Jump to content
DocGeo

DocGeo: Wanting to get off Zyprexa

Recommended Posts

DocGeo

Hi all:

 

I've been viewing the forum for awhile and finally decided to tell my story. I was diagnosed as bipolar in 2012 following a manic-psychotic episode and promptly medicated. I relapsed in 2015 despite being on the medication and again in 2017. This past time around they put me on Zyprexa and a fairly high dose of 20mg. The effect (along with the elevated blood sugars and cholesterol) has been terrible anhedonia. I can't feel passion, humor or even sadness--just numb. I told my doctor I wanted to get off and he had me cut down from 20 to 15 to 12.5--fast cuts which I now know from the site are not advisable, fortunately I had no w/d symptoms. I want to slow my taper now and have been met with resistance by my pdoc who thinks I should be able to go off it in a manner of weeks as he 'had never heard of zyprexa withdrawal syndrome'

 

I am thinking I need to find a new psychiatrist who will at least be open to the idea of a conservative 10% taper. I am also concerned that I will be anhedonic for years to come and I desperately don't want to miss out on life. I am wondering if anyone here with experience with this drug can tell me whether or not this fog lifts as you taper down?

 

I look forward to any responses. Thank you for this site.

 

-Doc G


Lexapro 10mg (2002-2005), (2009-2016)

Klonopin 2mg (2002-2005) 1 mg (2005-2017) 0.125 mg (2018, tapered from 1mg to current dose)

Lamictal (September 2012-March 2016 (No taper, was taken off of in mental hospital)

Tegretol (March 2016-January 2018) (Rapid taper of about two weeks, no wd symptoms)

Prozac 10mg: (March 2016-May 2018) (Rapid taper of about two weeks, no wd symptoms)

Lithium 600 mg 2x a day (February 2018-present)

Wellbutrin (450 mg May 2018-present)

Zyprexa 20 mg (September 2017, cut down to 15, 12.5, 10 current dose)

 

Share this post


Link to post
manymoretodays

Hi DocGeo and welcome aboard,

 

That's not at all unusual.......what you have found with your doctor/prescriber.

And thank you for getting your signature all done.

 

Are you just hoping to get off the Zyprexa?  On the good side, your doctor does want to see you get off of it.  Oh, and yes........what a horrible side effect and long term usage profile Zyprexa has.   And it does sound like you are experiencing some of them.

I see that you are also on Wellbutrin and Lithium.......as well as Klonopin.

 

This page will now act as your introduction.  Consider it your introduction to the community and as a journal/record for your own W/D(withdrawal) journey.  Symptoms that you might be having can go here, as well as questions specific to your situation. 

 

I think you are definitely on the right track, as far as wanting to go more slowly than your doctor does.  Some of us have just had to do the best that we can, in communicating with prescribers.  Most important now will be getting what you need in terms of prescriptions.  If your doctor is open to learning more.......you may be able to share what you have already learned, and I'm sure that you will learn more, while here.  Oh.....so many times though.......the prescribers just won't listen to those who they serve.  So.......don't get your hopes real high.  This might be good to share with you doctor, even though it talks about just serotonin.  I think that generally changes in any neurotransmitter function, do alter some of the other neurotransmitters........so it applies to your situation too.

 

Why taper by 10%*

The 10% method is a harm reduction approach to going off psychiatric drugs

 

Tips for tapering Zyprexa/olanazepine

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?

several other links are in the first post ^ that you may find of interest

 

I'm glad you haven't experienced W/D symptoms.  I was on Zyprexa in combination with other medications too, at one time.  And ugh........I felt extremely tranquilized.  I don't know how I kept going back then.........I think I probably did not, keep going.   Chances are that I took it real easy at home for a long time.  The highest dose I was on was 5 mg in the morning and 5 mg at night.  I was severely over-medicated.  Yes, it did lift for me.  The symptoms that you mention.

 

Dr. Glenmullen's withdrawal symptom checklist

Many symptoms can be attributed to withdrawal

 

Apologies for the delay in getting you started DocGeo.  And all for now.

 

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

manymoretodays(mmt)

 

 

 

Edited by manymoretodays
klonopin added to present drugs in my comment

Started with psycho meds circa 1988 I think 27 or 28 total.

