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Bokart: withdrawing from Olanzapine

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JanCarol

Hey Bokart, my safety mechanism was:

 

1 month with low or no symptoms

 

Think about this - it takes 3 weeks for receptors to upregulate or downregulate, and for homeostasis to set in.

 

4 weeks gives you time for that to happen, and an extra week to monitor.

 

Please don't hurry your taper.  It's better to be well the whole time - as you have found out - faster is not necessarily faster.  You've suffered great setbacks trying to go too fast.  You might be off by now, if you had stayed on the 10% per month, listen to your symptoms plan.

 

 

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Bokart

Thank you for your reply JanCarol. Yes, I've still gone slightly faster, 1 month minus 3 days, but only because I want to slowly reach the point where the dose drop is in the first day of the month. Yes, silly me...

 

---

 

So I went to the psychiatrist last week, and of course that visit was interesting.

She wanted to prescribe to me all kinds of medicine, like aripiprazole (so I could switch to more "activating" antipsychotic from olanzapine. Gradually, of course). She also could have prescribe me metformin, because I mentioned I have gained weight.  But I don't even like the idea of taking more meds -or even switching my antipsychotic at all. I know olanzapine very well, and it works for me. It's relatively easy to taper in higher doses. Nope, no switching the antipsychotic.

 

She also tried to feed me that whenever I have sleeping difficulties, it's because I'm going in the direction of psychosis -like worsened sleep is a symptom of psychosis, instead of psychosis being the result of a long time of sleeplessness. Well... I don't deny the possibility, but knowing me, sleep difficulties can also be due to withdrawals, stress, or exposure to discomforting content. So it's not so simple as she claims.

 

Anyways, she kind of agreed my taper... but that's my right in Finland. They can't force me to take whatever dose they like. But either way I'm happy.

 

Hoping you are having an easy taper!
Bokart

 

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JanCarol

Hey Bokart - 

 

Metformin will only complicate your taper.  If you get down to a very low dose, the metabolic symptoms should diminish, too.  I know about the sugar cravings - I remember nights that - anything in the cupboard was gone until my belly was distended and I felt sick.  And I couldn't stop!

 

But if you are NOT diabetic, there is NO reason to take Metformin (and even if you were diabetic, I would suggest trying lifestyle changes first).  It's a difficult drug  that messes up your endocrine system, damages mitochondria, and robs you of B12.  It is hard on your kidneys and liver (like olanzapine), and can cause nerve damage.  http://www.diabeticconnect.com/diabetes-discussions/general/15824-nerve-damage-caused-by-metformin  and http://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/5248-metformin-as-a-psychiatric-treatment/

 

Aripiprozole /Abilify.  Well, that would put you in withdrawal from Zyprexa, and the Abilify might cover some of it, and might not.  Doctors seem to think these things are instantly interchangeable - but they don't have to live your life, they don't have to experience your symptoms - so they are quite cavalier about it.   People have a hard time coming off either one.  

 I have a lot of experience with different drugs, and I cannot tell you which one is harder.  They both attack a spray of receptrors.

 

What she's talking about is a cold switch which is destabilising.  I know how much you prize your functioning.  If you "function" better on Abilify, is it worth the 6 months of upheaval to find out?  Abilify does not have quite the metabolic profile of olanzapine (which is the worst for metabolic disorder) but it has other challenges, too.

 

https://www.madinamerica.com/2014/04/enslaved-abilify/ 

 

On 11/01/2018 at 2:34 AM, Bokart said:

but that's my right in Finland. They can't force me to take whatever dose they like.

 

(emphasis mine)

That is so beautiful to hear, when so often I hear that people have to fight their doctors for any decrease in drugging at all!

 

The thing about sleep is interesting.  Which came first, the chicken or the egg?  Do you get wild when you haven't gotten enough sleep - or - do you start sleeping less when you get wild?  (did she offer you a sleep aid or something?  Sheesh!)  I've debated this with the "manic" question, too.  I think it's a spiral.  They often treat "bipolar disorder" and/or "depression" with sleep deprivation.  I just did a search on it - and all the articles seem to say "Sleep deprivation causes mania" not the other way around.  Again, I think it's a spiral - you ramp up a bit, you sleep a little less, you ramp up more, you sleep even less, etc.  At least, that's how it happened for me - I felt GREAT sleeping only 4 hours a night (but I lost all my friends because I was so obnoxious!).

 

Remember - slow and steady wins the race!  You would be on very low doses or off now, if you hadn't accelerated before.  Take it slow, take it steady.  You're doing great!  (and from our private conversations I know you are looking into the spiritual/emotional aspects of healing - which is essential!  This eases my mind greatly!)

Thanks for keeping us informed - and keep an eye on that doctor, she sounds very typical for her profession.

And - I hope you see the sun today!  
(how many hours of sunlight in Finland in Winter?)

