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GreenFlameTiger - Bipolar taper off all meds

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GreenFlameTiger

Hello everyone,

 

I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder type 1 when I was 15. It's been 12 years and I have taken quite a few different medications over those 12 years. I've been up and down but the overall tone has been either having manic episodes or being numbed out. I now often sleep for 12 to 13 hours a day, sometimes more and I feel tired and numb in the head. I have no passion or spark.

 

Last year in 2012 I saw a video on youtube by BipolarorWakingup and it hit me like a lightning bolt. For a few days I felt strange. It awakened a part of me I had completely forgotten and I felt like a part of me had been vindicated. From when I was first diagnosed with the condition, a condition which was triggered by a medication (Paxil) in the first place, I knew that taking medications was wrong and not the solution. I knew it and resisted as long as I could but in the end as a 15 year old, I was forced to take it. And slowly but surely I was convinced by the people in my life, the doctors and the community at large that I had something wrong with me and that I needed to take medications for the rest of my life. Sean Blackwell (BipolarorWakingup) burst open that door and that deep part of me that knows truth said YES, YES this is truth. And since then I've been investigating how to do this, how to taper off. I've been reading quite a few books since then:

 

1. Am I Bipolar or Waking Up? by Sean Blackwell

2. Spiritual Emergency by Stanislav Grof M.D. and Christina Grof

3. Healing the Split by John E. Nelson. M.D.

4. Kundalini Yoga Meditation Techniques Specific for Psychiatric Disorders, Couples Therapy and Personal Growth by David S. Shannahoff-Khalsa

 

And then a few weeks ago I found out about this website. To see people tapering off medications and succeeding is wonderful beyond words. It is so excellent and I would really appreciate your support in doing this myself.

 

My psychiatrist seemed to be on board with the idea a year ago but I've had about one to two manic episodes in June and it seems that because of those episodes he has changed his mind. He has now relinquished his support in tapering off my meds. I would consider the manic episodes I had to be more like spiritual emergencies since I was much more clear than my previous manic episodes and I was in touch with consensual reality. In the second episode I had learned from the first episode and I even prevented a hospitalization. It's strange because previously he told me if I can get my ego strength high enough I can have a spiritual emergency. I also suggested he read Healing the Split which is written by a psychiatrist who is or was (may be retired) in good standing with the psychiatric community. He agreed to but never did. In any case, he told me I could get a second opinion and I got a referral to another psychiatrist who I am currently waiting to see.

 

In the mean time, if you guys can give me some suggestions on how to taper off my medications I would really appreciate it. This new psychiatrist may say no as well so I might have to do this on my own. I notice there is a tapering off guide here. I was wondering if you guys could offer specific instructions for the particular medications I'm taking. Here are the medications I am currently taking. I have been taking them for about three years. The Olanzapine was increased after my two "manic" episodes from 1.25 mg to 2.5 mg back in June.

 

Once a day at night I take:

1. Lithium Carbonate capsules 900 mg

2. Lamotrigine tablet 100 mg 

3. Olanzapine tablet 2.5 mg

 

It also says PMS before and after each drug name on the prescription label. I don't know what that stands for. I don't think it's premenstrual syndrome.

 

Thank you so much.

GreenFlameTiger


This is the best history I can offer right now. There are some medications and/or dates missing from the list. This was copied down by my mom mostly from prescription labels. This will however give you a general idea.

Paxil 20mg June 2001, Zoplicone 7.5 mg February 2002, Carbamazepine 200 mg December 2004, Lamotrigine 25 mg July 2006, Clonazepam 0.5 mg December 2007, Clonazpepam 0.5 mg January 2008, Lithium 300 mg January and February 2008, Lamotrigine 25 mg July 2008, Divalproex 500 mg April 2009, Welbutrin Fall 2009, Olanzapine 10 mg December 2009, Accuphase 75 mg, Remoran Elanzapine (I think she meant Remeron and Olanzapine) and Lithium injected during hospitalization Feb 2010, Clonazepam March 2010, Lithium March 2010,  Lamotrigine March 2010, Clopixol March 2010, Bupropion (Wellbutrin) 100 mg Spring 2010 - June 2013, Lamotrigine 100mg spring 2010 - Present, Lithium 600 mg Spring 2010 until September 2010, Lithium 900 mg Fall 2010 - Present, Olanzapine 1.25 mg Fall 2010 - June 2013, Olanzapine 2.5 mg June 2013 tapered down to 1.25 mg June 2014. June 30th, 2014 increased to 5mg. Olanzapine 5 mg June 30th, 2014. Gradual taper of Olanzapine down to 0.4167 mg where I'm at today November 21st, 2016. Taper continuing.

 

Current Medications:

Once a day at night I take orally:

1. Lithium Carbonate capsules 900 mg

2. Lamotrigine tablet 100 mg 

3. Olanzapine tablet 2.5 mg made into a liquid solution of 0.4167 mg

 

My introductory post: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4922-greenflametiger-bipolar-taper-off-all-meds/

Signature written on September 20th, 2013. Last updated November 25th, 2016

My mantra "Love and Sleep! Love and Sleep!" Love is the most important thing. If you have love and trust, you'll be far better off if mania were to arise. Sleep is a close second because it completely neutralizes manic symptoms. 

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Meimeiquest

Hi GFT,

 

A very warm welcome! I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2006, 3 months after switching types of antidepressants.

 

Do you have info on what happened with your life and meds just prior to the manic events? Were you tapering? I have had some levels of mania while tapering, but like you say, as you come to understand what is happening, it is less powerful.

 

Someone will have more wisdom about the drugs but I will say II have been helped by a mainstream website, psycheducation.org. I feel like the more I understand, the better I can fight.

 

Good luck!


1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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mammaP

Hi Tiger, you are in the right place to find out everything about tapering. I personally have no advice as I have no experience of the

drugs you are taking except that I was on lithium for a while but had terrible side effects. I am almost free of psych drugs after being

diagnosed with bi polar 20 years ago, also following mania caused by drugs in hospital! 

Someone who knows will be along shortly to point you in the right direction.  :)


**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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Jemima

Hi Tiger,

 

Here's our basic topic on tapering:

 

Why Taper By 10% of My Dose?

 

And specific tips for the drugs you're on:

 

Tips for Tapering Lithium

 

Tips for Tapering Lamictal (Lamotrigine)

 

Tips for Tapering Zyprexa (Olanzapine)

 

Many, many people have been incorrectly diagnosed with bipolar disorder as the result of over-stimulation by antidepressants.  I'm sure I might have been when Lexapro became too strong for me had I not been getting the medication from a GP who believed me when I said the drug was making me hyperactive and that I wanted to taper off of it.

 

Welcome to the forum. You'll find lots of good information and friendly support here.


Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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Altostrata

Welcome, greenflametiger.

 

All of the drugs you're taking are "brakes" -- see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2207-taking-multiple-psych-drugs-taper-the-antidepressant-first/

 

If I were you, I might taper the Zyprexa first, because I believe that's highest risk to health, generally. Even though it seems like a small dosage, it's a powerful drug and needs tapering.

 

Perhaps if you suggest this to your psychiatrist, he would support reducing one drug very gradually at a time, to minimize chance of "relapse."


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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Edted

Dear GreenFlame Tiger:

Welcome to the site. My son has been on Olanzapine a number of times and found it extremely effective at knocking down delusional thinking quickly. He also found it intolerable for weight gain and constant grogginess. He also slept far more than he wanted to.

He only switched to other antipsychotics, as opposed to just coming off (you can read about his story in my intro, if you wish, but it doesn't provide much that would appear useful to you).

It would seem that Olanzapine would be the best med to taper off first (why does Alto always get it right?) and fortunately you are starting from a pretty low dose. That said, please don't be persuaded by people who think that because you are on a low dose you don't need to taper slowly. I think that is one of the most harmful myths out there.

I'm guessing from the two mood stabilizers and an antipsychotic that mania is the beast you're fighting (maybe the only one?). For what it's worth, my son is finding yoga and meditation very helpful. He also needs to lead a very moderate lifestyle (diet, exercise, etc). He watches his caffeine particularly closely.

He has recently moved to his own place, gotten a job he loves, and is looking at grad schools; all the while he is slowly tapering his antipsychotic. His take on things is that if you are going slowly enough, even though there are no guarantees, you don't need to put your life on hold while you're tapering.

I'm heading on the road early in the morning to vist with him over the weekend, but look forward to hearing how your doing. A quick note: if you're in Canada, I think PMS means generic up there.

Be well,

Ed

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Petunia

 

1. Am I Bipolar or Waking Up? by Sean Blackwell

2. Spiritual Emergency by Stanislav Grof M.D. and Christina Grof

3. Healing the Split by John E. Nelson. M.D.

4. Kundalini Yoga Meditation Techniques Specific for Psychiatric Disorders, Couples Therapy and Personal Growth by David S. Shannahoff-Khalsa

 

 

Hi GFT,

 

I've never been diagnosed bipolar, but I love the work of Sean Blackwell and the Grofs.  I also found 'bipolarorwakingup' several years ago, and it changed my life, helped me make sense of something which happened to me years ago.

 

Welcome to our forum.

Petu.


I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Rhiannon

Hi GreenTiger, and welcome!

 

You might check out the work of Will Hall on extreme states. He's a wonderful, sweet man.

