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LucyG: Tapering off zyprexa


LucyG

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Hi there,
I'm so glad I found this forum and would appreciate any advice on tapering off zyprexa. I've been on this medication for about 4 months. I'm also taking Effexor.
I had a serve depression coupled with anxiety and I was given zyprexa for insomnia. My psychiatrist told me that unlike benzodiazepine that it was non addictive. Although, recently he has been has been tapering me off the zyprexa.
I was taking 10mgs at one point and then reduced to 7.5mgs, after a few weeks to 5mgs, then 2.5, with no significant withdrawal symptoms. After being on 2.5 for a couple of weeks I was again reduced to 1.25.
I was taking that dose and not noticing symptoms for a few days. Then I went to my psychologist, who said it was such a small dose and as I could sleep at night, I could probably stop. I did, because the zyprexa made me drowsy in the morning and I keep on having rosacea flare ups while on it. I felt great for 2 days, just like my old self. Then suddenly on the third day I felt like I was getting the flu. Lots of feeling hot, sweaty and clammy with headaches. The next day I had intense anxiety. I figured it must be something to do with the sudden stopping of zyprexa.
I phoned the hospital (I had been an inpatient for 2 and half weeks while meds were adjusted) and they told me to take 2.5 again (which I've been doing for 5 days) and make an appointment with my psychiatrist. I will see him in a few days. His plan was to have me on 1.25 for 1-2 months and then he said I could come off and wouldn't notice anything.
Since I've started on the 2.5 dose, I wake up drowsy, feeling depressed and have anxiety and a general nervousness through out the day. I hope this will improve.
I don't like zyprexa. It is very drying for my skin and aggravates my rosacea. I've experienced tinnitus and I feel zombie like when I wake up. It takes the best part of the morning to feel awake. I'm able to sleep on the low doses and even when I wasn't taking it for a few days. So the initial reason for taking it is no longer valid. But I'm stuck with a dependency.
After taking zyprexa and Effexor I have no interest with the things I used to enjoy. I don't feel the sense of being happy to be alive, I just struggle through each day.
My psychiatrist will probably say to cut the zyprexa and stay on the 1.25 for a month or two. But wondering if this will work after reading other posts. 1.25 to nothing might still give me those awful withdrawal symptoms. Has anyone any advice?
Btw I'm on 225mgs of Effexor, which I take in the morning. I understand that's a really tough one to come off too. My psyc said I would be on it for another year and reducing the dose during that time.
Thanks in advance.
LucyG

Edited by Shep
added tags, added username to the title

Citalopram 40gms - July 2016 (replaced by Effexor)
Valium and tamazapan - July 2016 -prn - (replaced by zyprexa for insomnia)
Zyprexa - since August 2016
Effexor 225mgs - since August 2016
Doses given and then tapering off zyprexa -
5mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 2weeks/10mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 3weeks/5mgs 2weeks/ 1.25mgs 3days/0mgs 3days (self managed after advice from psychologists -reinstated after withdrawal symptoms) /2.5mgs 3 weeks/ 1.87 2 weeks/1.25 2 weeks from 22 Nov - 6 Dec/ currently on .625

Currently on: Zyprexa .625mgs from 6 Dec 16

                      Effexor 225mgs

 

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  • Administrator

Hi, Lucy.

 

Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA). 

 

This is your history I was able to get from your first post: 

 

Zyprexa - for a total of 4 months

  • 10 mg reduced to 7.5 mg, then 5 mg, then 2.5, then 1.25 over a number of weeks,
  • came off at 1.25 mg
  • reinstated after 3 days at 2.5 mg (currently at 2.5 mg for the past 5 days)

Effexor - 225 mg taken in the morning

 

Zyprexa does indeed cause dependency, as do all psychiatric drugs, so I'm glad you did your research and found us. 

 

Please read over this thread on deciding which drug to taper first, as I fear you may have problems due to the "accelerating" features of Effexor, as opposed to Zyprexa's "brake" features. In other words, coming off a stimulating drug before coming off a sedating drug can cause all sorts of insomnia and anxiety problems. Sometimes these drugs cause what's known as "delayed withdrawal", meaning you may not get hit with symptoms until days, weeks, or even months after you come off.

 

Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?

 

While the link does describe the "brake" versus "accelerator" effect, it's also important to look at the potential severe risks of staying on the antipsychotic longer. Zyprexa has a notorious list of side effects such as severe weight gain which can lead to diabetes. So this is something else to consider.

 

The links will give more information about what to expect during withdrawal and how to better manage your symptoms:

 

Before you begin tapering -- what you need to know

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

What is withdrawal syndrome? 

 
The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

 

 

And these are links for your specific drugs:

 

Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

 

Tips for tapering off olanzapine (Zyprexa)

 

 

Questions:

 

1. How long have you been taking Effexor?

2. Were you on any other antidepressant or psychiatric drug prior to Effexor? Also, other drugs such as drugs to treat certain GI problems, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. can also cause problems, so please list those.

 

Please list your symptoms by using the format explained in this link:  Keep notes on paper about your drug dosages and daily symptom pattern.  This will really help you decide which drug to taper first, as well as being an effective tool in guiding your taper according to how the drugs are making you feel. 

 

Please also list your drugs in your signature. This thread will show you how:

 

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

Once we know more about your symptoms and the length of time you've been taking Effexor, we'll be able to help you set up a safe and careful taper. From what you've described, your doctor was tapering you way too fast. As described in the "Why taper 10% of my dose" link, going slow is the best way to safely come off these drugs.

 

I'm really glad you found us for information and support. Please let us know how you're doing. 

 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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Hello Shep,

Thank you so much for your reply. You have given me hope that I might be able to taper off successfully from my medications. I will look at the links and follow up with more information on my medication.

The doctor wants me to come of zyprexa first and from what you say that might be difficult. I see him tomorrow and will find out if he wants me to reduce again.

I was on 40mgs citalopram before taking Effexor. That was for a period if about 6 weeks. I wasn't sleeping and I took tamazipan and Valium for a while to aid sleep. But I was chronically tired, which didn't help with the anxiety and depression and then was put on zyprexa.

Thank you again for all the information. I feel that doctors write these scripts without knowing how it feels to be on the medication.

