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Dr Ken Gillman says Mirtazapine is not an anti depressant

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Boardwalk

Research Dr. Ken Gillman saying that Mirtazapine (Remeron) is actually not an anti depressant.

 

Unbelievable.

 

I am just starting to taper from 7.5 mg and will experiment a little with the % that I cut to see how it feels.

 

 

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AntiDFree

Thank you for posting this topic.

I am still on 45mg of mirtazapine. I was prescribed it 12 years ago as an antidote to the sexual dysfunction experienced from the prozac. It worked. I expect that I will be tapering from that at some point after I'm finished with the prozac withdrawals. I've done some reading of the scientific data on mirtazapine and I'm not sure how deeply it has gripped my brain. I hope not as much as the Prozac did. It seems to be a different breed for lack of a better vocabulary regarding these drugs. I think the prozac has been the real "masking" drug for my normal sense of feelings and responsible for my inability to really feel and process normal emotions.

Thank you again for posting this.

Mark

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Hopefull

I am coming off Mirtazapine as well.

If Mitrazapine is not an antidepressant, what is it?

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Boardwalk

I am coming off Mirtazapine as well.

If Mitrazapine is not an antidepressant, what is it?

The doctor, who is well versed in this subject, calls it a simple, although strong anti histamine.....

I have been tapering this with big cuts, and feel ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.  The doctor is right.

I will continue to reduce slowly, just because it makes sense not to change anything abruptly,

but I can tell you having had a boat load of experience tapering off codeine, methadone and just in the

last month Xanax, which was by  far the worst, that Mirazapine is just what the doctor calls it: 

an antihistamine.

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Boardwalk

His explanation which is way above my pay grade.   :)

 

http://www.psychotropical.com/2-uncategorised/130-mirtazapine-tranylcypromine

 

No matter what he wants to call it, I still found it very hard to get of even with a slow taper.

 

CS

If you read it carefully, he says it is an anti histamine.  I have found him to be exactly right as my

taper is going so smoothly, I don't feel ANY problems at all.....Refer to my response to hopeful for more.

I will say it does wonders at night to put one at ease and to sleep.  But it is a harmless antihistamine.

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dalsaan

 

His explanation which is way above my pay grade. :)

 

http://www.psychotropical.com/2-uncategorised/130-mirtazapine-tranylcypromine

 

No matter what he wants to call it, I still found it very hard to get of even with a slow taper.

 

CS

 

If you read it carefully, he says it is an anti histamine. I have found him to be exactly right as my

taper is going so smoothly, I don't feel ANY problems at all.....Refer to my response to hopeful for more.

I will say it does wonders at night to put one at ease and to sleep. But it is a harmless antihistamine.

That has not been everyone's experience. You have been on Mirtazapine for a very short period of time

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compsports

Thanks Dalsaan for precisely echoing my thoughts.

 

I was on that "harmless antihistamine"  :rolleyes: for years which caused horrific rebound insomnia when I tried to get off of it even with a very slow taper.  And of course, all the other cognitive issues that come with withdrawal.   And being on it caused weight gain and contributed to a hearing loss.

 

The only reason I didn't get dismissed from a temp job when I was trying to get off of this "harmless drug"  :rolleyes: was I had a very understanding supervisor.   

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AntiDFree

I started a sharp taper 8 weeks ago after I ran out. My Dad had a reserve supply of 15 mg tabs, which he takes for sleep. I started taking them when my 45mg tabs ran out. I began experiencing strong anxiety and increased emotional sensitivity, then increased my dose. I went back to my Dr. And got resupplied for 6 months. I quickly got back on them because they were exacerbating my Prozac withdrawal symptoms, which had began a steep increase of wave after wave of intense emotions. I will wait for months for the Prozac WD's to subside first then taper. My instincts tell me that Mirtazapine WDs', if I have them, will be milder and less intrusive. Although others have posted adverse reactions, I don't think my body is going to have as hard of a time as Prozac. I also benefit from the sedative side affect by taking it at bedtime, but like my prozac, I don't want my emotions and normal body sensations masked.