 

I have a friend who has classic bipolar I, not drug-induced in his case, and he manages it pretty well without meds (most of the time--he does end up needing intervention from time to time). I don't know all the details but it does seem to involve a lot of self-awareness and being careful about stress, diet, getting good social support, etc.

 

Welcome to the forum. I concur with the consensus: taper very slowly. The thing that gets people into trouble is almost inevitably trying to go too fast. It's always better to err on the side of slow. If you go slower than you really need to, you're just going to feel good and be in control; if you go faster than you should, you can end up crashing, suffering badly, and sabotaging the entire taper and ending up on higher doses and more meds.

 

I sure wish more people would listen when I tell them that. Glad you're here!


Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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GiaK

hi Green Tiger,

I was dx'd with bipolar 1 as well...I'm free of drugs now for over 3 years..

 

Below is link to a page of stories about folks who've recovered from diagnosis that include psychosis...(I don't differentiate much between schizophrenia and bipolar, really...we all respond to the same sorts of healing protocols and the diagnosis are pretty meaningless anyway) 

 

Psychosis recovery: stories, information and resources http://beyondmeds.com/recoverypsychosis/

 

I've been in contact with many 100s of us now who've managed to prove psychiatry wrong. You do need appropriate supports and withdrawal should be done carefully and responsibly. You're in a good place to learn how to do a slow taper right here.


Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

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GreenFlameTiger

I would like to say first of all, thank you so much everyone for the wonderful responses. I feel very blessed. 

 

To answer your question Meimeiquest, 

 

 

Do you have info on what happened with your life and meds just prior to the manic events? Were you tapering?

Prior to the manic events in June 2013 I was taking the same medications as I had listed but I was on 1.25 mg of Olanzapine instead of the 2.5 mg I'm on now. I was not tapering, I was just taking the medications as prescribed by my psychiatrist. I had been taking those same medications since about October 2010. As for what happened in my life... my mother and brother left the house and I was home alone as I had been quite a few times before. And as usual I would begin playing some music and dancing and yelling. I had these little bursts of enthusiasm. This time however I finally took notice of this. I remarked at how different I was when my mother and brother were not home. At how much more lively and vibrant I was. So I then vowed never to change who I am for my mother and brother's sake. My new mantra became "No limits!" 

 

When my mother and brother returned I began acting differently than usual. Not only that but I began sleeping less and I felt very energized. I would play long scenarios out in my head and I was amazed at how great I was in my head. 

 

At first I was just very assertive with my mother and brother. But as I began to not sleep for a few days my mother began to become concerned. She asked that I go to bed but I did not feel tired so I went on playing video games. I played a lot of video games. I saw them as holodecks like in Star Trek TNG and I did play very well. I played online games too succeeding often. I did get an hour of sleep here and there but not much.

 

My mom began to become angry and I felt that she was infringing on my freedom. I told her that either she let me be, stop practicing agency (a term I learned in a Energetic Boundaries course, my instructor is a Kundalini Yoga instructor) or I would move out. This is a quote on Agency from a card my instructor handed out "When I make the well being of others my responsibility, when I try to change how they feel, no matter how positive my intention, it's invasive and cripples them. With agency I undermine those I try to fix as well as myself." I quoted this often to my mother. She did not understand. 

 

My mom decided to phone the crisis nurse. She had phoned a day before which we managed to resolve. I made quite an impassioned speech regarding freedom. However this time when she phoned I had nothing to say. I overheard the conversation which my mother placed on speaker phone and I never felt a need to say anything. I was both amused and saddened that the natural conclusions drawn by the nurse was that I was manic and required a hospitalization. I felt I was being crucified. I had done nothing wrong and yet I was going to be imprisoned against my will. A police car arrived along with an ambulance. I lay comatose on my chair, just hearing in my head "Crucify him! Crucify him!" over and over again. The policeman tried to engage me but I chose not to satisfy him, and to remain comatose. My mother seemed very saddened and remorseful at the turn of events. They grabbed me and placed me on a stretcher. I was wheeled into the ambulance. My mother joined. When we arrived at the hospital my mother tried to console me and held my arm. I shook off her embrace and said "Are you still here? Go!" She left and when she turned back I said "Deal with it!" They escorted me to a square room with a mattress on the floor, a metal toilet and a security camera to watch you pee. The metal door sealed me in. I paced much like a tiger, but I felt both amused and angry. This period of seclusion was the most vivid and aware period I've ever had out of the many times I've been placed in seclusion in hospital. I remember it very clearly and I still feel amused. 

 

The second episode was the day after I returned from the hospital twenty days later. The night before I told my Mom that I was angry. She felt angry too. The next day when my mother firmly said we need to talk about it I agreed. We spoke for a few minutes and then I exploded! I told her how angry I was with her that she had me hospitalized. I had not harmed myself, anyone else or any property. I had not violated anyone's space. I kept to myself. I felt that I was the one to decide if I did or did not sleep. It's my body! It's my life! My energy became almost identical to the energy from the last episode. My brother who arrived shortly said "Here we go again." I exploded once more. "Oh, is it back to the hospital? They really know how to heal a person!" I did not however wish to return to the hospital so I told myself "Okay we're not going to do this again. I need to see this situation from their perspective." I calmed down and said that I just needed them to know how hurtful it was what they did. How I was treated in the hospital. That it was such a horrible thing to do. We had a long conversation. My brother was wonderful at mediating it. I understood their perspective. My psychiatrist told us that it was important that I get my sleep. That with three days of no sleep I should be taken to hospital. Also this was my mother's house. I had to abide by the rules of the house, one of which was to sleep every night. Even if I had to take medication to help me sleep (Ativan). My alternative was to move out which I offered to, but she asked me to understand her reluctance seeing as it was 3 am. I said at the time that I would lay under a tree until morning where I would go to a friend's house. She said even though we live in a safe neighbourhood this was not acceptable. And she merely phoned the nurse for a consultation. They are the ones who decided that I be hospitalized. 

 

After this discussion I felt so much better. The next five days or so were wonderful. I was very energetic, and assertive. I was much calmer and nicer to my family. My mother remarked on how great I was, so assertive and lively. We did a little Pirates of the Caribbean marathon and I felt like I was in the movie. We really enjoyed ourselves. 

 

Then the energy began to fade and I fell back to my usual energy level. I certainly did not become depressed just my usual self. Numb in the head. I haven't been depressed since early 2011 when I realized the teachings of Eckhart Tolle. I always feel a deep sense of peace deep inside now. I am aware of my thoughts as they happen. Of my feelings. I hear the truth in the saying "The snow falls, each flake in its appropriate place." 

 

Altostrata, I like your suggestion. When I see this new psychiatrist I will recommend that we start gently tapering the Olanzapine. My concern is that the Olanzapine seems to be the drug that is holding off my mania. I had my "manic" episodes while on 1.25 mg of Olanzapine. Now that I'm on 2.5 mg I have as of yet not had any "manic" episodes. 

 

One thing that has occurred to me is that I've been having manic episodes on medication for a long time. And they have to keep increasing the dose of my medications. It seems to me that it would be a never ending increase since I keep on having episodes. 

 

I suppose the solution is the emphasis on gentle and taper off very slowly off the Olanzapine. Then having learned from my previous episodes address the energies as they come. Bring great awareness to them. Respect my family's wishes. We've made a contract that if both my mother and brother believe I am manic that I will consent to being assessed by a doctor in the hospital. 

 

Rhi, this Will Hall seems like a really great guy. I look forward to learning more about him.

 

GiaK, it's so good to see someone who is living drug free after being diagnosed with Bipolar 1. I see you as a future me. 

 

Again thank you for the wonderful responses. I hope this referral to a new psychiatrist doesn't take too long to go through. I feel tempted to start now, but I think if I can have the support of a psychiatrist I should go for that. Then I can have the dosages regulated by a compounding pharmacy and I won't have to do it myself. Speaking of which...

 

I read the formulation in the Olanzapine thread and it seems to require 10 mg tablets of Olanzapine. If I were to use four 2.5 mg tablets I would run out of medications too quickly wouldn't I? If I ask for refills too often they'll think I'm a drug pusher or something wouldn't they? If this new psychiatrist says no, then how will I do this on my own?

 

 

 

 


This is the best history I can offer right now. There are some medications and/or dates missing from the list. This was copied down by my mom mostly from prescription labels. This will however give you a general idea.

Paxil 20mg June 2001, Zoplicone 7.5 mg February 2002, Carbamazepine 200 mg December 2004, Lamotrigine 25 mg July 2006, Clonazepam 0.5 mg December 2007, Clonazpepam 0.5 mg January 2008, Lithium 300 mg January and February 2008, Lamotrigine 25 mg July 2008, Divalproex 500 mg April 2009, Welbutrin Fall 2009, Olanzapine 10 mg December 2009, Accuphase 75 mg, Remoran Elanzapine (I think she meant Remeron and Olanzapine) and Lithium injected during hospitalization Feb 2010, Clonazepam March 2010, Lithium March 2010,  Lamotrigine March 2010, Clopixol March 2010, Bupropion (Wellbutrin) 100 mg Spring 2010 - June 2013, Lamotrigine 100mg spring 2010 - Present, Lithium 600 mg Spring 2010 until September 2010, Lithium 900 mg Fall 2010 - Present, Olanzapine 1.25 mg Fall 2010 - June 2013, Olanzapine 2.5 mg June 2013 tapered down to 1.25 mg June 2014. June 30th, 2014 increased to 5mg. Olanzapine 5 mg June 30th, 2014. Gradual taper of Olanzapine down to 0.4167 mg where I'm at today November 21st, 2016. Taper continuing.

