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zolo89: trying to get off psych meds because of sleep / bad short term memory

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zolo89

Hi,

I'm trying to get off psych meds because they've been making my short term memory really bad. An example of this could be putting a water bottle somewhere and within 10 to 15 seconds forgetting where I put it. I also other have problems with sleep and want to get off psych meds. I've been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder.

 

Thanks.   

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ChessieCat

Hi zolo and welcome to SA,

 

SA recommends tapering by no more than 10% of the current dose followed by a hold of about 4 weeks to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.  Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

When the drug is taken away too quickly we can get withdrawal symptoms:  Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptoms

 

If you are taking more than one drug, please put all the current drugs you are taking into the Drug Interactions Checker and copy and paste the results here in your Introduction topic.

 

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

 

This topic has links to Tips for Tapering various drugs and explains how to get the dose you need:  Important topics in the Tapering forum and FAQ

 

Sleep problems - that awful withdrawal insomnia

 

 

Please create your drug signature using the following format.   Keep it simple.  NO diagnoses or symptoms please - thank you.

  • details for last 2 years - dates, ALL drugs, doses
  • summary for older than 2 years - just years and drug/s

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

 

I will provide more information in the next couple of posts.  This is your own introductions topic where your can ask questions about your own situation and journal your progress.

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ChessieCat

Before you begin tapering what you need to know

 

Here's some additional information which might help you to understand what is happening:

 

Recovery isn't linear it happens in a Windows and Waves Pattern

 

Withdrawal Normal Description


When we take a psychiatric drug, we are adding chemical/s to the brain.  The brain then has to change to adapt to getting the chemical/s.  It might have to change something to do with A and then once that change has been made it affects B so another change has to be made and so on down the line.  It is a chain reaction, a domino effect.

 

The same thing happens when we take the drug away.  That's why it's possible to experience such a vast array of withdrawal symptoms, and they can change, and be of different intensity.

 

are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take

 

These explain it really well:

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

On 8/31/2011 at 5:28 AM, Rhiannon said:

When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay. When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse. SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long.

 

AND

 

On 12/4/2015 at 2:41 AM, apace41 said:

Basically- you have a building where the MAJOR steel structures are trying to be rebuilt at different times - ALL while people are coming and going in the building and attempting to work.

It would be like if the World Trade Center Towers hadn't completely fallen - but had crumbled inside in different places.. Imagine if you were trying to rebuild the tower - WHILE people were coming and going and trying to work in the building!  You'd have to set up a temporary elevator - but when you needed to fix part of that area, you'd have to tear down that elevator and set up a temporary elevator somewhere else. And so on. You'd have to build, work around, then tear down, then build again, then work around, then build... ALL while people are coming and going, ALL while the furniture is being replaced, ALL while the walls are getting repainted... ALL while life is going on INSIDE the building. No doubt it would be chaotic. That is EXACTLY what is happening with windows and waves.  The windows are where the body has "got it right" for a day or so - but then the building shifts and the brain works on something else - and it's chaos again while another temporary pathway is set up to reroute function until repairs are made.  

 

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ChessieCat

During any taper, there will be times of discomfort.  We strongly encourage members to learn and use non drug coping techniques to help get through tough times.

 

Understanding what is happening helps us to not get caught up with the second fear, or fear of the fear.  This happens when we experience sensations in our body and because we don't understand them we are scared of them and then start to panic.

 

This document has a diagram of the body explaining what happens in the body when we become anxious:

 

https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/docs/AnxietySelfHelp.pdf

 

 

Audio FEMALE VOICE:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)

 

Audio MALE VOICE:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)

 

Non-drug techniques to cope

 

dealing-with-emotional-spirals

 

Dr Claire Weekes suffered from anxiety and learned and taught ways of coping.  There are videos available on YouTube.

 

Claire Weekes' Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System

 

Audio:  How to Recover from Anxiety - Dr Claire Weekes

 

 
Resources:  Centre for Clinical Interventions (PDF modules that you can work through, eg:  Depression, Distress Intolerance, Health Anxiety, Low Self-Esteem, Panic Attacks, Perfectionism, Procrastination, Social Anxiety, Worrying)
 
On 4/28/2017 at 4:03 AM, brassmonkey said:

 

AAF: Acknowledge, Accept, Float.  It's what you have to do when nothing else works, and can be a very powerful tool in coping with anxiety.  The neuroemotional anxiety many of us feel during WD is directly caused by the drugs and their chemical reactions in the brain.  Making it so there is nothing we can do about them.  They won't respond to other drugs, relaxation techniques and the like.  They do, however, react very well to being ignored.  That's the concept behind AAF.  Acknowledge, get to know the feeling involved, explore them.  Accept, These feelings are a part of you and they aren't going anywhere fast. Float, let the feeling float off as you get on with your life as best as you can.  It's a well documented fact that the more you feed in to anxiety the worse it gets.  What starts as generalized neuroemotinal anxiety can be easily blown into a full fledged panic attack just by thinking about it.

