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Nomad: Olanzapine, alprazolam withdrawal nightmare


Nomad

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Thank you all so much for all your hard work here! I am a 46 year old male. I was diagnosed with depression in 2005. I was prescribed Zoloft. A manic episode then ensued lasting about 6 months. I also developed insomnia and hyperhydrosis. I went to another doctor in 2006 who diagnosed me with Bipolar II. I was then preescribed Lamictal, Depakote and Effexor. I do not recall the dosages this far back, except the Lamictal (200mg)

 

   Around 2009 I began seeing another doctor after I moved. I remained on the Lamictal (200mg) discontinued the Effexor, and added Abilify (5mg). Around this time the insomnia worsened. I then was prescribed 2mg of Xanax and 25mg benadryl each evening for the insomnia. I was relatively stable (except for a string of toxic relationships) over the next several years and reduced the Abilify to 2.5mg. However the insomnia and hyperhydrosis still remained very problematic throughout this period. In an effort to find relief from the insomnia (At that time I believed that it was just a side effect of the Lamictal) I tapered myself (without a doctor) off of the Lamictal over a few months in 2017. I did not notice any withdrawal symptoms. However the insomnia persisted leading me to believe that the Abilify was also causing the insomnia. At this time I was taking 2.5mg of Abilify but only 2x per week, and still needed to take 2mg Xanax and 25mg benadryl. In 2018 I attempted to discontinue the Abilify and taper off the Xanax over a period of about 2-3 weeks. I suffered from moderate panic attacks and anxiety (presumably Xanax withdrawal symptoms) Those withdrawal symptoms dissipated. About 2 weeks after discontinuing the Abilify my sleep was restored to normal for the first time in nearly 13 years! However the hyperhydrosis persisted.

 

   Unfortunately I soon began to feel extremely unstable mentally and was forced to reinstate the 2.5mg of Abilify. The insomnia returned and I then started the 2mg of Xanax and 25mg of benadryl again. 

 

   Throughout 2019 my insomnia seemed to progressively get worse. I did not want to take more Xanax so I went to another doctor who prescribed Olanzapine. I discontinued the Abilify and started taking 1.25mg of Olanzapine. At first I only needed 1mg of Xanax at night and discontinued the benadryl. Then after about only one month the insomnia progressively got worse. I reinstated 25mg of benadryl. Then had to increase to 1.5 mg of Xanax. I was getting really worried about the progressive insomnia so I decided to stop the Olanzapine (without a doctor) cold turkey and taper off the Xanax. This is when things started to get really scary.

 

   Symptoms of panic, anxiety and hypomania ensued after 3 or 4 days of withdrawal.  And the insomnia was worse then it ever had been in my entire life! I was really getting scared. I reinstated 1mg of Xanax. Also increased to 50mg of benadryl and added 15mg of cbd oil orally for sleep. Also, It was around this time that I was doing research and discovered this website. 

 

   After 10 days of being off the Olanzapine my sleep was still horrible. Dealing with withdrawal and almost no sleep suicidal ideations returned.


  I reinstated Olanzapine at 1.25mg. I have now been back on the Olanzapine for 3 weeks. My sleep has slightly improved. I am currently taking 1.25mg Olanzapine, 1mg Xanax, 25mg benadryl and 15mg cbd as needed when I awake in the middle of the night. I absolutely do not want to increase the Xanax. 

 

   My desire is to safely taper off of all medications. The progressive nature of my insomnia on the antipsychotics has convinced me that remaining on them is unsustainable for the long term. Additionally the hyperhydrosis limits my ability to exercise. Strenuous daily exercise has proven to be one of the most effective ways to manage my mood. If I stand any chance of remaining stable without medication I must try to reverse both the insomnia and hyperhydrosis. Obviously I am sensitive to even the smallest doses of antipsychotics. From my research I am convinced the tapering strips from taperingstrip.org in the Netherlands is my best option for tapering off Olanzapine. Unfortunately I have not been able to find a doctor willing to order them. Can you recommend a doctor anywhere (preferably in the Western or Northwest United States who is cooperative with efforts to taper off antipsychotics?) I am a perpetual travel and have to ability to some extent to go to where the doctor is at. Thank you again for your help. Your work with this website may have already saved my sleep and even my life.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
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November 2019:  Quit Abilify. Started 1.25mg Olanzapine. 

Nov 2019- January 2020 Reduced Xanax to .5mg

Jan 26 2020: Stop Olanzapine.
Feb 6 Reinstated Olanzapine 1.25mg

January 30 Increased Xanax back to 1mg

March 2020 Changed dose of Xanax 1mg to .75mg

April 4-Jun 12 2020: Taper Olanzapine. Stopped at .1mg

Jul 4 2020: Reinstated Olanzapine .1mg. Jul 21 .2mg

Aug 5, 2020 Reinstated Olanzapine. 7.5mg. Alprazolam 1.5mg. Estazolam 2mg

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Welcome to SA, Nomad.

 

Here is our list of recommended doctors.  It dates back to 2011 but does have some recent posts, so I'd start at the end and work back.  In additional to the tapering strips, a compounding pharmacy is another possibility.  Some doctors might be more willing to prescribe going that route.

Recommended doctors, therapists, and clinics - Tapering ...