 

Current Medications:

Once a day at night I take orally:

1. Lithium Carbonate capsules 900 mg

2. Lamotrigine tablet 100 mg 

3. Olanzapine tablet 2.5 mg made into a liquid solution of 0.4167 mg

 

My introductory post: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4922-greenflametiger-bipolar-taper-off-all-meds/

Signature written on September 20th, 2013. Last updated November 25th, 2016

My mantra "Love and Sleep! Love and Sleep!" Love is the most important thing. If you have love and trust, you'll be far better off if mania were to arise. Sleep is a close second because it completely neutralizes manic symptoms. 

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GreenFlameTiger

Hello everyone,

 

It's been a while since I posted. I thought I would let everyone know about my current situation.

 

I am on the waiting list to see another psychiatrist. I am going to see my current psychiatrist in one week. 

 

I am planning on letting him know about the successes people have had on this forum. That tapering off medications can be successful and for people with Bipolar type 1. 

 

I am going to propose to him to start with the Olanzapine and proceed with a 5% reduction once a month. So going from 2.5 mg to 2.38 mg. Then at the end of November a 5% reduction of the new dose, going from 2.38 mg to 2.26 mg. And continue the reduction like so.

 

I was wondering what do you all think of this? I noticed on this topic 

Why Taper By 10% of My Dose?

that a 10% reduction is recommended. I am wondering if 5% is too slow? I suppose I can increase depending on how I feel.

 

I am planning on quoting Thomas Edison:

"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try one more time." or "I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that won't work." or "“The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” or "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." 

 

I was wondering… my psychiatrist will probably respond well to studies done by psychiatrists who have successfully tapered patients off of medications. If I recall correctly R.D. Laing has but I haven't found the studies yet. Ah here is a great bit on Laing from wikipedia. "Hence, according to Laing, psychiatry was founded on a false epistemology: illness diagnosed by conduct, but treated biologically." That is so true. 

 

Do any of you know of any studies I can refer to to my psychiatrist? Or any other psychiatrists I can quote?

 

I really do hope my meeting this Friday with him goes well. I would really appreciate any support you guys can give me.

 

GFT


This is the best history I can offer right now. There are some medications and/or dates missing from the list. This was copied down by my mom mostly from prescription labels. This will however give you a general idea.

Paxil 20mg June 2001, Zoplicone 7.5 mg February 2002, Carbamazepine 200 mg December 2004, Lamotrigine 25 mg July 2006, Clonazepam 0.5 mg December 2007, Clonazpepam 0.5 mg January 2008, Lithium 300 mg January and February 2008, Lamotrigine 25 mg July 2008, Divalproex 500 mg April 2009, Welbutrin Fall 2009, Olanzapine 10 mg December 2009, Accuphase 75 mg, Remoran Elanzapine (I think she meant Remeron and Olanzapine) and Lithium injected during hospitalization Feb 2010, Clonazepam March 2010, Lithium March 2010,  Lamotrigine March 2010, Clopixol March 2010, Bupropion (Wellbutrin) 100 mg Spring 2010 - June 2013, Lamotrigine 100mg spring 2010 - Present, Lithium 600 mg Spring 2010 until September 2010, Lithium 900 mg Fall 2010 - Present, Olanzapine 1.25 mg Fall 2010 - June 2013, Olanzapine 2.5 mg June 2013 tapered down to 1.25 mg June 2014. June 30th, 2014 increased to 5mg. Olanzapine 5 mg June 30th, 2014. Gradual taper of Olanzapine down to 0.4167 mg where I'm at today November 21st, 2016. Taper continuing.

 

Current Medications:

Once a day at night I take orally:

1. Lithium Carbonate capsules 900 mg

2. Lamotrigine tablet 100 mg 

3. Olanzapine tablet 2.5 mg made into a liquid solution of 0.4167 mg

 

My introductory post: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4922-greenflametiger-bipolar-taper-off-all-meds/

Signature written on September 20th, 2013. Last updated November 25th, 2016

My mantra "Love and Sleep! Love and Sleep!" Love is the most important thing. If you have love and trust, you'll be far better off if mania were to arise. Sleep is a close second because it completely neutralizes manic symptoms. 

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Meimeiquest

I think 5% is a great starting place. It shows you understand the complexity of your situation...a dr. should respect that. I am not adamant about going off all my meds, and I tell drs. that. I just want to my manage my mental health in the wisest way I can, and it seems slowly reducing meds while learning all I can about lifestyle management is the best way to do that. Sounds like that is where you are too. When I start reducing again, I will do 5% as well. Good luck!


1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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Altostrata

See Joseph Glenmullen's The Antidepressant Solution explaining tapering.


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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GreenFlameTiger

The meeting went very well and he agreed to help me taper off my Olanzapine and Lamotrigine! He said he feels reluctant to taper off the Lithium but he is sure I will try to convince him between now and then. He told me a metaphor about a house with pillars and beams. He told me that the medications are those pillars and beams and if we remove too many the house will fall apart when a wind blows. I told him those pillars and beams are blocking the light... 

 

I brought my prescription to a local pharmacy and they suggested a liquid solution made of canola oil which I wasn't fond of. Another pharmacy suggested a transdermal gel. However Pharmacare wouldn't cover the cost of either. So my psychiatrist contacted the latter pharmacy and they devised the current method.

 

What I'm starting today is a taper using tablets. I'm going to take my usual 2.5 mg tablet 6 days a week and then on the seventh day take 3/4 of a 2.5 mg tablet. The following week I take 2.5 mg 5 days a week and on two days of the week take 3/4 of a 2.5 mg tablet (On a Friday and Sunday for example). And then the third week I take 2.5 mg 4 days a week and on three days take 3/4 of a 2.5 mg tablet. This will continue until the seventh week where I would take 3/4 of a 2.5 mg tablet every day. Then as I understand it, the next week the plan is for me to take 3/4 of a 2.5 mg tablet 6 days a week and a 1/2 tablet on the seventh day. And so on. The total taper will take 28 weeks or 7 months. 

 

Apparently this is about a 3-4% a week taper. This is certainly faster than my psychiatrist and I originally agreed upon. We agreed upon 5% a month as discussed on this forum. However the pharmacist told me that at any moment if I feel differently I can hold the dose and only start tapering again once I feel safe and stable. With this logic I can do a 4% a month taper by just holding the first week's dosage schedule for a month. 

 

What do you guys think? Is this a good method or should I be footing the bill for a transdermal gel? Or should I fight with Pharmacare to cover the cost of a compounded medication (the gel)? The only difference I can think of using this method instead of say a gel is that I would be taking one day a week a 25% reduction which will be dispersed over the rest of the week where I receive the usual dose. Whereas with the gel I would be taking a consistent 5% tapered dosage a day. I suppose the blood levels of my medication will crash for a little while with the first method and would gradually decrease with the second.

 

Thank you so much for your support. 

 


This is the best history I can offer right now. There are some medications and/or dates missing from the list. This was copied down by my mom mostly from prescription labels. This will however give you a general idea.

Paxil 20mg June 2001, Zoplicone 7.5 mg February 2002, Carbamazepine 200 mg December 2004, Lamotrigine 25 mg July 2006, Clonazepam 0.5 mg December 2007, Clonazpepam 0.5 mg January 2008, Lithium 300 mg January and February 2008, Lamotrigine 25 mg July 2008, Divalproex 500 mg April 2009, Welbutrin Fall 2009, Olanzapine 10 mg December 2009, Accuphase 75 mg, Remoran Elanzapine (I think she meant Remeron and Olanzapine) and Lithium injected during hospitalization Feb 2010, Clonazepam March 2010, Lithium March 2010,  Lamotrigine March 2010, Clopixol March 2010, Bupropion (Wellbutrin) 100 mg Spring 2010 - June 2013, Lamotrigine 100mg spring 2010 - Present, Lithium 600 mg Spring 2010 until September 2010, Lithium 900 mg Fall 2010 - Present, Olanzapine 1.25 mg Fall 2010 - June 2013, Olanzapine 2.5 mg June 2013 tapered down to 1.25 mg June 2014. June 30th, 2014 increased to 5mg. Olanzapine 5 mg June 30th, 2014. Gradual taper of Olanzapine down to 0.4167 mg where I'm at today November 21st, 2016. Taper continuing.

 

Current Medications:

Once a day at night I take orally:

1. Lithium Carbonate capsules 900 mg

2. Lamotrigine tablet 100 mg 

3. Olanzapine tablet 2.5 mg made into a liquid solution of 0.4167 mg

 

My introductory post: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4922-greenflametiger-bipolar-taper-off-all-meds/

Signature written on September 20th, 2013. Last updated November 25th, 2016

My mantra "Love and Sleep! Love and Sleep!" Love is the most important thing. If you have love and trust, you'll be far better off if mania were to arise. Sleep is a close second because it completely neutralizes manic symptoms. 