 

I often liken it to an unwanted house guest.  At first you talk to them, have conversations, communicate with them.  After a while you figure out that they aren't leaving and there is nothing you can do to get rid of them.  So you go on about your day, working around them until they get bored and leave.

 

It can take some practice, but AAF really does work.  I hope you give it a try.

 

 

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zolo89

Hi,

I don't understand how to get off my meds at 10%? Is there an online program that can tell me how much to get off of for the 10%? The reason I'm asking is that I'm not that good at percents. 

 

Also, should I post what meds I'm taking? The reason I'm asking is that I'm at least on half a dozen or more meds.

 

Thanks.

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ChessieCat

Yes, we need to know what drugs your are currently taking and the doses and the dates.  If you don't know the exact date, please use early, mid, late and the month name.  We also need to know drugs which you have taken previously with the approximate years if it was longer than 2 years ago.

 

As an example for anything in the last 2 years:

 

drug name:  date, dose; date, dose; etc

drug name:  date, dose; date, dose; etc

etc

 

An example for anything more than 2 years ago that you are no longer taking.  If only taken for a short period of time include the length in brackets.  If only during 1 year only state that particular year:

 

drug name:  year to year (? yr ? mth)

drug name:  year to year (? yr ? mth)

etc

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ChessieCat

This is an Tapering Calculator - Online

 

If the drug dose is a difficult amount to measure and you need to round it, always round up so that you are reducing by a bit less than 10%.

 

The other way to calculate your new dose is to multiply the current dose by 0.9.  For example if the current dose is 75mg and you were reducing by 10%:  75mg x 0.9 = 67.5mg would be new dose to take.

 

If you have difficulties with the calculations or want to check that you have it right, please post here in your topic and we can help you.

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zolo89

This is my med list

 

Propranolol (inderal) generic 20 mg mfg: Actavi

 

Amantadin (symmetrel) generic 100mg mfg: Sandoz

 

Lisinopril (zestril) generic 10mg mfg: Mylan

 

Clozapine (Clozaril) generic 100mg mfg: Mylan

 

Clonazepam (klonopin) generic .5mg mfg: sandoz

 

Haloperidol (haldol) 5mg Mylan

 

 

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I've done the drugs interaction for all of your drugs in 2 different interaction checkers and posted the results below.

 

 

From https://reference.medscape.com/drug-interactionchecker

Monitor Closely

  • haloperidol + propranolol

    haloperidol will increase the level or effect of propranolol by affecting hepatic enzyme CYP2D6 metabolism. Use Caution/Monitor. If concurrent use cannot be avoided, cautious dosing and telemetric monitoring is advised. Coadministration of beta-blockers and haloperidol may cause an unexpected severe hypotensive reaction.

  • clozapine + haloperidol

    clozapine and haloperidol both increase antidopaminergic effects, including extrapyramidal symptoms and neuroleptic malignant syndrome. Use Caution/Monitor.

  • clonazepam + clozapine

    clonazepam and clozapine both increase sedation. Use Caution/Monitor.

  • clonazepam + haloperidol

    clonazepam and haloperidol both increase sedation. Use Caution/Monitor.

  • clozapine + haloperidol

    clozapine and haloperidol both increase sedation. Use Caution/Monitor.

  • haloperidol + clozapine

    haloperidol and clozapine both increase QTc interval. Use Caution/Monitor.

 

EDITED TO ADD:

  • propranolol + glipizide

    propranolol decreases effects of glipizide by pharmacodynamic antagonism. Use Caution/Monitor. Non selective beta blockers may also mask the symptoms of hypoglycemia.

  • lisinopril + glipizide

    lisinopril increases effects of glipizide by pharmacodynamic synergism. Use Caution/Monitor.

  • lisinopril + metformin

    lisinopril increases toxicity of metformin by unspecified interaction mechanism. Use Caution/Monitor. Increases risk for hypoglycemia and lactic acidosis.

