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Risperdal use
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Risperdal use

My wife has suffered from depression for over a decade but for the last five or six years she has kept it under control through the use of Effexor XR and for anxiety with Buspar as prescribed by her family physician.  Upon learning that she was pregnant in 2003, with the knowledge of her doctor, she stopped using both.  She was fine throughout the pregnancy but a month or two after the birth of our child she went back on both and has been feeling fine.  A couple of months ago, her doctor asked her to fill out a twenty question (or thereabouts) questionnaire which she did.  A month ago during a regular visit, he informed her that he feels that she is bipolar and prescribes Zyprexa.  The dosage was for one 5mg pill a day for a week and then two of the same each day.  The experience was horrible.  Vomiting, (involuntary..she had a history of bulemia which she had overcome nearly 10 years ago), nausea, a rapid and noticeable weight gain, always tired, very sleepy, etc.  Her doctor kept at her to take this stuff but she finally took herself off of it.  The withdrawl (withdrawal) didn't go well.  Last week she visited her doctor, told him what was going on and her switched meds, now putting her on .5mg of Risperdal daily for three days and as of today, twice a day.  This experience as well has been bad.  The vomiting has stopped, the eating jags have ended but the nausea is as bad or perhaps worse and now she is feeling a bit hopeless from what she says.  Not a good experience.

What is with these drugs, especially the Risperdal that she is now on?  Why would her family physician put her on such medication simply on the basis of a short questionnaire?  She was feeling fine, had told him so but he decided to switch meds anyway saying that he wanted to get her off of the Effexor and that the Buspar was "useless".  He has indicated that he is going to refer her to a Psychiatrist but to date that referral has not happened.

I am concerned about just what the Risperdal is all about and perhaps more important, what damage can all of these changes in meds cause?  Can they trigger something more than the depression that she has been dealing with?  

She is a stay at home mom and has been dealing with an active 21 month old child but was planning on returning to work in a few months and I was then going to take a year off from work and look after him.

We're looking for some answers, for some support for some thoughts and that is not coming from her family physician.

To put it simply, she was doing well, and based on a short questionnaire her meds were changed and all hell has broken loose.  

We are both very worried about the path that she is now on.

Thank you for any response.
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242532_tn?1269553979
I don't want to second guess her doctor, but from the facts you presented, common sense alone would make me agree with you. If your wife was doing fine on both of these well tolerated and very effective medications, that is what she should stay on, and as she feels better even think of weaning off over time.  Both of the other two medications are meant for much more severe problems, and both have serious side effects, as you have discovered. If there is any real question about bipolar...which doesn't sound like it...a consultation with a psychiatrist would be in order,but be careful re diagnosis...they are not always accurate, and oftentimes don't really mean anything.
9 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I am sorry to hear that you and your wife are going thru hell. I would request a second opinion about the change of meds. That doesn't make sense that the doc would pull her off of the meds that were working so well for her. But then again I am not a doctor. I have been thru the whole "bad meds" experience and it it terrible. Good luck to the both of you...
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Avatar_f_tn
I take Risperdal and I know my doctor gives it to me because I have had psychosis.  As a matter of fact, some insurances will not allow anyone but a psychiatrist to prescribe anti-psychotics.  I am also bipolar and I know that antipsychotics are sometimes given for that, but I would never take an anti-psychotic if I didn't need to.

If things are not working out with the Effexor (I was on that, too) I would seek a psychiatrist's expertise.  I believe and have been told by my psychiatrist that a psychiatrist should be the doctor of choice for someone who is bipolar, nothing against your doctor.

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Avatar_n_tn
hi ryryry

i understand your concern and sometimes the side effects CAN be discouraging.  Risperdal is an antipsychotic drug that is prescribed to a LOT of bipolars, schizophrenics or people suffering from dimentia (dementia).  does your wife suffer from depression mainly, or does she have manic episodes as well?  

AP's work well for mood stabilizers as well but shouldnt really be prescribed as the main medication for therapy - a psychiatrist will probably go over this with your wife.

Odds of it working for depression - Good.  As a stand-alone med for depression I wouldn't bet a lot of money on its working, but if you mix it with an antidepressant for treatment-resistant major depressive disorder the odds are pretty good that Risperdal (risperidone) will work.

Good luck...
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Avatar_n_tn
I can't believe the doctor put her on Risperdal. I would refuse to see him again, putting someone on a medication that is indicated for a problem the patient doesn't suffer from is irresponsible.Especially since he is only a GP/family doctor and not an experienced psychiatrist he has no business prescribing for someone with psychological issues.

I have Bipolar I and often need to take antipsychotics, which is what Risperdal is. However, I hear voices, have hallucinations, and exhibit psychotic behavior none of which your wife is experiencing. Another point I'd like to make is that my doctor doesn't keep me on them unless I need them. I don't take one daily. Risperdol should be taken at night, it is
very sedative. Same goes for Zyprexa.

