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  1. I am in the process of tapering off zyprexa. I started zyprexa in 1996 and and was on 10mg until i decided to start reducing in October 2017 . I reduced it to 7.5mg for a year, and than 5mg and in April 2020 i began 2.5mg. Have been on 2.5mg for 4 months now The only thing i find difficult is the lack of deep sleep and the pain in all my joints...the pain in my joints only started happening since i started on 2.5mg..Also lower back pain, first i thought it was from my bed mattress but i changed beds and no relief...and i havnt injured myself in anyway....all i can put it down to, is my reduced zyprexa. Also since reducing it to 2.5mg i have been getting face sores...always had good skin up until then...so thats a problem that annoys me.. I am planing on staying on 2.5mg for the next 6 months and than try and taper at 10% reduction each month over 12 months to zero.. i want to do it slowiy as it affects my ability to sleep. I have to somehow figure out how i can taper off so slowly as what i have read is the tablet it isnt soluble in water...I live in Australia and am looking at compounding labs to find out if i can somehow have it done...I have been on this drug since 1996 and i am over it...i am doing it on my own with no doctors apart from just getting my repeats from my GP (not a psch doc). any advice would be most appreciated. cheers
  2. Hi, I have a long history (18 years) of psych drug usage and have been on antipsychotics, antidepressants and mood stabilisers. I recently (1 month ago) started Zyprexa again because I had a crisis, and this time it didn't really work as well as it had in the past. I took 10mg and I passed out and felt awful and later was admitted to a private hospital, where various other drugs were added. I am now on 2.5mg Zyprexa and would like to get off it because I am pre-diabetic. Given that I have only been on it for a month, is a 25% reduction per week ok? I have withdrawn off it before and I am petrified. I feel in general that my mental health has declined quite a bit this year, so I am not sure if I could handle the withdrawal. Having said that though, going off it gives me hope that I will feel better and have my cognition back. Is this a realistic expectation? Zyprexa withdrawal is very rough. And unfortunately Zyprexa has affected my memory quite a bit. I am quite confused too at the moment, because I have seen too many shrinks and they all have different diagnosis and views for me. My shrink of 18 years pretty much gave up on me recently because I discharged against his advice from a private hospital where he consulted. I only did this because he wanted to start me on Abilify to replace the Zyprexa and after one dose, I had horrible side effects which he didn't believe. My life is in a complete mess at the moment and I am very sad at what psych drugs have done to me :__( Thanks Rico
  3. Took and stopped prozac and abilify with not much problem. Following ocd depression and a panic attack took them again. After a week constant panic attack and insomnia. Doctor gives lexapro(10) and zyprexa(5). A Week later i decide i have to stop. Tried tapering zyprexa but because of the ocd coming back failed badly. Took 3 months.Some kindling in the stopping process hurt me. Quit after like a 1 mg a week and at 0.6 mg. After 2 days at 0 mg i had very good energy just breathing made me smile. Then the energy decreased and 4 days later sleep problems started so i took zyprexa again 0.6 mg maybe. After two days sleep kinda stabilised so i stopped. 10 days later im worse than i started but not taking the drug is helping me cope. I pray i didnt do damage. Should i reinstate? Also currently trying to lower lexapro.
  4. Hello is anyone currently tapering off 5 mgs of zyprexa or olanzapine using brass monkey sliding scale or microtaper? How do you do it with water? Someone told me you dissolve 5mg of zyprexa in 50 mL of water and do 2.5 percent reductions for four weeks then hold for two weeks. Is anyone else doing this? Or something similar? I’m still trying to figure out how to use this site and do my introduction but I don’t know how. Please any advice on tapering would be appreciated.
  5. Hi all, I had a toxic break in mid 1990s. Was self medicating due to unresolved childhood trauma. I wasn’t coping with how difficult my life had become. I wasn’t making wise choices - but not all of us in our early 20s do… Parents called crisis team and I was told by psychiatrist I had a chemical imbalance and would require endless drugging. I replied I know my life is out of whack - I’d read R.D Laing at uni and asked if there was somewhere I could go to get help sorting everything out properly without the chemicals. “No.” My parents believed the genetics/chemical imbalance myth. I tried stelazine and mellaril but the akathisia was instant and felt awful. I stabilised without them for some time. I had a couple more toxic breaks and in 2003 my parents arranged a forced admission with the same psychiatrist. I was shot in the arse with god knows what. I had bad akathisia and they gave me cogentin. I was supposed to have skin ointment nightly as well but half the time the orderlies just couldn’t be bothered with that even when I told them it was part of the regimen. Not reassuring. After two weeks I was out of there and my father demanded I take the prescription if I was to stay with him. At no stage was a physical done. I would’ve been malnourished to say the least - couldn’t afford decent food. I moved away with friends, took 10mg olanzapine daily and became obese - ugh. It was a pretty relaxing time though, which helped. I was able to return to work. Later on I came back and my mother helped me get diet and exercise happening to lose some weight. Thank heavens I didn’t have an office job then or it wouldn’t have been possible. I lost 30 kgs. Keeping it off is hard though with the olanzapine. I tried risperidone for a couple of years to lose weight but it was of marginal help and was more uncomfortable to take. I asked the psychiatrist since I’ve been stable for many years can we look at getting off. “No.” Do you ever work with addressing the root causes with therapy? “No, we don’t believe it affects this.” I discovered yoga which has been enormously beneficial and I’d recommend to anyone. I wish I’d listened to my aunt and done this when I was first having issues before my break. Exercise is another must. A few years ago I had an abusive neighbour move in next door who beat his de facto and he wasn’t friendly to me either. Somehow my psychiatrist thought this would be a good time to try me on aripiprazole. At first it was liberating as I had much more energy but that rapidly turned into overstimulation and anxiety. I switched back. I moved away from the violent neighbour. The two nice things I’ll say about the psychiatrist are a) he didn’t stack me on multiple drugs and b) he was ok with me setting my own dose…to a point… I was easily able to get down from 10mg olanzapine to 7.5, then 6 2/3, then 5 with a pill cutter within a year. So my script was now for 5mg. After some time I tried 3 1/3mg and it was obviously a no-go zone. I just hung out on 5mg for a bit longer. I found a clinical psychologist who helped me with the usual family patterns, boundaries, spoke to trauma, helped with relationships etc. This has been very beneficial and I drink much less after that. A friend observed “I think you could get off your meds”. I was skeptical but started researching. This was an eye-opener: https://www1.bps.org.uk/system/files/user-files/Division of Clinical Psychology/public/CAT-1657.pdf It was validating my initial understanding that this was all about how I wasn’t coping with trauma, rather than innately ‘broken’. This was the first document I gave to my mother who was initially terrified but is now supportive of me coming off. I discovered Peter Breggin, reading “Your Drug May Be Your Problem” in horror. But it was empowering as well. His book “Guilt, Shame and Anxiety” helped reduce my anxiety substantially. He has a newer book “Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal”, which I also recommend. There is Peter Lehmann’s “Coming off Psychiatric Drugs” too, which is valuable but a harrowing read! I told close friends and some family what I was doing. Having a safety net is the way to go. Over five months I was able to taper down from 5mg to 2.5mg by agitating a crushed tablet in a known volume of filtered water, then removing a gradually increasing portion with a large syringe (no needle!). I came down listening to my body 0.1 or 0.2mg at a time then holding for a few weeks. It was a bit of a bumpy ride but have been able to hold down my job and relationships ok. Not that it’s pleasant or easy, but it is navigable. Thanks Rhiannon for sharing your experience on making suspensions of the compound in water. I hung out at 2.5mg for six months or so. This is the smallest tablet size they sell. My family and friends have been commenting on how much more ‘with it’ I am, able to join them in more nuanced conversations again. This is extremely welcome and I realised how much I’ve been missing despite having a lot of good people and things in my life already. I took my mother for moral support and went to see the prescribing psychiatrist (same one all the way through). I started explaining that I was prediabetic, had high cholesterol, was having (apparently undiagnosable) joint problems and rheumatism, getting allergic rashes (I saw the other day the NPS web site advises people with this reaction not to take this drug!), getting hot flushes and unable to stand heat (pretty hellish in Aussie summers), and more. He didn’t want to hear about my plan - his reaction: “Keep taking it.” I said as if that wasn’t enough, what about TD? He said “Oh, it’s not that bad.” I was glad mum was there as a witness to this appalling advice. I asked him for a script for 2.5mg but he said “It’s too low. I can’t support this. I will not see you any more.” Good riddance! I got the script from my sympathetic GP. Many of these horrid symptoms have reduced or abated with the lower dose. Some remain. Fatigue is a bear. The stragglers are just a waiting game I suppose. My clinical psychologist has been supportive the whole time and confirmed my essential stability during the reductions. Her reaction to that was “well, if he says 2.5 isn’t enough, yet you’re stable, it’s a good sign that you can probably do without it altogether”. I’m now working with a clinical psychologist on the trauma I perceive as the root of all the major issues. If I’ve learnt one thing, it’s that you have to take charge of your own healing. No one else can do it for you. Shop around and find supportive crew who will back you up - they’re out there. Breggin observes that signalling helplessness is what lands you in hot water in this rather unhealthy society. I’m continuing my taper, coming down around 2mg olanzapine at the moment. Thanks to this site I’ve found the importance of the compound taper and have made a spreadsheet to manage it. I'm doing a microtaper - it's going reasonably at 10%/mo for now. It's not comfortable and some days at work are hard. But I know it's worth it. Looking at the receptor occupancy curves for olanzapine I found via this site I can see I’d already be over half way through the dopamine adjustments. That would explain why I’ve got more animated for a bit after each cut. This initially concerned mum but she’s now learnt about withdrawal symptoms. The 5-HT2 curve lies ahead, for the most part. So this could take another year or two - I’ve been poisoned with this garbage for a long time. Better though to ride it gently down and not hammer my body too much, or destabilise my life, for the best chance of a good outcome. Despite every day wanting to be rid of it ASAP. Epsom salt baths and yoga are helping me a lot. Thanks for creating this forum, Altostrata. Before the net, I probably would’ve just concluded 3 1/3mg wasn’t enough rather than learning about the taper, and been stuck.
