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Harrellt: Remeron withdrawal, can't sleep


Harrellt

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Hi, my name is Trevor, I'm 28 years old and I have been recovering from Remeron withdrawal for a while now. I took 15mg Remeron for 7 years and every time I tried to stop taking it I experienced debilitating insomnia that would last for weeks til I just couldn't take it any more and went back on the medication. Finally I decided it was time to kick this drug for good and started out by reducing my dose to 7.5 mg for a few months, then I started the long process of slow reduction using the liquid titration method. I spent 5 months reducing from 7.5 mg to 0 and by the time I got down to 2 mg I was already experiencing insomnia along with other side effects like depression, anxiety, crying spells, body itching, heart palpitations, and chronic diarrhea. It's been three months now sense my last dose and I still can't manage to get consistent sleep. On good nights I might sleep 5-6 hours but most nights I only get 2-4. Even when I do fall asleep my dreams can get pretty disturbing and I wake up every 30 minutes to an hour. When I lay down to sleep my heart beats very heavy, not fast or sporadic like with anxiety, but slow and forceful. Even if I can get my mind to shut off and be completely relaxed my body will not relax. Any time I get my blood pressure checked it's completely normal but I have noticed my resting heart rate is kind of slow. The other day it was as low as 48bpm. I still get diarrhea some days, and it doesn't make a difference what I eat. It always happens first thing in the morning when I end up running to the bathroom every 15 minutes about 3-5 times. A few months back I went to an alternative health clinic and they started me on a bunch of supplements in an attempt to re balance my hormones and get me sleeping again. Some of the stuff I was taking was Chinese herbs so I don't even know what was in it. I got tired of spending 100's of dollars on supplements every month I didn't even know where helping or not so recently I began to cut back on the supplements. I even went to see a hypnotherapist last week and am going back later this week.


 


The other problem is that I picked a very stressful time in my life to get off the meds.  I had just quit my job and sold my house to go back to school plus my girl friend had just broke things off with me. Sense then I tried to date another girl who rejected me after a couple dates. My alcoholic father moved back to Missouri after living in Colorado for 14 years and just recently he got diagnosed with ALS and only has a few months to live. His ex wife came and got him and moved him to Michigan where she plans on taking care of him. I'm just glad I don't have to watch him die a slow death. School is going well but I'm taking easy classes right now, I'm afraid that if I don't start sleeping well by the time I get accepted into my program of study I might fail the program. It's so difficult for me to concentrate on my studies when I'm only getting 2 hours of sleep some nights. I used to be very healthy and full of energy, I was big into fitness like running, biking, and yoga. Now days I barley have enough energy to go for a walk.


 


What advice would anyone have for someone who has already been off a drug for a while but is still experiencing side effects? I keep telling myself this can't go on forever and I will eventually start sleeping normal again but progress is so slow it gets very discouraging. This Friday I will be going to get my yearly check up with the VA. I haven't been to the VA clinic for any of this because I was afraid they would just try to put me on another medication. But now I'm beginning to realize there may be other things they can do for me like sleep studies or talk to a therapist. Any suggestions on how to approach my doctor about this? In my experience military and VA doctors are terrible when it comes to health problems like this, I want to make sure he gets me the help I need without me being disrespectful or acting like a know it all. Are there any treatments I should ask for directly?


2008 - started Remeron 15mg

2010 - started Wellbutron XL 150mg

2011 - Wellbutron XL up to 450mg

2014 - tried to taper off both drugs with no luck

2015 - successfully tapered off Wellbutron

2016 - attempted taper off of Remeron over 5 months, went into bad withdrawal, stayed off for 2-3 months and symptoms did not get much better, very bad insomnia

In the beginning of October I reinstated on a 3mg dose of Remeron, got sick twice after reinstatement and then stabilized, sleeping well now but very low energy and depression is getting worse

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Harrellt -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)
 
I hope you'll find the information in the SA forums enlightening and helpful for your taper.  I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but am glad that you found us. There's a lot going on in your life right now -- no wonder that you want to feel much closer to 100%.

The symptoms you describe -- insomnia and GI upset -- are common in psych drug withdrawal.

Introduction to antidepressant withdrawal syndrome

What is withdrawal syndrome

 

 

Sometimes it's worth testing whether your CNS (central nervous system) responds favorably to a reinstatement of a TINY dose of Remeron.  Reinstating has its risks -- it may not improve your symptoms or it may make them worse. That's why we suggest testing your response by using a TINY amount, 0.5 mg.

