to her but I know probably almost all of us wish we had always turned down the offers of drugs :(

Struggling with health anxiety and after reading _Anatomy of an Epidemic_, determined to keep struggling, without meds. I started Paxil at the beginning of January 2016 and took 10 mg for about 5 weeks.Then after 2 weeks on nothing I started Zoloft 15 mg for 2 weeks, 30 mg for 3 weeks. (About--I'm guessing)Switched directly to Remeron 15 mg with no taper at beginning of April. Went up to 22.5 fairly quickly. Took 30 mg just 3 or 4 times.Down to 15 mg May 3Down to 7.5 mg May 10Started taking 7.5 every other night May 17. Headaches, anxiety, etc.

June 1st started 3.75 mg every night instead of alternating. Thanks everyone for advice!

Also took 50 mg Trazodone several times but quit that based on info from the site.

 

<p>OTC I also take Vitamins B, C, D, Magnesium, and a multi vitamin.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Please help with info and opinions.  My struggle is health anxiety.  I have been overwhelmed with fears about myself and my children for 15-18 months now.  As you can see in my signature I've tried Paxil, Zoloft, and Remeron--Remeron has helped me sleep but I gained 20 pounds and was forgetful which I hated.  I stepped down to 3.75 mg from 22.5 pretty quickly about a month ago, before finding this site.  I have held steady at 3.75 and was feeling pretty OK.  

 

Then the past week or so a little headachy pain around my eyes has come back (I've already had a brain MRI, then the pain went away for several months, now I guess it's back) and sent me into a complete tailspin.  Then, I noticed today that one of my children doesn't hear as well as the others--her hearing test at age 5 was normal but there was one frequency she didn't hear in one ear--they said since her last test was normal it was probably a fluke and we could just ignore it--then today there was something the rest of us could hear and she couldn't and I FREAKED OUT.  Since she's had normal hearing tests before I'm terrified that she has a brain tumor that is taking away her hearing.  :'(  I'm not going to look it up but I'm afraid I've heard of that before and I am so scared.  My sweet little girl :'(  

 

I am actually really scared about this but this is like the 6th thing I've been terrified about this week, and SOME of it has to be just plain anxiety.  I can't have lymphoma AND colon cancer AND a brain tumor AND a stroke AND an aneurysm AND my poor little daughter has hearing loss and a brain tumor.  ANXIETY SUCKS.  I know you all know that!!!  

 

My question is, does ANYTHING help????  If I could take a pill that would make life easier, I WOULD.  I read Anatomy of an Epidemic and i found it extremely convincing, but I don't know if maybe there have been studies about antidepressants and anxiety that have shown more helpful results than antidepressants and depression?  Or something?  Anything--I just feel like I really, really need help.  My life is demanding and I thought I was doing better and now I am just crumbling.  Please tell me whether it would help to step my dose of remeron back up, or if that is a false hope and i need to hang in there with the things I've been trying. 

 

I got Hope and Help for Your Nerves by Claire Weeks on the recommendation of someone here and I loved it and thought it was really helping--I thought that was why I felt so much better--but now I feel like I am back in the same place and life is just too scary, I can't float past this stuff. 

 

Thank you for reading this and helping me if you can.  

 

Struggling with health anxiety and after reading _Anatomy of an Epidemic_, determined to keep struggling, without meds. I started Paxil at the beginning of January 2016 and took 10 mg for about 5 weeks.Then after 2 weeks on nothing I started Zoloft 15 mg for 2 weeks, 30 mg for 3 weeks. (About--I'm guessing)Switched directly to Remeron 15 mg with no taper at beginning of April. Went up to 22.5 fairly quickly. Took 30 mg just 3 or 4 times.Down to 15 mg May 3Down to 7.5 mg May 10Started taking 7.5 every other night May 17. Headaches, anxiety, etc.

June 1st started 3.75 mg every night instead of alternating. Thanks everyone for advice!

Also took 50 mg Trazodone several times but quit that based on info from the site.

 

<p>OTC I also take Vitamins B, C, D, Magnesium, and a multi vitamin.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

There is no pill cure for anxiety - or for any of the other responses we have to this crazy life.  In a nut-shell, it takes time - and I know that's not a good answer when you've already been struggling for years.  For myself, it took most of my adult life (I'm now 38) before enough supportive measures eventually built together to allow me to live my life without the fall-back responses of depression and anxiety.  And they still pop their heads up from time to time. 

