Sleeping and Mirtazapine

I am really interested to hear of other Sleepio users experiences with Mirtazapine good or bad?

I was put on this to help with sleep back in June and to honest it's hit and miss with it! I've tried to come off it twice but ended up with horrendous low mood, insomnia and nausea and anxiety so took it again. If anyone is on it currently how are you finding it whilst doing Sleepio or if anyone has graduated from Sleepio and then withdrawn from it I'd be very keen to hear from you too please.

Posted 18 Dec 2013 at 10:11 AM
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  • Sleepio Member

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    My doctor is still adamant that I am the only person in the surgery who has had any problems coming off mirtazapine and scoffs at another person who is reducing tablet very slowly by breaking it up. I stopped suddenly (on her advice) from 30mg and had horrendous withdrawals cold turkey sweats shivers shakes etc but that was a year ago. It lasted about 6 weeks. Sleep been very poor since. Although I am up to about 5-6 hrs a night but very poor quality. I even considered trying the mirtazapine a few weeks ago as it knocked me out all night originally. But am managing to hold off just now.

    My advice cut back a tiny tiny amount a week. Like 1mg. Do it very slowly so your body and your sleep can get used to it. You can get liquid version but it costs about £50 so docs not keen to prescribe.. But you can break the tablets ok I checked with manufacturer.

    All the best

  • Sleepio Member

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    My doctor is still adamant that I am the only person in the surgery who has had any problems coming off mirtazapine and scoffs at another person who is reducing tablet very slowly by breaking it up. I stopped suddenly (on her advice) from 30mg and had horrendous withdrawals cold turkey sweats shivers shakes etc but that was a year ago. It lasted about 6 weeks. Sleep been very poor since. Although I am up to about 5-6 hrs a night but very poor quality. I even considered trying the mirtazapine a few weeks ago as it knocked me out all night originally. But am managing to hold off just now.

    My advice cut back a tiny tiny amount a week. Like 1mg. Do it very slowly so your body and your sleep can get used to it. You can get liquid version but it costs about £50 so docs not keen to prescribe.. But you can break the tablets ok I checked with manufacturer.

    All the best

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi

    I'm still tapering off the Mirt I'm using liquid & my GP also disagrees that anybody had withdrawals from it! I am reducing about 0.5ml per month, so very slowly indeed but I was advised by CITA a charity for coming these things it's the best way as it allows your brain receptors to adjust slowly!

    My GP isn't happy about prescribing liquid & I've got to ask for more in a few weeks which I'm dreading!

    Good luck but yes it sounds like withdrawal symptoms. What dose are you currently on CHutchy?

    Josie

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 1

    Hi well done for coming off it, it isn't easy!i believe Sleepio has helped my sleep more than anything else has. That said, I do occasionally worry whether I will sleep at night, but 99% of the time I do, I guess this will get better with time. Hard to lose the worry that the insomnia will strike again! I am also scared of the day I finally stop taking it, will it come back etc etc.

    Good luck with your journey, there are a great bunch of people on here to help!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi CHutchy,

    Interesting conversation about mirtazapine. Knowing that it is an antidepressant, which are effective once the blood levels have reached a certain level, I'm not sure that an occasional tablet would do much for your sleep but if you are finding it helpful, I see no reason to be concerned. Of course, your pharmacist or doctor would be the best to advise you on that. You could try taking just half on those nights when you feel you need one.