Neither of these drugs are standard or prescribed right off for Bipolar unless the patient is psychotic at the time.
They aren't used for most Bipolar patients.

See another doctor, you couldn't do much worse than your current doctor.
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Avatar_n_tn
Does anyone have any experience with getting off of Risperdal?  My wife's doc has for the 3rd time in 6 weeks changed her meds.  To say that she (we) is (are) perturbed is an understatement.  She has an appointment with a psychiatrist in 10 days.  Given the side effects that she has been dealing with she's going to get off this stuff.  The concern is that when she went off of the Zyprexa a few weeks back (cold turkey) the withdrawl (withdrawal) symptons were quite bad.  She obviously does not want to repeat such again.  Thus the question if anyone has had any withdrawl (withdrawal) experiences with Risperdal.  Oh, and it's time for a new family doc.  He at first indicated that he put her on Zyprexa to deal with his diagnosis of her being bipolar.  Then it was Risperdal for the same.  After she complained he said that he was treating her for anxiety.  Now he tells her that the Risperdal is for depression.  As I said, time for a new family doctor.

Oh, and has anyone been for therapy or to a psychologist for treatment.  The more I read on the subject of depression a two pronged attack on this, both meds and talk therapy appear to be a possible direction to go in.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have taken Risperdal for about 10 years.  Several times I have stopped taking it and I had no withdrawal symptoms.  About the 3rd or 4th week I would start feeling bad but it was psychological and not physical.  

I definitely think your wife should be seeing a psychiatrist and never to take an antipsychotic with out it being prescribed by a psychiatrist.  And yes, therapy is wonderful.  Sometimes when someone's depression is too great, it is beneficial to have meds along side therapy, otherwise, she might not be able to handle therapy or concentrate enough.

Good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
I would like to thank all who listened and to all who took a moment to share their experiences with Risperdal (and Zyprexa) as it pertained to the subject that I started a few weeks back.  To quickly recap, my wife who has been dealing with depression for many years, and in the more recent years quite successfully with a combination of Effexor XR and Buspar, had her meds changed by her family doctor in mid-August.  Initially this changes was to Zyprexa with some very bad results and then to Risperdal with ultimately also with some very bad results.  Unfortunately her doc was clearly not listening when she said that she was doing fine and that ALL/ALL of the problems she had encountered in recent weeks were a result of those changes in her meds.  Nope he said!  She was bipolar based upon a short questionnaire that he had her complete, that he had changed her meds initially to deal with the bipolar, then at the next visit with him it was to deal with anxiety and at the next visit it was to deal with depression.  He even came out and said that he didn't know what was going on.  He then referred her to a psychiatrist AND changed her meds yet again.  By this point she was at wits end.  After bottoming out with severe depression, the likes that she had not had in years, she made the step to seek medical assistance at a local hospital which has a good mental health component.  As luck would have it, the psychiatrist on call was the very specialist that she was referred to.  At the initial visit she met with a psychiatric nurse who listened, was supportive and agreed that if the meds that she was on were working, there probably was no reason to change them.  She was sent home with a referral to the on call psychiatrist who conducts an emergency clinic each morning at the hospital.  That visit was today.  The end result was heartening to say the least.  She was initially seen by a student doctor and later in consultation with the on call psychiatrist the decision was made to toss the Zyprexa, toss the Risperdal, do not fill the latest prescription and to go back on what was working, the combination of Effexor XR and Buspar.  She has an appointment already scheduled with this same psychiatrist in 10 days at which time they will go over the results of the decision to return to what was working.  Oh, and the bipolar diagnosis?  NOT!  She was misdiagnosed.  Having stopped the Risperdal nearly 48 hours ago it was like a switch that had been turned off has been turned off.  I have my wife back!!

Oh, and yes, she is now looking for a new family doctor.  Amongst the many gems from this character was one that she reminded me of that happened with him a few years ago.  She requested that she be referred to a psychologist thinking that it would be good to talk things out with someone.  His advice...see a priest.

Again, THANK YOU to all who posted thoughts and comments on this thread and on the one for Zyprexa.
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Avatar_n_tn
My husband has been on risperdal for about two decades - 3m.g. per day for the past 6 years. Over the past two months he has had symptoms that looked like an early onset of some of the elderly issues. Immediately his Doctor, cut his dose to 2 m.g. per day. He is so much more alert, aware, etc.- a real pleasure. If all goes well, the plan is another drop of 1 m.g. in the Fall. He had been on as low as 1/2 m.g. about a decade ago.

Can you direct me to any appropriate literatue? He is 50 year old, diagnosed with schitzophrenia at 24. I have found very little about how to monitor coming off of the medication, other than saying to do so slowly. This was a scary two months thinking he had spent the good part of his life with one disease, only to come down with some age related disease too. What I now understand to be a case of "over medication" might happen to others. There is so much attention on the initial phase of using this drug but nothing - that I have found - on things to look for when the person has recovered/stabalized/etc. and needs to gear down.

Are there longitundinal studies of this medication? And of the illness?
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