Your system is very sensitized from the cold turkey and all the changes in dose.  One other factor to consider is that you are taking three sedating drugs.  Sometimes when you are taking too many sedating drugs, the body fights to overcome them, producing a paradoxical effect that produces the very insomnia you're trying to escape.  You are also in withdrawal, and one of the most common symptoms of withdrawal is insomnia.

 

What is withdrawal syndrome.

 

We recommend tapering by no more than 10% of current dose every four weeks. We recommend tapering only one drug at a time.  Since your system is destabilized from all the changes, you might consider holding at your current dose for a few months to stabilize before beginning your taper.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

This is link is specifically about tapering Olanzapine.

 

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 (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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of April 10: 13mgai.  Taper is 31% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg.


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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   Thanks Gridley for your quick reply. It makes a huge difference to know that I’m not completely alone going through this. I’m excited and hopeful about calling some of the recommended doctors tomorrow. 
   Also great suggestion regarding fish oil and magnesium. I should have included that in my intro but it was already quite long. For several years I have been taking magnesium glycinate, vitamin D3, and fish oil with the suggested ratio of omega-3’s as found here: https://psycheducation.org/treatment/mood-stabilizers/omega-3-fatty-acids/fish-oil-research-details-2/

  • “highly concentrated so you can get to 1,000 mg (1 gram) of EPA per day in 2 or 3 pills  per day
  • at least 60% EPA. “

I credit these supplements, along with freeing myself from toxic relationships with attaining stability on very low doses of medicine. Such low doses were not possible several years ago. And I am hopeful that with a strict exercise regimen, and positive social environment that I will be able slowly taper off all medicine. 

November 2019:  Quit Abilify. Started 1.25mg Olanzapine. 

Nov 2019- January 2020 Reduced Xanax to .5mg

Jan 26 2020: Stop Olanzapine.
Feb 6 Reinstated Olanzapine 1.25mg

January 30 Increased Xanax back to 1mg

March 2020 Changed dose of Xanax 1mg to .75mg

April 4-Jun 12 2020: Taper Olanzapine. Stopped at .1mg

Jul 4 2020: Reinstated Olanzapine .1mg. Jul 21 .2mg

Aug 5, 2020 Reinstated Olanzapine. 7.5mg. Alprazolam 1.5mg. Estazolam 2mg

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  • manymoretodays changed the title to Nomad: Olanzapine, alprazolam withdrawal nightmare
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1 hour ago, Nomad said:

Thanks for the great link, Nomad.  I've been taking OmegaBrite brand (warning:not cheap) for years.  Three pills gives me 1050 EPA and 150 DHA, for a percentage of 87% EPA.

 

Good luck on your doctor search and taper.

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of April 10: 13mgai.  Taper is 31% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg.


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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Hi Nomad, trouble sleeping seems to be the norm when coming off this stuff.

 

Good work ditching the abilify, I tried it for a couple of weeks years ago and it was worse than four cups of espresso a day.  Speaking of which, getting clear of caffeine is a good idea during this process too.

I've been tapering off olanzapine for a while and found that the sedative effects of the drug basically petered out below 1.4mg.  I used to sleep 9 to 11 hrs most nights on it, even at 2.5mg when things were noticeably improved compared to 5 and above.

 

On my way down I held for several months at 1.25mg because that part of the transition was challenging and it felt like no man's land.  The drug isn't really doing anything for you at this point that I can tell, but you're not off the hook at that point either.  I suspect this is why they don't sell it in that dosage.  It is interesting as you reduce the drug over time that there are a number of quite distinct stages of 'terrain'.

 

FWIW I'm at 1.00mg right now and am sleeping fewer hours but still getting good rest. 

 

I'd guess that the Xanax is giving you whatever sleep you're getting.

 

The link Gridley gave you about tapering olanzapine has links to other threads about ways to titrate your doses instead of relying on the expensive and potentially hard to import tapering strips.  They're a great idea but out of easy reach here. 

 

I use a liquid suspension with a pipette, and when I'm on the road I use a 50ml syringe which I've found accurate enough.

 

Cheers

My taper visualised as a graph   |   My intro thread

I am not a health professional - your actions are your own

 

Backdrop:  10mg olanzapine 2003-06.  3mg risperidone 2006-2014.  Abortive x-taper to aripiprazole Dec 2014, back to 10mg olanzapine after 3 weeks.

2015:  10 -> 7 1/2 -> 6 2/3 -> 5mg olanzapine using pill cutter

2018:  Finer taper liquid suspension 5mg to 2.5 Mar-Aug and hold

2019: Jan 2.5 | Eostre EMDR@2.1mg | Jul 1.625 | Oct 1.3

2020: Jan 1.214 | Apr 0.88 | July 0.69 | Oct 0.525

2021: Jan EMDR@0.44 | Apr 0.38 | May 0.35

"Ask not what you can do for your country, but what your country did to you"  -- KMFDM

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   Thanks for sharing your experience Hayduke. You’re really tapering down slow. That’s good. And good idea to get off caffeine! I quit caffeinated coffee a week ago. Seems like it did help.
    I have also been keeping a brief journal tracking my sleep quality, mood and medicine dosages. When there are so many variables it’s really helpful to have that information as a reference. 
   As was recommended, I’m going to wait before I try to taper down. I will reconsider using the liquid suspension method for tapering if I can’t get the strips.  👍🏻

November 2019:  Quit Abilify. Started 1.25mg Olanzapine. 