  • clozapine + metformin

    clozapine, metformin. Other (see comment). Use Caution/Monitor. Comment: Atypical antipsychotics have been associated with hyperglycemia that may alter blood glucose control; monitor glucose levels closely.

  • clozapine + glipizide

    clozapine, glipizide. Other (see comment). Use Caution/Monitor. Comment: Atypical antipsychotics have been associated with hyperglycemia that may alter blood glucose control; monitor glucose levels closely.

 

EDITED TO ADD:

 

No additional interaction found using this checker for Depakote

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

From drugs.com

Interactions between your drugs

Major

haloperidol cloZAPine

Applies to: haloperidol, clozapine

Talk to your doctor before using cloZAPine together with haloperidol. CloZAPine can occasionally cause serious cardiovascular side effects such as low blood pressure and cardiac or respiratory arrest, and the risk may be greater in patients that are also receiving medications like haloperidol. Cardiovascular side effects are most likely to occur when cloZAPine is first started, when it is restarted following an interruption in therapy, or when the dose is increased rapidly. The risk and/or severity of other side effects may also be increased, including dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision, confusion, dry mouth, abdominal cramping, constipation, difficulty urinating, heat intolerance, palpitation, irregular heart rhythm, Parkinson-like symptoms, and abnormal muscle movements involving primarily the face and sometimes the limbs. You may need a dose adjustment or more frequent monitoring by your doctor to safely use both medications. Let your doctor know if you experience increased or excessive side effects at any time during treatment with these medications, and seek immediate medical attention if you develop sudden dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, shortness of breath, or fast or pounding heartbeats. Avoid driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you, and use caution when getting up from a sitting or lying position. If you miss your cloZAPine doses for two or more days, contact your doctor before you resume treatment, as you may need to restart at a lower dose. 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.

 

Moderate

haloperidol propranolol

Applies to: haloperidol, propranolol

Using haloperidol together with propranolol may cause low blood pressure. Contact your doctor if you experience fainting, dizziness or feeling like you might pass out, especially when getting up from a sitting or lying position. If your doctor does prescribe these medications together, you may need a dose adjustment or special test to safely use both medications. 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.

 

Moderate

clonazePAM lisinopril

Applies to: clonazepam, lisinopril

Lisinopril and clonazePAM may have additive effects in lowering your blood pressure. You may experience headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, and/or changes in pulse or heart rate. These side effects are most likely to be seen at the beginning of treatment, following a dose increase, or when treatment is restarted after an interruption. Let your doctor know if you develop these symptoms and they do not go away after a few days or they become troublesome. Avoid driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you, and use caution when getting up from a sitting or lying position. 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.

 

Moderate

haloperidol lisinopril

Applies to: haloperidol, lisinopril

Haloperidol and lisinopril may have additive effects in lowering your blood pressure. You may experience headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, and/or changes in pulse or heart rate. These side effects are most likely to be seen at the beginning of treatment, following a dose increase, or when treatment is restarted after an interruption. Let your doctor know if you develop these symptoms and they do not go away after a few days or they become troublesome. Avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you, and use caution when getting up from a sitting or lying position. 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.

 

Moderate

clonazePAM cloZAPine

Applies to: clonazepam, clozapine

Using clonazePAM together with cloZAPine 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.

 

Moderate

amantadine cloZAPine

Applies to: amantadine, clozapine

Using amantadine together with cloZAPine may increase side effects such as dry mouth, constipation, difficulty urinating, heat intolerance, confusion, and blurred vision. More severe side effects may rarely include hallucinations, seizures, irregular heart rhythm, and heat stroke. Side effects may be more likely to occur in the elderly or those with a debilitating condition. 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 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.

 

Moderate

propranolol cloZAPine

Applies to: propranolol, clozapine

CloZAPine and propranolol may have additive effects in lowering your blood pressure. You may experience headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, and/or changes in pulse or heart rate. These side effects are most likely to be seen at the beginning of treatment, following a dose increase, or when treatment is restarted after an interruption. Let your doctor know if you develop these symptoms and they do not go away after a few days or they become troublesome. Avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you, and use caution when getting up from a sitting or lying position. 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.

 

Moderate

propranolol clonazePAM

Applies to: propranolol, clonazepam

Propranolol and clonazePAM may have additive effects in lowering your blood pressure. You may experience headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, and/or changes in pulse or heart rate. These side effects are most likely to be seen at the beginning of treatment, following a dose increase, or when treatment is restarted after an interruption. Let your doctor know if you develop these symptoms and they do not go away after a few days or they become troublesome. Avoid driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you, and use caution when getting up from a sitting or lying position. 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.

