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daybydaystepbystep: Stopped Zyprexa / Abilify cold turkey


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I looked long and hard for success stories of people who came off Zyprexa cold Turkey successfully and was unable to.  I took zyprexa for 2 months (started at high dose foolishly by psych doctors @ 30 mg) and then self lowered to 10 mg once I got out of there 1.5 weeks later.  Abruptly switched to abilify (10 mg).


The withdrawal was hell on earth.  I thought it would not get better.  After about 4 - 5 months off zyprexa and 2.5 months off abilify, I am much better and feel much like normal self again.  My sleep still needs some work, sleeping 5 hours now, from zero sleep once I stopped taking zyprexa.


Mod Note:  SA recommends tapering by 10% of the previous dose with a hold of about 4 weeks to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.  If a person has never taken a psychiatric drug previously and has only been on a drug for a short period of time it may be possible to do fast taper.  Stopping your drug cold turkey is NOT recommended.   Please see:  Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


So I wanted to start this thread to let anyone stopped zyprexa cold turkey or plans to stop cold turkey, that it can be done. Most people on the forums warn against it however due to difficulty of withdrawal I think.


To give some information on what I did to help me come off zyprexa and abilify, here's my story.


The withdrawals from zyprexa and abilify are basically gone, except for the sleep which is slowly getting better.  


Just some notes on what I did to successfully come off Zyprexa cold turkey.  Exercise, I did a juice cleanse for a full day, which was very hard for me when I stopped due to low blood sugar, ate very healthy foods, cut out processed foods as much as possible, drink lots of water, exercise daily and sweat as much as possible, support and love from my spouse and children, support from very close friends who I confided in, and I read the book and took some supplements recommended in a book called "How To Come Off Psychoactive Drugs Safely", aka the Road Back program.  


Other supplements I took: Magnesium, Vitamin C, B12 and B6, Fish Oil.


There were many days I had suicide ideation and thought I would never get better.  I want to let you know, that the process is slow and you really have to just take it day by day.  The improvement doesn't come in leaps and bounds but rather gradual very slowly.  I think it's safe to say 3 months is where you see significant improvement.  


Zyprexa is a horrible drug in my opinion and frankly, I think most if not all psychiatric drugs are dangerous and difficult to withdraw from.


my very best to all of you looking for hope in coming off zyprexa or abilify.


I hope this helps someone.. I am not a doctor, I am only sharing my experience and how I was able to come off Zyprexa and Abilify cold turkey successfully.  


Edited by ChessieCat
reduced font size and added mod note

-Zyprexa (30 mg) 8 days (started Sept.20, 2017)

-Zyprexa (10 mg) - self weaned (started Sept 29, 2017-Dec 3, 2017)

-Abilify (10 mg) - (Dec 4 2017 - Dec 23, 2017)

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I ct'd from antipsychotics. Specifically zyprexa and abilify. Was hell on Earth for a few months but I have almost fully recovered to my normal self. 


My sleep is still not very good but I'd take a little insomnia over the  effects of zyprexa any day.

-Zyprexa (30 mg) 8 days (started Sept.20, 2017)

-Zyprexa (10 mg) - self weaned (started Sept 29, 2017-Dec 3, 2017)

-Abilify (10 mg) - (Dec 4 2017 - Dec 23, 2017)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi daybyday, welcome to SA,


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MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • 4 weeks later...

Wanted to write this update because I have made it to 4 months of being off zyprexa and abilify.  I feel better than I did last month and my sleep has largely improved.


Here is some of my story to hopefully help those trying to come off zyprexa or abilify and are suffering from lack of sleep or waking up at 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. and can't go back to sleep which was my problem.


For insomnia, I tried melatonin 10 mg and even up to 20 mg, but it didn't seem to help much.  What helped me a lot for the insomnia was the supplements from the road back program. I chose the anti psychotic package, (jnk capsules, neuro day, neuro night, and fish oil) even though they claim their program is primarily to help taper off psychiatric drugs, I had already cold turkeyed off a month prior to finding out about that company.  In their book they even let people know who have CT'd off that the vast majority of people who purchase their supplements have ct'd and refuse to go back on the psych drug again.  The book and the supplements helped me to recover my sleep again so I am grateful to them for that.  There are mixed reviews about that company but I can say the supplements (having taken them for about 2 months now) has definitely helped me get my sleep back to a somewhat normal state.