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Bokart
On 1/12/2018 at 4:19 AM, JanCarol said:

If you get down to a very low dose, the metabolic symptoms should diminish, too.

Yes, I know, as I experienced this. Actually, my sugar cravings were gone and I actually lost my appetite. Also my irritable bowel syndrome returned, which is not so nice, but will be waiting for me again when I get closer to 1mg.

 

On 1/12/2018 at 4:19 AM, JanCarol said:

If you "function" better on Abilify, is it worth the 6 months of upheaval to find out?  Abilify does not have quite the metabolic profile of olanzapine (which is the worst for metabolic disorder) but it has other challenges, too.

 

Yes. I won't go through that. I believe my sleep will be heavily impacted if I make the switch - olanzapine is so sedating, while aripiprazole is not (it's actually uplifting). That can't not make an impact.

 

On 1/12/2018 at 4:19 AM, JanCarol said:

That is so beautiful to hear, when so often I hear that people have to fight their doctors for any decrease in drugging at all!

Of course I forgot to mention that doctors in Finland can refuse to prescribe a lower dose of the medicine... but I don't care, as I can very well use the 15mg tablets anyways. And I get the dissolving ones, too. And as it was my second psychosis, I wonder if my new doctor will ever prescribe me 5mg tablets. Well, maybe after she hears there's nothing she can do anyways concerning my taper, she will yield :) .

 

On 1/12/2018 at 4:19 AM, JanCarol said:

The thing about sleep is interesting.  Which came first, the chicken or the egg?  Do you get wild when you haven't gotten enough sleep - or - do you start sleeping less when you get wild?  (did she offer you a sleep aid or something?  Sheesh!)  I've debated this with the "manic" question, too.  I think it's a spiral.  They often treat "bipolar disorder" and/or "depression" with sleep deprivation.  I just did a search on it - and all the articles seem to say "Sleep deprivation causes mania" not the other way around.  Again, I think it's a spiral - you ramp up a bit, you sleep a little less, you ramp up more, you sleep even less, etc.  At least, that's how it happened for me - I felt GREAT sleeping only 4 hours a night (but I lost all my friends because I was so obnoxious!).

 

The thing is, I can't sleep when I'm afraid, and that can lead to psychosis. Being afraid is normal of course, but being unable to calm down is not. I remember being too afraid to sleep in my last psychosis. And some nights I was just too obsessed with some things so I didn't try to sleep. Next time I will taper much slower in lower doses, as in the lower doses my obsessive side of personality seems to return, and that has synergies with fear. I obsess with my thoughts, and some of them generate fear and anxiety. I seemed to completely forget to relax. I think relaxation is one thing I must hold on to, especially when approaching lower doses. It is one of the keys of success, I think.

 

Also, I seem to be more prone to anxiety and stress if I don't sleep well, and that can trigger further sleeplessness, so it can become a never-ending cycle if it continues for too long. Hopefully I avoid this cycle with my slower taper.

 

I was always a somewhat obsessive person in some ways, but I can't put all my symptoms on my personality, because there is a clear link with my faster dose reductions and an increase of symptoms (in the lower doses I was on). If I was the normal me back then, I wouldn't have gone to psychosis. Hell, I wouldn't have even had my first psychosis without many many other things which compounded my obsessive traits and anxiety, namely extreme lack of sleep and some harmful religious beliefs, my self-punishing mindset and a "social crisis" that happened right before the fall to psychosis. Well, these things I must learn, and some things I should unlearn or mitigate, or learn to avoid/control.

 

On 1/12/2018 at 4:19 AM, JanCarol said:

And - I hope you see the sun today!  
(how many hours of sunlight in Finland in Winter?)

Far too few, but the time is increasing now day by day!

 

---

 

Best Regards, and hoping that your taper is going well!

Bokart

 

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Bokart

Hello again everyone, it's a long time since the last time I posted, so I decided to do an update.

 

So a month ago I had a little crisis. It was little because it lasted only  three or four days, but it was a crisis because I had to resort to sleep medicine to get some sleep through the worst part of it (only one night), and it really much felt like a crisis. But without discussing too much of the whys and whats, let's just say that this crisis was sparked by my best friend's rough situation (which could be called a crisis as well). But, I recovered! And learnt a ton of how my body reacts to highly stressful situations (those signs were also evident in my last psychosis but I didn't realize those symptoms back then).

 

And how I'm doing now: relatively well. My mood is relatively neutral, with some moments of feeling good and with some moments of anxiety. So basically normal. My dose is now 7,5mg, which was one of my targets (I should throw out the targets really). This drop was only 7,4% drop from 8,1mg, but I will still hold this dose for a total of a month and a half to give me a pause.

