Survivor1

Survivor1: Sleeping after trazodone (and benzo)

250 posts in this topic

Thanks Marie.  I wonder how long I will have to hold after my too-large drop.  I can't imagine feeling like this for the next 3-4 months!  Will have to wait and see...

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Four weeks now since my large drop of trazodone, and I think I can safely say that I will not need to updose.  I still have fatigue, anxiety (constant, but low grade), dizziness and a few other minor sxs.  But I feel that I am over the hump - touch wood.  Will wait for at least another 4 weeks to stabilize further then make another drop.

 

My sleep has improved with this drop, but I still have some twitching, which keeps waking me up.  I am thinking of moving about 0.5 mg mirtazepine to the morning and taking the ramainder at night with the trazodone and seroquel.  I will do this tonight as I don't think I can wait another month to do this.  Hopefully I am not too sedated in the morning!

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So, on 04/17, I decided to split the mirtazepine dose to see if it would address the remaining twitching.  I took 1.9 at night with the other meds and 0.5 the next morning.

 

That did not go over well!  I was VERY shaky in the morning, with anxiety through the roof.  By afternoon I was feeling better, but today the anxiety and shakiness are still there. I know that they are not from the large traz drop, as I was feeling fairly well before the split.  I am a little scared of this med.  Seems like I will have to super-micro taper off it (1% or less).  

 

That means that instead of tapering down off mirt first, as I was planning to do, I may have to reduce trazodone first.  

 

Now that I am at a lower dose of traz, I find that even though I sleep 6 hours a night, the sleep does not feel restful.  The quality of sleep on trazodone was quite good even though short (gave only 6 hours at its peak).

 

I am trying to re-stabilize after this blip.  Man, anxiety stinks!

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Time for an update...

 

A week ago I posted that I am over the hump.  Well, now I am not so sure!  I have been having massive anxiety the last few days and having VERY sick episodes.  I do not want to updose since it is now 5 weeks since the drop.  Am trying to hang on ...

 

Even worse, my serotonin syndrome sxs are back.  They had diminished when I made the drop in traz, but again I am having rapid heart rate, insomnia - 4 hrs a night now, some twitching (although there is some improvement with this one) during the night that get better as the day wears on.  This puzzles me as I thought once serotonin levels are reduced (from the drop in traz), they are reduced for good.  The best remedy for this is to reduce mirtazepine, but anytime I make a reduction in this, however small, anxiety skyrockets.  So I am trying to reduce trazodone instead thinking I'll be better able to tolerate it, but now I am now so sure ...

 

Anyhow, seems like I'll have to just push through.  I am praying to stabilize soon, so that I can make small drops in traz.  I have been calculating how long it will take to taper traz and it seems like it will take me at least fours years!  So four years of this before I see any relief?  Lord help me!

 

Right now am in a dark place ...

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Update ...

 

Feeling better since last post with regard to the trazodone drop.  However the twitching, rapid heart rate and diminished sleep are recurring.  I was very hopeful when I dropped the trazodone since I had seen improvements for about two weeks after, but these symptoms are slowly coming back.

 

I am thinking  of moving mirtazepine to the morning (all of it), at least for a few days to see if there is improvement.  Have to be prepared for sedation in the morning ... ugh.  Have run out of ideas.  Dejected because feel I need to get rid of the mirt but can't seem to drop it without severe wd.

 

Question:  If I take mirt in the morning, would tapering it affect sleep at night?

 

Thanks for the support.

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Can't believe I posted about feeling better only yesterday.  Today I have been hit hard again.  I have developed brain zaps, incredible shakiness/feeling vulnerable, ear myoclonus (that again!), constant low-grade headache,  among the other usual suspects.

 

I felt that by now (in my 6th week since the traz drop) I would see more better than worse days. But today is the worse yet.  I am praying that it doesn't deteriorate further.

I am really trying to hold on and not updose as doing so would only cause the drug interaction (traz/mirt) to worsen, and I've come this far ...

