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Alex3: total insomnia after 6 months reinstatement


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  • Mentor

Hiya mate @Alex3,

 

I’ve had a read through your history and wanted to offer my view on said situation. Whatever you do I wouldn’t cold turkey.

 

At this point you’ve been on the mirtazapine 15mg for what, 8 months? I’d hazard to guess that you’re about as stable as you’re gonna get without dragging out the process. At this point I’d say it’s probably anxiety/stress that’s causing some of the sleep disruption. Unfortunately the more you obsess over sleep the worse it gets.

 

I know, I’ve been there ha, and I’ve come out the other side. I don’t know if you work a stressful job but that could definitely be impacting things, even if you don’t think it is. Obviously you can’t just throw your job in the bin and allocate a year of your life to this.

 

Id say your best best would be a nice long micro taper, and you just have to accept you’re gonna get insomnia from this drug withdrawal. You’ll get bad nights but you just have to remember to keep powering on. Do the brass monkey slide taper or something and just tell yourself that you promise to stick with the process.

 

Just my thoughts on your situation, I know I’m not looking forward to the mirtazapine taper. Good luck mate.
 

 

Nothing I say or do is based on medical advice. I make my own choices based on intuition gained through individual research, and a lot of suffering. My intro
CURRENT MEDICATION:

1. Sertraline: 50mg October 2020; 100mg December 2020; 50mg April 2021; 75mg May 2021; 50mg 18 September 2021; big crash 6 December 2021; holding

Current dose: 50mg (Sep 2022)

2. Mirtazapine: 15mg November 2020;

Current dose: 15mg (Sep 2022)

 

PAST MEDICATION

1. Amitriptyline: 20mg Dec 2016 for epigastric pain; 10mg Dec 2017; 0mg Oct 2018 - no withdrawal symp.

 

SUPPLEMENTS: Magnesium Citrate;

LIFESTYLE: No alcohol, nicotine or caffeine

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Hello Erimus, thank you for contributing, the smallest crumb of encouragement / comfort can be priceless at times like these. When I'm out the other side, I'll hopefully be able to offer the same guidance to someone else struggling

 

Just out the shower and about to go for a walk (incidentally, I'm on my phone typing this with a blue light screen protector)

 

Cold turkey has been pushed away. Just the despair kicking in

 

Though I am considering taking an indefinite period of time focussing on kicking this tbh

 

I'm heavily considering your advice. Seems well thought out

 

What dose are you currently on?

 

I also wonder if something simple as being able to lower the noraepherine / epherine / cortisol could prove pivotal? 

 

EDIT!!

 

Just read your profile for your doseages. Looks like you're quite a bit there (as are a number of people I know). And I'm struggling to just juggle the 15mg Mirtazapine in isolation!!

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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  • Mentor

@Alex3 I completely understand the despair feelings. Sometimes I get so sick of the drugs that I want to bin them and jump off, I have to remind myself that I’d regret it and normally come on the forum to knock some sense into myself.

 

Yeah, I’m down 50% on sertraline compared to what I was taking a year ago. I’ve definitely done it the hard way though with big cuts and changes. Thankfully I found this site and now understand how to do things safely so I shouldn’t have to suffer as much as I have this last year.

 

I used to spend all my time searching for answers. Things about cortisol, adrenal fatigue and all sorts of other problems. Eventually I came to realise that these things would correct themselves once I got off the sertraline and allowed my nervous system to heal, unfortunately it’s gonna take me some time.

 

One thing I read which always sticks in my mind. It always ends up being quicker doing a slow taper than jumping off and dealing with the ensuing chaos.

Nothing I say or do is based on medical advice. I make my own choices based on intuition gained through individual research, and a lot of suffering. My intro
CURRENT MEDICATION:

1. Sertraline: 50mg October 2020; 100mg December 2020; 50mg April 2021; 75mg May 2021; 50mg 18 September 2021; big crash 6 December 2021; holding

Current dose: 50mg (Sep 2022)

2. Mirtazapine: 15mg November 2020;

Current dose: 15mg (Sep 2022)

 

PAST MEDICATION

1. Amitriptyline: 20mg Dec 2016 for epigastric pain; 10mg Dec 2017; 0mg Oct 2018 - no withdrawal symp.

 

SUPPLEMENTS: Magnesium Citrate;

LIFESTYLE: No alcohol, nicotine or caffeine

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Wise words. I'm very much in acceptance / concede stage now (though admittedly pretty nihilistic)

 

Great to hear you've made progress. How are finding those supplements?

