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Nomad: Olanzapine, alprazolam withdrawal nightmare


Nomad

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Also as a note to all who are suffering through their withdrawal. I could have never have gotten this far if it were not for breathing “exercises”. It has literally saved my life. I’m sure it’s been discussed here before many times. But it is worth another testimony. I have recently pulled out of the onset of major depressive, and also hypomanic episodes by very basic breathing techniques and meditation. I hope it can help others as well.

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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@Altostrata Thank you again for your help and support. I also want to help others in their struggle. For many many years I have said that the only good that can come from my ill health is that I can empathize more effectively with others and possibly share some helpful knowledge or advice or support that will help them. Sadly I lost my younger sister on April 20 this year. She was suffering even more than I, and I could not help her enough. I am more determined than ever now to survive and thrive, hopefully helping others to do the same.

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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3 hours ago, Nomad said:

Also as a note to all who are suffering through their withdrawal. I could have never have gotten this far if it were not for breathing “exercises”. It has literally saved my life. I’m sure it’s been discussed here before many times. But it is worth another testimony. I have recently pulled out of the onset of major depressive, and also hypomanic episodes by very basic breathing techniques and meditation. I hope it can help others as well.

@Nomad  Thank you for talking about your experience with breathing and meditation.  They help me too, but it is easy to sometimes get overwhelmed and put these relatively simple tools aside.  To be reminded that others use these too, with much success, helps keep me motivated, and (hopefully) disciplined enough to keep at it  :)

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

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I'm so sorry about your losing your sister, @Nomad

 

Thank you for your offer to help. Please visit the other Introductions topics and support people when you can.

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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@Altostrata Ringing in ears getting louder. It significantly worsened after I reduced the diphenhydramine and subsequent nights of worse sleep. Now the level of ringing has gone up again. My problem has always been staying asleep not falling asleep. This is first night now that I could not fall asleep. My siblings are trying to insist that I get some kind of medical help. I’m sure there is nothing that can be done. But I’m in a pretty serious situation at this point. I’m struggling but maintaining my mental stability relatively well, but the lack of sleep and worsening tinnitus makes things look very unsustainable at this point.I’m not seeing any way out at this point. I don’t know how long I’ll be able to continue functioning like this. Memory concentration etc are declining. I have a feeling there is not much of a protocol for this situation but I have to at least ask...

I ishifted the Olanzapine .3mg, over the past few days to an evening dose 8:30pm. Xanax .75mg 10:30pm, 25mg diphenhydramine 10:30pm. Reinstatement of Olanzapine does not seem to be working yet. I have decided that this is my stopping point for the reinstatement. 

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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Perhaps you might add back in a half-dose of diphenhydramine.

 

Withdrawal insomnia is common, especially when people cold-turkey off drugs. We have many people here who have had terrible insomnia that slowly improved.

 

People tend to feel terrible from lack of sleep.

 

I know this is difficult, hang in there.

 

On 7/27/2020 at 12:09 PM, Nomad said:

9:00am .2mg Olanzapine 

10:30pm .75mg Xanax; 25mg diphenhydramine; .5mg melatonin

 

9 hours ago, Nomad said:

I ishifted the Olanzapine .3mg, over the past few days to an evening dose 8:30pm. Xanax .75mg 10:30pm, 25mg diphenhydramine 10:30pm. Reinstatement of Olanzapine does not seem to be working yet. I have decided that this is my stopping point for the reinstatement. 

 

You increased olanzapine as well as moved it around?

 

The only way we can tell what's going on is by looking at your daily symptom pattern. Please keep daily notes of times of day you take your drugs, their dosages, and your symptoms throughout the day. Post 24 hours of notes at a time in this topic, in a simple list format with time of day on the left and notation (symptom or drug and dosage) on the right.

 

I suspect your problems are related to benzo withdrawal and Xanax rebound, not olanzapine. Substituting diazepam for Xanax might help, but that can be rocky, too.

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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  • 6 months later...

   I checked myself into the ER on August 5, 2020 because of severe sleep deprivation. I felt as if a heart attack or stroke was imminent. The ER did absolutely nothing for me except give me 2 Ativan and show me the door. I was also experiencing dementia-like symptoms from the lack of sleep, memory loss confusion, inability to concentrate. I felt I was only a couple days away from a manic episode or heart attack. The elevated heart rate was probably from stress but I could feel something was going to break if I didn't get sleep ASAP. Contrary to what many people are saying sleep deprivation is not something that you can just "tough out". 

   I went from the ER to a walk-in mental health clinic. Long story short the doctor prescribed reinstating the Olanzapine at 5-10mg depending on how I was sleeping. Going back on the Olanzapine was one of the most difficult decisions that I have ever made. I worked so hard to taper off of it. But the doctor said "if you don't get sleep you're going to croak". I felt she was right so I reinstated the Olanzapine at 5mg, then increased to 7.5mg. 

