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Redeemed2012 What Is Generally Considered To Be Long Term Use For Anti-Depressants?


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Hi Everyone -


I am new to this forum. I have been taking Mirtazipine 15 mg since March of 2012. I am new to this whole thing of psychotropic meds, as this is my first go-round with them. It will also be my last. I am currently tapering off of Lunesta. I am in week 13 of a 20 week taper, and it has been brutal, to say the least. However, things seem to be going a little smoother here at the end.


That said, once done with the Lunesta, I will give myself time to stabilize before I begin to taper the Mirtazipine. However, I just have no experience with ADs either. Is 10 months considered long-term use for Mirtazipine? Would it be wise to do the 10% reduction plan in my case?


I appreciate any input you all might have. Wishing you a good day.





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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Redeemed2012 and welcome to the forums, as this is your first post I've moved it to introductions and this can be your own personal thread which you can add to. I don't know anything about Lunesta hopefully someone else can advise you on that one, however if it has been brutal I wonder if you've been tapering too fast? again maybe someone who knows more about Lunesta can chat to you about that.


As for the Mirtzapine, I thought you were going to say you've on it 10 years not 10 months so no I don't think 10 months is considered "long-term" but I would still taper off it very cautiously.

*** Please note this is not medical advice,discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner***

Original drug was sertraline/Zoloft, switched to Prozac in 2007.
Tapering from 5mls liquid prozac since Feb 2008, got down to 0.85ml 23/09/2012, reinstated back to 1ml(4mg) 07/11/2012, didn't appear to work, upped to 1.05ml 17/11/2012, back down to 1ml 12/12/2012 didn't work, up to 1.30ml 16/3/2013 didn't work, bumped up to 2ml (8mg) 4/4/2013 didn't work, in July 2013 I reinstated Sertraline (Zoloft) 50mg, feeling better now. 

A few months down the line I switched to 5ml liquid Prozac and tapered down to a compromise dose of 3ml liquid Prozac and have stayed there ever since, no withdrawals and no emotional blunting/loss of libido.


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Hi Redeemed,

Yes, you haven't been on long, however it seems that everyone is individual in their response. Taking 10% reductions is the best way to reduce the chance of withdrawal symptoms and therefore giving your nervous system the best chance to return to normal functioning

Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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Thank you both for your replies. :)


Strawberry -


To answer your question about tapering too fast, I have wondered that myself. However, my understanding is that once your brain adapts to a benzo, you're going to have withdrawal symptoms no matter what rate you taper at. I considered doing 2.5% reductions per week, but since I only used Lunesta for 6 weeks before I started tapering, I thought that a 40 week taper for 6 weeks use would have been overkill. It has been a huge challenge, though I will say that I have been able o maintain a full time job the entire time, and live a somewhat normal life. I can't wait to be done.



Peggy -



I'm relieved to hear that 10 months is not considered to be long-term use, though I have found out the hard way that this is all individual. I guess I just wanted to get an idea. For example, for Lunesta, anything over 10 days is considered to be long-term. I exceeded that time frame big time, which is probably why I've had a rough go of it. That said, things ARE improving, albeit slowly.

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Welcome aboard. You'll find lots of good information and support here.


Six weeks of regularly taking a benzo is plenty of time to get addicted. The fact that tapering as fast as you are has resulted in discomfort tells me you're tapering too fast.


I know it seems counter-intuitive, but getting these drugs out of our bodies as fast as possible is not a good idea for a lot of people, and no one knows ahead of time who will have a rough withdrawal. It's my understanding that tapering a benzo too quickly eventually "catches up" with many people who then suffer debilitating withdrawal symptoms. It's also more difficult to avoid withdrawal symptoms at the end of a taper.


Both benzos and antidepressants change the way the brain functions. If you suddenly stop taking the drugs or taper too quickly, the brain is abruptly left without its chemical support and goes into a kind of shock before beginning to repair itself and go back to normal. That's why it's best to taper slowly, so that the brain has plenty of time to adjust to new conditions and so that you can function reasonably well in the meantime. Speaking as someone who crash-banged off of Lexapro (on my doctor's advice, BTW) and suffered withdrawal symptoms for nine months, I wish I had known better.