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Hi Survivor1, thanks for stopping by my thread with your encouraging words, it is much appreciated.  I've read through your thread and very sorry to hear that you have had to suffer through some very challenging times.  I'm astonished when I read about doctors over-prescribing these very dangerous drugs ... it's unconscionable.  I can very much relate to you writing about feeling good one day and the next day you are thrown back into withdrawal.  It's very discouraging when symptoms change so drastically from one day to the next, sometimes hour by hour, and can be very disheartening.  After trying to speed up my taper a couple of months ago, it caused a lot of problems and I'm now in the middle of a three-month long hold to re-stabilize so I can restart my taper.  If you are able, please try and hold at your current dose ... I do believe that the body/mind does eventually rebalance itself if we hold at a stable and steady dose.  Am wishing you every success getting off of this poison.            

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So, the good: things have not deteriorated; the bad, they are just all-round unbearable, lol.

 

3 hours of sleep last night due to the twitching; don't know now if the twitching is from wd or mirt/traz interaction ...  On the few nights there were no jerks/twitches, and I have had a few of those, I get 6 hours of sleep.  I still have heavy limbs, anxiety, dizziness as the other main sxs.

 

On the home front, had a blowout argument with husband.  Can't understand why after 6 weeks since dropping traz I still have strong wd; said at this point wd sxs must be "psychosomatic", and "doesn't make sense".  Thinks I am catastrophizing when I tell him it will take me several years to get off the meds, because he thinks I could get off mirt "this summer" by tolerating the wd. Reminded him of last summer when I rapid tapered trazodone...  Argh!

 

This has been hard on the family as I do not do as much with the kids anymore, and he has been filling the void so far without complaining.  So I think it all came to a head this morning.

 

This forum has been good for me because it is the only place where people understand what wd is really like.  I had started seeing a CBT therapist to help me cope with the wd sxs, and while she is supportive of the taper, she mentioned that if I wanted to stay on the meds, then that's ok too because "antidepressants are harmless".  I did not respond to that.

 

Something I need to work on:  always thinking that the drugs will poop out any moment, and I will be in a bigger soup than I am now.  This causes a lot of unnecessary anguish as I seem to lie in wait for it to to happen.  I need to focus on the fact that they have not as yet (and may not ever will).

 

Thanks for listening, all.

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Sounds like you are doing everything you can to keep your head above water! Sometimes, that is ALL we can do. And that is ok. Hard on others though I am sure - they don't understand fully what this rollercoaster is like. Hoping and praying your symptoms ease and you stabilize asap!

-Meg

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Hello Meg,

 

Your support really means a lot.  Things are good at home now, I think we all needed to vent.  Made me aware even more that I am not the only one affected by this.

 

Today I am feeling much better, but as you know this can be followed by a nasty wave.  But I am making sure to take the time to appreciate all windows!

 

Thanks for stopping by, my Texas friend.

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Hi Survivor1, you have come a long way juggling a multi-drug taper and am happy to hear that things aren't getting any worse.  Sounds like you have a positive attitude which really is half the battle.  Very hard to stay positive when things can be so challenging day-to-day.  Hoping you start to feel better soon.  All the best to you.

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Hi Baroquep,

 

I am trying to be positive but it is hard because I am in an adverse reaction situation.  Combo ramps up my heart rate and twitching which leads to poor sleep (the reason I'm on them in the first place!).

 

So there is no choice but to push through.

 

I hear you about the constantly changing symptoms, can be disheartening at times... Anyway I think I am on the upswing (note I said this at week 2 also, lol), touch wood.

 

Thanks for stopping by.  All the best to you too in this challenging journey.

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Into the 7th week since dropping dose of traz, but still not stabilized!  Having anxiety, shakiness, weak limbs as the main sxs, with other minor ones.

 

Wearing me out ...

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Into the 7th week since dropping dose of traz, but still not stabilized!  Having anxiety, shakiness, weak limbs as the main sxs, with other minor ones.

 

Wearing me out ...

 

Hang in there! I will be praying for you.

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Thanks, ShakeyJerr.

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In the 8th week after the traz drop.  Sxs are actually worsening :(!  WTH? I thought that at least they wouldn't be getting worse, even hoped for improvement, by now.  Can't imagine this, it's not like I have ct'd.  Anyway the body will heal only when it heals ... hoping for stabilization soon.

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Survivor, I am so sorry to hear your symptoms are worsening! :( What dose are you on and what symptoms are worse? I see you are in Texas as well, are you able to get outside much? Around the area I live in TX it has been great weather, which always helps me when I am struggling. I imagine your brain IS healing and sometimes things get worse right before they get BETTER!