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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Another thing, apart from the crippling insomnia and a bit of headache here and there, I'm not suffering as I could be.

 

In the past, I've felt / noticed as if leading up to ingesting time, my body was craving the drug and then would settle and sedation would kick in. Now its possibly the opposite... I feel steady and stable and then take the drug kicks up some epherine / cortisol type effect... almost a reversal

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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  • Mentor

@Alex3 Most of the supplements I take I started about a month before I descended into the world of psychiatric madness. Nobody could work out why I felt so terrible, turns out it was a lot of stress, anxiety and insomnia. As I’m sure you understand. I figured it would be safer to just continue them all for now. I don’t really notice anything from them, but they’re probably doing more than I think.

 

Do you find that sometimes the mirtazapine is heavily sedating and other times not at all? Seems to be such a wide variation each night.

Nothing I say or do is based on medical advice. I make my own choices based on intuition gained through individual research, and a lot of suffering. My intro
CURRENT MEDICATION:

1. Sertraline: 50mg October 2020; 100mg December 2020; 50mg April 2021; 75mg May 2021; 50mg 18 September 2021; big crash 6 December 2021; holding

Current dose: 50mg (Sep 2022)

2. Mirtazapine: 15mg November 2020;

Current dose: 15mg (Sep 2022)

 

PAST MEDICATION

1. Amitriptyline: 20mg Dec 2016 for epigastric pain; 10mg Dec 2017; 0mg Oct 2018 - no withdrawal symp.

 

SUPPLEMENTS: Magnesium Citrate;

LIFESTYLE: No alcohol, nicotine or caffeine

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Leading up to Xmas (and after the clocks change), I was taking the 15mg at 21:00 and often by 21:30 I'd be very drowsy with a battle to wake up in the morning. Oh how I miss those days.

 

In Nov (iirc), I got some gastro which put me out of action for a few days and left me depleted. I summised my body was crying out for magnesium / potassium etc. and so I did relax a touch on the high oxalate foods, such as having a bit of oatmeal.

 

Anyway, fast forward to Xmas and the pressure to not be Scrooge / Grinch got a bit much (plus I was missing choc, potatoes etc. and I was stable). I relented and started indulging in bits of chocolate, roast potatoes, had a sandwich that had spinach in it etc. Didn't think too much about it.

 

Then the insomnia returned 30th Dec 2021 and since then it's been a battle to reset to what I was. All things considered, I could be looking at another 4-6 weeks. You forget this in the midst of the insomnia, where just one night takes its toll

 

Terms like "kindling" and "poop out" fill me with dread, but I don't think that's applicable here. I think windows and waves and "reinstatement" are the things to remember here

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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@Alex3 I totally know where you're coming from. The desire to have done with the drug makes CT appealing.

I don't think anyone one this site would advocate cold turkey but if you've been on the same dose for 6 months and haven't seen any improvement then you are caught between a rock and a hard place. 

 

If you have seen improvement though then I would re-evaluate as CT is so unpredictable and the insomnia might still settle yet. It may not return to what it was pre-tapering but if you can mostly function then it may suffice. 

2011 - started 15 mg mirtazepine. 2015- successfully tapered off. 2016 - Reinstated on 3.75mg as a sleep aid. July 2019 - 3.75mg Stopped working, increased to 15 then 22.5mg.Sept 2020 initiated slow liquid taper. Sept 2021 at 7.5mg for 3 months hit very bad withdrawals (also very stressed). Increased dose to 30 for 3 weeks then reduced to 22.5mg3rd Nov - Started magnesium supplement. 3rd Nov - started oestrogen hrt gel. 20th Dec - stopped oestrogen after 3 week taper. Currently still on 22.5mg mirtazepine and oral magnesium. 12/1 started with 1 capsule omega 3 fish oil. 14/ developed very loose motions so stopping the fish oil. 14/2/2022: after 5 months on the same dose decided to restart taper with a 5% cut: 21.4mg mirtazepine. Low histamine diet and magnesium. 14/03 reduced another 5% 20. 25mg 01/05 reduced to 19mg 01/06 reduced to 18.3mg 01/08 reduced to 17.3 mg

 

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Hi Jools, yeah, I think there's two key elements here.