 

My plans: I'm considering switching to 7,5% taper, but I haven't made a decision yet. I'll gauge on how I feel this month and make a decision based on that. Could be that I'll stick to 10% taper, but will hold this dose for a while longer. I think I only got good choices. I have already dropped 50% of my starting dose :) I really feel I'm not in a hurry anymore, and I should put safety first. And I will still slower my taper as I near doses below 2mg, as that's where the problems seem to occur. The moving thing is "when"... I have already decided I'll do 3,5% taper when I hit 1 mg... I'm really thinking of doing 5% taper when I hit 1,5mg (or 2mg, unsure yet), but when should I begin 7,5% taper... haven't decided yet.

 

I hope you are doing fine as well!

Bokart

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Bokart

I have to post this, as my view has changed about the thing I wrote in my last post stating that feeling anxiety at times is "basically normal". Well, now I'm better, having less anxiety, but I think this anxiety is actually a withdrawal symptom. And when I examined this more, I think I see a pattern.

 

I switched to a 7,5mg tablet from 15 mg tablet (made to liquid solution). Drop was smallish 7,4%. BUT, I still had anxiety. This is not new. I remember when I switched from 15mg tablet (solution) to 5mg tablet, and the drop was supposed to be small (something like 8,5%), but I still experienced symptoms. So, I think these symptoms have something to do with switching to a smaller tablet. Or these symtoms have something to do with my dose being an actual tablet right now and not a solution. But I don't really know.

But anyways I will hold this dose for a longer total period of time (2 weeks longer). I also want 2 weeks of being symptom-free before a drop, so we'll see if this hold will be longer still.

 

Best Regards,

Bokart

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Bokart

Thanks for the link, Gridley, I read the link, and I recognize many symptoms...

On other news, I will make my next cut in sunday. I feel it was a right decision to hold this dose for two extra weeks, I feel I have really stabilised, I actually feel great right now :)

Hoping everyone have had a nice & sunny spring day! It was certainly that in Finland :)

Bokart

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Bokart

Hello again everyone! It's a long time since I last posted, so I thought it's time to give a small update.

I've been doing relatively well.  But there seems to be a pattern in my latest reductions that I get slight anxious spells 4 - 9 days after reductions, which then might turn to general lack of motivation, but that might have been solved by sleeping more (it seems I hadn't slept enough which turned into lack of energy which I interpreted as lack of motivation  - I have worked really long days recently). I haven't had the anxious spells after the latest reduction yet, so maybe it was something else?

 

I'm at 5 mg now, and I feel my learning abilities and motivation have already gotten better.

In other news: I got in to a university! Clearly I'm able to learn if I passed the entrance exams :) I might even have a way to earn money while studying, so everything seems to have worked out really well for me so far. This brings me to my next thoughts: I may do more holds when I'm approaching lower doses. It's simply too risky to fail now. I was thinking of maybe doing a year-long hold when I hit 2 mg, but that's still undecided. Better to be safe than sorry...

Hopefully you all have had great summer so far (or winter, in the southern hemisphere!)
Bokart

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Glosmom

This is great news, Bokart!  So happy for you!  Best wishes for you at University and for the possibility of earning money while attending. Slow and steady is always good. Glosmom

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Altostrata

Good to hear, Bokart. If you feel you need long holds, by all means, do it! Go as easy on your nervous system as you feel necessary. Going off the drugs takes as long as it takes.

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Bokart

Hello again everyone. Its been awhile since I posted so here's an update.

 

I have decided to favour uneventful taper instead of faster taper. That means I have slowed down my taper because my last drop was causing symptoms and needed a longer hold.

 

Now I taper at 8% speed, still quite fast for all intents and purposes: My dose will be halved every 9 months instead of 7 as it would be with 10% taper. No big deal.

 

Also, my new studies started this week. This has caused all kind of symptoms (I'm naturally nervous in these kind of events), but I think I will be fine in a week or two when all the excitement and stress dissipates. Hard to tell whether my last drop contributed to these symptoms or not.

 

Anyways, I'm fine and life seems to be alright at the moment. I even managed to get fridays free so I can take work in that day! I have to say that the work I'm doing is really relaxed and light so I see no problems combining work and studies. It will be seen, however, how much home assignments I get and whether I have time for work, but I've been told that at least the first year will be relatively easy, so I'm hoping I will have time for the extra income for the time being.

 

Hoping your taper is going well!
Bokart

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Bokart

Hello again, everyone. It's time for an update.

 

So, my last drop was way harder than expected. I dropped 0,2 mg which translates to 4,3% drop. The symptoms were very hard... Wasn't expecting it at all. I have the symptoms written down for future reflection. There was a quite a list of them.

 

Anyways, I got over it and I'm still holding at 4,4mg. I have plans for the next drop, though as I feel I have stabilized enough. But should I do the drop or hold even longer? What does it tell about my state when even a small drop like that was so hard? What could be the reason? I suspect stress. My studies demand more of me than ever before. That must play a part, and that is one of the most significant things that have changed compared to my last taper (had very little stress back then). Other things that are changed are the time I have been at higher doses of this medicine (I dipped below 7,5mg pretty quickly this time around) and my weight has slightly risen... Or could the reason be related to something else?