 

Moderate

haloperidol clonazePAM

Applies to: haloperidol, clonazepam

Using haloperidol 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.

 

Moderate

haloperidol amantadine

Applies to: haloperidol, amantadine

Using amantadine together with haloperidol may increase side effects such as dry mouth, constipation, difficulty urinating, heat intolerance, confusion, and blurred vision. More severe side effects may rarely include hallucinations, seizures, irregular heart rhythm, and heat stroke. Side effects may be more likely to occur in the elderly or those with a debilitating condition. 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 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.

 

Moderate

cloZAPine lisinopril

Applies to: clozapine, lisinopril

CloZAPine and lisinopril may have additive effects in lowering your blood pressure. You may experience headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, and/or changes in pulse or heart rate. These side effects are most likely to be seen at the beginning of treatment, following a dose increase, or when treatment is restarted after an interruption. Let your doctor know if you develop these symptoms and they do not go away after a few days or they become troublesome. Avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you, and use caution when getting up from a sitting or lying position. 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.

 

Drug and food interactions

Moderate

haloperidol food

Applies to: haloperidol

Alcohol can increase the nervous system side effects of haloperidol such as dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating. Some people may also experience impairment in thinking and judgment. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with haloperidol. Do not use more than the recommended dose of haloperidol, and avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medication affects you. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns.

 

Moderate

propranolol food

Applies to: propranolol

Food can enhance the levels of propranolol in your body. You shoud take propranolol at the same time each day, preferably with or immediately following meals. This will make it easier for your body to absorb the medication. Avoid drinking alcohol, which could increase drowsiness and dizziness while you are taking propranolol. Propranolol is only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.

 

Moderate

cloZAPine food

Applies to: clozapine

Alcohol can increase the nervous system side effects of cloZAPine such as dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating. Some people may also experience impairment in thinking and judgment. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with cloZAPine. Do not use more than the recommended dose of cloZAPine, and avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medication affects you. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns.

 

Moderate

lisinopril food

Applies to: lisinopril

It is recommended that if you are taking lisinopril you should be advised to avoid moderately high or high potassium dietary intake. This can cause high levels of potassium in your blood. Do not use salt substitutes or potassium supplements while taking lisinopril, unless your doctor has told you to.

 

Therapeutic duplication warnings

Therapeutic duplication is the use of more than one medicine from the same drug category or therapeutic class to treat the same condition. This can be intentional in cases where drugs with similar actions are used together for demonstrated therapeutic benefit. It can also be unintentional in cases where a patient has been treated by more than one doctor, or had prescriptions filled at more than one pharmacy, and can have potentially adverse consequences.

Duplication
Duplication

UPDATED   Central Nervous System (CNS) Drugs

Therapeutic duplication

The recommended maximum number of medicines in the 'Central Nervous System (CNS) Drugs' category to be taken concurrently is usually three. Your list includes five medicines belonging to the 'Central Nervous System (CNS) Drugs' category:

  • amantadine
  • clozapine
  • clonazepam
  • haloperidol
  • Depakote (divalproex sodium)

Note: The benefits of taking this combination of medicines may outweigh any risks associated with therapeutic duplication. This information does not take the place of talking to your doctor. Always check with your healthcare provider to determine if any adjustments to your medications are needed.

Antipsychotics

Therapeutic duplication

The recommended maximum number of medicines in the 'antipsychotics' category to be taken concurrently is usually one. Your list includes two medicines belonging to the 'antipsychotics' category:

  • clozapine
  • haloperidol

Note: The benefits of taking this combination of medicines may outweigh any risks associated with therapeutic duplication. This information does not take the place of talking to your doctor. Always check with your healthcare provider to determine if any adjustments to your medications are needed.

 
EDITED TO ADD:
 
Moderate

glipiZIDE metFORMIN

Applies to: glipizide, metformin

Consumer information for this interaction is not currently available.

MONITOR: Coadministration of metformin with an insulin secretagogue (e.g., sulfonylurea, meglitinide) or insulin may potentiate the risk of hypoglycemia. Although metformin alone generally does not cause hypoglycemia under normal circumstances of use, the added therapeutic effect when combined with other antidiabetic agents may result in hypoglycemia. The risk is further increased when caloric intake is deficient or when strenuous exercise is not compensated by caloric supplementation.

