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Rebtar: Slow. Wanting off Zyprexa ASAP but it will take time...


Rebtar

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Hi everybody. I never joined a forum before but now it's time.

 

I've been on AD's for about 20 years now. Always resistant to staying on them, because of flat affect and just a lot of fear of side effects. Started on maprotiline (yeah, nobody's heard of it) a tetracyclic, then tried St John's Wort, SAMe, TCM, before getting prescribed Celexa.

 

My pattern was to stay on until I felt OK, than go off, probabl;y way too fast for my sensitive system, and crash. Aside from sadness and lack of energy/motivation, my main symptom was horrible insomnia -- I have atypical PTSD symptoms from a major trauma that included pretty much not sleeping for three weeks. Sleep is a big deal, not sleeping gives me really bad anxiety.

 

So I went up and down on Celexa at the advice of my GP, pretty much staying below 20mg, and at one point on 5mg for quite a while and doing well. Used lorazepam periodically for sleep, and went off that really slowly without too much difficulty. Unfortunately, when I decided to go off Celexa (at the advice of a TCM doc who was supposed to be brilliant and said I didn't need it) I ran into a major stressful life event (my 19 yr old learning disabled daughter got pregnant and decided to have her baby) and crashed. In addition to the stress, it was again probably a mistake to stop 5mg cold. I didn't know. After a few weeks of hell and lots of acupuncture, I went back on but it took too long to start having an effect and...

 

I eventually went to the ER, and was advised by the doc who advised not to go to the psych ward, and prescribed more lorazepam. Two days later I saw a PDoc for the first time. She prescribed a small dose od Zyprexa to "augment" the Celexa, and help me sleep. Which it did -- three days later I felt better and could function again. 20mg Celexa and 1.25 Zyprexa. A couple of months later when I was still up and down she added 50mg of lamictal to help me with "stability". So now on three drugs, sleeping, relatively stable. Over the next couple of years, I was able to bring the Zyprexa down to about .35mg, but couldn't get off without crashing. My PDoc called it a "homeopathic dose" and didn't try to get me off. REALLY sensitive to this stuff.

 

Three years into this, a year ago, I had another stressful stretch, and incrreased to 1mg Zyprexa. Then I developed a tremor in my right hand. I freaked -- my dad had Parkinson's. After being in denial for 4-5 months, I finally went to a neurologist and after several tests told me it could be Parkinson's or it could be the Zyprexa. She suggested I try to switch to Seroquel that is supposedly less likely to have this side effect.

 

Oh my, here comes the really bad part -- my PDoc said I could just do a switch of Zyprexa for Seroquel at "equivalent" doses. She knows how sensitive I am and this was a BIG mistake. I switched, and totally crashed. I was supposed to then increase the Seroquel until I felt better. That lasted about two weeks when I developed akathisia. Was given Cogentin and UGH, I couldn't think, my hands trembled, I couldn't have a normal conversation and my memory went downhill. PDoc said switch back to Zyprexa so I did but now at a higher "equivalent" dose (2.5mg). Akathisia didn't go away. Tried to drop Zyprexa to 2mg and BOOM, more depression. Back up, more akathisia. My PDoc then gave up and passed me on to another PDoc (not a bad thing at this point, but I felt abandoned). Since then, I'm titrating down on Zyprexa by .05mg per week. At 2mg now and akathisia is somewhat better but I still can't relax at all, and I still don't know if the tremor is drug induced or Parkinson's. I get the 10% per month and I plan to follow that as closely as I can.

 

I've had enough of these meds. It makes me really sad that I know it's a long road ahead to get back to a semblance of normal. I wake up every morning trembling and depressed. I eat really healthy and walk 6-9 miles a day. By mid-day I feel a bit better but can't stop obsessing about the tremor. Can't concentrate much or I get really tired. Afraid to go outside my routine because it's more stressful and the symptoms get worse.

 

I'm looking into TMS as a way to support this process.