 

My next drop will be 0,1mg, which is 2,27%. A miniscule drop, but better to play it safe and test that the ice is hard enough. Or so is my plan... I plan to drop on the 16th so that this hold will be 2 full months.

 

Also, I have a new doctor now. This time luck didn't favour me and I got a doctor who totally denies withdrawal symptoms (for antipsychotics) exist and who can claim both that I can just stop taking medicine completely without any issues and still claim that "of course that causes rapid decline and psychosis". How can you claim it's safe to cold turkey but in the same breath note it leads to psychosis? Well, as long as I get my dissolving tablets, which he graciously prescribed for me (in this way I'm lucky :)).

 

Hopefully your taper is going well!
Bokart

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Bokart

Hello again. It's been a while since I last posted.

 

So my 0,1mg drop routine has worked quite well. I barely have any withdrawal symptoms. As you see from my signature, I make 0,1mg drops instead of drops based on percentage. The reason for this is that it's quite hard for me to do drops lower than 0,1mg, it's really hard to measure any lower. Of course there are ways around that such as diluting a tablet, putting half of the liquid to another container and then dilute the two equal doses even more.

 

That's what I've been actually doing recently (with 20mg tablets), but I have had some problems with measuring accuracy. It seems my dropper/pipette is not very accurate and dividing the dose to two equal halves does not work: the first half seems to always be greater than the second half. I'm still seeking the perfect division of doses so they'll be exactly or close to equal.

 

Anyways, It's been on my mind that I would want to go faster. I have had 3 months with nearly no symptoms, yet the last time I had problems was ~4 months ago, so not so long ago.

My plan for the moment is to see this drop through and then decide on the 16th of February what I want to do. I could do 0,15mg drops or I could do a 0,1mg drop every 3 weeks. I'm slightly leaning for the latter option. Yet I could also just keep my current routine. I'm very aware that I will not immediately feel the effects of larger/faster drops and that it could take many months of the symptoms to arise and then they could be severe at that point. This I don't want.

 

For your Knowledge, 0,15mg drop would be 3,7%, and that percentage would rise as I go lower. I plan to make my drops even lower as I hit some thresholds. I'm currently thinking to drop to 0,05 mg drops when I hit 2mg (that would be 2,5% at that dose), but if I went with 0,15mg drops I would lower my drop in half to 0,075mg when I hit 3mg. The plan is that I never make a drop greater than 5%. That way I should hopefully be safe.

 

Hopefully your taper is going smoothly as well,

Bokart

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ChessieCat
8 hours ago, Bokart said:

The plan is that I never make a drop greater than 5%. That way I should hopefully be safe.

 

It's good to hear that you've got it all planned.

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Brock702

Bokart, your journey has been an admirable one to say the least, I myself started out on 15 mg of olanazapine taking 5 mg in the morning and 10 mg at night. Currently I’m down to just 2.5 mg in the evening I have another two weeks of hold time then I’m cutting the 2.5 mg dose in half then I will hold that dosage for four weeks. Once I stabilize after the four weeks I will take 1/4 of the 2.5 mg I can’t wait to be free from this drug. Thank you for sharing your experience I look forward to the post when you say your finished, like they say though slow and steady. Cheers!

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Bokart

Thank you Brock for your compliments. I'm hoping your tapering will go well. However you seem to make quite a large drops. Are you sure you can withstand the symptoms? I have problems even with my current drops, which are 0,1mg.

 

About these problems: sure enough there were withdrawal symptoms after my latest drop. Actually I was surprised... I mean I do so tiny drops! And I have had 3 relatively symptomless months before this.

 

My withdrawal symptoms included:

Occasional bouts of anxiety

Loose stool / changes in digestive system

Loss of sexual desire

All-around lowered mood

Loss of appetite

 

All these symptoms were mild, but they were still present enough to be noticeable.

 

I think I will follow JanCarol's advice of having 1 month symptom-free (or with low symptoms) before making an another drop. That will mean my next drop will be 28th on the next month.

 

I mean I can stand these symptoms, but I do not want to have their intensity to rise in the next drop. I think waiting a month is a good way to achieve this.

 

Take care everyone!
Bokart

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Brock702

Bokart, I should be able to manage since when I did my cuts before from 15 to 10 to 7.5 to 5 to 2.5 things went ok, I experienced mild withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety and crying spells which lasted minutes at a time for roughly 3 days. I did however recently quit smoking cigarettes (about 7 days ago) so I want to be extra careful with the next step down as to not overwhelm my brain with all the changes at once. Quitting smoking has been good with no anxiety and no desire to smoke again I feel less stress for sure. I strongly believe once I get the 2.5 mg dose down into quarters and take the quarters for 1-2 months I can completely discontinue the olanzapine once and for all. It’s been a nerve racking process but ultimately being drug free allowing my brain to work on its own excites me. 

