Anyone know of any anti-psychotic meds that don't cause weight gain?

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My aunt is the sweetest person, good heart, honest motives, one thing she was diagnosed parinoid schizophrenic, the medicine she's been on since the 90's has caused her to gain (initially at first) about 80 pounds + . On this medicine, she just keeps gaining and can't seem to loose, it wasn't enough that her mind was stolen, then dulled by the synthetic garb that numbs her up to keep her functional and sane.. but her beauty was taken too.. along with a lot of others out there, these medicines are poor in quality, wouldn't you think by now they could have came up with a counter act to the bad side effects at least? or come up with a better cocktail? I think its sad, I wish there was something better.. I've researched for her, heard somewhere that Niacin in large quanties can help schizophrenia, but not actually proven. does anyone know of anything? is there any 'new' anti-psychotic med that doesn't have such severe side effects? the awful weight gain? and dulling effect? if anyone has even heard of anything holistic, unproven, new, or anything please let me know, thank you. I hope there is something out there better

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  • Posted

    Hi I'm new to antipsychotic medication and myself am on one that causes these affects but my doctor did mention one that has no sedative affects or weight gain which i will b put on if the quetapeine is not affective I can't remember Wots its called but I have an app on the 16 March and will ask my doctor sorry this isn't v helpful Hopefulky someone else will b able to name it for you but don't lose hope as I no there R other options. Sorry I can't think of the name my head is also a bloody mess.
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  • Posted

    As far as I know, all antipsychotic drugs can cause serious weight gain, as well as a plethora of other unleasant side-effects. I'm speaking as a former general nurse, a current volunteer in a mental health centre, and the close friend of an 80-year-old woman with severe vascular dementia who's been on a whole range of antipsychotics over the past year. (Antipsychotics are strictly counter-indicated for treatment of aggression in dementia, which doesn't stop doctors prescribing them for around 50% of dementia sufferers in the Western world.)

    I honestly don't know what the answer to this one is. This is a dreadful class of drugs. In my work, I've seen young people apparently in the final stages of Parkinson's disease (risperidone is the usual culprit there); others tormented by constant writhing movements of their upper body, jaw and tongue, which can make it almost impossible to eat (that'll be clozapine); and a whole range of other symptoms, of which massive weight gain is only one.

    On the other hand, stopping antipsychotics, or even reducing the dosage, can result in a rebound psychosis worse than the original condition. One of the clients I work with is a man endlessly caught in a revolving door. He regularly stops his treatment because of unbearable side-effects, becomes severely psychotic (to the point of attempted murder), whereupon he's picked up by the police and detained for six months in a psychiatric hospital, once again suffering severe side-effects from his meds, but at least recovering from his psychotic symptoms, is then released and stops them again. And so on... At least 20 years of his life have been spent in this cycle.

    I know this is no comfort for Redwritinghood. As medical science stands at the moment, there is no realistic alternative to these drugs when dealing with severe schizophrenia, where the illness really is worse than the "cure". However, I would appeal to anyone who might be reading this who is suffering from a non-psychotic condition, such as very bad depression or anxiety, to think twice about constantly pestering their doctor for a chemical solution. Doctors are only human, and faced with a situation where all else seems to have failed and the patient is clamouring for medication, are often tempted to prescribe these powerful drugs in cases where cognitive behavioural therapy might be more appropriate.

    Redwritinghood, all I can suggest is that you try and stay up to date with medical research. I know there's some evidence that niacin (vitamin B3) can help but it can also be toxic even in relatively small overdoses. The problem, of course, is that no one is prepared to do any real research into this kind of treatment, as most medical research is funded by big pharma. I don't live in the UK, so don't know what kind of support is available. Would it be worth approaching one of the mental health charities like MIND or SANE to see whether they can offer any advice?

    I hope you can find some help for your poor aunt. I know from personal experience what it's like watching a loved one's health being destroyed by these drugs.

