Schizophrenia.com

1 month off Olanzapine

Today is exactly 1 month since my last dose of Olanzapine.

I’ve tried quitting olanzapine several times before, always tapering slowly. In the past when I tried quitting my brain felt like it was always “on”, I experienced episodes of tachycardia and I was extremely sensitive to caffeine. I also couldn’t take hot showers, my body just felt awful and sweaty afterwards and I had this awful feeling I don’t know how to describe, it took like 2-3 hours before I felt normal again. This time quitting I didn’t experience any of this stuff which is a major improvement. I also experienced insomnia every time I tried quitting which I am still experiencing.

I’ve had 3 major withdrawal symptoms this time quitting…Anxiety, Agitation and Insomnia. I never had any of these before I started olanzapine. Well I had a little anxiety but not in this way. The agitation I have been experiencing is absolute torture, just lying in bed all fidgety but very discomforting, hard to explain…

I’m taking 1 medication and 2 supplements and they alleviate all those symptoms

Clonazepam 1.5mg before bed, l-theanine 400-500mg/day (every 3-4 hours) then 200mg before bed, and glycine 3000mg before bed then 1000mg in the morning

This regimen has eliminated my anxiety and agitation and decreased my insomnia. My insomnia is still pretty bad though, last night i tried taking just 1mg of clonazepam and only slept 5 hours.

The thing is, when i was on Zopiclone I also slept 5 hours but usually felt like crap the next day. With clonazepam, even if I only get 5 hours I still feel much better the next day. I think it has to do with the half life of the medications. Zopiclone has a half life of 5 hours so its eliminated from your body quickly. Clonazepam has a half life of 30-50 hours so it sticks around for much longer, so all day long I still have a large amount in my system, so I think that is why I feel better the next day on it. Sometimes with clonazepam I get 7 hours sleep so it is clearly superior to zopiclone.

As for safety, both zopiclone and clonazepam work on the same GABAa receptor in the brain so they both come with dependency issues and withdrawal issues, but after my experience with both I think I will stick with clonazepam. Plus when it comes time to quit there are far more resources on the internet about quitting benzos than there are quitting z-drugs, I’ve read horror stories about both. On top of that medications with longer half lives are easier to quit and clonazepam is clearly superior to zopiclone in this respect, by a large margin.

I just hope one day my brain heals from olanzapine and I am able to sleep naturally like I could before I started taking it. The internet is loaded with people like me. They slept fine initially, started olanzapine, continued to sleep fine, then quit olanzapine and can’t sleep anymore. Do a google search for “Olanzapine withdrawal insomnia”, there are thousands of horror stories on numerous websites and forums. People online have complained that even after a year of quitting they still can’t sleep so I am probably in this for the long haul.

In my experience olanzapine is one nasty drug because it affects 17 receptors in the brain, more than any other antipsychotic, I think I am sensitive to it which explains all the withdrawal symptoms I have experienced. I was also on a very high 40mg dose for over 15 years. I think my brain is going haywire as all those receptors recover and return to a state of normality. and to top it off olanzapine wasn’t even 100% effective. I’m now on Lurasidone and it is clearly superior for me.

But at least I am managing.

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I’m glad you found Lurasidone. I’m sorry you are struggling so much with your sleep. I too usually only get about 5 hours a night. I try to catch a nap during the day if I’m not too busy for at least an hour. It helps. It’s good you found some supplements to help with the withdrawal symptoms. Sounds like you’re on your way to healing from the olanzapine.

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Thanks @leafy Yeah, i just wish I could get 8-9 hours of solid sleep, without waking up during the night, and then get up feeling refreshed. I haven’t felt like that in a long time. My first time trying to quit olanzapine was several years ago so it’s been a long battle. The good news is that I’m doing the best I have ever done but it’s still not good enough, I’m trying to maintain a positive attitude though.

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Well it sounds like you’re doing pretty good. Keep going.

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You have done well to move off Olanzapine.

Not a kind medication by any stretch

Lurisadone is a good med, I hope it works out for you

My experience between the two was like night and day

Good luck @Headspark

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Hang in there @Headspark hopefully your insomnia will improve. I know how you feel when you get off these APs, I was on thorazine and when I got off it I couldn’t sleep well for 6 months.

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Thanks @Joker So far Lurasidone has worked wonders, been on it for 2 years+, just hope it continues to work.