My depressive episode was triggered by a couple of unfortunate events. My mother broke her hip and I had to put her in a nursing home. This required me to clear and renovate her apartment to sell. At the time she broke her hip, I had a very demanding and stressful job. I resigned and applied for another position which involved less stress. Before I was to start, the anxiety and depression hit me and I had to resign from a position I hadn't even started. I need to work, so I'm trying to get myself well enough to start.

It's been a tough journey. I feel if I'm able to come off the zyprexa, at least I'll be able to get up in the morning and feel refreshed. Well that's the plan!

Thanks!!!

LucyG

Citalopram 40gms - July 2016 (replaced by Effexor)
Valium and tamazapan - July 2016 -prn - (replaced by zyprexa for insomnia)
Zyprexa - since August 2016
Effexor 225mgs - since August 2016
Doses given and then tapering off zyprexa -
5mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 2weeks/10mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 3weeks/5mgs 2weeks/ 1.25mgs 3days/0mgs 3days (self managed after advice from psychologists -reinstated after withdrawal symptoms) /2.5mgs 3 weeks/ 1.87 2 weeks/1.25 2 weeks from 22 Nov - 6 Dec/ currently on .625

Currently on: Zyprexa .625mgs from 6 Dec 16

                      Effexor 225mgs

 

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  • Moderator

Hey Lucy - 

 

do I understand correctly that you were ripped off of Valium and temazepam in July of this year, and that was "replaced" with the Zyprexa?

 

If I understand this correctly, you may be suffering from a more complex situation, including benzo withdrawal.

 

I know in the current drug climate, you are not likely to get those benzos back, and they have been out of your system for months, so a reinstatement is not appropriate for them.

 

I agree with Shep that what has happened, in addition to benzo withdrawal, is that you've tapered down off your brake (zyprexa) and now your Effexor is becoming too activating. (and, due to uninformed doctor's orders, you came off the zyprexa way too fast)

 

If I were you, I would hold until after Christmas, learn all I could about tapering Effexor, and consider a conservative 10% taper of the Effexor in January.  You are taking drugs to alleviate symptoms caused by drugs - this is a dangerous pattern and can only lead to more complex problems.

 

While you are holding is a good time to learn more about Non Drug Techniques for Coping with Emotional Symptoms, as well as learning the technique you plan to use to taper (counting beads?  Making liquid?)  Is your Effexor XR?  Do you take it 1x or 2x a day?

 

Welcome to SA, and I hope you see the sun today!

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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Hi Platinum Star,

 

Yes, I was on tamazepan and Valium for about a month. It was mostly for sleep, but while waiting for the citalopram to kick in, I was told to take Valium during the day for anxiety. These were instructions from a GP, but when I started seeing a psychiatrist he wanted me to take zyprexa in the evening. He later put me into hospital as an involuntary patient because I didn't want to take the high dose of 10mgs of zyprexa. In hospital I changed from citalopram to Effexor and took 10mgs of zyprexa. This dose was reduced both in hospital and when I came home.

 

I'm actually on Effexor XR. I take them in the morning after breakfast. I will hold until Christmas and look at ways of calculating doses. It seems like a lot of work, but worth it.

 

Thank you for the link. I'll defintely do my research. I'm so glad I found this forum. It's given me so much more information and hope that I will be able to come off zyprexa and eventually Effexor.

 

Lucy

Citalopram 40gms - July 2016 (replaced by Effexor)
Valium and tamazapan - July 2016 -prn - (replaced by zyprexa for insomnia)
Zyprexa - since August 2016
Effexor 225mgs - since August 2016
Doses given and then tapering off zyprexa -
5mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 2weeks/10mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 3weeks/5mgs 2weeks/ 1.25mgs 3days/0mgs 3days (self managed after advice from psychologists -reinstated after withdrawal symptoms) /2.5mgs 3 weeks/ 1.87 2 weeks/1.25 2 weeks from 22 Nov - 6 Dec/ currently on .625

Currently on: Zyprexa .625mgs from 6 Dec 16

                      Effexor 225mgs

 

Link to post

Hi JanCarol and apologies for calling you Platinium Star! Still getting use to the website and its a great website.

Citalopram 40gms - July 2016 (replaced by Effexor)
Valium and tamazapan - July 2016 -prn - (replaced by zyprexa for insomnia)
Zyprexa - since August 2016
Effexor 225mgs - since August 2016
Doses given and then tapering off zyprexa -
5mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 2weeks/10mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 3weeks/5mgs 2weeks/ 1.25mgs 3days/0mgs 3days (self managed after advice from psychologists -reinstated after withdrawal symptoms) /2.5mgs 3 weeks/ 1.87 2 weeks/1.25 2 weeks from 22 Nov - 6 Dec/ currently on .625

Currently on: Zyprexa .625mgs from 6 Dec 16

                      Effexor 225mgs

 

Link to post

Hi there,

 

I've just returned from my psychiatrist and he has said to stay on 2.5 for another month. He also said that he has never come across anyone who has had trouble coming off zyprexa/olanapine. He also said my old symptoms of depression came back as a result of ceasing the zyprexa as I'm not in total remission. Also the flu like symptoms when I stopped were probaly a virus. In addition he said that zyprexa is non addictive.

 

I don't believe a word of it. I have a dependency on the drug now and when I stopped, I actually hindered my progress by not tapering gradually and giving my brain and CNS a jolt. Now I'm stuck with taking 2.5 for another month and feeling terrible when I wake up. I'm hoping to find some information on getting over the morning fatigue. The fatigue is mixed with agitation and anxiety.

 

Any information for mornings would be appreciated.

Thanks,

 

Lucy

Citalopram 40gms - July 2016 (replaced by Effexor)
Valium and tamazapan - July 2016 -prn - (replaced by zyprexa for insomnia)
Zyprexa - since August 2016
Effexor 225mgs - since August 2016
Doses given and then tapering off zyprexa -
5mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 2weeks/10mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 3weeks/5mgs 2weeks/ 1.25mgs 3days/0mgs 3days (self managed after advice from psychologists -reinstated after withdrawal symptoms) /2.5mgs 3 weeks/ 1.87 2 weeks/1.25 2 weeks from 22 Nov - 6 Dec/ currently on .625

Currently on: Zyprexa .625mgs from 6 Dec 16

                      Effexor 225mgs

 

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  • Administrator

Hi, Lucy.