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

If you reinstate, you need to take the dose at the same time every day and to keep hard-copy notes on your symptoms. It can take 7-10 days to know whether the reinstatement has worked. At that point, we look at your symptoms and consider next steps, such as updosing, continuing as is or, stopping.

 

Should the reinstatement work, we'll suggest that you get stable on that dose for several months before starting dose reductions. We suggest a much slower taper than what you undertook earlier this year -- at most 10% of current dose per month. This allows your CNS to make necessary adjustments during the taper.

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

Tips for tapering off Remeron (mirtazapine)

 

A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-18 months particularly? Any drugs prior to that can just be listed with start and stop years. Please put your withdrawal history in signature

Two tips:

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This is YOUR introduction topic -- the place for you to ask questions, record symptoms, share your progress, and connect with other members of the SA community.

 

Have a look a the topics I've linked above.  Come back and post any questions you have.

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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Hi Trevor welcome to sa

Sounds like you did a approx 8 month taper and now 3 months drug free.

Unortunately you have tapered to fast and as SW said you are suffering wdl symptoms.

 

Heres some good links on talking to doctors.

What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

How do you talk to your doctor about tapering and withdrawal?

 

You may well find that the doctor wont acknowledge ssri wdl  and so the problem will be you and not the drug (wdl).

If they give you instructions and prescriptions its always a wise idea to get a second opinion from sa .

 

Glad you found sa.

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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  • Moderator

Hey HarrelT, welcome.

 

Yes, I don't have the calendar of what you did with your dose, but I understand you went from 15 to 7.5 (50%) and then held for a "few months" (how many months?), and then came off the 7.5 at the rate of about 30%.   Additionally, you probably went straight line, when we recommend 10% of last dose to give a gentle curve for coming down.

 

What was your jumping off dose?  And the date of your last dose?

 

At 2 mg, when you started with the symptoms, our protocol would've had you holding for a good long while.  Symptoms are a clear indication that you are tapering too fast.

 

I know you're reluctant to try to reinstate, and it may not work - but if you need to get to school and class, it's better to try what you've been on then to try something new.  The new things just tend to scramble things, and tie the knots tighter.  And there are no guarantees.

 

Many people find that Magnesium and Omega-3 fish oil help, and some are soothed by 

Epsom Salts - Another Way to Relax with Magnesium as a way to relax before sleep.

 

Sleep hygiene is hugely important - here's what others have said about sleep in withdrawal:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/604-important-topics-about-symptoms-including-sleep-problems/

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/53-sleep-problems-that-awful-withdrawal-insomnia/

 

Remeron is especially nasty for the withdrawal insomnia, because it is gets heavier on the histamine receptors as you go lower in dose.

 

You may also find some comfort in Non Drug Techniques for Coping with Emotional Symptoms

 

Welcome to SA, I'm sorry you had to look for us (like Scally said) but I'm glad you found us!

"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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I've been meaning to get back on here and respond, it took me a couple days to even realize I had any replies. The visit to the VA went about as I expected, they tried to get me back on my medications til I talked to the right person and explained that I'm trying to get off of medications. All they could do for me that day was get me in to see a psychiatrist who wanted to start me out on a low dose of Trazodone to get me sleeping again. He wasn't being too pushy though and realized that I really wanted to be free of all meds. He scheduled me to start seeing a Psychologist every week for the next 12 weeks starting Wednesday. He wants me to go back and see him in two months just in case I change my mind about not wanting to go back on meds.

 

The drop from 15mg to 7.5mg was early spring of last year so I'd say I stabilized on that dose for about 9 months. I was also getting myself off of Wellbutrin at that time, which surprisingly didn't give me any issues as far as I know. I was working nights at the post office all last year and by the end of the year I was getting really warn down waking up at 1am every day and sleeping very odd hours. This was one of the reasons I quit my job because I had developed some pretty serious insomnia even on Remeron. Once I quit my job I waited a few weeks to allow myself to readjust to sleeping at night and catch up on rest, then I began the taper from 7.5 to 0. First I dropped to 7mg then dropped 1mg every 2-3 weeks depending on how I felt. By the time I got down to 1mg I was feeling pretty miserable so I went back up to 2mg and stayed there for at least a month. My symptoms where not getting any better after a month at 2mg so I went to a naturalist doctor who had helped me before with a Hiatal hernia and had attempted to help me get off my meds 2-3 years ago. He suggested that I stop taking the small amount I was taking and started me on a bunch of supplements. Started off with Kava Kava along with some other things, then he tried to balance my hormones and adrenals. I couldn't even tell you whats in half the stuff he was giving me, most of it was Standard Process supplements the other products where Chinese herbs. None of this helped me at all so I got fed up and stopped going to him.

