Schizophrenia.com

1 month off Olanzapine

Hey @Flowerpot

My last dose of olanzapine was a little over 3 months ago.

I did a really slow taper from 40 mg down to 0mg over a period of about 4 years. Tapering the first 25mg went smoothly, dropping 5mg every few months, but going from 15 down to 0 was fraught with problems, I had to go really slow. I had a lot of weird withdrawal symptoms, like my brain felt like it was always “on”, I had to pee constantly, I had episodes were I would lay in bed feeling like total crap. They when I got down to about 10mg, but before they put me on Lurasidone I became psychotic and delusional. My withdrawals are all gone now except for my insomnia. It hasn’t improved at all, not even a little tiny bit. I take 1.5mg of clonazepam for sleep (3 pills), 10mg of Glycine and 200mg l-theanine for sleep.

I know my insomnia hasn’t improved at all because last night I made the idiotic mistake of taking 3 crestor pills (It’s a cholesterol pill) instead of 3 clonazepam pills before bed, plus I took my normal daily dose of crestor yesterday, so I took 4x as much crestor as I was suppose too and no clonazepam. This is the first time I have tried sleeping without taking cllonazepam in a few months and I didn’t sleep AT ALL last night, then I had to go into work today, so I’ve been really tired today. I accidentally swapped the places I put my clonazepam and crestor bottles and they are both tiny pink circular pills, they look very similar and I wasn’t paying attention.

I don’t know when or if I will be able to sleep without sleeping pills. There are thousands of people on the Internet that have the exact same insomnia problem as me, they were prescribed olanzapine and when they quit they couldn’t sleep anymore, there is a Facebook group for it too but I haven’t joined it. Some people on the Internet have complained about this insomnia problem going on for 1 or 2 years and I have read very few stories about people that recovered. So I don’t know if I will ever be able to sleep naturally again. And if that day comes I will probably be dependent on clonazepam so I’ll have to deal with benzo withdrawal.

Some people don’t have this insomnia problem though. I’ve read plenty of stories online from people that quit olanzapine without any problems. Everyone is different I guess.

Olanzapine is a good drug at lower doses.

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Lower doses of olanzapine didn’t do it for me. Anything below 15mg (around 10mg) and I became psychotic.

I think I could of gotten along fine with 15mg or 20mg because I wasn’t psychotic at those doses while I was tapering down, but the pdoc at the mental health facility I was admitted to when I was first diagnosed started me off with 40mg without trying anything lower, I don’t know why she started with such a high dose. My physical health took a major hit because of that. While at high doses it helped my psychosis I paid a price for that. it was another doctor that monitored me while I tapered down because he was really concerned about all the side effects, I would’ve had a high chance of dying early if I had stayed on it.

I’m on low 60mg dose of Lurasidone now, which is considered a “weaker” antipsychotic, and relatively speaking, that is a much lower dose than 40mg of Olanzapine and I am doing so much better on it. Olanzapine caused me to develop a severe case of diabetes and other side effects, but now, I am pre-diabetic, all my blood test results are normal now and I reached my BMI weight.

I’m glad to be off olanzapine, I’m just not a fan of it.

Niacin has helped me against racing thoughts and calmed my mind. I don’t take it every day though, but at least whenever I feel I need it. The flushing is a bit inconvenient, but it is possible to get flush-free niacin, but it’s a little bit more expensive.

I’m glad to hear you are making it even though your insomnia has not improved.

I’m still on 5mg zyprexa. I’m not stable enough to quit. Also I’m kind of trapped. My physical health isn’t good enough to sustain another bout of insomnia so I have no chance to quit at this time. I simply have to wait both until I am more stable and my physical health hopefully improves and can take the insomnia.

But if I did quit I would try to induce the hormones and signal cells that zyprexa has been supressing. Kind of a reversal of action by natural medication.(This can be dangerous though if you still are taking medications because of interactions, so this is only after actually quitting meds) Like particulary serotonin is key to sleep since it controls the bodys natural production of melatonin. I might try to take something like rhodiola rosea to induce serotonin production in the body, but take it in the daytime, not at night since it can work as a stimulant.