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Meimeiquest

There is a Canadian on this forum by the name of SorrowExpert. You might ask him how he is making his doses. Whatever and however you end up doing it, I would make staying calm so I could impress my psychiatrist on how well tapering works, one of my top priorities. That is NOT what I did, but I still made it off :)


1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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Altostrata

GFT, you're tapering olanzapine?

 

See http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3743-tips-for-tapering-off-zyprexa-olanzapine/

 

At least your psychiatrist grasps the fundamental meaning of "taper." My sense is you'd do better to go slower, at least at first, than a decrease of 3-4% per week.

 

What's wrong with a compounded solution based on canola oil? I would not try a transdermal gel; the dosage is too variable.


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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GreenFlameTiger

Meimeiquest thank you for the referral and advice. Maybe I will ask him.

 

Altostrata, I am indeed tapering the Olanzapine now. My family had a similar consensus to you in that it would be better to go slower and I agree. Now the plan is to stay with each decrease for two weeks instead of one. So take 3/4 of a 2.5 mg tablet only on Sunday for two weeks instead of one and then take 3/4 of a 2.5 mg tablet on Sundays and Thursdays for two weeks. And so on. This means it would be a decrease of 3-4% every two weeks. 6-8% a month.

 

Do you think this is a good way? I didn't like the idea of a compounded solution based on canola oil because I generally tend to avoid canola oil. It's almost guaranteed to be genetically modified. It's not considered the healthiest of oils as I read, olive oil and coconut oil surpassing it. I would rather not consume it on a daily basis.

 

So the main questions are: Is a biweekly taper schedule using tablets a good way to go? Is it a bad way to go? Is it better to use a 5% compounded solution thus being a daily dose of a 5% reduction?

 

Thanks again.


This is the best history I can offer right now. There are some medications and/or dates missing from the list. This was copied down by my mom mostly from prescription labels. This will however give you a general idea.

Paxil 20mg June 2001, Zoplicone 7.5 mg February 2002, Carbamazepine 200 mg December 2004, Lamotrigine 25 mg July 2006, Clonazepam 0.5 mg December 2007, Clonazpepam 0.5 mg January 2008, Lithium 300 mg January and February 2008, Lamotrigine 25 mg July 2008, Divalproex 500 mg April 2009, Welbutrin Fall 2009, Olanzapine 10 mg December 2009, Accuphase 75 mg, Remoran Elanzapine (I think she meant Remeron and Olanzapine) and Lithium injected during hospitalization Feb 2010, Clonazepam March 2010, Lithium March 2010,  Lamotrigine March 2010, Clopixol March 2010, Bupropion (Wellbutrin) 100 mg Spring 2010 - June 2013, Lamotrigine 100mg spring 2010 - Present, Lithium 600 mg Spring 2010 until September 2010, Lithium 900 mg Fall 2010 - Present, Olanzapine 1.25 mg Fall 2010 - June 2013, Olanzapine 2.5 mg June 2013 tapered down to 1.25 mg June 2014. June 30th, 2014 increased to 5mg. Olanzapine 5 mg June 30th, 2014. Gradual taper of Olanzapine down to 0.4167 mg where I'm at today November 21st, 2016. Taper continuing.

 

Current Medications:

Once a day at night I take orally:

1. Lithium Carbonate capsules 900 mg

2. Lamotrigine tablet 100 mg 

3. Olanzapine tablet 2.5 mg made into a liquid solution of 0.4167 mg

 

My introductory post: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4922-greenflametiger-bipolar-taper-off-all-meds/

Signature written on September 20th, 2013. Last updated November 25th, 2016

My mantra "Love and Sleep! Love and Sleep!" Love is the most important thing. If you have love and trust, you'll be far better off if mania were to arise. Sleep is a close second because it completely neutralizes manic symptoms. 

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Altostrata

A decrease of 6%-8% per month is nice and conservative. Let's see how you do.

 

The amount of canola oil in a capsule is miniscule. If it turns out you need to taper more precisely, please consider it. It's worth it. (Also, please read the topic about tapering olanzapine.)

 

Leave the olanzapine, take the canola. -- The Godfather, 1972


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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GreenFlameTiger

It's been a while since I last posted. I'll let you know how I'm doing. 

 

I've tapered down to almost 1/2 of a tablet of 2.5 mg of Olanzapine. I take 1/2 a tablet a day except on Sundays where I take 3/4 of a tablet. By this Tuesday I will be taking a 1/2 tablet every day of the week for two weeks. Then I will be taking a 1/2 tablet every day except Sunday where I will be taking 1/4 of a tablet. And that will be for two weeks and then Sundays and Tuesdays I will be taking 1/4 of a tablet and so on. 

 

This past Friday I didn't get much sleep and when I went to bed I couldn't fall asleep. It felt much like it did when I had my last "manic" episode in the feeling of not being able to sleep and I was worried. I ate a lot of turkey, drank some warm milk with honey and ate two slices of toast with Organic Non GMO spread (it's like butter). This was recommended by my psychiatrist because turkey and milk have tryptophan which aids in sleep. Honey apparently helps as well I don't know why and the bread and "butter" are just warm comfort foods. After eating I was able to sleep. I've slept well since. However for the past few days I've been having strange sensations in my head. And my thoughts are more prevalent, a little more noisy. Luckily, thanks to Eckhart Tolle, I'm able to remain as the watcher of my thoughts and feelings. So I feel fine. 

 

In my last meeting with my Psychiatrist on April 25th, he suggested that I taper down to 75 mg of Lamotrigine starting the last week of May. The reason for this he said is that it will protect against a manic episode and as for the last week of May I suspect this is because my last episode was June 5th, 2013. I should also note that I was taking 1/2 of a tablet of 2.5 mg of Olanzapine during my last episode on June 5th, 2013. I will be at the identical dose this June 5th, 2014. Lamotrigine is part anti depressant so lowering the dose will serve to protect me. I was a little concerned at first because that is a 25% taper in a single day (I am currently taking 100 mg), but I shrugged it off. However this past Sunday, the day before I was going to receive the 75 mg of Lamotrigine I hesitated. I phoned my pharmacist and e-mailed my psychiatrist and told them I wanted to check with you guys to see what you thought about this severe taper. 

 

So what do you guys think? I am very interested in your opinions. Thank you so much as always for your support.


This is the best history I can offer right now. There are some medications and/or dates missing from the list. This was copied down by my mom mostly from prescription labels. This will however give you a general idea.

Paxil 20mg June 2001, Zoplicone 7.5 mg February 2002, Carbamazepine 200 mg December 2004, Lamotrigine 25 mg July 2006, Clonazepam 0.5 mg December 2007, Clonazpepam 0.5 mg January 2008, Lithium 300 mg January and February 2008, Lamotrigine 25 mg July 2008, Divalproex 500 mg April 2009, Welbutrin Fall 2009, Olanzapine 10 mg December 2009, Accuphase 75 mg, Remoran Elanzapine (I think she meant Remeron and Olanzapine) and Lithium injected during hospitalization Feb 2010, Clonazepam March 2010, Lithium March 2010,  Lamotrigine March 2010, Clopixol March 2010, Bupropion (Wellbutrin) 100 mg Spring 2010 - June 2013, Lamotrigine 100mg spring 2010 - Present, Lithium 600 mg Spring 2010 until September 2010, Lithium 900 mg Fall 2010 - Present, Olanzapine 1.25 mg Fall 2010 - June 2013, Olanzapine 2.5 mg June 2013 tapered down to 1.25 mg June 2014. June 30th, 2014 increased to 5mg. Olanzapine 5 mg June 30th, 2014. Gradual taper of Olanzapine down to 0.4167 mg where I'm at today November 21st, 2016. Taper continuing.

 

Current Medications:

Once a day at night I take orally:

1. Lithium Carbonate capsules 900 mg

2. Lamotrigine tablet 100 mg 

3. Olanzapine tablet 2.5 mg made into a liquid solution of 0.4167 mg

 

My introductory post: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4922-greenflametiger-bipolar-taper-off-all-meds/

Signature written on September 20th, 2013. Last updated November 25th, 2016

My mantra "Love and Sleep! Love and Sleep!" Love is the most important thing. If you have love and trust, you'll be far better off if mania were to arise. Sleep is a close second because it completely neutralizes manic symptoms. 

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Rhiannon

I think you should listen to your reservations about making a 25% cut in the lamotrigine. That is a severe cut.  I would never cut more than 10%. Actually, since you're tapering olanzapine too, I wouldn't cut more than 5%. And I would recommend holding your olanzapine dose where it is--at half a tablet--while you cut the lamotrigine, rather than cutting them both at the same time.

 

You've done a great job getting your olanzapine down. If I were in your position I would probably hold at half a tablet for the remainder of the summer.

 

It sounds to me like you had a manic spell last summer at around this same time of year, and now you're beginning to experience some of the warning signs. In my opinion, this is not a good time to be making medication changes. You've already done an excellent job of reducing olanzapine; why not rest on your laurels for a bit, wait and watch and make sure you're going to do well at this level, before hurrying forward with another cut in a different medication?

 

I don't live in Canada but I live fairly far north in the US and I see how the changes of seasons affect me and my friends. Those of us who are most sensitive to seasonal changes can become very down during the winter and very excited and energized during the summer. I wonder if you might have a similar sensitivity? 

