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Avatar universal


I have wanted my son off zyprexa for awhile.  Everytime he comes off an amount by the 3rd day he gets sucidal.  how do I wean him off safely?  How do you wean off this medication slowly and safely.  It has never helped his depression, he has started lithium and seems okay, he was extremely senitivie to all medications, like zoloft prozac, all very bad.  he was going to the hospital to get off zyprexa safefly but because they read into the withdrawls instead of who he was they wouldn't take him off anything unless he was on something else.  I am so tired to doctors telling me to go off zyprexa but put him something else.  It doesn't work, because you don't know which medicine is giving him the withdrawls.  For all the people taking zyprexa, my son is living proof you can get very bad side effects coming off zyprexa.  It happens every time the doctors have tried.  If there is anyone out there who can tell me how to wean his off very slowly and safely.  He is on 2.5 mg on day, not much now but he was on 15 mg day and its been very difficult and dangerous to get him down to this amount.  Does anyone know how to do this 1 a week, one every 3 days, any help from a doctor I would really appreciate this.  
21 Responses
585414 tn?1288944902
Its understandable to want to change medications but it may not be in his best interest to take him off medication. Why not ask them exactly why he needs medication and what its working on. Then you can discuss what the options are.
Avatar universal
My son is 17, and he will be 18 in 3 weeks, he does not want to be on the medicine and he has never been diagnois from any of his doctors, he has had many, and they each switch the meds. and swear this one won't give him bad side effects, but they all do, he has tried 6 antidepressants and they all have landed him in the hospital.  I took him off one 2.5 mg. zyprexa on friday and was thinking in maybe a week take him off 2.5 mg on monday with enough time in between so he still has it in his system.  The only way doctors will take hiim off it is if I change to something else.  My son says they don't work.  He originally went to the doctor for ocd to get help but we decided not to do meds. we did natural vitamins and it seemed to help, it was the end of school and we decided to try the zoloft because my son couldn't read.  It was horrible and very dangerous, he ended up in the hospital for a month, and they kept thinking this is who he was and wouldn't change his meds till 3 weeks after I kept telling him you see him on medicine this is not him.  For whatever reason, in my sons case he gets all the listed side effects and feels the need to cut when he is on these medications and it gets worse when he gets off.  I',m sure there are people who these meds help, but he always seems to do worse on them or they don't do anything.  He is also on lithium but his bladder has been leaking for 8 weeks and he's on meds for that that aren't working.  

Again, I took him off 2.5 mg this last friday, but when do you think it would be good to try another time, a week or 2 weeks.  I have done this with permission from his previous doctor but always one after the other so I told them I wanted it done very slowly so they don't really do anything when there is a problem they say go to the hospital.   I do not have a good doctor that I can rely on I have been looking for over a year.
My son just made 18 a few days ago. He was in zyprexa for 3 years...I've changed his mg on my own because it was making him gain lots of weight, excessive eating & vomiting! Went to 2.5mg months ago & like you son, he doesn't want to be dependent on medicine. I cut the 2.5mg in half for about 5 weeks and he completely stopped 5 days ago. I ask how he feels & he says he feels fine. So far no withdrawals! He is still on Prozac tho. No one knows your child like you do and the doctors don't always know what's best for you child. Sometimes, as I have experienced, these medicines make them worst off!
Avatar universal
Keep looking for a better diagnoses.  Well you dont have any , so a clear diagnoses.
I hope that you can find a good Doctor and wish you well.

I have a son also born in 91, so I can imagine how you feel, trying to help your son through this.  Is he getting any kind of 'talk' therapy?
I believe there are specific therapies for OCD that work?

You know that a lot of these anti depression medications cause a bad reaction in younger people and maybe he should see a specialist in juvenile mental health?
1398919 tn?1293845204
I was on Zyprexa for a few years, and finally weaned off of it BY MY PSYCHIATRIST, because i no longer hasd symptoms.

But i want to point something out here.