 

It takes community and connection; on-going relationships with friends, family, whoever.  It requires opening up about how you feel and what sort of help you need.  It requires learning self-care skills like meditation and yoga. 

 

The hurt and confusion and anxiety are all caused by living in this world - with all it's good things and it's bad things.  That's a very broad cause, so our response, our means of healing needs to be broad too. 

 

A pill is not broad.

 

And to your up-dose question - further changes aren't the answer.  You've only recently stopped alternating doses, and you are still experiencing windows and waves.  I suggest holding that dose, and allowing things to settle.  There is a another window a wee way down the road...

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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Thank you so much Karen--I believe what you're saying and I think it's true that these problems are broad and a pill is not.  

 

Also thank you for the advice about updosing--I will give up on reducing the dose a while longer but not increase it either--Just hang out at 3.75.  

 

Thanks again and blessings....

Struggling with health anxiety and after reading _Anatomy of an Epidemic_, determined to keep struggling, without meds. I started Paxil at the beginning of January 2016 and took 10 mg for about 5 weeks.Then after 2 weeks on nothing I started Zoloft 15 mg for 2 weeks, 30 mg for 3 weeks. (About--I'm guessing)Switched directly to Remeron 15 mg with no taper at beginning of April. Went up to 22.5 fairly quickly. Took 30 mg just 3 or 4 times.Down to 15 mg May 3Down to 7.5 mg May 10Started taking 7.5 every other night May 17. Headaches, anxiety, etc.

June 1st started 3.75 mg every night instead of alternating. Thanks everyone for advice!

Also took 50 mg Trazodone several times but quit that based on info from the site.

 

<p>OTC I also take Vitamins B, C, D, Magnesium, and a multi vitamin.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

You're welcome.  You might find useful info in this link (my favourite page on SA):    Non-Drug Techniques to cope with emotional symptoms.

 

Many people find Fish oil useful during withdrawal, but vitamin B and multi vitamins can cause worse symptoms, especially if started after beginning to taper.  Magnesium is also very helpful - good to see you are taking that. 

 

And for when you do feel stabilised enough to start tapering again, we recommend a gentle taper, reducing by no more than 10% of your current dose each month.  This allows your brain time to adjust as you go, and lessens any withdrawal.  Keeping things simple is your best bet:  Keep it Simple; Keep it Slow; Keep it Stable

 

I hope things settle for you soon,

Karen

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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MorningHunter

I sure can relate to the anxiety.  We are all so different, needing different cures.  I guess we just keep trying and never give up looking for the approach that works for us.  I have found biofeedback to be very helpful with my anxiety.  I find it useful to have sessions in biofeedback with my therapist, then I practice every day at home...even if just for a few minutes.  Another approach that works for me is meditation (they are actually quite similar). 

 

I agree with Karen, it sounds like a wave of symptoms that will dissipate. 

 

Take care!

25 years on anti-depressants, 19 years on Venlafaxine XR and Clonazepam

11/02/2014 - 03/15/2015 reduced clonazepam from 3mg to 0.5mg

11/02/2014 - 04/15/2017 tapered off 300mg venlafaxine XR

12/01/2017 - 02/27/2018 tapered off 0.5mg Clonazepam

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  • Moderator

Ahhh, Aardvark - the old Doctor Google sure has a way of ramping us up, doesn't it? 

And if we take "Dr. Google" information to the MD's, they twirl their fingers around their ears like we've got a screw loose.  Sometimes Dr. Google is onto something, but often, it just feeds health OCD and anxiety.

 

I call it "putting fences around things" when they get out of control.  If you find that something is revving you up, it's time to walk away, put a fence around it, and not go there until you feel better.

 

ALL of your symptoms are common in withdrawal.  Here is a list of common withdrawal symptoms (though it is not all of them).  When you have a symptom, you can check against this list, and see if it is a common withdrawal symptom, and then relax.  It's just withdrawal.  Just a symptom.  Also, you can print out several of them, and track your progress, as symptoms change and morph over time as you heal.  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2390-dr-joseph-glenmullens-withdrawal-symptom-checklist/

 

Also, healing comes in Waves and Windows, which means you might have a good hour, a good day, a good week, a good month, and then get slammed down again.  This is NOT your "original condition" returning - it is withdrawal symptoms, which can return months after you have reduced or quit the drug:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9451-delayed-onset-of-withdrawal-symptoms/  and Is It Relapse or Withdrawal?