 

This might be a good time to look at practicing some self-regulating behaviors, like watching your diet (avoiding sugar and refined carbohydrates); getting regular exercise at the same time every day, early in the day; staying away from excessive light stimulation (that would mean also staying off the computer after the sun goes down, and sticking with dim light only once the sun goes down); and avoiding all caffeine.

 

If you can find nonmedical ways to keep your energies steady and controlled during this peak summer time, you will be building skills that will last you the rest of your life.

 

Again, I don't think this is a great time to be considering starting your lamotrigine taper. I'm a strong proponent of intermittent holds in any taper, to allow our brains to catch up with the changes.

 

When you do begin your lamotrigine taper, please hold the olanzapine where it is and cut only lamotrigine, and definitely go with a smaller cut than 25%.

 

Have you read over our section on making your own liquid solutions and measuring them out with syringes? My lamotrigine tablet dissolves so easily and it suspends really smoothly in water, it's very easy for me to taper it that way. I taper by 1 mg at a time, dividing my dose into two and taking the halves 12 hours apart to help keep blood levels steady.

 

Good luck to you! We're rooting for you.


Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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Altostrata

Lamotrigine is not in any way an antidepressant and turkey contains no more tryptophan than any other meat. The honey enables the tryptophan in milk to work, see http://articles.philly.com/2011-11-28/news/30450609_1_tryptophan-brain-tissue-placebo-effect

 

Lamotrigine is an anti-seizure drug that tends to calm the nervous system down overall. It makes many people sluggish or dopey. Whether you call this antidepressant depends on your point of view.

 

Given olanzapine's half-life, it could be your dosage reduction on Sunday has an effect several days later, maybe on Friday. Sleeplessness would be a common symptom of irregular olanzapine dosage.

 

"Strange sensations" in your head or increasing anxiety could also be withdrawal symptoms.

 

We recommend a very steady dosage pattern. Why are you tapering in such an irregular way? This may be generating your symptoms.

 

Given your difficulty going off olanzapine via the method you've chosen, why do you want to change your lamotrigine dosage now?


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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GreenFlameTiger

Thank you both so much for your support. I really appreciate it. 

 

I think you're both right. I discussed it with my family and we all seem to agree that I should hold my Olanzapine dose where it is and hold my Lamotrigine dose where it is. Just hold everything until after the summer. I suppose at the end of September I can start tapering JUST the Olanzapine again. 6-8% a month.

 

I thought I should provide a comparison of what I was taking last year as opposed to this year. Last year of course as I said I had a manic episode on June 5th, 2013 and was hospitalized for 20 days.

 

June 5th, 2013:

Once a day at night orally:

1. Lithium Carbonate capsules 900 mg

2. Lamotrigine tablet 100 mg

3. Olanzapine tablet 1.25 mg

4. Bupropion (Welbutrin) 100 mg

 

June 5th, 2014:

Once a day at night orally, I will be taking:

1. Lithium Carbonate capsules 900 mg

2. Lamotrigine tablet 100 mg

3. Olanzapine tablet 1.25 mg

 

This is how I tapered off the Bupropion. After I was hospitalized on June 5th, 2013 they eventually started me on my usual meds. I have the feeling that for the first few days in the hospital I was on something else, something stronger or maybe I was on nothing… they never told me what they were giving me or I don't remember. I remember the events but not that detail. Well they resumed my usual medications but they forgot the Bupropion. So I went from 100 mg to nothing over the course of a single day. When the inpatient psychiatrist and I realized this about three weeks later he was embarrassed and asked if I wanted to go back on. I told him no, that I felt fine and not depressed at all. I haven't felt depressed since February 2011 thanks to Eckhart Tolle.

 

 

Have you read over our section on making your own liquid solutions and measuring them out with syringes? My lamotrigine tablet dissolves so easily and it suspends really smoothly in water, it's very easy for me to taper it that way. I taper by 1 mg at a time, dividing my dose into two and taking the halves 12 hours apart to help keep blood levels steady.

 

Good luck to you! We're rooting for you.

 

Thanks Rhi! :D That really means so much to me. I glanced over it a while ago. The current method I'm using has worked well for me so far. Yes I did have some warning signs on May the 23rd and a few days afterwards but I feel fine now. I think with any taper there are bound to be some changes and some temporary symptoms. If I find that the problem increases I will definitely consider making my own liquid solutions or have my pharmacist make it for me. It can be expensive getting a compounding pharmacist to do it for you so if I can manage it I would be happy to make my own liquid solution. Hopefully not with canola oil :P. Hopefully with something healthy like filtered water, organic coconut oil or organic extra virgin olive oil!

 

Lamotrigine is an anti-seizure drug that tends to calm the nervous system down overall. It makes many people sluggish or dopey. Whether you call this antidepressant depends on your point of view.

 

 

LoL.

 

We recommend a very steady dosage pattern. Why are you tapering in such an irregular way? This may be generating your symptoms.

 

Given your difficulty going off olanzapine via the method you've chosen, why do you want to change your lamotrigine dosage now?

 

The reason I came to be tapering in this way was because I was having trouble finding a good compound to use. One had canola oil which I'm not a fan of and the other was a transdermal gel which as you said Alto is too variable. Also both incurred a fair expense which over time adds up. My current method is covered by my plan. Again I feel it is working quite nicely but if that changes then I am all for making my own liquid solutions. I'll be sure to ask you guys on how to do it/read the section. 

 

Given your difficulty going off olanzapine via the method you've chosen, why do you want to change your lamotrigine dosage now?

 

Yes, you guys are right it's a bad idea. I'm going to keep the lamotrigine where it is now, and even though I wanted to continue tapering the Olanzapine at the current pace, I see now that it's best to hold the dose of the Olanzapine as well seeing as what happened last year. I'm not in a hurry. As Tony Horton says: "Better to do it slow and pretty, than fast and ugly." 

 

Thanks again you guys. Please let me know what you think!


This is the best history I can offer right now. There are some medications and/or dates missing from the list. This was copied down by my mom mostly from prescription labels. This will however give you a general idea.

Paxil 20mg June 2001, Zoplicone 7.5 mg February 2002, Carbamazepine 200 mg December 2004, Lamotrigine 25 mg July 2006, Clonazepam 0.5 mg December 2007, Clonazpepam 0.5 mg January 2008, Lithium 300 mg January and February 2008, Lamotrigine 25 mg July 2008, Divalproex 500 mg April 2009, Welbutrin Fall 2009, Olanzapine 10 mg December 2009, Accuphase 75 mg, Remoran Elanzapine (I think she meant Remeron and Olanzapine) and Lithium injected during hospitalization Feb 2010, Clonazepam March 2010, Lithium March 2010,  Lamotrigine March 2010, Clopixol March 2010, Bupropion (Wellbutrin) 100 mg Spring 2010 - June 2013, Lamotrigine 100mg spring 2010 - Present, Lithium 600 mg Spring 2010 until September 2010, Lithium 900 mg Fall 2010 - Present, Olanzapine 1.25 mg Fall 2010 - June 2013, Olanzapine 2.5 mg June 2013 tapered down to 1.25 mg June 2014. June 30th, 2014 increased to 5mg. Olanzapine 5 mg June 30th, 2014. Gradual taper of Olanzapine down to 0.4167 mg where I'm at today November 21st, 2016. Taper continuing.

 

Current Medications:

Once a day at night I take orally:

1. Lithium Carbonate capsules 900 mg

2. Lamotrigine tablet 100 mg 

3. Olanzapine tablet 2.5 mg made into a liquid solution of 0.4167 mg

 

My introductory post: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4922-greenflametiger-bipolar-taper-off-all-meds/

Signature written on September 20th, 2013. Last updated November 25th, 2016

My mantra "Love and Sleep! Love and Sleep!" Love is the most important thing. If you have love and trust, you'll be far better off if mania were to arise. Sleep is a close second because it completely neutralizes manic symptoms. 

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Rhiannon

Slow and pretty rather than fast and ugly sounds good to me. You know just how ugly "ugly" can be. And when we go too fast and fail at our tapers we generally end up on even more medications and worse off than we were to begin with, whereas going slowly enough to correct any time we over-taper means we can keep going.

 

Have you taken a look at Will Hall's Harm Reduction Guide?

http://www.theicarusproject.net/HarmReductionGuideComingOffPsychDrugs

 

Have a great summer. 


Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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GreenFlameTiger

Well it happened again! I was hospitalized once more on June 29th, 2014 until July 12th, 2014. 


 


This is quite a long post, so if you don't feel like reading the whole story you can skip to the third paragraph from the last. Thank you for your time.


 


This all started on post #19 when on Friday May 23rd, 2014 I had trouble sleeping due to manic energies. Then on June 23rd, 2014 I went to support a friend in hospital for their review panel. I slept for 0 hours that day. And ever since that day I began sleeping less and less. 5 hours and 25 minutes, 3 hours, no hours… Then two things began to occur.


 


Mr. Hyde began to come out. I feel with the medications I am a very Yin personality type. Very passive, kind, gentle. This also has the negative qualities of being a push over, lacking true enthusiasm, the spark. But as the medications go down the imbalance of yin sways to the other direction into yang. Very passionate, assertive, full of life. But it sways too far and I get the negative qualities, snaps of anger, can be rude, swears, uncouth.


