Can you withdraw from mirtazapine after 2 months?

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In this blog post, we are going to answer the question, “Can you withdraw from mirtazapine after 2 months?”. Mirtazapine is an antidepressant which is used to treat a variety of mental health related problems. 

However, the medication may not be tolerated well by some people. This blog will cover what you need to know about mirtazapine withdrawal after 2 months. 

Can you withdraw from mirtazapine after 2 months?

Yes, you can withdraw from mirtazapine after 2 months, but only if the antidepressant makes your treatment unbearable for you or if it has completely cured the condition for which you have been taking this medication. However, no antidepressant can treat depression that early. 

Antidepressant treatment usually takes much more than 2 months to counteract the symptoms associated with depression and other mental health conditions. Mirtazapine takes around 2 to 3 weeks to kick in. 

When it starts working, it can take up to 3-6 months to make significant changes. Depression and anxiety do not just occur overnight, but they slowly begin to progress and start deteriorating your mental health. 

Similarly, the treatment requires some time too and you can not expect any antidepressant to fix your depression overnight. 

What conditions are treated with mirtazapine? 

Mirtazapine is an atypical antidepressant. It does not belong to any typical class of antidepressants and its mechanism of action is different from SSRIs and SNRIs. It does not block the reuptake of serotonin by any pathway. 

Mirtazapine belongs to the tetracyclic antidepressants. It has a dual mode of action. Mirtazapine is believed to be responsible for the activation of 5-HT1 receptors, which are one of the serotonin receptors. This antidepressant also acts on the noradrenergic system. 

Experts believe that mirtazapine enhances the stimulatory action of the noradrenergic system which increases the secretion of serotonin. It also prevents the inhibitory action of the noradrenergic system which hinders the release of serotonin. 

This way, it actively increases the amount of this excitatory neurotransmitter in your system. Mirtazapine can be used to treat the following health conditions:

Depression 

Mirtazapine is used in the treatment of mild to major depression disorder (MDD). It is a state of mind which is concerned with disturbing thoughts, especially about one’s self. 

It is associated with symptoms like hopelessness, tearfulness and emptiness. Depression is caused by the deficiency of excitatory neurotransmitters. 

Mirtazapine increases the amount of active serotonin to help relieve the symptoms of depression. Serotonin is an excitatory neurotransmitter responsible for modulating mood, cognition, reward, learning, memory, and various other psychological processes. 

Anxiety 

Mirtazapine is also used to treat generalised anxiety disorder. As the name implies, this mental health condition is associated with general worry or anxiety about pretty much everything without having any logical reason. 

People suffering from GAD worry about small matters related to family, friends, relationships, study, work, health, wealth etc. 

Treatment resistant depression 

Treatment resistant depression is the kind of depression that does not go away after typical antidepressant treatment. Experts believe that mirtazapine is a good option to treat depression that has been resistant to normal SSRI or SNRI treatment. 

Depression in elderly patients

Mirtazapine has been a good antidepressant to treat depression and the disturbing symptoms associated with it in geriatric population. The drug seems to control mood problems quite well in such patients. 

Post-operative nausea

Mirtazapine can also be used to help control nausea that usually becomes a problem after operative procedures. 

Alcohol dependence

Mirtazapine can also be used to control alcohol dependence or alcoholism. Its mode of action in this case is still a topic of research and so is its safety and efficacy. However, it is not recommended to take mirtazapine with alcohol as the two don’t pair that well together. 

Insomnia or inability to fall asleep 

Mirtazapine can significantly help improve your sleep cycle by providing relief in the disturbances that might occur when you try to fall asleep. It also increases the duration of your sleep and reduces the frequency of nighttime wakefulness, especially in people who have insomnia comorbid with depression. 

Neuropathic pain

Mirtazapine can also be used for neuropathic pain. The med can significantly reduce the intensity of this throbbing kind of pain and increase the frequency of pain-free episodes. 

Inability to feel hungry/hunger suppression

Mirtazapine can be used to boost appetite in people who are not always hungry. Several studies revealed that mirtazapine can significantly help people with anorexia nervosa. However, when the drug is solely used for the treatment of depression, it may make you gain weight as a side effect. 

Why should you never stop mirtazapine abruptly? 

Mirtazapine alters the amounts of excitatory chemicals in your brain, both serotonin and norepinephrine. Now, if you take away such meds rapidly, the availability of serotonin and norepinephrine reduces. 

This results in the receptors craving these excitatory neurotransmitters as they have been receiving them for quite a while now, and you start experiencing withdrawal symptoms. 

This deficiency is responsible for producing withdrawal symptoms. In order to prevent such a situation, your healthcare provider simply just reduces the dose of your antidepressant. 