Zyprexa is NOT and anti depressant or an anti-anxiety medication

It is classified as "an atypical anti-psychotic" medication. I was having psychotic hallucinations due to the severity of my depression when I was hospitalized. I was taking an anti depressant and an anti anxiety medication as well as the Zyprexa when I left the hospital

We cut back slowly on he dosage of the Zyprexa after I was hallucination free for a year, then I took it every other day for a few months when I got to the lowest dosage.Finally my doctor told me to stop it altogether.

I believe it IS used for bipolar disorder, for mania. Of course, in the US, a doctor can use any FDA approved medication for any disorder he or she wants, even if it is not the one it is approved for. Doctors often hear form colleagues of good secondary uses of a medication. i am on a medication now approved for seizures and for nerve damage from Herpes Zostrex, neither of which which I have. However, I DO have nerve damage from arthritis in my spine pinching my nerves. This will (hopefully) let me feel the bottoms of my feet again, along with my physical therapy and the contraptions I sleep in to straighten and stretch my spine. But the medication is NOT approved by the FDA for that. My doctor is a pain management specialist, and a number of pain specialist use this med for this.

If you do not have a doctor you trust for your son - FIND ONE.

I don't know where you live, but you are running out of time. soon your son will be an adult, and you will not have as much ease in finding new doctors.

Also remember that at almost 18, your son IS an adult, so make sure that any psychiatrist treats him like one. Remember how you felt at that age - did you want YOUR mom being told your secrets by a doctor? It's hard to remember that it's time to start letting go in some ways, but when it come to psychiatric and psychological care, your son has to know that you are respecting his privacy totally.

Medications are not the only thing that will help. Psychotherapy is always needed hand in hand with it, and finding a good therapist is a hunt. I showed my psychiatrist the list of therapist form my insurance. he marked off the ones he "knew", which I took to mean that he knew them to be good, since I trust him.

I selected about a half dozen based on location, since I am restricted to public transportation. I knew what issues I wanted to face in therapy (your son might want to make a PRIVATE list of the things that trouble/bother him and that he would like to talk to someone about BEFORE stating this. I then interviewed the list on the phone with my short list of question. (The one who wouldn't answer my simple questions on the phone got scratched off the list)

I found three who I liked on the phone. I made single appointments with each of them, letting them know it was a one time appointment for me to decide on a therapist (I checked with my insurance first - they allowed that.) I met with them all.

One of them was very nice "warm and fuzzy", but I know from studies I read in grad school that "warm and fuzzy" does not make a good therapist, and I did not like the "scent" she had in her office - it made me feel dizzy, and i have no allergies.

So it was between the other two. Both were equally qualified and I liked them both.

I picked the one I am still with for a practical reason. I have severe arthritis in both knees. One was in a lovely old building - up a long flight of stairs with no elevator. The other is in a modern office building with four elevators.My knees voted for "elevator therapist", who has an office in a easier to get to neighborhood, too.

Get your son the help he need. Be a mother lion and attack the system to get him the help. No matter where you are, and what your financial situation is, there are agencies to help.

Do not be in a rush to get him of a medication until you have a competent doctor you both trust to tell you a diagnosis and which meds he SHOULD be on.


PS: If your son wants an older guy who has been where he is now to talk to, he can drop me a private note. The worse part of being "different" and a teen is the feeling that you are "ALL ALONE". I'd like to offer him an "ear" to let him know he isn't.

