Medication question: Has anyone been on... - Action on Postpar...

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Medication question

AstroSue profile image
2 Replies

Has anyone been on a sedating antipsychotic that still allowed them to look after their children in the night?

I'm on aripiprazole and while it has worked, I've just had it increased (going through a bad spell with my bipolar) and it is causing extreme anxiety and agitation. I also have chronic sleep issues, and was wondering if changing to a more sedating antipsychotic might be worth a try, but as a single mum I need to be able to get up for my kids in the night if necessary. I've been on quetiapine before and that didn't suit me so that's not an option.

Thanks in advance x

2 Replies
EmiMum profile image

Hi AstroSue,

I am sorry to read that you have a bad recent bout related to bipolar.

I have only been on olanzapine before and have no experience on quetiapine or aripiprazole to know how much more sedative olanzapine is for me. At medium to high doses of olanzapine it was very difficult for me to get up in the middle of the night, I would feel quite drowsy and trip over easily, which made things difficult when my eldest was a baby of course, but not so much of a problem as they grow. Despite this I think parents carry an on switch at night, anyway.

It is a good idea to think about alternatives to help you with your sleep and hopefully your anxiety and agitation too, and to discuss them with your doctor. Your children will benefit most of all from a mum that feels well on herself. Perhaps for some reassurance you could ask a close friend to stay over with you for a couple of nights if you decide to try out some new medication? I have my money on you waking up before your friend if your kids call during the night.

Take good care, I hope you start feeling better soon

LizzieLizzieLou profile image

I’m sorry to hear your current medication is causing anxiety and agitation.

I have tried both risporodol (not sure that’s the right spelling) and olanzapine. I slept well on both, but that did mean I struggled to get up. I was on the highest licenced dose of olanzapine in the early days and on that dose I needed someone else to look after my baby. As my dose reduced it got much easier tho and I was able to care for her.

I also wonder if there might be someone who is able to help you during the night so you can rest and feel relaxed that the extra support is there if you need it? For me, sleep was key to my recovery and I wonder if it will help you too.

Sorry I don’t have a magic answer on an antipsychotic that makes you sleepy but still alert enough to wake up to a crying baby, but I wanted to let you know I empathise with the tension between needing to sleep and needing to look after your baby. I hope you find something that works for you and your able to prioritise your health.

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