AD's, antpsychotics, antiseizure mood stabilizers. Lithium, lamictal ,benzos, and stimulants. Some med. for narcolepsy once(Provigil,) Gabapentin........probably more.  Ask me?......I probably was on it.  Haphazard W/D's by Dr. recommend or uneducated self.

10/2014- off Lexapro--had been on highest dose 10 mg. then 5 mg. for a couple of years, went from 5 mg. to 3 mg. liquid and then CT in hospital(voluntary).  I got out of the hospital on a combination of low dose adderal salts x1/day and trileptal 150mg. x2/day.

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!

 

3/21/2016---I did some unwise updosing of trileptal/oxcarbazepine with some stressful stuff......doubled the above dose x2 during this last wave but began liquifying again and on approximately 68mg. starting today.  11/12//2016 24 mg. oxcarbazepine  12/9/2016 off oxcarbazepine/trileptal!!!! :) optimistic  2016 December 9- completely off all medications!!!!!

Omega3's,EPA +DHA= 1800 mg/day. Magnesium complex, orally, diluted in a liter of H2O(that I can shake up.....it usually dissolves more completely as the water gets down to room temperature) and/or Epsom salt baths prn.   Vit. C, D3, and E.  B12, melatonin tapered to 1mg., and bioidentical hormones sublingually.  Trace mineral drops.  L-lysine.  L-methylfolate=400 mcg plus daily spinach. Totally ready for a good long window to hit soon and getting better strings of full days and partial days along the way.  Definite improvement overall since I first arrived on the SA survivor ship.  Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

Share this post


Link to post
manymoretodays

Could you do a drug interactions check with your all your medications, and then copy and post for us here on your main introduction page.

https://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.php

 

 


Started with psycho meds circa 1988 I think 27 or 28 total.

AD's, antpsychotics, antiseizure mood stabilizers. Lithium, lamictal ,benzos, and stimulants. Some med. for narcolepsy once(Provigil,) Gabapentin........probably more.  Ask me?......I probably was on it.  Haphazard W/D's by Dr. recommend or uneducated self.

10/2014- off Lexapro--had been on highest dose 10 mg. then 5 mg. for a couple of years, went from 5 mg. to 3 mg. liquid and then CT in hospital(voluntary).  I got out of the hospital on a combination of low dose adderal salts x1/day and trileptal 150mg. x2/day.

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!

 

3/21/2016---I did some unwise updosing of trileptal/oxcarbazepine with some stressful stuff......doubled the above dose x2 during this last wave but began liquifying again and on approximately 68mg. starting today.  11/12//2016 24 mg. oxcarbazepine  12/9/2016 off oxcarbazepine/trileptal!!!! :) optimistic  2016 December 9- completely off all medications!!!!!

Omega3's,EPA +DHA= 1800 mg/day. Magnesium complex, orally, diluted in a liter of H2O(that I can shake up.....it usually dissolves more completely as the water gets down to room temperature) and/or Epsom salt baths prn.   Vit. C, D3, and E.  B12, melatonin tapered to 1mg., and bioidentical hormones sublingually.  Trace mineral drops.  L-lysine.  L-methylfolate=400 mcg plus daily spinach. Totally ready for a good long window to hit soon and getting better strings of full days and partial days along the way.  Definite improvement overall since I first arrived on the SA survivor ship.  Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

Share this post


Link to post
PoetJester

Hi Doc

 

i was on zyprexa (17.5 mg) for most of 1998-2014.  the fog does lift upon coming off of the drug, but sleep usually suffers pretty drastically when you do withdraw.   i felt  mentally clearer and had a lot more energy when i did stop the drug in early 2014, but like a lot of others, my sleep became terrible-  i went from sleeping 15+ hours a day the last eight years on the drug, to 3-4 hours a day, often none, the past few years, which has been quite a torment.  it's hell.  