  Over the last nearly seven months I have waged a hellacious battle against the insomnia. I addition to reinstating the Olanzapine I also had to increase the alprazolam to 1.5mg per night. I made two trips to Mexico to see a neuropsychiatrist because I couldn't afford one in the US. I also bought two different Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation devices for treating insomnia, and went to several acupuncturists. Everything I tried improved my sleep for about a week and then it went back to being horrible. I felt suicidal numerous times. One day I even went as far as to set up an electrical cord noose in my hotel in Mexico. My cognitive impairment from lack of sleep was so bad that I didn't see how I was going to continue to take care of my finances and medical needs. It felt like it was the end of the road. But I kept fighting and got through one day at a time.  

    Now, nearly 7 months after the ER visit I feel like my sleep in improving. But now I am taking much more medication than before I started tapering a year ago. After giving myself some time to recuperate I will attempt to taper again. This time I will start with the alprazolam first and then the Olanzapine if I feel that I have the mental stability and proper sleep to justify another 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

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Altostrata

I don't believe anyone here told you to tough it out.

 

On 8/5/2020 at 10:27 AM, Altostrata said:

The only way we can tell what's going on is by looking at your daily symptom pattern. Please keep daily notes of times of day you take your drugs, their dosages, and your symptoms throughout the day. Post 24 hours of notes at a time in this topic, in a simple list format with time of day on the left and notation (symptom or drug and dosage) on the right.

 

I suspect your problems are related to benzo withdrawal and Xanax rebound, not olanzapine. Substituting diazepam for Xanax might help, but that can be rocky, too.

 

It is not unusual that reinstatement of the drug or drugs resolves withdrawal symptoms such as rebound insomnia, or that it might take time for your nervous system to settle down from going on and off drugs several times with intermittent alcohol ingestion last year.

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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1 hour ago, Altostrata said:

I don't believe anyone here told you to tough it out.

 

 

It is not unusual that reinstatement of the drug or drugs resolves withdrawal symptoms such as rebound insomnia, or that it might take time for your nervous system to settle down from going on and off drugs several times with intermittent alcohol ingestion last year.

My purpose was not to imply blame but to impress on everyone that sleep deprivation can be more severe and dangerous for some than others, and that it is potentially very dangerous. 

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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Yes, that's how I got drugged.  Stuff was coming up, no one understood it at the time, I seemed increasingly irrational the more days I couldn't sleep, and here we are.

 

I would tell my past self to get a week of benzos from a GP and find a clinical psychologist pronto, and look for something like Open Dialogue.  Noting that I had not been on any prescription at the time.

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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7 hours ago, hayduke said:

Yes, that's how I got drugged.  Stuff was coming up, no one understood it at the time, I seemed increasingly irrational the more days I couldn't sleep, and here we are.

 

I would tell my past self to get a week of benzos from a GP and find a clinical psychologist pronto, and look for something like Open Dialogue.  Noting that I had not been on any prescription at the time.

Thanks for your post hayduke. What is Open Dialogue?

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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Have a read https://willhall.net/opendialogue/

 

My view is that what got called psychosis in my case, was trauma that would not be ignored any more screaming to be heard and dealt with.  I've been recommended some reading on this, but haven't got to it yet...that huge tsundoku pile eh

 

Anyway the idea is that you can sit down with people and work through what is presenting in these non-everyday states and ideally resolve the 'crisis' without being put on these heavy drugs.  The outcomes seem better and you might also avoid a stigmatising diagnosis.

 

I've also come to the view that these phenomena are very natural and universal human responses to unbearable events, and it's our society that is unwell rather than any particular invidual.  Most human cultures make room for the shamanic, the modern West not really.

 

I actually asked for this style of therapy at the time but was fobbed off and drugged in the usual Dark Ages fashion.  My bratty teenage self would sum it up as "Oh, you got raped when you were small?  Here, let us trash the rest of your life for good measure".

 

I hear the outcomes with Open Dialogue are very good.  I would keep it in mind for anyone facing those issues.

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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@Nomad,

 

What are you doing now to sleep? 

 

I struggle with insomnia for 9 months now. 

 

Im exhausted and scared. 

 

Thank you for your experience!! 

August 2020 - Mirtazapine 30, Clonazepam 0.5

September 2020 - Changed to Amitriptyline 100, Olanzapine 10, Clonazepam 0.5

Tapered to 0 by December 2020

February 2021 - Mirtazapine 15 - rapid taper after 14 days of use. 

 

Supplements: fish oil and magnesium 

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  • 2 months later...

I reinstated Zyprexa @ 7.5mg on August 5 2020. Since then I have gained over 30 lbs ( 14kg). I just attempted a taper off Zyprexa. 10% reduction using liquid suspension. Within 10 days of starting the taper my insomnia was returning. I now have reinstated back to 7.5mg. After 4 days of reinstatement insomnia has not improved.   Apparently I need to wait much longer to taper. I’m looking at a process of years rather than months.

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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Sounds like resuming that large dose has sensitised your body to the drug a bit more, unfortunately.

 

Waiting longer may be sensible, or you can look at Brass Monkey's slide taper.  Gentler cuts and finer control of your tapering.

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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@hayduke thanks for pointing me in the right direction for a slower taper. I didn’t realize that there are some others who are as sensitized as I am and need to go so incredibly slowly with their 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

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