    Once you feel your sleep is better, you may find that naturally you don't reach for this medication. You'll likely come to expect that some nights will be good and there will be blips too along the way. The thought tools you will learn here will help you to deal with the anxiety you experience around not sleeping so it won't continue to be as big an issue for you. You may even find that getting through the days looking after your children is easier!

    anniem

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 3

    I started on Remeron a week after I started Sleepio. You see, at first I thought my early-morning wakening was just garden-variety insomnia, but it's actually a symptom of depression. Now on 30mg at night, and Remeron is helping my depression/anxiety, but not sleep. Its main effects are antihistamine (sleepiness), serotonergic (improved mood) and noradrenergic (improved energy). But for me, the antihistamine effect only lasted a couple of days. So taking it at night is like having 2 cups of coffee. For me, it's pretty stimulating. Not really conducive to Sleepio techniques, so I'm taking a break from Sleepio. I'm going to try to take the Remeron in the morning and see if that allows me to sleep at night.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 2

    Hello, im brand new here and looking for any advice from people in my situation. I have had sudden onset insomnia for the last 8 weeks, it started after a bad few nights caring for my two very young children who were sick. It continued with me getting just a few hours sleep a night even after they got well. I am now anxious about sleep and have built up some pretty negative sleep associations, which i have started CBT to help with. I am looking for some advice about sleep meds to help me through the next few weeks/months while i get to grips with the CBT.

    I have taken zopiclone about 3 times a week for the last 6 weeks, i sleep very well on it, but without it i am straight back to my 2 or 3 hours a night, which is just not enough with a 2 year old and 1 year old to care for. I feel extremely anxious about taking zopiclone because i understand it is very addictive, and i would like to stop.

    The doctor has also given me a prescription for the antidpressant mirtazapine (remeron). Im pretty certain i do not have depression but the doc thought it could help me cope with anxious thoughts about sleep and that i could benefit from the sedating effects – and it would help me chuck the zopiclone in the bin.

    The question is – am i jumping out of the frying pan into the fire? What are peoples experience of mirtazapine and insomnia? is it easy to come off, and can i use it just whilst trying to make progress with cbt?

    Many thanks, and thoughts appreciated

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 5

    Hi lydiak, I've been wondering similarly about the addictiveness of pills. I started taking Halcion (from an old prescription) and feel like I need to switch to a different kind of (less addictive?) aid, since I also have two kids and need to function during the day. Have you tried the other drug and what do you think?
    Thanks!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Snowfox, There is no magic pill. If there was, I would have found it by now. Mirtazapine (remeron – which is also an appetite stimulant) plus Klonopin knocked me out for about a month – then it loses potency. Even ambien loses its kick over time and then the real fun begins as not many meds can deliver as it did. I've tried so many pills and so many combinations and in the end, not one of them would keep me out for more than a few hours. They are not easy to get off of either and you feel their effects the next day. If you aren't hooked on pills, I highly suggest you try the program w/out them. Sleeping pills helped me for a little while but they made my life a living hell over time. It's definitely not worth it.

  • Sleepio Member

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    I would try herbal remedies – valerian, melatonin, hops, l-tryptophan, lavender, magnesium, lemon balm, etc. They will pale in comparison to the scripts (they don't knock you out) but they don't have hang-over effects, seem to be easy to take on an occasional basis (non-addictive), and won't throw off your bodies natural ability to sleep like the scripts do.

  • Sleepio Member

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    I have been taking Mirtazapine for 10 weeks. It has not helped with my sleep at all. I started on 15 mg for first 5 weeks and then went on to 30 mg. I am not depressed now but I worry about taking it seeing as I only went on it to help me sleep and I only got depressed because I couldnt sleep. I am on my first week of the sleepio course.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi peacock, if it helps at all I don't recall having any difficulty getting off of mirtazapine. You'd probably want to taper off of it whenever you feel it is time if you aren't finding it helpful. It only helped me sleep in conjunction w/klonopin (and that one is addictive) and even then it didn't work for long. The only real side effects I had on Mirtazapine were grating my teeth and a headache in the morning. Maybe feeling extra sluggish. It is an appetite stimulant, so some people gain weight on it.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi gin-gin

    thanks for your reply. I do feel sluggish when I get up and I don't know if its because of lack of sleep or the Mirtazapine. I will carry on with it for now and just try and concentrate on sleepio. I have no idea what I have to do as just started doing the sleep diary, but I guess I will be finding out soon enough!