 

It may help you to understand better how withdrawal works.  Our Rhi (who is better now, and not on site so much - but she is oh! so! wise!) wrote it very well like this:

Rhi's description of healing the brain

 

If you like a video version, this one is clear and concise:  Healing from Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery (by Toxic Antidepressants)

 

and here are some cartoons which have dialogues about symptoms and problems of withdrawal:  Withdrawal Dialogues - cartoons to encourage you

 

For a quick fix, here is a 4 minute MP3 which can "talk you down" from a panic attack:  First Aid for Panic

 

Sorry for all the links, but there is so much to learn, and if you really apply yourself, you can be feeling much more amazing in a year, or two, and possibly forget about it entirely after 5 years.

 

I still have to manage my mood daily, but it is so much better to do it without the drugs.  I feel more in control of my life, and empowered by my choices and toolkit

 

Welcome to SA!  I hope you see the sun today!

"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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  • 4 months later...

Hello community, thanks for reading this.  I'm up in the middle of the night having a horrible panic attack. I've suffered with health anxiety starting 1.5 years ago and got help and info here about getting off of Remeron starting six months ago.  I had been on 3 different SSRIs including Remeron starting in January of this year.  I gained 25 pounds on Remeron -- going from 110 to 135 so still not all that overweight but perhaps enough to cause problems because I just checked my blood sugar and it was way too high.  I'm afraid this is wrapped up in my history of getting off of Remeron b/c I did not follow the advice here....:(  Please advise.  And give me any words of comfort that occur to you because I am freaking. out.  

 

Here's what I've done with Remeron.  I found that there was a threshold below which it didn't help me sleep, and that made it really hard to go below that threshold on a slow daily taper.  I see the wisdom of the slow daily taper but I have had a lot of problems with my sleep and it was just too tempting to be certain of a good night of sleep every few nights.  So for many months I was doing two nights off, then one night taking 3 mg.  I just switched to three nights off about three weeks ago and have actually been sleeping well most nights now anyway, so had been preparing to go to every five nights (/four nights off) and then stop taking it all together. 

 

I have continued to have really strong cravings for sugar even though I'm taking so little.  I've always been "sugar sensitive" and craved sugar, but not like this!  I have eaten so much sugar in the past six months :(  An otherwise healthy diet, and then once a day a huge plate of cookies or something like that.  I had slight / borderline gestational diabetes 5 years ago so I had a blood glucose meter in the house from that.  (I had another baby 3 years ago and did not have any blood sugar problems during that pregnancy while eating a very good diet.)  I got worried about my blood sugar at one point 5 months ago and tested it and it was 175 after a high-sugar binge.  So I freaked out.  but then I realized the test strips were expired so the next day got some new test strips and took my fasting and several post-high-sugar-"meal" readings and my fasting was 73 and the highest it got after cookies was 135.  So I thought I was safe and it was just because of the expired test strips that I got the high readings.  

 

But then over the past few weeks I thought I noticed my urine smelling sweet a couple of times (So sorry, so gross) and that set off diabetes fears again.  I checked my blood sugar last night randomly -- I had had a bunch of cookies while grocery shopping at 8:40, then three pieces of white-flour pizza at 9:00, and then tested my blood sugar at 10:40 when I got home and it was 169.  :'(  I read that in truly normal people their blood sugar doesn't really go that high no matter what they eat.  And what are the chances that I happened to catch it at the very highest it went?  I was barely able to get to sleep (Actually, I took Benadryl) because I was freaking out so badly, and then I woke up in the middle of the night to pee (which I always do, and now I'm worried that's also a sign of diabetes or pre diabetes) and thought "It's likely my fasting sugar is still in a normal range, so I'll check it now that it's 7 hours after I ate and it will probably be normal and that will be reassuring and I'll be able to fall back asleep- so I checked it and it was 103!  As far as I can tell, a fasting blood sugar over 100 like that means I definitely have prediabetes.  