It would be safest to first slow down the Lunesta taper, take several months to be sure you're stable after you're off the Lunesta, and then do the 10% taper off of Mirtazipine. Mirtazipine is not a very commonly used antidepresssant but the few people on this forum who've tried to get off of it found it difficult.


I hope this helps.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor

Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/


Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.


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  • Administrator

Welcome, Redeemed2012.


According to scientific papers on withdrawal, use of an antidepressant for more than a month increases the risk of withdrawal symptoms.


Since you've been on mirtazapine for 10 months, you would be at risk and should consider at 10% taper. See http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

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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I'd also add that if the remeron is helping you sleep, tapering slowly should help you avoid insomnia and given that

sleep is very important for recovery and well-being this is worth paying attention to.

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.


DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017


>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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  • Administrator

Very good point, dalsaan.


Reducing mirtazapine can cause rebound insomnia. You might want to read http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2028-how-do-i-get-off-mirtazapine/

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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However, my understanding is that once your brain adapts to a benzo, you're going to have withdrawal symptoms no matter what rate you taper at.


It's true that you will have at least SOME minor withdrawal symptoms even from a slow taper, but there's a huge difference in how severe and controllable the symptoms are between a faster and a slower taper. There are a lot of myths about benzo tapering out there, and for some reason right now the one that "it doesn't matter how fast you taper" is popular (I think because of a certain benzo forum that's a bit out of control).


A slow versus fast benzo taper can make a big difference in how it goes. Be careful, because with benzos once symptoms get out of control it can be tough to stabilize. Best to stop and hold the taper when symptoms ramp up, in my experience. (Easier said than done, though--there's something about the urgency and anxiety caused by withdrawal that tends to make some of us push our tapers harder than we should.)


You may want to consider Alto's thoughts about tapering antidepressants first before tapering benzos, too.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.


Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 


I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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  • 6 months later...

Hi there -


I'm just looking for feedback regarding my current situation. I completed an 8-month taper off of Lunesta on 12/22/12. I had used it succesively for 6 weeks before I found out the dangers of a drug like that. Two weeks after I started taking the Lunesta, I was also put on 15 mgs of Mirtazipine. The Lunesta taper started off badly from the get go, as the pdoc had me try and come off in 2 -3 weeks. As you can imagine, it was quite the bumpy ride. All of that said, I am feeling MUCH better than I did during the taper. It's been 4 months since I last put Lunesta in my body. Whereas my daily anxiety during the taper was probably like a 7 - 8, it is now down to like a 2 - 3. The dp/dr has also decreased greatly, and I've been sleeping GREAT for the last 5 - 6 months. My sleep was already getting back on track during the final stages of the taper. All of the physical symptoms, such as sinus pressure, headaches, dizziness, muscle pain, and nausea, have all disappeared and have not returned. So, there are ALOT of positives of where I'm at. Last year was my first experience with meds, and I won't be trying them again.


I planned on holding for a total of 6 months before beginning my taper off of the mirtazipine. I never increased the dose, and am still on 15 mgs. I have been on the mirtazipine for a total of 1 year and 1 month. I am just wondering if 6 months seems like a reasonable time to wait between tapers. I plan on taking the mirtazipine taper nice and slow, and if it takes me a year, then so be it. Please no doom and gloom responses. Just looking for honest feedback. Thank you.

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  • Administrator

Hi, Redeemed, I moved your new post here, as it seems to be an update on your situation.


I'm happy to hear you've recovered from going off Lunesta. Hurray!


Since you're sleeping well and your withdrawal symptoms have gone away, it seems your plan to hold 6 months before tapering mirtazapine is a good one for you. If you go slow, you can always adjust if withdrawal symptoms appear.

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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Thanks for the feedback, Alto! Yes, it feels GREAT to be off of that darn little blue pill. Never again, and I mean never. This experience has taught me that I need to take care of myself daily in order to avoid those acute situations.


That said, I feel like I always have the eventual Mirtazipine taper looming in the background. I have learned alot from the Lunesta taper, though, and at least feel more prepared than I did for the Lunesta taper.



Any thoughts?

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  • Administrator

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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