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Zyprexa Withdrawal OR Sleep Disorder

In January of this year I began using Zyprexa for bipolar and psychosis. After 5 months of using the medication (20mg daily) I began experiencing some sexual side effects such as a dry orgasm, low sperm count, etc. - all of which were unexplainable. My psychiatrist asked that i stop the zyprexa immediately as it was causing an increase in prolactin levels, he asked that i stop the drug COLD TURKEY! (no weaning off)

- When I stopped the medication, i did not sleep for 4 days. Whats worse is, I just didn't feel tired anymore...obviously I feel physically tired, but I dont get that sleepy tired feeling. I called my doctor and he asked that I slowly wean off the medication, I began using it again and although i was able to sleep, again I did not feel tired - AT ALL! This is wierd as one could logically dictate if stopping the zyprexa was causing me to not sleep than once i started it i should feel the same way i did prior to stopping it. But I don't.

I have now completed weaning off the zyprexa for one month. Still problems sleeping, I AM sleeping 4-5 hours a night, but I DO NOT FEEL TIRED I CAN'T GET SLEEPY NO MATTER WHAT!! My psychiatrist has tried me on ambien, lunesta, Ive' even used 2 lunesta and I DO NOT GET SLEEPY!

I've done research on sleep disorders, zyprexa withdrawal, etc. and a lot of information states that zyprexa withdrawal can cause insomnia. However, is this the same as not feeling sleepy? Its been a month and I haven't been tired and whats even wierder is that i wasn't tired when i got back on the zyprexa after stopping it for 4 days. I am wondering if i am ever going to be sleepy tired again. Its been a month now. I called my psychiatrist office yesterday and he wanted to try using lunesta, ambien, and a tryclic antidepressant to put me to sleep. I'm paranoid after using zyprexa as i feel that stopping it cold turkey could have started all this. Even after getting back on the zyprexa after stopping it cold turkey, i dont feel tired at all! Could something have happened to me during the 4 day lapse that caused some kind of imbalance in my brain that stopped me from feeling tired alltogether? As when i got back on the zyprexa it didn't help things but i was sleeping but still no feeling of getting tired whatsoever. I'm thinking of seeing a sleep specialist and going back to see my psychiatrist this week. he says hes never heard of nor seen such symptoms after stopping zyprexa. Please help. I haven't felt sleepy tired in over a month! and although i do get 4 hours of sleep every night or so, it is VERY hard to fall asleep as i am NOT TIRED AT ALL. Please help me.
15 Responses
Avatar universal
I know it has been a considerable amount of time since you made your post, but for all I know you may still be suffering from insomnia.  I wondered if you have taken into account that hypomania (high state of arousal and manic-like w/o going to the extremes) could be the cause of your insomnia.  You could be in an early phase of mania where you would need little sleep and not feel affected by lack of sleep.  I went for 3 years in a hypomanic state once and only slept about 3 hrs a night.  But during the day I felt well and managed to make almost straight A's in my college courses.  At the end of that 3 yrs, I crashed into deep depression.  I hope that doesn't happen to you.  Also, switching to a different antipsychotic might make you feel appropriately tired.  Seroquel makes some people sleepy.  But Abilify and Geodon gave me terrible insomnia.  Right now I am taking 5mg of Zyprexa and doing okay, but would do better with 10 or 20mg.

