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hayduke: coming off olanzapine / Zyprexa

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hayduke

@BadMedicine  Others here will have advice for you on how to untangle the sertraline from the olanzapine.  I'm not at all fond of my original prescriber but I'm glad he at least didn't stack me on multiple drugs.

 

You can get syringes cheaply at most chemists.  I had to try a few for the larger sizes but they're common enough.  Fleabay is also another option, pipettes are also easily found on there.

 

I've done a lot of crying on and while coming off this drug!  Lately less so since doing the deep work on the trauma, but I never mind a good cry :-)

 

Cheers

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hayduke

After the extra week holding due to the move, on Monday I made a 0.05mg cut to 1.625mg which has been fine.  A little energy boost with that, it seems.  Work is demanding as usual, and getting used to new routines but sleeping better and more relaxed here. 

 

Not missing the magnesium baths as much as I'd thought.  Being in a more natural environment and using the topical Mg seems fine.  Though after all the moving and unpacking I might try and sneak a bath at someone's place at some stage 🙂

 

Gave up on the creatine/coenzyme q10 supplements.  I feel they helped with energy but I was putting on belly fat really fast with them.  Guess I'll save those for days before long bushwalks or push bike rides.

 

Made another slight cut to my coffee intake as well, now at 6.25g / day.  Might try 6.0 when I make the next olanzapine cut to 1.575mg.  Cutting both at the same time seems fairly complementary, as the olanzapine cuts can be energising and the coffee cuts relaxing.

 

Very glad to be out of the big smoke (and a bit resentful of having to commute back when I have to work in town).  A good healing environment.  So much wildlife at my front door - bush turkeys, magpies, sulphur crested cockatoos, red parrots, rainbow lorikeets, willy wagtails, bellbirds, lyre birds a bit further into the bush, a galah living in a tree right outside and others I don't even know yet...and dolphins at the beach yesterday!

 

Cheers

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BadMedicine

Hey Hayduke. Glad to hear everything is going well with your latest drop. I was wondering how low you were planning to go before jumping off completely? 

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hayduke
8 hours ago, BadMedicine said:

Hey Hayduke. Glad to hear everything is going well with your latest drop. I was wondering how low you were planning to go before jumping off completely? 

 

Hi BadMedicine,

 

Shooting from the hip here but I'd estimate another year or more before I get to that stage.  I'm waiting to get a lot closer to zero and see how things are feeling before planning the jump...the terrain will be different around there.  But right now I doubt I'd consider stopping above 0.1 or 0.05 mg - I know those are quite manageable intervals at this stage (~1.5mg).  Because of the long tail on the graph I might go even lower first, but I'll know when I get there.

 

How's your taper going?

 

Cheers

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BadMedicine

Gosh it's a long road isn't it but I guess it's worth taking it so slow if it means the taper is successful and relatively painless.

I am holding at the moment at 5mg (down from 10). we are going on holiday (myself and the husband) in 2 weeks time and will recommence my taper when we get back. I think from reading around this site I might have to do the sertraline first before I carry on with the olanzapine taper though. Thanks for asking. 

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hayduke

Yep, it's a frustratingly drawn-out process confounded by having to make the cuts smaller the more you go...the closer you get the more you have to slow down.  The continual, repeated discomfort of the cuts gets tiring and disheartening.  Brass monkey's method of holding for two extra weeks after each four cuts gives me a much-needed break from that. 

 

It's still the way to go though.  When my initial prescriber said the stats aren't very good for people coming off I'm sure he was talking about people stopping overnight or over a month.  He had no concept of a taper.

 

Plus yeah, holding down the job, being increasingly functional, emotional intelligence and relationships improving, watching all the improvements as the dose goes down...all satisfying milestones along the way.  Helps maintain an appreciation of patience.