 

This thread may help, as it addresses the agitation and anxiety you're describing: 

 

Waking with panic or anxiety -- managing cortisol spikes

 

One thing I find that really helps is having breakfast in the morning, even if my appetite is bad. Seems like that overnight drop in blood sugar can make symptoms like anxiety and agitation that much worse. Also, a nutritious breakfast with protein will help with fatigue, too. 

 

And good for you for not buying into your doctor's misguided attempts to explain away dependency.

 

Sending healing vibes your way. 

 

 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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  • Administrator

 

Yes, I was on tamazepan and Valium for about a month. It was mostly for sleep, but while waiting for the citalopram to kick in, I was told to take Valium during the day for anxiety. 

 

 

Lucy, I just noticed this part of your post. Temazepam and Valium are benzodiazpine drugs which can cause dependency in as little as 2 weeks.

 

Can you give us more information about your benzo use? When was your last dose? 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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Hi Shep,

 

I was mostly on Valium for about 4-5 weeks. I still take it occasionally if the anxiety gets too much. I had situation last week where it was arranged that I would be working in a job that I was really looking forward to. It was all organised and then within a day I was told it had fallen through due to government funding. I took some Valium then, as I was so upset, but that was last week and the last time I took it. My regular use hasn't been since July and August. In hospital I was given zyprexa 10mg and 5mgs Valium at night for sleep.

 

I'm on the 2.5mgs of zprexa at night now. I have had a lot of anxiety throughout the day since I had a break from the zyprexa (over 1 week ago). But I just put up with it and try to distract myself rather than reaching for the Valium. I'm going for a job interview tomorrow and I'm hoping it will be one of my better days.

 

I'm going to a doctor each week who does acupuncture for my anxiety. It really helps, but is only temporary. Lasts a day or two at the moment. I've been going to him for 7 years and when I just had mild depression and anxiety, it used to hold me all week.

 

Do you think the Valium could be adding to my anxiety?

 

Thank you,

 

Lucy

Citalopram 40gms - July 2016 (replaced by Effexor)
Valium and tamazapan - July 2016 -prn - (replaced by zyprexa for insomnia)
Zyprexa - since August 2016
Effexor 225mgs - since August 2016
Doses given and then tapering off zyprexa -
5mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 2weeks/10mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 3weeks/5mgs 2weeks/ 1.25mgs 3days/0mgs 3days (self managed after advice from psychologists -reinstated after withdrawal symptoms) /2.5mgs 3 weeks/ 1.87 2 weeks/1.25 2 weeks from 22 Nov - 6 Dec/ currently on .625

Currently on: Zyprexa .625mgs from 6 Dec 16

                      Effexor 225mgs

 

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Since you have reinstated zyprexa, that cant be the source of your anxiety. My guess would be the valium is your main source of anxiety being rebound anxiety. You said :

 

I wasn't sleeping and I took tamazipan and Valium for a while to aid sleep. But I was chronically tired, which didn't help with the anxiety and depression and then was put on zyprexa.

Did you still have anxiety while taking valium? Was it after you switched to zyprexa, that your anxiety started in, or did it just intensify when you made that big jump to zero with zyprexa?

 

Just my thoughts

good luck

Been taking paroxetine 20 mg for 20+ years for depression. Taking 300 mg of wellbutrin since October 2015 for adhd and depression. Take fish oil, calcium, and a multivitamin. Started taking risperidone late January 2015 3mg for a misdiagnoses of bipolar. Started tapering risperidone late July 2016. As of late September tapered down to 2mg at 5% a week off current dose. Oct 21/2016 1.58 mg Nov 21/2016 1.26mg No withdrawals so far.

 

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Hi jjmcrr,

 

Thanks for your post. I took the Valium on a regular basis for a couple of months. July and August this year. I was not sleeping and had intense anxiety. The Valium would help, but I got to a point where I needed more for relaxation and sedation. I haven't taken Valium regularly for a couple of months, only occasionally.

 

My anxiety lessened when I went on the zyprexa, but cutting doses rapidly made the anxiety come back. I'm feeling good today. I've been keeping a diary of times for meds and symptoms. I'm trying to keep to specific times each day to take meds. Before I would just take sometime in morning and evening. I think that contributed to anxiety and fatigue and other things like panic.

 

I'm really glad I found the site because I can see the sense in tapering gradually and taking meds at certain times each day.

 

Thanks,

Lucy

Citalopram 40gms - July 2016 (replaced by Effexor)
Valium and tamazapan - July 2016 -prn - (replaced by zyprexa for insomnia)
Zyprexa - since August 2016
Effexor 225mgs - since August 2016
Doses given and then tapering off zyprexa -
5mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 2weeks/10mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 3weeks/5mgs 2weeks/ 1.25mgs 3days/0mgs 3days (self managed after advice from psychologists -reinstated after withdrawal symptoms) /2.5mgs 3 weeks/ 1.87 2 weeks/1.25 2 weeks from 22 Nov - 6 Dec/ currently on .625

Currently on: Zyprexa .625mgs from 6 Dec 16

                      Effexor 225mgs

 

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Hi Lucy,

 

I have a question about your anxiety. I am tapering from an antipsychotic also, and would like to know what to possibly expect at some point.

 

 

Was your anxiety more psychological anxiety, or physical?

 

Thank you

Been taking paroxetine 20 mg for 20+ years for depression. Taking 300 mg of wellbutrin since October 2015 for adhd and depression. Take fish oil, calcium, and a multivitamin. Started taking risperidone late January 2015 3mg for a misdiagnoses of bipolar. Started tapering risperidone late July 2016. As of late September tapered down to 2mg at 5% a week off current dose. Oct 21/2016 1.58 mg Nov 21/2016 1.26mg No withdrawals so far.

 

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Hi Jmncrr,

 

I stopped taking zyprexa after cutting down to a 1.25 dose from 2.5 for 2 days. I was sleeping well, so I didn't think that small dose would make a difference. I was great for 2 days and then had physical symptoms like flu and headache with claminess and sweating on the third day. The next day that was gone but I was left with anxiety and feeling that sense of depersonalisation. It felt like I was an observer and not grounded and in control. I also had this feeling of impending doom. That went on for another day but gradually changed after reinstating my dose back to 2.5. I still had anxiety but it wasn't as intense and I could go out and do things. I've been on the 2.5 for just over a week and I've stabilised. I feel groggy and headachey in the morning for about an hour, but I've had 2 good days. Today and yesterday. I'm going to hold for a while on 2.5 and then do a gradual taper.

