How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Elliott, LPCC, NCC Your Own Question
Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7664
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Elliott, LPCC, NCC is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have been taking zyprexa for the better part of 8 years for

This answer was rated:

I have been taking zyprexa for the better part of 8 years for severe sleep deprivation; it works well, but I feel that I need to go off the medicine now. I hadn't realized that it was an anti-psychotic drug when I was first prescribed it by my general physician for sleep. I have seen, but cannot find now, a schedule for going off the medication. Can you help me with this? Thank you.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC : Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC : Dear friend,
Elliott, LPCC, NCC : I believe that I can help you.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC : I understand that you do not want to take this powerful antipsychotic any longer, and it was probably a bad choice to prescribe it to you.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC : Discontinuing this drug, even at a tiny level of just a few percent reduction each weak can still give very strong negative symptoms which often cannot be undone by just increasing the dose back up to where it was before.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC : There are other methods that might work in which a milder antipsychotic, usually Seroquel, is introduced as you wean.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC : Do not attempt this yourself. There is much to much negative anecdotal evidence about terrible discontinuations symptoms when withdrawing even slowly.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC : Your body is habituated to this drug now, and it might be safer to stay on it then to withdraw.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC : I know you are looking for a "magic formula" but there is not one. This is a potentially risky process and you should rely only on a psychiatrist who specializes in withdrawal.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC : I would like you to read some of these threads from users of Zyprexa (olanzepine)and read about their experiences. This will give you valuable insight into what is involved here. Read the first one and then click on the succeeding threads (links) in the column below.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :
Elliott, LPCC, NCC : According to The British National Formulary (which studies and documents and makes recommendations about drugs) they recommend a gradual withdrawal when discontinuing anti-psychotic treatment to avoid acute withdrawal syndrome or rapid relapse.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC : However, according to some sources, and cited in Wikipedia, "Due to compensatory changes at dopamine, serotonin, adrenergic and histamine receptor sites in the central nervous system, withdrawal symptoms can occur during abrupt or over-rapid reduction in dosage. However, despite increasing demand for safe and effective antipsychotic withdrawal protocols or dose-reduction schedules, NO SPECIFIC GUIDELINES WITH PROVEN SAFETY AND EFFICACY ARE CURRENTLY AVAILABLE." The capital letters are mine.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC : I urge you NOT to reduce your dosage on your own. Rather, you have two choices: first, continue taking the drug if it is not giving you negative side effects; second, find a psychiatric withdrawal expert who will probably start you on another, milder antipsychotic before he starts to wean you, and then wean from the Zyprexa according to his slow schedule, and then from the other antipsychotic. That is probably how the doctor will do it.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC : I am sorry that I cannot give you an easy way out, but only a choice between staying on the meds or taking a risk of getting off of them and possibly having a difficult time of it.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC : Remember that there is no guaranteed and proven safe method to withdraw.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC : I wish you great success and shall keep you in my prayers.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC : Warm regards,
Elliott, LPCC, NCC : Elliott, MAE, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC
Customer: I thank you for your information, but it certainly is not what I had hoped. I had no idea this was such a dangerous type drug. I am no further along in my quest now than I was; I rather feel that I didn't get my $25 worth of answer to actually help me. You decide if I should pay or not; a refund would be appreciated.I do not see where to go to read others experiences...can you give me that link? Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

Related Mental Health Questions