They are a bit pricey at about $140 USD for a supply for 2 months.  My question is do I need to keep taking their supplements to stay feeling normal again?  I don't think i will have to, but I am certainly glad I feel a lot better now and am sleeping again.  Sleep will help your brain heal much faster I have heard so do what you can to get some sleep.  I listen to sermons or talks or soft music to help me fall asleep. The problem I was having was waking up at around 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. no matter how tired I was the night prior.  Now I wake up at around 5 or 6 or 7 a.m. and I actually feel sleepy in the day and towards the night again.


what also helped me was doing a juice cleanse detox.  You can find some good recipes on youtube, but you need to try to detox as much of toxins out of your body as possible in my opinion.  So try sticking to healthy foods and if possible do a juice clenase.  Be warned though, as it wasn't easy for me to do the juice cleanse as my blood sugar level dropped significantly.  I thought I was going to die after!  But it helped.  I know it did.


Again, 3 months is a good time mark and when you should be feeling better (but maybe not perfect) being off the drug.   I hope you find success in your journey of coming off zyprexa or abilify or any psychiatric drug.  

-Zyprexa (30 mg) 8 days (started Sept.20, 2017)

-Zyprexa (10 mg) - self weaned (started Sept 29, 2017-Dec 3, 2017)

-Abilify (10 mg) - (Dec 4 2017 - Dec 23, 2017)

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  • 1 month later...

@daybydaystepbystep How long were you on Zyprexa?


It looks like not any more then a year yes?

My Intro FB Zyprexa 2015-September 2018

1st time I tried to come straight off of 10mg Zyprexa I was hospitalized for insane insomnia.

Current - Abilify Maintena & L Theanine(for akathisia)

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  • 3 weeks later...


@daybydaystepbystep how are you doing now? I am 1 month off Zyprexa and am taking the road back supplements.  Sleep isn’t too bad. Morning anxiety and feelings of hopelessness are bad today. Feel like I’m just existing day to day. Can you give me some hope?


Edited by ChessieCat
removed mod note

Venlafaxine 150mg since 2012

Tapered off from apr 2016 to jan 2018

prescribed olanzapine & venlafaxine when withdrawal hit

Cold turkey off 2.5mg olanzapine 14 may 2018 

Venlafaxine taper off 225mg to contend with when I’m ready.

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  • 3 years later...

Hello friends.  A long needed update.  I have come off zyprexa and abilify completely.  As I said before, it was hell on earth.  I had psychosis again and got admitted to another psych ward which put me on a cocktail of meds.  Risperdal, Lamictal, Lithium, and a little olanzapine.  I demanded to be taken off olanzapine, which they tapered off quickly while I was at the hospital, but the other drugs were in me for a few months.  I went to a p-doc who helped me taper off lamictal and lithium.  I tried to taper off risperdal, but once I got .5 mg from 3 mg, the symptoms of mania returned and I was upped back to 3 mg.  I am currently on 4 mg of risperdal as things have gotten pretty hard in my life and the psych strongly recommended it.


I am trying to come off risperdal, but I will be frank, the side effects are not nearly as bad as zyprexa.  Zyprexa was the worst...

-Zyprexa (30 mg) 8 days (started Sept.20, 2017)

-Zyprexa (10 mg) - self weaned (started Sept 29, 2017-Dec 3, 2017)

-Abilify (10 mg) - (Dec 4 2017 - Dec 23, 2017)

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Hey Daybyday - im so sorry this happened to you and you have to go through the ordeal again.  I had psychosis as well and am currently tapering off risperdal  and lithium.  

I’ll be honest, it’s a big fear of mine to have a second episode after tapering off once.  Do you have any insight into what could’ve triggered your psychosis?  It seems like stress is usually he culprit from what I’ve read.  

I read your story just now and it was very inspiring how you came off zyprexa successfully, you must be very strong to manage that.  Don’t let this get you down I know it sucks.  I wish you the best.  Please keep updating us.

2009-2010 - Ritalin/adderall, citralopram, clonazepam, none of these taken more than 1 month, cold turkeyed all

2021:  5/11 put on 2mg risperidone, 1200mg lithium.  6/6 1.2mg risp, 900mg lith.  6/14 1mg risp, 600 mg lith.  6/23 0.9mg risp, 600mg lith.    7/1 0.8mg risp, 600mg lith.    7/8 0.7mg risp, 600mg lith.  7/14 0.6mg risp. 600mg lith.   7/22 0.5mg risp. 600mg lith.   7/25 0.4mg risp, 600mg lith.   7/31 0.3mg risp, 300mg lith.    8/8/21 0.2mg risp, 300mg lith.    8/15/21 0.1mg risp, 300mg lith.    8/22/21 0.06mg risp, 300mg lith.   8/30/21 0.02mg risp, 0mg lith.

Supplements - 1560mg fish oil, 5000 IU d3, 300mg chelated magnesium, niacin (as needed)

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