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simack

simack: Trying to taper off antipsychotic's (saphris/zyprexa).

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simack

Hello all, just found this site and was looking for some advice on tapering off antipsychotic's. It all started about 11 months ago when I was prescribed saphris for depression by my pdoc to augment pristiq, (I know I should have known better). All was fine until about three months in when I started slowly developing anhedonia, just a complete lack of interest in life, it messed up my endocrine system, and destroyed my short term memory. Having successfully quit seroquel cold turkey in the past I thought saphris would be a breeze.... Boy was I wrong, only managed to make it there days in before the overwhelming anxiety (which I've never had before)and insomnia drove me back onto it. After three failed attempts to taper off(lowest dose is 5mg and couldn't cut sublingual wafers any lower), my pdoc suggested switching to 10mg zyprexa for two weeks then stopping that cold turkey, well that was a mess again, had anxiety from hell and insomnia. Again we tried switching over to seroquel which failed.So now I'm back on zyprexa (with a whole new set of side effects)with the plan of tapering off at a rate of -1.25mg every two weeks, currently I'm down to 7.5mg with moderate anxiety, intermittent insomnia and an insatiable appetite. Just wondering if this is too aggressive a taper, I only have tablets available so I'm just relying on cutting them into quarters. Just want off this pharmaceutical merry go round, feel as though I've been lobotomized.

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Fresh

G'day Aussie , welcome to the site :). Looks like you got here at the perfect time to stop your withdrawal

turning south.

 

This site recommends decreasing by no more than 10% (of your current dose) at a time , then holding for 3 or

4 weeks at each level. This allows the brain to stabilize between cuts so that the withdrawal symptoms are not

debilitating , and the process is fairly smooth.

 

Read the link on "Why Taper By 10% of My Dose" here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

 

"Tips for Tapering off Zyprexa" is here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3743-tips-for-tapering-off-zyprexa-olanzapine/

 

There are also threads about how to use digital scales to weigh tiny doses , and making your

tablets into a liquid.

 

Your taper does sound a bit too fast , and I'd be inclined to hold at the 7.5 until things have been stable for

at least a month.

 

Best wishes , Fresh

 

.

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simack

Cheers thanks for the reply, will check out the links and keep you posted :)   

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Katy91

I'm using orodisperable olanzapine which makes it very easy to reduce the dose by even 0.025mg at a time.

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ang

Welcome!  You smarter than me, you found this wonderful site before going virtually cold turkey (as I did).

 

I reckon Zyprexa should have been banned ago. Interesting information if you google VIva Zyprexa............   all clear in hindsight..

 

Just want to say welcome..............

 

My advice, like Fresh  HOLD.

 

I gave up my pills using what I wthought was a slow and careful descent over damn 3 months,              was fine for 6 months, then THE CRASH............ avoid the crash, please avoid it...............if you can.

TRUST the moderators    and friends on this site............

 

You will get off the stuff, just takes preparation, and a proper time scale, every reduction, is a pat on the back...............       slow and stable. And try and read the charts, somewhere, brain fuzzy at the moment, that clearly show the dose and effect is a strange chart,  ie at 10% of dose, the receptors etc, are 50% affected, at 20% of the dose 80% affected..............  

 

YES  lower the dose not by a certain amount, lower it by only 10%  OF PREVIOUS DOSE................ those last little bits are the hardest to kick.

 

welcome!  And look forward to a wonderful new life, whether it takes 6 months, two years, it IS WORTH IT!

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ang

Also   I found I could give up short stints on these drugs, over the years (yes gps hand them out like lolllies, but they believed the pharma reports in those days).....took 3 weeks of hell,,,,,,,,,,,  but now?  I stupidly took effexor for eight years,,,,,,,,, the brain gets  I wont say damaged, I will say "changed", and for that change to undo itself, takes more time.....    after the second,, third exposure.

