Jump to content
Rico

Rico: Zyprexa tapering

Recommended Posts

Rico

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I have withdrawn off it before and I am petrified.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

Edited by scallywag
tags

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat

Hi Rico, and welcome to SA,

 

There is lots of excellent information here at SA.

 

The first thing we ask all members to do is to Please put your Withdrawal History in Signature.  Please include details for the last year and a summary of anything prior to that.  Please include ALL drugs (please include details of what you were given in hospital recently), dates and doses and how you decreased/increased.  Please also remember to update your signature whenever you make a change so it remains current.

 

Once we have more details of your drug history we will be better able to offer suggestions.

 

You can ask any questions you have here in your Intro/Update topic.  Click "Follow" top right to receive notification when someone responds.  You can also use your topic as a journal of your progress.

 

Introduction to AD Withdrawal Syndrome

 

Brain Remodelling (Rhi's Description of Brain Healing)


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

Share this post


Link to post
JanCarol

Hey Rico - 

 

We recommend no more than 10% per month.  Even though you've only been on Zyprexa a short time - it can be a bit of a bear, and if you can discipline yourself to 10% of current dose per month in reductions, I think that your discipline will pay off with a more symptom free tapering.  If it goes well, you can speed it up in the 3rd month, moving the tapers in closer - but you have to wait and see how your body responds to the taper!

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for Tapering off Zyprexa Olanzapine

 

Welcome to SA!

Share this post


Link to post
alldaisy

How you are feeling? I had a terrible experience with Zyprexa and with Ability. But I have overcome the nightmare. After I quitted zyprexa I was unable to sleep  for about 2 years. After almost three years or maybe more dealing with the aftermath of quitting zyprexa, I am a little bit better. 

 

Whatever you do, always count with your doctors and get informed before taking any decision.

 

Wish you are feeling better. 

Share this post


Link to post
JanCarol

Hey Rico - I will stand with my original thought:  please consider 10% per month to start, and let's see how that goes.

 

You could go faster, but if you go too fast, you could end up in hospital, on treatment order, and/or on a whole lot more drugs.

 

You are on a pretty hefty "mood stabilizing" cocktail as it is.  I don't know anywhere where it is indicated to be on lithium and valproate.  Do you get regular blood tests for kidney and liver function?

 

How are your Non Drug Techniques for Coping with Emotional Symptoms

 

Here is a pattern I commonly see in "schizo-diagnosis" labels (I don't like labels, so they are in quotes):

 

Young person, learning to be an adult, confronting Uni and independence and breaking apron strings to parents, goes into a tailspin, a Spiritual Emergency.  The Spiritual Emergency has socially unacceptable behaviours and beliefs attached, and so the original Emergency gets medicated - sometimes for decades.  

 

If, as in Soteria and Open Dialogue Finland, the young person has the opportunity to work through the Spiritual Emergency without drugs, s/he becomes well, healthy, and productive in society - and - s/he has the gift of knowing what s/he wants from life (the Spiritual Emergency is a Teacher).  

 

Are these alien terms to you?  Go here and look around at resources.  They are thin on the ground here in Australia, where drugs are the "first line of defence" against "socially inappropriate" behaviours and beliefs.

Alternatives for Psychotic Outbreaks

 

The important thing is to learn not to run to the doctor for your emergencies, but to learn to process them yourself, or with the help of a therapist.  The doctor only has one tool:  drugs.  The therapist has a few more tools.  

 

Additionally, if you are going to remove a drug, it is important to replace it with something else - a practice, a tool, a coping or survival strategy that keeps you free of the drug:  Non Drug Techniques for Coping with Emotional Symptoms is a great place to start.

Share this post


Link to post
Rico

Hi all,

 

I need urgent help please.

 

I've had a rough year this year with multiple hospitalisations. I have lost my job and facing bankruptcy and I have suffered a lot of side effects including gynecomastia and sexual dysfunction.

 

I won't bore you with the details of all that has happened this year, but will explain what has happened since my last hospitalisation.

 

I left the last hospital on Zyprexa 2.5, Lithium 900mg (SR), and Epilim 1000mg.

 

I started tapering Zyprexa 2.5 by 10% per week. I now know this was fast, but at the time I thought it would be ok since I hadn't been on Zyprexa for two long (2-3 months). I also a few weeks later started tapering the Epilim at the same time by 100mg per week, then 200mg per week.

 

Last Friday night, I tapered the Zyprexa by 10% and the Epilim by 200mg - so the medications I took were Zyprexa 1.25mg, Epilim 500mg and Lithium 900mg (I have not touched the Lithium at all).