 

like you, my cholesterol (and triglycerides, and liver enzymes)  became extremely elevated during my years on the drug, so much so, that my primary care doctor was flabbergasted at how high my readings were  and even though it should have been obvious that my elevated numbers were due to the zyprexa, he wouldn't say anything and just write me a script for the anti-cholesterol statin, Lipitor.  About my elevated liver enzymes, he would only say "we'll have to keep an eye on them" but never mention  zyprexa as a cause.   He would say the same thing each year at my yearly physical "we'll have to keep on eye on them (the liver enzymes)." but when i brought up in 2011 during the yearly check-up that i thought the elevated readings and also a massive yeast infection that i had had for years (my body smelt like an elderly man's when i was only 35 and my groin like moldy athletic socks for years)   were from zyprexa, my doctor had leaned over me in his exam room, and said "but the pills make you feel good, man".   so, it always felt like i was on my own.  i didn't have internet service at the time, so i couldn't really investigate what was going wrong with my body and had to take my primary care doctor's advice (even though i knew he was wrong) and would just come home to my apartment and bite the bullet (or swallow the pill) for another year.    

 

i had cut my dose in half from 17.5 mg to 10 mg around 2010 without notifying my psychiatrist, and would just throw my 7.5 mg pills out each month and later lowered the dose to 7.5 mg and began throwing away all the 10 mg pills each month.   i didn't really notice a change during this "tapering"-  i was still tired all the time and sleeping close to 2/3 of each day and rarely left my apartment due to the fatigue/need to sleep.  during the end of 2013 even the pills ability to make me sleep, began to "poop out" where i began having depressed fragmented sleep with nightmares, even while i was still on the med so i just ended up quitting it altogether in Feb of 2014. 

 

My life from 2006 to 2014 was such a repetitive cycle of pills and eating and sleeping that the drug lost even it's sedating ability towards the end and i hit burn out.  my schedule for those eight years was taking the pill at 5 am, sleeping 6am-3pm, getting up for a few hours to eat and watch tv and then taking a "nap" from around 6pm until midnight and then watching late night tv until i did it all again the next morning and once a week my parents would pick me up to get groceries.  it became such a pill prison (i didn't even leave town for one day or do any travel in eight years) that i eventually burnt out on the redundancy of it all.  i think in those 8 years,  i volunteered at a thrift store for 30 hours, took a few two week creative writing courses, and attended a few poetry open-mics and that was about the extent of my social life for eight years and also about the only times i would see the outside of my apartment as well.  my weight also ballooned from 160 lbs to 230 lbs by the end, too.  i have managed to lose about 30 lbs since getting off the drug through long nightly walks and biking, but exercising becomes difficult, if not impossible, during bouts of withdrawal sleep deprivation

 

anyways, i thought i would share my zyprexa experience with you and i hope you success in tapering off the drug

 

poetjester


Court committed to take Prozac, Paxci, and Respiradol from 8/95 to 3/96.   developed severe akithisia and brain damage.  Was unable to speak and walking in circles 15 hours a day.  Went in for 5 sessions of ECT during a 10 day period in March of '96 and my forced medication was discontinued at that time.  My akithisia and brain damage cleared up within a few days of stopping the meds.

 

On Zoloft (200 mg) and Zyprexa (17.5 mg) March 1998- Feb 2014

In between was placed on Effexor 200 mg and Abilify for six months in 2004.  Developed mild akithisia which went away once I stopped the Abilify.  Developed severe GI issues in Dec 2001 and from that time on suffered from fatigue and hypersomnia where I would sleep between 12 and 20 hours a day and rarely ever left my apartment. 

 

Had tapered to 100 mg of Zoloft and 7.5 mg of Zyprexa at the time of going cold turkey Feb. 2014

Went 5 days without sleep at the beginning while vomiting all over my apt.  Had brain zaps for a number of weeks and also lightheadedness which both eventually went away.  However 2 1/2 yrs later I still struggle with insomnia, depression, and fatigue.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
DocGeo
ajor (3)
 
Moderate (3)
 
Minor (0)
 
Food (3)
 
Therapeutic Duplication (0)

Interactions between your drugs

Major

lithium  buPROPion

Applies to: Lithium Carbonate ER (lithium), Wellbutrin (bupropion)

BuPROPion may rarely cause seizures, and combining it with other medications that can also cause seizures such as lithium may increase that risk. You may be more susceptible if you are elderly, undergoing alcohol or drug withdrawal, have a history of seizures, or have a condition affecting the central nervous system such as a brain tumor or head trauma. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Your doctor may be able to prescribe alternatives that do not interact, or you may need a dose adjustment or more frequent monitoring by your doctor to safely use both medications. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