 

So, my husband thinks that it's because of the Remeron.  He found this: http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/20040602/msgs/352933.htmlwhere the psychiatrist was explaining that Remeron will act on norepinephrine and lower blood sugar.  My husband thought maybe I've been having higher blood sugar cyclically as my body continually adjusts to not taking Remeron -- and maybe I can now go all the way off and the cells will down-regulate or whatever it is they need to do and go back to normal.  I kind of hope that is true, because at least that would be better than just the simpler explanation that I'm developing type 2 diabetes.  I have had such severe health anxiety and am so terrified of diabetes complications.  I'm so, so afraid that I've already been damaging my nerves, eyes, kidneys, pancreas, etc. over the past 8 months since I started Remeron that i've been eating so many sweets and didn't know i was having high blood sugars like this :'(  

 

Has anyone else had blood sugar issues while taking or getting off of Remeron?  Does anyone have any advice or information for me that would help me calm down?  :'(  Thank you for reading this.

Struggling with health anxiety and after reading _Anatomy of an Epidemic_, determined to keep struggling, without meds. I started Paxil at the beginning of January 2016 and took 10 mg for about 5 weeks.Then after 2 weeks on nothing I started Zoloft 15 mg for 2 weeks, 30 mg for 3 weeks. (About--I'm guessing)Switched directly to Remeron 15 mg with no taper at beginning of April. Went up to 22.5 fairly quickly. Took 30 mg just 3 or 4 times.Down to 15 mg May 3Down to 7.5 mg May 10Started taking 7.5 every other night May 17. Headaches, anxiety, etc.

June 1st started 3.75 mg every night instead of alternating. Thanks everyone for advice!

Also took 50 mg Trazodone several times but quit that based on info from the site.

 

<p>OTC I also take Vitamins B, C, D, Magnesium, and a multi vitamin.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Some people experience weight gain and other metabolic disturbances when taking Remeron (mirtazapine).

 

You've discovered that certain foods cause surges in your blood sugar: products with grain flour and refined sugar.  You may be able to manage the high blood sugar by staying away from those foods. There are many resources to educate you about those choices; you could do a web search on low glycemic index foods as a starting point.

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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Thanks for your reply.  Also I had never seen Jan Carol's reply to my previous query.  Thank you Jan Carol!

 

I definitely plan to be absolutely religious about avoiding all foods that could make this worse.  I normally eat fairly well but lately I have been much worse b/c I am so pressed for time right now that every day I fail to make dinner.  But, no excuses.  I have to do all I can to heal my blood sugar!

 

You mentioned about mirtazapine causing weight gain and metabolic disturbances -- they don't tell you about the metabolic disturbances, or they didn't warn me :(  But my psych did warn that a certain percentage of people gain up to 5 lbs.  Well, I gained 25 pounds -- a half pound a day for six weeks, and then some more at a slower rate when I started tapering.  Horrible drug!!  I started at 110 having lost some weight due to anxiety, so I went up to 135.  i can try to lose that weight and hope that that helps the blood sugar issue but I am so scared that it won't go away and will get worse.  I'm not really overweight per se so I'm afraid losing it won't help as much as I want it to.  

 

Today after many continuous hours of fight or flight mode and feeling like I was just about to die I took a benzodiazapene for the first time.  I had so many things my family were counting on me to do and my psych had said this could help; but she also said that Remeron would help.  :(  I was just so desperate.  I feel that I'm moving in the wrong direction.  It didn't help either.  It did nothing.  Except I might feel a little dizzy.  

 

Please help if anyone sees this!

Struggling with health anxiety and after reading _Anatomy of an Epidemic_, determined to keep struggling, without meds. I started Paxil at the beginning of January 2016 and took 10 mg for about 5 weeks.Then after 2 weeks on nothing I started Zoloft 15 mg for 2 weeks, 30 mg for 3 weeks. (About--I'm guessing)Switched directly to Remeron 15 mg with no taper at beginning of April. Went up to 22.5 fairly quickly. Took 30 mg just 3 or 4 times.Down to 15 mg May 3Down to 7.5 mg May 10Started taking 7.5 every other night May 17. Headaches, anxiety, etc.

June 1st started 3.75 mg every night instead of alternating. Thanks everyone for advice!

Also took 50 mg Trazodone several times but quit that based on info from the site.

 

<p>OTC I also take Vitamins B, C, D, Magnesium, and a multi vitamin.

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