 

I woke up Saturday very depressed and mentally sick and all over the place. The rest of the weekend was awful too. I also noticed that the sexual dyfunction was even worse.

 

After the weekend, I remained severely depressed and recently started to get a lot of anxiety.

 

Last night, after taking the medications, I was distressed, anxious and couldn't get to sleep. I took a melatonin tablet also. I lay in bed and my brain felt warm and I was anxious. The anxiety was more mental than physical - like I wanted to jump out of my skin.

 

I woke up 4 hours later and went downstairs and I was completely dysfunctional. I felt depressed and anxious...but no mental energy at all. I felt completely disabled. I took 10mg of Valium just to get some relief because the mental agony was unbearable.

 

Out of desperation, I went to see my psychiatrist who told me that this was not withdrawal symptoms, but the symptoms of my condition (I was diagnosed with bipolar many years ago). He suggested (as he has in the past), to start me on Abiligy 2.5 mg. He said that the reason I felt this way was because once the medication reaches a critical level due to the reductions I have made, the symptoms reemerged.

 

I am so confused, upset, and at a loss as to what to do now. I fear that I have damaged my CNS beyond repair.

 

I told my psychiatrist that I was hesitant in starting Abilify because when I tried it in the hospital a while back, it made me very agitated, restless and then I found myself unable to sleep.

 

He told me to take if for a week and if I can't sleep, just to take Valium.

 

I don't know what to do now. I would like to believe that my taper was just too fast and that i can increase my current doss and start again later.

 

I believe these are withdrawal symptoms, but my doctor doesn't think so.

 

What do I do please??

 

Right now, I feel very weak, depressed, and somewhat distressed - but I don't have the mental energy to even express it.

 

I am really depressed about the side effects that I have too as well as not having a job etc. I have a lovely girlfriend and I am scared of losing her.

 

Can someone please help me?

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
genlady

An administrator will help you soon.  For now, in my opinion you did taper too fast.  I wouldn't taper more than one medication at a time, and only one every 4 weeks approximately.\

 

 Don't listen to your phsychiatrist, they will always say it is the reamergence of the "disease".  And to tell you if you can't sleep " take a valium"  A big no no for me.  My doctor kept adding drug after drug which really messed me up.  

 

Have you tried deep breathing to try to relax?  I am experiencing intense anxiety right now too, and that does help you cope if the anxiety is severe, and if you catch the anxiety before it becomes full blown it will calm you more.  To help me sleep I take L-Glycine.  

 

I hope things get better for you.  There is a lot of help here for you.  I'm sure other's have suggestions which can help as well.

Share this post


Link to post
scallywag

Rico -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)

 

Thanks for completing a medication history signature.

 

Question:  When did you start reducing the dose of Zyprexa and Epilim? Early September? Mid-August? Please put those dates in your signature.

 

The symptoms you are experiencing are almost certainly withdrawal symptoms.
What is withdrawal syndrome
Is it withdrawal or relapse?

Your dose reductions of 10% per week for each of 2 drugs simultaneously was too fast for your CNS (central nervous system). It would have been a problem for many people.
Why taper by 10% of my dosage?
 

 

If I were in your shoes, I wouldn't add any medications -- not Abilify, not Valium -- to deal with the difficult symptoms caused by withdrawal from other medications. The best approach is likely to increase your doses of the medications you have been tapering. You likely will not need to return to the starting doses; some intermediate dose will probably work.

Are you open to the idea of increasing your doses of Zyprexa and Epilim to see if your symptoms ease?

 

 

Links related to your medications:

  1. Tips for tapering off Zyprexa (olanzapine)
  2. Tips for tapering off Lithium
  3. Epilim is sodium valproate, or Depakene. We don't have a topic specifically about Depakene, Depakote, sodium valproate, or valproic acid.
     

 

I hope you'll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation. I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but am glad that you found us.

Share this post


Link to post
PluckyPony

Hi Rico,

 

You are in the right place.  As Scallywag mentioned, a slightly higher reinstatement will be far more beneficial than adding more drugs. In terms of anxiety, I found that believing the uneasy mental/physical feelings will eventually pass actually made the episodes less intense. Also, try to reduce or eliminate any stimulants or alcohol in your diet, as that could exacerbate anxiety*.

 

*Not official medical advice, just sharing what has worked for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Rico

Hi all,

 

Thanks for your replies.