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Hi Meg,  thanks for checking up on me.  Unfortunately, I am not out of the woods.  Anxiety is the worst followed by severe fatigue.  I think I am able to weather them because I'm sleeping OK; I am able to go for walks despite the body aches.  I know these sxs are part of the deal, but when they appear late or worsen after so many weeks, it is disheartening.

 

I am now worried that I will have to wait more than the regular month after a normal drop to stabilize if my sxs show up late, thereby lengthening my taper even more...

 

I hope you are doing well in your taper.  Glad you are able to get off trazodone (am jealous a little bit  ;) ).

 

Cheers.

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Update:

 

Now in the tenth week after dropping large dose of traz.  Still not stabilized.  Anxiety is the worst.  Am having windows regarding fatigue, body ache though.  Toughing it out ...

 

I had been sleeping at least 6 hours/night which is OK for me.  However, the twitching that I had been complaining about for the longest while (either adverse reaction to a drug I'm taking, or interaction between them), has worsened, and so has sleep. The scariest is when my windpipe contracts suddenly and I can't breathe causing a panic attack ... As an experiment, I have moved the mirtazepine to morning, starting today.  All day I have been pretty sedated.  Don't know if this will let up as the days go on.  I am hoping that sleep improves after this, although I expect in the next few days it may worsen.

 

So, overall, I'm meh, just passing each day hoping for a better one next day ... I am actually shocked how long it is taking to stabilize from the traz drop, and how late symptoms are popping up:  Week 7 paresthesia, week 8 intense anxiety, week 9 restless leg, etc. 

 

I am really worried about this twitching thing.  It is usually followed by awakening, rapid heart rate.  And I know the only way out of it is to get off the drugs. But I know my body will not even allow a 10% taper, so I am stuck in this situation for a long time ...

 

Anyway, my plan is to stabilize from the trazodone, then begin a slow taper off mirtazepine.  Beyond that, I will hold off on the planning.

 

Sigh ...

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Hi Survivor1, sorry to hear you are still having problems.  When I ran into trouble trying to speed up my taper, I had to hold for a long time before I started to stabilize.  I was a little surprised at how long it took, almost three months.  As well, I had to eliminate just about every supplement I was taking because I was so sensitive.  Noticed in your signature that you are taking a multivitamin and fish oil and wonder if either of these supplements are causing you additional issues.  I know that some people on this site who have taken fish oil and have had a bad reaction.  As well, B vitamins seems to aggravate withdrawal symptoms, so you might want to check your multivitamin.  In my experience, even the most innocuous things can cause us trouble, coffee, sugar, too much exercise, etc.  Another thing I discovered was that not all of us can tolerate a 10% reduction.  Since starting my taper last year, I consistently reduced 10% every month but when I ran into trouble back in February this year, I was very hesitate to reduce at 10% so did a test reduction of 7% this month and this time has been much easier for me.  While we are all different, and what works for one person may not work for another, thought I'd share my experience with you to see if any of the above might help you as well.  Hoping you find stability soon.  Best of luck.

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Hi Baroquep,

 

Thanks for stopping by.  I will heed your advice regarding supplements. In the past, they have not been issues, but will consider them if I don't stabilize soon.  Today I feel decent, so I'm hoping stability is around the corner.

 

Unfortunately, I now have to focus on an adverse reaction situation regarding mirtazepine.  Suffice it to say that I need to start tapering that drug as soon as I can, but I am really scared of it as past experience on reducing it has been really bad.

 

Am feeling very overwhelmed, scared about my general situation.  The reason for dropping such a large dose of trazodone was to address what I thought was a negative interaction between trazodone and mirt, but it now appears that the culprit is the mirt.  Am also developing new side effects from it (eyelid twitching 30 mins after dosing for a few hours!)

 

I am very glad that you have been able to resume your taper, and doing well.  I appreciate your support!

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Moderators, please advise ...

 

As you can see from my posts, I have been having issues with drug interactions between trazodone and mirtazepine for a while.  It is the reason for the large drop of trazodone recently, thinking the interaction would diminish.  But, last week the symptoms began to worsen.  I started having severe insomnia where I would drift off but each time I would be jolted awake.  I am positive that this wasn't from the trazodone drop - it felt different.