 

My last dose was at least 3 months ago and I'd say I'm past the worst of it. My father leaving town has helped with the emotional stuff, it sucks to know he's dying but it feels so much better knowing he's in another state. As each week goes by I'm finding it a little easier to manage my mood and attitude about things. Even though I'm not sleeping much I know I'm slowly getting better. The summer class will be over in a few days and my grades are great. Overall I'm very pleased and surprised at how well I've been able to function with such little sleep.

 

As far as reinstating at a low dose goes, is that absolutely necessary to fully get over withdrawal, will I eventually fully recover if I don't? I'm not totally against it but I keep thinking my full recovery is just around the corner and reinstating would only drag this whole recovery process out even longer. I wish I had found this forum before I started getting off drugs, I've read so much good info on here but It's kinda too late now.

2008 - started Remeron 15mg

2010 - started Wellbutron XL 150mg

2011 - Wellbutron XL up to 450mg

2014 - tried to taper off both drugs with no luck

2015 - successfully tapered off Wellbutron

2016 - attempted taper off of Remeron over 5 months, went into bad withdrawal, stayed off for 2-3 months and symptoms did not get much better, very bad insomnia

In the beginning of October I reinstated on a 3mg dose of Remeron, got sick twice after reinstatement and then stabilized, sleeping well now but very low energy and depression is getting worse

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Reinstating isn't absolutely necessary to get over withdrawal, Trevor. It is however the best solution for reducing withdrawal symptoms. If you 're willing to ride out the symptoms you have now and whateverelse arises -- yes future new symptoms are possible -- then don't reinstate.

 

Issues with insufficient sleep are common here at SA. It's great that you've discovered you can function reasonably well with little sleep.

A tip: You may way want to follow this topic so that you get notifications when someone posts in your thread. Click the gray "Follow this topic" button. A dialog box appears: select one of the notify options, then click follow this topic in the dialog box.

 

The psychiatrist at the VA sounds like he works with the people who see him not on them -- a real find.

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

I read through the "Tips for tapering off Remeron (mirtazapine)" and it mentioned that the home made liquid suspension should only be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days. I was keeping it much longer than that, all the stuff I read about making a home made suspension never mentioned anything about a shelf life. What if the medication went inactive in the fridge, that would mean I basically went cold turkey from 7mg with the exception of the few of times I made a new batch. Could explain why this whole process has been such hell for me.

2008 - started Remeron 15mg

2010 - started Wellbutron XL 150mg

2011 - Wellbutron XL up to 450mg

2014 - tried to taper off both drugs with no luck

2015 - successfully tapered off Wellbutron

2016 - attempted taper off of Remeron over 5 months, went into bad withdrawal, stayed off for 2-3 months and symptoms did not get much better, very bad insomnia

In the beginning of October I reinstated on a 3mg dose of Remeron, got sick twice after reinstatement and then stabilized, sleeping well now but very low energy and depression is getting worse

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  • Moderator Emeritus

The caution is about other things growing in the liquid -- bacterial cultures, mold etc.  Very few of us have access to sterile facilities to create our home-made suspensions.

 

In all likelihood, you were getting active drug.

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
  • 3 weeks later...

I went back to the VA because of my chronic diarrhea and they scheduled me for a colonoscopy. Their reasoning was that I had been diagnosed with IBS without ever having a colonoscopy done. The more I think about it the more absurd it sounds to have a colonoscopy done for diarrhea caused by medication withdrawal.

2008 - started Remeron 15mg

2010 - started Wellbutron XL 150mg

2011 - Wellbutron XL up to 450mg

2014 - tried to taper off both drugs with no luck

2015 - successfully tapered off Wellbutron

2016 - attempted taper off of Remeron over 5 months, went into bad withdrawal, stayed off for 2-3 months and symptoms did not get much better, very bad insomnia

In the beginning of October I reinstated on a 3mg dose of Remeron, got sick twice after reinstatement and then stabilized, sleeping well now but very low energy and depression is getting worse

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  • 4 weeks later...

