Those that have taken Olanzapine/ Zyp... - Action on Postpar...

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Those that have taken Olanzapine/ Zyprexa - would be thankful for your advice

NicJK
NicJK

I am currently on 5mg of Olanzapine and would like to reduce to 2.5mg. If you have ever reduced, how did you do it? Did you go straight from 5mg to 2.5mg and did you have any withdrawals? Thanks so much

26 Replies
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Hi NicJK,

I went from 5 mg to 2.5 mg, I was OK and didn't get more than a few nights where I struggled more than normal to sleep athat normalised in a week's time. My advice would be to reduce your dose when life and circumstances are stable and there are no major stressors, or try and reduce the impact of them otherwise. Maybe avoid checking the news while coming down the dose, take things a bit easier around the house and/or at work.

Take care

NicJK
NicJK in reply to EmiMum

Thanks so much for sharing your experience and good advice EmiMum. How long were you on 5mg before dropping to 2.5mg?

EmiMum
EmiMum in reply to NicJK

I was on 5 mg for 10 weeks, I seem to remember, then on 2.5mg for 10 or 12 weeks. I was working when I went from 5 mg to 2.5 mg, and it was around the time I was going to start with full-time having done part-time for a few months, so I did the dose reduction waited 2 weeks to see how I would take to it and then I started working full-time.

Take good care and good luck with the weaning, take it slowly and listen to your body

NicJK
NicJK in reply to EmiMum

Hello again EmiMum , I tried to reduce my Olanzapine to 2.5mg last night but woke up wide awake at 3:30am with a pounding heart :( . You mentioned that your sleep was a bit "off" for a few nights - did you also wake early?

EmiMum
EmiMum in reply to NicJK

Hi NicJK,

I did have some nights of broken sleep, when I would wake up a few hours earlier than usual. I am sorry to hear that you woke with a pounding heart. Its very unsettling when it happens and its not easy to go back to sleep after that.

Having a good sleep routine before bed helps, a warm bath or a cup of hot chocolate and some soothing music. I used headspace for a while, the soundscapes tracks did help.

Take good care

Hi NicJk,

I was on Olanzapine. It was 7 yrs ago, but I think I was on 50mg or more when I first came out if hosp, then my G.P slowly brought it down to 10mg. It was done gradually and don't remember any bad side effects. Although I do remember not liking it at all, as it made me put on 3 stone and made my legs feel funny?! I think that was because I was on such a high dose? Good luck. Kind Regards, Anna10 xx

NicJK
NicJK in reply to Anna_10

Hi Anna_10 , thanks for sharing your experience. Wow 50mg is a huge dose - you must have been wiped out! Glad you didn't have any bad side effects. Yes I also don't like the way this drug makes me feel :( . I don't care about much while I'm on Olanzapine - I'm mean to my husband and have little patience with my son. Thanks again x

Hi

I am currently on 5mg of olanzapine with looking to reduce it soon

Last time I went from 7.5 to 5 to 2.5 and there was about three months of each

I didn’t have Any side effects

Hope you are doing Ok

Rk

NicJK
NicJK in reply to Rkmummy

Hi Rkmummy, thanks for sharing! How does 5mg make you feel? Do you find that it makes you feel emotionally flat? Glad you didn't have any negative side effects last time you reduced

I feel my mood is stable, the only thing it does it make me very sleepy when I take it. I only take it at night before I go to bed, I have a 4 week old so I’m still up for night feeds but my husband does the first night feed as I struggle to stay awake for it.

Are you feeling emotionally flat? How old is your child?

Do you have a specialist doctor you can speak to about that?

NicJK
NicJK in reply to Rkmummy

Oh wow you have a 4 week old - congratulations! Great that your husband can help you out by doing the first feed. I do find that the 5mg makes me emotionally flat and my family have commented on it as well. My son is 18 months old and I struggle to have enough energy to play with him, because the Olanzapine makes me so tired. I have spoken to my psychiatrist but he just wants me to stay on 5mg - he isn't very understanding unfortunately.

Hi NicJK, I have slowly come down from 10mg Olanzapine and recently in around May stepped down from 5mg to 2.5mg. I didn't notice any negative side effects to stepping down (although I was v anxious beforehand about the change). My sleep has stayed solid and my mood was stable too after the change. I am also on Sertraline which I recently stepped down from 100mg to 50mg. I echo what others have said, it's ideal if you can make the change when you are not expecting any major stressors and be kind to yourself for a few weeks. If I can help please feel free to ask questions!

NicJK
NicJK in reply to ColibriGirl

Thanks so much for sharing your experience ColibriGirl ! Great to hear that you didn't experience any issues. I tried to go down to 2.5mg last night but woke up at 3:30am with my heart pounding :(. So I ended up taking another 2.5mg. Maybe I was too anxious about the change in dose.