 

I don't know if your taking zyprexa/olanzapine but they are very small tablets and I'm wondering how to split them into smaller doses. 10% less.

 

My psychiatrist said that when I stopped, it was my original symptoms of anxiety and depression returning. But it felt really different and I know that it was withdrawl. He also said that he has never known anyone who has had trouble stopping zyprexa. I felt like referring him to this site. From what I understand, it's notoriously hard to quit.

 

Hope that answers your question.

 

Lucy

Citalopram 40gms - July 2016 (replaced by Effexor)
Valium and tamazapan - July 2016 -prn - (replaced by zyprexa for insomnia)
Zyprexa - since August 2016
Effexor 225mgs - since August 2016
Doses given and then tapering off zyprexa -
5mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 2weeks/10mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 3weeks/5mgs 2weeks/ 1.25mgs 3days/0mgs 3days (self managed after advice from psychologists -reinstated after withdrawal symptoms) /2.5mgs 3 weeks/ 1.87 2 weeks/1.25 2 weeks from 22 Nov - 6 Dec/ currently on .625

Currently on: Zyprexa .625mgs from 6 Dec 16

                      Effexor 225mgs

 

Link to post

hi lucy,

 

 

I don't know if your taking zyprexa/olanzapine but they are very small tablets and I'm wondering how to split them into smaller doses. 10% less.

Try buying yourself a microgram scale, and shave off your pill. It is tedious work, but can be done. Thanks for your reply

 

jmncrr

Been taking paroxetine 20 mg for 20+ years for depression. Taking 300 mg of wellbutrin since October 2015 for adhd and depression. Take fish oil, calcium, and a multivitamin. Started taking risperidone late January 2015 3mg for a misdiagnoses of bipolar. Started tapering risperidone late July 2016. As of late September tapered down to 2mg at 5% a week off current dose. Oct 21/2016 1.58 mg Nov 21/2016 1.26mg No withdrawals so far.

 

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Hi Lucy,

 

I have read your story and can really relate.

 

I am currently tapering off Zyprexa 2.5. I have been on/off Zyprexa since I was 21 (37 now). It is a very difficult drug to withdraw from. I have unfortunately learnt the hard way many times through either CT by myself or the doctor. I still have a "tapering" schedule by my doctor from 2014 that instructed me to taper from 10mg to zero within a week!! I was in hospital very sick afterwards.

 

I have been told by more than one psychiatrist that they have patients that can just come off Zyprexa with no issues and that any issues was the "condition" re-emerging. This is baloney.

 

It is possible to come off Zyprexa and feel better. i came off of slowly last year (faster than 10% method though) and did gradually feel better. I got into problems though when I tapered my other two medications too fast!

 

I am currently using a liquid form of Zyprexa to taper slowly. My first taper of 10% per week didn't work out and I had to reinstate. I am now learning more from this wonderful site and doing things slowly.

 

I can really relate to the morning anxiety / agitation. I lay in bed this morning paralysed by anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

 

I have lost a lot from my life due to the carelessness of misinformed doctors. Now, it's time to reclaim our lives back.

 

The way I look at it now, is that I haven't really learnt "life". I relied on drugs to cope with everything. I didn't know better, because my emotions were medicated since the age of 18 and I was always told by the doctor that these were symptoms of an illness.

 

I am now developing coping mechanisms that I never had before. Ironically, withdrawal is forcing me to learn coping mechanisms that I never learnt. So if they can be learnt and applied during difficult withdrawal symptoms (which are much stronger than ordinary "life" symptoms), imagine how strong we can be once we are medication free? Ordinary anxiety will be a walk in the park.

 

This is my hope anyway. I am trying to look more positively at the road ahead, rather than just see it as a journey to get off drugs. I am starting to see now, that it is a journey to outgrow our old ways of thinking and living.

 

I am still new to this too and learning more each day. There is a lot of great support here!

 

I wish you well :)

1997 - Diagnosed Bipolar 1 after stressful life events and hospitalised, discharged on multiple drugs.

1997 - 2014: Polypharmacy treatment, predominantly Zyprexa, Epilim and Lithium (at high doses), ~30 hospitalisations.

2014: CT multiple drugs and received two injections of Invega Sustenna - extremely sick from side effects. 

2015: Back to cocktail of Zypreza, Epilim, Lithium and dealing with aftermath of injection

2016: Decided to withdraw from psychiatric drugs due to side effects.

2017: Withdrew from Zyprexa, Epilim and just placed on lithium (~1800mg)

2017, 2018: Multiple failed withdrawals from lithium and hospitalisations involving short term antipsychotic use.

2019: More failed lithium withdrawals resulting in hospitalisation

April 2019: Started seeing new psychiatrist who suggested replacing Lithium with Latuda, hospitalised within 5 days.

April to July: tapered lithium down to 600mg and new psychiatrist is supporting me to get off lithium completely.

July to August: tapered remainder of lithium with minimal issues

Aug 25 2019: Discontinued Lithium, completely drug free. March 2020: Hospitalised, Abilify/Lithium for a short time. Drug free since July 2020.  February 2021: Hospitalised, Lithium 750mg

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  • Administrator

Hi Shep,

 

I was mostly on Valium for about 4-5 weeks. I still take it occasionally if the anxiety gets too much. I had situation last week where it was arranged that I would be working in a job that I was really looking forward to. It was all organised and then within a day I was told it had fallen through due to government funding. I took some Valium then, as I was so upset, but that was last week and the last time I took it. My regular use hasn't been since July and August. In hospital I was given zyprexa 10mg and 5mgs Valium at night for sleep.

 

I'm on the 2.5mgs of zprexa at night now. I have had a lot of anxiety throughout the day since I had a break from the zyprexa (over 1 week ago). But I just put up with it and try to distract myself rather than reaching for the Valium. I'm going for a job interview tomorrow and I'm hoping it will be one of my better days.

 

I'm going to a doctor each week who does acupuncture for my anxiety. It really helps, but is only temporary. Lasts a day or two at the moment. I've been going to him for 7 years and when I just had mild depression and anxiety, it used to hold me all week.

 

Do you think the Valium could be adding to my anxiety?

 

Thank you,

 

Lucy

 

 

Hi, Lucy.

