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Dream22

Dream22: withdrawing from olanzapine / Zyprexa, the evil drug

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Dream22

Hi everyone,

 

I had a manic episode which was induced by bad mistakes involving alcohol and cocaine. I was still drug when I was sectioned and given a cocktail of pills. I was going through a really testing stage in my life where I had discovered my partner might have been cheating on me. This lead me down spiral path which and I stupidly took coke and alcohol. It was the first and last time ever. By making this horrible mistake I ended up doing a weekend in the mental health ward. 

 

Upon release i was prescribed respiridone which i stopped after two weeks as i got an allergic reaction in the form of a rash. Rather than realising my manic episode was a one off (I've never had them in my life before and was otherwise healthy) I was thrown in to the dark murky waters of psychiatry. In hind sight I wished I had been more vigilant as to what they were saying and prescribing. The mental health ward made me believe i was bipolar even though my episode had been drug and drink induced and led me to believe i had no choice in the matter but to take the medicines they suggested. As i wasnt sleeping well, this was used against me and i was prescribed 10mg olamzapine to be taken at 2.5mg at 9am, 2.5mg 3pm, and 5mg at 7pm. 

 

At first it felt great being able to sleep so much as I had always been a light sleeper and didnt question the effects this drug would have on me. So I took them for 5 months but ended up reducing the dosage to 7.5mg as I was feeling so tired and groggy through out the day which was starting to effect my duties around the house and my own self care.

 

My psychiatrist was a horrible, condescending and argumentative woman who kept saying i had a mental illness and likely needed olamzapine for up to 2 years or for life. I questioned their diagnosis several times as i know my own bad choices prior had led me to having my break down. They were uninterested in any opinion or my thoughts and kept writing me off. 

 

After 5 months on olamzapine my periods stopped, and this worried me but again i was told olamzapine doesnt have this effect. I also developed dry eyes or bleptharitus. Previously to taking this med i had never had these issues. Each time I addressed my concerns they were dismissed and i was put in a position where my psychiatrist even said 'i have a medical degree, i know what im talking about and you lack this'. I was shocked, she was so cold hearted and made me feel stupid for raising my concerns. 

 

I decided that i didnt need these meds interferring in my body any longer and quit them cold turkey at 7.5mg. For 3 weeks i suffered from insomnia and even after i told the community nurse i had stopped them i wasnt given any information that this could be dangerous or have lasting effects. All they kept asking was if i was having racing thoughts. I'd never had racing thoughts prior to my melt down, they were only interested in that because apparently if i was it was a return of mental health symptoms? Not one bit of advice was given on what to expect from stopping the med or that the insomnia was part of withdrawl. After 3/4 weeks of insomnia which was causing me to feel severely low i started olamzapine again but at 5mg at night.

 

It took my nearest and dearest to recognise since i went on these meds i had changed dramatically. All the zest for life was gone, i was a walking zombie and often in bed by 8pm. I avoided any social gatherings, didnt enjoy tv or reading any more. These meds were destroying my outlook on life. So after 3 weeks off 5mg i attempted again to stop. Again i informed the psychiatrist who had also made me try lamotragine & zopiclone during these months. She seemed to throw a pill at any issues i raised whilst i was on olamzapine. Anyway and she had a look of amusement on her face and said fine try it. Again i wasnt told i would need to taper or that there would be any withdrawl effects. 

 

I ended up with severe muscular pain in my arms and legs, i would get pins and needles when resting flat on my back, i couldnt eat, i constantly felt sick and had extreme anxiety where every few days i thought i was going to die or that i had numerous of illnesses as i never knew it could be the withdrawl from olamzapine. I ended up in hospital twice for the anxiety and the paramedics just thought i was faking my symptoms because of the medical diagnosis that i was mentally unwell. I was treated like dirt once they saw that on my file. I was told my symptoms above were mental health issues which i disputed heavily. 

 

I wasnt showering, eating, sleeping, in constant pain. This took an effect on my mental health and i started feeling so angry towards the mental health team who had been so quick to get me on their choice of poison.

 

I felt suicidal several times, begged for God to take me as i couldnt live this way and become a social recluse compared to the great life i had before.

 

Sitting at my daughters friends birthday party i felt so depleted and jealous of everyone enjoying their lives. I even said to my partner to divorce me and find a new wife as i didnt think i was going to survive. Then he said 'youve come off these meds to fast you need to reduce them first'. In the 6/7 months on these my mind had become so foggy and the trust i had put in to the health care system that i didnt research any of the drugs they prescribed. Had i done that first i wouldnt have felt this awful way which can only be described to a living hell.

 

After this epiphany i started researching online, i think ive read every story, article, journal, forums to do with olamzapine and realised i wasnt alone in this struggle. I self educated myself and realised doing the cold turkey reduction had bought on the severe withdrawl effects. I spent hours reading about tapering methods, other peoples stories and when i confronted my psychiatrist she denied all of the many hundreds or thousands of people going through withdrawl. It was the last time i spoke to her as the debate became so heated as she kept speaking over me. I had patiently put up with her demoralizing character for months and lost all trust and respect for psychiatry. The nurse was just as brain washed and seemed clueless and tapering and gave me the advice to stay on 5mg for 9 days, then 2.5mg for 9 days then to stop. I felt like i had to educate her as she really didnt have knowledge or empathy regarding the situation.

 

I followed her NHS advice, once i got to 2.5mg i cut the tablets in half and took this for 9 days. After that i quatered them and took them for another 9 days. The pills are difficult to cut so its hard to have an accurate measurement of my last week on olamzapine. In the drop down in dosages to half and quater a pill i started getting really bad anxiety. I had never suffered anxiety in my life. I felt like i couldnt breath, i was waking up abruptly in fight or flight mode at 6am every morning. The first week off i felt like a walking disaster. Any little situation made my anxiety heightened. Knowing the research id done i was mentally more prepared the third time to encounter these situations. I just wanted time to pass as quickly as possible to get my old brain and body back. My appetite became so poor i was often just eating a few nuts a day as i felt sick and weak. After a week off the olamzapine the induced anxiety became so much i made a docs appointment with my regular GP who didnt judge me when i told him openly and honestly about my stupid mistake on drugs and drink and he believed it was withdrawl effects. He was reluctant to prescribe anything for sleep as he didnt want me facing another problem and gave me propanalol, a beta blocker which slows the heart rate down. He said i could take these as when required for the anxiety and that they didnt work on the brain the way antipsychotic do. I took 3 at 10mg over the space of a few days in the morning when i felt awful and couldnt shake the anxiety off. They made me feel weird. So ive decided not to take them anymore.

 

I quit all sugary foods, drinks and started taking magnesium, vit d, hemp oil capsules and smoking cbd. My withdrawl this time isnt as bad as it was the first two times. Ive been trying to eat as healthy as possible, taking walks with my daughter and to be patient with the process. I understand it can take time to recover. By cutting out the rubbish food i have felt a difference, my sleep is getting better but it takes time. Going to try detox salt baths and i also started drinking hot water, lemon and honey first thing in the morning which calms my anxiety. 

 

Its day 11 off the olamzapine and even though my head and heart has been tested i wont let this bad episode in my life dictate me any further. Some days are so challenging, my house which used to be pristine is a mess. I dont have the drive to do the things i used to in life. But i am now aware these things will heal and with the support of my family and a cleaner diet i will heal.

 

 

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Carmie

Hi Dream, 

 

Welcome to SA. I’ve moved your thread over here to Introductions And Updates. You can ask questions here and journal your journey. I’m sorry you’ve been through so much. I’ve been on and off a ton of meds myself, it all started due to chronic pain. 

 

What date did you originally start taking the Olanzapine? What date did you jump off the 7.5mg?

 

When did you start taking 5mg of Olanzapine again, and when did you jump off that?

 

Did you cold turkey the lamotragine and zopiclone? When?

 

Jumping off 2.5mg of Olanzapine in such a short time was way too quick. The advice the nurse gave you definitely wasn’t wise. Doctors and nurses really don’t know anything much about tapering. They only know what they learn in school and they aren’t taught about tapering off psych meds. 

 

Because it’s only been eleven days since you’ve been off the Olanzapine, there is a chance that a small reinstatement might help. It doesn’t always work, but it has helped a lot of people. If you would like to reinstate let us know and I’ll ask the other mods how much to reinstate by. 

 

Once you’ve reinstated, it can take a while to stabilise, though some people find relief pretty early on. Once stabilised the recommendation is to taper by no more than 10% a month. I’m actually tapering by under 4% at the moment. I won’t be jumping off the last dose until I’m down to 0.0something or lower. 

 

Take care, sending hugs 🤗


Been on antipsychotics, benzos, antidepressants and painkillers for chronic pain. 

Have been cold turkeyed and put on and off all sorts of things.  Was suicidal n ended up in a psych ward because I had akathisia from withdrawals. I can’t remember what I was put on but when I was released was in the same predicament with severe akathisia n was suicidal again.

Back to the psych ward and I was given a number of different drugs while there. Tapered off one when I got home n have been trying to taper off Seroquel since. It’s been years, tapering slowly but still having severe withdrawals.

I’ve  tapered from 300mg of Seroquel to 7.5mg./ March 10th 2019=7.25mg / 17th of April 2019= 7mg / June 5th=6.75mg/ July 14th=6.50mg/ 28th of August=6.25mg/ 10th of Oct= 6.20mg/ 21st October 6mg/ 16th of December 5.80mg/21st of January 5.60mg/

 

I AM NOT A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL. These are my own views based on what I’ve experienced myself.

 

 

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Dream22

Hi Carmie

 

I was started on 10mg of olamzapine in August 2018 which i took till Dec 2018. During Jan to Feb 2019 i went down to 7.5mg. Then in march till the end of this month I was on 5mg and tapered down to zero.

 

Even though its just been 11 days my withdrawl effects are not as severe as the times i stopped abruptly. I think cutting out all processed foods and refined sugars has helped along with supplements, cbd and detox drinks. 

 

Physically i sometimes wake up in a sweat or find my feet are cold and sweating, been experiencing some muscle twitching and induced anxiety. Im taking each day at a time and where i feel anxiety i try to walk it off or rationalize my thoughts concerning the reasons i might be feeling this way. Its definately induced from withdrawl. Im trying my hardest to have a stronger mindset and not over react or feel victim to this.

 

I never want to go back on these drugs, I take each day at a time and it seems to be helping making diet changes and trying to stay more active. There is still a long journey to go before im physically and mentally like my older self before i went on to these pills, but after reading others personal accounts i have come to terms that healing is a unique process and jouney individual to anyone withdrawing and each day should be taken a step at a time.

 

Ive started keeping a gratitude journal which i used to many years ago, i find documenting any little reason to feel thankful and happy is helping my low moods whilst on the withdrawl journey. Things like brushing my teeth are even a achievement as many days i dont even like to care for myself any more. But i remember who i used to be before this ordeal and even though its changed me i am more thankful for the little things i used to routinely do and take advantage off. This experience has changed my perception and i have alot more empathy for strangers and dont judge anyone any more. I used to be always well dressed and kept. But these meds made me lose my confidence and i became someone who barely changed her clothes or brushed her hair. The olamzapine messed up 8 months of my life so far and it feels like baby steps when trying to recover. But im hopeful once im past a certain period my brain and body will heal then the hard work required will be to fall back in love with my life after this ordeal. 

 

I have to many blessings to count and im hoping by keeping a more positive mindset which has been influenced by the success stories of many others who have been in worse situations than myself that all i can do is be patient and thankful for the good days. On testing days i can reread over my journal and find solace in the small things that bought a smile on my face.

 

Thank you for your offer of help. The best help i need just now are some like minded souls who have or are on a similar journey of withdrawl. 

 

I truly believe if you feed your gut the right foods, exercise, practice gratitude and have faith in yourself it can really help especially on the rubbish days. This process has opened my eyes to how much crap i ate whilst on olamzapine, im now more selective as to what i consume. Ive given up alcohol, cut down on the processed foods and sugar. I did eat a chocolate biscuit today which was nice to be able to feel hunger again whilst in withdrawl. But going forth im not going to eat the full packet like i could have so easily done whilst on olamzapine. The olamzapine munchies were never ending, i initially thought it was good that my body had an appetite on these drugs on top of being able to sleep through my husbands snoring ( his snoring is like rabid animals escaping a zoo, its honestly really noisy) but a few months in to them i went from being a beautiful intelligent woman in to a smelly shrivel zombie. When i think to myself how much i stopped self caring i realised at the same time the importance to pray for others who i might pass and resemble me or have a look of worry about them. Prior to olamzapine i probably wouldnt have noticed them but now my perception has changed and if i can fill my head witj better thoughts its to pray for strangers who look distressed or sad. This empathy is a new feeling, I'm thankful to God for letting me feel this emotion when on olamzapine i become desenstive towards my husband, daughter and anyone in my company. These meds made me feel like i was constantly watching people and their emotions but couldnt feel anything myself. I will never ever take olamzapine ever again. 

 

In your question to lamatrogine, i was prescribed this when i first cold turkied the olamzapine in Dec for insomnia. I took it only for one night and the next morning i felt so suicidal and spent the whole weekend convinced my husband and daughter deserved better than me and i didnt want to live. Ive never had suicidal tendencies, ive suffered from depression when life got a bit tough but never thought about wanting to leave my life for good. The combined duo of pills and also doing the cold turkey off olamzapine severely messed with my head aswell of 3 weeks of insomnia. I thought my life was destined to be this way as back then i had no grasp on time or the intellect to make sense of the situation. These antipsychotics messed up my thinking in the short space of time i was on and off them. The abrupt stops definately didnt help. As much as the tapering was difficult and i just wanted the month to be over with it was more manageable than stopping abruptly for me. I know everyone is different and i have great admiration for the testimonies of people who were able to do so and go through the withdrawl stage. I know its just been 11 days but its such a difference to when i last tried stopping, that and also im now approaching this with an attitude of gratitude as i had been non stop moaning for 8 months. In doing so i also depleated my own energy mentally and would find myself feeling sorry for myself or lost in sadness. Coming on here and reading other survivors accounts really kicked me in the back side. Compared to what they endured and for some many years its been a real eye opener for me to get myself back to a more stable frame of being. Instead of over worrying like i had been doing i just now focus my thoughts on how God has been good to me and what othershave been through. 

 

Most of my withdrawl symptoms typically start at 6am and the anxiety hits me from there till about 2pm when i take my daughter out for a hour long walk. Being outdoors really helps as it distracts your mind, when we come home i feel the induced anxiety had shifted compared to the feelings in the morning. The lemon honey water really helps me in the mornings too. Im just so behind in life that im trying not to let my endless chores ive neglected make me feel guilty. Im not naturally a messy or unclean person, this has taken its toll on me and ive started to be more forgiving towards myself and just do the necessary chores regarding my daughter. I just think when im feeling more energy i will get more jobs done, but for now im not going to throw myself in the deep end and spend all day doing chores or work myself up feeling anxious or guilty about it. One day at a time and during my healing my priority is to put my self first whilst dealing though this stage of withdrawl.

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Priscilla

I also stopped getting my period after zyprexa usage. Does this make us infertile?


APs/AD: 2 months - Risperdal 1-2mg for 10 days Aug 21-31 2018, Abilify Maintena 400mg (an injection that lasts for a month) late December 2018 to early January 2019, Zyprexa 5mg for 22 days, first time taking zyprexa was in mid September of  2018 for 14 days the second time  for 10 days was November 8 - November 16, 2018; Mirtazapine for 8 days, Gabapentin for 10 days, Propranolol for 4 days, Prozac for 14 days. 

 

Supplements:  Omega-3 Fish Oil, Magnesium Glycinate Chelated, Magnesium Threonate

 

Note: I am not a medical doctor and all comments made by me are my personal opinions and are not based off of scientific fact and or testing. 

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