 

But yeah is it ever trying!  Hang in there :-)

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hayduke

Been having fluey symptoms but I don't think it's actually the flu.  Will see over the next week or so.  Feels like the residual fatigue from the move a few weeks ago is catching up with me.  Stayed in bed till 3pm yesterday, which isn't all bad honestly.

 

Weather here's terrible across several states with high winds and snowstorms in some places, feeling cooped up staying indoors.  Though enjoying cooking a lot of tasty healthy food.

 

Been feeling some strong emotions coming up, some relating to a long time ago.  Feels like I'm reconnecting to my life situation before I was having major issues, as part of the healing process.  Like there's room here now to start working on all these things properly since moving.

 

Will see tomorrow night about making another small cut as 4/4 in this set of the slide taper, or might hold for another week if I feel that's better.

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ChessieCat

We are getting winds where I am.  Wind has always made me feel edgy and irritable.

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hayduke

Yeah, it inspires restlessness in me too, especially after 3 days of it.  It seemed to calm a bit before so I went for a stroll for a couple of hours, feeling better after that.  Didn't stay long at the beach though, the wind picked up again there but some calm spots along the way.

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BadMedicine

Sorry to hear you are not feeling so good Hayduke. Hope you feel better soon. Do you think it's a withdrawal effect from your last drop or just that you are generally unwell?

I have to say I've noticed some strong emotions on reducing the dosage of the olanzapine. I think they do dull your emotions whilst you are taking them. The emotions can be quite hard to deal with but at the same time it's nice to feel again and to develop more healthy ways of dealing with the emotion that I guess is necessary for complete healing. 

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hayduke

Thanks BadMedicine.  I think it's accumulated stress from the move, the fact that I still have to work during the move and withdrawals and all that jazz just piling up.  It's possible I caught a bug from someone sneezing in the lift (where on earth do they not teach people to cover), but I think it's really just my body wanting some time out.  I started thinking about holiday plans last night.

 

Yeah, the olanzapine absolutely dulls emotions.  Neurochemistry aside, subjectively the slow taper allows time to process them as they get revealed like the tide going out.  It's all utterly and sometimes painfully familiar what's coming up, except now I have the experience and support to process it and work out what I'd like to do instead of being swept away.

 

That said, last night I did feel an overwhelming sense of loss from a long time ago, pretty fundamental situation in my life picture.  A lot of anger and frustration went with it.  I'll be catching up with my supportive psychologist soon enough and will talk about this stuff, but in the instant I chose to just take a whole 2.5mg tablet for the one night and 'clobber' it, which I've done maybe half a dozen times over several years of tapering.  Tonight I reverted to my normal tapering schedule and will continue.  I suspect the SSRIs are less forgiving when used like this but with the olanzapine I find equilibrium again pretty quickly.  I ate healthy, applied a ton of magnesium and slept for 10 hours.  I was heartened that one dose of 2.5mg was enough to squelch any problematic symptoms overnight given it's already considered a very low dose.  It's all relative I think.

 

Today I woke up a little groggy but fine, work went well and I took a walk on the beach which was particularly good. 

 

My tapering schedule has been a bit ambitious given the stress of the recent move so it's just a question of patience.  A three week hold and some holidays should help!  And yes, it is very enlivening to start feeling these emotions properly again whether dark, bittersweet or joyful.  I'm looking forward to having it all grounded and sorted out in the future.

 

Cheers

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hayduke

Relaxed, tired and happy after a few days of R&R with good friends.

 

Holding at 1.5mg for a few weeks now.

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Carmie
On 8/17/2019 at 7:40 PM, hayduke said:

Relaxed, tired and happy after a few days of R&R with good friends.

 

Holding at 1.5mg for a few weeks now.

 

Hi Hayduke, 

 

Thanks for popping around to my thread. You’re doing so well with your taper, I’m so happy for you. 1.5mg!  Good idea to hold longer when you have a lot going on. Glad you had a fun time with your friends, my friends keep me going too.