It enables you to start taking medicine in lesser quantities without completely depriving your receptors of serotonin. Half of the dose keeps decreasing gradually over the period of 7 to 8 days. 

After spending a week or two, the med is on its lowest possible dose and now it is considered safe for you to stop using it. 

Unfortunately, a lot of people choose to take the process into their own hands and either try and reduce the dose themselves gradually or stop it all together.

What are the symptoms associated with mirtazapine withdrawal? 

Mirtazapine withdrawal can get pretty bad and may affect some people more than the others. Some of the withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nightmares
  • Excessive dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Delirium
  • Emotional stress
  • Impaired motor coordination
  • Intrusive thoughts

These symptoms may vary from person to person, depending on the dose. This is why it is recommended to never stop your mirtazapine abruptly because these withdrawal symptoms may become much worse than the side effects your antidepressant was giving you. 

How long does mirtazapine withdrawal last?

Mirtazapine Withdrawal lasts for about 4 to 8 weeks. Different factors affect the duration of your withdrawal symptoms. One of these factors include the half-life of the drug. Drugs with longer half lives produce withdrawal symptoms for a longer period of time. Half life of mirtazapine is 20-40 hours. 

Most people experience the first symptoms of withdrawal within one to three days after their last dose. Even if you taper off, you may still experience some symptoms. 

During days four to five, the symptoms may become more intense, depending on the dose you were on and the duration of your therapy. Some people experience dizziness, nausea, shakiness and fever. 

Your symptoms will gradually start to fade away in a week or two. It, too, depends on how your body reacts to this withdrawal. It is extremely important to follow your taper schedule vigilantly. 

It may take longer than you think it should, but it’s important to go slowly, so your brain has enough time to adjust the doses. Within a few weeks, it will be safe to stop using your med. Don’t mess up your taper schedule, if you wish to prevent discontinuation syndrome.

Conclusion 

In this blog post, we have discussed mirtazapine withdrawal after 2 months. Mirtazapine is an antidepressant which is used to treat a variety of mental health conditions. 

You can stop this antidepressant after 2 months, but only if the med makes your treatment unbearable for you or if it has completely cured the condition for which you have been taking this medication. However, no antidepressant can treat depression that early. 

Antidepressant treatment usually takes much more than 2 months to counteract the symptoms associated with depression and other mental health conditions. Make sure you don’t misuse mirtazapine or any other medication. Take only as much as your doctor has recommended. Do not take any more or less than that. 

FAQs: mirtazapine withdrawal after 2 months

How long does mirtazapine withdrawal last?

Mirtazapine Withdrawal lasts for about 4 to 8 weeks. Different factors affect the duration of your withdrawal symptoms. One of these factors include the half-life of the drug. Drugs with longer half lives produce withdrawal symptoms for a longer period of time. Half life of mirtazapine is 20-40 hours. 

Most people experience the first symptoms of withdrawal within one to three days after their last dose. Even if you taper off, you may still experience some symptoms. 

Is it hard to withdraw from mirtazapine?

Yes, mirtazapine withdrawal can be hard. mirtazapine alters the amounts of excitatory chemicals in your brain, both serotonin and norepinephrine. 

Now, if you take away such meds rapidly, the availability of serotonin and norepinephrine reduces. This results in the receptors craving these excitatory neurotransmitters as they have been receiving them for quite a while now, and you start experiencing withdrawal symptoms. 

This deficiency is responsible for producing withdrawal symptoms. In order to prevent such a situation, your healthcare provider simply just reduces the dose of your antidepressant.

What happens if you come off mirtazapine too quickly?

If you come off mirtazapine too quickly, you will start to experience mirtazapine withdrawal syndrome, which is associated with symptoms like:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nightmares
  • Excessive dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Delirium
  • Emotional stress
  • Impaired motor coordination
  • Intrusive thoughts

These symptoms may vary from person to person, depending on the dose. This is why it is recommended to never stop your mirtazapine abruptly because these withdrawal symptoms may become much worse than the side effects your antidepressant was giving you. 

How do I deal with mirtazapine withdrawal?

You can try to counteract some of the withdrawal symptoms by making healthy lifestyle changes. Some important points include:

  • Gastrointestinal side effects can be avoided by a healthy diet. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. They are a good source of fibre and can improve your digestion and bowel movements. 
  • You can also try probiotics to replenish your healthy gut bacteria that can significantly make your gut health better.
  • If you suffer from diarrhoea, there are plenty of over-the-counter antidiarrheal agents that can help you.
  • Some foods can boost the level of serotonin in your brain, like eggs, pineapple, cheese, salmon, nuts, and seeds. 

What is the best way to come off mirtazapine?

The three best ways to come off mirtazapine successfully include:

  • Follow proper taper schedule
  • Learn to deal with withdrawal symptoms 
  • Make healthy lifestyle changes

References

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