 

Yes, it's possible the Valium could be adding to your anxiety. It only takes 2 weeks for you to develop a dependency. Valium has a half life of up to 200 hours, so you may not feel withdrawal right away. But since you're taking it sporadically, the levels aren't staying constant in your system. So this could cause your CNS to become unstable, which could explain your anxiety, in addition to your other drugs. 

 

Since you're only reaching for it for states of stress, please try to work on your non-drug coping skills. Meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, etc. all are great for handling stress. You mention distraction, which is also good. 

 

Please let us know how you're doing. Keeping up with your symptoms using the format in this post will be the most helpful:

 

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

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

Link to post

Hi Shep,

 

Thanks for the information on Valium. I will try the non-drug coping skills rather than reaching for the Valium. I used to meditate every morning but just couldn't keep it up when I became heavily depressed. I'm feeling a lot better now, so I'll try to include it again into my daily routine.

 

I have been keeping a daily record of symptoms and times that I've taken medication. It's intesting to back over the week. I think I've improved by taking the medications at regular times. The last few days have been anxiety free. I still wake up really wooly headed from the zyprexa but it helps if I get out of bed an make tea and have breakfast.

 

Thank you for all the information and I'll let you know how I'm doing.

 

Lucy

Citalopram 40gms - July 2016 (replaced by Effexor)
Valium and tamazapan - July 2016 -prn - (replaced by zyprexa for insomnia)
Zyprexa - since August 2016
Effexor 225mgs - since August 2016
Doses given and then tapering off zyprexa -
5mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 2weeks/10mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 3weeks/5mgs 2weeks/ 1.25mgs 3days/0mgs 3days (self managed after advice from psychologists -reinstated after withdrawal symptoms) /2.5mgs 3 weeks/ 1.87 2 weeks/1.25 2 weeks from 22 Nov - 6 Dec/ currently on .625

Currently on: Zyprexa .625mgs from 6 Dec 16

                      Effexor 225mgs

 

Link to post

Hi there,

 

I had a bit of a drama yesterday and was given some painkillers. I had pain in my lower back and lower abdomen that just kept on getting worse as the morning progressed. I went to ER and they did a scan, which identified a small kidney stone. I'm ok today. Pain free and the stone has gone. But I'm wondering if all the pain killer have an effect on my CNS?

 

I'm convinced that the zprexa cause this kidney stone because it is so drying. I probably haven't been keeping up my fluid intake to compensate. I was planning to taper the zyprexa on Tuesday as I've been stable for a while with no anxiety. But would the pain killers interfere with the taper? I was given IV morphine, odansetron, maxalon and PR indoethacin.

 

I've lost a bit of confidence having this happen, just as I was surfacing from a lot of major life events and my heavy depression. But I can only move forward and hope things get better. Any ideas on the taper this Tuesday?

 

Thanks,

Lucy

Citalopram 40gms - July 2016 (replaced by Effexor)
Valium and tamazapan - July 2016 -prn - (replaced by zyprexa for insomnia)
Zyprexa - since August 2016
Effexor 225mgs - since August 2016
Doses given and then tapering off zyprexa -
5mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 2weeks/10mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 3weeks/5mgs 2weeks/ 1.25mgs 3days/0mgs 3days (self managed after advice from psychologists -reinstated after withdrawal symptoms) /2.5mgs 3 weeks/ 1.87 2 weeks/1.25 2 weeks from 22 Nov - 6 Dec/ currently on .625

Currently on: Zyprexa .625mgs from 6 Dec 16

                      Effexor 225mgs

 

Link to post
  • Administrator

I'm sorry you had to go through all of that on top of withdrawal.

 

I would keep a careful record of your symptoms:

 

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

 

Some people do report issues with heightened withdrawal symptoms and / or increased sensitivities to the side effects of pain killers and other drugs. 

 

Adding other drugs may cause a "kindling" effect:

 

Limbic Kindling -- Hardwiring the brain for hypersensitivity

 

Sometimes we do need to use other drugs for other health problems, and I hope you're back on track soon.

 

Please let us know how you're feeling, and your mind/body will help let you know if you'll be able to taper soon. You may want to give yourself more time, though, because it's not good to make too many changes at one time. Just dealing with another illness is a lot for your CNS to take. Give your nervous system plenty of self care. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

Link to post

Hi Shep,

 

Thanks for the information and links. I'm feeling fine now, but just have a residual tiredness. The zyprexa makes me tired in the morning but I've been extra tired these last couple of days.

 

I don't know whether to hold off on the taper a few more days. I'm aware of I need to give my CNS time to get over this last hurdle. I'll let you know how I'm progressing in the next few days.

 

Thanks,

 

Lucy

Citalopram 40gms - July 2016 (replaced by Effexor)
Valium and tamazapan - July 2016 -prn - (replaced by zyprexa for insomnia)
Zyprexa - since August 2016
Effexor 225mgs - since August 2016
Doses given and then tapering off zyprexa -
5mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 2weeks/10mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 3weeks/5mgs 2weeks/ 1.25mgs 3days/0mgs 3days (self managed after advice from psychologists -reinstated after withdrawal symptoms) /2.5mgs 3 weeks/ 1.87 2 weeks/1.25 2 weeks from 22 Nov - 6 Dec/ currently on .625

Currently on: Zyprexa .625mgs from 6 Dec 16

                      Effexor 225mgs

 

Link to post

Hi there,

 

I've decided to hold off on the taper for now. I was very tired earlier on today and then this afternoon I felt really spaced out, dizzy and had throbbing head. My tinnitus seems to have become louder, but maybe I'm more sensitive to it today. This is so different to the way I felt last week.

 

I called a friend of mine, who is a nurse and she thinks it was all the painkillers on the weekend. Especially the morphine. She said that they would stay a few days in my system. I hope I feel better tomorrow. It's really disappointing when I feel I'm stable and can taper then another there's a setback. But I'm still not discouraged from aiming towards my final goal. Tapering off zyprexa and eventually all medication.

 

Lucy

Citalopram 40gms - July 2016 (replaced by Effexor)
Valium and tamazapan - July 2016 -prn - (replaced by zyprexa for insomnia)
Zyprexa - since August 2016
Effexor 225mgs - since August 2016
Doses given and then tapering off zyprexa -
5mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 2weeks/10mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 3weeks/5mgs 2weeks/ 1.25mgs 3days/0mgs 3days (self managed after advice from psychologists -reinstated after withdrawal symptoms) /2.5mgs 3 weeks/ 1.87 2 weeks/1.25 2 weeks from 22 Nov - 6 Dec/ currently on .625

Currently on: Zyprexa .625mgs from 6 Dec 16

                      Effexor 225mgs

 

Link to post

Hi everyone,

 

I've taken the plunge and tapered my dose of zyprexa!