Nov 2019- January 2020 Reduced Xanax to .5mg

Jan 26 2020: Stop Olanzapine.
Feb 6 Reinstated Olanzapine 1.25mg

January 30 Increased Xanax back to 1mg

March 2020 Changed dose of Xanax 1mg to .75mg

April 4-Jun 12 2020: Taper Olanzapine. Stopped at .1mg

Jul 4 2020: Reinstated Olanzapine .1mg. Jul 21 .2mg

Aug 5, 2020 Reinstated Olanzapine. 7.5mg. Alprazolam 1.5mg. Estazolam 2mg

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  • 2 months later...

Just a quick update: I gave up trying to find a doctor to help me acquire tapering strips. I opted to make a suspension myself. Fortunately I had a sufficient cache of Olanzapine. I began tapering from my original dose of 1.25mg on April 4, 2020. I’m now at .6mg. Half way there!!! Yay!!! My sleep has actually improved a bit, although there were some bad nights especially in the beginning of the taper. I included REMfresh melatonin .5mg to help with sleep. I would highly recommend doing your own research on this melatonin. It seems to help myself and my brother more than regular melatonin. 
   To stabilize myself without medication I am implementing a daily routine of exercise, breathing, meditation, positive social interaction and more meaningful time in nature. I find that not relying on medication forces me to spend much more time and effort to keep stable. Fortunately I’m not working so I have sufficient time to dedicate to my healing. I’m keeping a brief daily journal detailing my taper progress, mood and sleep quality. 

   I’m also trying to achieve a healthier gut/digestive system by eating more organic whole foods. I would like to include probiotics and was wondering if anyone could offer information about gut health and which specific probiotics they are taking. Thank you all! I could not have gotten this far without your help!

November 2019:  Quit Abilify. Started 1.25mg Olanzapine. 

Nov 2019- January 2020 Reduced Xanax to .5mg

Jan 26 2020: Stop Olanzapine.
Feb 6 Reinstated Olanzapine 1.25mg

January 30 Increased Xanax back to 1mg

March 2020 Changed dose of Xanax 1mg to .75mg

April 4-Jun 12 2020: Taper Olanzapine. Stopped at .1mg

Jul 4 2020: Reinstated Olanzapine .1mg. Jul 21 .2mg

Aug 5, 2020 Reinstated Olanzapine. 7.5mg. Alprazolam 1.5mg. Estazolam 2mg

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Hi Nomad, glad to hear your taper's going well.

 

I'm not sure there is much conclusive data about which probiotics are best.  Gut health seems to be a bit of a frontier, obviously it matters a lot.

 

You can spend a lot on capsules but I find pretty much any decent yogurt is good enough.  A few times a week I like to have a bowl after dinner - I blend a few shots of hemp seeds for omega 3/6 (since I don't eat seafood), and throw in a gramme or three of magnesium l-threonate.  Always seems to settle things down nicely.  Add fresh fruit, chia or linseeds at will.

 

Cheers

My taper visualised as a graph   |   My intro thread

I am not a health professional - your actions are your own

 

Backdrop:  10mg olanzapine 2003-06.  3mg risperidone 2006-2014.  Abortive x-taper to aripiprazole Dec 2014, back to 10mg olanzapine after 3 weeks.

2015:  10 -> 7 1/2 -> 6 2/3 -> 5mg olanzapine using pill cutter

2018:  Finer taper liquid suspension 5mg to 2.5 Mar-Aug and hold

2019: Jan 2.5 | Eostre EMDR@2.1mg | Jul 1.625 | Oct 1.3

2020: Jan 1.214 | Apr 0.88 | July 0.69 | Oct 0.525

2021: Jan EMDR@0.44 | Apr 0.38 | May 0.35

"Ask not what you can do for your country, but what your country did to you"  -- KMFDM

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Hi, Hayduke! Good suggestions. I believe nature gives us most of what we need. Today I bought some fermented foods at the local farmers market. Between that and yogurt, I think I’ll call it good and skip probiotics in capsule form. 

November 2019:  Quit Abilify. Started 1.25mg Olanzapine. 

Nov 2019- January 2020 Reduced Xanax to .5mg

Jan 26 2020: Stop Olanzapine.
Feb 6 Reinstated Olanzapine 1.25mg

January 30 Increased Xanax back to 1mg

March 2020 Changed dose of Xanax 1mg to .75mg

April 4-Jun 12 2020: Taper Olanzapine. Stopped at .1mg

Jul 4 2020: Reinstated Olanzapine .1mg. Jul 21 .2mg

Aug 5, 2020 Reinstated Olanzapine. 7.5mg. Alprazolam 1.5mg. Estazolam 2mg

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Artistic1

Hi, Nomad. It sounds like you are trying lots of good things. I'm not on the meds that you are, but I still have a recommendation. Nowhere do you mention whether you're doing therapy or not. I highly recommend finding a good Cognitive Behavioral Therapist that perhaps specializes in sleep disorders and insomnia. My CBT therapist has been invaluable in helping me deal not just with my original condition (anxiety and depression) but with tapering the meds and the sleep problems. My belief is that you have to address everything involved. That means not just the meds, exercise, and diet, but the mental thought processes as well. The CBT has reduced my anxiety by 85% and the depression by about 65%, making it possible for me to taper off Zoloft. Best of luck!