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    • Posted

      sounds about realistic.

      I think in a way, they want to 'help' you but keep you in their care...money money money.

      I'm not saying all doctors don't care, I think most are, but I think them and the drug companies/pharmacies are tight.. like they don't want to let you go to hollistic care, or really cure you wholly because they lose out. It's like they give you a pill for 'a' then that pill cures the 'a' problem, but causes b, c, and d to go majorly wrong, then you have to correct them with others pills, pretty soon... pill buffet.

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  • Posted

    Hi there I really do understand my son has also been on depo injection clopixol and gained weight tougne movement and shakes. Its horrible but so is the illness un medicated. My son stopped all meds 9 months ago and was doing really well but unfortunately now has relapsed quite bad. The docs have prescribed him a new generation anti phycotic drug called aripipresole but when he got discharged from hospital he stopped taken it regularly so now after a distressing weekend he was given a depo again this time rispirodle consta sorry for spelling. But he wont take the aripiprsole along side it. He was so manic ova the weekend shaved off all his hair with a normal razor trashed his flat climbed up a ladder to try and get through his windows cos his locked hisself out of his flat 3 times in a week. Heartbreaking for me his mother and all the family. I hooe you get some support only the crisis team here is appalling good luck
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    • Posted

      I'm so sorry to hear this sad

      I'm so sorry I feel for you, and him. we have to keep hope that there's something out there, a breakthrough cure, not this garb that turns people into hopeless looking zombies :'(

      I wish I knew the cure

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  • Posted

    Hi there

    I am bipolar, diagnosed in 1998, and have been on a variety of meds, many similar or the same as those used to treat schizophrenia.  I have put on loads of weight and have never come across an antipsychotic or mood stabiliser that doesn't do that, though I'm only an expert in my own case.  I have just learnt to live with it, and to rejoice in the fact that I no longer suffer the debilitating depression and crazy hypomania's.  I wish I could offer you more hope but for me it was just a matter of weighing up the pros and cons, though I can't deny that I feel quite sad when I see pictures of me before I went on these meds.  But on balance, I'd rather be fat and happy and sane than thin and insane.

    One last thing, and this might not apply to you or your aunt, but I have a strong Christian faith and I've come to the conclusion that God loves me just as I am.  

    I hope nothing I have said has dismayed or offended you.

    Love xxxx

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    • Posted

      I just think its amazing you can even say you're happy, God said he came to give life more abundantly, that anything is possible to those who believe, and that hes the same yesterday today and forever; in other words is he still the same healing God? for who? some people not others? I say again, I'm glad you feel your blessed, I understand getting rid of the symptoms are a must to live normally and that all that fear and anxiety is crippling and there has to be a method to rid of it..but couldn't there be another way for you guys, an all natural way? some kind of medical break through, more research, more understanding of this mysterious illness? Maybe my version of God's love is different from yours, I wouldn't ever ever in a million years let one of my children suffer such a confusing debilitating illness that destroys their mind, spirit, and image.. (if I had the power and love to change it). I can say 99.9% I will never understand that.  My aunt was diasnosed bipolar schizophrenic, psychotic features, and paranoia.. she use to be the most beautiful, joyful people, her name is joyce derived from the meaning Joy.. isn't that cruelly ironic? She was like Julie Andrews from the sound of music, sings beautiful, amazing woman, she promoted God more than any of the other sisters, wanted to take people to church, help people, encourage people...