 

I started reducing the Epilim about 4 weeks ago, and the Zyprexa about 5 weeks ago. Initially, my psychiatrist wanted to drop the Epilim by 500mg in one go from 1000mg!

 

Last week I reduced the Epilim by 200mg and the Zyprexa by another 10% (of the original dose). Now I know that this was too fast as it has been hell since. I went to see the psychiatrist who said that what I was experiencing was not withdrawal but the original "illness".

 

My doctor knowing that I want to get off Zyprexa told me to take 2.5mg Abilify. I have tried this medication before in hospital and it made me very agitated and anxious.

 

Out of fear, I tried it anyway over the last couple of days, and now I am definitely not going to take it anymore. I have been extremely distressed over the last couple of days and now I am back to square one.

 

I am going back to my original doses (2.5mg Zyprexa, 1000mg Epilim and 900mg Lithium). I feel like my brain is absolutely fried. On top of this, I am currently unemployed and pretty much home alone. I have also been contemplating suicide all weekend. I can't believe how much these drugs have affected me.

 

In a couple of weeks, I will be seeing an integrative medicine doctor (for the second time) who believes he can help me get off these medications slowly with supplements and vitamins based on my blood test / urine results. If anyone has experience with this, please let me know.

 

My questions now are:

 

- Is it possible for me to recover?

- Have I done irreparable damage to my brain?

- Will my sexual functioning ever be restore?

 

I have been in and out of hospital since March, and I am so over it. I wish I knew the concept of tapering earlier. One psychiatrist once told me to cold turkey Dotheipine 225 mg - the withdrawal was hell.

 

Thank you for this site, please comment if you can. I am feeling quite alone in all this.

 

Rico

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat

I haven't read through this but here is a discussion on urine testing:  invalid-urine-testing-for-neurotransmitters-in-the-brain

 

To search this site use a search engine and type in survivingantidepressants.org + topic

 

The only supplements which SA recommends are Magnesium and Omega-3 Fish Oil.  Many members find B vitamins activating during withdrawal, especially B6.  If you are starting anything new it is best to take them separately and start with a low dose and increase it gradually.  It is better not to take things which contain a mixture/complex, because if there is an issue you won't know what is causing the problem.

 

Accurate and consistent doses, careful tapering and holding long enough to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug before doing the next drop are what SA recommends.  Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable

 

I think it would be a good idea for you post here what the integrative doctor suggests before taking anything so that you can get a second opinion on his advice.

 

Six Mistakes I've Made in Withdrawal

 

What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?


How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?

Share this post


Link to post
nz11

Hi Rico

I feel your frustration at the place you now find yourself in.

 

In a couple of weeks, I will be seeing an integrative medicine doctor (for the second time) who believes he can help me get off these medications slowly with supplements and vitamins based on my blood test / urine results. If anyone has experience with this, please let me know.

I would be very concerned for you if you go ahead with this...and that's an understatement.

 

Out of desperation, I went to see my psychiatrist who told me that this was not withdrawal symptoms, but the symptoms of my condition (I was diagnosed with bipolar many years ago). He suggested (as he has in the past), to start me on Abiligy 2.5 mg. He said that the reason I felt this way was because once the medication reaches a critical level due to the reductions I have made, the symptoms reemerged.

This is disappointing.

Your pdoc is misinformed.

Share this post


Link to post
scallywag

Your questions:

"Is it possible for me to recover?"
 

Yes, it is absolutely possible for you to recover. Many, many people have recovered from taking psychotropic medications and from a bad attempt at discontinuing one or more of them.

 
"Have I done irreparable damage to my brain?"
 

It is extremely unlikely that this has occurred. There is a characteristic of human brain (and other primates) called "neuroplasticity"; our brains adapt to different influences and "un-adapt" when the influences are no longer present. The symptoms people experience during withdrawal are the brain and the rest of the CNS (central nervous system) "un-adapting" from the dose of the medication. Some links that give more explanation:

How your brain responds to psychiatric drugs - aka "Brain remodeling"

Youtube video, 4 minutes: Healing from antidepressants

 

"Will my sexual functioning ever be restore?"

 

Yes it probably will be restored. Some people find that this symptom seems to take quite (months and months) a while to resolve. Sometimes it resolves gradually, and others report that their function appears to have returned "overnight."

Share this post


Link to post
PluckyPony

Hi Rico,

 

I hear you and definitely understand what you are going through.  Zyprexa (olanzapine) can be a challenge to withdraw from, but it can be done.  I took Zyprexa for 5 years and finally withdrew from it in 2011.  I haven't used it since.  Currently tapering Abilify, the only medication I currently take.   