I decided not to reinstate at a low dose of Remeron and turned down the colonoscopy. My sleep and digestion had improved greatly for a few weeks but now it's on the decline again. I'm still getting enough sleep to function, I'd say 4-6 hours of solid sleep a night but the diarrhea is back and as bad as ever. I feel like no matter how healthy I eat I'm just not absorbing enough nutrients from food. Been trying to get back into a regular exercise routine but I constantly feel weak and struggle to recover from strenuous activity. I wish there was someone I could talk to who specializes in antidepressant withdrawal and digestion. If I go to my naturalist doctor he just wants to sell me a bunch of expensive supplements that may or may not help. If I go to the VA they jump straight to shoving a scope where it doesn't belong. There has to be another method for addressing my digestion issues!

2008 - started Remeron 15mg

2010 - started Wellbutron XL 150mg

2011 - Wellbutron XL up to 450mg

2014 - tried to taper off both drugs with no luck

2015 - successfully tapered off Wellbutron

2016 - attempted taper off of Remeron over 5 months, went into bad withdrawal, stayed off for 2-3 months and symptoms did not get much better, very bad insomnia

In the beginning of October I reinstated on a 3mg dose of Remeron, got sick twice after reinstatement and then stabilized, sleeping well now but very low energy and depression is getting worse

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Trevor, I'm not sure I have any solid advice, but I am currently tapering Remeron and have gotten stuck at 7.5 mg.  My husband takes a medication that gives him trouble sleeping, and he takes melatonin.  Maybe that was already suggested, but he has good luck with it.

 

It sounds like you're trying to get away from pills, but I take a med called Levsin for IBS.  My experience has been wonderful on that. No side effects or addiction.  It just relaxes the colon and makes trips less frequent.  

 

It's a few weeks since your last post, so I am curious who you're doing.  I hope to read your story on the "Success story" forum soon!  

Best wishes to you! 

Diagnosed GAD by PCP - Started Lexapro (10mg) Jan 2009, quit cold turkey April 2009.  I was clueless.  I had no idea.  WDS include: mind fog, fatigue, dizziness, brain zaps (brain zaps were awful... I had no idea what was going on)

 

Continued dealing with GAD - always situational.  Job stress mostly.   I had a bad job in August 2013.  Started taking 30 mg Remeron.  Slept perfectly, but gained 30 lbs.  Cut dose in half around December 2013 to 15 mg.  No w/d symptoms whatsoever.  

 

Visited PCP in May 2016, who encouraged me to taper as I'm content with life. (job, marriage, friends)  Also considering pregnancy.  PCP did not warn of w/d.  Cut pills from 15 mg to 7.5 mg in May.  

 

Sept 2016 - Still on 7.5 mg.  Experiencing w/d, but it is getting better.  Mainly brain fog, fatigue, and dizziness.  I also have this tremor in my hands and feet that is fairly embarrassing because others notice it.  I am still sleeping well.  Discovered SA and will taper much less when I'm ready!  

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Thanks for the reply,

I stayed at 7.5 mg for a long time before continuing to taper to 0. I was also getting off of Wellbutrin while I stabilized at 7.5 mg of Remeron. I have tried just about every natural sleep aid under the sun, and not getting proper sleep has really worn me down for over a year now. I was having sleep problems because of working nights at the post office before even getting off of Remeron. Remeron withdrawal just made my sleep problems so much worse! Is Levsin an OTC drug or would I have to get a prescription? I was trying to get medication for IBS but they wanted me to do a colonoscopy first. I really don't want the colonoscopy though and I really think that if I started sleeping normal again all my digestion problems would go away. The doctor did prescribe me an antidiarrheal medication which has given me a little bit of relief from the digestion issues. My goal is definitely to be free from all medications and I will think twice before ever taking prescription meds again (especially the mind altering ones!).