I wish my mom had realized I needed help when I was his age.He's a lucky man
Avatar universal
I only recently finished tapering off Zyprexa after being on it for about a year. I had been prescribed it after a brief hospital stay - I suffer from major depression and was hospitalized after I became suicidal. Admittedly, Zyprexa was the first med to stabilize me, but I just couldn't handle the side-effects; the zombification, the hunger-attacks, the weight gain. I'm now taking Lamictal and that seems to have me stabilized. With my psychiatrist's blessing, I started my Zyprexa taper, although he just suggested I 'stop taking it' - what a joke. I went from 5 mgs to 2.5 mgs then took the 2.5 every third day for a week then stopped - definitely too short of a taper period - as evidenced by my insomnia, depression, and suicidality. These symptoms, thank God, have passed. I'm still recovering, but feeling better every day.
Avatar universal
Is there anyone who got off Zyprexa and with Natural medication getting this Zyprexa and left on Natural medication and then off Natural medication.And felt alot better no symptoms of bipolar or Pschysoaffective?
Avatar universal
my story is similar to yours. My 12 year old is currently hopitalized. No diagnisis! He has been on every med you can think of since age 6. No diagnosis! Been in hospital for 3 months now. having psychotic symptoms, anxiety. He is on Zyprexa since April of 2010 and on trilafon for 2.5 weeks. Started tapering his 20mg  Zyprexa 1 week ago now he is on 7.5 mg and he is currently 10 times worse than when he went in 3 months ago. Total personality change. Almost like he's not my little boy anymore.  I am wondering if this sudden drop in the drug is causing his very aggressive behavior.Dr. is disagreeing with me. saying that we should go back higher on zyprexa and that he is not suffering from withdrawl symptoms.This has been the most trying time in my family's life. We are all at our wits end. I am also looking for the same answer...How do you taper off Zyprexa? I am truly appreciating all the responses so far...thank you everyone. Please keep them coming. I do hope the very best for your son. GOD BLESS
Avatar universal
Has anyone ever had a scan of the brain veins and such to find out if it is a circulation problem? I searched....SPECT SCANS
Everything starts and ends in your Brain-Soul connection.

How your brain and soul work together determines how happy you feel, how successful you become, and how well you connect with others. The brain-soul connection is vastly more powerful than your conscious will. Will power falters when the physical functioning of the brain and the health of your soul fail to support your desires, as seen by illogical behaviors like overeating, smoking, drug and alcohol abuse, and compulsive spending.
SPECT . . . . basically tells us three things: areas of the brain that work well, areas of the brain that work too hard and areas of the brain that do not work hard enough. Once we know how the brain works, the goal of treatment is to balance brain function, such as calm the overactive areas and enhance the underactive ones.

SPECT creates a colored picture representing blood flow or chemical reactions in different areas of the brain. It requires the injection of a radioactive material. Areas of low blood flow show up as apparent “holes” on colored pictures of the brain, giving a moth-eaten appearance. Amen says that when patients improve clinically, the appearance of their follow-up scan typically improves. For example, patients using marijuana had areas of low activity in the temporal lobes compared to patients not using the drug. Dr. Amen says he can literally show his patients “this is what your brain looks like on drugs.” In one case he reported, a patient with attention deficit disorder, obsessive thinking, anger outbursts, and depression had demonstrable defects on the initial scan which were visibly improved after three years of clomipramine therapy. Dr. Amen says that this kind of graphic demonstration can help persuade patients that their problem is physical or physiological and might be helped with medication or other treatments.
Avatar universal
I was put on zyprexa after the Dr. had put me on lorazepam for sleeplessness. Turns out this was highly addictive and I didn't know this. She gave me a 10 day script and when I was done with it I began having one endless panick attack. I became suicidal and my daughter took me to the emergency room about 2 to 3 weeks after finishing those 10 days of lorazepam. They put me on clonazepam and zyprexa. I finaly got the internet and checked into these meds and found that I was suffering from withdrawls and that I needed to get off. I checked myself into a recovery house where they got me off of the clonazepam but they refused to help me get off of the zyprexa. I understand why now as it takes a really long time to get off of it and could be potentially dangerous but I was determined because of all  of those horrible side effects everyone has mentioned and I didn't want to grow old all sick like this. I tried a number of times without success until I read that zyprexa damages our neurotransmitters and it takes tha brain anywhere from 2 months to several years to completely rebuild new neurotransmitters. With this information I began reducing by taking my regular 10 mg every other day for 2 months then I cut it in half to 5 mg EVERYdayfor 2 mo's. then 5 mg every other day for 2 mo's. then 2.5 mg everyday for 2 mo's. n 2.5 mg. every other day for 2 mo.s. When I got to 2.5 mgs every other day it started to become a bit more difficult and I started to supplement with GABA, SAMe and folic acid. I had to keep increasingly take more of the supplements then I realized that a brisk walk on a treadmill for 35 to 40 minutes stopped the racing heart and the trembling for nearly half the day. I began walking up the hill for a half mile then back down every morning and I did the treadmill in the afternoon. This was a Godsend. Armed with this I was able to reduce from 2.5 every other day to 2.5 every third day etc. until I was finally able to stay off for exactly 2 mo's when I found the withdrawls too much for me to bear so I took 5 mg for a couple of days and decided to give myself permission to take a zyprexa when I absolutely couldn't find another solution but that ea time I would try to go a little longer without it. Well about a week later the withdrawls were pretty bad but I was determined not to take the medication. I was praying like crazy and gradually within a matter of minutes the sensation went away and I haven't taken any in a few months. One more thing that I need to add for honesty's sake. During my first 2 months of not taking the zyprexa I couldn't stop trembling and my daughter got online and found that it was called essential trembling and that a glass of alcohol would relieve the symptoms so after having been clean and sober for 20+ years I relented and had a glass of wine every night and low and behold it worked. Use your own discretion with this information. I hope this helps and God bless. Someone posted something about feeding these meds to those Drs. that tell you this stuff is't addicting etc. I agree whole heartedly. A big amen to that.
Avatar universal
Never go off a psychotrophic drug without a doctor's supervision. You are asking for trouble doing it on your own.
Avatar universal
My mom tries to wean me off ofmy antidepressants and I hate itvecause I'm falling a part as it is!! If the doc says u need to wean him off tell him to talk to ur son so they can talk about it.
    Best of luck!
Avatar universal
Hi My Son was put on Zyprexa after smoking Marijuana (Cannabis), as he had halluncations,psychotc and heard voices caused by smoking cannabis.  He was orginally put onto Dopquel which he had an allergic reaction to and ended up in hospital for 4 days. He has gone from a fun, loving and poplar young man of 19 to a very solmen person with no ambition. He became very zoombie like and used to stare into space all day, he still is not speaking to anyone unless spoken to and then it is only if you ask him a question and then he answers with one word answers.    