Celexa - 20 mg May 2015 - March 2016 (Felt quite good)..... Celexa taper from May 2016 - Nov 2016.....Depression and Anxiety returned June 2017

July, 2017: Zoloft = 25 mg;  Aug. 2017 = 37.5 mg; Nov. 2017 = 50 mg thru Jan. 23, 2018.

Jan. 2018 - May 6, 2019 = taper Zoloft from 50 mg to 12.5 mg.  Aug. 11, 2019 - felt so bad that I reinstated at 25mg. Hold at this dose until Feb. 3, 2020

Feb. 4, 2020 = reduce dose to 21.875 mg. Hold for 10 weeks. April 14, 2020 = 18.75 mg. Hold for 10 weeks.  

June10, 2020 - start cycle of 2 weeks to taper slowly from old dose to new dose, then hold at new dose for 6-7 weeks.

June 23, 2020  = 16.666 mg.........August 26, 2020 = 14.75 mg ....... October 28, 2020 = 13.15 mg

2021: Jan. 1 = 11.85 mg....Feb. 26 = 10.5 mg....April 23 = 9.3 mg

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That's a good result for the CBT @Artistic1.  It can be very helpful, depending on what you're working with.  In my case last year my psychologist and I weighed up CBT vs EMDR and decided the latter was more appropriate for the trauma we were unearthing.  It's probably not an understatement to say it's given me my life back (better late than never!).

 

I would like to see these sorts of options replace drugging as the common first option when people want or need help.

 

Main thing is finding a clinical psychologist you like.

 

Cheers

My taper visualised as a graph   |   My intro thread

I am not a health professional - your actions are your own

 

Backdrop:  10mg olanzapine 2003-06.  3mg risperidone 2006-2014.  Abortive x-taper to aripiprazole Dec 2014, back to 10mg olanzapine after 3 weeks.

2015:  10 -> 7 1/2 -> 6 2/3 -> 5mg olanzapine using pill cutter

2018:  Finer taper liquid suspension 5mg to 2.5 Mar-Aug and hold

2019: Jan 2.5 | Eostre EMDR@2.1mg | Jul 1.625 | Oct 1.3

2020: Jan 1.214 | Apr 0.88 | July 0.69 | Oct 0.525

2021: Jan EMDR@0.44 | Apr 0.38 | May 0.35

"Ask not what you can do for your country, but what your country did to you"  -- KMFDM

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That's great that the EMDR worked for you. And I agree - the psychological therapies should be the first line before pills are dispensed. Good luck!

Celexa - 20 mg May 2015 - March 2016 (Felt quite good)..... Celexa taper from May 2016 - Nov 2016.....Depression and Anxiety returned June 2017

July, 2017: Zoloft = 25 mg;  Aug. 2017 = 37.5 mg; Nov. 2017 = 50 mg thru Jan. 23, 2018.

Jan. 2018 - May 6, 2019 = taper Zoloft from 50 mg to 12.5 mg.  Aug. 11, 2019 - felt so bad that I reinstated at 25mg. Hold at this dose until Feb. 3, 2020

Feb. 4, 2020 = reduce dose to 21.875 mg. Hold for 10 weeks. April 14, 2020 = 18.75 mg. Hold for 10 weeks.  

June10, 2020 - start cycle of 2 weeks to taper slowly from old dose to new dose, then hold at new dose for 6-7 weeks.

June 23, 2020  = 16.666 mg.........August 26, 2020 = 14.75 mg ....... October 28, 2020 = 13.15 mg

2021: Jan. 1 = 11.85 mg....Feb. 26 = 10.5 mg....April 23 = 9.3 mg

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Thanks for the reminder about psychological therapy, Artistic1. Great to hear your success story with it.

November 2019:  Quit Abilify. Started 1.25mg Olanzapine. 

Nov 2019- January 2020 Reduced Xanax to .5mg

Jan 26 2020: Stop Olanzapine.
Feb 6 Reinstated Olanzapine 1.25mg

January 30 Increased Xanax back to 1mg

March 2020 Changed dose of Xanax 1mg to .75mg

April 4-Jun 12 2020: Taper Olanzapine. Stopped at .1mg

Jul 4 2020: Reinstated Olanzapine .1mg. Jul 21 .2mg

Aug 5, 2020 Reinstated Olanzapine. 7.5mg. Alprazolam 1.5mg. Estazolam 2mg

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  • 1 month later...

I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday this weekend! I finished my taper of Olanzapine on June 12 (final dose, .1mg) I thought I was out of the woods, but unfortunately not! After concluding the Olanzapine taper I have still been taking .75 mg alprazolam, 50mg diphenhydramine, and .5mg melatonin. In the past I noticed Olanzapine withdrawal effects around the fourth day of discontinuing or reducing the dose. But this time it took about 10 days after my final dose (.1mg) to realize that my sleep quality and duration was deteriorating, and the last several nights have been very bad. Having trouble functioning during the day. I wanted to start tapering the alprazolam next, but I think I need to wait on that. I also made the difficult decision (two days ago, 22 days after my final dose) to reinstate the Olanzapine at .1mg. Any advice or observations at this point are greatly appreciated. I am somewhat concerned about remaining any longer than I have to on the Alprazolam because I have been warned by doctors that it can spike hypomania. So I’m faced with assessing which is a greater risk: going off too many medications too quickly or risking hypomania while not being on a mood stabilizer. It’s a tough call..., but I think the risk of stopping the meds too quickly is more dangerous than the risk of remaining on the alprazolam longer. - Thank you, and much love to all on the site here who are going through their own struggles now also! 