I like to feel what is going on inside me. I count it a blessing, even when the feelings are sadness or pain- that's normal to feel, just not necessarily in the measure that the WDs' are delivering. I have moments of more normal levels of emotional movements and they are often absolutely delightful to "feel," whereas before dropping the prozac and Klonazepam a felt disconnected from my emotions and they rarely surfaced unless in response to something very intense.

I guess it is safe to say that everyone is different in the way their body responds. My body is very sensitive to medications and it's own feelings, as I'm learning. The upside to increased sensitivity is that when I feel positive emotions like love, and connection to others, it is enriching rather than bland. I'm learning to be more and more open to the (so-called) negative emotions and realize that they too are necessary and go hand-in-hand with the positive emotions (Yen and Yang).

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Altostrata

Boardwalk, why is this meaningful to you? Do you think you're tapering an antihistamine?

 

You are tapering a drug with some action as an antihistamine and strong effect on the nervous system. Some people interpret these effects as antidepressant. Mirtazapine is widely prescribed as an antidepressant. FDA information about mirtazapine https://www.drugs.com/pro/mirtazapine-tablets.html

 

As others have noted above, a successful rate of taper is highly individual. When the taper is too precipitous, rebound insomnia can result, as well as other withdrawal symptoms typical of antidepressants: Surges of anxiety, nausea, depersonalization, dizziness, etc.

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Terry4949

I have been in protracted withdrawel for 3 years and I have just come of lyrica 75mg cold turkey as my doctor said that as I am getting no benifit from it we might as well stop it , and ibelieve it has set me back even further , believe it or not he has given me klonopine to help reduce the anxiety , but I am not going to take it , the thing is about mirtazapine wether he thinks they are a antidepressant or not I have reduced from 30mg to 15mg and it has been as bad as when I withdrew from Effexor , all these drugs effect the cns and when it is distabilized like ours , caution is always the best policy , I hope to get of Mirt as I hate it and I believe it is hampering my recovery , but I have always felt that it has had no effect on depression ,

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Boardwalk

Boardwalk, why is this meaningful to you? Do you think you're tapering an antihistamine?

 

You are tapering a drug with some action as an antihistamine and strong effect on the nervous system. Some people interpret these effects as antidepressant. Mirtazapine is widely prescribed as an antidepressant. FDA information about mirtazapine https://www.drugs.com/pro/mirtazapine-tablets.html

 

As others have noted above, a successful rate of taper is highly individual. When the taper is too precipitous, rebound insomnia can result, as well as other withdrawal symptoms typical of antidepressants: Surges of anxiety, nausea, depersonalization, dizziness, etc.

This is meaningful to me because I have to taper off of it and having heard this news that Mirtazapine does not affect serotonin levels in the brain made all the difference to me.  Like they all say, everyone is different and I have been reducing by 10% daily and felt nothing.

My apologies if others experiencing difficulties.

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scallywag

Just a note for future reference: Boardwalk is tapering mirtazapine quickly because he has been on the medication for only 4 weeks. This pace, 10% daily, is not recommended, and especially not recommended for anyone who has been on Remeron/mirtazapine for longer than 4 weeks.

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genlady

I have been in protracted withdrawel for 3 years and I have just come of lyrica 75mg cold turkey as my doctor said that as I am getting no benifit from it we might as well stop it , and ibelieve it has set me back even further , believe it or not he has given me klonopine to help reduce the anxiety , but I am not going to take it , the thing is about mirtazapine wether he thinks they are a antidepressant or not I have reduced from 30mg to 15mg and it has been as bad as when I withdrew from Effexor , all these drugs effect the cns and when it is distabilized like ours , caution is always the best policy , I hope to get of Mirt as I hate it and I believe it is hampering my recovery , but I have always felt that it has had no effect on depression ,

Lyrica is an anti seizure medication and is also used for pain.  It is not an anti depressant.