 

I have been completely off of Remeron for over 5 months now and withdrawal effects are still haunting me. I decided to do a little experiment a couple days ago and take one full dose of Remeron before bed to see how I reacted to it. I didn't sleep quite as well as I had hoped but it definitely worked because I slept through my alarm. Last night was also a better night of sleep even without taking a dose and I slept through my alarm again. I have also noticed that some of my other withdrawal effects have subsided, my heart pounding has calmed down, bowel movements are more regular and solid, and I seem to be able to think a little more clearly. The only problem is the Remeron makes me feel super drowsy all day the next day. I decided that I will try taking Remeron just once a week for a while and see what happens. At least that way I will get some good rest once in a while and the withdrawal symptoms won't be so bad. From there I will take the medication even less often or only as needed when I'm in the middle of a really bad bought of insomnia.

2008 - started Remeron 15mg

2010 - started Wellbutron XL 150mg

2011 - Wellbutron XL up to 450mg

2014 - tried to taper off both drugs with no luck

2015 - successfully tapered off Wellbutron

2016 - attempted taper off of Remeron over 5 months, went into bad withdrawal, stayed off for 2-3 months and symptoms did not get much better, very bad insomnia

In the beginning of October I reinstated on a 3mg dose of Remeron, got sick twice after reinstatement and then stabilized, sleeping well now but very low energy and depression is getting worse

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Trevor, I'd encourage you to take either a small daily dose of Remeron or none rather than take a full dose once a week. Infrequent dosing risks making your withdrawal worse.

 

Please see:

3KIS: Keep it slow. Keep it simple. Keep it stable.

How your brain responds to psychiatric drugs - aka "Brain remodeling"

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

May I ask what rate you tapered from 7.5 to 0?  Dosages and weeks?  I am just curious to hear your story.  I am dreading it!  I went from 15 to 7.5 on 5/27/16, and I've been symptomatic since then.  I'm very stubborn!  So I refuse to go back up, but I am just waiting until I am symptom free before tapering the right way to zero.  The symptoms are better, so I think I'm on the mend.  Just wish I'd done it the right way!  

 

Levsin is by prescription only.  Like I said, I have found no side effects or weird withdrawal, but I totally understand wanting to avoid meds completely.  It has been a game changer for me!  My gastro dr did perform a colonoscopy because he suspected Crohn's based on some of my symptoms and pain.  I'm thankful it's not that!  Unless your insurance doesn't cover it, I wouldn't shy away from that.  The prep is the worst part, but it isn't even that bad.  It's bad for people who have inactive GI, who have no idea what its like to #2 12 times a day.  Compared to my IBS, it was just another day.  They knock you out for the procedure so that was cake.  

 

I will agree scallywag that maybe taking a full dose every week isn't going to be good for your body.   Maybe if you're having a horrible day, try a much smaller dose? Say 2 mg?  I don't speak from experience at all.  I have sympathy for that desperation though.  I wish you the best! 

Diagnosed GAD by PCP - Started Lexapro (10mg) Jan 2009, quit cold turkey April 2009.  I was clueless.  I had no idea.  WDS include: mind fog, fatigue, dizziness, brain zaps (brain zaps were awful... I had no idea what was going on)

 

Continued dealing with GAD - always situational.  Job stress mostly.   I had a bad job in August 2013.  Started taking 30 mg Remeron.  Slept perfectly, but gained 30 lbs.  Cut dose in half around December 2013 to 15 mg.  No w/d symptoms whatsoever.  

 

Visited PCP in May 2016, who encouraged me to taper as I'm content with life. (job, marriage, friends)  Also considering pregnancy.  PCP did not warn of w/d.  Cut pills from 15 mg to 7.5 mg in May.  

 

Sept 2016 - Still on 7.5 mg.  Experiencing w/d, but it is getting better.  Mainly brain fog, fatigue, and dizziness.  I also have this tremor in my hands and feet that is fairly embarrassing because others notice it.  I am still sleeping well.  Discovered SA and will taper much less when I'm ready!  

