Is it okay to withdraw from mirtazapine after 1 week?

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In this blog post, we are going to answer the question, “Is it okay to withdraw from mirtazapine after 1 week?”. Mirtazapine is an antidepressant which belongs to the class of tetracyclic antidepressants. It is used to treat a number of mental health related problems. 

However, it is not an easy medication when it comes to stopping it. This blog will cover the consequences of stopping your mirtazapine just after a week of your treatment. We will also look at the withdrawal symptoms to help understand the dangers of stopping this medication abruptly. 

Is it okay to withdraw from mirtazapine after 1 week?

No, it is not okay to withdraw from mirtazapine just after a week of using this antidepressant. This med usually takes a few weeks to kick in and you can not expect it to cure your depression, or any other condition for which you are taking it, in just 1 week. 

Mirtazapine (Brand name: Remeron) is an 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 (Remeron) 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 remeron 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. However, this does not happen overnight and may take up to 6 weeks. Some people can take much longer than that. 

What are the consequences of stopping your mirtazapine just after a week?

Discontinuation of mirtazapine just after a week may result in the following consequences:

  • Therapeutic failure 
  • Withdrawal syndrome 
  • Chances of your mental health condition getting worse 

Therapeutic failure 

Therapeutic failure is a big concern when it comes to stopping your mirtazapine just after a week of your treatment. This is wrong on so many levels as you will not gain any benefit, whatsoever. Antidepressants, including mirtazapine, take around 4 to 5 weeks to work. 

Depression and other mental health problems take time to progress and so does their treatment. It’s not just the time taken by the drug to produce its effects, but the time taken by your body to adjust to the medicine. 

Yes, it is a known fact that antidepressants may make you feel worse before they make you feel better. 

This is because the side effects of mirtazapine and every other antidepressant arise way earlier than the beneficial effects, but it doesn’t indicate that you should stop your treatment. 

This is a common fact to bear the side effects, which start to subside within 2 to 3 weeks of treatment. Just hang in there, give your body enough time to adjust and opt for a better and healthier lifestyle. This way, I’m sure you’ll achieve better results. 

Withdrawal syndrome 

Abrupt withdrawal of mirtazapine leads to withdrawal or discontinuation syndrome. When you start taking antidepressant, it increases the amount of serotonin in your body. 

Over time, your body gets used to this increased amount of serotonin. When you suddenly stop using it, it creates an unannounced serotonin deficiency, to which your body reacts in a negative way. You may suffer from the following symptoms:

  • 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. 

If side effects are the reason for your discontinuation, make sure it was worth it. If you’re allergic to mirtazapine or any other excipient present in the formulation of this antidepressant, then stopping mirtazapine is a good option. 

Antidepressants are meant to be used for a longer period of time and if yours is making you sick or causing an allergic reaction, then it’s not worth using it. If you’re suffering from mild side effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, insomnia, drowsiness or muscle pain, don’t worry. 

These side effects are not good enough reasons to stop your mirtazapine as they will begin to fade away within a few weeks, when your body will become adjusted to it. 

Chances of your mental health condition getting worse 

If you discontinue your mirtazapine before giving it even a chance of producing beneficial effects, chances are that your mental health condition, for which your doctor prescribed mirtazapine, will start getting worse. 

The symptoms that disturbed you enough that you ended up in your doctor’s office, may become much more intense and difficult to bear. You have got to give mirtazapine a chance, unless you can’t tolerate it or it causes an allergic reaction. 

Several studies suggest that non-adherence followed by people is one of the most common causes of disease relapse. 

However, stopping mirtazapine just after a week without any valid reason will produce no beneficial effects and will not treat any of the symptoms associated with your mental health condition. 

Make sure you take your treatment seriously in order to get rid of your condition for good. If your condition becomes worse, you will regret stopping your mirtazapine. 

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.

Conclusion 

In this blog post, we have discussed the risk associated with the discontinuation of treatment with mirtazapine just after one week. Mirtazapine is an antidepressant which is used to treat a variety of mental health related problems. 

This med takes at least 3 to 4 weeks to start producing noticeable therapeutic results. It is not recommended to stop taking mirtazapine after 1 week, unless it produces an allergic reaction or unbearable side effects. 

Therapeutic failure is a big concern when it comes to stopping your mirtazapine just after a week of your treatment. This is wrong on so many levels as you will not gain any benefit, whatsoever. 

If you discontinue your mirtazapine before giving it even a chance of producing beneficial effects, chances are that your mental health condition, for which your doctor prescribed mirtazapine, will start getting worse. Make sure you take your mirtazapine properly to ensure maximum therapeutic response. 

FAQs: mirtazapine withdrawal after 1 week

Can I stop mirtazapine after a week?

No, you should not stop mirtazapine after just a week of your treatment. This med usually takes a few weeks to kick in and you can not expect it to cure your  depression or any other condition for which you are taking it in just a week. 

If side effects are the reason for your discontinuation, make sure it was worth it. If you’re allergic to mirtazapine or any other excipient present in the formulation of this antidepressant, then stopping mirtazapine is a good option. 

How long does it take to feel normal after stopping mirtazapine?

The time taken by your body to completely adjust without mirtazapine depends on your physiology. There is no standard time duration for this and it hugely varies from person to person. Some people start to get better in just a few weeks, while others may take 6 to 7 months to feel completely normal again. 

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. 

Does your brain go back to normal after antidepressants?

Your brain does go back to normal after you stop using antidepressants, but it takes time and this time taken depends on the duration of your antidepressant therapy. It could take up to 10 months to go back to your normal serotonin levels, after long-term antidepressant therapy.

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. 

What happens if you stop mirtazapine abruptly?

Abrupt withdrawal of mirtazapine leads to withdrawal or discontinuation syndrome. When you start taking antidepressant, it increases the amount of serotonin in your body. 

Over time, your body gets used to this increased amount of serotonin. When you suddenly stop using it, it creates an unannounced serotonin deficiency, to which your body reacts in a negative way. You may suffer from the following symptoms:

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

References

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