 

Sending hugs🤗

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Miko789
On 7/20/2019 at 12:57 PM, Bee5 said:

 

I was on olanzapine at the end of 2015. Dropping from 7.5 mg to 5 mg was horrific, and I got akathisia. I would not recommend a drop this size to anyone. But if you feel ok, then I am happy for you.

 

Hi Bee5,

How you counteract it akathsia,? ( restlessness and anxiety).

What was your symptoms?

 

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hayduke
On 8/25/2019 at 6:52 PM, Carmie said:

 

Hi Hayduke, 

 

Thanks for popping around to my thread. You’re doing so well with your taper, I’m so happy for you. 1.5mg!  Good idea to hold longer when you have a lot going on. Glad you had a fun time with your friends, my friends keep me going too.

 

Sending hugs🤗

 

Hey Carmie.  Yeah 1.5mg ...so close but still feels like a long way to go.  Thanks for reminding me I've come a long way too!  Friends to me are the best reason for being here and spending time with them the best thing to do 🙂

 

I know you've been having a tough time of it lately, I hope things are starting to get better for you.  I see you've made another cut, bravo...wishing you a smooth ride.

 

*hugs*

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hayduke
On 8/26/2019 at 12:04 AM, Miko789 said:

 

Hi Bee5,

How you counteract it akathsia,? ( restlessness and anxiety).

What was your symptoms?

 

 

Hi Miko,

 

I can't speak for Bee5, but I find making cuts too rapidly or too large tends to bring it on.  Other things that might help are avoiding big releases of dopamine like drinking a lot of alcohol or smoking lots of weed. 

 

Also soaking in a bath with Epsom Salts or magnesium chloride doesn't seem to hurt.  Hope it settles down for you soon.

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hayduke

Have been on the go the last few weeks, busy with work, busy with social occasions and various errands, and on the road more than I'd prefer.  It's all exciting and constructive, but feeling overstimulated and just wanting quiet and rest for a while.

 

Going to take some holidays soon just to unwind and hang out in nature and with friends.  Some fun gatherings in the pipeline, too.

 

The hold at 1.5mg has been fairly comfortable though I'm considering extending for another week just from running red hot for so long.  Noticed when I had to sit still in a conference all day and was feeling very tired I was getting restless and fidgetty...probably not that unusual!  Especially since I had a second coffee.  Now down to 5.5g of espresso a day, most days.

 

Have been having epsom salts foot baths since I don't have a full bath tub.  They seem to help quite a bit.

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Miko789
On 8/30/2019 at 7:27 AM, hayduke said:

 

Hi Miko,

 

I can't speak for Bee5, but I find making cuts too rapidly or too large tends to bring it on.  Other things that might help are avoiding big releases of dopamine like drinking a lot of alcohol or smoking lots of weed. 

 

Also soaking in a bath with Epsom Salts or magnesium chloride doesn't seem to hurt.  Hope it settles down for you soon.

 

 

yes, true,

 

Good idea with the epsom salts,

also do sauna in summer , helps take the toxins off with lifting mood,

you tapering olanzapine with syringe? how you do that? let me know, I cut in quarters using pill cutter but have some issues

are you exercising regularly? equally important as good diet

I 'm not  into  drinking  alcohol , I only do light  tobacco and drink decaf latte espresso.

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hayduke
9 hours ago, Miko789 said:

yes, true,

 

Good idea with the epsom salts,

also do sauna in summer , helps take the toxins off with lifting mood,

you tapering olanzapine with syringe? how you do that? let me know, I cut in quarters using pill cutter but have some issues

are you exercising regularly? equally important as good diet

I 'm not  into  drinking  alcohol , I only do light  tobacco and drink decaf latte espresso.

 

Sauna's a good suggestion, thanks.  Yes, pretty regular exercise/cardio.  I get a lot out of yoga, and lately especially restorative yoga.

 

I used a pill cutter to do 10 -> 7 1/2 -> 6 2/3 -> 5 but it was useless below 5, way too inaccurate.