ColibriGirl
ColibriGirl in reply to NicJK

I was quite anxious for the first week or so while reducing the dose, I think it is natural to worry about becoming unwell again. Worth speaking to your team about how you are feeling in case they can suggest anything which might help e.g. the timing of your dose. My psychiatrist wisely told me that I had lost confidence in my own ability to recover and that was a residual symptom of the illness, but that would improve with time too. Good luck and please feel free to stay in touch x

Hi. Yes I was on 5mg for a while - made me feel like a complete zombie. I slept from 8pm to 8am and was barely awake the rest of the time. I was told 2.5mg isn't a theraputic dose, but I found it was for me. I'm a small woman after all, not an 'average person' (man) so it's reasonable that the dose is different. All the best.

EmiMum
EmiMum in reply to Well-read

That's a very good point, medication can affect every individual differently so it is important to assess how your body reacts to any changes. I did feel more emotionally detached while on a 5 mg dose, when I went down to 2.5 mg I noticed how I was able to feel more.

NicJK
NicJK in reply to Well-read

Thank you Well-read. 5mg also makes me feel like a zombie! Are you still on 2.5mg?

Well-read
Well-read in reply to NicJK

No. That was a long time ago when my children were babies. Teenagers now. I think I was on 5mg for 6 months with my first. I have few memories of that time. With my second I think I started when I was 8 months pregnant. I had a night when I was irrationally terrified of getting into bed. So the next day I went to the doctors. Then they put me on 2.5, increased it to 5mg after he was born but I managed to get the to reduce it back down. 2.5 worked well for me, but I wasn’t on it for long.

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello NicJK

Welcome to the forum .... belated congratulations on the birth of your son. This is a great safe space to talk and find support. I’m so glad that you have had some great advice about Olanzapine. I had PP many years ago and as I didn’t take this medication I’m sorry I don’t have any experience to share.

As you are in Australia I wonder if you have heard of the mental health support charity “Beyond Blue”? They have a Facebook page which might be helpful but we are always here too :) You might also find local support via Postpartum Support International at postpartum.net/ though this might be how you found the forum.

I’m sorry your psychiatrist wasn’t very helpful after you spoke and wants you to stay on 5mg. Do you think although it makes you feel flat, it is keeping you stable which is most important?

There are some good APP resources, e.g. “PP Soup” - a nourishing mix of all things Postpartum Psychosis, created by a mum who experienced PP, with contributions from other mums and professionals at ppsoupdotcom.wordpress.com/.

Take good care of yourself across the miles.

NicJK
NicJK in reply to Lilybeth

Thanks so much for the information! Very helpful. My psychiatrist doesn't want me to reduce from 5mg to 2.5mg because he is concerned that I will have severe withdrawals - I am very sensitive to medication changes.

Hi olanzapine does make you feel flat are you taking it for bipolar ?

The flat and lazy feeling is really making me feel down :( . I take Olanzapine for anxiety and sleep

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello NicJK

I’m sorry that perhaps the side effects of Olanzapine are making you feel down but I suppose it’s needed to treat your anxiety and sleep.

I was looking at the ‘Beyond Blue” site in Australia which linked to the Centre of Perinatal Excellence (COPE) and under ‘Family and Community’ it’s possible to freely join the Mama Tribe for support in the community. I’m not sure if you saw this when I mentioned ‘Beyond Blue’ earlier but wonder if this might be helpful?

Take care.

NicJK
NicJK in reply to Lilybeth

Thanks so much Lilybeth! You are very helpful. I have joined Mama Tribe :) . I am down because I initially did well on 2.5mg of Olanzapine without the dulling of my emotions, but now I am on 5mg which makes me tired all day and makes me very flat. I am going to discuss this with my doctor today. Thanks again.

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

You’re very welcome NicJK. So glad you joined the Mama Tribe :) as it’s so good to talk and share experiences and we are here too. I hope your doctor’s appointment went well. Stay safe ... take care.

Pikorua
PikoruaVolunteer

Hello NicJK,

I just followed your thread. I am pleased you got some overall information from mums based on their experiences on how to wean off your meds.

I hope the site MamaTribe suggested by Lilybeth will be useful.

In my case I was receiving different type of drugs and anti-psychotics i.e. Haloperidol, Lorazepam, Risperidone. I was sectioned for quite a few months and my partner had to look after me full time once released for one year (2010).

The side effects were horrible and some of the meds were addictive. Thus, ongoing consultation with a Psychiatrist was vital. I was supported by a care coordinator, my GP and my partner. It was a very gradual process. After one year I was free from meds, but it will stay in your system still for quite some time.

I believe it really helps sharing your experience with other mums, being well informed about the meds and have guidance by health professionals.

Stay safe and wishing you good luck in your recovery, please bare in mind all in stepping stones, we all have suffered from a very traumatising illness.

x

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