  6. Dear All, I wish I found this website before. I had a psychotic break November 2019, I was put on 5 mg Olanzapine. It was reduced to 2,5 January 2020. I started to become anxious and in March I had a night when I couldn’t sleep and was shaky. I was put on 5mg again. It solved the problem immediately. In August it was reduced again to 2,5mg. First two weeks I was feeling fine, after that I couldn’t sleep and was restless. I didn’t know anything about withdrawal. I slept only a little for weeks. I really wanted to reduce the drug so I was holding on waiting for a relief. After a while I couldn’t take it any longer. I needed sleep so I agreed to go back to 5mg again. Now I’m back to 5mg again for five days but I’m still shaky and sleep badly. What should I do? Please give me advice many thanks
  7. Hi, long story but I’ll cut it short. I banged my head accidentally 6 months ago & have spent alot of time alone & bedridden with a brain injury. I’ve had psychotic episodes since then & was diagnosed with either bi-polar or border line personality disorder. i was out on Olanzapine (zyprexa) 2.5mg at first then 5mg & now 7.5mg, I have been on zyprexa for a total of 24 days as of the 20th of July 2022. My anxiety is off the charts - I need to taper off Olanzapine & try Seroquel. Help! How much do I taper each week of the zyprexa & do I take the seroquel while I’m tapering the zyprexa? Thank you for your help bess
  8. Years ago I had a problem, gas pain in the chest 24/7 and belching 24/7, I went to the gastroenterologist, from there to the neurologist and he sent me zyprexa, 3 months 2.5mg and one month 5mg, and I am going to start giving it up because I feel that it has deteriorated me cognitively and artistically, will I go back to how I was before? I'm very scared, I want to be able to be like before I took these pills, if I had known I would never have taken them, I'm sorry for my English but I'm Spanish, and I apologize if I'm in the wrong forum because it's the first post
  9. Hello: I am new to this forum. I am tapering zyprexa. I was put on 10 mg in the hospital at the beginning of December. In the first week of January, I cut down to 8.50, then 7.5. for 10 days. Right now I am at 6.25 mg, and have been at that level for 1 week. They decided to put me on zoloft in the hospital as it "works fast" the doctors said, and is being used "until the zoloft kicks in". I am very impatient to get off zyprexa, and figured if I join your group, I would get support from people to help me be patient and wait enough time between cuts. Still figuring out how to do the signature. Will add it when I do. I am also on a whopping dose of 200 mg Zoloft, also given in the hospital. Before that, I had been 6 months free of Zoloft after tapering it for at least 3 years or even more. It was a huge disappointment to end up in the hospital and to have to go on it again.
  10. Hello Everyone! My psychiatrist provided me Zyprexa (20 mg) to divide and use PRN when "manic." I took one 10 mg dose, then a series of 5 mg doses over three to four weeks. Since my first dose, I have continued to experience brain fog, memory loss, and depersonalization. My family intervened and (fortunately) the total exposure was 55 mg (maybe less). My average daily dose was around 2 mg over the nearly the month I took it. The last 5 mg dose was on June 6th, 2022, this was when the tinnitus began but has seemed to improve some (though still present). [Withdraw Begin] Tuesday (June 14, 2022): I was lethargic and vomited after eating a meal, while experiencing loose stools. Slept all day after taking a Zofran. The timing of this makes sense, as this marks (nearly) four elimination half-lives of Zyprexa. Wednesday (June 15): Napped all day and my family went out to eat. I was very removed from the conversation, feeling trapped in my mind. After nearly 20 minutes, I just remembered that I went to the grocery store and package store. My anxiety began to manifest and only slept four hours that night with 10 mg melatonin. Thursday (June 16): I cannot remember this day at all (which was yesterday). I faintly remember being an anxious wreck having to pace. I entirely forgot that I went on a car ride with my mom. I woke my mom up in distress around 2:30 am to help talk me down (I thought this happened yesterday). I have no idea if I slept last night or not, if I did it was very light. Friday (June 17): I don't remember this morning. I think I sat anxious for hours until my mom gave me 30 mg of CBD. This seemed to help for several hours, allowing me to go outside and do some yard work to sweat. This, combined with the CBD, made me feel like I had improved some. This feeling has somewhat wore off three hours later. I am concerned with getting sleep tonight. I am feeling very hopeless. I reached out to my past psychiatrist which assured me nothing I'm going through is likely permanent, though I wasn't able to give him nearly enough detail. My current psychiatrist still has not returned my call. I have several questions (well, reassurances... I understand no one can tell the future): (1) Has anyone else experienced this severe of memory loss and recovered (preferably within six months)? (2) Based on my history (low total dose, short length of treatment, current symptoms), are my withdraw symptoms normal? (3) Would going back on a low dose of Zyprexa improve my recovery? I went off of the drug for the same issues I have now and would be skeptical to consume more. (4) My cognitive issues are seemingly worse without the medication in my body, is this normal? I began magnesium, fish oil, and stress B-complex today. I believe my brain will benefit from not staggering these. I intend on sweeting everyday. Fortunately, I have a very supportive family and do not have to worry about anything other than recovering (I'm 25 years old). I feel like in the past year, I have been robbed of my intelligence and personality. I was supposed to return to college in two months, but that is likely out of the picture. I am hopeful for beginning this spring in six months. I have read so many horror stories from Zyprexa causing lasting damage. Thank you all for your support!