MANAGEMENT: A lower dosage of the insulin secretagogue or insulin may be required when used with metformin. Blood glucose should be closely monitored, and patients should be educated on the potential signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia (e.g., headache, dizziness, drowsiness, nervousness, confusion, tremor, hunger, weakness, perspiration, palpitation, tachycardia) and appropriate remedial actions to take if it occurs. Patients should also be advised to take precautions to avoid hypoglycemia while driving or operating hazardous machinery.

 

Moderate

cloZAPine metFORMIN

Applies to: clozapine, metformin

CloZAPine may interfere with blood glucose control and reduce the effectiveness of metFORMIN and other diabetic medications. Monitor your blood sugar levels closely. You may need a dose adjustment of your diabetic medications during and after treatment with cloZAPine. 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.

 

Moderate

glipiZIDE lisinopril

Applies to: glipizide, lisinopril

Lisinopril can increase the effects of glipiZIDE and cause your blood sugar levels to get too low. Symptoms of low blood sugar include headache, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, hunger, tremor, weakness, sweating, and fast or pounding heartbeats. Talk with your doctor before using these medications together. You may need a dose adjustment or more frequent monitoring of your blood sugar if you have been using glipiZIDE and are starting treatment with lisinopril. 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.

 

Moderate

cloZAPine glipiZIDE

Applies to: clozapine, glipizide

CloZAPine may interfere with blood glucose control and reduce the effectiveness of glipiZIDE and other diabetic medications. Monitor your blood sugar levels closely. You may need a dose adjustment of your diabetic medications during and after treatment with cloZAPine. 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.

 

EDITED TO ADD:

 

Moderate

clonazePAM divalproex sodium

Applies to: clonazepam, Depakote (divalproex sodium)

Before taking clonazePAM, tell your doctor if you also use divalproex sodium. You may need dose adjustments or special tests in order to safely take both medications together. This combination may affect seizure control and cause drowsiness. You should avoid driving until you know how these medications will affect you. It is important that you tell your healthcare provider about all other medications that you are using including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using your medications without first talking to your doctor first.

 

Moderate

haloperidol divalproex sodium

Applies to: haloperidol, Depakote (divalproex sodium)

Using haloperidol together with divalproex sodium 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.

 

Moderate

divalproex sodium food

Applies to: Depakote (divalproex sodium)

Alcohol can increase the nervous system side effects of divalproex sodium such as dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating. Some people may also experience impairment in thinking and judgment. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with divalproex sodium. Do not use more than the recommended dose of divalproex sodium, and avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medication affects you. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added drug interaction check for glipizide and metformin (blue) and Depakote (green)

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ChessieCat

We need you to keep daily symptoms notes for the next 3 days and post them here in your introduction topic please.  This will allow the mods to assess your situation and come up with a plan to reduce your drug burden.

 

This is an example of how we need the information to be provided:

 

6 a.m. Woke with anxiety
8 a.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
10 a.m. Stomach is upset
10:30 a.m. Ate breakfast
11:35 a.m. Got a headache, lasted one hour
12:35 p.m. Ate lunch
4 p.m. Feel a bit better
5 p.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
6 p.m. Ate dinner
9:20 p.m. Headache
10:00 p.m. Took 50mg Seroquel
10:20 p.m. Feeling dizzy
10:30 p.m. Fell asleep
2:30 a.m. Woke, took 3mg Ambien (NOT "took 1/2 tablet Ambien")
2:45 a.m. Fell asleep
4:30 a.m. Woke but got back to sleep

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ChessieCat
8 hours ago, zolo89 said:

This is my med list

 

Propranolol (inderal) generic 20 mg mfg: Actavi

 

Amantadin (symmetrel) generic 100mg mfg: Sandoz

 

Lisinopril (zestril) generic 10mg mfg: Mylan

 

Clozapine (Clozaril) generic 100mg mfg: Mylan

 

Clonazepam (klonopin) generic .5mg mfg: sandoz

 

Haloperidol (haldol) 5mg Mylan

 

 

 

Could you please tell us when you started taking these drugs?

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Altostrata

Welcome, zolo.

 

8 hours ago, zolo89 said:

This is my med list

 

Propranolol (inderal) generic 20 mg mfg: Actavi

 

Amantadin (symmetrel) generic 100mg mfg: Sandoz

 

Lisinopril (zestril) generic 10mg mfg: Mylan

 

Clozapine (Clozaril) generic 100mg mfg: Mylan

 

Clonazepam (klonopin) generic .5mg mfg: sandoz

 

Haloperidol (haldol) 5mg Mylan

 

 

 

That is a lot of drugs. Have you been hospitalized recently? Have you recently been suicidal? Do you have a psychiatrist?

