olanzapine for severe anxiety

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Im looking for some reassurance so please no horror stories. For people out there that take thisbmedication. Is it normql to experience heightened anxiety when starting/ increasing it?

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  • Posted

    Yes, Alison - it can cause some agitation and anxiety at first. I don't take the medication but I'm a former nurse and a friend of mine takes it as well. No need to worry about this but you might want to discuss it with your doctor or other mental health care worker.

    And perhaps it might be a good idea to unfollow any discussions on the subject of olanzapine. A lot of people have reported that it's been a life-saver for them, but there are others who feel very strongly about having been forced into taking any antipsychotic drugs. They have every right to express their concerns in a public forum, but sometimes these concerns can indeed read like "horror stories".

    My friend has been on three different antipsychotics - ending with olanzapine. One thing I can say is that the first two caused severe extrapyramidal side-effects. One sent her into a state ressembling Parkinson's disease, while the other had the opposite effect, producing constant abnormal movements of her head, arms and upper body which made it impossible for her to even feed herself. Since starting olanzapine she has had absolutely no sign of either of these distressing side-effects.

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    • Posted

      Thankyou so much for such a reassuring reply. I will be sure to unfollow any other discussions. I will persevere with it and hopefully it will settle. I have heard that it can take up to 8 weeks to work??

      Im glad that your friend has had success with it. My psychiatrist did tell me that olanzapine has the least extrapyramidal side effects. Im taking 5 mg and hopefully that dose will help.

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    • Posted

      I think that 8-week estimate is about right. My friend is on 10mg and if anything it slightly reduces her very severe agitation. However, it has to be said that she's on it for an unfortunate combination of vascular dementia and a schizo-affective disorder, so the poor lady is permanently agitated and aggressive these days anyway.

      Good luck with the treatment! I'm glad you're able to stay positive, as that's half the battle.

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    • Posted

      I need help and the doctor won't take me off the 10 mg of this crap they put me on,  they misdiagnosed me with major depression and i am on this med plus 30 mg of cymbalta  can't go outside feel like i have to scream  i am ruined  PLEASE HELP

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  • Posted

    I don't know alison possible because if u look up online it says that one of the side effects is anxiety. Do u have schizophrenia? My doctor recently put me on a new mood balancing drug which made me happy and relaxed after a year of depression, feelings of suicide and lack of motivation and anxiety. It is so nice to feel so good.
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  • Posted

    Hi again, I just wanted to say that it seems the longer that u r on it then the side effects start showing themselves and side effects r different for everyone i have been on and off it for 20 years and it basically stopped working for me and had been for many years but i had difficulties going off it due to the lack of sleep going off it causes and i also ended up having a terrible watery right eye that watered for most of the day so i was desperate to go off it! I hope that it works really well for u. I wish u luck and i hope that mine is not a horror story i apologise if it is.
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    • Posted

      Well it seems it never worked for me. I was put on it for anxiety and it didnt help, infact the more I took the worse I was getting so now ive been off it for 6 days. Im hoping that withdrawal wont get any worse than it already is!!
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    • Posted

      I do wish doctors would reserve these powerful antipsychotic drugs for the purpose for which they were originally intended - treating psychosis or (in some cases) bipolar disorder. Some people with these conditions can really benefit from them - though I know from reading around these forums that not all of them would agree with that. But I can't understand the eagerness to use them for anxiety, and even less for dementia patients with "difficult" behaviour..

      Alison, I do hope you manage to get off olanzapine without too many rebound effects. From what you've said on this forum, it looks as if you've been taking 5mg for a couple of months. That's not an enormous dose, and not such a long time. Did you reduce gradually or just stop altogether? Gradual reduction is always advisable for this group of drugs. You could always restart on a lower dose for a while if the withdrawal effects are too bad, then gradually cut down from that.

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    • Posted

      I completely agree with you about the use of these meds. I went down to 2.5 mg for 2 weeks then I took 1.25 mg for 2 weeks. Ive been off for 6 days now and dont wish to go back on it at all.
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    • Posted

      Sounds like you just need to hang in for a few weeks till the symptoms subside. You should be OK coming down from a relatively low dose that you haven't been on for too long, but don't hesitate to reintroduce a very small dose - maybe on alternate days - if it gets unbearable.

      Good luck for the future - and this time, don't be so trusting of your doctors! Don't be afraid to do your own research on any meds they're proposing to give you. Have you tried CBT or DBT for your anxiety, btw? They can be very effective in helping you to take charge of your own mental health, but the patient needs to put in a lot of work.

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    • Posted

      Hi Lily, I totally agree with u doctors r too happy to prescribe these drugs to people like dementia patients to sedate them so that they are easier to manage and would u believe my husband said that a lot of doctors are prescribing it for people who have sleeping issues it's evil because it's such a difficult drug to get off.

      Lily u have great advice about cutting down slowly that is exactly what i am embarking on after many years of trying to go off cold turkey. So i have gone back to my usual dose of 5mgs at bedtime and will cut it in half after two weeks i hate the drowsy morning effect it has but what can i do i was'nt sleeping well so i had to go back on it and i look forward to gradually being olanzipine free. It didn't alleviate my schizophrenic symptoms at all my doctor has put me on a another drug which is fantastic it has given me my life back my motivation, happiness and free of anxiety yay!

      I wish u all the best Alison u can do it just slowly slowly.

       

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    • Posted

      Thanks guys. Any idea How long before the withdrawal starts to subside!subside? And how long before this stuff is out of your system?
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    • Posted

      Hi Alison,

      According to most websites, half life is around 36 hours in women - i.e. the concentration of the drug in your blood reduces by half every 36 hours - so it doesn't take too long to eliminate. The time it takes for withdrawal symptoms to subside is much harder to predict. I found an interesting article on this. I won't post the link, as that will cause my post to be withdrawn for a day or so while the moderator checks it. In fairness, they allow most links on here but it takes a while to get them passed and I know you're in a hurry. You'll find the article if you google "Mental Health Today" as a single item, and olanzapine withdrawal.

      The main thing is not to panic too much about withdrawal, which can make everything worse.

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    • Posted

      My mental health counsellor thought that it could take two weeks to fully be out of your system however, Lily seems to really know a lot about this. I have started taking a natural L-trytophan and yay i was able to take 2.5mgs last night instead of 5mgs i didn't like being on the 5mgs coz yesterday morning after being back on it for the first time in after a week i had terrible hangover effects and no i don't drink and my agitation and irritability has increased god i can't wait to be off this drug it's horrible.

       

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    • Posted

      It didnt help my anxiety at all infact im certain it was making it worse! Its day 8 without any and id say the last 6 days ive been getting some really horrible achs and pains!!! Headachey and feeling not quite right. Some horrible depersonalisation too this last week. Theres no way im going bck to it so im going to have to go with it and take each day as it comes. I hope you manage to get off of it dhrti. Without too many wd symptoms
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    • Posted

      Hi Allison, oh you poor things. Try getting some magnesium dyclinate it's great for aches and pains and if your headachy try some lemon juice with warm water it cleans the liver and google natural herbs and teas for headaaches i can't think off the top of my head what herbs treat headaches.

      Thankyou yes i do too. So far so good I had a brilliant sleep last night and i only took 2.5mgs so in another week i will cut it down to half i'm looking forward to it. I am also going to cut my mood balancing drug by half today and see how i go because i am getting some ineteractions between the two drugs i was fine on my laprogine just taking it on it's own but the two together make me feel hung over and nauseous wish me luck. The L-trytophan was it u that it mentioned it, is really helping.

      Try and get some exercise each day too it will probably help relieve your headache too. Good luck my friend.

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