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Length Of Time To Withdraw From Mirtazapine?


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#1 CaringMom

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 05:55 AM

Hi, I'm new. My name is Tessa and this is my first post to your lovely site. The support here is wonderful. It makes my heart happy to know such a active caring forum exists. Depression runs in my family. I have been effected twice but thankfully both times were situational so when the situation changed the depression lifted. Other's in my family have not been as lucky. I have recently done a lot of reasearch into depression and understand it better than I did before. I hope to learn more here on this site. I hope to be able to contribute as well.

Today I am posting in support of my daughter Beth. After being on Citalopram for 2 years it simply stopped working. (I didn't know why at the time but do now.) And so we went to see her GP. He put her on Mirtazapine, 30mg x1 day. It took a full 7+ weeks for Beth to feel any positive effects but the GP said stick to it and so she did. At near 8 weeks she started to feel better mood-wise but then other things started to happen. You see Beth has Spina Bifida and uses a wheelchair. She self-cath's 5x a day. She lives on her own with carers coming in 2x a day, morning and evening, to help with tasks she cannot do for herself. The first thing the carers noticed was Beth was not cathing as much as she needed to and was wetting herself and her chair. Then she was sleeping too much and was difficult to wake. More than once I was called over because they simply could not wake her and were considering calling an ambulance. I have read on various forums how people on this antidepressant sleep for 12, 16 and even 36 hours at a time. Sleeping that much is not an option for Beth as she must cath and take certain meds in the morning for her health. We also noticed significant weight gain which is another no-no for a person in a wheelchair as it makes transferring more difficult. Clearly this medication, Mirtazapine, was not for Beth. I had to do something.

That something was amino acids. Tryptophan and Tyrosine. With the help of :sneaky2: The Mood Cure by Julia Ross & 5-HTP - Boost Your Serotonin Levels The Natural Way to Overcome Depression, Obesity and Insomnia by Michael Murray and the many online blogs, forums and medical research sites. :shocked: I had helped my other daughter Sarah with amino's 2 months back, I will post about that situation in a separate post, and so thought it was the way forward for Beth too. So 3 weeks ago I cut Beth's Mirtazapine in half. For a week she was taking 15mg Mirtazapine at her usual time (6pm) and 100mg of Tryptophan at midnight. (With N-Acetyl-Tyrosine at 10am and 2pm and the necessary B-vits, Rhodiola Rosea and other supplements in the AM) Then after a week I stopped the Mirtazapine entirely and upped the L-Tryptophan to 200mg nightly. The day after Beth said she felt a bit agitated. Day 2 the agitation had gone but she felt like she had the flu. Day 3 the flu symptoms had gone but she had a mild headache. Day 4 the headache was gone but she could not move her arms or legs for 30 minutes after she woke up. (This she found the most alarming.) Day 5 she burst into tears once without knowing why, she was just emotional and needed to really cry she says. Day 6-13 were fine. At no time did the depression return, even on the tearful day. The one symptom that she has daily is the difficulty waking up. Her carers still have trouble waking her up. Some days she doesn't wake until 1pm. Yesterday it was 2:30 in the afternoon! She is clearer when she wakes now though. Gone is he foggy stupor she experienced with the Mirtazapine. In fact she is clearer overall. Quicker thinking, sharper, and more expressive emotionally. Happier, more centered. She's not dulled she says. This coming Sunday will be her 14th day cold turkey without the Mirtazapine. Her mood has been fine throughout. Reading all I have read about the rough time people have had coming off this particular AD I feel Beth has had a easier time than most. I feel this is due to the amino acids.