585414 tn?1288944902
Yes I would agree and one option as regarding sleep aides not mentioned is Rozerem which is an FDA approved medication that works like melatonin to adjust the sleep cycle. You could ask your psychiatrist about that if you still have insomnia. If you still have the problem seeing a sleep specialist does make sense if you haven't already.
1082697 tn?1260068216
i came upon this post. i have been taking zyprexa for 3 weeks now. i love it .i am never tired. the last two nights i slept only 4 hours as you were doing. i am only on 5 mg.of it. i know you posted way back in june. i was wondering if you are still having trouble. i took 3 xanax last night  and still did not fall alsleep until 4 this morrning. i take my zprexa in the morning. hoping i can get to sleep at night . if you are still around, i would love to know how are making out with your 4 hours of sleep,
Avatar universal
I have a similar story where I have been suffering from sleep problems while being tapered off from Risperdal by my Pdoc.I am off Risperdal but the problems continue.
1082697 tn?1260068216
i slept last night for  about 8 hours. i did have some wine earlier in the dayat a dinner party do not know if i should be drinking a few drinks or not. but i slept like a baby last night. i also wore myself walking all day. i do not think i will make drinking  a habit. i as a rule do not like to drink .so you are taking the zyprexa at all anymore? i am no longer depressed. i take 5mg a day. this is the best i have felt in years,. i have not really gained any weight on it yet. i eat a high fiber diet and work out almost everyday. i am over weight to begin with.
Avatar universal
i came of Zyprexa last year because of high cholesterol and trigliceride levels. i had to fight to come off in a way. i was told there are no withdrawal symptoms. i slowly tappered off the medication over months and still had terribly sleep problems, night sweats , constant nausea, and appetite loss. on an emotional level every trauma that happened in my life came up. i cried more in three months than in my whole life together. i found it very distressing psychologically because those clear cut , often reported withdrawal symptoms where attributed to my underlying conditions. nothing was offered but to put me on a similar drug. i think withdrawal from zyprexa is much more pronounced and longterm then fighting nicotin, heroin, alcohol addiction together. it needs probably residential withdrawal support if problems like in my case develop over many months.it's a shame that medical professionals simply deny to accept that zyprexa withdrawal can become very intense and dramatic.
Avatar universal
i do know what you say. May god help us all
Avatar universal
I have the same symptons of Sketch2000 . I was put in risperdal in August 2010, because of a benzo withdrawal, and then on zyprexa, and since then I never feel tired, even if I exercise; I never have the sleepy sensation
before the sleep. When I sleep, is like a switch in my brain: something turns off, and I sleep; and when I awake, something is  turned on, and I am widely awake.
I have no emotions - nothing can excite or depress me.
Now I'm tappering the zyprexa very slowly, witth the aprovation of my doctor. Even in this taper, I don't have any emotions or improvement in my sleep.
So I want to know if someone, have an improvement in this situation. If someone has any advice, I will be grateful.
Avatar universal
I also was on zyprexa from about June to November 2011. During this period I gained 10kg and no matter how healthy or how much exercise I do my weight does not shift.Also as other people before me have said, My body and eyes are tired but I do not fall asleep, I seem to get to sleep ok and sleep for about 4 hrs but I cant remember the last time I've slept a full 8hrs, I 'm rarely asleep in early hours of the morning so I just lie there and rest. I have tried many natural remedies, herbal teas to help sleep, tablets called "complete sleep" sometimes these work and sometimes they dont. I have even been having remedial massage to see if it works, again sometimes i does and sometimes it doesnt. What the f@#k has this medication done to my brain, why is it that there are so many people asking these questions and there are no answers
585414 tn?1288944902
   When a medication is changed under a psychiatrist's supervision insomnia can occur as a potential withdrawal symptom. This should pass in time. Some medications may cause sleep disruption but each person responds differently to each medication. If you have sleep disruption that has continued without an apparent cause discuss this with your psychiatrist and your doctor as well and they can see if further follow up is needed. When I had this concern for an extended period of time I was referred to a sleep specialist and the tests conducted were of help to my doctors. Depending on the cause of the insomnia and sleep disruption this is treatable. Also sleep disruption can be part of bipolar itself. It would be worthwhile to discuss all this with your psychiatrist.
Avatar universal
I too want to jump on the bandwagon of people that have developed chronic insomnia on zyprexa. I just don't get tired and only sleep 3 hours a night. It is killing me. I don't fall asleep I black out - like an earlier poster said a light switch is flipped. I can't find too many other references to this on the internet but here is one:

It is worth noting that after being off meds completely for three years and taking fish oil this same poster showed an improvement to six hours of sleep a night:

Three years off meds to show an improvement! I am still taking zyprexa, so I guess I have to go through complete insomnia  for a month to get off, then hope and pray my brain heals itself eventually.
Avatar universal
To keyvin:
I tappered zyprexa very slowly (using 10% reductions from the initial 2,5mg dose -  0,2mg reductions) until 0.7 mg, then I do a cold turkey (not a smart move, I know). After 2 weeks without it, my sleep sensation become to return, but I was put on zyprexa again (because a anxiety attack - and my sleep problem returned). So, my advice is: don't despair - the sleep cycle will return - every person is different; when tappering, do a long tapper (and reduce the dose properly), manage the anxiety (reduce your tapper speed and amount, to follow a new 10% reduction); never do a cold turkey, even is small dose - your brain is still sensitive to small amounts of the drug.

If you want a sucess history, read this:
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