#medications / Mental Health & Wellbeing

So Mirtazapine

“Sylvie wishes the anti-depressants had been around when she was in her early twenties, not only to rescue her from the dark tunnels that came when her brother first got sick, but also to keep her from fucking all those assholes.” ~ Francesca Lia Block

So, as I mentioned last week Mirtazapine was the second medication that I tried. After I’d had no luck with paroxetine.

The first time I took it was great. I felt very, very heavily stoned for the first week, I slept a lot the whole time I was on it, but in terms of medicating me for my illness it was fantastic.

That experience is pretty well summarised in the post I wrote about it at the time, which if WordPress is to be believed most of you read right after the one on paroxetine anyway.

So rather than going over that again, I will tell you about coming off it.

I do not recommend doing what I did. Don’t go messing with your medications without at least chatting with your doctor about it first, it could make you really ill.

Well, towards the end of my taking the mirtazapine I got a new job. The job was a forty minute train ride away, and as I’ve mentioned before the mirtazapine made me very, very sleepy.

Deep sleepy.

Like an alarm clock had maybe a 30% chance of waking me up sleepy.

On top of which while I’d been out sick I’d become nocturnal.

So I was really worried about being able to make it to work on time and stay awake once I got there, and for that first week I decided to skip my pills most days to be on the safe side.

And I didn’t notice any ill effects.

Then as the weeks went on my mood started lifting.

I really enjoyed my new job. I liked that I was getting to learn a bunch of new stuff in training, I really liked the company I was working for, and the people, especially those who’d started with me, we fantastic.

I started taking the rest of my life back as well.

Going out, doing things, seeing people.

And the more stuff I did the happier I got.

And because I was so happy my medication sort of slipped to the back of my mind, and I began forgetting it more and more frequently. Turns out it’s a lot easier to remember your meds when the thing you’re taking them for is making you feel rotten than once they’ve helped you to the point where it isn’t. The next thing I knew it’d been a month and I hadn’t taken it once.

And I was fine.

Or at least I thought I was fine.

Actually I was probably manic.

Until I crashed again. Quite epically about seven or eight months later.

At that point I was put first on duloxetine, which I’ll come back to in my next post, and then eventually back on to mirtazapine.

We tried a different drug first because mirtazapine does make you sleep a lot and it’s just better for work, and nicer in general, to not have to do that if you can avoid it.

Unfortunately my second adventure with mirtazapine wasn’t quite as successful as the first.

It made me a bit better but nowhere near as better as it had before. It didn’t take me as far as being fully functional and able to work and manage my life again.

I did eventually go back to work while I was on it, and tried to sort my life out. But I really struggled and needed a lot of support.

The problem seemed to be that while the mirtazapine did pretty well at lifting my depression, it was far less helpful at helping me to keep a lid on my anxiety or manage my mood swings.

At least it didn’t make me quite as sleepy, or as hungry, as it had the last time.

I think I ended up being on it for about another eight months, until I got a new psychiatrist who thought I should come of it and find something more effective.

Which thankfully we did – I’m still on it, sertraline.

Even so, that’s one pretty great experience of mirtazapine and one so-so one. Nothing too terrifying to tell you about.

Have you ever taken mirtazapine? How did you find it? I’d be interested to hear whether anyone has ever managed to avoid the mirtazapine coma.

 

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11 thoughts on “So Mirtazapine

  1. Tried it a while back. Don’t know if i’m sensitive to it but I was unconscious for 3 days straight. I’m told I got up to go to the toilet but I don’t remember. After that I was up and about but felt like I was in a dream and mainly eating toast constantly. I don’t really remember the first two weeks AT ALL. After that I had to get signed off work because i couldn’t function like that. I panicked and quit taking it. Fluxotine didn’t do anything, like literally i could have been taking sugar pills, no good or bad side effects. Now i’m staring at a packet of Sertaline and wondering. I need to do something but i’ve heard lots of bad things about these.

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    • I mean. I can’t say your experience will be the same as mine. But I had a rough adjustment period to Mirtazapine, duloxetine was the same as your experience with fluoxetine, and I’ve now been on sertraline for almost two years. I lost my appetite on it for a couple of weeks but nothing like the Mirtazapine side effects. It’s working really well for me.

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  2. Ive been on the big-M for about 8 years. I started at 15mg and over the years it has been gradually increased. I’m on 60mg at present. In the last year it has been less and less effective. Depression is in check but anxiety has been going through the roof. I now rely on benzos but try to have 3-4 day break between them. So yeah, I’m basically on the precipice of doing something very stupid. Right now I am kind of levitating above myself, observing that pretty much 75% of every thought I am having is totally irrational. I have a medication review in 2 weeks, but I have decided, this weekend to drop my dose from 60 to 45mg. I really have nothing to lose!

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  3. I was on mitrazopine. I had been on citalopram and then sertraline, but neither did anything really to calm me down and sort out my stresw and anxiety. So I was on mitrazopine. It did work for me, stopped.anxiety etc. However, it seems to have caused me a lot of menory loss as well, certainly from.before the last year or two..mind you, my short term.memory isnt great either. But I seriously have forgotten a lot from my life. Not good.

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  4. I tried it for a while, turned me into a very hungry zombie. Now on Citalopram which comes with its own irritating side effects, but they’re ones I can live with for now

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    • Yeah, it took me a while to get used to it. I would probably have given up if my psych hadn’t insisted we had to keep going with it before e could try anything else. I’m glad you’ve found something that works for you. It’s a shame about the side effects, I hope they get better as time goes on.

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  5. I’m on it and have found it to be the best thing so far. Managed to come off propranolol since being on it and found the side effects to be less problematic than with citalopram. The sleepiness has been an advantage for me as sleep was one of my major issues. Still have to take zopiclone occasionally. About to start working night shifts and been advised to take mitazipine in morning following work so will be interesting to see how that goes.

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    • I’m glad to hear it’s working for you. It might be really helpful in adjusting to nights actually, where your natural rhythms might resist the change, the mirtazapine will just go – ‘no, sleep now, good night’.

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