 

Firstly, if the Mirt has been "dislodged" / "kicked out" / not absorbed as what seems to be the case here (even the Drs have started to acknowledge it) then there needs to be a sustained period where the body is metabolising it at the same point each night without any interaction / interference
 

By extension, the second key element is that it also seems to take 4-6 weeks to stabilise properly. In fairness, it's only been a few weeks even if it has felt much longer. The first proper blip (and the immediate removal of the intake of oxalates) was only 30th Dec 2021 so as I say we're talking just 3 weeks of "doing what needs to be done" (in my bespoke / idiosyncratic / obscure / quirky / unusual scenario).

 

What seems to personally signal a Mirtazapine KO is a dopamine rush / subtle yet euphoric high (which only took place two and half weeks ago) circa. Wednes 5th Jan 2022. It's a bizarre feeling. Lovely in isolation, but I now recognise it as preceding the beginning of withdrawal (this is the type of thing that Drs misdiagnose with bipolar and needing "mood stabilisers") and so I now meet it with absolute dread. If I have some beetroot / spinach / potato with skin, this seems to cause it

 

In my case (forgive the personal details), this effect on the dopamine receptors creates an astonishing u-turn on my libido. I go from pretty underwhelming to suddenly capable of several erections in an hour. All very odd and disconcerting

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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Hi all, got some sleep last night 22:00ish (wasn't loitering for long) - 05:55ish. Weird dreams, but not nightmares. No Zoplicone

 

Must be the window and wave scenario that I'm facing. Again, without the insight provided by this place, I wouldn't know about that. So, thanks again. Another batch of sleep tonight and I can work tomorrow and return Monday morning.

 

Just got to be patient when hitting these waves.

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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Trying to think ahead regarding the gargantuan task of trying to get off this stuff, this recent article is interesting:

 

https://www.madintheuk.com/2021/12/tapering-antidepressants-slow-best-strategy/

 

James Moore, the chap who is advocating tapering strips.

 

He's subtly looking at things a bit differently in this article (I think). He talks about the tapering 10% method perhaps not necessarily being optimal as it prolongs the exposure time to the drug. 10%, hold a month, 10%, hold a month, 10%, hold a month etc. Which is going to take at least 2 years, give or take.

 

I have suspicions that by getting off the drug, but then finding the ability to endure the withdrawals that hit could prove better in the long run. I'm just exploring ideas atm. Put it this way, you can taper and still face the descent into hell anyway. Perhaps, the best method is to steel yourself and get prepped for that (similar to an opoid/heroin/benzo addict). Face the agony as soon as possible and wait to get out with support and a blank canvas

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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Hi, 

Just wanted to say that these drugs are not as simple as heroin. Many times I have wished I had a heroin addiction and could just go and do a brutal detox somewhere but slow and steady seems the only way to go with these. It's not easy to accept but it's true. All the best lilabella. 

11 July 2018 3.75mg zopiclone 14 days missed one dose at least doubled one dose 

22 July 2018 2 mg Valium one week ish

30/july/18 quetiapine 25

31/july/2018 quetiapine 100

1/August/2018 quetiapine 200

14/August/2018 quetiapine 100

14/ September /2018 Quetiapine 87.5mg

Not doing so well on this drop. 

many changes up and down as doctors didn't believe me when I said I needed to go slowly down. Withdrawal became impossible to function and I was hospitalised. 

Feb 2021- now  10 mg olanzapine 

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Hi Lilabella, yes, you're right. Patience, patience, patience. Thanks for reinforcing, what a mind battle!

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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Hi all, thought I'd check in. I'm doing okay. I do get some sleep, but it is filled with intense dreams/nightmares, which is taking its toll tbh. However, I'm working functioning, showering, chores etc. so there's a lot to be said for that. It's gruelling stuff all this and people keep asking, "can't you get some help?", but honestly, this place is all I and we have, so thank you for that and hope you're all doing okay. Please do let me know your own progress. Best wishes, Alex

 

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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Hi all, just checking in with a quick question:

 

Utrecht University tapering strips

 

versus

 

Compounding pharmacy(ies) — there appears to be one in London

 

Anyone with any experience with either option?

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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I don't know of a doctor who would sign off on the tapering strips, and they seem to go very fast. Compounding pharmacy sounds good members on here have used them with success. I'm thinking of @ChessieCat in particular. Pricey though. 

Let me know how you get on. I'm just planning on a liquid taper which is a bloody nightmare of maths( my absolute worst subject) but I foot have the funds for the other options. Hope you are OK today..sounds like you are pushing on well. What a nightmare ride. 