      I don't know it really gets me.. she had a dream and got a nightmare, that was her abundant life for the past 20 years shes given up hope for a husband, or place of her own, or happiness, or being pretty... I'm really sorry for the harshness but this always gets me upset, and in tears. It honestly makes me want to run from God, I don't hate him..I just don't understand him, or his promises.  I'm so sorry I wish I could understand, I'm not content with a surface scratching answer to a profoundly important question.. I'm sure in Gods eyes I'm just a stupid ignorant human .. and it doesn't matter to him if I ever understand or if I end up in netcare..  anyways, I'm so sorry I just can't stand it.. okay, anyways on another note, there's this med called ''Latuda'' look up the reviews on it, 7.5 or something out of 10, It was approved by the fda for medical use in 2010, and its a newer improved anti-psychotic less side effects, including weight gain they say. it causes some insomnia they say, but you can always counter act that with a sleep aid. I hope you'll ask your Doctor about that one, please keep in mind im not saying its a sure thing, I just heard people like it because it has less devistating side effects. I'm sorry again for my emotional rant.

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    • Posted

      I just looked up Latuda, as I too have had to watch a loved one suffering the side-effects of a whole range of anti-psychotic drugs and am always on the lookout for a better one. I'd say the difference is minimal.

      Most alarming is a reference to its tendency to develop athetotic movements, which apparently can become irreversible even on stopping the drug. By this, I mean uncontrollable writhing, twisting, jerking movements of the arms, head, mouth and upper trunk - the kind of thing you see in many people with cerebral palsy. I watched my friend being tormented by these involuntary movements during the six weeks an appalling geriatric unit had her on huge doses of clozapine. No danger of her putting on weight - she couldn't eat at all, even if I helped her, because her head was constantly jerking in all directions and her tongue going in and out like a snake's. Believe me, it's not something you'd want for anyone you cared about. Fortunately, she was only on the drug short-term, so this condition disappeared when it was stopped. Now she's lost the use of both hands - a condition I'm convinced is down to olanzapine, her current anti-psychotic, though I can't prove it and her doctor refuses to reduce the dosage slightly to see whether there's any improvement. Seeing a neurologist next Monday to see whether I can get any back-up from him.

      Seems to me that the whole principle of anti-psychotic drugs is fatally flawed. They all have the same broad range of terrible side-effects. "New" drugs in the group simply rehash the combination of these. However, they do seem to be effective in controlling psychotic symptoms in younger people and those suffering from schizophrenia or schizo-affective disorders, so I can understand why Lizzie is happy to take them. I too have seen transformations among the schizophrenics I work with.

      The irony is that my friend's health is being destroyed for nothing. There's absolutely no evidence of any real behavioural benefit of giving this class of drug to dementia sufferers - as opposed to stacks of evidence that they significantly increase mortality - yet this off-label use goes on all over the world.

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  • Posted

    Hi there, I'm sorry that your Aunt is suffering so much in terms of her weight gain. It sounds like you care for her dearly. I only have experience of one anti-psychotic drug and that is olanzapine. I have agreed to use it to treat my Bipolar Disorder. I was warned by my psychiatrist to begin with about the likelihood of weight gain but I felt and knew I had very little other option to treat the terrifying psychosis I was experiencing. Obviously, this conversation with my psychiatrist took place after a short hospitalisation, as I would not otherwise have been able to understand what was going on inside my brain. My doctor told me that the first choice of drug would have been lithium but because I have an immunological disease the regular blood work would have been an added burden on me. I mention all this because this is what brought me to taking Olanzapine which I have been taking  since 2008. I take the highest recommended dose which is 20mg. I have not experienced a major psychosis since that time. I did put on a lot of weight for the first couple of years but this eventually evened out. I didn't exercise, I just ate less. I had to contend with this as I knew the alternative would most likely lead me to suicide or even worse, harming somebody else. Personally, I think you have to weigh up the benefits of taking an anti-psychotic drug versus the side-effects. The side-effects can be cruel but the consequences, (in severe mental disorders) can potentially be life threatening for the sufferer and for the lives of others. This is my own personal view on the matter based on my own particular experience. I felt like I had lost everything for the first couple of years of taking olanzapine but now I feel like I have gained so much more through adhering to this medicine and being drug compliant. I considered myself good looking when I started taking this drug. These thoughts quickly faded initially but now I feel comfortable and I no longer think of olanzapine as anything other than a helpful and productive drug. 
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    • Posted

