Are these Olanzapine side effects? - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

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Are these Olanzapine side effects?

mfc83
mfc83

Dear all,

I am taking Olanzapine and would like to know if you also felt completely unmotivated to do anything. I manage the basic tasks and taking care of the baby but other than that I just want to lay in the sofa and watch TV...did you also feel this?

And another possible side effect: I havent had the period since before I got pregnant. I had my PP episode 3 months ago and since then I am not lactating so my period should have come already. Did you get the period while on medication?

Thank you for reading, I am new here and it really feels good to have a community of women that understand me.

26 Replies
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Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello mfc83

Good to hear from you. Although I didn’t take Olanzapine so I’m not sure about side effects, I can relate to feeling unmotivated at home. After PP I suffered a severe depression and some mornings found it difficult to even get out of bed :( even to care for my son at the time. So I think you’re amazing having had PP only 3 months ago and caring for your baby.

As mums we expect to be able to pick up where we left off, even though we have been hit by such a traumatic illness and there’s a baby in the house! Try not to be so hard on yourself .... caring for your baby is no easy task and I think is more than enough for now as you recover.

I’ve read my notes about the lack of my periods after my first son was born. Four months after his birth it’s recorded that I had not had a menstrual period in spite of the fact that I was not breastfeeding. The Registrar went on to say he would like to think this was related to my psychiatric condition. Apparently I viewed this as a punishment during my early months into recovery!

When I found the forum I was amazed and overwhelmed to find mums who had similar delusions during PP and their support meant so much. It’s a great feeling to know you’re not alone isn't it :)

I’m sorry I couldn’t be more helpful about your medication but there will be other mums here to share their experiences. Take care and be kind to yourself. x

Hi mfc83,

How are you today? I took olanzapine for a year as I have mentioned in one other posts and what you describe is very much how I felt. When I was on a dose of 7.5 mg and above I felt very meh, and also quite dissociated from my emotions, as if they were wrapped up in cotton wool. As you describe I just managed to go through the bare minimum and took very little joy on anything. Also my periods took a really long time to come back, I think it was 9 or 10 months after having my daughter, which by then I must have been on 2.5 mg. Amenorrhea is a possible side effect of the medication, I checked with my gp as I was also a bit concerned, but it was reassuring to know that olanzapine was the cause of it. I went back to having regular periods after it.

This is still early days, and I know you must be keen to feel like yourself again, but bear in mind that you have gone through great trauma, and even without the addition of pp being a new mum is something that takes a few months to adjust to. Like Lilybeth says, please don't be hard on yourself, you are doing really well, and you are a great brave mum looking after your little one.

One thing I remember that started to lift the cobwebs during recovery was to do some physical exercise. At the beginning I had zero interest or motivation to do it, but little by little I started looking forward to it. Doesn't have to be something strenuous to begin with, maybe some yoga, a walk, a bit of dancing if you fancy that. But it gets the endorphins going and it also gives you such a sense of accomplishment.

Maybe it can take a different form for you, maybe something creative, start with something small and you can build much on it.

Take care, thinking of you

Emero
Emero in reply to EmiMum

Hi Mfc83

I felt absolutely unmotivated while taking olanzapine 17.5mg, and even while taking a reduced dose of 10mg daily I found normal things were a struggle. Dampened down emotions, slower thinking, poor concentration and depression were the side effects for me. I experienced no upside other than improved ability to sleep, and came off the drug altogether after 6 months. It took a few years to feel normal again after coming off it. I really hope you're on a lower dose than me and I hope you can come off it as you see fit. Everyone is different and you have do decide what's right for you. It's the patient who picks up the tab at the end of the day.

All the best!

Hi

It's my family member and not sure what drugs she's on as she is on so many. I will speak to others and see which ones.

Side effects are a nightmare too.

Baby is good and family members are caring for them as mum has been in hospital since giving birth.

I call it delusions but the experts say it isn't. But when she is thinking Drs are fake etc I think it is delusions.

You sound like your positive which always helps. Thanks for your words. Support is good

Xx

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer in reply to Paddymam

Hello Paddymam

Thanks for coming to the forum. I’m sorry to hear your family member has been in hospital since giving birth. This struck a chord with me as I was sectioned after a few weeks and spent months in general psychiatric units without my first son. So family stepped in to care for him.