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It took me 5 months to go from 7.5 to 0. I was reducing at the rate of 1 mg every two weeks til I got to 1 mg and my sleep began to really suffer. Then I went back to 2 mg and stayed there for about a month, then went to 1 mg for a few weeks and quit for good. Honestly, I didn't notice any symptoms going from 15 mg to 7.5. I had done it before and if anything I felt better on 7.5, less drowsy in the mornings. It wasn't til I got down to 3-4 mg that I started to notice anything. I had attempted tapering off Remeron a couple times before and had terrible withdrawal so I knew what to expect. First came the insomnia, then heart palpitations, full body itching, chronic diarrhea, and of course along with the insomnia comes all the mental problems; paranoia, trouble concentrating, racing thoughts, worrying that I was losing my sanity! The worst part of what I'm still experiencing now is the constant feeling like I have adrenaline pumping through my veins. I feel jittery and feel my heart pumping hard constantly. But if I try to go for a run or something to burn off the energy I find out that I really don't have any energy at all and when I'm done it takes me forever to recover. My muscles are always stiff and sore which makes my back problems even worse. I'm sleeping maybe 4-5 hours a night but it's not restful sleep at all. I get up every morning feeling like a truck ran me over and I'm coming down with a cold, but never actually get sick.

 

I agree that taking a full dose once a week is probably not a great idea but I'm desperate to try anything. Even though I'm doing so much better than I was a couple months ago, I don't think it should be taking this long to recover. I am fully covered through the VA so if I want the colonoscopy it's all paid for. But I doubt they would find anything wrong with me. My current digestive problems I think are purely nervous system related and not something actually wrong with my digestive system. Taking a crap 12 times a day sounds awful, but on a bad day I'll be going 5-6 times all within an hour of waking up, then I get constipated the rest of the day.

 

Good luck with your taper, if your already feeling it going from 15 to 7.5, I'm afraid your in for one hell of a ride. I would love to be completely on the other side of this thing encouraging you and telling you the suffering is totally worth it. Unfortunately I'm still wondering if my mind and body will ever function normally again after Remeron withdrawal. I understand your stubbornness in not wanting to increase your dose from 7.5, now that I've been completely off of it for 5 months reinstating at a low dose would feel like defeat. Like everything I've been through was for nothing and I would be starting over again. All I can say is go VERY SLOW with your taper!!! Don't get impatient like I did. Stay at 7.5 for as long as you need to then start the liquid titration method reducing your dose 10% at a time.

2008 - started Remeron 15mg

2010 - started Wellbutron XL 150mg

2011 - Wellbutron XL up to 450mg

2014 - tried to taper off both drugs with no luck

2015 - successfully tapered off Wellbutron

2016 - attempted taper off of Remeron over 5 months, went into bad withdrawal, stayed off for 2-3 months and symptoms did not get much better, very bad insomnia

In the beginning of October I reinstated on a 3mg dose of Remeron, got sick twice after reinstatement and then stabilized, sleeping well now but very low energy and depression is getting worse

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thought I would update this,

 

I got to the point that I couldn't take it anymore and decided to reinstate at 3mg about two weeks ago, within two days most of my withdrawal effects where gone. But then I started getting random fevers, usually at night time, the fevers would keep me awake til the fever broke and I would sleep solid til morning, when I woke up the fever would be gone til the following evening. This went on for about a week til this last Friday I had the fever all day and felt awful! I couldn't fall asleep til about 4am and sense I didn't have any obligations Saturday I didn't set an alarm. At 4 am the fever broke and I fell into a very deep sleep (felt like a coma lol) and didn't wake up again til 11:30, in a pool of sweat. This was the first time I've been able to sleep a solid 8 hours in over a year! Saturday I felt weird all day but the fever was gone, my brain was on the fritz. Saturday night I didn't sleep hardly at all and felt very exhausted most of Sunday, at least the fever didn't come back. Then Sunday night I slept like a rock, only got up once to go to the bathroom. A solid 8 hours of sleep and no fever on 3mg of Remeron. Tonight I'm a little worried I won't sleep well again, but if all goes well maybe I will stabilize on 3mg and start getting good sleep again. I'm so ready for this nightmare to be over!

2008 - started Remeron 15mg

2010 - started Wellbutron XL 150mg

2011 - Wellbutron XL up to 450mg

2014 - tried to taper off both drugs with no luck

2015 - successfully tapered off Wellbutron

2016 - attempted taper off of Remeron over 5 months, went into bad withdrawal, stayed off for 2-3 months and symptoms did not get much better, very bad insomnia

In the beginning of October I reinstated on a 3mg dose of Remeron, got sick twice after reinstatement and then stabilized, sleeping well now but very low energy and depression is getting worse

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The lesson learned in this situation, is I should have reinstated much sooner. But I'm stubborn and thought I could fight through withdrawal.