  11. Hello I am an Spanish 67 years old mother polydrugged for many years. I never wanted to take psychiatric drugs with problems of depression and psychotic symptoms like I don't have money to buy food. I was raised years after the Spanish Civil War. I don't think I need all these evil drugs I am in, Zyprexa,lithium carbonate, Anafranil and lamotrigine. I had multiple stays in psy wards where they changed me drugs or I CT them.My family took me there when I was bad like refusing to eat because I was psychotic. I want to come off of this dreadful cocktail. If not possible with all of them then with some. I think I kindled because of multiple CTs or irrational taper plans. Last time like 3 or four years ago I was forced to come off of zyprexa 15mg to 7,5mg. That is a huge drop. When they made that cut i could keep my back straight. I was like that for many months. I have arthrosis and osteoporosis. My last visit to my psychiatrist he suggests going to Zyprexa 5mg tablets. I was on 7,5mg of Zyprexa or Zolafren 7,5mg capsules here in Spain. I want to know how can I taper this awful poison with the least risks. Thank you for reading my story, Maria Casais
  12. TLDR - Dr badly advised Zyprexa CT at 2.5 - Tried to reinstate Zyprexa after 1.5 months off. -Started to see improvement at .25 reinstatement dose -After 4 days, accidently up-dosed to 2.5 and had bad reaction -Tried to lower back to .25 but was still to activating from up-dose -Lowered dose to 1/8, no reaction but started to get sick with new withdrawal symptoms -Back up to .25 at dr order, but had a reaction (not as bad as the 2.5 dose), will things get better over time? -Don't know what to do now -Life feels ruined Hi everyone. As many of these stories go, I feel like my life has been crumbling, and it happened in such a short amount of time, and I possibly ruined any chance I had to salvage it forever. Back in 2020 I started a prescription of 10mg Dexedrine for ADHD. In January of 2021 I had a very stressful and traumatic life event happen that sent me into psychosis. I ended up coming out of it on my own, but continued to take the Dexedrine not knowing it could have been a contributing factor. December of 2021, continued stress from that same traumatic life even remerged and I entered back into psychosis but was this time hospitalized. I was given 10mg Zyprexa in hospital. Upon exiting the hospital my Dr quickly started to reduce the 10mg Zyprexa (I don't think we even went to 7.5 but can't remember) and by February I was on 5mg, March I was on 2.5 and by the last week of April I stopped CT, although I didn't realize it was a CT at the time being told it was the lowest dose and fine to stop . The obvious happened and I entered extreme withdrawals. I called Dr about a week later and told her about the extreme anxiety I was having and was prescribed Buspar. The very day I took it, the insomnia started. Called Dr again, she prescribed hydroxyzine as needed for insomnia and anxiety. Anxiety still increased to a 3 day panic attack from not sleeping. Went to urgent care and was prescribed klonopin to stop panic attack and helped some with sleep. I kept pushing through thinking things had to get better, but was extremely scared about becoming addicted to klonopin so took sparingly only after several days of hardly sleeping. The insomnia was brutal and destroyed me. Some night out the blue I would get 8 hours, and then days with very little. I do not do well mentally/physically with low sleep, I have always need TONS of sleep including naps to function so this was almost giving a new form trauma. After several weeks of suffering I found a FB group and this website about going back on and tapering off more slowly. I asked my dr to help reinstate and taper off, but she would not saying she did not have the capacity to do that, plus she said I was not diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar and so was not a medicine I needed to be prescribed. I literally begged to go back on thinking it was the only way to get my sleep back. I told her I would die if I did not go back on and get sleep, she said go to the hospital and hung up on me. Could not go to hospital as I have a daughter to take care of, so found a new Dr. She unfortunately also said I should of been fine to come off at 2.5. I told her about going back on an tapering off more slowly but was told "you can't do that, 2.5 is the lowest dose they make!" She gave me Mirtazapine instead. Took 3 doses for 3 different nights 3.75, 7.5, 15. None of which helped more than a few hours of sleep. At this point after reading this website about withdraws only improving by reinstating the original medicine I was scared to start a new medicine that might not even help, and seemed just as difficult to stop as the zyprexa. Dr then thought maybe the insomnia was caused by an adverse reaction to buspar after it started the first day I took it. Told me to stop CT and wait a few days to see if it helped. I did sleep for 8 hours one night a day after stopping but then could not sleep for 3 days. Called dr again and begged to go back on zyprexa. She finally agreed after we waited a few more days for buspar to get out of system. When I asked what dose to start the zyprexa with she was confused as she said 2.5 was the lowest dose. Decided to follow advise and wait a couple more days to see if it really was the buspar but ended up getting a horrific cold and reinstated zyprexa (after 1.5 months off) on my own without dr help (since she most likely would of had me just go back to 2.5) Started with .25 and actually started sleeping again for 4 days! But at this point my husband was over my struggles as it's now been over a month of hell and was pressuring me to get better by the end of the week (even though I had a legit cold, and know it takes time to stabilize). I got nervous about losing my family and thought I could try to increase a little from .25 to .5mg. Since I was sick my husband cut my pill, BUT not paying attention cut an old 5mg pill I still had in closet instead of the 2.5 giving me a full 2.5 dose. Ended up having an extreme bad reaction. Instead of calming me it made me crazy/manic/a touch akathia/ extreme stomach pains like and animal was trying to gnaw through it . Could not fall sleep but did eventually for 2 hours. Next night tried to go back down to .25 dose but same thing happened, just not AS bad, did not sleep and so after not sleeping the night before took a klonopin, and did sleep. Didn't take any medicine the next night since I was scared of the reactions (no sleep). Was considering stopping all together after reaction but tried 1/8 of dose the next night in the middle of the night when I could not sleep and did not have a reaction and even slept some. Tried 1/8 dose next night but did not sleep, no bad reaction to it but EXTREME anxiety over what this all means and what to do about dosing now. Had doctor appoint and this time brought my husband and mother along for support and explained everything that was going on. She seemed more on board this time with letting me reinstate at a small dose and was able to get a prescription for a liquid I got filled at a compounding pharmacy for .25 dose since I did sleep on that when I originally reinstated it. I was such a wreck from all the stress of trying to figure out right dose and feeling like my life was over (also I believe I started to experience new withdrawals from switching doses around and was starting to get very sick quickly) so at 6:30pm took .5 klonopin and then took the .25 dose. Ended up again having a small reaction after taking pill of slight panic/anxiety/akathia. Took an epson salt bath for 2 hours with some chamomile tea and actually calmed down to the point that I was actually sleepy and was able sleep all night long. Unsure how much of a role klonopin played in all that, but I imagine it must have helped. Where I find myself today. Dr said to give it time to work and see her next week. I am very concerned that our mistaken large up-dose made me hypersensitive to the medicine and will continue to have these reactions after taking it. My family of course does not understand any of this and thinks you can just take a pill and start to feel better, so that is adding to the stress. Once you become sensitive to a medicine like that, is it at all possible for your system to calm down and become stable again on it, or did we ruin that chance?? I feel like I finally figured it all all out, only it might be too little too late... my Dr finally on board agreeing to a small reinstatement at the lower dose, finding a compound pharmacy to do a liquid prescription, the plan to slowly taper off now, but worried I have ruined my chances. I feel now like I could not even stop taking the medicine without some sort of taper if I continue to have these type of reactions as I was already having new withdraw symptoms from just the week I played around with the doses. I wish I could back in time, and never took that accidental up-dose! I really felt at .25 since I was sleeping I could have stabilized and possibly salvaged my life. If I keep having these reactions I don't know what I will do. On the positive side, since the CT my stomach had been getting progressively worse, could not eat and suffering low bloodsugar drops, and since starting again is completely back to normal, so I am seeing some improvements to reinstating. I don't know if this is accurate but it feels like my body is in a battle. My CNS is clearly not happy what I have put it through and spazing out, but at the same time my brain is now already dependent on me being back the on medicine. Can my CNS eventually calm down and accept the .25 dose or did I loose my chance at a successful reinstatement for good?? Will giving it more time work like my dr said? Should I try to lower it some? I think the 1/8 dose was too low as I got withdraw going back down that low, even from such a short amount of time at the .25 and the accidental updose. Am I stuck on this medicine now not able to stop immediately and suffering ever time I take my dose needing a klonopin to counteract the medicine reaction for the rest of my taper? It's hard to think sometimes your life might be over from such a small mistake, so mentally this is destroying me.
  13. Hi. My story should maybe begin with med history I suppose. Back in 2017 I was hospitalized and put on trazadone, zoloft, and zyprexa. After only barely a year of this cocktail it was determined that I was too tired to function with trazadone and zyprexa caused an odd issue with blood sugar which required immediate discontinuation. After another year and a half of zoloft, I asked my PCP (primary care physician) to manage my meds and help me try something new. I was tired of driving to see my nurse practitioner, who formally managed them. My PCP suggested Paxil, and also placed me on imitrex for chronic migraines. She discontinued zoloft, she felt it was a low enough dose. Shocker. This was the end of January 2020, so covid was nearly upon us. After only one month of being on it she decided to bump it by 10mg, to 30mg. We also decided imitrex sucked so I got put on maxalt which I'm still on today. I felt as though it was helping me with irritability, which is a problem I've had for a long time. Paxil mellowed me out it seemed. It made me not really care much. All visits after February were done via zoom due to covid. In November of 2021 I was feeling at a wit's end with the increase in head pain frequency. Taking all 9 of your maxalts every month and having more migraines on top of it just sucked. I also was having more s******l ideations, I always have had passive ones but having more than usual was bothering me. She said she would add 10mg of amitriptyline because "it helps with migraines and mental health so it'll kill two birds with one stone". Well it seemed to help me sleep. However, I'd been slowly gaining weight while on paxil due to my low motivation and lack of caring... which I think amitriptyline just further encouraged. My pharmacist was a little concerned about the combination. She mentioned serotonin syndrome being a common issue, but my doctor said I'd be fine. Well I continued to just kinda suck things up, my fault, but I just really appreciated how chilled out I was. May 26th 2022 I go to my PCP in person because 1. I developed a twitch in my thumb, tendinitis from typing. 2. Because I finally got the courage to talk about my meds via pro con list. She determined the tendinitis, we got that fixed. However, when I wanted to address meds she actually cut me off and just started talking about my blood pressure and (obvious) 30 pound weight gain. This was the first time she's seen me since increasing the paxil, mind you. I understand her concern. My blood pressure was some kind of record high, I'll admit it was so high I couldn't believe it for my age. She said I needed to get blood work done asap and that after she looks at lab results THEN she will discuss meds. That Friday, may 27th I messaged her on mychart (she's nice about this) about my concern regarding med combination. I told her I was curious about whether paxil in combo with other meds could've been my reason for high blood pressure. She said "well, hold your paxil until you get your blood work and until I can get another blood pressure reading". LOL. I said sure thing, because what could ever go wrong. I got very sick, but got the labs done that next tuesday and sadly couldn't get my blood pressure done until that next Friday due to staffing issues at her clinic..I ended up having my work do it since we have nurses, and just messaged the bp read on mychart. Believe it or not my blood work was pretty emaculent. My blood pressure went down 30 points on systolic and 10 diastolic (idk if points if the right term) but still it was high. She messages me on Mychart that friday afternoon to say she got my results, and wanted me to continue "hold (not take) your paxil because I think it was affecting the blood pressure". Yay. She scheduled to see me June 10th to talk about a beta blocker if my blood pressure was still high. June 10th comes and she still wants me on a beta blocker, it's still high but going down slowly. I have tachycardia on top of it, so she was pretty concerned. I told her about my very horrible experience with paxil withdrawals, to which she said "you're the first to say that. I've never had a patient have a problem or get withdrawals from stopping paxil". So I said, well maybe I'm sensitive and reminded her about my zyprexa problem. I thought it kinda sucked to have her brush off my withdrawals that took two weeks to go away completely. =/ I ended up added omega 3 and magnesium to help with brain zaps, which actually helped me but I can't say how or why. She was fine with the new supplements and said I would now start atenolol (beta blocker). Scheduled me out to see her on June 24th. So I guess that's my story so far. My blood pressure is slowly but surely going down. I'm feeling more energy again, less headaches, less weird hyperthermia feeling, still some issues with motivation but still seeing small improvements. My concern is how my body will adjust to not having paxil in the long run. It very much wasn't good for me, and I feel bad for not getting it check out sooner but I really just didn't care enough at the time. It was kind of scary. I know CTing can have long term effects, but I also JUST started feeling somewhat normal again and don't want to go back to feeling addicted to paxil to ever return. I also just feel alone in this, if that makes sense?