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Hi,Thanks for reply. I also get racing thoughts.
Do you get mood swings?I get huge mood swings. What meds do you take?Do you feel stable?Thank you
Ali

I’m stable on 5mg olanzapine. Not much mood swings because of the drugs. I miss feeling more, but for now I just have to keep taking my meds.

Hi,
I take 2.5mg Olanzapine already 9 months. Iam not very stable I have problem with mood swings and racing thoughts. Olanzapine makes me very tired so hard to wake up in the Morning and sometimes I vomit too. I do feel suicidal too as I find this kind of life difficult comparing to what it was before. Glad you are better. Do you work?I was working, but quitted job as I could not handle stress.
Alena

Yes, I currently work as a extra in a shop. They call when they need me. I probably work about 30% capacity on average which suits me good. But I work in a retailshop that opens 10am. I couldn’t handle starting working at 8am. People would think I was a junkie or something. Have to give it some time for the worst of the drugs to leave my system so I can function at a acceptable level.

I have applied for partial disability because I have no chance to work full time with this condition and the drugs.

Yes…insomnia is a real concern with these meds. I was on them for about 7 years, then suddenly it was like someone pulled a switch and I have had trouble sleeping for the last 8 years or so.

If you only have been on them for a short time on a low dose I think you could get out of it before it becomes a problem. You should ask your doctor to try a different medication…it sounds like it doesen’t do your mood swings much good anyway. I think olanzapine is the worst one to come off of all the anti psychotics there are. But you have to make sure you can sleep or else your health will deteriorate. Maybe get another medication that is good for sleep and also can help your mood swings. Some other antipsychotics are good for sleep, like seroquel.

Hello,
Thank you for advice. Recently I had such mood swings. I was planning just suicide. I actually decided that I have nothing to loose. Iam going to try to stop olanzapine. I hate it how it makes me tired to wake up. Iam not sure how it will be with sleep, but I hope my receptors will recover. Before they put me on olanzapine I managed to sleep on ltheanine every night about6 hours, but it was deep sleep and I had nice dreams and I remembered them. Since olanzapine I often do not remember my dreams and Iam never possible to have short sleep during day. When I was on ltheanine I could have short sleep during day. As well since olanzapine I do not have motivation for sports and I put bit on weight. It helped me bit with racing thoughts, intrusive thoughts, feeling strange in reality, anxiety and mood swings. At least you are stable. Iam not. What is your diagnosis and your age?Iam still not sure of mine they said psychotic decompensation, then maybe schizoafective, bipolar. Iam 39years old. Since my problems started 3 years ago I did few jobs for several months full time, but all I quited as I found hard to deal with stress. Now Iam about to start new job in few weeks working with invoices and I worry I will not manage, but I want to try. Before I was such high performing and I had good carrier. I do take a lot of supplements ltheanine, gingo biloba, omega3, safran, vit C, D, inositol and lithium orotate. All this supplements help. Regarding niacine how much did you take?Do you take some other supplements?What helps you to survive?I think all the time that Iam ill I can not have rest. My mind is always working. Sorry for so many questions.
Ali

I’m about your age. The diagnosis has changed a few times. I think it currently is uspecified psychosis. I don’t really think the diagnosis tells very much.

I also take quite a few supplements. Vit C, D, niacin, taurine, magnesium, melatonin, glycine are probably the most relevant i am currently taking for stability, fighting brain inflammation and sleep.

Yes my brain also feels like it’s on all the time. It’s impossible to sleep or take a proper nap during the day time. I heard other people taking olanzapine tell they have the same problem. I haven’t found anything specific that helps against this. Maybe valerian root can calm the mind a little, but this interacts with olanzapine so can’t take them at the same time of day.

Luckily I am at least able to sleep most nights.

Damn! 17 hours! That’s a lot. I sleep about 12 hours a night.

Hello,
Thanks for reply. I do have propably also some kind of psychosis, but I have no halucinations, or hearing voices. Do you have?My big problem when off medication are intrusive thoughts, racing thoughts and mood swings, depression, anxiety, feeling strange in reality. Iam reducing olanzapine now. I do experience worse sleeping. I do not know what happends, but I decided to quit olanzapine. I will try to order some supplements you recommend. Can you please write me how much of each supplement do you take?How did you survive 8years with illness?I struggle.
Thank you
Alena

Hi.
Yeah, I’m pretty much like you. I suffer from racing thoughts, paranoia, problems seperating fantasy and reality when I’m in psychosis. I guess that is kind of a definition of psychosis.