 

Fortunately, I have mostly stabilized from the trazodone drop done 10 weeks ago.

 

Three days ago, I moved mirt to the morning to see if that would make a difference. It didn't. In fact the s**t has hit the fan. I now have complete insomnia (1hour last night), racing heart, night sweats, goosebumps, panic attacks, increased twitching, all textbook symptoms of serotonin syndrome.  I suspect the increase in symptoms is caused by the increased amount or mirtazepine in my system due to dosing 12 hears earlier.

 

What to do?

 

I am contemplating cold-turkeying from 2.4 mg, but maybe this is my panic-stricken mind talking.  Has anyone jumped mirtazepine from 2.4 and lived to tell about it.

 

The other option would be to do large cuts and stabilize after each, but knowing I would not get any relief until I'm off.  I don't know if this is even advisable as serotonin syndrome in extreme cases if left untreated can be fatal.

 

Please let me know if there are any other options that I haven't thought about.

 

I am trying not to panic, but frankly am close to it.

 

Thanks for listening.

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Friends,

 

I took the plunge - I missed my remeron dose yesterday.  I just couldn't tolerate the adverse effects anymore.

 

Immediately I saw reduction in all symptoms. There was no night sweating, no racing heart, 75% reduction in muscle jerks/twitching, 50% reduction in alerting so was able to sleep decently.  I assume as the remaining remnants of remeron are gone so will the rest of the symptoms.

 

I had spoken to my GP and her advice was to get off remeron, reducing by 0.5 mg every week (a "proper" taper to her since I'm on such a "small" dose), so pretty much a cold-turkey.  I don't know if I have a choice anymore, so I decided to jump.

 

I feel like I'm on the uptrack of a roller coaster without a safety harness; I am savoring these few honeymoon days as I know what is coming soon, bracing for the worst, and hope that I can white-knuckle it through. 

 

Will update (read complaint, whine, vent ...) as time goes on.

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Hi Survivor1,

 

You did what you think was best for you.

I am glad that some of the symptoms that you have experienced have reduced.

Stay positive and strong. You might not experience really bad WDS.

I read through your thread and I too was taking Seroquel and Mirtazapine when I could not sleep 3 years ago. I quit Seroquel cold turkey.

What is it with Seroquel being prescribed for insomnia? It is not right.

I wish you all the best.

Hopefull :)

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1 week after ditching mirt:

 

Low grade body ache, strong abdominal pain (and some diarrhea), fullness (pressure?) in ears, tinnitus.  Am concerned about tinnitus, but will have to cope; hope it does not get worse.  

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I am so sorry to hear you are suffering. Have you had your thyroid tested lately? Tsh free t3 and free t4 to make sure it's not worsening symptoms? I have thyroid issues as well and know all to well how it affects me when they are hyper or hypo. Wishing you all the best!

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Kalinia,

 

Thank you for your support.  My thyroid is normal (all three values), tested 3 months ago.  My sxs are from WD, as I felt perfectly fine just before dropping mirtazepine.  I just have to grin and bear it ...

 

Hope you are doing well!

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2 weeks off mirt:

 

Am still functional.  Have several episodes of feeling quite sick, but passes after 1-2 hrs.  Feel WD ramping up over the last two days, so I expect worsening as time goes on.  

 

Current SXS: tinnitus, burning skin, broken sleep (at this time still getting 5-6 hrs), some shakiness, abdominal pain.  Random episodes of dizziness, limb weakness, feeling faint.  So far, all tolerable.

 

By end of week 1, ALL sxs of serotonin syndrome gone. Yay!  Now I have to hunker down for this jump from mirt; so far, so good.

 

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Great news!  I hope you remain steady & stable.  Take things slow.  WD is excruciating.  I wouldn't care if it took me 10 years to taper off meds if it meant the end of my WD symptoms.  

 

Hope things are still going well for you!

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Hello Trying,

 

Your support means a lot. Thanks for your kind words. I'm in the third week of a forced drop off mirtazepine, and like you, am trying to hold on.  

 

It's waves and windows; since it's only been a few weeks, I expect the windows to get shorter and shorter until I get over the hump.  Most of the week was OK, but from yesterday, I saw a rapid deterioration.  I knew it was coming, so am holding on as I cannot reinstate this drug due to serotonin syndrome reaction with another I'm taking.