      You would think with so much knowledge and advanced medical teachnology they'd figure this out by now and really find something helpful. I don't know of any other class of drugs that do such awful things to a person.. what other medication causes such things? you know? its so awful, me personally I'd just want God to let me die. it just wasn't meant to be that way, I'm so sorry sad I wish I knew the answer, I wish they'd really step up and find a real cure
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    • Posted

      Mervyn, I'm interested to hear you're on olanzapine - and delighted for you that it's working. My friend has been on 10 mg per day for six months now. She's almost 80 and is being prescribed this drug for dementia even though this is an unauthorised use. I think 10mg is a huge dose for a frail 80-year-old with a BMI of only 16 but no one will listen.

      She's not having the devastating extrapyramidal side-effects she suffered on risperidone and clozapine, but for the past four months she's been developing a debilitating condition in both hands that no one is taking any interest in. All her fingers are stiffening and bending at the proximal joint (the one nearest to the knuckle) but not the top joint. I've now been told that amputation is probably the only solution for her left hand, as her fingers can no longer be unclenched and her nails have grown into the palm of her hand, causing a severe infection that will soon become gangrenous. Now the right hand is going the same way. Everyone is behaving as if this is the most normal thing in the world and I feel I'm banging my head against a brick wall. (I'm entirely responsible for her, btw, as she's American and has no family in the European country where we both live.)

      I'm a former nurse, so able to understand the results of my internet research. All I can find is that olanzapine can cause peripheral oedema (swelling of the extremities). It's only a gut feeling but I'm becoming increasingly convinced that it's the drug that's causing this condition, and desperate to stop it before both her hands have to be amputated.

      As someone who takes the drug, you have far more expertise than me. Do you get any swelling or stiffness in your fingers or hands? Any help you could give me would be very much appreciated.

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    • Posted

      Hi my dear, I have search on the net about a meds that was approved by bfad last year May 2016, it says it can cure hallucinations specially those accompanied with Parkinson's disease, it is too expensive though, I try to search for it again andlet you know..God bless us all, May there be Real Cure tomorrow for our loved ones..

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    • Posted

      Thank you Miles, that was so kind of you. My poor friend passed away out of her misery a couple of months after my post asking about olanzapine. Her niece came over, and she and I took turns to sit with her through the night during her last week or so, so she didn't die alone. Although I miss her, I'm also glad that she's not suffering any more. She was 80, of course, but had always been strong and healthy till they started giving her these awful psychotic drugs.

      I'm convinced the drugs contributed to her psychosis too. She was only suffering comparatively mild vascular dementia until 18 months before her death, and was able to participate fully in the life of the retirement home she was in, go out shopping for other residents, and accompany me and other friends to restaurants, the cinema etc. Unfortunately, a minor incident in the home recalled a childhood trauma, and she lashed out at the head nurse in panic. She was then put straight on the maximum dose of risperidone, which reduced her in days to a catatonic husk, covered in bedsores and exhibiting all the signs of advanced Parkinson's. When the staff panicked and withdrew the drug abruptly two weeks later she became acutely psychotic, and remained so until her death.

      Having volunteered in the mental health field for the past seven years, I have met a number of sufferers from schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders who appear to benefit from a carefully calibrated dose of the right antipsychotic medication. I wouldn't, therefore, condemn this class of drugs out of hand. My beef is with doctors who prescribe them without any real appreciation of the side-effects, and who are not prepared to listen to their patients. This goes particularly for the GPs all over the world who prescribe them in large doses to frail elderly people as soon as they start showing behavioural symptoms.

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    • Posted

      What a post!

      What a relief to read your post.

      How are you now Mervyn?

      I am on olanzapine 5 m.g from two months regularly for my medicine induced REM sleep disorder.

      It is working wonders for me.

      Thank you for the hope and sooth.

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