 


The second thing that occurs, and you guys are going to think I'm mad, is that I begin to receive psychic traffic. Bipolar or Waking up touches upon this on his youtube channel and in Healing the Split John Nelson discusses cases such as this. How it manifested in me was I would begin to get a lot of voices in my head, more than the usual. Eckhart Tolle discusses how the average person has a lot of noise in their head and the key is to find the off switch. But this was as if the volume knob was cranked up a few times. And they took on a different role… more than just my usual thoughts. I felt that because of me, the world was changing drastically, and that heroes were emerging in the world. Like super heroes, dramatic heroes. And that I had some degree of control over their fate. That all the evil in the world, and all the good were consulting me. I would constantly ask them to leave me alone, and I would constantly affirm to myself that this is all in my mind, it's just in my mind. Which is entirely possible. We apparently have only tapped into a small percentage of our potential and so even though the voices and traffic seemed so real, I accept the possibility that it was all created by my own brain. Although there is a lot of material out there, such as the documentary the Living Matrix, along with the books I mentioned, that it is not in my mind and is indeed ESP or morphogenetic fields… psychic traffic. 


 


In any case, my mother desperately wanted me to take some Ativan to get me to sleep and I asked her to trust me in handling it myself. I was afraid of taking Ativan because one, Wikipedia had some negative things to say about it and more importantly, two, because I feared that if I did I would lose the spark I had regained. The clearer thinking and increased abilities. This conflict intensified between my mother and I to the point that after the second very heated argument I decided to move out in the middle of the night and hit the road. After a very powerful 20-40 minute walk (Quite a "Psychic" experience) I returned home and a police car was there. I politely asked them if they could take me to the hospital and they politely complied.


 


In the hospital I had an interview with a very nice lady and then they gave me Ativan. When I awoke the next day I hadn't lost any of my spark! I told myself, damn, if only I had taken it when my mom was prodding me to. The inpatient psychiatrist then proceeded to increase my Olanzapine from 1.25 mg to 5 mg. 5 mg is now my current dosage. All my tapering down the drain.


 


However, I've been feeling really good. Especially this past week. Maybe my brain made some good changes during those intense psychic episodes. I also healed a very important broken relationship during this episode before I was hospitalized. Something I was waaaayy too afraid to deal with without the Yang energies that came from the episode. So these things have helped me feel much better. I have some good plans for my life ahead of me.


 


However again, I still want to taper off all my medications. I still feel a numbness in my head and I know I'm not untapping my full potential. That my full potential will forever remain untapped as long as I am medicated. My mom and I at first were not in the best of sorts, but with time and communication we've healed up. One thing one can love with family is how understanding and forgiving family can be. My mom and brother are completely on board with me tapering off all my meds. They too bear little love for western medicine. Western pharmaceuticals. I see Western medicine as the SWAT team. The emergency plan if all else fails. Quick fixes. Only addressing symptoms. Eastern medicine or holistic medicine is like a good education system. It takes time, but will heal the person. The cause of the illness. 


 


I haven't talked with my out patient psychiatrist but I have the feeling he may not support more tapering. That's fine by me because after this experience I feel the urge to begin doing my own taper like Altostrata and maybe others have suggested. The method I've been using has been with tablets. My pharmacist has been cutting them into 1/4 chunks with a certain amount per day. This as some have said here creates an irregular dose which can be a problem.


 


I've read some of the Olanzapine thread and from what I can tell from what Rhi posted is that I need a pipette. Is that all I need? Just place my Olanzapine tablet in some water and as it breaks down I pipette the dose I need? Is it that simple? If so then that rocks! I can totally do that. I just have to figure out where to get a good pipette. I'm quite certain I'll have more questions after I begin.


 


Okay I just thought I would keep you guys apprised. Thank you so much for all the help. I donated $100 to the forum I hope it helps!   


This is the best history I can offer right now. There are some medications and/or dates missing from the list. This was copied down by my mom mostly from prescription labels. This will however give you a general idea.

Paxil 20mg June 2001, Zoplicone 7.5 mg February 2002, Carbamazepine 200 mg December 2004, Lamotrigine 25 mg July 2006, Clonazepam 0.5 mg December 2007, Clonazpepam 0.5 mg January 2008, Lithium 300 mg January and February 2008, Lamotrigine 25 mg July 2008, Divalproex 500 mg April 2009, Welbutrin Fall 2009, Olanzapine 10 mg December 2009, Accuphase 75 mg, Remoran Elanzapine (I think she meant Remeron and Olanzapine) and Lithium injected during hospitalization Feb 2010, Clonazepam March 2010, Lithium March 2010,  Lamotrigine March 2010, Clopixol March 2010, Bupropion (Wellbutrin) 100 mg Spring 2010 - June 2013, Lamotrigine 100mg spring 2010 - Present, Lithium 600 mg Spring 2010 until September 2010, Lithium 900 mg Fall 2010 - Present, Olanzapine 1.25 mg Fall 2010 - June 2013, Olanzapine 2.5 mg June 2013 tapered down to 1.25 mg June 2014. June 30th, 2014 increased to 5mg. Olanzapine 5 mg June 30th, 2014. Gradual taper of Olanzapine down to 0.4167 mg where I'm at today November 21st, 2016. Taper continuing.

 

Current Medications:

Once a day at night I take orally:

1. Lithium Carbonate capsules 900 mg

2. Lamotrigine tablet 100 mg 

3. Olanzapine tablet 2.5 mg made into a liquid solution of 0.4167 mg

 

My introductory post: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4922-greenflametiger-bipolar-taper-off-all-meds/

Signature written on September 20th, 2013. Last updated November 25th, 2016

My mantra "Love and Sleep! Love and Sleep!" Love is the most important thing. If you have love and trust, you'll be far better off if mania were to arise. Sleep is a close second because it completely neutralizes manic symptoms. 

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Altostrata

Thank you very much for your donation.

 

You need to be very, very careful about tapering. Episodes such as you described can be triggered by withdrawal syndrome. You need to keep physically, emotionally, and mentally stable to minimize the drugs, or when you get hospitalized, they'll keep on adding more.

 

Please, be careful. We don't want you to end up hospitalized for a long time or even a little time, or on a basketful of drugs.


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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GreenFlameTiger

Thank you Altostrata. Nor do I want that. Withdrawal syndrome is tricky business and seems inevitable if someone is tapering. I suppose it's the keeping physically, emotionally and mentally stable that allows one to ride the withdrawal syndrome and not get carried away by it. Do you guys have any links pertaining to withdrawal syndrome that you feel are noteworthy? I've only perused the Wikipedia article.

 

I already am improving my nutrition, exercise and sleep. Largely thanks to the principle of this quote, "What you measure, you manage." I've been using a calorie counting app which has allowed me to track what I eat and a sleep tracker app that tracks the quality and time of my sleep. And I exercise everyday with P90X3 and other beachbody programs. I feel healthier and more confident.

 

As for the questions in my last post:

1. What exactly do I need to taper on my own? 

2. Do I need a pipette? Is this all I need?

 

Thank you all for your time.


This is the best history I can offer right now. There are some medications and/or dates missing from the list. This was copied down by my mom mostly from prescription labels. This will however give you a general idea.

Paxil 20mg June 2001, Zoplicone 7.5 mg February 2002, Carbamazepine 200 mg December 2004, Lamotrigine 25 mg July 2006, Clonazepam 0.5 mg December 2007, Clonazpepam 0.5 mg January 2008, Lithium 300 mg January and February 2008, Lamotrigine 25 mg July 2008, Divalproex 500 mg April 2009, Welbutrin Fall 2009, Olanzapine 10 mg December 2009, Accuphase 75 mg, Remoran Elanzapine (I think she meant Remeron and Olanzapine) and Lithium injected during hospitalization Feb 2010, Clonazepam March 2010, Lithium March 2010,  Lamotrigine March 2010, Clopixol March 2010, Bupropion (Wellbutrin) 100 mg Spring 2010 - June 2013, Lamotrigine 100mg spring 2010 - Present, Lithium 600 mg Spring 2010 until September 2010, Lithium 900 mg Fall 2010 - Present, Olanzapine 1.25 mg Fall 2010 - June 2013, Olanzapine 2.5 mg June 2013 tapered down to 1.25 mg June 2014. June 30th, 2014 increased to 5mg. Olanzapine 5 mg June 30th, 2014. Gradual taper of Olanzapine down to 0.4167 mg where I'm at today November 21st, 2016. Taper continuing.

 

Current Medications:

Once a day at night I take orally:

1. Lithium Carbonate capsules 900 mg

2. Lamotrigine tablet 100 mg 

3. Olanzapine tablet 2.5 mg made into a liquid solution of 0.4167 mg

 

My introductory post: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4922-greenflametiger-bipolar-taper-off-all-meds/

Signature written on September 20th, 2013. Last updated November 25th, 2016

My mantra "Love and Sleep! Love and Sleep!" Love is the most important thing. If you have love and trust, you'll be far better off if mania were to arise. Sleep is a close second because it completely neutralizes manic symptoms. 

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Jemima

Please read these topics:

 

 

Why Taper By 10% of My Dosage?