 

I was on Xanax (a valium)   years ago, for only about a month...........after that "exposure"......similar sends me nuts ..........      Our brains recover, they become resilient and strong..... ........ I can no longer tolerate Valiums, now after effexor, zoloft?        I can no longer tolerate any SSRIs  or SSRNIs..............  I am kinda grateful, cause the only way out for me is thru. And the only thing we have to fear is fear itself...........  

 

 

Six months of hell, now improving every day.  And I got the old me back..........................  beware getting a rational brain back, is like ruminating, all the stupid things I did while on the drugs...... I have learnt to forgive myself.

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simack

Thanks for the replies, yeah, think I might hold where I am for a bit, at least until things settle down from the saphris withdrawal (been three weeks now).

Katy91 in regards to the orodisperable olanzapine, do you just dissolve it with water at a 1:1 ratio then just remove your taper from that?

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Iamfine

I recommend holding where you are too. Recently I went from 500 mg Seroquel to zero in about 6 weeks. I was in hell after 4 or 5 days. I ended up reinstating at 150 mg and felt better right away, so I know my fast taper was what caused the problem. It's gonna be hard to get off because it works. This time I'm tapering by the 10% rule. I just want off these drugs right now, and it's caused me lots of grief going too fast.

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Altostrata

Welcome, simack.

 

Fresh gave you the relevant info -- thank you, Fresh!

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Katy91

I dissolve 5mg in 100mls of water then syringe out what I'm reducing by. So in my case 1ml equals 0.05mg of olanzapine.... I think!! At the moment I'm syringing out 9mls which means I'm on a dose of 4.55mg.

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Altostrata

Great info, Katy, thanks!

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oskcajga

I dissolve 5mg in 100mls of water then syringe out what I'm reducing by. So in my case 1ml equals 0.05mg of olanzapine.... I think!! At the moment I'm syringing out 9mls which means I'm on a dose of 4.55mg.

 

That is a very precise way to taper, just as precise as getting a fancy scale and weighing out the pills and removing the contents.  Your math is correct.

 

If I had only known the hell that was going to become my life I would have been just as careful as you.  I lost so much in my life because I didn't taper slow enough.  It's so sad, I thought I knew better and I was a professional scientist too.  So sad. 

 

I had too much faith in the doctor and listened to him unconditionally.  What a brilliant decision that was.  I'm so messed up that I can't even fully comprehend the enormity of how damaged I became because of my fast taper from cymbalta.

 

Hope your life will turn out better than mine.

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Marsha

I'm using orodisperable olanzapine which makes it very easy to reduce the dose by even 0.025mg at a time.

hi Katy91. Are you still taking benzodiazepines?

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simack

Thanks katy that's exactly what I was looking for, my higher order thinking is scrambled at the moment and was having difficulty working out ratio's.

Sounds horrible oskcajga, feels as though the saphris has already destroyed my life, anxiety was a bit higher at work today due to insomnia but will hopefully settle with time

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Katy91

Oskcajga sorry to hear things have gone so badly. I would hope that you would have been feeling much better by now. I've been through hell as well, this is my fifth attempt to get off. We are brought up to trust and believe in authority figures so don't blame yourself for taking their advice. You did the best you could.

 

No Marsha I'm no on benzos now. I was on 1mg of lorazapam but got off it fairly easily as I was under the kosh of 20 mg olanzapine.

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simack

Hey all just another quick question, after doing some further reading on the site ,particularly the hat drug should I taper first thread, would it be wise for me to hold the zyprexa where it is for now and focus on tapering the 100mg of pristiq first? Thanks in advance.

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Altostrata

How much Zyprexa are you taking now?

 

Was it prescribed for sleep?

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simack

Down to 7.5mg of zyprexa now, I was originally prescribed 5mg of saphris off label to augment the pristiq, but was switched over to zyprexa for the sole purpose of tapering off antipsychotic's. Only been on it for three weeks so far

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simack

Thanks for the info Altostrata, it's greatly appreciated.