 

A few weeks ago, on the advice of my psychiatrist, I tapered from 2.5 to 1.25. I was ok on that amount, so much so that I thought I could cut it out all together. I felt great for a few days!!! Then the withdrawal symptoms started to kick in. Flu like symptoms, dizziness, headache, night sweats and finally the depression and anxiety. On the advice of my psychiatrist I reinstated to 2.5. He said that it wasn't withdrawal symptoms that I'd experienced but my original diagnosis of depressive anxiety coming back and I must have had a virus at the same time. I don't believe that for a second as the whole experience was so different. His plan for tapering is ... hold at 2.5 for a month, go down to 1.25 for another month or so and then quit. He said I should be alright after that. I am so glad I found this forum and won't be following his tapering advice. Oh, he also said he'd never known anyone to have trouble coming off zyprexa!!

 

As I coped well with the 1.25 taper (50%), I've decided to take 3/4 of the 2.5 tablet or 25% less and see how I go with that reduction. I've been ok but it's early days. I still have residual tiredness in the morning and brain fog. Yesterday I experienced some agitation and anxiety in the morning, but it was only slight. I kept busy and my mood lifted as the day went on. I did have a very strange sensations during the night. It was almost like light ping pong going on in my head. I know that sounds strange and wonder if anyone has experienced it during withdrawals? I'm hoping it's only my neurochemistry  adjusting to the new dose of zyprexa.

 

I'm lucky that I have a doctor who practises acupuncture. I see him once a week and feel the benefit of his treatment. He is also following up tests on kidney stones that presented themselves a week ago. I needed to go to ER and have lots of painkillers and a CT scan. I'm convinced that the drying effect of the zyprexa has caused the kidney stones and I probably didn't drink enough water to compensate. I've never had kidney problems in my life.

 

I'll see how I go in the next few weeks. If I stabilize I'll probably cut down an 1/8 of a tablet. That will be a little bit more than a 10% cut, then I hold for a few weeks. I've been reading up on zyprexa withdrawals and it's really scary! So many people have such significant withdrawal symptoms that they end up reinstating. I don't want to that to happen. From I can understand, going under 2.5 is the most difficult for zyprexa withdrawals. Earlier in the year, when I was in hospital, I was on 10mg at one point. Then under the instructions of the doctors, I went down to 7.5, then 5, then 2.5 and 1.25. I didn't have any trouble at all with going down that rapidly, except for sleeping, as the lower doses aren't as sedating. But after doing my research, I have a new found respect for this drug and I'm not going to taper too fast at the lower doses. 

 

I'm going back to work in the next few weeks and I'm worried about the effect of the zyprexa in the morning. I generally feel tired on waking, fatigue for most of the morning and brain fog. But I suppose that a lot of people have to work and take medication.

 

Well, that's my taper story for now. I'm drinking lots of water and keeping busy. I'm really looking forward to being zyprexa free!!! It has the side effects of weight gain, which I'm noticing now after 4 months. It drys out my skin and has aggravated my rosacea. I've had kidney stones while on this drug and my head is always in a constant fug, especially in the morning. And I've noticed that my tinnitus has become much louder. It's like a swarm of bees in my ears :(

 

I wish all everyone well with their tapering ... and thank you for all the information on the site.

 

Lucy

Citalopram 40gms - July 2016 (replaced by Effexor)
Valium and tamazapan - July 2016 -prn - (replaced by zyprexa for insomnia)
Zyprexa - since August 2016
Effexor 225mgs - since August 2016
Doses given and then tapering off zyprexa -
5mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 2weeks/10mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 3weeks/5mgs 2weeks/ 1.25mgs 3days/0mgs 3days (self managed after advice from psychologists -reinstated after withdrawal symptoms) /2.5mgs 3 weeks/ 1.87 2 weeks/1.25 2 weeks from 22 Nov - 6 Dec/ currently on .625

Currently on: Zyprexa .625mgs from 6 Dec 16

                      Effexor 225mgs

 

Link to post

Ps. I just wanted to add that I taking my medication at the same time each day has helped with mood. I take Effexor after breakfast at 8a and Zyprexa at 7p with dinner. Before this I would take the medication, sometime in the morning and evening. I really think it somehow help regulate body chemistry by having a 24 hour clock for meds.

Citalopram 40gms - July 2016 (replaced by Effexor)
Valium and tamazapan - July 2016 -prn - (replaced by zyprexa for insomnia)
Zyprexa - since August 2016
Effexor 225mgs - since August 2016
Doses given and then tapering off zyprexa -
5mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 2weeks/10mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 3weeks/5mgs 2weeks/ 1.25mgs 3days/0mgs 3days (self managed after advice from psychologists -reinstated after withdrawal symptoms) /2.5mgs 3 weeks/ 1.87 2 weeks/1.25 2 weeks from 22 Nov - 6 Dec/ currently on .625

Currently on: Zyprexa .625mgs from 6 Dec 16

                      Effexor 225mgs

 

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Good to read that you're feeling better since you starting to be consistent about the times you take the medications.

 

You may want to figure out how to reduce dose by less than ¼ of a tablet.

There are tips and links in that thread about using a scale and about making a solution (liquid) from the tablets in a topic linked in Shep's  post above:

Tips for tapering off olanzapine (Zyprexa)

 

About acupuncture: Be sure to ask for treatment that is (1) calming treatments and (2) not stimulating or detoxifying.  Here's a link to our discussion topic on Acupuncture

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Link to post

Thanks for the links Scallywag. I'll ask my acupuncturist if he's giving me a calming treatment. I've been going to him for a number of years and I believe that it would be calming, because I feel so relaxed when I leave. Also I've looked at the tapering of zyprexa link and will refer to it more closely when I do my next taper. I'm going to slow down as I get to the lower doses :)

 

I'm feeling good today .... the only thing that could be improved is the morning tiredness and brainfog, but I can live with that.