 

From 5mg and down I used a 60 ml syringe to measure out 50ml of suspension and then remove the amount of the cut.  These days I use a pipette at home.  Rhi details it pretty thoroughly in

Cheers

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hayduke

Thanks ChessieCat, I'll report back if I try the sauna.

 

Re fat solubility, I am quite certain from personal experience doing intense cardio workouts a day or three after eating weed brownies that THC/CBD can be released that way.  I wouldn't care to guess if the same is true of olanzapine but I did read it's lipophilic.

 

I do moderate exercise now, not as much as before the taper, but enough cardio to stay fairly fit.  Regardless of fat solubility of the compound, my intention at the end of the taper is to build back up to more serious cardio and dieting to burn off remaining fat around my belly and between my organs.  Just for all round health, get rid of the unwanted pounds from the unwanted drug, stave off diabetes etc.  Better sooner rather than later now I'm sporting some grey hairs.  Flushing any residual drug compounds out after the taper has plateaued at zero would be a bonus.  That's a way off yet, but I'll post how I go then.

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hayduke

A quick update.  Feeling pretty good, decided to hold at 1.5mg for an extra week.  Not out of any immediate sense of problems, just a sense that a little extra stability there will be welcome.

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Bee5
On 8/25/2019 at 4:04 PM, Miko789 said:

 

Hi Bee5,

How you counteract it akathsia,? ( restlessness and anxiety).

What was your symptoms?

 

 

Symptoms: feeling of terror, feeling of doom, complete inability to sleep, inability to relax, inability to stay in any position for more than 5 minutes. It is difficult to say which of these symptoms are the worst, but in combination, I felt so bad that I was willing to do anything for the feeling to stop.

My psychiatrist at the time refused to acknowledge that it could be related to olanzapine withdrawal. She did, however, lower the magnitude of the cuts (I knew nothing about tapering at the time). I think I had I stated the cuts incorrectly in my first reply to you. She took me from 15 mg, to 10 mg, to 5 mg. It was the move from 10 mg to 5 mg that started the akathisia. She then moved me back up to 10 mg, then down to 7.5 mg, then down to 5 mg, then down to 2.5 mg (if I recall correctly, she made me drop every week).

I was also developing interdose withdrawal to ativan (lorazepam) at the time, so it's hard to know what caused what. But the slower taper did help. At 2.5 mg, she swopped me to an 'equivalent' dose of quetiapine (I think 300 mg), but I don't know if this is an exact science.

Thereafter, she stepped me down on my quetiapine doses. 

But to answer your question, akathisia can only be counteracted by a slow taper, to my knowledge. There is nothing that can help you when you have it, except to go back to the previous dose and taper slower.

Some people believe that certain medications can help to reduce the terror, but we are not allowed to recommend any medications on this site.

How are you feeling now?

 

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Carmie
On 9/2/2019 at 9:58 PM, hayduke said:

A quick update.  Feeling pretty good, decided to hold at 1.5mg for an extra week.  Not out of any immediate sense of problems, just a sense that a little extra stability there will be welcome.

 

Glad you’re feeling good Hayduke, 

 

Yes, holding for a bit longer when you’re already stable can be good for us as it gives us a little extra normalcy here and there. Enjoy that extra week. 

 

Sending hugs🤗

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Miko789
On 9/1/2019 at 1:32 AM, hayduke said:

 

Sauna's a good suggestion, thanks.  Yes, pretty regular exercise/cardio.  I get a lot out of yoga, and lately especially restorative yoga.

 

I used a pill cutter to do 10 -> 7 1/2 -> 6 2/3 -> 5 but it was useless below 5, way too inaccurate.