November 2019:  Quit Abilify. Started 1.25mg Olanzapine. 

Nov 2019- January 2020 Reduced Xanax to .5mg

Jan 26 2020: Stop Olanzapine.
Feb 6 Reinstated Olanzapine 1.25mg

January 30 Increased Xanax back to 1mg

March 2020 Changed dose of Xanax 1mg to .75mg

April 4-Jun 12 2020: Taper Olanzapine. Stopped at .1mg

Jul 4 2020: Reinstated Olanzapine .1mg. Jul 21 .2mg

Aug 5, 2020 Reinstated Olanzapine. 7.5mg. Alprazolam 1.5mg. Estazolam 2mg

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  • Administrator
Altostrata

What is your current daily drug schedule?

 

To help us out, follow these instructions Please put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature You may need to use a computer to do this.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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.75mg alprazolam, 50mg diphenhydramine, .5mg melatonin. And I just reinstated .1mg Olanzapine (Two days ago). Taking the Olanzapine in the morning and the others before bed.

November 2019:  Quit Abilify. Started 1.25mg Olanzapine. 

Nov 2019- January 2020 Reduced Xanax to .5mg

Jan 26 2020: Stop Olanzapine.
Feb 6 Reinstated Olanzapine 1.25mg

January 30 Increased Xanax back to 1mg

March 2020 Changed dose of Xanax 1mg to .75mg

April 4-Jun 12 2020: Taper Olanzapine. Stopped at .1mg

Jul 4 2020: Reinstated Olanzapine .1mg. Jul 21 .2mg

Aug 5, 2020 Reinstated Olanzapine. 7.5mg. Alprazolam 1.5mg. Estazolam 2mg

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  • Administrator
Altostrata

I need your daily drug schedule with the times o'clock you take each drug, with its dosage. Your symptoms may not be from reducing olanzapine.

 

Please put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature We need this information. Please do not make staff ask again for information.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Sorry, I will include that in my signature now.

November 2019:  Quit Abilify. Started 1.25mg Olanzapine. 

Nov 2019- January 2020 Reduced Xanax to .5mg

Jan 26 2020: Stop Olanzapine.
Feb 6 Reinstated Olanzapine 1.25mg

January 30 Increased Xanax back to 1mg

March 2020 Changed dose of Xanax 1mg to .75mg

April 4-Jun 12 2020: Taper Olanzapine. Stopped at .1mg

Jul 4 2020: Reinstated Olanzapine .1mg. Jul 21 .2mg

Aug 5, 2020 Reinstated Olanzapine. 7.5mg. Alprazolam 1.5mg. Estazolam 2mg

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10:30pm .75mg Alprazolam, 25mg diphenhydramine (not 50mg as I stated earlier), .5mg slow release melatonin 

During my taper I took the Olanzapine around 9:30pm. With the current reinstatement I am now taking it at 8:00am

November 2019:  Quit Abilify. Started 1.25mg Olanzapine. 

Nov 2019- January 2020 Reduced Xanax to .5mg

Jan 26 2020: Stop Olanzapine.
Feb 6 Reinstated Olanzapine 1.25mg

January 30 Increased Xanax back to 1mg

March 2020 Changed dose of Xanax 1mg to .75mg

April 4-Jun 12 2020: Taper Olanzapine. Stopped at .1mg

Jul 4 2020: Reinstated Olanzapine .1mg. Jul 21 .2mg

Aug 5, 2020 Reinstated Olanzapine. 7.5mg. Alprazolam 1.5mg. Estazolam 2mg

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I updated my signature late night again to include more info on Xanax taper. 

November 2019:  Quit Abilify. Started 1.25mg Olanzapine. 

Nov 2019- January 2020 Reduced Xanax to .5mg

Jan 26 2020: Stop Olanzapine.
Feb 6 Reinstated Olanzapine 1.25mg

January 30 Increased Xanax back to 1mg

March 2020 Changed dose of Xanax 1mg to .75mg

April 4-Jun 12 2020: Taper Olanzapine. Stopped at .1mg

Jul 4 2020: Reinstated Olanzapine .1mg. Jul 21 .2mg

Aug 5, 2020 Reinstated Olanzapine. 7.5mg. Alprazolam 1.5mg. Estazolam 2mg

Link to post

@Altostrata I know you are helping many people, but if you could give me any insight here I would be deeply grateful! Last night terrible sleep again. Difficult to function during day. Could it also be from too much up down with Xanax doses??

November 2019:  Quit Abilify. Started 1.25mg Olanzapine. 

Nov 2019- January 2020 Reduced Xanax to .5mg

Jan 26 2020: Stop Olanzapine.
Feb 6 Reinstated Olanzapine 1.25mg

January 30 Increased Xanax back to 1mg

March 2020 Changed dose of Xanax 1mg to .75mg

April 4-Jun 12 2020: Taper Olanzapine. Stopped at .1mg

Jul 4 2020: Reinstated Olanzapine .1mg. Jul 21 .2mg

Aug 5, 2020 Reinstated Olanzapine. 7.5mg. Alprazolam 1.5mg. Estazolam 2mg

Link to post
  • Administrator
Altostrata

What were the ups and downs in Xanax doses?