 

The reason I ended up prescribed olanzapine in the first place was for psychosis for which I was hospitalized twice, I used to be a heavy marijuana smoker. I was diagnosed as bipolar but I firmly believe that both times I was hospitalized it was due to acute marijuana induced psychosis because I was smoking so heavily combined with a lot of stress I was dealing with at the time. I was seen by a psychologist and he seemed to agree the marijuana may have caused me to have a mental breakdown as well, he said if I stay off the marijuana this would possibly eliminate the chance of another psychotic breakdown. When I was hospitalized I was delusional believing people could communicate with me telepathically as well as believing I was a higher power almost god-like and at the time when I was smoking I couldn’t recognize these symptoms because now if I think about how I was acting it’s stupid and I’m ashamed and embarrassed that I could even believe something like that in the first place. Some people have said it was a spiritual awakening which could be true but knowing what I went through and how I was acting   It’s something I never want to experience again. I’ve been off marijuana for almost a year I will never smoke again and I feel so much better just a little bogged down due to the olanzapine so that’s why I decided to taper to get my life back. 

 

Although the the olanzapine seemed to level me out at the time when I needed it most which I’m greatful for, it has caused me to gain weight (which is partly my fault) and caused me to feel like I can’t manage my own emotions on my own. My plan is to stay off marijuana, taper off olanzapine, eat healthy, exercise and enjoy life to the fullest. 

 

Good luck to all who are going down this road to recovery and those who have made it to the finish line. Cheers!

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gladtobehere1984

Hi Bookart,

 

First of all, thank you so much for detailing your progress like this. It is very informative and motivating to see both your progress and how you get past the setbacks. 

 

I'm also tapering (just starting) from olanzapine (10mgs) and I have 2 questions:

 

1- If I understood it right, you dissolve the dissolvable olanzapine tablets and measure out with a pipette. Do you do it with water, or some other solution? When I try it with water, it seems that the particles remain undissolved and quickly sink to the bottom even if I stir the mixture. It seems like there is never enough time to get them in a syringe evenly. So that seemed to be a real stumbling block for me. I would be really glad if you detail your way, which you obviously seem to be successful with.

 

2- When you say 1 month symptom free before a dosage drop, does that mean: Let's say you drop a dose, and for 2 weeks you had withdrawal symptoms, so then you start counting another 4 weeks symptom-free on top of that, to arrive at 6 weeks between the dose reductions? I'll probably be going with 8 week drops but still I wanted to ask to be sure.

 

Thank you again for diligently documenting your progress, and I hope to follow in your footsteps,

Cheers,

gladtobehere1984

 

P.S. Here's my thread if you'd want to chime in there as well: Tapering 10 mg of Zyprexa .

 

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gladtobehere1984

I meant Bokart in the introduction. 🤭Sorry for the misspelling. Cheers

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Bokart

Hello gladtobehere1984! I'm glad you have found this forum. I don't know if I could have ever managed to safely taper without the information and support available here :). On to your questions:

 

3 hours ago, gladtobehere1984 said:

1- If I understood it right, you dissolve the dissolvable olanzapine tablets and measure out with a pipette. Do you do it with water, or some other solution? When I try it with water, it seems that the particles remain undissolved and quickly sink to the bottom even if I stir the mixture. It seems like there is never enough time to get them in a syringe evenly. So that seemed to be a real stumbling block for me. I would be really glad if you detail your way, which you obviously seem to be successful with.

 

 

 Yes, I also noticed the same problem as you have, indeed there are parts which sink down and some parts (at least with my dissolving tablets) that float to the top.

 

My current solution has been to use ~1 part of suspending vehicle(s) and ~1 part of water. I use Ora-Plus and glycerine as those vehicles. Why 2 vehicles? Well, it's a personal preference. At first I only used Ora-Plus, but then I heard of someone using glycerine. I tried a mixture of both and found it good... better than just Ora-Plus actually. With only Ora-Plus, you have a small problem with water bubbles if you accidentally try to suck too much liquid at once. The bubbles move very slowly in Olanzapine / Ora-Plus / water compound. If you replace some of the Ora-Plus with glycerine/glycerol the bubbles move faster without affecting suspension properties (at least it seems that way to me). When the bubbles reach the top of the liquid they can be "popped" by letting out liquid fast from the pipette. Then slowly drain the liquid in again without making the same mistake of draining air bubbles in. Also glycerine is more readily available in my country than Ora-Plus.