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simack

OK so I'm at my wits end here, it seems that the olanzapine isn't helping with the insomnia any more, been on zero sleep for two nights ,which is an issue because it's effecting my work performance, I need my job to support my family.l I don't know weather to increase the dose of olanzapine back to 10mg, add 50mg of seroquel to help me sleep or to bite the bullet and reinstate the asenapine. I wish I had have known about these withdrawal effects before I started taking saphris, I never would have started them. It's criminal that drug companies get away with destroying lives like this

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Altostrata

I would lncrease the Zyprexa slightly, to 8mg, and see if that helps.

 

When did you make the switch to Zyprexa? How long were you at 10mg? How long have you been taking 7.5mg?

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simack

Thanks Alto, I'll give that a shot. I made the switch about five weeks ago, was on 10 mg olanzapine for two weeks with the orders from my psychiatrist to then stop it cold turkey, that didn't work, so he suggested using 250mg quetiapine, I had to discontinue that because of an instant bad reaction, so I reinstated the olanzapine at 10mg, but being an impatient type I dropped down to 7.5 after a week. All was managable for the past fortnight except for the last two days when the insomnia has come creeping back.

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simack

OK quick update, managed to cut the zyprexa down to 5mg while introducing 50mg seroquel to aid sleep. Planning to hold here for a while, then getting some orodisperable olanzapine and tapering more conservative, want to get the olanzapine out if my system first then focus on the quetiapine then the desvenlafaxine

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simack

Another quick update, managed to taper down to 3.75mg zyprexa and 50mg seroquel for sleep daily. My anxiety is still relentless but manageable, but now I have a new problem,I have a constant racing heartbeat and a problem with frequent urination, are these common withdrawal effects or something unrelated?

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simack

Also does anyone know of any successful withdrawals from asenapine (saphris)?

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jammin83

You are going pretty fast. You really can't rush it with zyprexa. Those symptoms won't ease up for a long time if you go too fast. Yes racing heart is a symptom. Do you have anxiety and nausea as well? The frequent urination could be related but I didn't have that. I do think that detoxing from zyprexa puts a lot of strain on your liver and kidneys.  Are you supplementing with magnesium? It helped me a lot. 

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simack

Yes pretty much have constant anxiety and intermittent insomnia, but no nausea. Supplements I'm using are magnesium, fish oil, ashwaghanda , and sometimes niacin.

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jammin83

Do what you need to do but zyprexa symptoms don't just get better in a few months. If you are experiencing wd symptoms it can take six or seven months to clear up. Its really not something you can just push through. You might want to take it easy. You're getting pretty low now. No need to rush.

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simack

Cheers appreciate your help mate, I still believe I'm experiencing withdrawals from the saphris along with the zyprexa, it's just devastating to me that everything seemed to be going ok until the last few days, when everything has started crashing down around me. Might consider increasing the zyprexa and holding a bit long until I try another cut

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Altostrata

You've made a lot of drug changes in less than 2 months. Each change rocks your nervous system.

 

The constant anxiety, intermittent insomnia, and increased urination are withdrawal symptoms. Your nervous system is complaining.

 

If I were you, I'd stop changing dosages, etc. and hold for a good long time, to let your nervous system settle down.

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simack

Ok thanks Altostrata, your right, I guess I like learning the hard way, so should I just hold now exactly where I am with doses, or slightly increase the zyprexa and hold with that?

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Altostrata
If I were you, I'd stop changing dosages, etc. and hold for a good long time, to let your nervous system settle down.

 

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simack

Cheers thanks,

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simack

Hey all I just wanted to ask a quick question about beta blockers. My doctor has prescribed me some to help with the racing heart/anxiety, I just wanted to ask if it is safe to take them in withdrawal or am I going to further screw up my nervous system? Thanks

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jammin83

I assume pronanolol? I would be wary of that myself and even when I was on it, it didn't do much for my anxiety. I use tenex to calm down and it does seem to ease the withdrawal a bit and helps with anxiety. I don't use it every day though, just on my rough days. I was prescribed a muscle relaxer too at one point but it didn't help at all and made some things worse. 

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