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GenevieveMing

GenevieveMing: Tapering Saphris 5mg

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GenevieveMing

Two years ago I was imprisoned, tortured and chemically lobotomized. Psychiatrists convinced me I needed to take neuroleptics or risk brain damage from another psychotic episode. I believed them and I took ziprasidone 160mg for almost two years until I developed tardive dyskenesia. I was switched to Saphris in Feb 2017. Since then I have been tapering from Saphris 5 mg at night. I was tapering 10% every two weeks, which I realize after being on this forum is too fast. Since I started the Saphris I have had a terrible time eating.

My last reduction was a week ago. Two weeks before that I had reduced to 4 mg and I got really sick for two days. Other people at my work had been sick, so I didn't think it was necessarily withdrawal and I reduced again after two weeks. I became unbelievable ill. Even though I have bumped my dose back up I have still been ill.

The mornings are pure hell. When I was in the hospital I was absolutely terrified that I would never get out. I look back at what has happened to me and I realize that I never have. Any hope, encouragement or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I know this is a site for ADs but I noticed there were a few neuroleptics posts. I hope that's ok.

I just really need some help and encouragement that this will get better. The only thing keeping me going is that I usually feel ok by the afternoon. I've lost 30lbs since I started the Saphris and although I have plenty of extra weight to lose from gaining so much on the neuroleptics it is also starting to concern me.

Should I switch drugs and start my taper over again once I find one I can eat on or should I just slow down my taper and hope things get better?

Thank you all so much. It is an inspiration to read stories of people getting off these poisons.

Edited by scallywag
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ChessieCat

Hi Genevieve,

 

Welcome to SA.  I'm not familiar with Saphris so I will leave discussion of your drug for the other mods who do know about it.

 

Please create a drug signature Create Your Signature.  This should be an overview of your drug history so we can see it at a glance.  Please include details for the last 12-18 months of  all drugs, dates, doses and discontinuations & reinstatements.  If you can't remember dates, please write it as "early March" or "mid-August".  Please provide a summary of any drugs prior to that which can just be listed with start and stop years. Please include all prescription, non-prescription drugs and supplements you are currently taking. Phone Instructions:  Withdrawal History Signature. Please also remember to update it with date and dose whenever make a change so that it remains current. Thank you.

 

This is your own Intro topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.  Click "Follow" top right and you will be notified when someone responds.

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Petunia

Welcome Genevieve,

 

I'm glad you found us, yes, we provide information and support for withdrawal and tapering from all psychiatric medications.

 

It would be helpful if you filled in your signature as ChessieCat requested.

 

Saphris, needs to be tapered slowly just like all psych meds. But it sounds like you have been tapering too fast. We suggest reducing by no more than 10% of the current dose every 4 weeks, this reduces the risk of withdrawal symptoms arising. Please read through this which will explain why:

  

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

If I were you I would stop tapering for now and give your nervous system a chance to settle down. When you have stabilized, which might take several weeks, or possibly longer, I would recommend switching to our slower, safer tapering method.

 

I was also unable to eat and lost a lot of weight, but I wasn't taking any medication at the time. My nervous system was disrupted by withdrawal from a drug rather than it being an adverse reaction to being on a drug. Eventually it settled down, I was able to eat more and I have regained the weight, unfortunately, more than I would have liked. So try not to worry, you will recover and will be able to eat again.

 

When the nervous system is unstable, regardless of the cause, appetite problems and weight changes are common.

 

Do you find it easier to eat in the afternoon and evening when your symptoms have reduced? I had no appetite for a long time, but was able to eat later in the day and made sure I was getting at least one or two healthy meals a day.

 

Here is the link to our symptoms and self care section, you may find some useful ideas to help manage symptoms as you wait to stabilize.  Especially read the topics pinned at the top.

 

You might also find this topic helpful: Weight Gain, Weight Loss and Appetite Changes - Symptoms and self ...

 

Please feel free to write whenever you want, you will find a lot of friendly help and support here.

 

Petunia.

