How to taper off mirtazapine 15mg?

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In this blog post, we are going to answer the question, “How to taper off mirtazapine 15mg?”. Mirtazapine is an antidepressant which is used to treat a number of mental health related problems. 

However, it is not an easy medication and it may cause some complications when it comes to stop using it. This blog will cover the best way to taper off 15mg mirtazapine. 

How to taper off mirtazapine 15mg? 

In order to taper off 15mg mirtazapine, your dose will be reduced to 7.5mg for 7 to 9 days. Once your body is adjusted to the decreased dose, your treatment with mirtazapine is stopped. However, for people who taper down from higher doses, 15mg is usually considered the final dose. 

If you want to stop taking an antidepressant, the advice is to speak to your doctor, as this process depends on a lot of factors. Symptoms associated with discontinuation syndrome really mess up your brain. They sometimes irritate you, even more than the side effects your medicine was giving you. 

Following a proper taper schedule is crucial when it comes to stopping mirtazapine safely. Antidepressants are known to cause disturbing withdrawal symptoms because of the mechanism of action through which they produce their effects. 

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.

This abrupt withdrawal leads to 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. 

Why is mirtazapine withdrawal a big problem? 

Mirtazapine withdrawal can be a big problem because of the effects this med produces. As we have discussed, 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.

Now this is the worst thing you can do to yourself. Never stop or start any sort of medication on your own. There are medications, called over-the-counter meds, which can be taken without prescription.

But meds, like antidepressants, antipsychotics, CNS stimulants etc, which affect your brain, your cognition, memory, feelings, decision making abilities, how could you possibly think of starting or withdrawing such meds on your own? It is something for you to think about.

How long do mirtazapine withdrawal symptoms last?

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.

How to deal with mirtazapine withdrawal symptoms?

No matter how carefully you follow the taper schedule, you may still experience some withdrawal symptoms. The intensity of these symptoms can depend on a lot of factors. 

People who have been using mirtazapine for a long period of time are more likely to suffer from prominent withdrawal symptoms and may find it hard to adjust without the medication.  The dosage at which you were also makes a huge difference. 

Low doses do not produce major dependence. High doses, however, make pronounced changes in your body and can be difficult to discontinue. You can learn to deal with these symptoms by looking for ways to counteract them. 

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. Probiotics can also help with your diarrhoea. 

If you suffer from psychological symptoms that usually occur because of the absence of the excess amount of serotonin that mirtazapine was giving you, then you can try some natural foods to boost your serotonin levels. These include:

  • Eggs are considered a good source of serotonin. The protein present in eggs can significantly increase your plasma levels of tryptophan, which is the precursor  synthesis.
  • Pineapples are also a great source of serotonin. Make sure you eat them fresh, as the level of serotonin is highest in this time period. 
  • Cheese is also an excellent source of tryptophan. You can enjoy adding it to pretty much anything. I’m sure you have amazing recipes for it. 
  • Salmon is also rich in tryptophan. It is also a very good source of omega-3 fatty acids. 
  • Nuts and seeds are good sources of fibre, vitamins, antioxidants, good fats, and of course tryptophan, which as stated earlier, is the precursor of serotonin synthesis. 

There are other ways to boost excitatory chemicals in your brain. Research shows a close relationship between sunlight and serotonin levels in your body. Go for a walk in the morning or afternoon to boost your serotonin and to enhance your sleep quality. 

Studies show that your gut microflora has a great impact on your serotonin levels through the gut-brain axis. Make sure to add fibre and probiotics in your diet. 

Adopting a better, healthier lifestyle is the key to help you fight against not one, but a huge number of illnesses. It not only makes your body healthy but also boosts your immunity. 

Exercise is one of the best ways of increasing ‘happy chemicals’ in our system. Workout for at least half an hour, 3 to 4 times a week. Enjoy going for long walks. Learn new yoga moves, as yoga is one of the best ways to relax your racing mind.

Drink plenty of water. Water clears out toxins from your body. Try making a detox water by adding your favourite fruits in it. You can add lemon, cucumber, kiwi, oranges, berries, ginger etc, to make drinking water less boring. 

Conclusion

In this blog post, we have discussed the paper schedule for 15mg mirtazapine. However, it is considered a low dose mirtazapine and for people who taper down from higher doses, 15mg is considered the final dose.

Make sure you properly follow your healthcare provider’s taper schedule. It is also important to make sure you are stopping this antidepressant for the right reasons. 

Talk to your mental healthcare professional about whether or not it’s a good time for you to discontinue your medication. Do not go against your doctor’s recommendation. 

FAQs: how to taper off mirtazapine 15mg

How long does it take to come off 15mg mirtazapine?

Mirtazapine stays in your system for around 4-8 days. This antidepressant has a half life of about 20-40 hours. It means that the concentration of the drug is reduced to half after this time period. The remaining amount is further reduced to half in the next 20-40 hours. 

This process keeps on going until the drug is completely washed out from your body and it can take upto 4-8 days for the process to happen. However, this time duration can vary from person to person. 

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

Can you cut mirtazapine 15 mg in half?

Yes, you can cut 15mg mirtazapine in half. However, make sure you ask your healthcare provider before doing that. Uniform dose distribution is an important concern when you split your pills yourself.

Is mirtazapine difficult to come off?

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.

How long does it take for mirtazapine to leave your system?

Mirtazapine is a long acting antidepressant with a half life of about 20-40 hours. It means that the concentration of the drug is reduced to half after this time period. The remaining amount is further reduced to half in the next  20-40 hours. This process keeps on ongoing until the drug is completely washed out from your body. 

References

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