 

Whoever reads this thanks for listening, it gets really lonely sometimes, I'f you're here, I'm sure you know.

 

 

 

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  • Moderator
brassmonkey

Hi Rebtar-- welcome to the group.  I'm so sorry to read about everything you've been through, that's quite an ordeal.  It is good to hear that your are able to get out for long walks every day the exercise and fresh air will really help.  It sounds like you are suffering symptoms from all the drug switching over the past several years.  Here is a link to some good information on tapering:

 

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

 

Also would you please add a signature it will help us see our history at a glance and make it a lot easier to offer suggestions:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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Hi rebtar, Welcome to the group. :)

 

About 10 months in to zyprexa withdrawal myself. I switched to seroquel in January and it didn't go well for me either. I stuck with it though and am just now beginning to feel like I am coming around and stabilizing this past couple weeks. I was down to 5 mg of zyprexa from 20 mg and I switched to 100 mg of seroquel and it didn't really touch the withdrawal. I feel like an equivalent dose would have been at least 300 mg. I still am on 100 mg of seroquel and taking gabapentin too so I still have a long road ahead of me. Zyprexa was really tough for me, I hate to see anyone else going through that.

 

It really takes a lot of fight to get off of this stuff. As you know, take it really slow and listen to your body. I think with zyprexa, even 10% cuts can be too much and sometimes it will take longer than a month to stabilize so be gentle. I messed mine up pretty badly but I don't think there is really any easy way to go about it. I wouldn't worry about the tremor too much. Zyprexa has given me weird jolts and all kinds of stuff the whole time I was on it. There was a lot of things happening on the meds but even more going off of it. Most of it has improved immensely and I am enjoying feeling relatively comfortable in my skin for the first time in almost a year.

 

There are a few others around here coming off of zyprexa so maybe look around the threads for different tips. Katy is having some success with microtapering. That may be a good thing for you if you can get the wafers, as even the 10% can be a big drop once you get as low as you are. I tolerate magnesium really well and it really helps a lot. I think magnesium is depleted when withdrawing from this stuff so if you aren't using it, it's probably worth a shot. Others seem to have some success with fish oil too. I use tenex (guanfacine) for the anxiety and it works reasonably and can help keep me calm and it's not habit forming. Withdrawing from zyprexa was a very stimulating, agitating experience for me so I needed something to help calm me down. You could also try melatonin if you are experiencing insomnia. Always start small and titrate up to see how you react with everything first. 

 

There was a lot of improving and declining but it really didn't feel like I was making much progress for a while. The last thing to go was the intensity so be aware of that. I have support, but the whole process can make you feel very alone for sure. I've quit all kinds of psych drugs but zyprexa was the hardest by far. Let me know if you need anything, I know how difficult it can be.  Hang in there. 

2007-2010 - adderall, vyvanse, klonopin, prozac, symbyax, ativan, klonopin, seroquel, gabapentin, lyrica, concerta, lithium, elavil,  

2011-2014 - adderall, vyvanse, gabapentin, celexa, cymbalta, intuiv, tegretol, lamictal, risperdal, zyprexa, trazondone, wellbutrin

May 2014 - Vyvanse - 70 mg, gabapentin 3200 mg, zyprexa - 20 mg

August 2014 - Gabapentin 800 mg, zyprexa 10 mg

October 2014 - Attempted to taper off of zyprexa completely - did not succeed, gabapentin 900 mg

January 2015 - Zyprexa 5 mg, switched to seroquel @ 100 mg, gabapentin 900 mg 

Feburary 2015 - Seroquel - 50 mg, gabapentin 900 mg

March 2015 - Seroquel - 100 mg, zyprexa 5 mg as needed, gabapentin 900 mg

April 2015 - Determined seroquel was useless but remained at 25-50 mg, gabapentin 900 mg

May 2015 - Seroquel 50 mg, gabapentin 900 mg, tenex 2mg

June 2015 - Seroquel 50 mg, gabapentin 900 mg

July 2015 - Seroquel upped to 100 mg to stabilize, gabapentin 900 mg, took olanzapine six times 10 mg, tenex 2mg

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  • 2 years later...

