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Thread: Prescribed Mirtazapine due to Anxiety over short term Insomnia problem

  1. #1
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    Oct 2013
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    Prescribed Mirtazapine due to Anxiety over short term Insomnia problem

    Hi, I was hit with a viral infection about a week ago which prevented me from sleeping due to sinus pain- completely normal and not out of the ordinary but for some reason I then began to feel anxious about not being able to get to sleep even after all my viral symptoms had vanished... In total I had about 7 nights of no sleep. I just made myself panic in bed and then towards the end of the week it had taken over my mind and was the only thing I could think about 'would I be able to sleep tonight.' My pressure to be able to sleep was made worse because I have a 2year old son to look after.

    I finally hit breaking point yesterday and went to the doctors who although said he didn't think I was depressed, said I could become depressed should my problem carry on and therefore prescribed me with 30mg Mirtazapine to tackle the anxiety and insomnia. I took my first tablet last night at around 8pm and fell asleep within the hour, I woke up about 9am the next day and have felt quite sleepy most of today. I am a little wary of being on this medication as I feel I would be myself should I be able to get to sleep normally again but on the otherhand am not sure if I've possibly just triggered off some anxiety that I've always had. I have always been an anxious person but not to the extend where I would feel I need help. Will it be easy to come off Mirtazpine or is it likely that I will find some dependance on it for going to sleep? I'm worried because the main component in my cycle of anxiety..is the sleep, so would hope that once I've finished and decided to come off Mirtazpine..I will be able to and will be able to continue sleeping properly.. I'm only 22 and have never ever been on antidepressants before, and it just worries me that I don't really need them..

  2. #2
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    Re: Prescribed Mirtazapine due to Anxiety over short term Insomnia problem

    30mg seems a little high if it is just for sleep. Mirtazapine is usually sedating in the lower doses such as 15mg. Unfortunately mirtazapine can increase anxiety in some people. If you remain on 30mg it might not help you to sleep after a few weeks. I have found mirtazapine very difficult to come off and it is not recommended to come off it 'cold turkey' it is better to do it very slowly or cross-taper onto a different med. I have been on mirtazapine 45mg for about five years now. I have come off it twice and found that very difficult. Could you suggest to your GP that you try a lower dose first ? EJ

  3. #3

    Re: Prescribed Mirtazapine due to Anxiety over short term Insomnia problem

    Hi xrachykinsx, I've also been prescribed Mirt for sleep anxiety. It's worked wonders but like you I'm worried as to how I'm going to come off it. I was told to take 30mg and the first time I took it I could hardly get up the stairs because I just came over all tired and my legs felt shaky. I slept for around 12 hours and the day after I felt so tired and worn out. I just couldn't get motivated. I took 30mg for around a week and although I was getting lots of sleep I felt so knackered and out of it the day after I decided to come down to 15mg. I've now been taking 15mg for about three weeks. Some days I'll feel wiped out the day after but those days are few and far between now. I've spent a lot of time trying to work out if I have severe anxiety in general or if it's just sleep anxiety and I've come to the conclusion that although I do suffer from social phobia and get het up about things the main thing in my life that stresses me out and has become a massive issue to me is sleep and atm Mirt is working wonders for that so I'm going to stick with it. I also have a toddler and when I wasn't sleeping I felt suicidal and very depressed and like a right rubbish mother, it was all due to serious sleep deprivation. Now I'm on Mirt those feelings have gone and I'm on the right path to getting back to my old self. Yes I'd prefer to be able to sleep without the help of any medication (I used to be the queen of sleep, I bloody loved it!) but atm that's not possible so I'm just having a bit of a helping hand. Perhaps you could just try and see it like that and worry about coming off it etc when you've been on it a bit longer and are feeling stronger in yourself? If in a few days if you're still feeling like you are I'd suggest talking to your doc about decreasing your dose. I was worried about talking 15mg instead of 30mg, I was panicking that I wouldn't get to sleep and it'd all kick off again but that dose still got me sleeping x

  4. #4
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    Re: Prescribed Mirtazapine due to Anxiety over short term Insomnia problem

    15 mg is the usual dose for sleep - you might want to try that, as you can always top up if it doesn't work. As always, consult with your doctor about any change in dose.

