Avatar universal

What can I take for insomnia caused by abrupt withdrawal of anti-psychotics?

My friend was hospitalized and put on Zyprexa, Trileptal and Invega over a period of 21 days. Now he's been released but can not afford the drugs so he hasn't taken taken any for 5 days. The invega was only given to him 6 days ago, and is a monthly injection, so the withdrawl for that hasn't started yet. I know one isn't supposed to just stop anti-psychotics but he hasn't been able to get Medicare and I don't think he'll manage it right now. So this is his reality... please could you tell me what he can do to ease the transition?
Right now his main problem is that he can't sleep. What can he take to help with that?
Thank you!
He is 38, smokes nicotine, has started smoking much more in the last few days.
Never been on psychiatric medication for any length of time, and wasn't before he was hospitalized.
Self-medicated for decades with marijuana, but not had any recently. Wonder if it would help/hurt?
1 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
Avatar universal
First, you don't say what it is he's been diagnosed with.  You don't say where he lives and if he's tried to get into Medicaid.  You don't say if he's asked your state health dept what help is available for those who can't afford their meds.  As to withdrawal, usually, 21 days isn't going to be enough time on them to cause a bad withdrawal, though some people are very sensitive to meds.  The longer you're on them the harder it is to stop, but if they didn't work, for example, the body might not have even been absorbing them in which case no withdrawal.  Withdrawals therefore might not be the problem here, though it is possible.  It's more likely the problem he got on the drugs for in the first place is the problem.  If it is withdrawal, know that sleep aids might not work.  When one gets a bad withdrawal and being unable to sleep is a side effect of that, often the best thing to do is go back on them and taper off more slowly.  As to whether pot will work or not, I guess it depends on whether it did that before.  Back in the day when I used it I never wanted to go to sleep because I wanted to keep enjoying it.  But if there's an anxiety problem, it can make that worse.  I don't think the smoking has to do with not sleeping.  I would say again that the most likely problem is the problem that got him hospitalized in the first place.
Helpful - 0
I  agree that tapering off most any drug is the safest method of getting off it.  I think a different name for tapering is titrating.   That is if I am right.   Good luck to you , the OP patient.
Hi Paxiled. Thank you! He was earlied diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and this time his prescriptions say Schizoaffective disorder. He lives in New Jersey. I will ask him to look into Medicaid as well as talk to the state health dept, thanks.
Understood that withdrawal may not be too dangerous after just 21 days. Thanks for re-directing me back to his diagnosis and the importance of treating that.
And if he does have either of those diagnoses and they are accurate, only medication will treat it.  You can't talk yourself out of those.  
artmesia, yes, titrating  basically means increasing the dosage at time intervals when starting it and decreasing the dosage at intervals when wanting to go off of it  Always the best practice with psychiatric meds!  Doctors normally give good guidelines for that when it's time to start to discontinue a drug. It should always be done with a doctor being aware and guiding someone.
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Bipolar Disorder Community

Top Mood Disorders Answerers
Avatar universal
Arlington, VA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
15 signs that it’s more than just the blues
Discover the common symptoms of and treatment options for depression.
We've got five strategies to foster happiness in your everyday life.
Don’t let the winter chill send your smile into deep hibernation. Try these 10 mood-boosting tips to get your happy back
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Herpes sores blister, then burst, scab and heal.