11 July 2018 3.75mg zopiclone 14 days missed one dose at least doubled one dose 

22 July 2018 2 mg Valium one week ish

30/july/18 quetiapine 25

31/july/2018 quetiapine 100

1/August/2018 quetiapine 200

14/August/2018 quetiapine 100

14/ September /2018 Quetiapine 87.5mg

Not doing so well on this drop. 

many changes up and down as doctors didn't believe me when I said I needed to go slowly down. Withdrawal became impossible to function and I was hospitalised. 

Feb 2021- now  10 mg olanzapine 

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  • Moderator
On 1/31/2022 at 10:14 PM, Alex3 said:

Anyone with any experience with either option?

 

Some years ago I was in contact with the pharmacy in The Netherlands that produces them. Also with the psychiatrist (Utrecht) and a researcher behind this project. It is a big step forward, but quite expensive in my opinion. And the used tapering schemes still go much too fast for a lot of people. Certainly to SA standards (10% per month as an average).

 

It is possible however to ask for tapering schemes that go much slower and which are custom made. But extremely low dosages are not offered. For example the lowest dose for Prozac is 0,1 mg. Not everyone is able to jump to zero there.

 

Schemes per drug can be seen here. https://www.taperingstrip.nl/voorschrijven-en-bestellen/?q=

 

Per drug are several different schemes to offered. And custom made strips is a possibility too, if people want/need to go slower.

1993    Anafranil (Clomipramine) for a few months. Later in 1993 Paxil for a few months 1993- 2006      No medication

2006   Effexor, Cymbalta, some Benzo’s. All for short periods. Later in 2006 Lexapro (escitalopram) 10 mg and shortly after Wellbutrin XR 150mg, against side effects Lexapro 

Since 2006 until end of 2015: Several times on and off Lexapro and Wellbutrin and several slight dosage changes. Mostly taken dosages: 5mg Lexapro and 150mg Wellbutrin

2016  Dosage change Lexapro from 5mg to 2,5 mg. Wellbutrin stayed om 150mg

November 2016 – April 2017 Down from 2,5mg to 0,6mg Lexapro (in steps) without much problems. Wellbutrin down from 150mg to 66mg. Also without much problems.

April 2017 – March 2019       Lexapro 0,6 mg        April 2017 - August 2018       Wellbutrin in small steps down from 66mg in to 37,5 mg . Quite heavy WD after each step.

March 2019 – May 2019 Lexapro down from 0,6 to 0,3mg then Prozac to 0,6 mg switch because severe discontinuation effects (may also have been from Wellbutrin..)    

Wellbutrin down from 37,5mg to 35,3mg 

October 2019        Seroquel 12,5 mg for 4 weeks because of extreme sleeping problems, then weaning off in 2 weeks       Prozac up dosage to 1,2 mg

March 2020     Wellbutrin in 2 steps down from 35,3mg to 33,3mg   Extreme withdrawal affects during 8 months. Stopped tapering Wellbutrin  until total off Prozac. 

February 2020 – November 2020   Prozac down in steps from 1,2mg to 0,57mg. 

Jan 2021  Prozac down to:  0,55> 0,53>0,51mg,   Feb 0,47mg ,  Mar 0,42mg,   Apr 0,37, longer hold because of WD symptoms July 0,36 and hold again, Sept 19 0,35, Sept 26 0,34mg, Oct 3 0,33mg  Long hold of 172 days until March 2022

January 20, 2022:  Wellbutrin from 33,3 to 32,3mg

March 22, 2022 Prozac down from 0,33mg to: 0,30mg, Apr 0,29, May 0,28, 0,27, June 0,26, 0,25, July 0,24, 0,23, 0,22, 0,21, Aug 0,20, 0,19 Sep 0,18 

 

Supplements: Fish Oil (3000mg), Magnesium 100 mg, 2 drops of Lavender Oil when feeling anxiety. 50mg of L-Theanine when severe discontinuation effects caused by Wellbutrin

 

Please note this is NOT a medical advice. Discuss all your medical issues with a doctor who understands psychical drugs and really knows how to withdraw from them. I wish that you will find one.

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  • Administrator

@Alex3 tapering strips are in fact doses compounded to your prescription. You may find it more convenient to deal with a local compounding pharmacy.

 

Tapering strips require you to choose a length of taper, e.g. 24 months to 0mg, then they calculate the dosage per day you need to meet that goal. If you want to change the daily dose, you change the length of taper -- shorter or longer.