  • Sleepio Member

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    I have just restarted Sleepio, and I'm repeating week 3, and today my doc has given my Mirtaz.for my sleep. Do I take it, or carry on doing Sleepio w/o Mirt.? I also have CFS/ME and I'm finding this programme really hard.

    I also have a stomach bug so I had to let go of my SR last night as I felt so unwell.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Michyb, this is ultimately up to you but I would personally not take it (of course, I have taken it in the past, but in retrospect) and try to make it through weeks 3-4 (which are tough) without it but then of course, I'm not a dr so you've got to take that into consideration. I just had dr's hand out scripts for sleep like candy when I was severely sleep deprived and for me, almost each one helped in the beginning and then lost it's potency. Mirtazapine was not difficult for me to stop taking and it is considered milder than ambien and the like (the hypnotics and benzos) so if you feel like trying it, I suppose it isn't near as bad as other things coz ambien especially, is a tough one to quit (and benzos are probably worse). So, I'm kindof flip flopping on you here I suppose with my answers. I would say try it without it if you feel you can, but if you want to try the mirtazapine, it's one of the easier scripts (at least for me) to get off of and you take it in a pretty low dosage for sleep. Still, it would be easiest to stop taking if you never had to start it to begin w/. I'm sure others will chime in on this and help you as well. I noticed peacock had posted on it previously and she is still on here and doing well – so would be a great one to ask and have a better answer to this than me given I was no longer taking mirtazapine around the time of starting this program (you can always post on her “wall” and I'm sure she would help you).

    Mirtazapine might make you want to eat a lot as it is an appetite stimulant and also, I believe an antidepressant.

    As far as the stomach bug – you did the right thing there. I've noticed in general, if you are sick, don't do the SR seems to be the rule.

    Hope you feel better and are soon getting better nights of sleep!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Thanks for the feedback gin-gin.

    I'm still not sure what to do, so for tonight I'm going to do it w/o the Mirtaz. When in doubt do nowt!

    How do I write to someone on their wall?

    Mich…

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Mich, I clicked on Peacock to see if it worked and saw you already wrote her. Hope she can help you. I'm not sure about how many people on here take mirt. I recall a few but am not sure how many are still active members (I've been on here a while now – I had majorly bad insomnia) I know a lot of us have tried all kinds of things so I hope you get some more replies – I think zolpidem (ambien and its generic friends) is probably the main one people are stuck on as it really works the best, which is wonderful – until it doesn't – then, have fun, as getting off of it is a complete and total nightmare. Mirtazapine is a lot milder but then again, it doesn't knock you out like ambien either. It only helped me sleep in conjunction w/klonopin (another good one to never start) and then I was out like a light and wanting to sleep forever. After a month, it pretty much stopped working though but everyone is different and some people really benefit from it long term. Best of luck with whatever you decide to do.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Michyb,
    I wrote to you on the Session 3 thread.
    anniem

  • Sleepio Member

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    What's wrong with taking clonazepam ? AKA Klonopin. I have this prescribed because I get leg cramps, but when I take it I sleep so much better! It's actually an anti-anxiety drug, and it's true I am a tense person.
    Is this a harmful drug? I cut my pills in half.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi there
    I've just come off mirtazipine after 10 years on it. It was initially prescribed for moderate insomnia after I had a baby. This is my third attempt to get off it – previous attempts were unsuccessful because the insomnia has been horrendous when I have been weaning off it – much worse than it ever was originally! It definitely has a sedating effect at night and I am struggling without it but I've been completely off for a month, after weaning down very slowly, and it is slowly getting better. I wish I had started the sleepio programme before coming off it though so that I had some tools to help deal with the insomnia, but I'm just starting on sleepio now.
    My mood is better off the mirtazipine – less anxious and irritable, so it is worth trying the manage without.
    I found that it worked for insomnia but it is very hard to get off again, so if you have an alternative e.g. CBT, that might be better in the long term.

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