 

How long have you been taking diphenhydramine?

 

Does olanzapine make you sleepy when you take it in the morning?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to post

If you mean, why did I go up and down on Xanax doses, it was because I have been trying to reduce my use of it. And much of that time was before I knew about 10% tapering. But unfortunately my sleep problems forced me to usually increase the dose again somewhat. 
 

I have been taking diphenhydramine for about 12 years now.

 

At my current dose of .1mg I do not feel sleepy so far during the day on the Olanzapine.

November 2019:  Quit Abilify. Started 1.25mg Olanzapine. 

Nov 2019- January 2020 Reduced Xanax to .5mg

Jan 26 2020: Stop Olanzapine.
Feb 6 Reinstated Olanzapine 1.25mg

January 30 Increased Xanax back to 1mg

March 2020 Changed dose of Xanax 1mg to .75mg

April 4-Jun 12 2020: Taper Olanzapine. Stopped at .1mg

Jul 4 2020: Reinstated Olanzapine .1mg. Jul 21 .2mg

Aug 5, 2020 Reinstated Olanzapine. 7.5mg. Alprazolam 1.5mg. Estazolam 2mg

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Are you able to provide the dates and doses of the changes for Xanax please?

 

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

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

Link to post

2009-2018 2mg (1mg 10:30pm, 1mg whenever I wake up in middle of night)
 

June 2018 Quick taper Xanax (and diphenhydramine and Abilify) over a few weeks to 0.0mg (Sleep restored to normal after two weeks off all meds).

July 2018 Reinstated Xanax 1mg (in response to insomnia after reinstating Abilify)
Sleep progressively seemed to get worse over 2019. Increased Xanax to 2mg again. Doctor recommended switching from Abilify to Zyprexa. 

Nov 2019 After switching to Zyprexa quick taper of Xanax to .5mg at 10:30pm. 
Sleep progressively got worse over the next couple months. 

Jan 30, 2020 Increased Xanax to 1mg after stopping Olanzapine cold turkey. 
 

March 2020 decreased xanax to .75mg 10:30pm
 

May 2020 decreased Xanax to .5mg. Experienced obvious withdrawal symptoms. Anxiety and worsened insomnia. Reinstated Xanax to .75
 

Jun 28 2020 Attempted to reduce Xanax again by approximately .1mg. Experienced worsened insomnia, anxiety and worsened hyperhydrosis.

 

Jun 30 2020 Reinstated Xanax to .75mg. 10:30pm

 

July 7 2020 .5mg 10:30pm .25 mg when I wake up during the night.
 

November 2019:  Quit Abilify. Started 1.25mg Olanzapine. 

Nov 2019- January 2020 Reduced Xanax to .5mg

Jan 26 2020: Stop Olanzapine.
Feb 6 Reinstated Olanzapine 1.25mg

January 30 Increased Xanax back to 1mg

March 2020 Changed dose of Xanax 1mg to .75mg

April 4-Jun 12 2020: Taper Olanzapine. Stopped at .1mg

Jul 4 2020: Reinstated Olanzapine .1mg. Jul 21 .2mg

Aug 5, 2020 Reinstated Olanzapine. 7.5mg. Alprazolam 1.5mg. Estazolam 2mg

Link to post

My sleep improved a little around July 7. Three days after reinstating Olanzapine to .1mg

November 2019:  Quit Abilify. Started 1.25mg Olanzapine. 

Nov 2019- January 2020 Reduced Xanax to .5mg

Jan 26 2020: Stop Olanzapine.
Feb 6 Reinstated Olanzapine 1.25mg

January 30 Increased Xanax back to 1mg

March 2020 Changed dose of Xanax 1mg to .75mg

April 4-Jun 12 2020: Taper Olanzapine. Stopped at .1mg

Jul 4 2020: Reinstated Olanzapine .1mg. Jul 21 .2mg

Aug 5, 2020 Reinstated Olanzapine. 7.5mg. Alprazolam 1.5mg. Estazolam 2mg

Link to post

Another bad night of sleep last night. I’ve noticed that, after a bad night of sleep I can feel my heart beating very slowly in my chest. I decided to take my pulse while lying in bed nearly an hour after I woke up. Heart rate 54. Not sure what significance that may have. But I notice  this feeling that my heart is “barely” beating when I’m especially sleep deprived. I may start taking my pulse more regularly for a day to day comparison. Maybe I’m being melodramatic but I have this feeling  that the life force is fading out of me on days like this. Not sure how much more of this my body and mind can take. 

November 2019:  Quit Abilify. Started 1.25mg Olanzapine. 

Nov 2019- January 2020 Reduced Xanax to .5mg

Jan 26 2020: Stop Olanzapine.
Feb 6 Reinstated Olanzapine 1.25mg

January 30 Increased Xanax back to 1mg

March 2020 Changed dose of Xanax 1mg to .75mg

April 4-Jun 12 2020: Taper Olanzapine. Stopped at .1mg

Jul 4 2020: Reinstated Olanzapine .1mg. Jul 21 .2mg

Aug 5, 2020 Reinstated Olanzapine. 7.5mg. Alprazolam 1.5mg. Estazolam 2mg

Link to post
  • Mentor

I’m not an expert but my heart rate is around 67 resting which is about normal. Everyone is different.  So don’t compare mine with yours please.

 

I don’t think you should dwell on it though. You could take it for a few days to get an average then you’ll know.