 

 My current compound makeup is: ~3 parts Ora-Plus + ~2 parts glycerol + 5 parts water + Olanzapine (10 parts = 5ml). This is how I currently do it:

 

  •  First I put 2,5ml of water and 20mg odt-olanzapine to a beaker and let it dissolve for 20-30 minutes.
  • Then I draw 1,5ml  Ora-Plus + 0,8ml Glycerine (2,3ml total) and add it to the solution. This makes about 5ml liquid, which I base my reductions on (I then divide this solution to 2 halves, make both halves 5ml and from those solutions draw doses for 4 days @ 4,1mg each. I do this so I can get 4 days of worth of medicine in one go and also to save 5mg tablets due to monetary reasons... but this is beside the point)

The reason for measuring 2,3ml of suspension solution instead of 2,5ml is because the tablets themselves (I use 5mg + 15mg for the solution right now) add ~0,2ml to the solution. For you it will be different because I assume you are using 10mg tablets. If I had to estimate how much that would be in mls, I would say 0,1ml, but you have to test this out yourself. Also, if your tablets are not odt (orally dissolving tablets) that might also affect how many mls your tablet will add up.

 

 

  So that must be taken into account. When you know how many milliliters the tablets add you can use that knowledge to either add less water or less suspension to reach your desired total milliliters of  liquid (for me 5ml).

 

(Also, my pipette is inaccurate, so the tablets I use propably add more than 0,2ml)

 

3 hours ago, gladtobehere1984 said:

2- When you say 1 month symptom free before a dosage drop, does that mean: Let's say you drop a dose, and for 2 weeks you had withdrawal symptoms, so then you start counting another 4 weeks symptom-free on top of that, to arrive at 6 weeks between the dose reductions? I'll probably be going with 8 week drops but still I wanted to ask to be sure.

 

 

Yes, that's what I'm doing. Just one remark: if the symptoms are "barely" noticeable, I will not count that as a time with symptoms. Yet my bar is very low, so more often than not I will take the symptoms into account. If the symptoms are noticeable, I will make a drop one month after the day the symptoms were back to being barely / no more noticeable.

 

 

 

Best of luck to your taper! I know it can be hard sometimes, but you will find the best way to taper for you. For me, it changed from being 10% to being just above 2%... so this can change after unsuccessful attempts. So be careful in the first time, it could save you many months or years of tapering. 
 


Take care.

- Bokart

 

 

PS: I have to say I rarely have time to visit these forums due to my studies, so I only have time to post in this thread and seldomly at that. I hope this does not cause any bad feelings for anyone. 

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gladtobehere1984
4 hours ago, Bokart said:

(I then divide this solution to 2 halves, make both halves 5ml and from those solutions draw doses for 4 days @ 4,1mg each.

 

First of all thank you very much for your detailed reply. It makes sense how you do it.(2mg olanzapine for each millileter of liquid) Above you said you make both halves 5ml. Do you do that by adding 2.5mg of water to each solution, or by adding 2.5 mg of the Ora Plus+glycerine mixture?

 

Unfortunately, we don't have Ora-Plus here, but I guess I can import it from the U.S. with a doctor's prescription and get it through the customs with the prescription. So for now I'll continue with pill cutting, but get the Ora-Plus as I'm nearing smaller doses.

 

One last question(but a little explanation beforehand), you had a relapse and then moved back to 15mg. I admire you for keeping on like you did and re-tapering. It's really inspiring. Relapsing is one of my biggest fears. For one thing, I don't know if I'll ever get back to sanity if I have a psychotic break. I'm glad you got yours back. So my question is, after you got out of the hospital why did you not quickly (like in 2 weeks) drop to 10mg and then 5mg and then continue slow tapering from 5mg for instance? Did you think you'd have a relapse? In any case you did a relatively quick taper from 15 to 8.1 mg. (from Sept 2017 to Jan 2018) Did you not have many withdrawal symptoms at that timeframe that'd cause you to slow down the taper or was it because you were fed up and went quickly regardless of the symptoms?

 

I hope your studies are going well and want to thank you again for answering the last post in detail. 

 

Cheers,

gladtobehere1984

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Bokart

I'm glad I could be of help. Starting a liquid taper can be difficult and it was difficult for me too. Had to figure out lots of things... change the pipette to a more accurate one... add suspension like Ora-Plus... figure out how to make a drops effectively and with most precision so my dose wouldn't fluctuate, etc...

 

By the way, are you sure the customs will confiscate your Ora-Plus? It has no medical properties. It can be compared to syrup, for example. It's just a thickener for medical solutions.

 

55 minutes ago, gladtobehere1984 said:

First of all thank you very much for your detailed reply. It makes sense how you do it.(2mg olanzapine for each millileter of liquid) Above you said you make both halves 5ml. Do you do that by adding 2.5mg of water to each solution, or by adding 2.5 mg of the Ora Plus+glycerine mixture?

 

I use the same formula in this case too, so 1 part water & 1 part suspension. So I would first fill pipette with 1,2ml water, then fill it to 2ml with Ora-Plus, and lastly fill it to 2,5ml with glycerin. So all the incredients will be in the pipette at the same time to make measuring easier. Also you must first fill water, then Ora-Plus and finally glycerin/glycerol. Otherwise they will get mixed up, because water is the "lightest" liquid (and glycerin the heaviest) and if it would be below Ora-Plus, for example, it would rise to the top by itself and then get mixed up with Ora-Plus. Just like with water and oil: oil is lighter so it floats on water. At least I noticed this when I first drew glycerol and then Ora-Plus: Ora-Plus started to go up instantly and it got mixed with glycerol.