  14. Hello. I am wanting some advice on withdrawing from the drugs I am currently on. I am taking 60 mg cymbalta, 5 mg zyprexa and 7.5 mg mirtazapine. I would like to withdraw from all 3 at the same time. Is this possible
  15. hi, Alto I went to a local pharmacy and they helped me to compound 2.5mg pill into 2.mg. but they changed it into a capsul form. would that make a difference. now my son is taking 2.5 pill and 2capsule. what you think. the pharmacist said it is fine.
  16. Hello! Just discovered this forum recently. It has been an eye opener in how to get off psychiatric medications. Wish I knew about this in the beginning! I have been struggling with anxiety since I was young. Anxiety use to be nothing to me and as an anxious person, it kept me focused and in the moment. I always exercise and try to eat healthy. Im 35 years old. In the last few years, my anxiety has become different. I can say it also has been a stressful last few years with life changes and feeling more weight on my shoulder. One time during late 2016, I experienced what may have been an anxiety or panic attack (sweating, heart racing, racing thoughts, feeling impending doom, etc), then just feeling unusual and uncomfortable being in different places, waking up suddenly gasping for air with my heart racing, and head pressures everyday. I went to a doctor and everything was normal. She said to try zoloft. Im not someone that likes taking medication everyday. So I rejected her offer to try zoloft. Afterwards, I saw a psychiatrist and from what I told her, she diagnosed me with generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder. She wanted me on Klonopin and Lexapro. I also did not go through with the med recommendations. I thought with time and just keeping busy, these symptoms would go away. With time, I was sorta getting better. But I was still dealing with daily head pressures, waking up gasping for air, heart racing at night and being in places where there is alot of movement going on (big crowds). In 2018, I went to see a neurologist for the head pressures and anxiety. She prescribed me Elavil for two months. I thought that Elavil was not like the other medication types that were mentioned a year ago by my doctor and other psychiatrist. So I went ahead and tried Elavil at 10 mg everyday for two months. During those two months, I felt relief from daily head pressures but still was dealing with gasping for air at night and heart racing at times. My neurologist said its ok to stop Elavil after two months so I stopped it. I dont think I felt any withdrawals or any different after stopping Elavil. However, it wasnt until after about 3 months I stopped that things went totally off. It started with sleep. One night, i couldnt fall asleep and didnt have that strong feeling of tiredness or deep sleep that I usually do. My anxiety was heightened because of the fear of not sleeping and not having that feeling of deep sleep. However, I did have nights afterwards where I could sleep but only a few hours but I wasnt able to do a full 8 hrs. So I guess I had fragmented sleep following that night. I believe my anxiety went to another level. Watching tv felt strange, I had ringing in my ears, and my heart would race when I was driving at times on the road. After work one time, I became desperate for sleeping normal again that i saw a different psychiatrist. He diagnosed me as bipolar and put me on zyprexa (5 mg) and klonopin (0.50mg) to begin with. I told him I wasnt bipolar and just had anxiety issues. Anyways, I went ahead and took the zyprexa and was able to get alot of sleep on it. After a month on zyprexa, I tried stopping it abruptly. Bad choice. I could sleep for days and my anxiety got so bad. I ended up back on zyprexa and taking klonopin daily. In the start of 2019, I switched psychiatrists and went to another one thinking I can get off the meds and be back to my normal self. This new psychiatrist diagnosed me with GAD and panic disorder. She said I was on the wrong meds and to try a third med lexapro on top of the other two meds zyprexa and klonopin. I did lexapro for a week starting at 5 mg but had a manic episode on it so I stopped it after a week. Afterwards, she said to try zoloft. I did zoloft at 25 mg for a week but didnt feel comfortable being on a third med so I stopped it. For months, I was stuck on zyprexa (5 mg) and klonopin (0.25 mg). Everyday just felt like torture at work. I was able to function but I still felt uncomfortable being in different places. However, I did notice that during the months of 2019, I didnt have head pressures and rarely woke up gasping for air. I did at times have my heart racing. I must say that I was able to nap sometimes during the day being on these two meds and felt a sense of sleepiness at times. In August, I switched psychiatrists again. I saw a third psychiatrist based on online reviews and word of mouth. When I told him what I was going through, he said I had GAD and panic disorder. He wanted me to switched from zyprexa to seroquel since it had chemicals that would be better for me. So I went from 25 mg to 50 mg of seroquel and 5 to 2.5 mg of zyprexa in a month span. He said to go off of the 2.5 mg zyprexa but I told him I wanted to taper more. I was afraid that I would experience what I had from the time I ct’d zyprexa the first time. When I went down on zyprexa starting in August, I didnt notice much difference in how I felt. I went down further to 1.25 mg and now around 0.625 mg. So basically, I held each dose for a few weeks. Having discovered this group recently and now the 10 percent rule, I feel scared as to my taper off zyprexa. Right now, Im on Seroquel (75 mg), Zyprexa (0.625 mg and tapering very slowly), and Klonopin (0.25 mg). I feel bad now that I did 50% reductions in the beginning for zyprexa and didnt start the 10% rule until I got lower. I went by how I was feeling going down and didnt really experience any difference going down on zyprexa from August to this month. I still cannot sleep without medication which has now been seroquel. Id love to know your input about this situation and if what Im doing is ok so far. Also, what may have messed up my sleep to begin with if it was because of my anxiety or maybe stopping the Elavil to begin with may have contributed to sleep problems. Medication history: April 15 2018 to June 15 2018: Amitriptyline (10 mg) stopped after 2 months. Not sure about withdrawals. October 2018: Olanzapine (5 mg) November 2018: Olanzapine (5 mg) Klonopin (0.50 mg) December 2018: Olanzapine (5 mg) Klonopin (0.25 mg) January 2019: Lexapro (5 mg) stopped after 1 week. No sign of withdrawals. zoloft (25 mg) stopped after 1 week. No sign of withdrawals. Olanzapine (5 mg) Klonopin (0.25 mg) February 2019 to July 2019: Olanzapine (5 mg) Klonopin (0.25 mg) August 2019: Seroquel (25 mg to 50 mg) Olanzapine (2.5 mg) Klonopin (0.25 mg) September 2019: Seroquel (50 to 75 mg) Olanzapine (1.25 mg) Klonopin (0.25 mg) October 2019 to December 2019: Seroquel (75 mg) Olanzapine (0.625 mg) Klonopin (0.25 mg)
  17. Hello I recently withdrew from two psychiatric medications, Zoloft (Sertraline)and Zyprexa (Olanzapine) after a 15 year forced dependency which started when I was court-ordered to take them in 1998 for depression. In Feb. 2014, I finally quit the pills for the 4th and final time. The withdrawal symptoms were quite severe, probably similar to those of heroin, only instead of the people who care for you trying to help you get off the drugs, in the case of psych meds., everyone is dead set on you continuing to stay on them. I went about 6 straight days without sleep while trying to get off the pills, constantly throwing up all over my apartment (my parents had to bring over a steam cleaner to clean up all the huge piles of vomit, while at the same time admonishing me to go back on the meds.) I developed extreme lightheadedness. When I would turn my head to look at something it would take a moment or two for my field of vision to catch up. I suffered from those brain shocks which I thought might be some suppressed memories of the many rounds of ECT that were administered to me, against my will, back in the mid 1990's. I nearly died on a couple of occasions during the withdrawal as my blood sugar levels plunged so low that I was forced to crawl to my kitchen and shove wadded-up pieces of white bread soaked in either oyster sauce, fish sauce or salad dressing (for proteins and sugars) into my mouth to avoid collapsing on the floor, but somehow I did it, I got clean. I had kicked the pills cold turkey three times previously (twice in 2004 and again for 10 months in 2005-6) only to be put back on them. The last time in 2005-6, I had been given the choice of either taking the pills and being given a bed in a local group home on a 0° F January evening or else to go rough it in a snowbank (I had been evicted from my apt. after falling a month behind in rent). The pills (Zoloft originally at 200mg that on my own advice I scaled back to 100mg at the time of my withdrawal. Zyprexa originally at 17.5mg that I had reduced to 10mg) basically ruined my health. Within a couple of years of starting on the meds in 1998, I had gone from a lithe and slender 6' tall 160 lbs man to a portly 230 pounder,, with all the weight gain going into my belly and thighs (Blech!). My cholesterol and triglyceride levels tripled. I had copious amounts of diarrhea daily. My blood pressure was absolutely wrecked. When kneeling down or squatting on my haunches, at say a grocery