 

Do you get regular liver and kidney function tests? Did you ever have a movement disorder?

 

Why are you taking 2 drugs, propranolol and lisinoprol, to lower blood pressure? How long have you been taking each drug? What times of day do you take each of them, and at what dosages?

 

Why are you taking 2 antipsychotics, clozapine and halperidol? How long have you been taking each drug? What times of day do you take each of them, and at what dosages?

 

Why are you taking clonazepam? How long have you been taking each drug? What times of day do you take each of them, and at what dosages?

 

The drug interaction report Chessie posted indicates that the drug combinations could indeed be causing memory and concentration problems. Clonazepam, clozapine, and haloperidol can do this on their own.

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zolo89
56 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

 

Could you please tell us when you started taking these drugs?

 

I don't remember when I started taking the drugs. All I know is that I used to take Abilify. I would have to ask my psychiatrist. All I know is that I've been taking psych drugs period since 2007. Also, I didn't take my drugs at all last night and went to sleep with a pharmaceutical med I bought at the dollar store. I still won't most likely take my meds tonight. But will take them starting this Sunday through Friday and only not take them on Wednesday night into Thursday.

 

27 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

Welcome, zolo.

 

 

That is a lot of drugs. Have you been hospitalized recently? Have you recently been suicidal? Do you have a psychiatrist?

 

Do you get regular liver and kidney function tests? Did you ever have a movement disorder?

 

Why are you taking 2 drugs, propranolol and lisinoprol, to lower blood pressure? How long have you been taking each drug? What times of day do you take each of them, and at what dosages?

 

Why are you taking 2 antipsychotics, clozapine and halperidol? How long have you been taking each drug? What times of day do you take each of them, and at what dosages?

 

Why are you taking clonazepam? How long have you been taking each drug? What times of day do you take each of them, and at what dosages?

 

The drug interaction report Chessie posted indicates that the drug combinations could indeed be causing memory and concentration problems. Clonazepam, clozapine, and haloperidol can do this on their own.

 

Yes, I have a psychiatrist who in my opinion is like a dictator because he's unopen to getting me off my meds. My last psychiatrist was willing to try to get me off my meds totally, but he retired. I also can't drive and have to get driven to another city in my state in order to get to him. I'm trying to get a new psychiatrist that's closer to me so I can take the bus or at least go by public transportation or just get a shorter ride there. My state health insurance pays for my meds since my state Massachusetts has MassHealth. I was in the hospital almost a year ago because of depression / suicidal attempts / suicidal thoughts it was actually primarily because of school (university) that I tried committing suicide. If I end up not going to school (university) or my financial aid is cut off then I'm going to just try to teach myself math or go to math classes outside of a university. I also want to learn to code/program. I want to do engineering (electrical/mechanical) and eventually want to get a Ph.D., but I'm in my late 20's and still going to community college. I ended passing my last semester with two B's. Thanks.   

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Altostrata

The reason your psychiatrist and the hospital put you on all these drugs is because they don't want you to get anywhere near a suicide attempt. They'd rather you be in a walking coma.

 

Why do you think you can take all those drugs only a few days a week?

 

In our experience, irregular dosing causes very bad problems -- withdrawal symptoms followed by weird reactions to the drugs when you start taking them again; often sleep disturbance as well.

 

If you behave in any unusual way in public, you may be put back in the hospital and given even more drugs.

 

Even a bad psychiatrist knows drug duplication (2 antipsychotics, 2 blood pressure drugs) is not good. You need to discuss the unnecessary duplication of drugs with your psychiatrist and, rather than insisting on going off altogether, request his help in minimizing them.

 

You should also require periodic kidney and liver function tests, at least twice a year. Speak firmly and clearly, but do not get angry, cry, or beg.

 

Yes, you need a new psychiatrist. Surely there are others in Boston?

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zolo89
14 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

The reason your psychiatrist and the hospital put you on all these drugs is because they don't want you to get anywhere near a suicide attempt. They'd rather you be in a walking coma.

 

Why do you think you can take all those drugs only a few days a week?

 

In our experience, irregular dosing causes very bad problems -- withdrawal symptoms followed by weird reactions to the drugs when you start taking them again; often sleep disturbance as well.

 

If you behave in any unusual way in public, you may be put back in the hospital and given even more drugs.

