Problem Associated With Abrupt Withdrawal of Clozapine

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After decreasing my Clozapine by 50mg every 4 months, when I was on 50mg for 4 months, I abruptly stopped taking my Clozapine under the care of my provider. I was doing alright until the eve of the 5th day where I had a major reaction of psychosis, catatonia, restlessness, anxiety, trouble sleeping, a feeling of being poisoned, and more. I then started taking 25mg. It was pretty unbearable and fought the urge to call 911 several times. I already had a list of withdrawal symptoms and my symptoms matched so I figured I would fight though it. My provider kept me on the 25mg and I continued to believe the symptoms were going to go away. Although a lot of symptoms finally went away, I've still been having issues. After doing 25mg for about 8 months I felt sick-like, had trouble getting good sleep, and was very uncomfortable. So we raised it to 50mg and I felt better in a way, but then my symptoms changed some. The following is a list of problems I've had since I went back to 50mg. Although the symptoms are pretty mild and some I haven't had for a while I wanted to give you an idea of what I have been dealing and maybe give you more information of what the problem may be:

  • Chills/Hair standing up
  • Always get poor sleep; usually a lot of dreams
  • Wake up feeling groggy/hung over
  • Racing thoughts
  • Headaches
  • Pretty constant drowsiness
  • Small shock twitches (seems to be increasing)
  • Large shock twitches sometimes when falling asleep
  • Pressure feeling in head
  • Pressure in head and ears
  • Ears popping
  • Agitation
  • Some tenseness; more noticeable in fingers and toes
  • Jumpiness
  • Shuddering/Chills can be induced from thoughts
  • Sometimes anxiety/feeling of being poisoned (serotonin syndrome?)
  • Some brain fog (memory, spelling, math, etc.) (seems to be increasing some)
  • Heart palpitations

Since the beginning, when I abruptly stopped taking the Clozapine, was almost 2 years ago. Within the last couple months I started taking 75 mg, but it hasn't really helped me much and my twitching and brain fog are seeming to increase, but some other symptoms are decreasing. My twitching is like a shocking kind of twitch; it used to feel like the twitch when you are falling asleep, but now is usually milder and more frequent.

When I felt desperate for help and thought it was a great fit, I tried to see a neurologist, but they turned me down because they don't deal with problems dealing with withdrawal from a medication and that I need to see a behavioral healthcare person. This is obviously an imbalance in my brain and I believe I need special care like that from a neurologist. I also tried to see another behavioral healthcare provider, but they didn't say much other than increasing it may be what I need to do; which I ended up doing.

I researched abruptly ending Clozapine and found there is a phenomenon that occurs when abruptly ending Clozapine around 50mg. I believe it said that in order to throw everything back into balance you need to return to 50mg and possibly use a anti-cholinergic. I believe I had anti-cholinergic rebound syndrome and some serotonin syndrome.

This problem feels kind of physical because I can feel the imbalance in my brain as a heavy feeling/pressure in my head along with a sort of acute drowsiness. I believe some of these symptoms could be from not getting good sleep. I am able to fall asleep just fine, but I have a lot of dreams and feel like I hardly slept.

What do you think? What do you believe I should do?

Also: I recently tried .5mg of benztropine mesylate for about a month without any noticeable effect.

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