store or maybe a bookstore, to look at something on a low shelf, upon rising I would start to nearly black-out or swoon due to massive head rushes and would have to hold on to shelving for about a minute or so until I regained my vision and sense of balance. And from about 2006 on, I became no more than some sluggish, gorging hibernating animal that slept between 12 and 16 hours a day, sometimes as much as 20 hrs a day (watching T.V. was my only other occupation) where I would hardly more than move from my bed to the couch only to fall asleep 3 hours later for upwards of 4-6 hours, sometimes for as much as 10 hours. I was sleeping so much that when I woke, I often had no idea if it was early morning or late evening. I would have the most awful and depressing nightmares of being strapped into a dentist's chair while doctors would be cramming every conceivable pill down my throat in an attempt to kill me. The sedative-like effects of the drugs, combined with a horrible and untreated case of sleep apnea due to smoking and a severely broken nose as a teenager, left me completely fatigued all the time. I usually only left my apartment once a week to stock up on groceries. Since the harrowing experience of withdrawal, my health and spiritual well-being have greatly improved. I began a 4-6 mile a night brisk walking regiment and starting biking between 10-20 miles a day which resulted in me losing 45 lbs in 3 months. While before on the pills, I could hardly stay awake, now I can barely get to sleep. My insomnia is sometimes so bad (3-4 hrs of sleep a day, often none) that I resemble a real live? zombie (I call my condition, Inzombia) but considering how low my spirits had been on the pills, I'm just happy to live an active life again, even if I do suffer bouts of sleeplessness. I've spent several hundred hours since early last year either volunteering picking up trash from local parks and lakes or else helping out at a local thrift store and my creative spirit has flourished. I have filled something like 15 fifty page notebooks full of my poetry (both of a serious and humorous nature) and have written many short pieces of memoir, one of which is entitled In Servitude to the Devil, and is about my nearly indescribable and entirely hellish experience in 1995-1996, when for six months, I suffered from brain damage and akathisia brought on by the forced administration of Resperdine, Prozac and Paxcil. I thought I might end this piece with two short poems of mine The Psychiatrist His pills amount to fool's gold; his lab-coat: starched and anti-sceptically white He professes to be a doctor, but he's a neuro-nazi in my sight. A Reflection On Our Times So much lust and vanity under the sun Surely God is our pariah as we have our fun.
  18. Hello, I am Shors and I am in very bad spot and have an extremely serious case due to Zyprexa misuse, and pre zyprexa insomnia. I recognize that this case is rather complex, and that there are many aspects of this case that require me to see neurologists and such, but if you could take the time to read it yourself and provide your own input that would be great as I am very inexperienced and novice. I have had insomnia for about a year before taking zyprexa, and about four years before the original insomnia developed I was neglecting my sleep (mostly in high school). This, in total, five year period of worsening sleep created for me memory problems independent of olanzapine. I believe these memory problems are mostly due to a lack of energy from no sleep, as I've experience great improvements in memory when I have managed to get rest. So the neglect of sleep began in 2014, wake up insomnia developed in mid 2018, and I was sent to the psych ward in late 2019 to be put on zyprexa. I would say also that the memory problems started to happen around 2016, but I didn’t notice them until I got my first job in 2017. I was really terrible at it because it required me to remember many things at a time. I was in the psych ward for two weeks, and immediately stopped taking my cocktail of drugs except for the zyprexa (unknown dose) when I was released because it helped me sleep. I took the zyprexa for two more weeks but stopped, however, due to the terrible effects. I was completely unaware about the severe withdrawal effect of insomnia though, and if I was aware of It probably could have been zyprexa free at this point. I just didn't think that increased severe insomnia was due to zyprexa since I had already been experiencing insomnia before then. Attributing mainly weight loss and memory problems as the main problems to the drug, I would continue to unknowingly suffer withdrawal induced insomnia for the following months. In this period I would continue to work with my psych to get different sleeping pills. Ambien, Restoril, etc. and they did not work. The psych I was with (and am still currently with) was really careless, and he just played along and let me take whatever pills I wanted to take. In a new town and picked up a night job, and desperate to find any kind of drug that could put me to sleep, I eventually was prescribed one bottle (likely 10mg) of olanzapine again by the local clinic. I took it inconsistently, 5-10 days in between (since I was able to sleep fine in the inbetween days of doses) and sometimes weeks apart, but the one bottle I was prescribed then lasted a good bit. Eventually I could not take the night job after only four months working there and I moved back home. Without Zyprexa I suffered intensely, and for maybe a couple months after finishing that bottle I started to experience nausea and vomiting. It was at this time that I started to complain about the symptoms to my primary care provider, who never once thought that these could be withdrawal symptoms. She referred me to get mris done, neuropsych, all said that things were normal. I mistakenly thought that the nausea was caused by a circadian rhythm disorder and desperate to rid myself of these symptoms, I asked my psych to be put back on Zyprexa again (10mg). Back to the sleep induced memory problems, it seems as though for this entire five year period, whenever I do not get sleep or good quality sleep for an extended period of time, that I start to shut down. I become mentally slow, cannot socialize, unable to think, etc. and this is without zyprexa. For the period in which I started to experience nausea and vomiting for the first time, this is especially true. When I took zyprexa that time and got the rest I needed, it really helped and restored me back to working order. That did not mean I wasn't cautious about the effects, I took it only for about 3 weeks to give me my energy back and then began taking it inconsistently again. The main reason for the inconsistency (again) was to minimize the side effects, of weight gain and memory problems, and that I would continue to sleep well for some days after each dose. This continued to go well for me until around . As I've become dependent on Zyprexa, I have gotten less and less sleep over time, and slowly because of this my memory problems have gotten ever so worse. Up to this point, this would make about one year of total Zyprexa use, inconsistent or consistent, and I would say maybe 4-6 months worth of bottles. I believe that my memory, independently of zyprexa, has dipped to a new low, because of my memory I cannot enjoy music, movies, books, studying, socialization, or even work. This will greatly affect how I will start my recovery process from zyprexa. At this point I was deciding which options I would take for my recovery process. The options for me would have been this: Quitting cold turkey, would not have worked as I would have experienced terrible memory loss from the sleep deprivation Inconsistent tapering, this might have worked but my memory could have also worsened as I was sleeping less on the in between days of taking meds. Take zyprexa or a month or two to restore sleep and get some more energy Continuous taper Cross tapering by introducing other sleeping medications, doing this with an inconsistent taper with olanzapine would have added a world of complexity for me Quit cold turkey and then take other sleeping meds, but understandably this would end in disaster The option I eventually chose was to do a long continuous taper with a reduction of my dose of 10% a month, with making 5% reductions a possibility when I get to the lower doses. I understand that this might not have been the best idea when for my past years I have only ever been taking it inconsistently. I don’t really know how this might have affected me so some of your input would be welcome. I am down to 5.8 mg at this point and am continuing with this taper. My method of tapering involves crushing my tablets with a pill crusher, putting them inside gelatin capsules, and weighting the capsules on a drug scale. Making whatever adjustments are necessary by adding, removing the powder from the capsule until I get the exact weight measurement right. I would also have to reiterate that my memory problems are severe at this point. I forget many things in normal conversation when I talk to people. It's near impossible for me to read books or watch movies. I am getting a neuropsych test done soon. it seems like, even though I've had memory problems for a good 6 years, they only ever became a problem until these past 2 years, where I cannot study or do basic things in life. If I ever recover, a full recovery is not what I'm asking for. Just enough to let me have the quality of life I want.
