Olanzapine withdrawal hell.

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hi folks.

Hoping someone can give me advice and some hope that things are going to get better.

I was taking 15mg of Olanzapine for a period of 4yrs and with the support of my psychiatrist decided to discontinue it this year.

I followed my psychiatrist weaning schedule which was reducing the dosage over a period of 4 weeks and completed this process 2 months ago. To throw in the mix I have also discontinued Valium over the same period.

Since stopping these medication my life has been hell I have had really bad chronic insomnia, sweats, bad anxiety, Itchiness of my skin and tremors. I have been tempted to go back on the medication but I really don't want to so soldiering on, I went to see my GP who said that it's going to take time for things to settle and he also prescribed me some Zopiclone to help me sleep which has made no difference.

I'm really worried that these withdrawal symptoms won't get better so would like to hear from anyone who has gone through similar and any advice would be most welcome. If I was told how hard it was to come of Olanzapine I would not of agreed to take it.

I am still taking Prozac and not planning to come of this.

Help?

Ben

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    sorry you are going through this.

    you should never have been taken off that fast and certainly not of diazepam at the same time. what dose of diazepam where you on ?

    they should be tapered seperately and slowely. 10% every 4 weeks. it is a long process but the only way to do it safely.

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    • Posted

      Hi Sarah

      Thanks for the reply.

      I actually came of the Olanzapine first and once I had done that then started reducing the Diazepam also over a 4 week period. I was taking 5mg of Diazepam for a period of just over 2 years.

      I agree that I have come off these medications to quick would you suggest I go back and speak with my psychiatrist ?

      Ben

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  • Posted

    HI Ben

    I am also taking olanzapine and in the process of tapering off. I am doing 5% every 14 days. I am tapering off 2 other drugs at the same time at the same rate. I have read somewhere that you can taper off 3 meds at the same time so long as you go really slowly. It is not,easy but I feel I must try as the drugs are not doing me any good at all. They have actually made my anxiety far worse. The doctors dont appear to know how to wean patients off these drugs. I am doing the taper without my doctors knowledge as she also wants me to come off too fast.I would appreciate anybodys comments on what they think of my taper at 5% every 14 days for 3 different drugs, olanzapine, mirtazapine and cymbalta. If I had known how hard it was to get off these drugs I would also never have gone on them. i have completley lost my faith in the medical profession.

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  • Posted

    Hi Ben, I'm really sorry that you're having such a difficult time. Just want to let you know you will get through this. You have done an amazing job getting this far as it takes strength to get through all those horrible symptoms. I have been on olanzapine in the past which was unsuccessful so reduced down as you are doing and it was very difficult but I got there. I am currently on lamictal, venlafaxine, mirtazapine, lithium and diazepam! My latest psychiatrist couldn't believe the cocktail of drugs I was given by my previous psychiatrist. (for bipolar) So now I will be reducing and discontinuing all but the lithium. I too have been really struggling and it is an awful way to feel everyday. I've actually found something that helps with the awful anxiety, tremors and insomnia without having to lean on the diazepam. I'm having huge improvements by doing the following: drinking lots of water, cutting out tea, coffee and caffeinated drinks to reduce anxiety. I bought probiotic tablets (7 strains of good bacteria). Bought a high strength multi vitamin and mineral supplement. Added in extra vitamin c in effervescent form and I am also taking co-enzyme Q10 and high strength omega 3 capsules. I know it sounds alot to have to do but I am feeling very much stronger and able to carry on with the rest of my reduction. Please Google 'the gut brain axis". There is close correlation between poor mental health and an unhealthy gut biome. I couldn't believe that this was the case and was really and I mean REALLY! sceptical but I'm having good results in a matter of 10 days. Maybe it could help you too? I'm eating lots of fruit, salad, veg, and cutting out red meat and having fish and chicken instead. As well as my mental health improving, I feel my physical health improving too - not so exhausted. My anxiety has greatly reduced as have the sleepless nights and the night sweats. I hope this information helps you as I know what a tremendous effort it takes to get through each day when you feel awful. Remember that you can beat this and that brighter days are waiting for you. Jackie x

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  • Posted

    Dear Jackie,
    
    I have been following this thread with interest.  I am also on a mixture of drugs,including olanzapine and want off them asap.   Are you tapering off all yours at the same time.I am on olanzapine, cymbalta, mirtazapine and ativan.   I am tapering all at 5% every 14 days.   What do you think?   I am doing all this on my own as my doctor does not understand that you have to wean off them slowly.
    
    Please let me have your thoughts.   I feel very scared.
    
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  • Posted

    Hi folks

    I have an update.

    I am still having the same problems and i have been trying various supplements and vitamins without much effect and my sleep is still not good.

    I have just got back from the doctor and I have caved in and decided to go back on a low dose of Olanzapine 5mg for 2-3 months and then have a review and hopefully then taper back off but over a much longer period. I feel a bit down about this like if I have failed as I really did not want to go back on it.

    I just need to sleep though as not sleeping is making everything much worse so this is the only way i can see that will improve things.

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    • Posted

      Hi Ben,

      Sorry for your reinstating. I am Andy who also plans to wean off 2.5 mg Olanzepine, may I ask how you are doing now? I also tried to come it off once, but failed.

      Andy

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