 

Reading the experiences of others and even my own journey has strengthened my belief in neuroplasticity, that the mind can heal.  People can adapt to and thrive in challenging situations, including taking multiple psychiatric medications. 

Share this post


Link to post
Rico

Thanks everyone for your replies.

 

I had the weekend from hell.

 

Just to give my psychiatrist "a chance", I took the 2.5mg Abilify for two days. He had wanted me to take this drug so that he can replace my zyprexa with it. He believes that my condition needs a mood stabiliser and a small dose of antipsychotic.

 

After taking the Abilify, I found that my anxiety and agitation were through the roof. I couldn't even close my eyes, because my brain was going a million miles an hour. I found it difficult to sleep last night and woke up this morning very jittery and felt like my nervous system was completely stuffed. It is now late, and I feel better. I have my appointment with the psychiatrist tomorrow morning.

 

I am going to tell him that I will not be taking the Abilify and that I will stabilise again before attempting any further reductions.

 

Here are the questions that I have for you my friends:

 

- what if I do have bipolar disorder (which has been questioned by other psychiatrists)? - will it be possible to live med-free?

- should I still see the integrative medicine guy who I have done blood /urine tests for and take the vitamins (he uses the Pfeiffer method)

 

I am fairly new to all this, and I have made many mistakes this year in CT from drugs.

 

I just want to be whole again and healthy and use my brain. I feel like it has mentally declined significantly over the last two years.

 

The turning point for me was when I was hospitalised and given two long acting injections of Invega Sustanna - that experience was absolute hell. In fact, I don't think hell would be as bad as what I went through after that drug.

 

I am now unemployed and pretty isolated but really hope that there is a way out of this. There has to be. These drugs are going to kill me or disable me permanently.

 

Also, if there is anyone in Sydney or anywhere in Australia..please feel free to contact me. I would love to be in contact with you.

 

Thank you all once again for your support. This indeed is a tough and lonely battle, and i wish I had known what I know now about psychiatry earlier.

Share this post


Link to post
scallywag

Many bipolar diagnoses are assigned to what is actually a set of "side" effects of psychiatric medications. I suggest putting your hypothetical questions about the diagnosis and medication for it in deep storage for later consideration.  Focus on now -- getting stabilized and coping with your symptoms.

 

As for meeting the integrative doc, that's really up to you.  I'd weigh carefully how responsive s/he is to

  • requests to make changes more slowly, and
  • you generally.

To connect with others from Australia, check out and post in this topic:

Australia members

Share this post


Link to post
AliG

Rico.

You said:

- what if I do have bipolar disorder (which has been questioned by other psychiatrists)? - will it be possible to live med-free?

 

Bipolar can often be a term generated by the psych drug industry and continually perpetuated by ill informed doctors and psychiatrists to keep people permanently in the medication model.

Often it is a result of the drugs they were on. As in : antidepressants taken for a period of time can sometimes " flip" a person into so - called bipolar. It's usually a result of the drugs themselves. We don't like to use psych labels.

 

Do you suffer from epilepsy ? Is that why you are on the Epilim ?

 

What vitamins have you started taking?  We recommend magnesium and fish oil . It's up to you whether you see the integrative medicine guy. Personally, I don't think they help much in withdrawal. 

 

You are most likely suffering withdrawal symptoms from tapering too fast.

Ali

Share this post


Link to post
PluckyPony

Hi Rico,

 

I agree with the SA team, focus on stabilization first and taper slowly. It's hard to go through the physiological and emotional distress, but the problems have the potential to fade away and/or fall to tolerable levels with time as well as proper self care (tapering slowly, minimizing alcohol and caffeine, etc).  It can be done. 

 

Sending positive vibes your way to you and everyone struggling through withdrawal.

 

Plucky

Share this post


Link to post
Rico

Hi everyone,

 

Thank you for your replies and help.

 

I am now back on the Zyprexa 2.5, Epilim 1000mg and Lithium 900mg. I will stay at these doses for a while until everything settles.

 

i am so angry at what my pdoc has done to me over the last 18 years - but there's not much I can do about it now.

 

Right now as I type this, my brain just doesn't feel right. I wake up in the morning very shaky and anxious, but it settles later.

 

I am having trouble processing information, remembering things, and even remembering who I am - if that makes sense.

 

I feel like my brain is damaged. I was a successful IT consultant up until March when everything went downhill.