 

Hang in there as difficult it is, know you will get better!

 

Take care,

 Frogie xx
 

 

 

PREVIOUS medications and discontinuations: Have been on medications since 1996. 

 Valium, Gabapentin, Lamictal and Prilosec from 2000 to 2015 with a fast taper by a psychiatrist.

 Liquid Lexapro Nov, 2016 to 31-March, 2019 Lexapro free!!! (total Lexapro taper was 4 years-started with pill form)

---CURRENT MEDICATIONS:Supplements:Milk Thistle, Metamucil, Magnesium Citrate, Vitamin D3, Levothyroxine

 Xanax 1mg three times a day June, 2000 to 19-September, 2020 Went from .150 grams (average weight of 1 Xanax) three times a day to .003 grams three times a day.

19-September, 2020 Xanax free!!! (total Xanax taper was 15-1/2 months-1-June, 2019-19-September, 2020)

 

 

I am not a medical professional. The suggestions I make are based on personal experience.

Link to post

Thank you for your support @Frogie

November 2019:  Quit Abilify. Started 1.25mg Olanzapine. 

Nov 2019- January 2020 Reduced Xanax to .5mg

Jan 26 2020: Stop Olanzapine.
Feb 6 Reinstated Olanzapine 1.25mg

January 30 Increased Xanax back to 1mg

March 2020 Changed dose of Xanax 1mg to .75mg

April 4-Jun 12 2020: Taper Olanzapine. Stopped at .1mg

Jul 4 2020: Reinstated Olanzapine .1mg. Jul 21 .2mg

Aug 5, 2020 Reinstated Olanzapine. 7.5mg. Alprazolam 1.5mg. Estazolam 2mg

Link to post
  • Mentor
7 hours ago, Nomad said:

Thank you for your support @Frogie

You’re very welcome!

PREVIOUS medications and discontinuations: Have been on medications since 1996. 

 Valium, Gabapentin, Lamictal and Prilosec from 2000 to 2015 with a fast taper by a psychiatrist.

 Liquid Lexapro Nov, 2016 to 31-March, 2019 Lexapro free!!! (total Lexapro taper was 4 years-started with pill form)

---CURRENT MEDICATIONS:Supplements:Milk Thistle, Metamucil, Magnesium Citrate, Vitamin D3, Levothyroxine

 Xanax 1mg three times a day June, 2000 to 19-September, 2020 Went from .150 grams (average weight of 1 Xanax) three times a day to .003 grams three times a day.

19-September, 2020 Xanax free!!! (total Xanax taper was 15-1/2 months-1-June, 2019-19-September, 2020)

 

 

I am not a medical professional. The suggestions I make are based on personal experience.

Link to post

@ChessieCat asked me to post this again in introduction. Not sure if this is the correct way to do it.   Please reply with your insight regarding insomnia and the following Xanax history. Thank you.
 

2009-2018 2mg (1mg 10:30pm, 1mg whenever I wake up in middle of night)
 

June 2018 Quick taper Xanax (and diphenhydramine and Abilify) over a few weeks to 0.0mg (Sleep restored to normal after two weeks off all meds).

July 2018 Reinstated Xanax 1mg (in response to insomnia after reinstating Abilify)
Sleep progressively seemed to get worse over 2019. Increased Xanax to 2mg again. Doctor recommended switching from Abilify to Zyprexa. 

Nov 2019 After switching to Zyprexa quick taper of Xanax to .5mg at 10:30pm. 
Sleep progressively got worse over the next couple months. 

Jan 30, 2020 Increased Xanax to 1mg after stopping Olanzapine cold turkey. 
 

March 2020 decreased xanax to .75mg 10:30pm
 

May 2020 decreased Xanax to .5mg. Experienced obvious withdrawal symptoms. Anxiety and worsened insomnia. Reinstated Xanax to .75
 

Jun 28 2020 Attempted to reduce Xanax again by approximately .1mg. Experienced worsened insomnia, anxiety and worsened hyperhydrosis.

 

Jun 30 2020 Reinstated Xanax to .75mg. 10:30pm

 

July 7 2020 .5mg 10:30pm .25 mg when I wake up during the night.

November 2019:  Quit Abilify. Started 1.25mg Olanzapine. 

Nov 2019- January 2020 Reduced Xanax to .5mg

Jan 26 2020: Stop Olanzapine.
Feb 6 Reinstated Olanzapine 1.25mg

January 30 Increased Xanax back to 1mg

March 2020 Changed dose of Xanax 1mg to .75mg

April 4-Jun 12 2020: Taper Olanzapine. Stopped at .1mg

Jul 4 2020: Reinstated Olanzapine .1mg. Jul 21 .2mg

Aug 5, 2020 Reinstated Olanzapine. 7.5mg. Alprazolam 1.5mg. Estazolam 2mg

Link to post
  • Administrator

What is the current symptom pattern that you find distressing?

 

Slowing you down is what benzos do. You're taking a slug of Xanax at night. No surprise, it slows your heart rate.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to post

I’m experiencing severe insomnia. I’m waking up about 3-4 hours after taking the Xanax. (Apparently that’s when it’s wearing off.) Before I reinstated the Olanzapine I was not even sleeping for more than 1-2 hours after taking the Xanax. 
 