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GenevieveMing

Thank you so much Petunia. I plan on waiting until I start feeling better to reduce again. It makes me very hopeful that you regained your appetite.

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GenevieveMing

I have stabilized now. I have not vomited for about two weeks and since I started getting acupuncture my nausea is mostly gone. I am going to reduce again this weekend and see how it goes. Wish me luck. Thank you so much for your support and help. The wonderful things is that since I've reduced I've been dreaming again, it's wonderful.

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mammaP

Hi Genevieve, I am glad that you are feeling better. I would hold for few months to let your brain have a break and catch up as Petunia suggested.  You have been tapering quite fast and a good long hold will help you to stabilise properly.   When you are ready, I agree that it will be much better for you to make smaller cuts and avoid the withdrawal symptoms. 

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GenevieveMing

That's probably good advice. I just want to get off this poison. I know I need more patience. I should wait for awhile. I probably won't wait for too long. But I'll give it a couple more weeks. I know there is no way to avoid some withdrawals. Thank you.

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GenevieveMing

Welcome Genevieve,

 

I'm glad you found us, yes, we provide information and support for withdrawal and tapering from all psychiatric medications.

 

It would be helpful if you filled in your signature as ChessieCat requested.

 

Saphris, needs to be tapered slowly just like all psych meds. But it sounds like you have been tapering too fast. We suggest reducing by no more than 10% of the current dose every 4 weeks, this reduces the risk of withdrawal symptoms arising. Please read through this which will explain why:

  

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

If I were you I would stop tapering for now and give your nervous system a chance to settle down. When you have stabilized, which might take several weeks, or possibly longer, I would recommend switching to our slower, safer tapering method.

 

I was also unable to eat and lost a lot of weight, but I wasn't taking any medication at the time. My nervous system was disrupted by withdrawal from a drug rather than it being an adverse reaction to being on a drug. Eventually it settled down, I was able to eat more and I have regained the weight, unfortunately, more than I would have liked. So try not to worry, you will recover and will be able to eat again.

 

When the nervous system is unstable, regardless of the cause, appetite problems and weight changes are common.

 

Do you find it easier to eat in the afternoon and evening when your symptoms have reduced? I had no appetite for a long time, but was able to eat later in the day and made sure I was getting at least one or two healthy meals a day.

 

Here is the link to our symptoms and self care section, you may find some useful ideas to help manage symptoms as you wait to stabilize.  Especially read the topics pinned at the top.

 

You might also find this topic helpful: Weight Gain, Weight Loss and Appetite Changes - Symptoms and self ...

 

Please feel free to write whenever you want, you will find a lot of friendly help and support here.

 

Petunia.

Sorry about not replying. Yes. I can eat later in the day and usually not much in the morning. But it has been getting better and I've had a few days where I was able to eat earlier in the day. So that has made me really hopeful. Thank you so much. Take care.

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GenevieveMing

Update: I've reduced again last Saturday and so far I am fine. The nausea is gone. No vomiting.  Accupuncture has been helping with that. I have some anxiety in the mornings when I first wake up but I do a little meditating and that helps and then I feel pretty good for the rest of the day.  Of course my original goal was to be off this poison by August and it looks like it will take much longer so I'm disappointed about that but I'm really happy that I was able to reduce without getting violently ill. Thanks so much for all your support. It was a good idea to wait to reduce, I think that really helped me to not get so sick this time. The last time I reduced and got sick I was ill by Monday, I always reduce on Saturday. Now it's Thursday and I feel pretty good.  I'll hold here for at least a month and see how it goes. Thanks again. 

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scallywag

Genevieve, good to hear that your latest dose reduction is going smoothly.  Two things

  1. Please update your signature with the date you decreased and the new dose. Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.
     
  2. Your experience getting acupuncture to help with nausea may be helpful for other people.  Would you be willing to get more information from your acupuncture therapist about the treatment and to post those details in our topics on
    Acupuncture, and
    What to do for dizziness, queasiness, and nausea

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