It’s been a full month since I started Zyprexa and started coming off 30 mg of Haldol. The Zyprexa is really a positive change that has improved my quality of life in several ways. I’m now totally off the Haldol and I don’t miss it.
Zyprexa normally causes sedation. It gives me insomnia. I take it in the morning no later than 8 a.m. and it keeps me awake all day until I take my 6 mg of melatonin at 8:30 p.m. I’m asleep by 9:30 and I stay asleep until I naturally wake up between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m. This is a huge improvement over sleeping for 12 hours and then taking a two hour nap like when I was a Haldol zombie. I get to spend more time with my husband, which is wonderful.
Zyprexa has eliminated my panic attacks, and keeps my anxiety level between an 3-5 out of 10. This is a definite improvement over having daily panic attacks and taking Klonopin up to three times a day. I didn’t even expect this, but I’m very happy about it. I haven’t taken Klonopin since my third day on Zyprexa.
Zyprexa has completely gotten rid of my voices and other hallucinations. It even has what I am calling “enhanced silence” when I am in a totally quiet room. The silence seems like I am experiencing it even more than usual, if that makes any sense. On Haldol I got breakthrough hallucinations once or twice a month, but I haven’t had anything on Zyprexa.
Zyprexa normally causes increased appetite and weight gain. It’s suppressing my appetite. I’ve been using the nutrition tracker on Sparkpeople.com to stay within 1200-1400 calories a day to try to combat the weight gain. I was disappointed to see that in spite of keeping faithful to that low number, I gained one pound. On Haldol, I would have lost 6-8 pounds. I’m trying not to get too discouraged. I just keep doing what I’m doing and hoping that the weight will start coming off.
The only part of my illness that isn’t touched by the Zyprexa is my paranoia. My pdoc says there is no drug that targets paranoia, so I didn’t expect the Zyprexa to work miracles. Still, I am very happy that I’ve made the change from such a big dose of Haldol to a reasonable 10 mg of Zyprexa.
On the negative side, I think I am experiencing some tardive dyskinesia. I feel compelled to move my tongue around inside my mouth and I am getting jerking motions in my hands and feet. I see Dr M tomorrow so we’ll see what she says. I may just need some Cogentin.
Just goes to show that drugs affect each person differently. Also that you should listen when the pdoc thinks it’s time for a new drug. If I had let the potential weight gain talk me out of trying the Zyprexa again, I’d be missing out on doing a lot better. In only four weeks, I’ve gone from being dangerously close to another inpatient experience to an enhanced quality of life.