  19. Hi guys, I’ve been doing some research into histamine since I believe it plays a very key role in the withdrawal process--at least from the medications that I’m on. I will summarise what I’ve found below as well as the potential impact it could have on managing the withdrawal from antipsychotics such as Zyprexa/Seroquel. I searched this forum but couldn’t find any good overview or discussion, so hoping this can help people. Many of the popular antipsychotics such as Olanzapine/Zyprexa and Seroquel/Quetiapine have a very powerful antihistamine effect: only a very small amount of these medications are required to block the H1 Histamine receptor. Zyprexa, for example, has a Ki(nM) of 0.65–4.9 according to Wikipedia, which is incredibly low (the lower the Ki(nM), the smaller the amount of a medication is needed to block a certain receptor). Therefore, withdrawing from histamine-blocking medications (Zyprexa/Seroquel) is associated with increased histamine (as the blocking effect is reduced, histamine levels become elevated). Certain groups of people might have even had a histamine intolerance and/or high histamine before going on psych-drugs (and both histamine intolerance and high histamine--also related to under-methylation--have been linked to psychosis and other psychiatric disorders), so coming off histamine-blocking medications can also exacerbate this pre-existing imbalance, on top of the effect described in the point above. Histamine is a neuromodulator of the adrenals, so elevated histamine can make the adrenals release a lot more adrenaline, instigate ‘fight or flight’ mode in the body and cause severe anxiety. There is also a strong link between histamine and sleep; having high histamine can cause insomnia. Interestingly, histamine levels naturally peak around 3am/4am, which is when many people experience cortisol spikes and unwanted adrenal activity. Sound familiar? All of these symptoms are very common in the withdrawal process, as we unfortunately know. When withdrawing from histamine-blocking medications, you can take steps to bring down histamine levels to help manage the adverse effects mentioned above. I’ve found anecdotal success stories online from the world of integrative medicine; Alice Lee (MD) says: “If you ever want to successfully reduce a medication that blocks histamine receptors, you will need to know how to lower histamine levels.” Lowering histamine levels can be done through a combination of diet and supplementation: 1) Follow a low-histamine diet (google it for more info!) 2) Through supplementation - taking a histamine digester that ‘chews up the histamine in food’ - Alice Lee recommends Histazyme (by Dr. Amy Myers, MD), but I’ve also seen Daosin 50 and other brands which all contain the same ingredient, Daimine Oxidase 3) Supplementation - natural histamine blockers like Allqlear by Integrative Therapeutics, Histaplex A-B by Biotics Research, or Opsin II by DesBio. Avoid xenobiotics for antihistamine support, such as Benadryl, because the body will react with an inflammatory response to a xenobiotic. I know that this kind of integrative approach is generally a dirty word on this forum, but for me it makes too much sense to ignore. Most of this advice comes from Alice Lee, who is a “holistic psychiatrist” who actually went through the withdrawal process herself, and reports impressive success stories weaning her clients off all kinds of medication (APs, ADs), just check the testimonials on her website TL;DR: I’m going to try a low histamine diet (being more careful around the time when I make a cut to my medication), as well as adding some of the anti-histamine supplements and histamine digesters. I will still be tapering using the 10% method. If anyone else has research or real experience in this area, I would be very curious to hear it. I think it is a very under-recognised factor and understanding more could potentially make for a smoother withdrawal. I'm also conscious that it's only one piece in the puzzle, and there are other receptors to tackle too. But for insomniac, Zyprexa-dependent folks like myself, it could be really key. More reading and links to the success stories can be found here: http://www.holisticpsychiatrist.com/viewpoint/2018/6/7/understanding-histamines-connection-to-mental-health and http://www.holisticpsychiatrist.com/medication-withdrawal/ https://beyondmeds.com/2014/07/13/histamine-psych-drugs/ and https://beyondmeds.com/2013/01/07/histamine-intolerance/ from around 33 mins https://www.mthfrsupport.com.au/dao-deficiency-and-histamine-the-unlikely-connection/
  20. I've been on 10mg of Olanzapine (zyprexa) for over a year now. I didn't take the time to research this drug when I was prescribed it and thought it was a miracle. It ended my drug-inducded psychosis immediately and provided me with sleep for what felt like the first time in my life. It no longer provides me with the ability to sleep. It's not that I feel like I've lost these things, I actually have lost them: I've lost my intellect, my creativity, my ability to learn and retain new information, my ability to play music, my libido, the list is endless. I'm afraid the damage is permanent. I am 100% physically dependent on this substance. If I don't take it I feel anxiety immediately and can't sleep (not that I'm sleeping well as is); I've never missed a dose for longer than 24 hours. I am incredibly frustrated with myself for enabling my addictive personality to take this drug without thinking about the consequences I now face. I really thought I was "cured". But now I know I'm looking at likely worsening symptoms and possibly return to psychosis on top of withdrawal, increase in insomnia, anxiety, and depression. And who knows what other physical or mental side effects will persist or appear or worsen as I start to get off this drug. I'm going to try to jump from 10 to 7.5mg. I have an appointment tomorrow and I'm going to discuss tapering immediately. I can't seem to find [m]any success stories of people getting off this soul-destroying drug and I fear I've basically ruined the rest of my life by starting this drug. I am 100 percent positive I will relapse on alcohol either as I taper or when full withdrawal hits and I quit entirely. I really don't even care if I do, I just want to get off this bullsh*t. I may even drink my way through a rapid taper. I'd rather drink for a few months and withdraw from alcohol with a librium taper than continue on this med. I mean, thats how I feel, I can't say with any certainty what I will or won't do. Either way, I need to get off this poison before it robs me of any more of who I am. I've just read it literally decreases the size of our brains after 36 weeks by over 1% and up to 10%, which is far more than the average human loses in their entire lifetime. I'm upset, scared, feeling hopeless. Feel like I face an insurmountable task. Like I've ruined my mind, my spirit, my body. Just incredibly disappointed in myself. I mean I'm already incredibly anxious and depressed, I can't imagine things getting much worse, but here I am. Any hope, insight, success stories, etc...would be greatly appreciated because I feel like I'm ruined. Also a taper schedule would be nice. Ideally I can just do it in 2.5mg drops as I'd rather not deal with a syringe or micro-dosing. Thanks.