    I suspect that doctors may be prescribing mirtazapine for sleep because of the great benzodiazepine / z-drug addiction fear epidemic. If your problem is short term, a BDZ or z-drug might have been a more suitable choice. Nevertheless, if you only need to take mirtazapine for a month or less, it's not so likely that you will have any major discontinuation problems, particularly if you taper down.

    For the moment, it's helped break your insomnia cycle, so that's a plus. If it helps stop any anxiety or depression, that's also a plus. Good luck with it, and hope all works out well.

  5. #5
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    Re: Prescribed Mirtazapine due to Anxiety over short term Insomnia problem

    I am so sorry I didn't reply sooner. I completley forgot about this forum which was a shame as you gave me some lovely replies. Unfortunately my sleep problem turned into more of a problem. It was just the trigger for all my stresses to bubble over. I've been suffering with depression and anxiety for qutie a while now as a result..so the 30mg dose was probably correct as I did get myself into a state. I deneied I had a problem for a long time thinking I could sort it out myself so I'm actually only 8 weeks in to taking 30mg now. It doesn't force me to sleep anymore which is good..I can stay up for about 1hour and a half after taking at 10pm and I wake up with no problems, only isssue is..my anxiety isn't completley gone. I still feel very uneasy most of the time. I've just posted a new thread as I didn't realise I'd posted on here already...but it's regarding my next query anyway xx

  6. #6
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    Re: Prescribed Mirtazapine due to Anxiety over short term Insomnia problem

    Hello all,

    Like Rachy I had insomnia probs which got worse and worse. Was given zopiclone initially but was very anxious about taking it.
    Tried citalopram but side effects were very bad and lost my thinking completely.
    Became obsessed with lack of sleep.
    Was depressed and anxious and given mirt 15mg which was okay, but the sedative effect did not really help with the sleep anxiety.
    6 weeks ago went up to 30mg mirt which has helped with my mood,
    Sleep is a bit better but I'm still worried as each night comes and have zop for emergencies.
    What has helped me is great friends and family, CBT, educating myself about sleep good book on amazon by Colin Espie which is a superb tool for insomniacs. Adjusting to the situation , accepting it and realising a poor nights sleep means that I have a better chance of sleeping better the next night through being more tired. I can still do most things after a poor night even if feeling a bit grotty.
    These longer and sunny days help with mood too.
    Still v much a work in progress and likely to be on 30mg mirt for a few months yet at least.

  7. #7
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    Re: Prescribed Mirtazapine due to Anxiety over short term Insomnia problem

    Hi Rachy,

    I take pregabalin with mirtazapine, as I found that mirtazapine alone wasn't enough to deal with anxiety. It is something to keep in mind if current medication and therapy aren't fully working.

  8. #8
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    Re: Prescribed Mirtazapine due to Anxiety over short term Insomnia problem

    Hey, thanks for your replies. I don't have the sleep problem now I have been taking my 30mg dose for a few months now but I just have this general anxiety about 'not feeling completley at ease' I don't really want to start adding other meds into the mix. I've been given an increase to 45mg and haven't started taking yet...but thinking I will tonight as I'm still not feeling 100% great. Overall the mirtazapine 30mg has helped me to be more stable but i'm still feeling pretty urggh at times.

  9. #9
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    Nov 2011
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    Re: Prescribed Mirtazapine due to Anxiety over short term Insomnia problem

    The best thing about mirtazapine for me is the ability to sleep. Having had very bad sleep for months I am now able to sleep for 7 hours.

    Unfortunately mirt hasn't got rid of the anxiety,but I think I am able to deal with it better because I am not so tired.

    As for increasing the dose, you have to try it to see if it benefits you. When I increased my dose it just made me too drowsy during the day. Everyone reacts differently,so it is worth a try to see if it helps you. Good luck x

  10. #10
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    Re: Prescribed Mirtazapine due to Anxiety over short term Insomnia problem

    It is good for the sleep my sleep is now perfect...but unfortunately I'm not comforted enough by this as I still feel quite uneasy during the day. I just can't relax or feel completley fine. It's weird really as this anxiety only started as anxiety for going to sleep! I have decided i'm going to give the 45mg a go...I'll only keep wondering if I don't!

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