I wonder if the PP Insider Guide “Recovery after Postpartum Psychosis” might be helpful at app-network.org/what-is-pp/...? Has your family member been given a diagnosis? During my PP I suffered with delusions, hallucinations and intrusive thoughts so it is a very frightening illness and a worry for family. Thankfully I did fully recover.

Please take care of yourself. I hope your family member will slowly recover and be home as soon as she is able.

Xx

Paddymam
Paddymam in reply to Lilybeth

Thank you for this. Glad you recovered. Xx

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer in reply to Paddymam

Thank you Paddymam ..... with good medical care your family member will also recover. Wishing you strength at what must be an unsettling time for everyone. Xx

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer in reply to Paddymam

Hello Paddyman

I hope your family member is slowly recovering in hospital. Do you think if she is well enough, she might be allowed home for a few hours? After a while I was allowed to do this to see how I coped with routine and a new baby in the house! I hope the side effects of medication are not too tiring. Take care. Xx

Paddymam
Paddymam in reply to Lilybeth

Thank you. At moment No signs of being allowed home for a few hours Unfortunetly xx

EmiMum
EmiMum in reply to Paddymam

Hi Paddyman,

It will come, I had pp in 2018, it took me a month to be allowed home for a few hours, and the first leave didn't go well and I returned to the mbu much earlier than planned. Its a bit go with the flow as everyone's recovery is different and there is no hard and fast rule.

Thinking of you

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer in reply to Paddymam

Thank you Paddymam ......your family member is in the best place for now to help in her recovery although it’s a shame she can’t be with her baby. I’m sure she is comforted by your loving support when you visit. Take care. xx

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer in reply to Paddymam

Hello Paddymam

I hope your family member is making progress in hospital and receiving good care. Thinking of you .... stay safe.

Paddymam
Paddymam in reply to Lilybeth

Thanks Lilybeth. Things are not improving just taking it day by day. She's been in hospital for 6 months now and seems like forever. 😕

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer in reply to Paddymam

Hello Paddymam

So very sorry to hear things are not improving but as you say it’s best to take it day by day as, if it is Postpartum Psychosis, it does take time to be well.

Years ago, with PP after my first son, I was under mixed general psychiatric care for 6 months without him but I did eventually fully recover.

There is another APP resource that might be helpful “PP Soup - a nourishing mix of all things Postpartum Psychosis“ at ppsoupdotcom.wordpress.com put together by a mum who suffered PP, with input from other mums and professionals. So I hope it might be reassuring for your family to read and listen to as there is also a radio conversation with mums?

It must be exhausting for you and your family finding a way to visit during Covid restrictions but it will mean so much to your family member to know you are there, even if sometimes she seems far away in her thoughts. Please remember to take care of yourself too.

Paddymam
Paddymam in reply to Lilybeth

Thank you 💝

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer in reply to Paddymam

You are very welcome Paddymam 💜 .... take care listening to the radio documentary as it might be upsetting.

Ellie_at_APP
Ellie_at_APPAdministrator in reply to Paddymam

Hi Paddymam

I'm sorry to hear about your family member who is in hospital.

I wondered if you are in the UK? You mentioned that they are in hospital, and I wondered if she has been offered a mother and baby unit where they are specialised in treating women who are unwell after childbirth, and she would also be able to be with her baby? Being in a mother and baby unit, not separated from by baby, but getting specialist support to be with my baby was so essential to my recovery.

I'm sorry she's on a lot of medication as well. Sometimes it can take a while to find the right medication, and dose.

Take care,

Ellie

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello mfc83

Just wondering how you have been since you posted. I hope you found the replies helpful. Do you have a CPN for support or the perinatal team until your baby is one year? Be kind to yourself and take care .... we are here for you. x

mfc83
mfc83 in reply to Lilybeth

Hello Lilybeth, I am doing relatively good compared to where I was 3 months ago...but I hate that it takes me ages to get out of the bed in the mornings and that I am so unmotivated to do things. I don't feel much joy in the things I used to like and I am only interested in laying in the bed and watch TV or sleep. I am not sure if it is the Olanzapine or I am having a depression. I am closely monitored by a psiquiatrist and she doesn't want to give me any antidepressants as they can trigger psicosis. Thank you for being there!