 

From your signature, I understand you went off 6.75mg mirtazapine in May 2021, then shortly later reinstated 15mg, is that correct? Why did you choose 15mg? After you reinstated, when did you start sleeping again?

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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@Lilabella (@ is quite literally the key :-)) First of all, nice to meet a fellow South West Englander! I saw you'd been on the Bristol face-to-face get-together

 

Yeah, I tried printing out a load of stuff regarding the Utrecht University tapering strips for a GP in 2020 (including James Moore's specific instructions on his Youtube comment section) and they were more than very reticent, hence how I ended up on the liquid. I'm glad that the compounding pharmacy can be vouched for. Also means I can (in theory) stick with the North Star/Accord tablets that my body is accustomed to (and not switch to liquid or Utrecht's version of Mirtazapine... we get told, "there's no difference", alas our bodies tell us otherwise). Honestly, getting free from these meds is my no.1 life goal so whatever it costs, it costs.

 

Hope you are well too. I'm pretty frazzled with the lively dreams, but soldiering on. Cheers Lilabella and keep going. I confess to having never heard of your medications in your profile.

 

@Go2zero Hi Go2Zero, thanks for checking in. I noticed when I looked at one of Utrecht's hypothetical tapering plans / graph that the timeline seemed pretty rapid, which admittedly appeals, but I've learnt the ultimate nightmare arises when we go too quick. One of the advantages with the liquid is that you go at your own pace on a day-by-day basis. Something that helped when I went too quick in my original attempt at tapering. 0.90ml to 0.84ml over the course of 7 days iirc (have it noted elsewhere) and had to reinstate back to 0.90 as I had gone too quick. With the liquid I had the option of doing that. These tapering strips don't necessarily build in the option to hold on an ad-hoc basis.

 

@AltostrataHi Alto, was listening to yourself on a podcast (from Aug 2020) the other day, great job.

 

Ah, looking at your comment, am I correct in thinking that instead of Utrecht creating their own Mirtazapine, they too are compounding the prescribed Mirtazapine and then working with you to decide a schedule..? Meanwhile, the London pharmacy may be more a case of ordering on a month-by-month basis? May allow more flexibility to build in emergency holds..?

 

****

 

What happened was this:

 

mid 2020: immediate failed taper just one day I failed to take the drug (got given the standard don't take a pill, then then next night take a pill, etc we know the drill). I immediately reinstated within two days and then left it a few months at 15mg a night. During this time I learned of the 10% a month rule and tried to get tapering strips (hence the print off I mention just above).

 

December 2020: I obtain the liquid and switch over, continuing at 15mg, albeit on the liquid. I then start tapering at 0.01ml every 3 or 4 days. This seemed a steady pace and balance and equated to 10% every 30-40 days or so and would have finished the taper by around Sept 2021 at this pace. Important to note that I didn't then hold on each intervening month at the same dose that is advised on here (ie no hold at 0.90ml, 0.80ml, 0.70ml etc.).

 

This is where it possibly gets a bit complex to convey:

 

The liquid taper from December 2020 15mg to May 2021 6.75mg passed without much fanfare. I was improving to many observers and looking forward to September 2021 when the taper would end. I did need to take the liquid syringe at 19:30 (my sensitive state noticed when it was used beyond the 6 week degradation point and if I went too quickly by just a few 0.01mls) to get me to sleep earlier, but otherwise, steady and stable.

 

May 2021: blood test. I then rapidly changed my diet due to elevated cholesterol. Monday: elevated blood test results and Tuesday: time to be proactive and do something about it.

 

On that first Tuesday I vividly recall sitting at my kitchen table with a glass of beetroot juice and suddenly feeling better than I had done in many, many years. Wonders what concentrating on the proper nutrients can do! (or so I thought). Anyhow, this new-felt state last a few days before Friday resulting in a full-on anxiety/panic attack. The penny still didn't drop until days/weeks later of what I now know as withdrawals.

 

I didn't drop any further in does during this time. It was only when conversing with the GP and my brother did the penny finally drop: my body was going in to withdrawal from the Mirtazapine.

 

But why? The only variable that had changed during this time was my diet, but aside from guidance of watching alcohol and/or sugar intake there's no indicator anywhere that there would be any correlation BUT it was too much of a coincidence.