2008 - started Remeron 15mg

2010 - started Wellbutron XL 150mg

2011 - Wellbutron XL up to 450mg

2014 - tried to taper off both drugs with no luck

2015 - successfully tapered off Wellbutron

2016 - attempted taper off of Remeron over 5 months, went into bad withdrawal, stayed off for 2-3 months and symptoms did not get much better, very bad insomnia

In the beginning of October I reinstated on a 3mg dose of Remeron, got sick twice after reinstatement and then stabilized, sleeping well now but very low energy and depression is getting worse

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hey Harrellt, sounds like things might be slowly settling out - hope so.  You truly aren't alone in the reluctance to reinstate - so don't beat yourself up over that.

 

It may be that 3mg was higher than necessary which is why you had the full-on symptoms.  Sometimes 1mg is all that is needed after a long time off.  But if you are beginning to stabilise then you'd be wise to stay at 3mg. 

 

It would really help if you filled in a signature so we can see your details easily whenever you post.

 

Keep us posted on how things pan out,

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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  • 1 month later...

So I've been taking 3mg Remeron daily for about two months now. I'm finally sleeping again which doesn't surprise me because Remeron is a very potent sedative for me. The bad diarrhea went away not too long after going back on 3mg but my heart still feels like its jumping out of my chest sometimes. Being able to sleep again is amazing! No more agonizing nights tossing and turning wishing there was some way to be put out of my misery. If anything I'm sleeping too well now, like it's hard to get out of bed in the morning and when I do I'm very drowsy and have no energy all day. The low energy makes me unmotivated to do anything like exercise, study, eat healthy, be social, etc and depression has been getting worse and worse over the last few weeks. I've been thinking I may need to go back on Wellbutron for a while, it may help me get through the final stages of tapering off Remeron and help me stay motivated through school (I got accepted to my PTA program and will be starting in January). I hate to go back on a medication I've already tapered off of but it's the only medication I've ever tried that actually helped with the depression and lifted my mood. Remeron never did anything to lift my mood other than make me sleep really well, but of course there is always the drowsy hangover feeling after Remeron sleep. Wellbutron helped pick me up in the mornings and get me motivated to do things. It was an odd mix taking both those drugs at the same time but they seemed to work well together. Wellbutron gave me energy all day and Remeron knocked me out at night. Without wellbutron I'm always extremely groggy on remeron, But I've never tried wellbutron without Remeron. It may be over stimulating and give me insomnia.

2008 - started Remeron 15mg

2010 - started Wellbutron XL 150mg

2011 - Wellbutron XL up to 450mg

2014 - tried to taper off both drugs with no luck

2015 - successfully tapered off Wellbutron

2016 - attempted taper off of Remeron over 5 months, went into bad withdrawal, stayed off for 2-3 months and symptoms did not get much better, very bad insomnia

In the beginning of October I reinstated on a 3mg dose of Remeron, got sick twice after reinstatement and then stabilized, sleeping well now but very low energy and depression is getting worse

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By the way, has anyone had any experience switching between name brand Wellbutron XL and generic Bupropion HCL 12 hour?

When I was active duty Air Force I always got the name brand stuff but when I separated they started giving me generic stuff. I'm wondering if the generic stuff was not as effective which made me think it wasn't doing anything for me anymore and make me want to get off of it.

2008 - started Remeron 15mg

2010 - started Wellbutron XL 150mg

2011 - Wellbutron XL up to 450mg

2014 - tried to taper off both drugs with no luck

2015 - successfully tapered off Wellbutron

2016 - attempted taper off of Remeron over 5 months, went into bad withdrawal, stayed off for 2-3 months and symptoms did not get much better, very bad insomnia

In the beginning of October I reinstated on a 3mg dose of Remeron, got sick twice after reinstatement and then stabilized, sleeping well now but very low energy and depression is getting worse

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  • Moderator Emeritus

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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Hi, and thank you for your history with Remeron. It helps to learn about it. I was only on Remeron for about 3&1/2 months. A tremor started, along with wildly restless legs -- It wasn't every night, so I began to call it Restless Leg Roulette. My dr let me add chlonazepam to counter the restless legs, but I think that was bad for me.  Anyway, my most worrisome symptom began while on Remeron, and continues now that I stopped it: tremors. I find the tremors very scary. Now that I've quit the Remeron, I hope they just go away. I didn't taper beyond 7.5 because I'd been on it such a short amount of time, so I don't know if that was okay or not. My psychiatrist thought it was fine to quit at that point.  So you and I have had very different journeys with our Remeron. I feel your pain and appreciate hearing about your whole ordeal.