 

Now, I feel like a zombie, emotionless, depressed and just generally apathetic.

 

This medication makes me feel like crap and I can't believe my doctor did this to me for so long. It all seems so unfair. I have lost so much because of it.

 

I also used to race motorbikes...now I am too scared to jump on my bike. I feel like I can't ride my bike. I went to African drumming group today for people with depression, and most of them were laughing and smiling while I just sat there brain dead. They say they have depression, but mine must be severe in comparison.

 

It is so hard this fight. I have been fighting since the age of 18. I am 37 now.

 

I feel in my heart that healing is possible, that there is a life for me, but these medications stop me from having it.

 

I cannot believe how addictive Zyprexa is or how dependent one can become on it. How can a drug be released with such horrendous side effects with near impossibility to withdraw from it. On top of that, psychiatrists have absolutely no clue on tapering or slow reduction.

 

In 2014, when I was working a high profile job, the doctor had me on 10mg of Zyprexa. I told him that I could not get up for work on time and I was sleeping at work etc.

 

We made a plan to reduce the Zyprexa over a week!!!!! Within days I was off work and in hospital. He later told me "see? you needed it?". Now I understand that it was withdrawal.

 

It really sucks. This has happened too many times and everyone blames me for it. All I trying to do was work and be productive. And everytime I get "sick", I get blamed for not "taking my medication". The reason I was getting sick was because the reductions of the medication were too rapid. I am 100% sure that if a "normal" person was given Zyprexa and then stopped abruptly or rapidly after say, two weeks, they would encounter withdrawal symtpoms - so what illness were they suffering from????

 

To be honest with you all, I feel like I have found this site way too late and that my brain is ruined.

 

I used to be smart, funny, social, productive, creative and able to do things easily. Now, I am struggling on a day-to-day basis with what feels like head trauma.

 

I have to keep fighting though because I don't have the guts to commit suicide.

 

Thank you all for your help and support. I really appreciate you reading my posts. I empathize with all those who are struggling right now with the pains of withdrawal, the anger towards those who have abused them and the anxiety that surrounds the whole process. I hope we can all come out the other side feeling better.

 

Lots of love

Rico

Share this post


Link to post
scallywag

You are still "smart, funny, social, productive, creative and able to do things easily." After you stabilize then start to taper, at some point these ways that you know yourself will start to emerge.

Share this post


Link to post
PluckyPony

Hi Rico,

 

In the midst of withdrawal, everything feels as if it will last forever. It doesn't.  We can learn to adapt and grow, becoming stronger in the process.

 

During the emotional numbing, I really became more spiritual. It sounds weird, but my hope that my emotions will be restored was the one thing that my withdrawal caused by cold turkeying abilify for 3 months didn't kill.  Couldn't feel love, couldn't feel hate, couldn't feel anything. But I prayed, and I prayed the same prayer every night.  My emotions began to return to the point where I cry over scenes of beauty in everyday life. Like families dancing in the park. Or hummingbirds flying into the garden.   And memories of the kind woman who befriended me during my hospitalization years ago (I really miss her!).  

 

My faith tradition gave me the hope I needed to move forward. However, you don't need to believe in a divine power.  Believe in you and and your purpose.  Trust in your capacity to adapt and grow. Be kind and forgive yourself. 

 

Plucky*

 

*Not a doctor

Share this post


Link to post
Rico

Hi,

 

Thank you for your replies. I always look forward to reading them and they give me hope.

 

I am holding on the current doses for now which I put back up - (Zyprexa 2.5, Epilim 1000, and Lithium 900mg).

 

I feel like crap every morning after waking up with these current meds!

 

I totally understand now the importance of the 10% taper of the current dose - but that seems like it will take forever to get off these drugs. Even getting off 2.5mg of Zyprexa will take many months - and then I start on the other drug?

 

Is there a faster way to get off the drugs? I want to get back to work because I am currently financially ruined.

 

Thanks,

Rico

Share this post


Link to post
Rico

Hi all,

 

I am currently on Epilim 1000mg, Lithium 900mg (slow release), and Zyprexa 2.5mg.

 

I wake up every morning with suicidal depression, confusion, lethargy, and a complete zombie. Later in the evenings, I do seem better - until I take the medications again, and then the cycle repeats.

 

i have tried to taper recently, but ran into problems because it was too fast (10% per week of both Zyprexa and Epilim).

 

I desperately want to get off at least the Epilim and Zyprexa because I think my body tolerates the lithium ok.