 

Why Taper? Paper Demonstrates the Importance of Gradual Change (this is a REALLY good one, based on good science, and it supports everything found by trial and error in the first topic)

 

How to Make a Liquid from Tablets or Capsules

 

 

You don't necessarily have to go through withdrawal syndrome, at least not a severe one. Reduce one drug at a time, do so at no more than 10% of the CURRENT dose once a month, and stop and hold if you begin to feel any withdrawal symptoms. You may even have to make a small increase and hold there at times if the withdrawal symptoms are too disturbing.  Many of our members who are successfully tapering have found that 10% a month is too much of a cut and are reducing at a lower percentage. The idea is not to get off as quickly as possible, but to remain as functional and comfortable as possible throughout the taper.

 

Slow is best because these drugs change the physical structure of the brain into something abnormal and reducing this chemical support too fast leaves the brain floundering about trying to right itself.  That's where all the really nasty withdrawal symptoms arise. Better to go too slow and allow your brain all the support it needs until it's back to normal and the drug can be terminated from a very low level.

 

I would start by tapering the olanzapine, but please be sure that you're stable for at least a month before tapering anything.


Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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Altostrata

See this topic about tapering olanzapine http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3743-tips-for-tapering-off-zyprexa-olanzapine/

 

If you've had hallucinations, etc. before going on psych drugs, you should be very, very careful about going off because the stress of withdrawal itself can cause symptoms doctors will interpret as psychosis.


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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btdt

Hi Tiger I just read this thread I live in Canada too and have to admit I was looking for other Canadians on this site and that is how I came to your thread. 

As I am new to your story I am curious as to why you started taking paxil in 2001?  

I noticed too that you went cold turkey off Wellbrutin last year before your taper start.  I don't know much about the types of drugs your on at this point I am curious about your journey I call it a journey as a  lot of years have past since you started on paxil and so much has gone down since then. 

 

I know you say you don't want to take canola oil I get how some things can stick in ones mind and resistance to it builds I have had this myself at times and I can be very stubborn.  However I have to admit that when I read the only way to taper slowly and steadily was with a capsule containing canola in a steady dose or taking a drop in dose one day a wk... in my opinion the steady dose would have trumped the varied dose hands down even if a tiny amount of canola oil went with the deal.  Tho I don't know much about tapering these sort of drugs I have seen over the years how the human body reacts to dosage reductions of other psych drugs and the slow and steady way hands down beats jerky up and down dosing.  I usually don't comment on things I have not done or lived thru myself tho I do suggest taper over cold turkey and fast taper based on years of conversing and reading about this subject. I prefer to talk from experience however there are some things that become apparent from doing a lot of research and this is one of those apparent things. Taking the canola oil made by a pharmacy is by far the better choice here  in my opinion. 

 

Listening to your body and watching for signs is the next thing I would like to address as soon as any signs show up hold your taper... I mean any signs... too much chatter ect.  being aware thru a daily journal is a good way to keep your finger on the pulse of this... once a day write something ...not wanting to write in a journal can in itself be a sign it is time to hold from what I have read.  Being aware is difficult when a brain is foggy I know that and this is a tricky issue.  

 

Also protecting yourself from stress and strain.  I noticed that your last collapse started with a trip to hosp to support a friend in some way.  While I appreciate you wanting to help a friend your own health must come first and others second. 

 

I know this may seem a bit know it allish and I don't intend to be offputting yet from where I sit saying these things are done to be of service to you.  I hope you see it the way I intend it.  I wish you peace 

B


WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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Rhiannon

GFT I can only add a couple of things:

 

Given your symptoms of delusional thinking and psychosis, as the authorities call it, you need to taper very slowly. I would make cuts of no more than 5% and stop and hold the taper any time things seem to get a little out of bounds. As Alto says, we don't want you to end up in the hospital and on a basketful of drugs. 

 

You can use a syringe rather than a pipette. We have extensive information on this in our Tapering section. Please read everything there. If you do prefer to use a pipette, I get mine online from places that specialize in providing supplies for science fair projects.

 

I dissolve my tablets in water and that works fine as long as you stir them up well while measuring them.


Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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GreenFlameTiger

Thank you all so much for your wonderful posts! I am feeling especially numb in my brain today but I do intend to respond to all of them. I'll start reading the suggested material as well.


This is the best history I can offer right now. There are some medications and/or dates missing from the list. This was copied down by my mom mostly from prescription labels. This will however give you a general idea.

Paxil 20mg June 2001, Zoplicone 7.5 mg February 2002, Carbamazepine 200 mg December 2004, Lamotrigine 25 mg July 2006, Clonazepam 0.5 mg December 2007, Clonazpepam 0.5 mg January 2008, Lithium 300 mg January and February 2008, Lamotrigine 25 mg July 2008, Divalproex 500 mg April 2009, Welbutrin Fall 2009, Olanzapine 10 mg December 2009, Accuphase 75 mg, Remoran Elanzapine (I think she meant Remeron and Olanzapine) and Lithium injected during hospitalization Feb 2010, Clonazepam March 2010, Lithium March 2010,  Lamotrigine March 2010, Clopixol March 2010, Bupropion (Wellbutrin) 100 mg Spring 2010 - June 2013, Lamotrigine 100mg spring 2010 - Present, Lithium 600 mg Spring 2010 until September 2010, Lithium 900 mg Fall 2010 - Present, Olanzapine 1.25 mg Fall 2010 - June 2013, Olanzapine 2.5 mg June 2013 tapered down to 1.25 mg June 2014. June 30th, 2014 increased to 5mg. Olanzapine 5 mg June 30th, 2014. Gradual taper of Olanzapine down to 0.4167 mg where I'm at today November 21st, 2016. Taper continuing.

 

Current Medications:

Once a day at night I take orally:

1. Lithium Carbonate capsules 900 mg

2. Lamotrigine tablet 100 mg 

3. Olanzapine tablet 2.5 mg made into a liquid solution of 0.4167 mg

 

My introductory post: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4922-greenflametiger-bipolar-taper-off-all-meds/

Signature written on September 20th, 2013. Last updated November 25th, 2016

My mantra "Love and Sleep! Love and Sleep!" Love is the most important thing. If you have love and trust, you'll be far better off if mania were to arise. Sleep is a close second because it completely neutralizes manic symptoms. 

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GreenFlameTiger

Wow, it's been a year since I've last posted. I apologize for not responding to the previous posts like I said I was intending to. I find posting can take a lot of effort for me and I often have very little energy. My apologies.

 
I would like to provide a brief update on what has happened the past year and then ask for some advice on how to proceed.
 
Well I started tapering the Olanzapine using an oral syringe and a graduated cylinder in September of 2014. I was at 5 mg. In December I was at 3 mg and I had a hypomanic episode. It wasn't a full blown manic episode nor a spiritual emergency. I had trouble sleeping so I took Silenor 3 mg. Thankfully I was able to fall asleep. I was excitable at times but I made love my focus and to be kind. This helped a lot. 
 
Things went smoothly until the middle of April 2015. I was at 1 mg of Olanzapine. I had a week or so of very elated mood. What my family and I called a high energy phase. I started listening to The Power by Rhonda Byrne and that is what precipitated it in my opinion. 
 
Then around May the 10th, 2015 I had a full blown spiritual emergency. I was at 0.5 mg of Olanzapine. I call it a spiritual emergency and not a manic episode because I had a high level of awareness during the episode. So much so, that I never ended up in hospital. This is a HUGE accomplishment for me. I am SO grateful that I was able to ride this episode without ending up in hospital. I have never done this before. In fact, during the episode my family and I agreed to go to the hospital for an assessment as outlined in the contract we drew together. The hospital staff wanted me to stay but my family disagreed and thanks to that I was allowed to come back home. I took a lot of sleeping pills during this episode which lasted from about May the 10th to about May the 20th. I took Silenor, Zopiclone and Ativan. Not at the same time mind you. One sleep medication at a time. Surprisingly Ativan was the most effective. I thought that Zopiclone was the heavy hitter. I took 5 mg of Zopiclone. As for Ativan 3 mg was quite effective. However it wasn't effective enough. I could only fall sleep with the sleep medication and only for short periods of time. So unfortunately we had to raise the dose of the Olanzapine. In fact the dose was raised to 1 mg of Olanzapine on May the 11th. Then on May the 17th it was increased to 2.5 mg. Finally after this increase I stabilized and was able to sleep normally. Unfortunately my head once again felt very numb and very foggy. My incredibly low energy, feeling tired and fatigued returned. The need for incredible amounts of sleep returned.
 
Then on June the 24th, 2015 my Mom allowed me to taper again and I tapered from 2.5 mg to 2 mg. Then on July 25th, 2015 I tapered down to 1.5 mg. Today I am going to taper to 1.25 mg. 
 
I have decided to taper by 5% starting now. Rhiannon and a few others suggested that so thank you. I think taking it slower will help. 
 
So I am open to any advice and suggestions. A friend of mine who I met in the hospital in 2014 messaged me recently recommending a whole bunch of things. He was diagnosed with Psychosis and was given Olanzapine. He has now tapered off and is free of all pharmaceutical medication, psychiatric or otherwise. The most notable recommendations he gave me were Bacopa, DHA and Ayurvedic herb. He said that they aren't supposed to contraindicate with any of my medications. He also mentioned a meditation tradition named Kashmir Shaivism. Also theanine, melatonin or matcha tea for sleep. And Magnesium.
 