I wouldn’t just quit without talking to your doctor first. I tried going off a couple of times, but I was forced back on it because of relapse and because I was unable to sleep.

If I’m ever going to try and quit again I would probably switch to another AP that works on less receptors and/or get a sleeping medication to help me out.

Vit c 200-1000mg a day
niacin 500mg about twice a week
taurine 500mg a day
magnesium 200-500mg a day at night
melatonin 1mg a day at night
glycine half a teaspoon(maybe 2-4grams) a day at night

But we are all different, you should listen to your own body when trying out supplements and find out what works for you.

Actually I have had the illness for almost 15 years. It’s rough. Life is not what it used to be. Supplements and good habits help. I find that there is no supplement or medication that is going to get me through the worst of it. I have to try and stay focused and consentrated and make sure I do things that are good for me and avoid things that are bad. For example avoid eating much junk food, excersise, not spend too much time online, do hobbies, spend time with friends or family, be in nature. That is the fundamental of better mental health.

Hello,
thanks for information. I decided to definitely quit olanzapine. I hope I will survive it. I do not want to take AP as it completely takes my motivation for hobbies and sport and life. Did you suffer with mood swings?I get really bad mood swings with racing thoughts they are the most difficult I only cry. Do you get intrusive thoughts?I get intrusive thoughts that I tell myself scary stuff what if Iam dangerous and stupid things like that. Regarding paranoia I was scared if somebody poison my medicine, or was scared ex BF follows me and things like that. Without meds I feel strange in reality, anxious feel weird when Iam walking, or doing things. I handle stress hard. Do you have something similar?Sorry for so many questions. It is just interesting for me to speak to someone similar. What helps you for racing thoughts?Do you get depression too?I also find my life is different. Its struggle. I had very good life before. I find it hard to survive now. Do you have partner, or kids?I have partner, no kids. Regarding supplements ltheanine is great and innositol for anxiety and omega3. Recently I take for mood swings Lithium Orotate.
Alena

My medicine is working on several levels but god am I tired of being fat. I’ve never been this fat. I refuse to let myself get heavier than 210. I don’t know what I’ll do but something’s gotta give, 200 used to be my supposed breaking point but I let it get worse.

I’m on 7.5mg olanzapine. Any lower and my voices become mean and drive me to self-harm urges. I’m kind of between a rock and a hard place.

It took me over 4 years to taper down from 40mg of Olanzapine and I had a lot of awful withdrawal symptoms, but I am past all that now, been off it for over 3 months now, except for this damn withdrawal insomnia. Olanzapine made me sleep 12 hours a day and when I was awake I didn’t have much energy. I wouldn’t blame all APs though, I switched to Lurasidone and now I work, I have more energy, and I feel better. My interests are different than they were 20 years ago but I think part of that is being older and my schizophrenia. I don’t feel like Lurasidone is killing my motivation, since going on it my motivation has increased compared to when I was on Olanzapine. For me going off AP’s completely just leads to psychosis. If Olanzapine is really hitting you hard talk to your pdoc and maybe try something else.

Yeah,when I was on olanzapine at my max weight I was at 240lbs and I hated it. I was ashamed to be that fat. When I started to lower my olanzapine I lost some weight and since I have quit and switched to olanzapine I hit my BMI weight. I feel better, my self esteem has gone up. But I still have stretch marks from being so fat, and I hate those.

I’m not a big fan of olanzapine.

Hello,
Iam decreasing now. Third day. I take quarter pill. Iam sleeping worse, but still I sleep. Bit of anxiety in the Morning. Glad new AP is good for you. Iam still not sure what I will do. My biggest issues are mood swings. I did not find anything for it. I take lithium orotate supplement. Are you working, or how do you spend your days?How many years do you have psychosis. Me3 years. Life is not as it used to be. Do you feel same?
Alena

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Try ltheanine for insomnia

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