 

I was now struggling big time with withdrawals. My taper schedule was holding, but I was getting no relief. In desperation, I still happened to hold some North Star/Accord pills in a cupboard. I halved it one night to 7.5mg and took it. Fingers crossed.

 

I started to sleep, but then woke up only a few hours later. Damn. Not the effect I wanted (please note that it's only in hindsight do I realise several of the mistakes I made; I forgive myself - full on withdrawals with no answers or even barely a clue is the depths of hell and confusion).

 

So the next night (desperate for some relief) I took a 15mg Mirtazapine pill, which my body was accustomed to between 2017 and 2020. Fingers crossed I would find some reprieve.

 

It worked! I slept a full night, incredible relief.

 

The next day NHS 111 finally rang. I explained the saga as best as I could. The Dr explained that I had effected the dopamine receptors. We're starting to piece this together.

 

I then stabilised back on 15mg for a few weeks until mid June 2021 and this is where things turned bleak before settling again. Throughout this time till this present day I'm taking 15mg Mirtazapine.

 

Fast forward towards the back end of the summer. I happen to eat some beetroot and guess what? I get some type of dopamine rush before a night of all-out insomnia. I remember sitting at the table with some spinach and a jacket potato and suddenly retching... what on earth is going on?

 

I happen to mention this to my hypnotherapist. "You may be sensitive to oxalates." Ah, the penny dropped

 

To try and be concise, this is what I think has been happening and still happens to this day:

 

I take the 15mg and in theory it is absorbed and metabolised by my liver and body as required. Only my body/liver was seemingly failing to do that... why? Foods high in oxalates can cause kidney stones to some. This is not a concern it seems for myself personally. However, oxalates can also prevent mineral ABSORPTION and by extension (in line with my theory), oxalates can prevent MEDICATION ABSORPTION.

 

Even my GP now acknowledges absorption to be the issue after our latest review over Christmas (chocolate and roast potatoes galore). And guess what? Since avoiding foods high in oxalate since 30th December 2021, things have settled once more.

 

Hope that makes sense. I'm off to bed!

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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  • Administrator

You'd have to ask the tapering strips pharmacy what kind of mirtazapine they put in their preparations.

 

56 minutes ago, Alex3 said:

I then stabilised back on 15mg for a few weeks until mid June 2021 and this is where things turned bleak before settling again.

 

You started taking 15mg mirtazapine in May 2021. Could be that after a couple of weeks, it had ramped up to full steady-state and the dosage was too much for you. How effective did you find it for sleep after June 2021?

 

If you are intolerant of certain foods, that can cause reactions that might prevent you from sleeping. We are not specialists in food intolerance here. You might join a Facebook group for this and work out whatever might be caused by your diet there.

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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@Altostrata the compound pharmacy appears to be the best route at first glance. Will keep trying to pick up info

 

Did the 15mg become too much? It is possible. Had I been on here, the advice would have been stick at 6.75mg and hold out. However, all things considered, absorption over a too high updose / reinstatement was seemingly the central theme, I just didn't realise it for a prolonged time.

 

Once in to July, I slept onwards excellently when the Mirtazapine was absorbed. In fact, by the Xmas of 2021 I was taking it and within 30 mins, I'd be very drowsy. As I say, changing foods which in turn impact absorption seems to be the crux of the matter.

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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@Altostrata yes, perhaps some sensitisation had/has taken place. Post June 2021 I slept generally well and can't recall barely even having many if any dreams/nightmares. The only problems arose when high oxalate foods affected absorption. Otherwise, leading up to Xmas, I was sleeping decently. Nightmares did start kicking in around December iirc

 

Yes, still trying to figure out a lot. I think histamine intolerance is another factor in Mirtazapine withdrawal

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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Where in the south west are you? I never made the meet up but I would think about it again if there were people willing.

On 2/2/2022 at 12:10 AM, Altostrata said:

@Alex3 tapering strips are in fact doses compounded to your prescription. You may find it more convenient to deal with a local compounding pharmacy.

 

Tapering strips require you to choose a length of taper, e.g. 24 months to 0mg, then they calculate the dosage per day you need to meet that goal. If you want to change the daily dose, you change the length of taper -- shorter or longer.

 

From your signature, I understand you went off 6.75mg mirtazapine in May 2021, then shortly later reinstated 15mg, is that correct? Why did you choose 15mg? After you reinstated, when did you start sleeping again?

