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heather24624 heather24624

Suffering from olanzapine withdrawal

I was prescribed 2.5mg of Olanzapine as a migraine cycle breaker.  I suffer from chronic migraines and my neurologist went through a number of different meds.  I was on this for one month.  She told me this wasn't a long term medication for migraines and switched me to a course of anti-seizure medication (Zonisamide) on a migraine preventative.  I have no history of depression/anxiety/etc.  My last does was on 12/12.  I started sleeping less and on 12/26 begin having major anxiety, sweating, shaky, racing thoughts, severe insomnia and lethargy.  My doc wanted to put me back on 2.5 mg for two weeks then one every other day for two more weeks.  I was terrified of going back on only to suffer through all of this again.  She then suggested Seroquel but after reading reviews was afraid to go back through the same thing.  I'm averaging 1.5 to 2 hrs of sleep per night most nights with a little better sleep thrown in every few days.  I talked to my GP and she suggested that I'm very senstitive to what I now know are anti psychotics and gave me 10mg prozac to deal with the anxiety and klonopin to help me sleep.  The klonopin helped a bit but last night I was up again at 1:30am.  After reading many blogs and forums I know that she should not have had me quit cold turkey and I'm suffering from withdrawal.  I'm 26 days in now and am wondering when this is going to get better?  It's too late to go back in time to taper the meds and am just trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Any advice and support would be appreciated!

30 Replies

  • karogers karogers heather24624

    Hello there

    Oh Dear I can so relate to your suffering from having been on Olanzapine and it makes me incredibly angry!

    I was on it for 1 year and strongly questioned the psychiatrist why I was put on such a drug and truly felt what I was experiencing was side affects of this horrid drug The only plus was I slept really well. Anyway I wasn't being listened to so in the end I just went off cold turkey but that caused absolute havoc mentally and physically I managed to ride it out but after 6 months I still can be quite shaky at times and my sleep is an absolute nightmare Its so broken and full of bad dreams. I really want to challenge these Doctors who prescribe these wicked drugs. They have no idea!

    Anyway I hope yr symptoms will ease and take extra good care of yourself by including regular physical activity healthy diet and a few quality natural supplements



    • karogers karogers heather24624

      HI Heather

      As I did suggest in my first reply to take some quality supplements as that's what I chose to do along with a healthy diet. I consulted with a clinical nutritionist and now regularly take a high quality multi vitamin and a high dose vitamin C. Any good pharmacy or health food/herbalist shop will b able to advise you and lots of physical activity has also helped me heaps. I bought a bike and pretty much bike everywhere now.

      Wishing you improved health!


    • heather24624 heather24624 karogers

      Right now I i dont have much of an appetite so ive been eating nutrigrain bars, yogurt, granola and trying to keep in Gatorade and water.  I was a big coffee drinker and have gone completely off of it.  I leave in the eastern US and the cold is ridiculous right now excercising outdoors is tough.

      I’m going to try vitamin C and also a multi vitamin.  What dose do you take?  I have zero energy and just want to lay in bed - hoping it will pass!

  • MtViewCatherine MtViewCatherine heather24624

    OMG, What a nightmare! Sounds like the “cure” is worse than the disease.  I take turmeric for migraines. Takes the edge off.

    • heather24624 heather24624 MtViewCatherine

      I’ve had chronic migraines for ten years but this niggtmare with Olanzapine has turned me off from meds.  I’m taking B2 and CoQ-10 in the morning and magnesium at night for them.  Next thing is Botox which my insurance won’t cover.  I’m so disappointed that my neurologist put me on this medicine after reading how horrible it is to quit.  I just want the nightmare to end and to feel better.  Earlier my vision was blurry and I felt lost.  I’m thinking maybe dehydration from bit eating or drinking much so now I’m on Gatorade.

    • MtViewCatherine MtViewCatherine heather24624

      I’ll try the CoQ10 and B2. Ive not heard of B2.

      I’ve done Botox. I feel it was very harmful and likely contributed to my migraines. I could feel it when it started to wear off a few months later, and it caused horrible pain. I suspect it also contributes to thyroid disease.

      You aren’t missing anything. You dodged another bullet by avoiding the Botox.

    • karogers karogers MtViewCatherine

      HI there I just noticed your comment!

      You hit the nail on the head when saying "the cure is worse than the disease"!

      I was way worse when put on Olanzapine! It altered my true self completely. The Doctors wouldn't listen when I questioned that what I was experiencing could well be the drugs side affects. In the end I took matters into my own hands and went off cold turkey. Not the best way to go about it as I had severe withdrawals for many months but now I've never been better. The only lingering problem I have is poor sleep!

    • heather24624 heather24624 MtViewCatherine

      B2 is riboflavin - not the easiest to find in stores so I have to order it.  I’m also going to an acupuncturist and using Chinese herbs twice a day.  Today I haven’t had any burning/sweating - just a little anxiety but am so tired with no energy.  I’m praying that I’m on the upswing.  I know this withdrawal has waves of good and bad.  I just keep thinking that it can’t last forever!

  • mnm22 mnm22 heather24624

    I took olanzapine for two years and I have tried to quit it numerous times. I can’t even remember how many times I tried to quit but now I am finally without any withdrawal symptoms. It has been 3 months after my last intake. I meticulously cut down using a pill cutter. Sadly even if you cut down little by little, with olanzapine it’s not really possibly to have any withdrawal symptoms. I personally suffered a lot during the last two months of withdrawal because of flu like symptoms and I also caught flu at the same time. But now I’m free!  I have more energy and my life is more balanced. So hang in there!! You can do it!! 

    • heather24624 heather24624 mnm22

      I’m so glad to hear that you are Withdrawal symptom free now.  This is honestly the hardest thing that I’ve gone through and can understand why people have to go back on.  The anxiety has lessened some and I’m feeling the flu like symptoms along with insomnia.  I wish I could go back in time to taper down the drug but am sticking it out now.  I can’t wait to have some energy and feel like myself again!

    • mnm22 mnm22 heather24624

      It was really hard because my pre existing condition- chronic pain has gotten worse with withdrawal symptoms. anyway, try to relax and have lots of hope. When pain got too severe I took some Advil (ibuprofen) that really helped as I had migraines very often. Stay positive!! The pain will be over soon and you will be totally free! It’s worth it! Cheers! 

    • karogers karogers heather24624


      I can totally relate to everything you hve/are experiencing.

      The withdrawal effects are horrendous and linger on for quite some time. After 6 months I've never felt better but still have the problem with insomnia.

      It's a painful journey alright!

    • heather24624 heather24624 karogers

      Right now I just don't have the energy or willpower to do anything... everything seems like it takes so much effort.  I'm so tired but unable to sleep.  I know that it's partly a waiting game until my brain resets and things go back to normal.  How long did it take before you starting having more energy or interest in life? 

      My GP has said that since I was only on the medication for one month that there's no perminant damage which I find reassuring.

    • bridget46879 bridget46879 mnm22

      Hi, and congrats to you!  I am now 4 and a half months off zyprexa and I was taking them for nearly 2 years, last down was 2.5mg.  I slow tapered until 1.25mg and then off from there.  I went through withdrawals: anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, feeling terrible, hang over feeling, hot and cold, irritable, insomnia, diarheoa, nausea, light, touch and sound sensitivity, skin crawling. Doctor is aware of discontinuation however they have not been part of this process, partly because I have not been to see them.  I have taken ibuprofen for headaches and when feeling unwell, codeine was better.  i take magnesium for sleep but still not sleeping as well as pre-meds. But I am committed to remaining abstinent from olanzapine.  Good diet and exercise has been a saviour!  You are worth it!


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