Mirtazapine (e.g., Remeron), like most antidepressants, has a relatively low potential for abuse and addiction. However, chronic use can lead to dependence and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms when a person attempts to quit or cut back.
Physicians usually recommend that patients follow a tapering schedule to help decrease the duration and severity of symptoms related to withdrawal. During this time, the amount of the dose will be reduced gradually over time. Although weaning leads to a lengthier withdrawal period, symptoms are milder, making it easier for individuals to adjust to living without the drug’s presence in their system.
Mirtazapine tends to stay in the body between 4-9 days but can be affected by several factors. Biology, kidney and liver function, sex, age, dosage, and drug use history all play a vital role in how rapidly an individual’s body processes and clears the drug. For those who gradually wean off mirtazapine, they can expect the detox and withdrawal period to last for many weeks.
Mirtazapine Withdrawal Symptoms
When an individual attempts to stop using mirtazapine suddenly, he or she can expect to experience withdrawal symptoms that may continue for several weeks. Those who opt to stop using cold turkey than undergo a drug taper are strongly advised to consult addiction professionals and consider a medically-assisted detox instead.
Common mirtazapine withdrawal symptoms include the following:
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Rebound depression
- Irrational beliefs
- Appetite changes
- Vertigo and dizziness
Mirtazapine withdrawal symptoms are not life-threatening but, when severe, may become very uncomfortable. However, it is critical to realize that those with strong dependencies on mirtazapine who try to stop suddenly may encounter profound depression or anxiety, and this could result in self-harm or suicidal ideations and behaviors.
You should consult with an addiction specialist or physician if symptoms become worse after a few weeks of discontinuing mirtazapine use. Although these withdrawal symptoms may be scary, they can be avoided through medical intervention and a solid recovery plan.
Mirtazapine Withdrawal Timeline
Mirtazapine is an antidepressant that works by impeding the reuptake of feel-good neurochemicals in the brain, such as serotonin, thereby increasing levels in the brain. These neurochemicals are believed to regulate mood and decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety. When a person who is dependent stops taking mirtazapine, his or her body will need time to adjust to restore normal levels of these chemicals in the brain.
The duration of mirtazapine depends on the length of time the drug was used, as well as the dosage, which is usually between 15-45 mg. If the dosage is particularly high, weaning can take several months if done correctly. Withdrawal symptoms will usually wane within one month after discontinuing use. However, the number and intensity of the symptoms will be relatively mild if a person slowly quits mirtazapine versus stopping suddenly.
Managing Withdrawal Symptoms
As noted, the best way to manage withdrawal symptoms when stopping the use of mirtazapine is to reduce the dosage gradually. The rate in which the dosage is decreased will depend on how the person’s brain and body responds to discontinuing use. Still, it is generally recommended to taper down only around 10% every month.
If you choose to taper yourself off of mirtazapine gradually, there are certain medications you should avoid using during this process. These include any other antidepressants and any medications that cause drowsiness. It is also recommended to avoid drinking alcohol or using marijuana while withdrawing from mirtazapine, as these substances can increase the intensity of withdrawal effects.
Getting Treatment for Substance Dependence
Many individuals successfully wean themselves off of mirtazapine using a tapering or weaning schedule developed by a doctor and can do so safely at home. Others, however, especially those who have severe dependencies one or more substances, can benefit from intensive treatment.
Finding the best treatment for mirtazapine addiction and dependence is essential to the recovery process. When stopping the use of antidepressants such as mirtazapine, you should seek a facility that also specializes in the treatment of comorbid disorders, such as anxiety or depression. By treating any existing psycho-emotional issues in addition to withdrawal symptoms, this helps individuals to better concentrate on recovery from substance abuse.
Comprehensive, evidence-based treatment programs, such as those offered by Just Believe Recovery and Just Believe Detox feature experiential activities, psychotherapy, individual and family counseling, substance abuse education, and an aftercare program to help people achieve their long-term recovery goals.
If you are trying to discontinue the use of antidepressants or quit abusing drugs or alcohol, we urge you to contact us today! Addiction consultants are standing by to answer your questions and help you reclaim the healthy and happy life you deserve!