 

11 July 2018 3.75mg zopiclone 14 days missed one dose at least doubled one dose 

22 July 2018 2 mg Valium one week ish

30/july/18 quetiapine 25

31/july/2018 quetiapine 100

1/August/2018 quetiapine 200

14/August/2018 quetiapine 100

14/ September /2018 Quetiapine 87.5mg

Not doing so well on this drop. 

many changes up and down as doctors didn't believe me when I said I needed to go slowly down. Withdrawal became impossible to function and I was hospitalised. 

Feb 2021- now  10 mg olanzapine 

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@LilabellaNorth Wiltshire

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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Aah a bit far from me I'm in Devon. Hope you are doing OK and getting towards stability. All the best 

11 July 2018 3.75mg zopiclone 14 days missed one dose at least doubled one dose 

22 July 2018 2 mg Valium one week ish

30/july/18 quetiapine 25

31/july/2018 quetiapine 100

1/August/2018 quetiapine 200

14/August/2018 quetiapine 100

14/ September /2018 Quetiapine 87.5mg

Not doing so well on this drop. 

many changes up and down as doctors didn't believe me when I said I needed to go slowly down. Withdrawal became impossible to function and I was hospitalised. 

Feb 2021- now  10 mg olanzapine 

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  • Administrator

Did you ever accidentally forget to take a dose of mirtazapine, or take it many hours off-schedule? 

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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@Lilabella thank you. I happened to notice you were on the SW thread after you'd posted on this one (iirc there was a meet-up circa 2018 and nobody has seemingly posted on the thread since then). Hope you're steady too, keep plugging away and checking in

 

I'm functioning and what sleep I do get is filled with weird dreams (at least the nightmares have relented), but tbh I'm sick of this drug and not sure I can see myself having to take it for another two years, but whatever is the best, rational way to be free I'll do it. I think underneath the Mirtazapine may lie some C-PTSD and/or PTSD (plus the depths of withdrawals were traumatic in itself), plus I may have to withdraw off the month of Citalopram from 2017 (just switched right over), so I'm just preparing myself for the factors involved. Tapering is one thing, actually doing the emotional work and other practical measures (vitamin intakes) are other elements that may need to be considered for full preparation

 

@Altostrata Hi Alto, thank you for checking in. I never once failed to take the Mirtazapine aside from the one night in mid-2020 when you're first told of the alternate-night-doseage-dance. Mid 2021 in the depths of another possible wave after reinstatement, I did take an extra 7.5mg for one night. I was really despairing at that point and summised my body was crying out for mirtazapine to gain relief. A mistake and my Dr told me so.

 

In terms of timing, I always just took the Mirtazapine late at night traditionally. It's since the reinstatement of June 2021 that I have taken it at exactly 10pm every night till the clocks changed, at which I now take it at 9pm on the dot.

 

I've got to tell you, the whole landscape is suspicious. I'm the biggest admirer and advocate of GPs and Dr's, but this has been going to many people for many years. Even my sick note just said "anxiety and lack of sleep", which is fair enough regarding the latter, but it's withdrawals the main theme, yet they're not even willing to write it on a sick note. I'm not interested in aportioning blame, I just wish to be heard and for them to know how to get off these pharmaceuticals and how difficult it is.

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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  • Mentor
On 1/4/2022 at 5:00 AM, Alex3 said:

The second most disturbing part is the lonliness and the conflicting information between Dr's and the experiences of those who have struggled with this drug.

 

 

Hello and welcome my friend @Alex3!

 

I know this feeling too well. It's terrifying. You slowly start to realize doctors are in a completely different page and often times, simply unable to help us.

 

It is not because they are evil. They are many times simply misinformed, and even if they truly desire to help us... They just can't.

 

I'm glad you found this website and that you trust us. This is the place where I found the life saving information that allowed me to heal and get my life back.

 

peace + healing

- Escitalopram 10mg from ages 15 - 21

- Severe crash after 4 month taper to 0

- Reinstated, stabilized, slowly tapering.

 

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." - Hellen Keller

I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • Administrator

The Facebook mirtazapine group does think that withdrawal from it brings on histamine intolerance, which apparently is common in their members.

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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@Yesyes123 Nice to meet you! Yes, you're right; we alone have got to get ourselves out of this mess.

 

Dr's/GPs are actually incredible, but why is this particular theme still such a blind spot? @Altostratahas been managing this forum since 2011 and yet they still insist on "relapse" or just "anxiety". They still don't point out side effects, withdrawal or sleep disturbance factors when first prescribing these... Absurd and not trivial 

 

Atm phonecall appointments and/Zoom/Skype are not great. A lot gets missed and mis-interpreted etc. 