 

It's summer holidays and my kids are home from school.  Again I am sick like I was last summer when I rapid tapered trazodone.  I'm afraid all they see of me is as a sick person.

 

Am gonna ride it out ...

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4 weeks off mirt:

 

Wow, I survived 4 weeks!  Overall it has been tolerable, but this past week has seen a worsening of sxs.  Today I am feeling quite sick, out of sorts.

 

So far the worst sxs have been fatigue, GI distress (abdominal pain/cramps, nausea, bloating, loose stools), tinnitus.  Others are disorientation, dizziness, broken sleep (but still getting around 5-6 hours), burning skin.  I have seen improvement in the disorientation, dizziness and fatigue.  Hope the improvements continue.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if WD becomes worse over the next few months.  I am just hoping I can muster enough sleep through it - that is my arbiter of how well I can cope with WD.

 

I will update as the weeks progress ...

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Hi Survivor,

 

Congratulations on getting off the mitrazepine.    I was reading through your thread and I have been experimenting with the same 3 meds that you are familiar with (trazadone, mitrazepine, and Seroquel)  lately to see if they might help my present sleep issues.  I am 3 1/2 years out from stopping Zoloft and zyprexa cold turkey and the sleep has been awful most of the time.  I had posted on your thread last year about how I had taken to having 3 beers a night as a way to sleep, but I had started developing gi problems from the drinking (bloating/constipation and even fecal breath) and had to quit drinking last Jan.  for a while I was taking a cocktail of 5 htp, l-theanine, melatonin, and tulsi tea with holy basil and was getting 5 hours of   sleep, but it was broken and shallow and not restorative at all and was getting progressively worse:  2 hours a night where all I could do the next day was sit at my computer. 

 

the hypnic jerks and hypnagogic hallucinations were becoming constant and after 3+years of this it was getting to be too much for me so I ended up getting  scripts for trazadone and Seroquel and mitrazepine.  the trazadone didn't do much.  I was getting 5 hours of broken sleep for a few days, but then started developing severe upper body weakness, so I quit it.  I tried mitrazepine and Seroquel together for a couple nights and was able to get 7 hours of sleep each night and woke with energy, but later on in the day, the fatigue was brutal.   I think it could be from the mitrazepine, by late afternoon, I felt like a puppet whose strings had been snipped. all the energy just drained out of me.   although when I took Seroquel once by itself, I felt all groggy or drugged out in the morning.  i am not exactly sure where to go from here. 

 

anyways, I hope you continue to see some improvements.  dealing with these drugs doesn't seem to offer any real good solutions sometimes. 

 

poetjester

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Hello PJ,

 

Thanks for stopping by my thread.

 

I am very sorry to hear of your situation.  Lack of sleep is terrible and wouldn't wish it on anyone.  

 

Regarding the three meds, if you must take something for sleep, I would take one instead of a combo.  I had to cold quit mirt because of an interaction with trazodone, and am now in the thick of WD.  I hope my sleep eventually recovers from it, I have to have faith.  Mirtazepine is a bear to discontinue and is notorious for poop-out/adverse reactions, and seroquel has a lot of very undesirable side effects ... each has its own evil.  But I understand the need for sleep.  I am lucky that I get at least 5-6 hours of sleep on the trazodone (for now) with few side effects.  I will start tapering as soon as I stabilize from this blip, as I know tolerance will build soon; this October, I will have been on it for two years.

 

I wish you the best.  You are in a horrible situation and my heart goes out to you.

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Hi Survivor, thanks for stopping by my thread and your words of encouragement, it is much appreciated.  It can be very frustrating not knowing what you can do to help yourself as withdrawal symptoms are so unpredictable.  The only way I have been able to manage so far is to do long holds.  Wish there was a one size fits all when it comes to these drugs.  Guess it a lot of ways, I am lucky that long holds have been helpful.  Know that I would be a complete basket-case otherwise.  Hoping that you find some relief in the coming months and glad to hear that you are getting a reasonable amount of sleep, that definitely helps when you are in withdrawal.  Hang in there, hope you find stability from withdrawal soon.  Best, BaroqueP

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