So my question is, really, how long does it take the AD to leave a person's system? I cannot ask my daughters GP because he doesn't seem to return my calls. The one time he did was when I was asking him about adding amino's to Beth's regimen, which he said fine, just add the tryptophan at the opposite time as the AD, which I already knew to do but was glad to hear what I'd read was correct. But then a couple days later Beth spoke to him via phone about her fears going off the Mirtazapine and going on the amino's and he gave her permission to stop the amino's. At no time did he ask how the Mirtazapine was affecting her life, he just said it was ok to stop the amino's. So she wanted to stop the amino's. At this point her carers, Beth & I had a meeting to explain to Beth that she could not continue sleeping so much, missing her morning medications and her morning toileting and bathing routines. I phoned her GP to get his help but he never returned my phone calls. I told his receptionist exactly what was happening with Beth and told her to request that he come to Beth's flat (apartment) himself in the morning to see what was going on. To speak to Beth's carers himself but he never did that either. I understand that so many think Mirtazapine a wonder drug and I've no doubts that it has helped many but for some, like my daughter Beth, the side-effects were/are damaging. It is my job as Beth's Mom to step in if she is in a bad situation. The carers were talking about Beth losing her flat and moving into a care home because Beth was not taking care of herself. I had to act. I researched like crazy before weaning her off the Mirtazapine. So far so good. The only side-effect still present is the length of time sleeping and the difficulty waking from the super-deep sleep. It's like she is in a coma. Shaking her, talking loudly, turning up a TV or stereo, opening the blinds, taking off her covers, removing the pillows beneath her head all do nothing. Friday we had an appointment and I showed up early just to make sure she was up. She wasn't. It took me 7 minutes of constant shaking and talking loudly to wake her. Scary and well, frankly, frustrating for the person trying to wake her.

My question is how long does it take to withdraw from Mirtazapine? And is there anything further I can do to help my daughter withdraw and get the drug completely out of her system? This Sunday, today, will be day 14.

Thanks for reading. I hope someone knows. :wwww:

~ Tessa


#2 CaringMom

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 08:08 PM

Maybe it's an unknown quantity? Subjective based on the persons biology. Yesterday, Sunday the 4th of July, I moved Beth's tryptophan from 11pm to 4pm. She had eaten lunch at 2, had her tyrosine at 2 and we wouldn't be eating dinner until after 6 so 4pm seemed logical. (Tryptophan must be taken with orange juice/vitamin C on a empty stomach so the amino in the tryptophan doesn't compete in the bloodstream with other amino's in food.) She stayed up until after midnight (Which is better than the 2+am of late) and this morning Beth was more easily woken by her carer at 11am, which is better than 1pm and 2:30pm of the last 2 weeks. Whether moving the tryptophan is to credit or if the Mirtazapine is petering out is anyone's guess. I hope Tuesday is as good if not better.

~ Tessa

Edited by Girly, 06 July 2010 - 01:40 PM.
TOS


#3 Girly

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Posted 06 July 2010 - 02:15 PM

Hi there Tessa, welcome to DF, it is great to have you here. :shocked:

I am sorry to hear that depression runs in your family and that your daughter Beth is suffering so much.

(((((Tessa))))) (((((Beth))))

I am not a medical practitioner so I am unable to give you any medical advice. It can take a while for any anti depressants to leave your system, and as you have said it would depend on each person individually. It is always recommended to seek medical advice before reducing any anti-depressant due to the side effects of withdrawal.

I've withdrawn off some mental health meds previously but at the time I was not well enough to recall exactly which ones they were and I'd only been taking them for a few weeks, my pdoc advised me which ones to take. As some of the changes were done when I was sectioned and just prior to that, in 2008, I was not really in a place to know and remember!!

As you are having difficulty contacting your GP is it possible to take Beth to the surgery or is this not possible? Alternatively depending on which country you are in. If you are in the UK you could either request another GP, call out of hours and tell them what is happening and get the overnight Dr to come out, if it is an emergency. You could also call NHS Direct or an ambulance.

If you are not in the UK there will be other options, let us know which country you are in.

It is good to hear that Beth is getting better slowly. I have been on citalopram on and off for four years now and I also had a time when it stopped working and other meds were tested out. With anti depressants, as your research will have shown it isn't always the case that one medication will work for everyone. It can normally take 6-8 weeks to have the full effects.

