Withdrawal from the antidepressant medication mirtazapine can cause a wide array of effects, from mild to severe. They include both physical illnesses, such as diarrhea and nausea, and emotional problems, including anxiety and depression. The number and intensity of mirtazapine withdrawal symptoms is part of the reason why the drug is usually only prescribed when other medications have failed to have a beneficial effect on a patient. The most effective way to minimize the chance and severity of withdrawal symptoms is to gradually phase out the use of mirtazapine.
Some of the emotional disturbances associated with withdrawal include anxiety, aggression, crying spells, and irritability. Patients may also experience intense internal restlessness, disturbing thoughts, and deepening depression. Hostility, paranoia, panic attacks, and the tendency to over-react to situations have also been reported as withdrawal symptoms.
There are also several unusual physical sensations and illusions that can arise as a result of mirtazapine withdrawal. Patients can find themselves having repetitive thoughts, thinking constantly of the same songs, or experiencing other uncharacteristic disturbances of the senses. Some individuals may have a tingling sensation, or feel like they are receiving an electrical shock; when the shock is felt in the head, it is called a brain zap. Vivid dreams and hallucinations are also possible.
The body can also become physically impaired due to mirtazapine withdrawal. Patients may have balance issues, vertigo, and dizziness. Some individuals experience changes in the ability to see or speak. It is also possible to have tremors or suffer from lack of coordination as a result of discontinuing use of the drug.
Common physical discomforts that can arise as a result of mirtazapine withdrawal include flatulence, constipation, diarrhea, and indigestion. Patients can also experience symptoms similar to the flu. Stomach cramps, nausea, and migraine headaches are also possible.
Mirtazapine is usually prescribed to treat depression. The drug works by encouraging brain activity that can improve and help to maintain a healthy mental balance. It comes as either a regular or disintegrating tablet. Mirtazapine is taken once a day, usually at bedtime. The medication can take many weeks to become completely effective.
There are some conditions which may make taking mirtazapine is too risky or at least requires an adjusted dosage or additional patient observation by a medical professional. Previous experiences with low blood pressure, liver or heart disease, high cholesterol, or heart attack should be reported to the prescribing doctor. Women who are nursing, pregnant, or planning to become pregnant are usually advised not to take the drug.