2009-2018 2mg (1mg 10:30pm, 1mg whenever I wake up in middle of night)
 

June 2018 Quick taper Xanax (and diphenhydramine and Abilify) over a few weeks to 0.0mg (Sleep restored to normal after two weeks off all meds).

July 2018 Reinstated Xanax 1mg (in response to insomnia after reinstating Abilify)
Sleep progressively seemed to get worse over 2019. Increased Xanax to 2mg again. Doctor recommended switching from Abilify to Zyprexa. 

Nov 2019 After switching to Zyprexa quick taper of Xanax to .5mg at 10:30pm. 
Sleep progressively got worse over the next couple months. 

Jan 30, 2020 Increased Xanax to 1mg after stopping Olanzapine cold turkey. 
 

March 2020 decreased xanax to .75mg 10:30pm
 

May 2020 decreased Xanax to .5mg. Experienced obvious withdrawal symptoms. Anxiety and worsened insomnia. Reinstated Xanax to .75
 

Jun 28 2020 Attempted to reduce Xanax again by approximately .1mg. Experienced worsened insomnia, anxiety and worsened hyperhydrosis.

 

Jun 30 2020 Reinstated Xanax to .75mg. 10:30pm

 

July 7 2020 .5mg 10:30pm .25 mg when I wake up during the night.

November 2019:  Quit Abilify. Started 1.25mg Olanzapine. 

Nov 2019- January 2020 Reduced Xanax to .5mg

Jan 26 2020: Stop Olanzapine.
Feb 6 Reinstated Olanzapine 1.25mg

January 30 Increased Xanax back to 1mg

March 2020 Changed dose of Xanax 1mg to .75mg

April 4-Jun 12 2020: Taper Olanzapine. Stopped at .1mg

Jul 4 2020: Reinstated Olanzapine .1mg. Jul 21 .2mg

Aug 5, 2020 Reinstated Olanzapine. 7.5mg. Alprazolam 1.5mg. Estazolam 2mg

Link to post

 

Alto's response to bijay's post:

 

14 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

 

Is that chart from BenzoBuddies?

 

We emphatically do not recommend tapering by varying dosage from day to day or skipping doses, particularly with a short-acting drug such as Xanax.

 

Changing dosing can cause a tendency to kindling, where withdrawal symptoms get progressively worse.

 

 

 

Been there too!

 

MOD NOTE:   Please see Alto's above quoted response to this post.

 

My first attempt to wean off Klonopin, another benzo, also resulted in severe insomnia.  I wound up going to a psychiatrist who recommended a tapering schedule that got me to half my dose with no insomnia issues - the only side effect I had was very mild nausea.  I had to go back up for other reasons, but I've attached the schedule she gave me.  I modified it as necessary depending on how I felt - a couple of times I added a week at the same dosages if I wasn't ready to move on (like when my husband got sick).

 

There is also another on-line forum, called benzobuddies.org, that is an excellent resource if you haven't already seen it.  They have a lot of detail there that is specific to benzos.  I think they usually recommend a graduated taper versus the one I used. They also sometimes recommend

switching from Xanax to another benzo with a longer half-life, like Valium, which helps to reduce side effects.

 

Hope this helps ....  

 

 

Benzo Schedule.png

Edited by ChessieCat
added warning post about bijay's suggested taper method

Started .25 mg. clonazapam Oct. 2016

Started 10 mg. Celexa Dec. 2016

Started 10 mg. amitriptyline January 2017

Also took 60 mg. Dexilant Oct. 2016 through April 2017, successfully tapered off

Stopped Celexa successfully Oct. 2017

Fast taper of amitriptyline Dec. 2017, had major WD symptoms and reinstated at 10 mg. Jan. 2018

Slow amitryptyline taper started Mar. 2019, reduced from 10 mg. to 2.1 mg. currently

Also still taking .25 mg. clonazapam daily in late evening

Link to post

@bijayThat’s an interesting method of tapering. Eliminates the need to split tablets into minute fractions.Thank you for sharing

November 2019:  Quit Abilify. Started 1.25mg Olanzapine. 

Nov 2019- January 2020 Reduced Xanax to .5mg

Jan 26 2020: Stop Olanzapine.
Feb 6 Reinstated Olanzapine 1.25mg

January 30 Increased Xanax back to 1mg

March 2020 Changed dose of Xanax 1mg to .75mg

April 4-Jun 12 2020: Taper Olanzapine. Stopped at .1mg

Jul 4 2020: Reinstated Olanzapine .1mg. Jul 21 .2mg

Aug 5, 2020 Reinstated Olanzapine. 7.5mg. Alprazolam 1.5mg. Estazolam 2mg

Link to post

I wonder if my usage of “old” medication is part of the problem. I’m using Xanax that is now 8 months old. 

November 2019:  Quit Abilify. Started 1.25mg Olanzapine. 

Nov 2019- January 2020 Reduced Xanax to .5mg

Jan 26 2020: Stop Olanzapine.
Feb 6 Reinstated Olanzapine 1.25mg

January 30 Increased Xanax back to 1mg

March 2020 Changed dose of Xanax 1mg to .75mg

April 4-Jun 12 2020: Taper Olanzapine. Stopped at .1mg

Jul 4 2020: Reinstated Olanzapine .1mg. Jul 21 .2mg

Aug 5, 2020 Reinstated Olanzapine. 7.5mg. Alprazolam 1.5mg. Estazolam 2mg

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