 

Which one should I start tapering first? And if I use the 10% method (of current dose)...just one of these drugs will take forever while the others are still giving me bothersome side effects.

 

I really want to be able to wake up early so that I can look for a job. Right now, I am getting up at midday after lying in bed depressed. And the depression is definitely from the medications, because in the afternoons I don't feel the same way at all.

 

My health and well-being is really suffering from these multiple drugs. I have been on this combination for about 3 months (I was initially on Zyprexa 10mgs but the dr reduced it to 5 then 2.5 because I could barely talk).

 

Any suggestions please?

 

Thanks,

Rico

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat

Hi Rico,

 

I've just merged your new topic "Taking Zyprexa, Lithium and Epilim - which to taper first?" with your Intro topic.

 

When I did that, I realised that you had 2 Intro topics.  I have now merged them into the original topic.  Each member has 1 Intro topic where they can ask questions and journal their progress.  The reason I merged you new topic about which to taper first is because it keeps your history in one place and is about your individual situation.

 

This is the information about:

 

Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?
"If you're not having an adverse reaction from the other medications, taper the most activating drug first. This is usually an antidepressant or stimulant (ADHD drug)."

 

Share this post


Link to post
Rico

Hi,

 

Can someone please advise me how long I should wait before I can resume tapering?

 

I am feeling quite sick at the moment from the current medication regime.

 

Thanks,

Rico

Share this post


Link to post
nz11

Rico my heart goes out to you at this difficult time. 

I think in your post #19 you have written everyones story. I can so relate to everything thats for sure.

 

I dont know how the complaint system works in Aussi but please consider writing a complaint about your iatrogenic harm. Have you checked out the aussi members thread and read about the initiating sydney class action lawsuit. Maybe you can put your name down to be included.

 

You must say NO when the doc offers you some new rosy red apples, dont take the doctors advise when he tries to switch you to other drugs or even add other drugs in order to play hit and miss at reducing wdl symptoms that HE triggered from tapering to fast.

 

Personally i dont think you are in a place at the moment to start tapering as you are currently unstable and the suffering may well escalate if you taper from this position.

 

Stay strong and patient.

nz11

Share this post


Link to post
scallywag

Rico, would you update signature with your dose changes and the dates that you reduced the dose?

Something like:

2016

starting doses -- Zyprexa 2.5, Epilim 1000mg, Lithium 900mg

09-01: Zyprexa 2.25, Epilim 1000, Lithium same

09-08: Zyprexa 2.0, Epilim 900, Lithium same

09-15: Zyprexa 1.75, Epilim 800, Lithium same

09-22: Zyprexa 1.50mg, Epilim 600mg, Lithium same

09-29: Zyprexa 1.25mg, Epilim 500mg, Lithium same

10-11: reinstated starting doses -- Zyprexa 2.5, Epilim 1000, Lithium 900

 

When your dose reduction history and current doses are available "at-a-glance" in your signature below every one of your posts, we have a much better understanding of your situation and can answer your questions.

 

It's far too early for you to start tapering again. It's only been a few days since you reinstated and you are still having symptoms.  It's best to let your symptoms be your guide. If they haven't disappeared completely in a 6-8 weeks, they may have stabilized. If you can function with your symptoms and the symptoms are stable (no wild swings), it would be worth a discussion about starting to taper and about which medication to taper.

Share this post


Link to post
Rico

Hi all,

 

Thanks for your replies.

 

I will update my signature when I get to the computer.

 

I am back to square one with Zyprexa 2.5, Lithiim 900 and Epilim.

 

The recent taper up until two weeks ago failed miserably. I never realised that it was too fast.

 

I feel now that my brain is "dead" and that my nervous system has had it.

 

I wake up every morning with severe depression and my sleep is not very restorative at all.

 

Can anyone recommend something natural for sleep? I will get some Magnesium today and start taking fish oil in the mornings.

 

Any other recommendations that can aid sleep?

 

I have melatonin at home and supplements from the Roadback program which I have stopped using a while back.

 

I also feel that I have now become completely sexually dysfunctional since the last taper went bad. Will this restore? If is honestly causing me a lot of distress.

 

I was at the shops yesterday with my girlfriend walking around and I felt very disorientated, depressed, tired and now I am somewhat in despair.

 

I look forward to your replies.

Rico

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat
Rico

Thanks ChessieCat, I will look into all those.

 

I gather from the information on this brilliant site that pyrolle testing and using vitamin therapy is not really recommended.

