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OutoftheWoods: Recently started on Olanzapine...and then found this forum.


OutoftheWoods

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Posted (edited)

Hello,

My journey with psychiatric drugs is so far a short one... 
 

In November 2019, I was prescribed Escitolapram (can't remember the dose) for depression. However, I quit cold turkey after 3 doses due to the medication triggering a psychosis. Apparently this can happen with people who have a Bipolar disorder... and I was subsequently diagnosed as Bipolar. Since then, I have managed the disorder by adding structure to my daily life and I thought I was out of the woods for the last 4 years.

 

Fastforward to now, April 2024. Due to a big stressor in my life, I developed insomnia over the course of 2 weeks. My normal interventions did not work anymore and it started to trigger my Bipolar disorder. I was prescribed a mix of Quetiapine 50mg at night and Oxazepam 10mg to take during the day to tackle the worst of the anxiety and insomnia. This helped for the first 2 nights, however, the Quetiapine seem to trigger suicidal ideation very strongly after taking this dose for 2 weeks.

My Psychiatrist then switched to me Olanzapine 2.5mg by. This was 3 days ago... and then I found this forum.

The stories I've read about everyone struggling with getting off these drugs have really scared me. So I guess my question is - what to do? I think I want to take charge of this without the medication. So after 17 days of anti-psychotics (and some benzo's)... what should I do?

Edited by Emonda
Name to title

2019: 

Escitolapram for depression. Quit cold turkey after 3 days due to AE.

 

2024

26/04: Quetiapine 50mg and Oxazepam 10mg for insomnia

14/05: Switched to Olanzapine 2.5mg

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  • Moderator

Hi @OutoftheWoods

we can't tell you what to do about your care, you will have to decide that yourself. We are a forum that helps people get off of psychiatric drugs slowly with the least amount of withdrawal symptoms. We can't advise on what drugs to take or not take or what cocktails to take. 

 

If you are on these drugs for more than 4 weeks we recommend a very slow taper (over years) if you want to come off of them - lowering your dose by no more than 10% of your previous dose every 4 weeks to avoid withdrawal symptoms. 

 

 

Hope this helps, 

OMW

 

PS. Have you read the book "Anatomy of an Epidemic" by Robert Whitaker? Did you have bipolar disorder symptoms before going on escitalopram? 

"Nothing so small as a moment is insurmountable, and moments are all that we have. You have survived every trial and tribulation that life has thrown at you up until this very instant. When future troubles come—and they will come—a version of you will be born into that moment that can conquer them, too." - Kevin Koenig 

 

I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information and recommendations provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 

 

In the next few weeks I do not have a lot of capacity to respond to questions. If you need a quick answer pls tag or ask other moderators who may want to be tagged. 

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week (off by 4/14/19- no tapering)

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785, 8/18/22 - 0.59, 12/15/2022 - 0.48, 2/15/22 - 0.43, 25/07/23 - 0.25 (mistake), 6/08/23 - 0.33mg

 

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

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Hi @Onmyway,

 

Thank you for taking the time to respond.

 

I understand that this forum advocates slow tapering, and after reading quite a few posts, I absolutely understand the need for this process.


This leaves me with a bit of a pickle: I’m now 17 days into medication and would rather come off completely. I understand that even after such a short time-span withdrawal can occur…

 

However @Onmyway, you mention a 4 week mark - where do you derive that number from?


Thanks again
 

 

PS. Thank you for the tip of the book, I haven’t read it, but will look into it. However, I do recognize myself in the Bipolar (2) diagnosis, even before the SSRI.

 

Cheers

2019: 

Escitolapram for depression. Quit cold turkey after 3 days due to AE.

 

2024

26/04: Quetiapine 50mg and Oxazepam 10mg for insomnia

14/05: Switched to Olanzapine 2.5mg

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  • Mentor

Hi @OutoftheWoods,

 

yes those drugs are scary. But I don't think you should panic. Take some time to think about what you wanna do.

 

I am not sure, but I think the 4 weeks are a rule of thumb. People react very differently to those drugs. Some get hooked very quickly and others get off the drugs after months without problems. However, it's common sense that the sooner you quit the easier it would be.

 

7 hours ago, OutoftheWoods said:

Fastforward to now, April 2024. Due to a big stressor in my life, I developed insomnia over the course of 2 weeks.

Are you taking Olanzapine for sleep and against anxiety because of this stressor? Or is it supposed to treat your bipolar condition or psychosis?

Earlier drug history:

Paroxetine  2001 until 2003, quit cold turkey, don't remember dose; Venlafaxine 2005 until Dez. 2023, mostly 75mg xr per day, for about 4 years 37.5mg xr; quite a lot of Antihistamines because of allergy; there were other drugs that I don't remember all, but nothing what I consistently took over a longer period of time, for example Lorazepam 0.5mg prn.

Recent developments:

Dez 2023 - 03/13/2024 quitting Venlafaxine 75mg (skipping doses); 04/07/2024 reinstating Venlafaxine 12,5mg; 04/17/2024 Venlafaxine 25mg; 4/29/24 until 5/4/24 Trimipramine, 5mg going down to zero over 5 days

Drugs right now:

Venlafaxine 25mg; supplements: 500mg magnesium, 100mg aspirin and melatonin spray

 

I am no medical expert. I am dependent on Venlafaxine, trying to find and give peer support in this community and simply giving my opinion. Double check any information before you take action, for example with your doctor.