 

This is important because if you have water bubbles, you can get rid of them by ejecting some liquid fast back to its bottle which many times pops the bubble, but if the liquid is mixed, I don't think it's a good idea to eject a mixed solution and "contaminate" the glycerin bottle with Ora-Plus or water, for example.

 

One thing to take into account with liquid taper in general is that in my opinion you should try to only do drops that are max. half of the minimum scaling units. So for example my pipette measures 0,1ml minimum and I can confidently add or remove that amount of liquid. But what if I have to do 0,033ml drop? Then it becomes hard because you have to remove approximately that... there's no scaling unit for that small amount of liquid so you just have to deduce the drop. That's why I currently make 0,05ml drops and even those are not optimal. I'd rather do 0,1ml drops, but then I'd have to use 5mg tablets diluted to 5ml and I would have to use 7 of the 5mg tablets a week compared to ~2 of the 5mg tablets I use now. But I will move to using only 5mg tablets when I can get more than 2 doses from 2 tablets (I have 2 beakers so I can combine the leftovers, at some doses I start getting an extra dose(s) out of them)

 

56 minutes ago, gladtobehere1984 said:

One last question(but a little explanation beforehand), you had a relapse and then moved back to 15mg. I admire you for keeping on like you did and re-tapering. It's really inspiring. Relapsing is one of my biggest fears. For one thing, I don't know if I'll ever get back to sanity if I have a psychotic break. I'm glad you got yours back. So my question is, after you got out of the hospital why did you not quickly (like in 2 weeks) drop to 10mg and then 5mg and then continue slow tapering from 5mg for instance? Did you think you'd have a relapse? In any case you did a relatively quick taper from 15 to 8.1 mg. (from Sept 2017 to Jan 2018) Did you not have many withdrawal symptoms at that timeframe that'd cause you to slow down the taper or was it because you were fed up and went quickly regardless of the symptoms?

 

To be frank, I was scared. And doctors made me promise I wouldn't do that, and it was hard going against that as it was written in their systems. I could have dropped to maybe 7,5mg instantly and then continue from there. I don't know about dropping to as low as 5mg... I think it's a risk, because, at least for me, the after-effects of psychosis did linger on with me for some time. I think it took quite a lot of time for me to get back to normal. Many months... maybe half a year. Normal in this case means no intrusive thoughts, no spontaneous anxiety, no sleeping problems, no running mind, no hypersensitivity to stress, etc. And I did have intrusive thoughts as late as last summer! And I still have some sensitivity to stress. So the effects can linger on. I also had a crisis some time in the beginning of 2018. Could have led to psychosis, but I managed it with sauna and other enjoyable activities (sauna is great for calming the body & mind!). But it was rough, very rough. I also had a small crisis in last autumn, which is the reason I do such small drops now. My body can't take larger drops any more, it seems. I can't risk having any more crises either.

There were evidently withdrawal symptoms between Sept 2017 and Jan 2018, but these were hard to recognize because of the psychosis after-effects. Only did I notice something was wrong when things started to really go wrong. I had no discernment of the subtleties... and this is because my mind was still not completely calm, relaxed & still to be able to spot any withdrawal symptoms. My mind was far from it, actually. If your baseline is almost the same as the withdrawal symptoms, it's hard to spot the difference.

 

Yeah, I think that's all. I hoped this helped to clarify things for you :)

All the best!
Bokart

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Brock702

Hi gladtobehere1984,

 

I have a question for you, did you by any chance smoke marijuana before your psychotic break? In my experience marijuana causes psychotic features, a lot of people are with the thought that marijuana is natural therefore it’s safe but for me that couldn’t be further from the truth. If i smoke i tend to have paranoia, anxiety, rapid cycling thoughts etc. it makes me feel unstable as if I might lose my mind and have to be admitted to a mental health facility so I stay away from it completely. 

 

I’m currently on 1.25mg (since January 30, 2019) of olanzapine down from 15mg daily, I have another 4 weeks before I make my next cut to 0.625 if the withdrawal symptoms are too problematic I’ll just taper to 0.9375 mg and hold for 6 weeks (2 week withdrawal period then an additional 4 week stabilization period). My last cut was from 2.5 mg to 1.25 mg when I did that I felt withdrawal symptoms for 4 solid days, an uneasy feeling combined with anxiety and dizziness with  residual symtoms for about 10 days following that. Today is day 14 since the cut and I feel a lot better, part of me wants to make the next cut sooner but I’m definitely going to wait another 4 weeks as mentioned above just to be on the safe side, slow and steady is my train of thought.

 

Besides, after tapering down you don’t want to jeopardize your wellbeing by tapering too fast, for me my biggest fear is going to fast and having to reinstate then not feeling stabilized after reinstatement.