Major

buPROPion  OLANZapine

Applies to: Wellbutrin (bupropion), Zyprexa (olanzapine)

BuPROPion may rarely cause seizures, and combining it with other medications that can also cause seizures such as OLANZapine may increase that risk. You may be more susceptible if you are elderly, undergoing alcohol or drug withdrawal, have a history of seizures, or have a condition affecting the central nervous system such as a brain tumor or head trauma. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Your doctor may be able to prescribe alternatives that do not interact, or you may need a dose adjustment or more frequent monitoring by your doctor to safely use both medications. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

Major

clonazePAM  OLANZapine

Applies to: Klonopin (clonazepam), Zyprexa (olanzapine)

Ask your doctor before using clonazePAM together with OLANZapine. This can cause low blood pressure, shallow breathing, weak pulse, muscle weakness, drowsiness, dizziness and slurred speech. This may be more likely to occur in older adults or those with a debilitating condition. You should be counseled to avoid activities requiring mental alertness until you know how these medications will affect you. If your doctor prescribes these medications together, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use these medications together. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

Moderate

lithium  clonazePAM

Applies to: Lithium Carbonate ER (lithium), Klonopin (clonazepam)

Using lithium together with clonazePAM may increase side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. Some people, especially the elderly, may also experience impairment in thinking, judgment, and motor coordination. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

Moderate

buPROPion  clonazePAM

Applies to: Wellbutrin (bupropion), Klonopin (clonazepam)

Excessive use of clonazePAM, or abrupt discontinuation following long-term use, may occasionally trigger seizures in patients taking buPROPion. Talk to your doctor before using these medications together if you have any questions or concerns. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

Moderate

lithium  OLANZapine

Applies to: Lithium Carbonate ER (lithium), Zyprexa (olanzapine)

Using lithium together with OLANZapine may increase side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. Some people, especially the elderly, may also experience impairment in thinking, judgment, and motor coordination. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you. Rarely, a syndrome consisting of weakness, lethargyfever, tremors, confusion, abnormal muscle movements, and increased white blood cells and other lab values has also been reported during combined use of these medications. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.


Lexapro 10mg (2002-2005), (2009-2016)

Klonopin 2mg (2002-2005) 1 mg (2005-2017) 0.125 mg (2018, tapered from 1mg to current dose)

Lamictal (September 2012-March 2016 (No taper, was taken off of in mental hospital)

Tegretol (March 2016-January 2018) (Rapid taper of about two weeks, no wd symptoms)

Prozac 10mg: (March 2016-May 2018) (Rapid taper of about two weeks, no wd symptoms)

Lithium 600 mg 2x a day (February 2018-present)

Wellbutrin (450 mg May 2018-present)

Zyprexa 20 mg (September 2017, cut down to 15, 12.5, 10 current dose)

 

Share this post


Link to post
DocGeo

Thanks for the replies, I DO want to get off the other drugs I am, but am uncertain if  I can as I have been diagnosed bipolar I and have had three manic-psychotic episodes. Zyprexa is the one that I am most focused on getting off of due to the side effects and anhedonia. 


Lexapro 10mg (2002-2005), (2009-2016)

Klonopin 2mg (2002-2005) 1 mg (2005-2017) 0.125 mg (2018, tapered from 1mg to current dose)

Lamictal (September 2012-March 2016 (No taper, was taken off of in mental hospital)

Tegretol (March 2016-January 2018) (Rapid taper of about two weeks, no wd symptoms)

Prozac 10mg: (March 2016-May 2018) (Rapid taper of about two weeks, no wd symptoms)

Lithium 600 mg 2x a day (February 2018-present)

Wellbutrin (450 mg May 2018-present)

Zyprexa 20 mg (September 2017, cut down to 15, 12.5, 10 current dose)

 

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat
On 9/16/2018 at 12:44 PM, DocGeo said:

I want to slow my taper now and have been met with resistance by my pdoc who thinks I should be able to go off it in a manner of weeks as he 'had never heard of zyprexa withdrawal syndrome'

 

How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?
What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

You might want to refer him to this:

 

 


Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 17 Oct 2020:  Pristiq 0.56 mg (compounded + liquid)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy