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Rebmik5555: I was put on 1.25 mg Zyprexa for mild insomnia now I’m stuck

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Rebmik5555

8/28/2019 I was put on 1.25mg Zyprexa for mild insomnia.   I should’ve done my research!!!!  4 months later I start wondering about this drug and stop cold turkey for 14 days of pure hell.  Day 14 I take a small amount of Zyprexa, it helps alleviate some of the god awful withdrawals,  now almost 2 weeks after my reinstatement of the 1.25 mg I’m having moments of feeling better then moments of feeling awful again.  Sleeping again, didn’t sleep for most of the 14 days I quit.  
I just don’t know what to do now.  Do I stay on this amount and hope I return to my baseline prior to stopping CT?  How long do I stay at this dose ?  I WANT OFF THIS CRAP BAD!  Each day I’m on it is another day I’m not tapering.   I’m so lost and confused and this drug is making it worse. I can’t believe my GP put me on this!  I had asked her for a healthier option to benedryl!!! And this is what she puts me on. Am I doomed forever ?  I hear nothing good about coming off Zyprexa. I need help!

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Gridley

Welcome to SA, Rebmik5555.  No you're not doomed forever, and plenty of people have tapered off Zyprexa and you will too. Here's one success story.

andy: Finally off zyprexa - Success stories: Recovery from ...

Yes, you do want to be off this drug, but you need to do it right.  You need to let the reinstatement stabilize you more.  So, yes, stay where you are until you return to baseline.  What we're looking for is that your symptoms from day to day are about the same with no big swings.  We're not looking for a lack of symptoms or feeling good, just a steady stead of feeling not so great but tolerable.  Let's see how you're doing in two weeks.

 

When you've stabilized you'll be ready to taper.  We recommend tapering no more than 10% of your current dose every four weeks.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

This link is specifically about tapering Zyprexa, including how to get the small doses you'll need for your taper.

 

Tips for tapering off olanzapine (Zyprexa)

 

We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker 

 

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) 

 

Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problem.

 

This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rebmik5555

Thank you for responding.   This is scary.  I’ve been googling since I CT Jan 7,2020 and am glad I finally found a site where there are others in or have been in the same boat.  

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Rebmik5555

Original topic title before merging:

Rebmik5555: Was put on Zyprexa for mild insomnia by GP

 

I was put on a quarter of a 5mg of Zyprexa 8/28/2019 for mild insomnia.  Unlike myself I did not research, fast forward 4 months and i quit cold turkey, b/c doctor said that I wouldn't have a problem because such a small amount.  For 14 days I experienced hell...extreme panic attacks at night, night sweats, zero sleep, panic attacks gave way to anxiety all day, suicidal ideations, racing thoughts and worry.  Day 14 felt like my body was shutting down and I started 1.25 zyprexa back up...took me about 3 weeks to stabilize.  Feb. 16, 2020 I tapered my 1.25 mg /.53gram dose by 5 % to .50g.  As Zyprexa site recommends 5% every 2-4 weeks  this will take me over 2 years!  Is this correct?  I'm afraid I'm doing more damage by staying on this medication.  I don't feel dreadful now and am sleeping, just blah and unmotivated during the day and slight suidical thoughts that usually stop mid day.  

I guess I'm asking is it possible that 1.25 mg for 4 months could wreck this much havoc?  I've CT effexor like 20 years ago and thought that was rough...pales in comparison to zyprexa.  I'm on nothing else.  Just looking for some insight and feedback.

Edited by ChessieCat
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Gridley

@Rebmik5555

 

Welcome to SA, Rebmik5555.

 

Yes, it's definitely possible that 1.25mg for 4 months could wreak this much havoc.  You were and are physiologically dependent on it, and the cold turkey denied your system what is had become dependent on. It's good that you reinstated and that you've stabilized.

 

We need to clear up some mathematic first.  5% of 1.25mg is .0625mg.  1.25mg - .0625mg = 1.19mg, which should be your current dose, not .5g (grams), which is 500mg (milligrams).  So please clarify for me what your current dose is.  In doing your calculating for the future it's best to use milligrams, not grams, to avoid confusion.  

 

We recommend tapering by 10% of current dose every four weeks, similar to what you read on the Zyprexa site.  5% every two weeks or every four weeks is also fine.  Are you tapering by 5% of current dose every 2 weeks or every four weeks?

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

This link is specifically about tapering Zyprexa.

 

Tips for tapering off olanzapine (Zyprexa)

 

Regarding the duration of your taper, if you taper 10% every fours (or 5% every two weeks), you will halve your dose every 6 months.  If we start at a current dose of 1.25mg, in 6 months you'll be at 0.625.  At one year you'll be at 0.3125.  This might be low enough to jump to zero.  If you wanted to go still lower at 1 1/2 years you'd be at 0.1562, definitely a safe jump off point.

If you taper by 5% every four weeks instead of 10%, you would double your time.

 

Since Zyprexa is such a harmful drug, you might want to taper at 10% every 4 weeks (or 5% every 2 weeks) and see how that does.  If it's too fast, you could slow down. 

 

We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium (glycinate is a good form) and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker 

 

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) 

 

Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.

 

This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Gridley

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Rebmik5555

Sorry if I am not making sense or am confused by the weight/dose, etc.  My mind hasn't been working correctly since starting this stuff.  But I'm using a spreadsheet from a zyprexa fb group and my scales ...whereas my dose of 1/4 of my 5mg pill is 1.25mg and weighs .53 (g)  and am going by the weight right? where I reduce the scale measured amount of .53 by 5%(.0251) I'm now on .504 for month, then .478 for 2 weeks.  Is this not correct?

I'm good on supplements too thank you...only Nordic Natural Omega 3 and Doctors  Best magnesium glycinate, and Dr. Amen's probiotic.  I workout every morning and meditate daily, both which got me through the 14day CT...and now.  

It just seems like a ridiculous amount of time!  Does doing this slow of a taper increase the chance of sleep returning to normal post-zyprexa? or is my sleep doomed from this drug?

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Gridley
12 minutes ago, Rebmik5555 said:

.53 (g)  and am going by the weight right?

Yes, we are going by the weight if you're using the scales.  I understand now where you got the .53g.  I'd still recommend using milligrams for both weight of the pill (mgpw milligram pill weight) and the dosage of active ingredient (mgai), so you're using the same measurement for both.  That's the standard we use here on the site and one that's easier to understand.

 

12 minutes ago, Rebmik5555 said:

 Is this not correct?

Yes.  Again, I'd convert to mg for everything.

 

Are you tapering by 5% every 2 weeks or 5% every month.

12 minutes ago, Rebmik5555 said:

It just seems like a ridiculous amount of time!

 

It does.  It's hard to wrap your mind around how long it takes, very often as in your case much longer than you were on the drug itself.  Unfortunately, that's how long it takes.  If you'll look at the link I sent you about the 10% taper, you'll see the reasons and see how much support this method has:


The 10% per month reduction method is recommended by

Going faster generally ends up taking longer when you run into having to updose due to intolerable withdrawal symptoms and then taking months to stabilize before you can continue your taper.

 

15 minutes ago, Rebmik5555 said:

 Does doing this slow of a taper increase the chance of sleep returning to normal post-zyprexa? or is my sleep doomed from this drug?

It increases the speed at which everything, not just sleep, returns to normal.  Those who CT or taper too fast have a longer recovery time than those who taper slowly.  All eventually recover, but the slow taperers recover more quickly and with less pain.

No, your sleep isn't doomed.  It'll come back in time.

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Rebmik5555

Thank you so much for all ya'll do on this site.  I am so glad I found it...it's like learning a new language.  I just started the taper and thought I'd do the 5% for 1 month to see how I do since I CT so violently and don't want that again.  Then was going to do 5% every 2 weeks, but now I'm wondering if I couldn't do the 10% the site suggests.  And try for a month, then for 2 weeks as the guide suggests.  

Just pretty scared and baffled by all this to be honest.  Not sure if it's still some residual withdraw from the CT or being overwhelmed by the severity of this, but the suicidal thoughts that occur in the morning hours are not pleasant....they subside by noonish and any anxiety is usually just in the morning too.   Is this "normal" 

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Gridley
3 minutes ago, Rebmik5555 said:

thought I'd do the 5% for 1 month to see how I do since I CT so violently

Good idea and it will let you see how you do at that rate.  If you do okay, the next month you can go to 10% every four weeks or 5% every two weeks.  5% every two weeks is gentler since you don't get hit with the whole 10% all at once

 

5 minutes ago, Rebmik5555 said:

ust pretty scared and baffled by all this to be honest.

It is scary and baffling but you'll get used to it as you get a little farther into the taper and it becomes second nature, not a second nature you would want but something that's do-able.

 

6 minutes ago, Rebmik5555 said:

but the suicidal thoughts that occur in the morning hours are not pleasant....they subside by noonish and any anxiety is usually just in the morning too.   Is this "normal" 

 

Yes, it's "normal."  Mornings are the hardest times for many of us.

 

I don't want to overwhelm you further with too much information, but there's another taper method we also recommend.  It's four weekly 2 1/2% cuts followed by a two week hold.  I used it for my Lexapro taper and recommend it.  It's a little bit slower than the 10% method due to the the two week hold but is gentler.  Here's the link so you can consider it.

 

The Brassmonkey Slide Method of Micro-tapering

 

 

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Wassimlapino

Hey bro reading ur signature statement it indicates last 3 years no medications! How could u wreck this much havoc by using an antipsychotic after 3 years of healing ? Myslef had a very bad exp with antipsychotics they are no hoke and they do damage more than any antid

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Gridley
14 minutes ago, Wassimlapino said:

How could u wreck this much havoc by using an antipsychotic after 3 years of healing ?

We all listen to our doctors and we all make mistakes.  I know I did.  Please be kind.

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Rebmik5555
2 hours ago, Wassimlapino said:

Hey bro reading ur signature statement it indicates last 3 years no medications! How could u wreck this much havoc by using an antipsychotic after 3 years of healing ? Myslef had a very bad exp with antipsychotics they are no hoke and they do damage more than any antid

My doctor is an Ayurvedic GP.  She only had ever offered diet, nutrition, and adaptogenic meds, she was anti-medication, so when I said I was concerned about taking diphenhydramine for sleep and she suggested Zyprexa it caught me totally off guard. I trusted her, and when I took Zyprexa I really slept.  It wasn’t until a couple of months in that I started to question.  So my fault, but my usual guard was down. My bad. Awful lesson learned, AGAIN

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Rebmik5555

Topic title before merging with original intro: Suicidal ideation - side effect of Zyprexa or is it withdrawal from Zyprexa?

 

Question? I was only on 1.25 mg Zyprexa for 4 months, CT for 14 days, then reinstated, thought I had sorta stabilized, and 2/16/2020 reduced to 1.1mg and going to hold for a month  .  I didn’t have suicidal thoughts until CT and since. So I don’t know if the CT caused suicidal thoughts, or what is going on...  I was having them and anxiety that would go away after about morning... last couple of days the thoughts haven’t let up 😢. Any insight would be appreciated.  

Edited by ChessieCat
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Gridley
10 minutes ago, Rebmik5555 said:

reduced to 1.1mg and going to hold for a month  

I would wait until the month has passed before deciding whether to taper again.  Your system is destabilized and sensitized after the CT and the reinstatement.  It would likely be beneficial for you to wait longer before tapering further.

 

CT or a too-fast taper can cause any number withdrawal symptoms, including suicidal ideation. See #7 in the following link, which is applicable to antipsychotic withdrawal as well as antidepressant withdrawal.

 

Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms (PDF) 

 

 

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Rebmik5555

So it should go away?  I didn’t know If I should continue tapering.  I don’t want to be stuck on this any longer than I have to... it’s already gonna be close to 2 yrs to get off 1.1mg!?!    And it is “normal”?...  

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Colonial

 

It will eventually go away.  As if You said, anything that You did not suffer from BEFORE going on a med is withdrawal related.  Your central nervous system (CNS) is fighting against 2 major stressors at the moment, first the cold turkey and now readjusting to the level You are currently on.  If You only reinstated on 1/24, you probably should have waited 2 months before dropping again, minimum.  I have had delayed reactions to med drops as far out as 10 weeks. 

 

It's hard to say if the thoughts are from that You dropped too quickly down to 1.1 only on the 16th, or if your body would still have had them during the reinstatement phase if You were still on 1.25, but the worst thing you can do, is making, even very small changes almost constantly, like every 2 weeks.  It takes many people months after reinstating to be ready to begin withdrawing.  Did You have the thoughts BEFORE you dropped on the 16th?

 

And yes, it will take a few years.  I'm currently at 5 years plus....

 

 

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Colonial

 

Your signature also states 25 years of anti depressant use, with a 3 year period of abstinence.  This very well may be an instance of the straw that broke the camels back.  We can only "play" with Our brain chemistry just so many times before what we "think" is a small dose for 4 months to be a significant problem.  Also 1.25 mgs of anything is NOT an insignificant amount.  Unforturtunatley, as You can see, it does not take much for these powerful mind altering meds to cause problems.  How much is related to the fact that You already had 25 years drug use, it's hard to say.

 

It will be most helpful for the moderators, if You could, as best as You can remember, add the other drugs You took before this one.  It's ok if You don't get the dates perfect, but knowing if You were on only 2 other drugs as opposed to 5, and which other drugs they were before this one, will help the mods have a better idea on what Your up against.

 

Your "mild insomnia" is a classic withdrawal symptom, and could have been related to the previous drug exposures.

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Rebmik5555
On 2/21/2020 at 4:49 PM, Gridley said:

Good idea and it will let you see how you do at that rate.  If you do okay, the next month you can go to 10% every four weeks or 5% every two weeks.  5% every two weeks is gentler since you don't get hit with the whole 10% all at once

 

It is scary and baffling but you'll get used to it as you get a little farther into the taper and it becomes second nature, not a second nature you would want but something that's do-able.

 

 

Yes, it's "normal."  Mornings are the hardest times for many of us.

 

I don't want to overwhelm you further with too much information, but there's another taper method we also recommend.  It's four weekly 2 1/2% cuts followed by a two week hold.  I used it for my Lexapro taper and recommend it.  It's a little bit slower than the 10% method due to the the two week hold but is gentler.  Here's the link so you can consider it.

 

The Brassmonkey Slide Method of Micro-tapering

 

 

Hi, I wonder if you could help me?....Am I right or wrong?...When I put in starting dose of 1.25 mg it would take me 2 years to taper off of zyprexa that I was on for 4 months?!  This can't be correct?  I see posts from other people that were on 10 or 20 mg for years that taper off in 18months.  What am I missing?  Thanks in advance for any assistance.  My brain is broke.

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Gridley
4 minutes ago, Rebmik5555 said:

When I put in starting dose of 1.25 mg it would take me 2 years to taper off of zyprexa that I was on for 4 months?!  T

It is very common to have the taper time vastly longer than the time on the drug.  While it's to your advantage that you were on the drug a short time, there's not always a correlation between duration on the drug and the difficulty of withdrawal.  That's why we recommend a slow taper (as described in my previous post).  Some people seem to be able to taper more quickly but you can't know if you're one of them.  If you're not and you've tapered too fast, Humpty Dumpty is broken and it's a tough job to put him back together.  Zyprexa is a strong drug.

 

The people who tapered from 10 or 20mg in 18 months tapered too fast.  Some of them might've been lucky but the majority of people on here weren't lucky and are dealing with lengthy and unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

 

Looking at your 1.25mg dosage, you can calculate how long it will take using the following method.  If you taper by 10% every four weeks, you will halve your dose every six months.  So after 6 months you'd be at .625.  Then .3125.  Then.156.  Then .08.

We recommend going as low as you can before jumping to zero.  .08 would be a good jumping off point, so, yes, two years.

It's possible that you might be able to jump off at .156; we just don't know.

 

I know it's hard to wrap your head around the amount of time it takes to do a safe taper.  It was for me.

 

 

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Rebmik5555

Thanks so much for getting back to me.  I just figured I had to be putting something in the spreadsheet wrong!  So since I accidentally CT for 14 days and it was 100% hell, then does that indicate that I'd probably have problems if I went any quicker?  I just hate the numbing feeling of being on this drug and feel like it's holding my life up.  And all of this for a good night's sleep...  I'm literally just dumbfounded.  The lack of motivation and numbness ...I'm guessing is part of it being an antipsychotic drug.?

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Gridley
46 minutes ago, Rebmik5555 said:

So since I accidentally CT for 14 days and it was 100% hell, then does that indicate that I'd probably have problems if I went any quicker?

Pretty much anyone would have a very bad reaction to a CT of Zyprexa, so your response doesn't necessarily tell us anything about your system and how you'd do with a faster taper.  However, the CT did destabilize you, which argues for caution.

 

50 minutes ago, Rebmik5555 said:

The lack of motivation and numbness ...I'm guessing is part of it being an antipsychotic drug.?

Yes, it's part of being on an antipsychotic drug.  Those symptoms are also typical withdrawal symptoms do it could be both.

 

Let's see how you do on the 5% taper.  

 

It's a good idea to keep daily notes on paper so you can track your reaction to the taper.

 

Please keep us updated.

 

 

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ChessieCat

Hi rebmik

 

I've merged the 3 introduction topics which you had created.  Each member has 1 introduction topic where they can ask questions about their own situation and journal their progress.  This keeps a member's history in one place.

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