 

Another thing I get nervous about is that when I actually taper down completely off how will I feel, it’s just that I’ve been taking the olanzapine for 9 months (since May 30, 2018) and being free from it is exciting on one hand but scary on the next. My inspiration comes from that there are many people that have been taking olanzapine for years (5, 10, 15, 20 years) that have successfully tapered off it’s just a slow process that’s all there is to it. 

 

I’ve stayed strong and it is getting better everyday a little bit at a time, cheers!

 

-Brock

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ChessieCat

Hi Bokart,

 

It would be really helpful and appreciated by other Zyprexa users if you could make a post explaining your method in the Tips for tapering off olanzapine (Zyprexa) topic.

 

Thank you.

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gladtobehere1984
15 hours ago, Bokart said:

Yeah, I think that's all. I hoped this helped to clarify things for you :)

All the best!
Bokart

 

You have covered everything perfectly! There are some very important gems to take in from your experience, so thank you once again for sharing them so openly.

 

15 hours ago, Brock702 said:

have a question for you, did you by any chance smoke marijuana before your psychotic break?

Hi Brock, No I didn't smoke marijuana before, but like you I've heard that it can make people psychotic. I hope yours was related to that and you never have to go through a psychotic break again. 

About your taper, it might be considered too fast to drop from 1.25mg to 0.625 mg, wouldn't it? In my own case in the past I withdrew from Risperdal 1.5mg in 1 year, and then had my very first psychotic break 4-5 months after my taper was over. Bokart also had psychosis at little doses when he went too quickly with the drops. Just something to think about. Other than that, I wish you a stress-free taper period, however you decide to do it. Cheers

 

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Bokart
On 2/12/2019 at 12:43 AM, ChessieCat said:

Hi Bokart,

 

It would be really helpful and appreciated by other Zyprexa users if you could make a post explaining your method in the Tips for tapering off olanzapine (Zyprexa) topic.

 

Thank you.

 

Hi ChessieCat.

 

I have decided to make a post of my methods in that thread when I have available time (maybe in the weekend? It might take an hour or two to write the post... I hope...). I'm thinking of the subjects, and these are what I have in mind:

 

Measuring a dose:

    Suspensions (Ora-Plus/glycerine, etc.)

    Air bubbles

    Measurement inaccuracies in pipette or other measuring equipment

    Minimum scaling unit

    Making your reduction compatible with minimum scaling unit by dividing doses

    Saving pills/tablets

Withdrawal symptoms I have noticed in my taper

 

This will be quite large a text, but I hope to make it in the weekend, but I can't promise that because I have so many school assignments right now. Also, should there be something more I should write about?
 

Cheers,

Bokart

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Bokart

Hello all,

 

I have a question for you. I hope somebody here knows something about this.

 

I have decided to begin a weight loss program. I have chosen LCHF -diet (Low Carbohydrates High Fat).

 

My question is: how does this mesh with my taper? Should I put my taper on hold or continue as normal?

Another question is that does this affect my medicine levels? If I, for example, lose 10 or 20 kgs, what happens with the medicine? Does the amount that reaches the brain remain the same? This is important because olanzapine causes sugar cravings... for me it's at its worst in the evenings, just before bedtime. I can not imagine my weight loss attempt being successful if my sugar cravings rise.

These sugar cravings do seem to stop for a while after each drop. It seems to be a withdrawal symptom for me... a "good one" at that. I don't mind losing my cravings for a while.

So if any of you have some advice or some material I could get familiar with, I would appreciate it very much.

Thank you all & I hope your taper is going well,

Bokart

PS: I made a drop 12 days ago and I had the same withdrawal symptoms with the same intensity as I did with my previous drop. This is the first day without symptoms. I might delay my next drop again, but I'm thinking of "testing the waters" with a slightly smaller hold... Haven't made a decision yet though.

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Bokart

Thanks ChessieCat. I gathered from the thread that ketosis diet might be too hard while tapering. So I just started to eat less. I think I'm losing about ~0.2kg per week if I keep to it, but that's fine. I just have to really avoid sugar binges... I can gain up to 2 kgs in a weekend if I'm not careful.... and it could take 10 weeks to lose that weight...

So I am also thinking of making an adjustment to my taper. I was thinking of halving my drops and making them more frequent. The reason for this is that I think I'm having too much symptoms right now for my liking. I especially dislike the disturbances in sleep and random bouts of anxiety, both of which will begin after 5 or 6 days and last for 6 to 8 days after each drop.

So I think my updated drop schedule will be 0.05mg every 3 weeks. So this means it will take 6 weeks to drop the same amount I did in a month previously. Of course my drops haven't been monthly due to my rule of being symptom-free for at least 4 weeks, so actually if we take that into account my speed will be roughly the same.

If you have any pointers about the new taper method, I'd be glad to hear them.

Thanks everyone & I hope your taper is going well,

Bokart

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