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello mfc83

Thanks for taking time out to reply. I’m glad you are doing relatively good. I think I posted earlier about how hard it was for me to get out of bed too, I’m not sure if it was a lack of confidence that I wouldn’t be able to cope. I did suffer with depression following PP.

It’s good that you are being closely monitored by a psiquatrist. Did you ask her whether the medication might be holding you back as some mums here have said they felt how you feel when they took Olanzapine? It took a while for my care team to find the medication and treatment that worked for me.

Do you have extra support to lean on such as the perinatal mental health team until baby is one year, or a CPN? I think it’s good if you can talk openly about how you feel, even if its just over the phone during the virus restrictions. You can always talk here too :)

Try to remember that you have been through such a traumatic illness only 3 months ago and it takes time to recover and enjoy life again. I was in psychiatric units for the first six months after my first son was born. I found it so hard to find my place again but I got there and so will you with time.

Have you seen the PP Guide “Recovery after Postpartum Psychosis” at app-network.org/what-is-pp/... which might be helpful? There are also personal experiences on the page so you will see you’re not alone!

It’s not easy in these early months for you so take good care and be kind to yourself .... PP mums really are amazing :)

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello mfc83

Just wondering if you are feeling any better and whether your care team has suggested anything to help? I remember when I was recovering it took a while to find the right balance of medication which worked for me.

Try not to rush yourself .... it takes time to find your feet after you have been through such a traumatic illness. Stay safe and take care ... we are all here to listen and chat if and when you feel like it.

Sending hugs from a distance. x

mfc83
mfc83 in reply to Lilybeth

Hi Lilybeth,

Thank you for the follow up, its really nice to feel part of this community. I am feeling more or less the same, maybe slightly more awake. My psiquiatrist doesn't want to change the medication yet, the plan is that I continue now with this low dose of Olanzapine and that I will be meds free for Christmas so I am looking forward to that...there is not much more I can do :-(

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hi mfc83

Thank you so much for taking time to reply. I can understand that you are looking forward to being meds free for Christmas but will you have any other support after that? Do you have a perinatal mental health team for support, or CPN?

There’s a brilliant blog “PP Soup” (a nourishing mix of all things Postpartum Psychosis) put together by a mum who suffered PP with clips from other mums and professionals at ppsoupdotcom.wordpress.com/ which might be helpful and reassuring.

APP also offer a second opinion service or consultation to patients with the aim of assisting and advising clinicians and patients in diagnosis and management. Referrals can be made by your care team or GP. There is no charge for this service either to you or the referring NHS Trust. The link is app-network.org/what-is-pp/.... Although based in Cardiff, I think it is possible to have a consultation via Skype or similar.

I hope some of this is helpful ..... you’re not alone. :) Stay safe and take care.

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello mfc83

Just wondering how you are? It’s early days into your recovery from such an awful illness so be kind to yourself and sleep when your baby sleeps :)

Be safe and take care.

mfc83
mfc83 in reply to Lilybeth

Hi Lilybeth, thanks for your kind message asking how I am. I am counting the days to get off olanzapine. My psiquiatrist plans first a dose reduction to 1.25mg in two weeks and then beggining of december to get off completely. I hope that my sleepiness and lack of motivation improves also I hope that my period comes back. In summary, I just want to go back to the person I used to be. Take care.

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hi mfc83

Lovely to hear from you. It’s so good that your psychiatrist is monitoring your reduction in the dose of medication. The beginning of December is not far off so hopefully it’s not too long to wait. I think that medication does make you slower but at the time it’s keeping you stable so you have done well to persevere.

I remember my periods took a while to return too. I think I mentioned earlier I read in my notes that four months on from my son’s birth I had not had a period, even though I wasn’t breastfeeding. Perhaps your care team can advise you about this? As mums we wish we could pick up where we left off and don’t quite appreciate what a serious illness we have been through.

You will get back to the person you used to be and much more but I think you need to be kind to yourself. Try to remember how far you have come in such a very short time .... be very proud of yourself ..... PP mums really are amazing 💜

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