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InvisibleUnless

i dont understand three theories people have mentioned here so far, including the implications in the article under discussion:

 

1. serotonergic changes = antidepressant properties (or the converse, especially given the statistically insignificant clinical trial outcomes for SSRIs)

2. no strong affinity for serotonin receptors = "does not affect serotonin levels in the brain"

3. antihistamine = no worries about withdrawal syndrome

 

each of them is incorrect.  what we classify a medication as is not strictly based on binding activity or experiential results, and does not specify whether a withdrawal syndrome or rebound phenomena may occur during dose reductions or following complete cessation.  so, to clarify:

 

1. no particular focus or action "makes" something an antidepressant - that is strictly a marketing term and no chemical "antidepresses"

2. neurotransmitter activity is intermodulatory between receptor types and systems - histaminic action does not happen in a vacuum, isolated from everything else like serotonergic functioning

3. antihistamines as a class, most of which are very clearly psychotropic, can commonly involve withdrawal syndromes and neuropsychiatric rebound effects

 

as with any drugs, some people have an easier time quitting them than others.  we cannot generalize personal experiences to determine what others will experience, though they should serve as limited information on what can be experienced.  anyone wanting sources for these clarifications is free to make a request.  i am ever in the process of compiling a personal library, and cataloguing relevant links to medical journals.

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btdt

I would not get too excited about this all ADs were based on an antihistamine... most or all as far as I know have anti histamine action which causes the histamine problems when you try to taper off.... also why I don't suggest using an antihistamine for sleep ect in wd ... I did it a couple of times after not sleeping 4 days that was my cut off point... after that I was nut house material... so chose 1/3 of a benadryl over hosp... and it worked I slept but always felt my overall withdrawal was pushed back by taking it. 

 

We have learned a lot since I did hard withdrawal 9 years ago... what surprises me some is a doctor did not know these drugs were all based on antihistamines so will have some of their effects... some of the time so many types now... 

 

from what I read when I was going thru it some people get addicted to antihistamines using them to get thru wd... just replacing one drug for another... 

peace

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TeaBea

I'm just now wandering outside the Relationship forum.....  

 

This thing about these meds being "antihistamines"?  My husband has been complaining about his lips getting really red and sometimes full-face "flushing" (blushing) after he gets to work of a morning.  He's a bit embarrassed by it, so he's complained off-and-on about it.  I asked him when he first noticed this happening and it's around the same time-frame as when he started his w/d from Effexor.  I always just thought it was a coincidence.

 

Lips are not red before leaving for work.  He takes his very low amount of Effexor (approx. 9 mg) right before leaving for work.  After getting there, he notices red lips.  Could this possibly be related to Effexor w/d?

 

Thanks.

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PabloHoney825

Yes, especially at the lower doses Mirtazpaine affects histamine receptors more than anything. However, as others have pointed out, changes with neurotransmitters don't happen in a vacuum. I had a horrific cold turkey off of mirtazpaine. I don't recommend a CT but I needed to get off of it after an adverse reaction to it after fluctuating my dosage with it. Up and down in dose just sensitized my CNS to it so when I took it after a few days off I ended up in the ER. Things settled a bit after until I took a 1st gen ANTIHISTAMINE (doxylamine) two weeks later which did the exact same thing again and really set me back- adrenaline surges, dysautonomic and cardiac issues, shaking, tremors,  parasthesia, constant limbic FEAR for months. I had to go on Klonopin and have been dealing with that slow taper ever since with it's own complications. I'm not even sure I'm completely healed from the mirtazapine withdrawal- although my symptoms seem to be more from benzo withdrawal now and slightly more subtle. I'm functioning (barely) and able to work so I'm thankful for that. 

 

I suggested something about my histamine receptors to two neurologists who tried to tell me I have an anxiety disorder I need to take care of. It was rather insulting, considering up until these two reactions and subsequent withdrawal, I regularly gave public speeches to large crowds of hundreds for work and never used to stress about anything. Now some days are merely surviving and I dread even a one-on-one with a client. Ironically, I'm a vocational rehabilitation counselor with graduate education in mental health counseling. 

 

I truly believe there's more to it with remeron/mirtazpaine withdrawal than just seretonic downregulation. It's an outside the box withdrawal.

 

I had another adverse reaction to Bentyl a week ago which set me back a little although not as severe. This could just be a sensitized CNS but perhaps it hit too close to home as an anticholinergic which mimicked some of what the anti-histamines did best--sedation . I'll never know what's really going on in my brain but I can say for sure that this has been hell. Be careful with mirtazapine or any psychotropic for that matter. 