Citalopram 40gms - July 2016 (replaced by Effexor)
Valium and tamazapan - July 2016 -prn - (replaced by zyprexa for insomnia)
Zyprexa - since August 2016
Effexor 225mgs - since August 2016
Doses given and then tapering off zyprexa -
5mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 2weeks/10mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 3weeks/5mgs 2weeks/ 1.25mgs 3days/0mgs 3days (self managed after advice from psychologists -reinstated after withdrawal symptoms) /2.5mgs 3 weeks/ 1.87 2 weeks/1.25 2 weeks from 22 Nov - 6 Dec/ currently on .625

Currently on: Zyprexa .625mgs from 6 Dec 16

                      Effexor 225mgs

 

Link to post

Hi there,

 

Just wanted to update and say that I've been very happy with my last taper. I been sleeping well, my appetite has improved, I've had windows of feeling happy and engaged with different activities. There's been no anxiety or depression and I've managed to keep busy, make lists and cross off most things daily.

 

I still wake up feeling tired and fatigue can creep in during the day, but its manageable. I'm thinking that I might taper again next week, which will make this last taper 2 weeks long. I'm not sure whether to go slower ... I've read about many people's experiences tapering with zyprexa and most say it gets harder at the lower doses. But I think with such a positive experience I can afford to go down sooner rather than hold another week.

 

I guess I'm a little impatient because I'll be going back to work in another couple of weeks. I'd like to wake up in the morning and not feel hung over. Also I think the zyprexa isn't good for my health. I've done some research and zyprexa is cited as causing renal problems and kidney stones being a side effect. I've been drinking a lot more water since my trip to ER with kidney stones and I think that's making me feel better too. My skin isn't so dehydrated and the rosacea has improved.

 

All is good at the moment, but I'm very aware of what can happen with going off meds to suddenly. I had that experience about a month ago and it wasn't nice!!

 

Wish everyone well. I'll report back soon!

Citalopram 40gms - July 2016 (replaced by Effexor)
Valium and tamazapan - July 2016 -prn - (replaced by zyprexa for insomnia)
Zyprexa - since August 2016
Effexor 225mgs - since August 2016
Doses given and then tapering off zyprexa -
5mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 2weeks/10mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 3weeks/5mgs 2weeks/ 1.25mgs 3days/0mgs 3days (self managed after advice from psychologists -reinstated after withdrawal symptoms) /2.5mgs 3 weeks/ 1.87 2 weeks/1.25 2 weeks from 22 Nov - 6 Dec/ currently on .625

Currently on: Zyprexa .625mgs from 6 Dec 16

                      Effexor 225mgs

 

Link to post

ps... I do go to an acupuncturist who treats for anxiety and depression. It is a calming treatment and I go weekly. Also I've been seeing a psychologist who has been very supportive. I've had a few set backs with work, which I found upsetting and disappointing. But she has talked me through and helped me accept and move on.

Citalopram 40gms - July 2016 (replaced by Effexor)
Valium and tamazapan - July 2016 -prn - (replaced by zyprexa for insomnia)
Zyprexa - since August 2016
Effexor 225mgs - since August 2016
Doses given and then tapering off zyprexa -
5mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 2weeks/10mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 3weeks/5mgs 2weeks/ 1.25mgs 3days/0mgs 3days (self managed after advice from psychologists -reinstated after withdrawal symptoms) /2.5mgs 3 weeks/ 1.87 2 weeks/1.25 2 weeks from 22 Nov - 6 Dec/ currently on .625

Currently on: Zyprexa .625mgs from 6 Dec 16

                      Effexor 225mgs

 

Link to post
  • Administrator

For nice update, Lucy. I'm glad things are going so well.  :)

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

Link to post

Very glad to hear your taper is doing well Lucy!

 

If you do decide to taper slower or at a specific dose, I found a pharmacy in the city (Hunter Connect Compounding Pharmacy) that can make up a specific dose for you. All you need to do is provide the tablets and script.

 

I am going there today to pick up 1.875mg capsules as I don't trust my tablet cutting or anymore liquids!

 

Have a great day.

1997 - Diagnosed Bipolar 1 after stressful life events and hospitalised, discharged on multiple drugs.

1997 - 2014: Polypharmacy treatment, predominantly Zyprexa, Epilim and Lithium (at high doses), ~30 hospitalisations.

2014: CT multiple drugs and received two injections of Invega Sustenna - extremely sick from side effects. 

2015: Back to cocktail of Zypreza, Epilim, Lithium and dealing with aftermath of injection

2016: Decided to withdraw from psychiatric drugs due to side effects.

2017: Withdrew from Zyprexa, Epilim and just placed on lithium (~1800mg)

2017, 2018: Multiple failed withdrawals from lithium and hospitalisations involving short term antipsychotic use.

2019: More failed lithium withdrawals resulting in hospitalisation

April 2019: Started seeing new psychiatrist who suggested replacing Lithium with Latuda, hospitalised within 5 days.

April to July: tapered lithium down to 600mg and new psychiatrist is supporting me to get off lithium completely.

July to August: tapered remainder of lithium with minimal issues

Aug 25 2019: Discontinued Lithium, completely drug free. March 2020: Hospitalised, Abilify/Lithium for a short time. Drug free since July 2020.  February 2021: Hospitalised, Lithium 750mg

Link to post

Hi Shep ... thanks for all your support. I've read some of my previous posts and I was surprised that not long ago I was waking up with depression and anxiety. So I'm really pleased that I'm doing well with this taper. It's been great having this website as a resource and all the information has really given me a lot of confidence in moving forward.

 

And thanks Rico for the information about the Compound Chemist. I'll keep them in mind when going down to the lower doses. Do you need a prescription specifying that dose? I know my pdoctor says it's fine to jump off at 1.25 and there will be no adverse reaction :-/ so I don't know if he would give me a script for less than 2.5.

Citalopram 40gms - July 2016 (replaced by Effexor)
Valium and tamazapan - July 2016 -prn - (replaced by zyprexa for insomnia)
Zyprexa - since August 2016
Effexor 225mgs - since August 2016
Doses given and then tapering off zyprexa -
5mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 2weeks/10mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 3weeks/5mgs 2weeks/ 1.25mgs 3days/0mgs 3days (self managed after advice from psychologists -reinstated after withdrawal symptoms) /2.5mgs 3 weeks/ 1.87 2 weeks/1.25 2 weeks from 22 Nov - 6 Dec/ currently on .625

Currently on: Zyprexa .625mgs from 6 Dec 16

                      Effexor 225mgs

 

Link to post

Hi Lucy, you do need a script for the specific dose. I managed to get one from my GP. I very much doubt your pdoc would give you one, because they don't seem to take this stuff seriously.