As the Mirtazapine was not working for Beth, in conjunction with her other medicines and causing her so much difficulty to wake up to self-cath, I can understand why you have reduced the dose for her. I do however think you need to get her seen asap if she is sleeping so soundly as it must be really scary for you both. I do hope you can speak to a doctor soon and that you can get some advice.

Just as a side note gave you discussed using the Tryptophan, B-vits, Rhodiola Rosea and other supplements witha doctor at all? Some supplements can affect anti-depressants so again it is always best to get advice before trying these. Your pharmacist would also be able to help with this. Pharmacists, in the UK, at least will know exactly which supplements can be used with which anti depressants.

I hope that this is of some help to you. You can do a search of this room for other's experiences with Remeron withdrawal. Please feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

Girly
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"No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow". ღ ~Maya Angelou

Diagnosis - Borderline Personality Disorder. Meds - citalopram and olanzapine.

#4 CaringMom

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Posted 06 July 2010 - 11:51 PM

Thank you for the welcome Girly. :wwww: Yesterday Beth woke at 10:40am, so 20 minutes earlier than Monday. She took her morning meds (mostly vits), cathed, showered and dressed fairly quickly so was able to go out with her carer for Tuesday afternoon lunch and shopping. This was the first time she'd been awake and available to do so in many weeks. :shocked: Making changes as Beth has is difficult and brave. I am so very proud of her and am so pleased the changes have worked out so well. I hope they continue.

As Beth is no longer on any AD's we don't have any to worry about her tryptophan, tyrosine or any of the other vits countering. I did consult via phone with her GP prior to Beth taking any of the additional vits, amino's, and reducing/stopping her AD. I also spoke to my local pharmacist and read many online articles (PubMed, for example), read forums/blogs and consulted the 2 books mentioned in my first post prior to any changes to Beth's medication schedule.

~ Tessa


#5 Girly

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 05:11 AM

Thank you for the welcome Girly. :wwww: Yesterday Beth woke at 10:40am, so 20 minutes earlier than Monday. She took her morning meds (mostly vits), cathed, showered and dressed fairly quickly so was able to go out with her carer for Tuesday afternoon lunch and shopping. This was the first time she'd been awake and available to do so in many weeks. :shocked: Making changes as Beth has is difficult and brave. I am so very proud of her and am so pleased the changes have worked out so well. I hope they continue.

As Beth is no longer on any AD's we don't have any to worry about her tryptophan, tyrosine or any of the other vits countering. I did consult via phone with her GP prior to Beth taking any of the additional vits, amino's, and reducing/stopping her AD. I also spoke to my local pharmacist and read many online articles (PubMed, for example), read forums/blogs and consulted the 2 books mentioned in my first post prior to any changes to Beth's medication schedule.

~ Tessa


Hi there Tessa,

Just catching up with you to see how Beth is doing?

I am glad that you were able to consult with your GP and pharmacist and do your research before adding the aminos and vitamins etc.

Take good care,

Girly
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"No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow". ღ ~Maya Angelou

Diagnosis - Borderline Personality Disorder. Meds - citalopram and olanzapine.

#6 CaringMom

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 05:08 PM

Hi there Tessa,

Just catching up with you to see how Beth is doing?

I am glad that you were able to consult with your GP and pharmacist and do your research before adding the aminos and vitamins etc.

Take good care,

Girly


Hi Girly,

Thanks for asking about Beth. :wwww: I've been away for 12 days with my other daughter so haven't had access to a computer. I did keep in touch with my husband who phoned Beth daily while I was away and Beth did really well. Last week she went out 3 days out of the 5. She hasn't done that in so long. Tuesday she went shopping with a carer, had lunch and got new photos taken for her disabled parking badge. (Something I had asked her to do just the week prior so it was great that she remembered and followed thru.) Thursday & Friday she went to the Day Centre she volunteers at. She loves going and they love her being there. Having a purpose to get out of bed, something to do, people who want to see your lovely face, something to contribute is so valuable. Beth is having much less difficulty waking up in the morning and is feeling better, more positive, mentally clearer, no longer foggy or groggy as she continues on the amino's and off the Mirtazapine. At this point it seems we made the right decision. Hoping this week continues on this positive trend. One day at a time. :shocked:

~ Tessa


#7 Girly

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 05:38 PM

Hi Tessa,

That is such fantastic news :huh: . It is geat to hear that weaning off the Mirtazapine slowly worked out so well for Beth. You must all be so relieved and happy :shocked:

That is such good progress in such a short space of time too. Beth's story is such an inspiration, that she has been through so much and yet she still volunteers at the Day Centre.

I've just gone back onto Mirtazapine myself, only be given seven tablets (I wasn't sleeping at all) and they make me sleep, oh yes, sleep and sleep and sleep :wwww:

I hope Beth's mental health continues to improve and that you'll let us know how she gets on. As you said it is one day at a time with any mental health issues :sneaky2:

Girly

Edited by Girly, 19 July 2010 - 05:39 PM.

Girly


"No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow". ღ ~Maya Angelou

Diagnosis - Borderline Personality Disorder. Meds - citalopram and olanzapine.

#8 CaringMom

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 05:13 AM

Since I last posted things have improved even more for Beth. Beth report she is doing better weekly and she is feeling good. And the day centre Beth volunteers at has hired her! Her first paying job! Right now it is only a couple days a week, about 10 hours a week, but it is a really positive step for Beth. That they like her so much that they want to pay her is a big self-esteem boost for her. I am so proud of my daughter Beth. :Coopyahoo:

Thank you for being so caring of my daughter's situation Girly. :flowers: I hope you are doing better and sleeping well these days. :sleep_1: I'm curious as to if you've tried amino acids; L-Tryptophan, L-Tyrosine (or in my daughters case N-Acetyl-Tyrosine), GABA, etc.? I'm not suggesting that people drop their antidepressants and go on amino's. If their antidepressants are working for them then that is a beautiful thing to be happy about. But I am curious why there doesn't seem to be an area of the forum for amino's as there seems to be for all the other antidepressant treatments? If such an area exists please forgive me, and point it out please as I'd love to read about others experiences. If no forum exists would the site consider starting an amino area?

~ Tessa


Hi Tessa,

That is such fantastic news :huh: . It is geat to hear that weaning off the Mirtazapine slowly worked out so well for Beth. You must all be so relieved and happy :shocked:

That is such good progress in such a short space of time too. Beth's story is such an inspiration, that she has been through so much and yet she still volunteers at the Day Centre.

I've just gone back onto Mirtazapine myself, only be given seven tablets (I wasn't sleeping at all) and they make me sleep, oh yes, sleep and sleep and sleep :wwww:

I hope Beth's mental health continues to improve and that you'll let us know how she gets on. As you said it is one day at a time with any mental health issues :sneaky2:

Girly



#9 WhiteSouL

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 06:48 AM

Hi Tessa

#10 CaringMom

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 08:58 PM

Hi All ~

Its been about 3 months since I last posted. Thought I'd give an update on my daughter Beth. The amino acids (L-Tryptophan, N-Acetyl-Tyrosine, L-Theanine + Rosea Rhodiola) have been a life-saver for Beth. I have nothing but good stuff to say. Taking Beth off the Mirtazapine was the right move for my daughter. She feels better, looks better, has more motivation, is sleeping better and is thinking clear again. I am posting this because I want there to be something about amino's here on this site in case anyone searches. I am so grateful that I learned about amino acids as I witnessed two daughters get better due to taking them. :yay: :yay:

I don't have much else to say. Life is pretty much normal now. Thank God for normal. I wish everyone here normal, healthy and happy lives. I don't know if I'll be posting here again, I hope I won't need to. Thank you to the folks who welcomed me and were caring of my daughter. Bless you. Bless everyone who reads this and everyone who doesn't. Namaste. :hugs:

~ Tessa





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