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AntiDFree

mirtzapine is my last drug taper from a four year taper program off several drugs. My experiences with tapering haven't always been of the conventional variety. I tend to lean to the perspective that since these drugs have such a profound affect on me emotionally and energetically there is more I can do to help the movement to recovery with non scientific approaches. I have had strong emotional reactions that I have been able to moderate and flush through by using mindfulness practices. There- that's the plug for mindfulness practices. The mirtazapine has been as destabilizing to me as the other two anti depressants. Call it what you want; argue about the science, but the real proof is in the direct experience that any person has when coming off (this nasty ****)  period. My mirtazapine taper just recently went from 22.5 mg  to 16.5 mg. I see a noticeable increase in sensations and re-activeness. I don't retreat in my taper if things get intense, but I have (or did have) had a lot of trauma in my past that has had to be experienced and healed because the drugs have masked it for a long time. Real emotional charges not caused by the drugs. Whether you believe it or not doesn't matter. Some people have a lot of intense emotional energy latent beneath the masking that these drugs do. That may also explain the debate around mirtazapine. I count it a blessing when the intense emotions arise because I know it's my body returning to normal, and when it passes, I feel more connected. My feeling nature is coming back into alignment- the thing that most people have lost. And I may get flamed for saying this but: don't resist the sensations. Go into them, and give them some attention as something that wasn't allowed to be felt before so that it will pass through your body and clear medically, scientifically, and mindfully.

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MRothbard

I tapered off Mirtazipine with virtually no withdrawal symptoms. Lexapro not so much.

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AntiDFree

Thanks for that input. I have had only mild symptoms since my most recent taper. Mild compared to what I have experienced from the stronger drugs.  I find that very encouraging for me. I will likely drop down to 5mg from 11mg soon, then wrap it up soon after that. So glad to be almost done. So glad you sailed through yours.

The acceptance of these drugs in our world represents a level of ignorance and irresponsibility that cannot yet be fathomed.

There is a Zen saying: to understand all is to forgive all. And of course: forgive them father for they know not what they do.

And my own version: unconsciousness cannot reveal unconsciousness.

Peace!!

Mark

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FarmGirlWorks
1 hour ago, AntiDFree said:

And my own version: unconsciousness cannot reveal unconsciousness.

Love this. I just am floored by how antidepressants are normalized by the dominant culture. I strive to become conscious and think others in my life are being educated along the way.

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Henosis
On 12/4/2016 at 12:29 PM, InvisibleUnless said:

i dont understand three theories people have mentioned here so far, including the implications in the article under discussion:

 

1. serotonergic changes = antidepressant properties (or the converse, especially given the statistically insignificant clinical trial outcomes for SSRIs)

2. no strong affinity for serotonin receptors = "does not affect serotonin levels in the brain"

3. antihistamine = no worries about withdrawal syndrome

 

each of them is incorrect.  what we classify a medication as is not strictly based on binding activity or experiential results, and does not specify whether a withdrawal syndrome or rebound phenomena may occur during dose reductions or following complete cessation.  so, to clarify:

 

1. no particular focus or action "makes" something an antidepressant - that is strictly a marketing term and no chemical "antidepresses"

2. neurotransmitter activity is intermodulatory between receptor types and systems - histaminic action does not happen in a vacuum, isolated from everything else like serotonergic functioning

3. antihistamines as a class, most of which are very clearly psychotropic, can commonly involve withdrawal syndromes and neuropsychiatric rebound effects

 

as with any drugs, some people have an easier time quitting them than others.  we cannot generalize personal experiences to determine what others will experience, though they should serve as limited information on what can be experienced.  anyone wanting sources for these clarifications is free to make a request.  i am ever in the process of compiling a personal library, and cataloguing relevant links to medical journals.

 

Great response. The original article seems to have been removed, but the premise was absurd.  No it’s not an SSRI (IIRC it’s a tetracyclic), and yes, it has strong antihistaminergic properties. However, it’s serotonin 2a/2c antagonism causes “antidepressant” effects. (Or at least serotonergic and downstream norepinephrine/dopamine changes).

 

Anecdotally, an acquaintance of mine tapered Mirtazapine quickly. She experienced most of the SSRI WD symptoms that I have from Paxil, although it was shorter lived and less severe. 

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