 

I think all pdocs should be put on a course of antipsychotics as part of their training and then to also withdraw from them. I have ended up in hospital so many time because of my pdoc doing CT's and fast tapering. In 2013, my pdoc tapered me down from 10mg zyprexa to 0mg in a week! And then when I ended up in hospital with extreme anxiety and agitation, he told me that it was my original condition and justified me being back on it. I lost my dream job because of such nonsense.

1997 - Diagnosed Bipolar 1 after stressful life events and hospitalised, discharged on multiple drugs.

1997 - 2014: Polypharmacy treatment, predominantly Zyprexa, Epilim and Lithium (at high doses), ~30 hospitalisations.

2014: CT multiple drugs and received two injections of Invega Sustenna - extremely sick from side effects. 

2015: Back to cocktail of Zypreza, Epilim, Lithium and dealing with aftermath of injection

2016: Decided to withdraw from psychiatric drugs due to side effects.

2017: Withdrew from Zyprexa, Epilim and just placed on lithium (~1800mg)

2017, 2018: Multiple failed withdrawals from lithium and hospitalisations involving short term antipsychotic use.

2019: More failed lithium withdrawals resulting in hospitalisation

April 2019: Started seeing new psychiatrist who suggested replacing Lithium with Latuda, hospitalised within 5 days.

April to July: tapered lithium down to 600mg and new psychiatrist is supporting me to get off lithium completely.

July to August: tapered remainder of lithium with minimal issues

Aug 25 2019: Discontinued Lithium, completely drug free. March 2020: Hospitalised, Abilify/Lithium for a short time. Drug free since July 2020.  February 2021: Hospitalised, Lithium 750mg

Link to post

LucyG

 

Do you plan on making another 25% cut, or do you plan to slow it down?

 

You mentioned tapering after just two weeks, after a 25% reduction. Let us know how that goes.

 

Sometimes i feel i could move faster tapering off an anti psychotic, but i am cautious.

 

 

Thanks

Been taking paroxetine 20 mg for 20+ years for depression. Taking 300 mg of wellbutrin since October 2015 for adhd and depression. Take fish oil, calcium, and a multivitamin. Started taking risperidone late January 2015 3mg for a misdiagnoses of bipolar. Started tapering risperidone late July 2016. As of late September tapered down to 2mg at 5% a week off current dose. Oct 21/2016 1.58 mg Nov 21/2016 1.26mg No withdrawals so far.

 

Link to post

Hi Jmncrr,

 

I am planning to cut down by 25% with my next taper. I've felt really well these last couple of weeks and think I'll be fine with 25% cut. I'll let you know how it goes.

 

I'd be more cautious if I was experiencing any withdrawal symptoms, but thankfully I've been fine and I'm actually feeling stronger every day.

 

All the best!

Citalopram 40gms - July 2016 (replaced by Effexor)
Valium and tamazapan - July 2016 -prn - (replaced by zyprexa for insomnia)
Zyprexa - since August 2016
Effexor 225mgs - since August 2016
Doses given and then tapering off zyprexa -
5mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 2weeks/10mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 3weeks/5mgs 2weeks/ 1.25mgs 3days/0mgs 3days (self managed after advice from psychologists -reinstated after withdrawal symptoms) /2.5mgs 3 weeks/ 1.87 2 weeks/1.25 2 weeks from 22 Nov - 6 Dec/ currently on .625

Currently on: Zyprexa .625mgs from 6 Dec 16

                      Effexor 225mgs

 

Link to post
  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Everyone,

 

It's a while since I've updated my zyprexa journey. I tapered down to 1.25 a few weeks ago and was feeling really good for a couple of weeks. I was sleeping well, organising things around the house, doing some painting and gardening. I went to see my pdoc last week on Tuesday and he said that as I was doing fine to stop the zyprexa. Just like that! I thought that was a bit radical so I halved the dose to 6.25.

 

Last week was full on because I had to have root canal on a back tooth (lots of novocaine) and I was taking neurofen for about 3 days. Just after the tooth saga, I felt less settled and more anxious. I put it down to all the drugs from the surgery and it's been incredibly hot in Sydney, which is exhausting and sometimes makes me feel sick with no appetite. But I've become worried that zyprexa withdrawal is kicking in. I know that there will be good days and bad days. I had a bad day yesterday with dizziness, headache, nausea, fatigue and anxiety. But I suppose I could explain it away with the hot weather, post tooth surgery and some disappointing delays with starting work again.

 

I'll hold on .625 for a while and see how I go. I'm thinking that I'll buy a digital scale to measure the smaller doses of zyprexa. From what I've heard they're available on Amazon or Ebay. I'm hoping that the good days will return along with cooler weather.

 

Well wishes to everyone!

 

Lucy

Citalopram 40gms - July 2016 (replaced by Effexor)
Valium and tamazapan - July 2016 -prn - (replaced by zyprexa for insomnia)
Zyprexa - since August 2016
Effexor 225mgs - since August 2016
Doses given and then tapering off zyprexa -
5mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 2weeks/10mgs 2weeks/7.5mgs 3weeks/5mgs 2weeks/ 1.25mgs 3days/0mgs 3days (self managed after advice from psychologists -reinstated after withdrawal symptoms) /2.5mgs 3 weeks/ 1.87 2 weeks/1.25 2 weeks from 22 Nov - 6 Dec/ currently on .625

Currently on: Zyprexa .625mgs from 6 Dec 16

                      Effexor 225mgs

 

Link to post
  • Administrator

Thanks for the update, Lucy. 

 

Please be careful with 50% reductions, as psychiatric drugs can carry a delayed withdrawal, and these large cuts may catch up to you. Also, you are still on a relatively high dose of Effexor, which can be activating for some people, so as your remove your "brake" (the Zyprexa), you may feel more of the Effexor, such as symptoms of anxiety and insomnia. 

 

I also have trouble with novocaine, as it contains epinephrine, which is adrenaline. So it can definitely ramp up symptoms. The last few times I've had dental work, I asked my dentist to use carbocaine, as it doesn't have epinephrine. 

 

I'm sorry you had to deal with a root canal on top of withdrawal, but I hope you're feeling better soon. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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