 

First they sell addictive drugs as harmless and then they leave you alone dosing fractions of a mg correctly or plunging into the abyss.

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  • Emonda changed the title to OutoftheWoods: Recently started on Olanzapine...and then found this forum.
  • Moderator

Hi @OutoftheWoods,

Alfred is right. The 1 month is a rule of thumb. Not everyone has withdrawal symptoms and not everyone has severe and long term ones.

 

IF you were taking SSRIs I'd say don't bother because they are not much better than placebos. But I know nothing about the treatment of bipolar or potential psychosis that may be caused by it or by drugs. That's why I hesitate to say stop the drugs because your wellbeing is most important. And I don't know enough to evaluate the risks of stopping or taking the drugs. 

 

I'm sorry I can't be more helpful. 

Alfred's question re: the reason for the drugs is important. If you're taking them for sleep only, you can probably get alternatives. If it's for psychosis/bipolar symptoms that's different. 

 

Hope you start feeling better soon.

 

Omw

"Nothing so small as a moment is insurmountable, and moments are all that we have. You have survived every trial and tribulation that life has thrown at you up until this very instant. When future troubles come—and they will come—a version of you will be born into that moment that can conquer them, too." - Kevin Koenig 

 

I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information and recommendations provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 

 

In the next few weeks I do not have a lot of capacity to respond to questions. If you need a quick answer pls tag or ask other moderators who may want to be tagged. 

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week (off by 4/14/19- no tapering)

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785, 8/18/22 - 0.59, 12/15/2022 - 0.48, 2/15/22 - 0.43, 25/07/23 - 0.25 (mistake), 6/08/23 - 0.33mg

 

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

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Thanks for the responses.

 

9 hours ago, Alfred1977 said:

Are you taking Olanzapine for sleep and against anxiety because of this stressor? Or is it supposed to treat your bipolar condition or psychosis?


I was started on Seroquel for the off-label treatment of the insomnia. I reacted very poorly to this and my anxiety spiked because of this.

 

Subsequently I was switched to Olanzapine to treat the anxiety that was exacerbated (partly because of bipolar symptoms due to not sleeping and perhaps partly because of the AE from Seroquel). 

 

So at the moment, it’s hard to tell what symptoms are because of my bipolar and what symptoms are because of the medication.

2019: 

Escitolapram for depression. Quit cold turkey after 3 days due to AE.

 

2024

26/04: Quetiapine 50mg and Oxazepam 10mg for insomnia

14/05: Switched to Olanzapine 2.5mg

Link to comment
  • Mentor
1 hour ago, OutoftheWoods said:

So at the moment, it’s hard to tell what symptoms are because of my bipolar and what symptoms are because of the medication.

A problem can have multiple causes and indeed it is hard to tell when you are faced with a new situation.

To the best of my knowledge Quetiapine and Olanzapine are both used mainly for treatment of psychosis and bipolar conditions and the like. They are supposed to be also helpful with insomnia and anxiety and sometimes are prescribed for that, but I heard they are not recommended in those cases - probably because there are alternatives and the risks outweigh the benefits.

 

If you are mentally not stable and experience a "big stressor in your life", I would say it's not unusual to get anxiety and insomnia. Maybe you can get rid of this stressor or learn how to handle it, find support, do therapy, use milder medication over a short period of time. However, psychosis and bipolar disorder are a different game. You have to find out if you need treatment for this and I don't know much about it.

 

How is your doctor communicating with you? Do you trust him, do you feel understood, does he explain what he is doing? Insomnia is also supposed to be a major indicator for the manic episodes of a bipolar condition and it looks like he wants to treat your bipolar disorder in the first place.

 

You could use the search bar and search for other active members in this community that are using Quetiapine, Olanzapine or are diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Then tag them like this @OutoftheWoods and invite them to your thread. Maybe they can share their experiences, answer questions and help you with that.

Earlier drug history:

Paroxetine  2001 until 2003, quit cold turkey, don't remember dose; Venlafaxine 2005 until Dez. 2023, mostly 75mg xr per day, for about 4 years 37.5mg xr; quite a lot of Antihistamines because of allergy; there were other drugs that I don't remember all, but nothing what I consistently took over a longer period of time, for example Lorazepam 0.5mg prn.

Recent developments:

Dez 2023 - 03/13/2024 quitting Venlafaxine 75mg (skipping doses); 04/07/2024 reinstating Venlafaxine 12,5mg; 04/17/2024 Venlafaxine 25mg; 4/29/24 until 5/4/24 Trimipramine, 5mg going down to zero over 5 days

Drugs right now:

Venlafaxine 25mg; supplements: 500mg magnesium, 100mg aspirin and melatonin spray

 

I am no medical expert. I am dependent on Venlafaxine, trying to find and give peer support in this community and simply giving my opinion. Double check any information before you take action, for example with your doctor.

 

First they sell addictive drugs as harmless and then they leave you alone dosing fractions of a mg correctly or plunging into the abyss.

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