 

Even a bad psychiatrist knows drug duplication (2 antipsychotics, 2 blood pressure drugs) is not good. You need to discuss the unnecessary duplication of drugs with your psychiatrist and, rather than insisting on going off altogether, request his help in minimizing them.

 

You should also require periodic kidney and liver function tests, at least twice a year. Speak firmly and clearly, but do not get angry, cry, or beg.

 

Yes, you need a new psychiatrist. Surely there are others in Boston?

 

Thanks. I noticed that when I just took the dollar store med I didn't notice my tiredness and slept light to medium. I noticed that when I took my med Thursday into Friday that I tried making myself stay awake until 11 pm and was knocked out to the point of where I was asleep partially in my Friday music class. I took the dollar store med and the two nights I didn't take my psych meds I ended up having a light to medium sleep. I think the only reason I've been awake since 3 am this morning is that of a lucid dream technique I tried doing where I have to awaken after 6 hours.  I also have a relative who cooks for me and we mostly eat meat. I'm trying to eat a vegan diet since I have diabetes type 2 and take in addition metformin and glipizide. Also, I want to know if on this forum I can talk about my interests/diet?

 

I'll make a journal/note taking starting tomorrow.

 

Thanks. 

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Altostrata

To help us out, follow these instructions Please put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature

 

Please note this is a site for going off drugs, not for adjusting a drug cocktail. To go off drugs, you need to be in control of them, which means keeping to a dosing schedule.We cannot work with people who take their drugs on an irregular schedule.

 

Generally, to avoid withdrawal symptoms, we advise reducing one drug at a time -- usually by very small amounts -- and observing what happens. Because you are taking your drugs irregularly, if you get an odd symptom, we won't know what caused it.

 

In addition, if those odd symptoms cause you to be arrested or hospitalized, you will have a huge setback in your quest to go off drugs.

 

You need to add metformin and glipizide to your list of potential drug-drug interactions.

 

If you've been taking antipsychotics for some years, it's likely your diabetes is an adverse effect of the drugs. Have you discussed this with your doctors? That alone is a good reason to minimize the antipsychotics.

 

You might want to discuss a vegan diet here

 

or drug-induced diabetes here

 

 

 

 

 

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ChessieCat
13 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

You need to add metformin and glipizide to your list of potential drug-drug interactions.

 

I've added them to this post.

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zolo89

I'll have to get the history from my psychiatrist's office. I don't know/forgot when I first took the meds. I'll just take my meds until then. I have enough for a least one more month.

 

Thanks.

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Altostrata

All we need is approximate years. Is there anything you're taking now that you've taken less than a year?

 

You also need to go to your pharmacy and have them run a drug interaction report to take to your psychiatrist. That is an awful drug cocktail, with lots of interactions.

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zolo89

I think the only thing I didn't mention that I've been taking for almost (less than) a year is Depakote 500mg. I'm sorry I didn't mention it.  Also what advice/recommendations do you think I should do?  Should I take my meds regularly? The reason I'm asking is that last night I awoke because of my lucid dreaming alarm and haven't been as tired physically just mentally. I have work for school due this Monday / Tuesday and just want to be able to stay up longer so I can do it. 

 

Thanks.

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ChessieCat
28 minutes ago, zolo89 said:

Depakote 500mg

 

This has been added to the drug interaction list in this post.

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Altostrata

zolo, are you under court order or otherwise required to fill these prescriptions?

 

If I were you, I'd make finding a new psychiatrist your top priority. That is a dangerous mix of drugs.

 

How often do you skip doses, and which drugs do you skip? I need the entire list, how often you take each drug.

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zolo89

No, I'm not on a court order for taking my meds. But I've already found another place that's willing to give me a new psychiatrist.

 

And to ChessieCat I'm going to have a log for this Friday through Saturday. 

 

Thanks.

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ChessieCat
On 2/10/2019 at 3:24 PM, Altostrata said:

How often do you skip doses, and which drugs do you skip? I need the entire list, how often you take each drug.

 

Please answer Alto's questions.

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zolo89

I take all the meds at night (I stopped taking them in the morning). I usually skip them on Wednesday nights into Thursday morning. Friday night into Saturday night and Saturday night into Sunday.

 

When I skip them I skip all of the meds and take the sleep aid Diphenhydramine HCI 25mg.

 

Thanks.

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Altostrata

I need times of day and dose amounts for your entire weekly schedule. Thanks.

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Carmie

Hi zolo, 

 

( Autocorrect wanted to change your name to Solo, must be a Star Wars fan like me😄). 