My questions aside from any advice or suggestions you may have are:
1. Is there a website that outlines contraindications with medications and supplements?
2. Do any of you know about the supplements and meditation tradition that my friend suggested?
3. How do you feel I should proceed with my taper? How do I prevent another spiritual emergency? Or can they be prevented? Are they part of the growing process of tapering off the Bipolar medications? If I have another spiritual emergency what do you recommend I do during the emergency?
 
I found what changed my last spiritual emergency and prevented me from going to hospital and staying there was this important message from the Power by Rhonda Byrne. 
 
Give Love to Receive Love
 
I am so grateful for all of your support and again I apologize for taking so long to respond. 
BTDT your message touched me and I appreciate that you've looked through my story so thoroughly. 
To answer your question about why I started to take Paxil in 2001, it was because I was depressed. And in our society the way to deal with depression is to give the person drugs. And in my case a relatively new drug that was later sued by outraged parents due to it's harmful effects. Shortly after taking Paxil I had my first manic episode and was hospitalized. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder type 1 and the parade of psychiatric medications ensued. I was 15 years old at the time. 
 
The reason I was depressed was because I had no real friends. I was depressed about my parents separation. I had poor discipline and study habits and school was overwhelming me. But mostly it was because of the lack of friends. I had no fun or joy in my life, no confidence. 
 
What I needed was to be taken out of school for a while. Maybe even a change of scenery. Sleep as long as I like every day and then go outside for walks in nature. Take the sun. Maybe even be taught simple principles of mindfulness. I follow Eckhart Tolle's teachings. Learn some Qi Gong. Then when I feel relaxed and centered, with a broader perspective on life, join some clubs of things I love to do. Then I would make friends. 
 
One of the biggest fears I had of leaving school was falling behind my peers. I did have friends, but not real friends. When I say real friends I mean the kind of friends that I want to see everyday and who want to see me everyday. That make me feel happy and whom I can confide in. For some reason being at the same grade as my peers was important to me. I wish I could have seen that it absolutely wasn't. 
 
I hope to, in the future help others like me. Perhaps teenagers who are feeling depressed. Or even those who have been freshly diagnosed with Bipolar or other mental illness. I would rather that they not have to live for over a decade with psychiatric medications. Psychiatric medications have robbed my life. Caused me incredible amounts of suffering and taken away so many years, important years. My only reassurance is that I've grown through the suffering and that I can help others through my experience.

This is the best history I can offer right now. There are some medications and/or dates missing from the list. This was copied down by my mom mostly from prescription labels. This will however give you a general idea.

Paxil 20mg June 2001, Zoplicone 7.5 mg February 2002, Carbamazepine 200 mg December 2004, Lamotrigine 25 mg July 2006, Clonazepam 0.5 mg December 2007, Clonazpepam 0.5 mg January 2008, Lithium 300 mg January and February 2008, Lamotrigine 25 mg July 2008, Divalproex 500 mg April 2009, Welbutrin Fall 2009, Olanzapine 10 mg December 2009, Accuphase 75 mg, Remoran Elanzapine (I think she meant Remeron and Olanzapine) and Lithium injected during hospitalization Feb 2010, Clonazepam March 2010, Lithium March 2010,  Lamotrigine March 2010, Clopixol March 2010, Bupropion (Wellbutrin) 100 mg Spring 2010 - June 2013, Lamotrigine 100mg spring 2010 - Present, Lithium 600 mg Spring 2010 until September 2010, Lithium 900 mg Fall 2010 - Present, Olanzapine 1.25 mg Fall 2010 - June 2013, Olanzapine 2.5 mg June 2013 tapered down to 1.25 mg June 2014. June 30th, 2014 increased to 5mg. Olanzapine 5 mg June 30th, 2014. Gradual taper of Olanzapine down to 0.4167 mg where I'm at today November 21st, 2016. Taper continuing.

 

Current Medications:

Once a day at night I take orally:

1. Lithium Carbonate capsules 900 mg

2. Lamotrigine tablet 100 mg 

3. Olanzapine tablet 2.5 mg made into a liquid solution of 0.4167 mg

 

My introductory post: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4922-greenflametiger-bipolar-taper-off-all-meds/

Signature written on September 20th, 2013. Last updated November 25th, 2016

My mantra "Love and Sleep! Love and Sleep!" Love is the most important thing. If you have love and trust, you'll be far better off if mania were to arise. Sleep is a close second because it completely neutralizes manic symptoms. 

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Altostrata

Good to hear from you, GFT.

 

Like, Rhi, I'm concerned about your rate of taper.

Then on June the 24th, 2015 my Mom allowed me to taper again and I tapered from 2.5 mg to 2 mg. Then on July 25th, 2015 I tapered down to 1.5 mg. Today I am going to taper to 1.25 mg.

 

 

Reducing by 0.5mg at a time might seem very small, but compared to the amount on which you stabilized, 2.5mg, it's 20%. It's 25% of 2mg. Going from 1.5mg to 1.25mg is a reduction of 16.7%.

 

It's very important that you avoid destabilizing your sensitive nervous system. You need to manage your symptoms so you don't end up in the hospital again.

 

It looks like you have a danger zone between 1.25mg and 1.0mg olanzapine, in which you have had hypomania. Then you had to increase your dosage again.

 

If I were you, I'd stay at 1.5mg olanzapine for a good while, then perhaps try reducing at 5% no more often than monthly. That would be 5% based on the last dosage -- 1.5mg. Then, you would be at 1.1875mg. A 5% reduction on that would take you to 1.128mg.

 

Please do not feel you need to rush your taper or force your dosage down to zero. The important thing is that you feel whole, avoid spiritual emergencies altogether, and stay out of the hospital.

 

The Drug Interactions Checker http://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.htmlwill show you drug-drug conflicts. The site http://drugs.com has lots of information about contraindications for drugs and supplements.

 

I am not familiar with Ayurvedic medicine or Kashmir Shaivism. We have topics on many supplements in the Symptoms and Self-Care forum http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/8-symptoms-and-self-care/

 

Your idea of training to help teenagers is brilliant.

 

Please update your signature -- you've made a lot of progress.


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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Katy91

Hi Gft I am tapering olanzapine using the orodispersible tablets. A micro taper of 0.1mg every seven days. I think your making big drops, using a liquid makes very small cuts possible.


Olanzapine 10mg  Dec 2007 - Jun 2008

Olanzapine 10mg Sep 2009 - Apr 2010

Olanzapine 10mg Aug 2010 - April 2011

Olanzapine 10mg Jan 2012 - Jun 2012

Lithium 800mg Jun 2012 - Dec 2013

Lorazapam 1mg Nov 2012 - Dec 2013

Diazepam 2mg Nov 2012 - Dec 2013

Olanzapine 20mg Jan 2014 to May 2014

Olanzapine 5mg May 2014 - May 2015

tapering 0.1mg every 7 days

 

1mg melatonin

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Altostrata

Thank you, Katy. You are an olanzapine tapering expert.


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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JanCarol

Hey GreenFlameTiger!

 

You wrote:

 

 

Shortly after taking Paxil I had my first manic episode and was hospitalized. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder type 1 and the parade of psychiatric medications ensued. I was 15 years old at the time. 

 

Ah, therein lies the rub!  You may not be really bipolar - you instead had a side effect that led you to being diagnosed as bipolar.  This is SO common, and is laid out clearly in Robert Whitaker's excellent, "Anatomy of an Epidemic."  In reading the rest of your post, I believe you understand this, but I just wanted to emphasize it.

 

It is what happened to me.  Depressed, bad marriage in the late 80's.  Prozac came out, they tried it.  I hallucinated.  They tried me on all the others, too.  Zoloft, Paxil, etc. (one doc even called Paxil, "baby Prozac."  Um.  NO.)  Cycling in and out of these drugs, when the marriage ended I went into "spiritual emergency" - a sneaky one.  It took 6 months to blow out into full blown mania.  This is when my best friend, a doc, who still subscribed to the DSM (she's since rejected the premise of it), said, "you know, I think you are Bipolar 2."

 

After I came down from that, another destructive relationship, a mammoth task (renovating and moving to a new residence) and voila!  I xouldn't move, I'm so depressed I can hardly work or leave the house.  Well, my best friend said it, and when I met the craziness that was in my birth family, I thought, she must be right.  So I accepted the diagnosis after years of resisting it.

 

THEN they changed the DSM and my Bipolar 2 slipped into Bipolar 1.  I didn't change, the DSM categories did.  

 

Anyhow, you were being so careful earlier to make tiny tiny adjustments, I, too, am concerned about your rapid changes in dosages.

 

Spiritual emergencies are amazing - but - in withdrawal they are dangerous as they are usually not consensual with the world around us.  Unless you have the support and luxury of being able to delve into deep shamanic states for long periods of time - I agree with Alto - they are best avoided.  Especially if you want off the drugs.

 

Will Hall is off the drugs (mostly, except when it interferes with his functioning) and has times where he merges with the grasses and howls at the moon - and comes back a deeper, richer person.  But he has structured his life around it - AFTER withdrawal.

 

Get through the withdrawal, find a steady state.  If you have to take some of the drugs - then you do.  I may be on lithium the rest of my life, but I'm experimenting with LOW DOSE (even micro-dose) lithium to see if it is "just enough."

 

Anyhow, welcome back, and please update your sig to show your current doses and let us know how it's going?


"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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