 

I have an appointment with an integrative medicine guy on Monday who uses the Pfeiffer method. I had blood tests done for Copper, Zinc and a few other things I can't remember now.

 

What are your thoughts? Could this help?

 

Also, I am going to stay in the current meds for a while until I am stable again, but the side effects are awful. I am waking up each day with suicidal depression and then only in the afternoon do I start to get a little bit better.

 

My eyes are sore for some reason and I feel groggy all the time. I have trouble with to tinnitus and general head buzzing when I sleep. I also have forgotten who I am if that makes sense. I sometimes feel like I have early on-set dementia, but maybe this is just my paranoia.

 

I feel like I have been robbed of the last 20 years of my life on these meds and I don't agree at all with my diagnosis. I am happy to take medications that I can function on, but the current ones are only making me sick. My psychiatrist has given up on me, but at the same time I have this hope that life will be better without the medications.

 

I am a bit lost :/

Share this post


Link to post
scallywag

The integrative medicine guy is likely to recommend a program that prescribes many supplements multiple times per day. 

 

The first time I saw a naturopath 13 years ago, I had to make a chart for all the supplements and the recommended timings: on waking, with breakfeast, 1 hour after eating, 1 hour before lunch, etc.

 

If you do get a program like that and want to follow it, I recommend asking him how you can gradually step in to the program because you want to be able to identify negative CNS reactions. Which one supplement does he advise starting with?  The 2nd? The 3rd? Work your way through the entire list to have all the supplements ranked.

 

Then, check in the Symptoms & self-care forum here at SA on the supplements by running a google search:

"site:survivingantidepressants.org" "supplement"

 

Then, when you start taking a supplement, "start low and go slow." Here's what I mean by that:

  • Do NOT start a new supplement if you are experiencing symptoms from reducing a dose of one of your medications
  • Do NOT start with the dose prescribed.
  • Start with ¼ or ½ try that for 4-7 days monitor your reaction. If no negative reaction, increase another ¼ of recommended amount, monitor your reaction over 4-7 days; repeat until you reach the recommended dose.
  • Wait 10-14 days after reaching the full dose before starting with another supplement.

Since April when I started properly tapering an SSRI, I have found that adding supplements slowly was much easier for me than jumping in "whole hog" as I did years ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Rico

Hi, thank you for your reply.

 

I have a bigger problem at the moment:

 

The current medications I am in are making me worse.

 

Yesterday evening I took on tablet of magnesium and I felt naturally tired like I wanted to sleep - the restorative type of sleep. But when I took the Zyprexa 2.5, Epilim and Lithium, I became agitated and had lots of mental pain and found that I could not sleep.

 

In the past, these medications would sedate me, they are now doing the opposite and really damaging me.

 

When the doctor first started me in 10mg of Zyprexa 2 months ago, I did not even get sedated - I couldn't sleep or talk and it was absolute hell. Also, when I take my medications, my tinnitus gets worse.

 

I am extremely frustrated, because I feel like crap now after I have "woken" up.

 

Last year, when I was just on Epilim and Lithium alone, I found that they were not sedating but doing the opposite. The doctor did not believe me. So he added Zyprexa to help me sleep.

 

Now, the entire combination is making me worse.

 

I don't know what to do. I have thoughts of suicide running through my head because I feel no one can help. My doctor has really messed me up.

 

I am barely functioning. Please help

Share this post


Link to post
Shep

Hi, Rico.

 

I'm sorry you're in so much pain right now. I'm going to ask the more senior mods to weigh in, but it will really help if you could read this post:

 

Keep notes on paper about your drug dosages and daily symptom pattern

 

Please make a list of the time and dosage for drugs taken throughout the day, along with symptoms, exactly as listed in that post. Please also include your supplements. You mention in your post here that you took 10 mg of Valium. Please also include any benzos you are using, as well. 

 

Once we get a list of how these drugs are affecting you, we can better assist you.

 

It's also important to learn how to care for yourself while feeling suicidal. If you are in danger to yourself, please seek out someone to talk to on the ground. 

 

For those who are feeling desperate or suicidal 

 

These are two that are listed in the link that are in Australia:

 

Lifeline Australia

National
Contact by: - Phone check-mark.gif
Hotline: 13 11 14

Website: lifeline.org.au
24 Hour service: check-mark.gif

 

 

 

The Samaritans (Australia)

Website: thesamaritans.org.au

 

24/7 Crisis Line  13 52 47

 

 

For now, you have two things we need you to do:

 

1.  Take care of yourself first and foremost. Call someone or go on one of the crisis websites.

 

2.  Please give us a list of your drugs and symptoms, as listed in this post.  Include all drugs (including any benzos) and supplements.