I've been tapering olanzapine for about 1.5 years, on it for 6. I was put on a small dose to "boost" my AD and it did that. Pulled me quickly out of a deep depression. Started taper at 2.5 mg. Used compounding pharmacy. 

I jumped off at .025. Felt really good for about 2 weeks but last few days feeling depressed. Not really bad but enough to be unpleasant. At such a small dose at the end, could this be withdrawal? I still take other meds, 30mg of citalopram, 50 lamotrigine, 22.5 remeron and .5 lorazepam. 

Any thoughts? I want very much to not go backwards.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Rebtar: Slow. Wanting off Zyprexa ASAP but it will take time...
  • Moderator

Hi Rebtar-- congratulations on making the jump from olanzapine, well done.  There is always going to be a small reaction after dropping a drug.  Going to "0" is like any other drop in that manner.  Your body will adjust to not having it and the symptoms should subside.  You're still on four other drugs though and they will be causing most of what you're feeling.  I would leave things alone for now with a nice long hold, several months, to let your body settle down and stabilize.  Then, when you're good and stable you could go after one of the other drugs.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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Welcome to S.A. 

Could you fill in your drug signature so the mods and members know currently exactly what your on and what doses and dates of all drugs, that way we can better assist you. Again welcome and I'm sorry your going through the nightmare of ad's. Take care Ali 

10 years citalopram 30mg- tapered down in December 15/2015- Jan 15/2016 to 20mg for two weeks, ten for one week and five for another week, then stopped, less then two weeks later, sheer hell broke lose with debilitating withdrawal symptoms.

 

Update-- reinstated 5mg of celexa on feb 5-- within hours noticed immediate difference in WD symptoms-- Holding holding and more holding.

 

Updose- March 23/16 too 10mg- relieved the harsher head symptoms- current symptoms headaches, dizzy, numbness and tingling in my head.

 

Benzos- 2015-Ativan on and off for 6 months 2mg- switched to clonazepam nov 2015- 2mg till Jan 2016 Zopiclone 7.5mg nov-dec 2015- was tapered off over 4weeks- Currently in protracted withdrawal. ????????????????????????????????

 

Update- ended up in the hospital April 18/16 major suicidal ( never had that before) was admitted/ been there ever since, put me back to full dose celexa 30mg no drugs added, IAM FINALLY STABLE AFTER 3 months of tortuous hell. Got a great physiatrist that new all about WD, he will help me taper properly in a couple of months at 5% deductions holding 8 weeks. I never want to relive that hell again.

 

Udate- stable and holding, doing things slowly is key.

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  • Moderator

Hi, Rebtar,

 

Welcome from me too.  Here's how to create a signature:

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature
 

 •    Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
 •    A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
 •    Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
 •    Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
 •    Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016.

     

Gridley Introduction

 

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

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

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

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Oct 13: 8.1 mg 

Taper is 56.8% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg and holding.  

Taper is 80% complete.  

  

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


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

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  • 6 months later...
arwilliams

@brassmonkey What was the highest dose of Zyprexa you were ever on?

 

I think the higher the dose the harder it is to stop but I'm not sure.

My Intro FB Zyprexa 2015-September 2018

1st time I tried to come straight off of 10mg Zyprexa I was hospitalized for insane insomnia.

Current - Abilify Maintena & L Theanine(for akathisia)

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  • Moderator
brassmonkey

Hi AR-- I never took Zyprexa. I've been a one drug guy the whole time with just the Paxil.

 

A higher dose doesn't necessarily make it harder to taper off. By simple math it will make the taper take a longer time. Also because of the SERT loading characteristics of these drugs the higher doses will be less effective the more you take.  It will seem like not much is happening as you taper at the higher doses for the same reason.

 

Are you currently taking Zyprexa?  We really need to see a signature block so we can understand what is going on.

 

Brassmonkey

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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