Thanks @Nate That’s what I am worried about, months of insomnia, but it looks like that is what I can expect. I just hope my brain heals and I can sleep one day normally.

Olanzapine was awful for me. Made me so deprressed, fat and made me sleep 17 hours a day. When I was awake I wished for sleep

Glad you seem to be doing better on lurasidone!

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Yeah, I gained 80lbs on Olanzapine. I’ve since lost all that weight. I use to sleep all the time too, now I can’t sleep at all.

Damn, same I lost all the weight after switching to abilify. But that med has its own problems, it has kind of the opposite side effects, irritability and insomnia. Also I get really impulsive and do dumb or expensive things

As for sleep Im sure it will pass eventually, usually takes over a month and a half I think. Did for me anyway. Good luck, and glad you seem to be doing better now!

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40mg olanzapine is extreme maybe even a crime, you shouldn’t have accepted to be on such a high dose. I cant imagine the weight gain on 40mg, I was on 15mg and was gaining lots of weight, more than now on 6mg Risperdal, plus it never worked for my psychosis. Dr said its pointless to increase the dose and switched me to a previously working med, Abilify. Now I am on Risperdal as I developped impulsivity after years of being on Abilify. Congrats on finding the best ap for you.

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On 15mg Olanzapine I was eating 8 large scrambled eggs and 3 big pitas to feel full for dinner everyday. I was constantly hungry and developped high blood pressure, high blood glucose and high cholesterol. After switching to Latuda, the blood glucose returned to normal, cholesterol and blood pressure decreased. I was already put on cholesterol and bp meds but the Dr now gives me the minimum doses and my cholesterol is in the low normal range, last time I was at the Dr bp was 128/68.

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Well when I was first diagnosed I didn’t know anything. I trusted the pdoc. In hindsight, given what I know now, I am angry. They didn’t even try 10 or 20mg, it was straight to 40mg.

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Well at least now you know and you’re on an ap that works best for you.

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Hi, how is your withdrawal from Olanzapine going?I take only 2.5mg, but I would like to change to something different, but not sure to what. I have trouble to wake Up and being tired. I do worry too my receptors got used to Olanzapine and I will not be possible to sleep at All. Just not sure what to do. I tried to quit Once I was anxious and I cried a lot

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Hi @Ali1

It’s been about 11.5 weeks since I last took olanzapine, so almost 3 months.

Other than the brutal insomnia I am experiencing all my other withdrawal symptoms are gone, and I continue to lose weight. I weighed myself yesterday and I am 166lbs, that is only 2lbs away from my BMI weight which is cool, I haven’t weighed this little in almost 20 years. At my heaviest I was 240lbs.

My insomnia is currently being dealt with by taking 1.5mg of clonazepam before bed, 200mg l-theanine and 10 grams of Glycine. It’s not “perfect” but I am doing a lot better than I was when I first quit. I’ve even managed to fall to sleep a few times for a few hours without medication. I don’t know if I will ever be able to sleep naturally again, but I hope my ability to sleep without pills eventually comes back.

.

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Hi, what antipsychotic do you take instead?I take only 2.5mg Olanzapine, but Iam dependant on IT. Iam as well very scared my receptors got addicted to it and I will not be able to sleep aby more. Before Olanzapine I used to sleep only on ltheanine. I totaly do not know what to do. Olanzapine helps my Psychotic intrusive thoughts, racing thoughts and helps with my mood swings. I do take for mood swings Lithium orotate. Iam scared my mood swings return when I quit Olanzapine. Totaly not sure what to do. I do not know what to take instead of Olanzapine. Last time I tried to quit IT was only few days I got mood swings and I was crying. What would you recommend to me?

Dňa po 23. 8. 2021, 19:46 Headspark via Schizophrenia.com <schizophrenia@discoursemail.com> napísal(a):

That stuff is terrible

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If the zyprexa is helping you then maybe it’s best you stay on it until you talk to your doctor. I was on a high 40mg dose and the side effects were bad, even life threatening and when I got down to a lower dose I became psychotic so I slowly quit and switched meds.

I am now on Lurasidone (Latuda) now, 60mg, and it works great.

@anon96203037 Zopilcone wasn’t long lasting enough for me, I never developed a dependence or tolerance or had side effects to it but it only but me to sleep on average for 5 hours which wasn’t enough. Clonazepam works the best so far.

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For me z drugs as they call them made me amnesic, i forget everything i do as i do it

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