 

How are you doing? Have you kept a daily symptoms log at home? Alto needs a whole week’s log, could you please put it here on your thread. Thanks a lot.

 

Could you also please put in your drug signature. ChessieCat gave you a link to that.

 

Why do you keep skipping meds? It’s really not a good idea to do that, your brain will be all over the place and you will get bad withdrawals. You need to stick to the same doses at the same time. 

 

Again, please put in your daily logs so we can help you. The meds you’re taking are an awful drug cocktail, as Alto said. We can’t help you unless we know exactly what you’re taking and when. Did you go to the pharmacy and have the drug interactions checked?

 

Wishing you all the best💚

 

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zolo89

I had kept a log for 3 days. I'll do the week instead. 

 

Thanks.

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zolo89

Hi,
I got a new psychiatrist. I haven't met the actual psychiatrist yet. I was supposed to see a nurse practitioner this Wednesday but can't see her because the place didn't fill in my PT1 (which is a form I sign 48 hours+ plus online to get a ride there). I've been taking my Clozaril once a day (one 100 mg pill) instead of two a day. I mostly sleep light and can't do a lucid dream technique I want to try because the technique requires that I sleep and awaken after 4 to 6 hours of sleep.  If / when I get a reply can I post the link of the site for the lucid dreaming technique on here or can I post it on another part of this forum? 

 

Thanks.

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ChessieCat

The lucid dreaming technique does not sound like it would be suitable for members of SA.  I don't think that it is something that members who are tapering and/or experiencing withdrawal symptoms should be trying.

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zolo89
11 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

The lucid dreaming technique does not sound like it would be suitable for members of SA.  I don't think that it is something that members who are tapering and/or experiencing withdrawal symptoms should be trying.

Is there anything I can do to get help (on this forum) to get off my meds? I can do a log if you want.

 

Thanks.

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zolo89

Hi,

This is the list of meds I take. I just considered that my doctor's office posts what I take on my account.

 

Haldol 5mg
Klonopin .5mg
Amantadine 100mg
Clozaril 100mg (two of  these)
Depakote 500Mg (two of these)
Docusate Sodium 100mg (twice daily)
Lisinopril 10mg
Metformin 1000mg (twice daily)
Insulin 25 units once daily
Glipizide 5mg (twice daily)

 

Thanks.

 

 

 

 

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ChessieCat

Please create your drug signature using the following format.   Keep it simple.  NO diagnoses or symptoms please - thank you.

  • details for last 2 years - dates, ALL drugs, doses
  • summary for older than 2 years - just years and drug/s

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

 

Please provide this additional information as requested previously:

 

On 2/16/2019 at 5:11 AM, Altostrata said:

 

I need times of day and dose amounts for your entire weekly schedule. Thanks.

 

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ChessieCat
6 hours ago, zolo89 said:

I can do a log if you want.

 

This would be helpful.  It helps the mods to see any pattern and might help them to suggest which drug to taper, or reduce, first.  To start, please provide three (3) consecutive days and post them here in your intro topic.

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zolo89

Should the log contain what I do in a day? Or should it just be feelings?

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Altostrata

Hi, zolo. Sorry for all the requests for documentation, that might be confusing.

 

We ask that you put a drug summary in your signature so we can see it at a glance when we respond to your posts. It can be your current drug schedule and when you started each of your current drugs, if you can remember.

 

The daily log is to see which drugs are causing adverse effects. We don't need to see your other activities or feelings, just your drug schedule and how you feel after you take a drug -- which may cause an effect some hours later. So we'll want to know when you get sleepy or agitated, if that happens.

 

For what reason was the Depakote added? If you remove drugs, you have to make sure you don't behave in a way that would attract attention from "authorities." If you get sent back to the hospital, you'll be piled with drugs again.
 

The drug combination you're taking would sedate a horse, it's  no wonder you are so sluggish when you take your drugs. Also, appalling that no doctor has remarked upon the diabetes caused by your excessive drug cocktail.

 

Doctors can be complacent about ridiculous drug cocktails. As long as the patient doesn't complain, they often don't bother to check for drug-drug interactions and prefer to leave well enough alone even if they know the combinations are excessive.

 

When you see your new doctor, you might say, calmly and firmly, that you fear the drug duplication in your cocktail is unnecessary and contributing to your diabetes, memory problems, and lack of energy. You might say you haven't had a suicidal thought in x years. Please let us know how that discussion goes.

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