 

Please give us an update and let us know how you are feeling. You can survive this, Rico. Please be kind to yourself and feel better.

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

Rico, how long have you been having this particular problem?

Share this post


Link to post
Rico

I am currently taking:

 

Zyprexa 2.5mg

Epilim 500mg

Lithium 900mg (Quilonium SR)

 

I will update my signature in more detail when o get to my computer.

 

I have been on this combination for just over a week after the taper that I was doing didn't work out.

 

The taper that I did only took me to 1.25mg Zyprexa, 500mg Epilim, and 900mg Lihium (no change to lithium).

 

The Friday night, three weeks ago, I reduced Zyprexa by 10% and Epilim by 200mg. The next day I was really sick with depression and anxiety and I spiralled downhill. I reinstated the drugs back where they were:

 

Zyprexa 2.5

Epilim 1000mg

Lithium 900mg

 

I have been on this combination in the past many years ago and for long periods of time too. This time around though - and even when the Zyprexa was at 10mg - I don't get sedated.

 

I take these medications at 8pm and I experience the following:

 

- depression

- mental agitation

- slowness and irritability

- tinnitus gets louder

- difficulty sleeping

 

Just before taking the tablets though, I was feeling ok and talking to a friend in the phone and getting naturally sleepy. I think taking the magnesium really helped.

 

About an hour after taking the tablets, all these awful symptoms come up and I end up lying in bed frustrated. I don't get a good sleep and wake up feeling like crap. I am severely depressed and dysfunctional and it's putting a strain on my relationship with my girlfriend.

 

It takes me all day to settle down again, and now I am not looking forward to taking the medications. They are simply not having the same effect as they used to in the past. My psychiatrist's response as you have seen from previous posts is to try more medications.

 

My family and girlfriend agree that I need to get off the Zyprexa and Epilim, but what do I do in the meantime? I am suffering a lot from these medications and my personal life is only in demise.

 

This is the reason why I tried an aggressive taper (which the pdoc thinks was slow) - the drugs are making me worse and torturing me on a daily basis.

 

Since the age of 18, I have been on everything and I am extremely sensitive to medications especially antidepressants.

 

I am advised here to stabilise before tapering again, but I can't seem to stabilise on these medications at all now.

 

Also, when I try to sleep, I feel like my whole body is vibrating or moving, especially my head. This started to happen after the 10mg Zyprexa was started a couple of months ago. I fear that it is TD as my hands are shaky too.

 

The tinnitus is also something that started last year after another time the doctor prescribed Zyprexa 2.5 for sleep. And all last year I struggled with the abovenamed combination of medications. Yet, the doctor prescribes them again this year!! I am so angry!

 

What do I do????

Share this post


Link to post
Shep

Thanks for this thorough post, Rico.

 

This thread - Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first? - discusses the concepts of "brakes" and "accelerators". You are on 3 "brakes" and unfortunately, they are not acting as brakes right now, as you are unable to sleep properly.

 

This thread - Limbic Kindling -- Hardwiring the brain for hypersensitivity - discusses the concept of what happens when the central nervous system (CNS) gets destabilized from drugs, supplements, stress, etc. Drugs and supplements that we used in the past no longer work or they create problems now. 

 

Please read over your thread, as people have left some great ways of handling symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, etc. Learning how to nurture and care for your traumatized CNS is the most important thing you can do as you hold and let your mind/body stabilize. 

 

Because you're taking three drugs that would fall in the "brake" category, I'm thinking the first drug to taper should be the Zyprexa. What do you think?

 

Also, when I try to sleep, I feel like my whole body is vibrating or moving, especially my head. This started to happen after the 10mg Zyprexa was started a couple of months ago. I fear that it is TD as my hands are shaky too.

 

Your comment here is common. I, too, keep fearing TD with some of my symptoms. But the vibrating body, something I call "inner vibrations", are very common during withdrawal and speaks more to a destabilized CNS than TD. But I believe just the fear of TD may be another reason to focus on Zyprexa as the first drug to tackle when you're more stable. 

 

For now, continue to hold, work on the non-drug coping skills, and give your mind/body time to catch up to your latest attempt at tapering.

 

Sending healing vibes your way. Please keep good notes and let us know how you're doing.

 

Are the suicidal thoughts any better? Sometimes getting settled into the forum, learning more about what's going on, and knowing you can do this is enough to power you through. 

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...