  21. Hello I always wanted to return to the site and thank all that helped me in the dark hours and also the forum owner and originator for the tireless work that has helped so many people Heres my thread when I first asked for help http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6865-andy-hello-tapering-from-zyprexa/ I wont go into how I finally quit the drug because it wasnt the normal 10% approach although I tried 5 times and failed miserably.I found a good understanding doctor who helped me reduce and more than anything listened to me without prejudice.This helped enormously,I finally jumped off at 1.25mg and to be honest it wasnt to bad,by far the worst reduction was going just under 2.5mg,I had severe migraines ,nausea,heart palpitations,sickness,depression,mania,mood swings and relentless insomnia.The insomnia was by far the worst symptom as it made me anxious and very irritable ,all this while trying to be a good father and holding down a very stressful and demanding job.Of all the drugs I was put on Zyprexa was the hardest to quit,it was hell and back but it can be done I have recently started my Taekwondo training again that I practiced for over 15 years but couldnt while I was on this terrible drug,I now feel calmer and sleep well.I put on over 3 stone while on zyprexa even though I ate a well balanced diet,I felt lethargic and had no interest in life,that has all changed and the weight is coming off steadily. Excercise has been the most helpful tonic for me and even when I had had zero sleep I went to my class and worked out.It slowly but steadily improved my sleep and made me feel confident again that I could get over all of this,when you start to see improvements you start to see light at the end of the tunnel Things are heading in the right direction and my outlook on life is positive once again.I feel good Once again thankyou for all your help and for people just starting the journey dont ever give in it can be done,god bless you all Andy
  22. I'm brand new to this forum. I'm not real social so I generally only read and don't write. However, I feel the topic of letting people now that it is possible to get completely off Zyprexa (olanzapine) is so important that I had to share. I'm bipolar with an extreme depression and an anxiety disorder. I was put on 5 mg of Zyprexa in 2003 when I went through a very bad down cycle. Since 2003, my body kept building up a tolerance to the Zyprexa so my Doctors kept raising the dose all the way up to 30 mg/day starting in 2015. That's when I really starting having bad side effects such as high blood sugar, high liver panels, high cholesterol, testical issues, a 25 lbs weight gain, and my right breast started drooping. My family has a zero history for any of these things. I don't eat any junk food, very little meat, I swim 1 plus miles 5 days each week, and I have kept the my weight off (I'm 6'-2" and currently weigh 180 lbs, don't smoke). In November 2017 my Doctor said I needed to quit taking Zyprexa. She wasn't the Doctor who put me on the drug and told me all along she wasn't a fan of it but since it worked, keep using it. My Doctor initially said to taper by 25% every 10 days. I did some online research and told her I would rather start at a 10% reduction and see how it went. When I did my first reduction, within 2 days I was having just about every withdrawal symptom you've read about. The worst were the headaches, insomnia, anxiety, high pulse, twitching, zero energy, and sweats. People are always going to say that a 10% reduction was too much of a taper. In my convoluted mind, I thought, why prolong this agony. I went ahead and dropped by by 25% every 10 days. My last dose of Zyprexa was 11 weeks ago today. At week 4 my symptoms got even worse. My doctor gave me Ambien for sleep and Valium for the anxiety. Neither did a thing so I stopped. I had to withdraw from Klonipin in 2003 and know how tough Benzo's are to stop taking. I even swore back then I'd never take another Benzo. However, the Zyprexa withdrawals were so bad I was willing to try anything. One thing that I did notice right from the start is that on days when I swam, I always felt better after the swim. The harder I swam, the better I felt. This is similar that Andy has been telling people. I'm not talking about a mild sweat lifting weights. I'm talking about a kick ass workout where I am completely worn out. This is something my Doctor also told me. After stopping Pshyc meds, your brain has to readjust. One way of getting the brain to adjust quicker is to do something natural that releases the endorphins. At week 8 my doctor put me on Trazodone for sleep (little help, 2-3 hours instead of 0-2 hours). I still take 150 mg Trazodone each night (Trazodone isn't a permanent answer either. My Doctor told me 150 mg is a low dose and easy to stop. She used to prescibe up to 1000 mg when Trazondone was used as an antidrpessant). At week 9 I started taking 20 mg of pure CBD oil each night. I don't know if it's the CBD oil, a placebo effect, or I'm getting better with regards to sleep but I'm getting 2-3 nights each week of 6-7 hours of sleep. On the other nights I'm getting 3-4 hours sleep. This is something I can easily deal with. At week 9 is when I noticed a significant improvement. I went 2 days without any symptoms other than feeling tired and zero energy, and having insomnia. Then I had 2 bad days and since that, I've had no other symptoms other than a tired feeling, zero energy and I'd say moderate insomnia (tolerable compared to how I was feeling). The tiredness could be the sleep hangover from the Trazodone. I see my Doctor next week. I'm probably gonna start cutting back on the Trazodone and see how things go. I would say I'm a success story. I still take 150 mg Wellbutrin SR for depression (down from 450 mg), 1800 mg Gabapentin for anxiety and back pain, and the 150 mg of Trazodone for sleep. I don't think I'll ever be able to stop taking all medicines because of my mental health illness. I have to be a realist. By the way, my Doctor gave me a prescription for Abilify which I HAVE NOT taken. I'm gonna see how things go before I ever take another antipsychotic again. If I tried to put a number on how I feel, I'd say I'm at 75%. I've never felt completely normal in my life, but I'm definitely feeling A LOT better. Zyprexa does have it's place. It saved me from a very dark time when I tried to kill myself 2 times. It also helped with other issues. However, I wish the Doctor's at the Mental Hospital told me about all of the dangerous side effects, the drugs addiction, and the pure hell it is to stop taking Zyprexa. I'm not 100% better. The insomnia is miserable (I'm not gonna lie), I still feel tired with zero energy. However, all of the other symptoms are gone, my blood work is well below normal, and my physical symptoms (******** problem, saggy right breast) have pretty much resolved themselves. Is this a coincidence? I don't think so. If you do internet research, all of these are side effects from Zyprexa. I can testify that everything Andy has told people is correct. Exercise helps the most. CBD oil has helped (I'll keep taking it if it keeps helping, otherwise I'll stop). I don't know about the diet because I've always eaten pretty healthy. I want to tell people it's not a pleasant experience to go through. It's taken about 6 months from the time I started my taper to where I am now (11 weeks Zyprexa free). It really is mind over matter. When you're going through the withdrawal, it feels like the misery is never going to end. I always thought forward. Things may get better tomorrow and then one day, it unexpectedly did. My recommendation is this. Exercise hard, don't take any Benzos (you're trading one difficult addiction for another and they did zero for me), don't take a real sleeping pill like Amien (another very addicting drug that didn't help), and exactly what Andy said, don't use the internet. People only write about their misery getting off Zyprexa. Reading these stories will only make you feel worse. There are probably more success stories out there that you don't get to read because I think these people don't post their stories. I think the majority of people who post are miserable being at the beginning or in the middle of the withdrawal and don't see a positive outcome. As an example, if you read the horror stories about getting off Zyprexa, most people who post these stories are either beginning the taper, or a few weeks or month since the last dose. I've only read a few posts where somebody shares their story and is a few months off their last dose and all of these stories have been positive. That's why it's dangerous to read the misery stories. I think that it can make things worse because you can get a feeling of panic or anxiety about how bad it's going to be. It's not easy. It will definitely get better. Andy outlined his story perfectly and I've tried to do the same. I've told everybody what worked for me and what didn't. Everybody's timeline is going to be different. I took a very high dose for a very long time. Just hang in there and look forward to the day when you'll start to feel better. Good luck to all. Hang in there. It really does take willpower and a strong mind. Kudos to Andy for sharing his story. I'm not trying to hijack what he's shared. Only let people know I've had a similar experience.
  23. Hi, I wrote my introduction on the 4th of October 2019 ☼-francisco-on-the-way-to-a-success-story At that time, I was seven months of all meds – I stated that the post was a combination of an introduction and a success story since things were on course at the time. Since that post, my mental has been put to the test like never before but it's now been around one year and 10 months since I stopped taking meds and I believe my mental health has passed the test. I was given a diagnosis of bi-polar by a consultant psychiatrist in the autumn of 2011 after years of volatility in my mental health and began taking meds six months later. I started with Lamictal (Lamotrigine) – after a few weeks on a low dose, the dose was increased – the next day I noticed a rash all over my body and stopped taking it. I was then given Abilify – I was on this over for a month or two but stopped taking it since it caused me insomnia and really intense pain in my wrists. Next, it was Olanzapine/Zyprexa (5mg) to deal with my elation – the 5mg worked well but when the dosage was increased to 10mg and 15mg, it caused nothing but depression so I went back to 5mg. I was then given Prozac to deal with the depression side of things – this however, caused me the worst depression I ever experienced. I was on it for a bit over a month until I could take no more and stopped taking it. My psychiatrist then prescribed me Venlafaxin/Effexor in September 2012 – I started at 75mg and eventually made my way up to 300mg. As the dosage increased, my depression did get better but the side affects most certainly got worse – constipation and intense sweating in bed at night. Also, I always felt the medication was causing me brain fog, despite what my psychiatrist was telling me – ‘all these meds do is treat depression’ I was told and basically, how limited intellectually I felt was in fact an actual reflection of the abilities I was born with. I was really getting fed up with the side affects and decided to do what a lot of people in my situation do – come of the meds without telling my doctor. I slowly tapered down the anti-depressant but came off the Olanazpine quite abruptly – result: disaster. The depression came back in a big way. Around this time, I remember one sleepless night lying in bed just saying to myself over and over – ‘I just want to die – I wish I had the courage to kill myself’. Went crawling back to the psychiatrist in July 2015 and told him the truth – needless to say, he was quite annoyed but prescribed me Cymbalta/Duloxetine (60mg) and agreed to reduce my dosage of Olanazpine to 2.5mg. The Cymbalta no doubt stabilized my mood at that time – I was pretty dam low, as you can imagine. Once again, I felt it was limiting me but after the volatility I had experienced, I was happy for a bit of stability. In the summer of 2017, I began to learn a lot about the affect diet and exercise can have on mental health. Up until that time, I thought I ate and exercised healthily – how wrong I was. Over the course of around a year, I completely changed my diet and exercise regime – I experimented a lot and ended up with