 

Lets get off these things to never be considered again. I do have a lot of hope with Mirtazapine that that day will eventually come.

 

Thanks to everyone for encouragement and support, absolutely priceless.

 

@Altostrata regarding histamine intolerance, yes it'll be essential to be privy to this type of info, despairing though it may be. Bye to shellfish, smoked foods and yoghurt by that point

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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  • Mentor
10 hours ago, Alex3 said:

why is this particular theme still such a blind spot? @Altostratahas been managing this forum since 2011 and yet they still insist on "relapse" or just "anxiety". They still don't point out side effects, withdrawal or sleep disturbance factors when first prescribing these... Absurd

 

It is not in the interest of the organizations that produce and distribute psychiatric drugs that the possibly atrocious problems caused by them come to public knowledge.

 

It is also insanely hard for a doctor to admit the drug they gave you is actually the cause of the problem you're having.

 

If they were to admit this, it would pretty much break their entire profession.

 

They would need to admit they have been giving out extremely dangerous drugs to people their whole career, drugs which have the potential to cause long lasting damage. 

 

It's so much easier for them to say you are sick, you have a problem, you need more drugs.

- Escitalopram 10mg from ages 15 - 21

- Severe crash after 4 month taper to 0

- Reinstated, stabilized, slowly tapering.

 

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." - Hellen Keller

I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • Mentor
10 hours ago, Alex3 said:

Bye to shellfish, smoked foods and yoghurt by that point

 

Another member here on the forum recommended to me a diet that he claimed to have helped him tremendously with WD problems. 

 

It's called Dr. Gundry diet, or The Plant Paradox diet. 

 

You can look up the "Yes and no" list for this diet on Google Images.

 

I try to follow it as best as I can and I believe he has strong points.

- Escitalopram 10mg from ages 15 - 21

- Severe crash after 4 month taper to 0

- Reinstated, stabilized, slowly tapering.

 

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." - Hellen Keller

I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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@Yesyes123 Sobering stuff and fits in with what I've found (particularly when the gaslighting is dismantled and our own denial fades)


They did a u-turn on Benzos. Surely it's time they did the same for these drugs. At minimum they should be advising of withdrawal/sleep disturbance/side effects when handing out this stuff

 

No wonder the anti-vaxxers are so vociferous

 

I'll look at that Gundry diet, many thanks

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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  • Mentor
5 hours ago, Alex3 said:

Surely it's time they did the same for these drugs. At minimum they should be advising of withdrawal/sleep disturbance/side effects when handing out this stuff

 

I hope it won't be too long and our stories don't have to be repeated too many more times before it becomes common knowledge that antidepressants are extremely dangerous drugs.

 

5 hours ago, Alex3 said:

I'll look at that Gundry diet, many thanks

 

I can't confirm this diet actually helps with WD at all, but I have an inclination to say it not only does but also helps any person who follows it, in ADWD or not, feel better.

 

I feel like every time I manage to actually follow it for any period of time, I feel much, much better.

 

The thing is the "Yes list", which is the list with things you can eat while on this diet, has mostly items that are very hard to find where I live. 

 

I'll post the Yes and No lists below.

- Escitalopram 10mg from ages 15 - 21

- Severe crash after 4 month taper to 0

- Reinstated, stabilized, slowly tapering.

 

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." - Hellen Keller

I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • Mentor

Here's a Google Document I just made with the entire Dr. Gundry diet.

 

It consists of two lists: the "Yes" list, which is the things you should eat...

And the "No" list - the things you should not eat.

 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ivuuAb5wIEKw-dC6qlzMhcYwbJklWLC72TRzoricHI0/edit?usp=sharing

 

Please note I am not saying this is THE diet for everyone with psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome, nor that it will definitely help with ADWD symtoms.

 

What I am saying is that me and other members have noticed some level of improvement in symptoms by implementing this diet.

 

peace + healing

- Escitalopram 10mg from ages 15 - 21

- Severe crash after 4 month taper to 0

- Reinstated, stabilized, slowly tapering.

 

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." - Hellen Keller

I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • Administrator

Thanks for the suggestion, @Yesyes123 For some reason, each item on the list appears on a different page in Google Docs! It's very hard to read. Can you fix this?

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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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Alex3: total insomnia after 6 months reinstatement

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