QUIT chlonazepam (Klonopin) 8/26/17. My dosage was less than 0.5; hard to measure exactly because I had been reducing by weight. My overall diagnosis is fibromyalgia. I'm 63 yrs old. Feeling great to be free of it!

MICRO TAPERED KLONOPIN BY WEIGHT: 5/26: .241 -- ?/?: .235 -- 7/10: .223 -- 7/24: .221 -- 7/29: .217 -- 8/1: 212 -- 8/6: .208

Switched: 8/13, reduced to 1/2 pill (a .5 pill), maintaining morning dose of weight .069. Kept micro tapering until 8/26/17.

CURURENTLY TAPERING BUSPAR: BUSPAR started in May 2017, currently: 2and1/3 15mg pill = 15+15+5= 35 mgs. Very helpful med. 11/9/17: 25 mgs. (1 and 1/3 15 mg pill)

PREVIOUS: In August 2016, after some stressful life changes, my Klonopin use went up to about 4.0. New dr jerked me down from 4.0 to 1 mg. I'm still suffering from that sudden extreme withdrawal. Plus I was put on and taken off of many other meds those first couple of months: Tizanadine, Remeron, Lexapro, Wellbutrin. A very difficult time in my life.  CURRENT: Cymbalta 60mg, maintaining. I use medical marijuana for pain as needed, usually at night. Don't take it during the day because it just makes me too dopey. I take probiotics.

 

 

 

 

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  • 6 months later...

Someone messaged me today asking how I've been doing since I resumed taking 3mg of Remeron and I thought I would share most of my reply to him for anyone else who may read this in the future. I have been doing very well these last couple months. But not the way I hoped things would go. I stayed on 3mg remeron for a few months while I started my new PTA program. I knew that the school would be very stressful and I was still struggling with some low grade depression so I went back on a low dose of Wellbutrin as well. Long story short, my sleep never got back to where I needed it to be in order to handle the stress of school. I was sleeping 8 hours most nights, but it was never restful sleep and I was starting to have some minor manic episodes. A couple months ago I decided that in order to regain my sanity and reduce my stress in school I should go back on the full dose of remeron. I also went back on a higher dose of Wellbutrin. Ever sense I have been doing very well! I sleep like a log most nights and the Wellbutrin gives me the energy to get up and moving in the morning and motivated throughout the day. I have come to the conclusion that these two meds work perfectly for me and they always have. If I must take these pills for the rest of my life, so be it. It's a hard realization to come to that I may be dependent on man made chemicals in order to have a happy fulfilling life. But the benefits of taking these meds far outweigh the negatives.

 

On a side note, I also met an amazing woman who has added a whole new meaning and enjoyment to my life. I always thought that having a woman in my life would help eliminate some of my negative thinking and low self esteem I've always struggled with. And to my satisfaction, I was right about that all along. I do know that relationships aren't the CURE for anything, and I can't depend on someone else for my own happiness, but it sure helps a lot! I am now more confident and outgoing than ever, and I am naturally a confident outgoing person to begin with. I think the best part about it is, I no longer have the social anxiety that I associated with being single. I used to get really anxious around attractive women my own age, especially if they where single. Not like I was shy or afraid to talk to women, I just did't know how to act natural and that would make me feel really uncomfortable. The anxiety and awkwardness around attractive women is now a thing of the past, which helps greatly reduce my overall anxiety level, and therefore my depression as well. The other positive is that my girlfriend is perfectly okay with me taking meds, she also struggles with anxiety/depression and panic attacks which she has recently began taking meds for herself. It is so helpful to have someone close to me who understands and is supportive of anything I'm going through regarding anxiety/depression and medication.

2008 - started Remeron 15mg

2010 - started Wellbutron XL 150mg

2011 - Wellbutron XL up to 450mg

2014 - tried to taper off both drugs with no luck

2015 - successfully tapered off Wellbutron

2016 - attempted taper off of Remeron over 5 months, went into bad withdrawal, stayed off for 2-3 months and symptoms did not get much better, very bad insomnia

In the beginning of October I reinstated on a 3mg dose of Remeron, got sick twice after reinstatement and then stabilized, sleeping well now but very low energy and depression is getting worse

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