my current diet which is essentially a Mediterranean diet – meat, dairy and eggs a few times a week but primarily plant based food – mainly unprocessed. A lot of my free time now is spent cooking and preparing food. After I started with Cymbalta and before I changed my diet and lifestyle, I felt that my depression/elation cycle was going on in the background but the medication was keeping it in check. As my dietary and lifestyle changes kicked in, I began to feel that the cycle was longer there – I was essentially stable. I got married in July 2018 to the woman who stuck with me through the diagnosis and all the mental volatility over the years. Immediately, we started trying to conceive – I really wasn’t mad about the idea of trying to conceive while I was on medication – I know that women are advised to come off meds before becoming pregnant and I wondered if my own meds could have an affect on any potential child I conceived. Did a bit of research – heard a bit about meds possibly causing fertility problems but nothing about meds causing birth defects etc. For a number of months after the wedding, we tried hard to conceive with no success. Consequently, I made the decision to start tapering. Not surprisingly, my wife was initially reluctant given what happened previously when I tried to come off meds – this shook my confidence a bit but I really believed that I could cope this time round, given the dietary and lifestyle changes I had made. Unlike the previous time, I told my psychiatrist who to my big surprise, did not object in the slightest. He initially suggested that I stop taking the 2.5mg of Olanazpine altogether – he told me that according to the research, 2.5mg has no real anti-elation effect – it only really aids moderate anxiety and sleeping. I genuinely believed that the olanzapine was indeed helping my sleep so I decided to continue taking it and instead drop the Cymbalta from 60mg to 30mg at the beginning of November, 2018. I was on the lower dosage for three months – I didn’t notice any major withdrawal affects during that period. Consequently, when I saw my psychiatrist three months later, I suggested to him that I stop taking the Cymbalta altogether – once again, to my big surprise he was very supportive. I continued to take the Olanzapine for another month – I had planned to stay on the Olanzapine for three months but given what the psychiatrist told me previously about 2.5mg not really having any anti-elation affect and given how I hadn’t experienced any major withdrawal affects up until that point, I decided to come off completely at the end of February 2019. A part of me was worried that my sleep would go to hell without the Olanzpine but once again, I really believed as long as I stuck to my diet and lifestyle, I would eventually enter into a natural, healthy sleeping pattern – this transpired. Also, around four or five weeks after I ceased the meds completely, I started having withdrawal effects – my nervous system reacted and consequently, I felt very edgy and jittery and my concentration levels went down significantly – obviously, work was quite difficult during this period. Also, it’s not easy to say this but my performances in the bed room were pretty mediocre during this period also (not uncommon I suppose). This was quite severe for around five weeks and then gradually started to diminish. I fully expected some withdrawal affects so they did not surprise me one bit when they came. Once again to stress the point, self-belief was hugely important at this stage – I just knew that as long as I stuck to my diet and lifestyle – essentially, the way I was designed by nature/evolution to eat and exercise – the withdrawal affects would pass and I would reach stability. In the year since I posted my introduction, I had to deal with an extremely stressful project at work which was further complicated by a certain pandemic, the very difficult birth of my first child and a lot of subsequent and extremely heated disagreements with my wife under very stressful circumstances – as I said above, my mental health has been put to the test but I haven't gone back on meds and have absolutely no intention of doing so. As I type this post, I’m in fact currently staying in my parent’s house following a particularly nasty exchange with my wife – in many ways, my family are great but I’ve already heard ‘I think you should be taking medication to get you through this difficult time’. I know they mean well and just want what’s best for me but they just don’t understand me and never really have. For most of my life, I’ve been miserable and it wasn’t because of some chemical balance in my brain which would have been triggered no matter what – I had to deal with some personal problems which were really inhibiting me. Like my medication, those problems have been put to bed – I’ve been married for over two years and have been a father for a year. The first year of my daughter's life has been extremely difficult for all the reasons mentioned above – it's been difficult but I've coped. My marriage is in a very bad place right now and if it does survive, it’s going to take a lot of work and compromise between my wife and I. If it doesn’t survive, I firmly believe I’ll be able to cope with all the difficulties which come with marriage breakup as long as I find the support I need – the kind of support which this forum offers – guidance from people who’ve experienced similar things. If I was still seeing a psychiatrist now, I reckon he would have drugged me up to my eye balls in an attempt to get me through this difficult time. If I wasn't taking meds and hadn't made all the lifestyle and dietary changes I made over the last couple of years, I would have completely collapsed in the face of all the adversity I've had to endure. I'm still standing, however. Life now is extremely difficult like it is for a lot of people but I've found a way to manage. Now, I want to find a good life.  I have no problem saying that I have the bi-polar gene. I experienced all the symptoms and those closest to me can verify that. However, I don’t consider myself mentally ill and do not believe that I was born with a chemical imbalance in my brain. As long as I live the way I was designed to live, my bi-polar gene will be completely suppressed – it simply won’t be an issue. For the most part, I believe that the symptoms I experienced were basically a reaction to all the things I was doing wrong – my diet, my exercise routine, my work environment, my learning environment, my past relationships etc. I plan to keep the potentially harmful parts of my bi-polar gene suppressed for the rest of my life and in order to do that, my life is going to be quite mundane – no substance abuse, regular moderate exercise, healthy sleeping patterns and I’m going to have to continue to spend a lot of time (but not too much time!) cooking and preparing healthy food. However, I will take ‘mundaneness’ any day of the week over mental volatility and side affects from psychiatric medication I’ve had to endure over the years. Having come through all that, the stability and strength I’ve found are all the sweeter – ‘spring would not be so welcome, if we didn’t have to go through winter’. As well as the mundane lifestyle I mentioned above, I’m also going to have find a working environment which I'm designed for. In January 2010, I had a nervous breakdown at work. The job I was doing at the time was a fairly basic office job. The company undertook a large project which I was part of which turn out to be extremely stressful for all involved and which I simply could not cope with. One day, I simply left the office and never went back – didn’t hand in my notice, didn’t tell my supervisor, didn’t tell family/friends. I went home, packed a bag and took off on a train to another city where I stayed in a hostel for a week. Subsequently, I was unemployed for three and a half years while I was trying all the medication mentioned above. Once I found the medications which stabilized me, I once again started doing similar type very basic office jobs – most were temp jobs completely unrelated to the what I studied in university and which needless to say, I didn’t exactly thrive in. These ‘go-nowhere’ jobs were all I felt capable of doing while I was on meds. I never built a career based on my university qualifications because I just felt so hindered by all the personal problems I was going through back then. I ain’t no office worker – I'm an introverted, insightful writer and researcher. In university, I received a first for my masters in International Relations. That was a hell of a long time ago but I feel I just have to get back into research once again. My own personal and fairly primitive research over the last decade or so helped me recover from a very serious mental health problem when all the so called experts were telling me that I would be on psychiatric medication for the rest of my life. I would love to build a career based on writing and researching about mental health and helping people who have also been told that they will be on medication for the rest of their lives. I believe I’m on the right forum to achieve this goal and look forward to contributing to the great work which is done here going forward. Many Thanks Francisco Quote: ‘Spring would not be so welcome if we didn’t have to go through winter’   Previous Meds taken (Not all at once - Mid 2012 to July2015): Lamictal, Abilify, Olanzapine, Prozac, Venlafaxin/Effexor Side Affects: Skin rash, insomnia, worse depression, constipation, intense sweating at night, brain fog Most Recent Meds: Cymbalta (60mg), Olanzapine (2.5mg) Taper: dropped Cymbalta to 30mg for 3 months until end of Jan 2019 - stopped Cymbalta completed at the beginning of Feb 2019. Stopped Olanzapine completely at the end of Feb 2019 Withdrawal: around 4/5 weeks after ceasing meds completely, my nervous system started to react - felt very edgy, irritable and couldn’t concentrate for around 3 or 4 weeks. Have been feeling stable since despite numerous stresses in my life
  24. Hello all, just found this site and was looking for some advice on tapering off antipsychotic's. It all started about 11 months ago when I was prescribed saphris for depression by my pdoc to augment pristiq, (I know I should have known better). All was fine until about three months in when I started slowly developing anhedonia, just a complete lack of interest in life, it messed up my endocrine system, and destroyed my short term memory. Having successfully quit seroquel cold turkey in the past I thought saphris would be a breeze.... Boy was I wrong, only managed to make it there days in before the overwhelming anxiety (which I've never had before)and insomnia drove me back onto it. After three failed attempts to taper off(lowest dose is 5mg and couldn't cut sublingual wafers any lower), my pdoc suggested switching to 10mg zyprexa for two weeks then stopping that cold turkey, well that was a mess again, had anxiety from hell and insomnia. Again we tried switching over to seroquel which failed.So now I'm back on zyprexa (with a whole new set of side effects)with the plan of tapering off at a rate of -1.25mg every two weeks, currently I'm down to 7.5mg with moderate anxiety, intermittent insomnia and an insatiable appetite. Just wondering if this is too aggressive a taper, I only have tablets available so I'm just relying on cutting them into quarters. Just want off this pharmaceutical merry go round, feel as though I've been lobotomized.
  25. Moderator note: link to benzo forum thread - Miko789: Xanax withdrawal/tapering Hi, I'm new to the forum, I have some questions I want to ask. My doctor prescribed effexor for depression, in 2009. Now I'm free of symptoms and I managed to come off with withdrawal symptoms though. That's with the antidepressant. Now I'm on Risperdal consta from November 2013 and seroxat 10mg. My doctor prescribed with risperdal consta 3,3mg/day long acting injection every two weeks. From February 2015 he lowered the dosage to 25mg/every 2 weeks equals 1,66mg/day. I tried to lower the seroxat 10mg but after 40-45h I have withdrawal symptoms vertigo, dizziness. Is it possible to cut down seroxat? How about the Risperdal consta (long acting injection). Has anyone tapered off completely without withdrawals? I read about the 10% harm reduction procedure to taper off and I'm going to tell my doctor and follow. thanks in advance
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