 

From 5mg and down I used a 60 ml syringe to measure out 50ml of suspension and then remove the amount of the cut.  These days I use a pipette at home.  Rhi details it pretty thoroughly in

Cheers

 

 

you dissolve in 60ml syringe  the 2,5mg tablet and you measure 50ml then,?

thanks,

Cheers

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hayduke
2 hours ago, Miko789 said:

 

 

you dissolve in 60ml syringe  the 2,5mg tablet and you measure 50ml then,?

thanks,

Cheers

 

Here’s how I do it.

 

In this example I want to take 1.5mg but I only have a 2.5mg tablet.

  

I use a spreadsheet to do these maths.  Plenty of examples around the forum.

 

1.5/2.5 == 0.6, or 60% ( the amount of the tablet I want to ingest )

 

0.6 of 50 ml == 30 ml ( amount of liquid suspension to ingest )

 

50 - 30 == 20 ml ( amount of liquid suspension to discard )

 

- pour a glass (1) of filtered water

- have an empty glass (2) as well

- draw 50ml of filtered water from glass (1) into syringe/pipette

- eject the 50ml water into the empty glass (2)

- drop the 2.5mg tablet into the glass (2) of 50ml water

- wait a few mins then agitate the liquid in glass (2) to make a suspension (draw the syringe in and out with its tip in the glass to mix it)

- promply draw out the 20 ml (or whichever amount you calculated) waste portion from glass (2) and discard the 20 ml into sink

- drink contents of glass (2), which is now 30 ml or 1.5mg of the compound

- fill glass (2) with water from glass (1) and drink to get the dregs

- clean your kit and store for next day

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Miko789
16 hours ago, hayduke said:

 

Here’s how I do it.

 

In this example I want to take 1.5mg but I only have a 2.5mg tablet.

  

I use a spreadsheet to do these maths.  Plenty of examples around the forum.

 

1.5/2.5 == 0.6, or 60% ( the amount of the tablet I want to ingest )

 

0.6 of 50 ml == 30 ml ( amount of liquid suspension to ingest )

 

50 - 30 == 20 ml ( amount of liquid suspension to discard )

 

- pour a glass (1) of filtered water

- have an empty glass (2) as well

- draw 50ml of filtered water from glass (1) into syringe/pipette

- eject the 50ml water into the empty glass (2)

- drop the 2.5mg tablet into the glass (2) of 50ml water

- wait a few mins then agitate the liquid in glass (2) to make a suspension (draw the syringe in and out with its tip in the glass to mix it)

- promply draw out the 20 ml (or whichever amount you calculated) waste portion from glass (2) and discard the 20 ml into sink

- drink contents of glass (2), which is now 30 ml or 1.5mg of the compound

- fill glass (2) with water from glass (1) and drink to get the dregs

- clean your kit and store for next day

 

ok,

 

10% would be 2,25mg, next cut

 

so 2,25/2,5 =0,9

 

so 0,9 = 90% of 50ml  =45ml

 

I eject the  50ml water  in glass   with the 2,5 tablet agitate and stir  and  draw  out the 5ml with the syringe and discard in the sink.

and drink the 45ml or 2,25mg of the compound,

then fill glass with water and drink to get the dregs,

 

i noticed from your diagram in signature you are doing 5% cuts or lower, is that correct? how is it?

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hayduke

@Miko789 sounds like you're off to a good start!

 

I've been trying two approaches using <10% cuts.

 

The first is the micro-taper.  The idea is by making very fine, gradual cuts mapped out along a line or curve that each day's cut will be small enough that the body/brain won't really notice it day to day.  I didn't find that to be the case with the olanzapine.  It just made most days uncomfortable.

 

The second approach which I'm happier with so far is using

 as a template.  The cuts are more gradual than straight 10%/mo but you also get periods of rest from the dose reductions.  The two week hold after every 4 2.5% cuts usually winds up being quite comfortable.  Sometimes I will hang out on the 'plateau' there a bit longer if that seems more comfortable or sensible.

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hayduke
On 9/9/2019 at 8:31 AM, Carmie said:

 

Glad you’re feeling good Hayduke, 

 

Yes, holding for a bit longer when you’re already stable can be good for us as it gives us a little extra normalcy here and there. Enjoy that extra week. 

 

Sending hugs🤗

 

Thanks Carmie!  Glad I did take that extra week this time round.  Hope you're going well!  *hugs*

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hayduke

After 3 weeks of holding at 1.5mg I felt ready enough to try 1.460mg from Monday on.  So far so good, though I have been a bit irritable and waking slowly this morning while wanting more sleep I felt a rather mild sensation I assume is a 'brain zap'.  Somehow it was a moment of red colour in my visual field (eyes were shut, still dozing) and I didn't feel particularly bad afterwards.

 

But I will definitely take it as a sign that I really need to push back on a ton of stressful things that have been going on.

 

I've put in for a few weeks holidays really soon.  Wanting to wind down and just be a beach bum after the move, and I've been working pretty much non stop all year including through the really full-on therapy around easter.  I like my work but I need a break.

 

In a more enlightened society you can imagine people would be given some time off to deal with trauma comfortably when it arises, without being coerced to keep being 'productive' during that time, whatever that might mean.  And I'm out of medicare rebates for the psychologist for the year, even though I am no doubt saving the system a ton by being proactive about my healing.  One day!

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hayduke

A graph of my taper from 5mg and below to date.  I'll try and update this once in a while.

taper-2019-09-13.thumb.png.39aa246c881db46647a129b6818fd9f2.png

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Carmie

Hi Hayduke, 

 

How are you going with your latest drop?💚

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hayduke
On 9/20/2019 at 2:51 PM, Carmie said:

Hi Hayduke, 

 

How are you going with your latest drop?💚

 

Hey Carmie,

 

I got my holidays, yay!  Now just starting to decompress.  I haven't had a proper break since January, which had its own demands anyway, and I did all the EMDR work around Easter.  Realising how quiet my mind is now since doing the EMDR, and marvelling and grateful for that.  Really relieved to finally have the chance to let myself catch up with all of that, and the move - glad I'm in a nice place now! 

 

The cuts are going ok, recalculated my cuts again to match the reduced amount, and that's feeling better than during the last set.  It feels slow sometimes but really the progress isn't bad at all.  Again, good to have some downtime where my brain doesn't have to worry about acting 'professional' and I can just be a beach bum.  Being able to go out in nature and open my senses is very healing, it feels like drinking in lots of cool fresh water after being parched for a very long time.

 

Been catching up with friends, vegging in front of the telly, see what else I feel like once I've recharged a bit 🙂

 

Hope things are going well with you!

 

Cheers,

Hayduke

 

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Carmie

Enjoy your holidays Hayduke, yay🎉🎉

 

I’m glad your cuts are going okay, and best of all I’m glad you’ll be able to get out in nature, there is nothing better.💚

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hayduke

Cut to 1.38mg on Monday night.  Seem to be sleeping a bit more lightly since then, though not too badly (7.5 - 9hrs), spring time probably has a bit to do with that too.  Last few weeks my sleep cycle's been shifting more to waking earlier and sleeping earlier, that probably has to do with being in nature now (yay) rather than the big smoke.  Not minding the change in pattern too much, really.

 

Very glad to be on hols.  I wouldn't have made it to work this week either way!  Mostly I'm just resting, pottering, eating and going to the beach.  Found myself very comfortably relaxed after yoga on wednesday and decided it was time to stop having coffee, at least until after finishing the taper has settled.  Tea will do for now.  That had me feeling fairly sleepy but I went for a great bushwalk this morning which was energising but relaxing too. 

 

Planning to cut to 1.34mg on Monday as the last of this set.

 

Cheers

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SoggyEconomist

Hi @hayduke.

Congrats on your progress tapering the zyprexa.

How are you tapering? Do you you use water dissolving pills?

Best regards

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