  He is now gone off Zprexa for the past 9 days and does not seem to be coming back to the same person he was before he was put on any of these drugs.  My concern is the Physychiatrst says he could be a negative schizophrenic who battles to be able to function in a normal society.

I just cannot except this and belive the reason he has become like this is due to the drugs he was put on.  How long does it take for you to see normal reactions and is one of the with drawals is red flushing of the face and skin?  Also my son goes to gym reagulary and plays soccer twice a week, which helped him keep fit and he did not gain any weight, he actually lost due to the gym and soccer          
480448 tn?1426952138
Welcome.  You will have much better luck starting your own thread, as this one is quite old.  The older threads get passed by a lot.

If you're not comfortable with what the doctor is saying, you can always get a second opinion.  Depending on how old your son in, if he's younger (teens), be sure he is being seen by a child/adolescent psychiatrist, not one who treats adults.

Good luck...if you have any trouble figuring out how to start a new thread, let me know!
Avatar universal
My zyprexa withdrawel symptoms lasted 3 weeks. It has been hell, but im glad thats past. I now feel very good with lots of energy. Excersice-diet and sleep well, those are the keys for a succesfull zyprexa withdrawel.
Avatar universal
zyprexa-i have bipolar disorder.i have been on zyprexa olanzapine for 8 years.i am now weaning myself off.i was on 15mg a day,then my doctor reduced it to 10 mg over 6 months.after three months on 10mg i reduced it to 7.5mg,after another 3 months i reduced it to 5mg,after three months i reduced it to 2.5mg and i realised at 2.5mg the withdrawl effects were ok.which i was happy with.after two months i reduced it to 2.5mg every other day.i still felt good.after two months i reduced it to 2.5mg every third day.this was hard.however after two months i stopped and now im ok.i did this on my own.i could not have done it whilst ill, i waited until i had been well for two years.i also applied new activity in my life which was religion.however it could be any hobby or pastime that you enjoy.just something to replace the boredom.also i had to live healthy.i stopped drinking.however in moderation its ok.you cannot take any drug like cannabis.in other words you have to watch what you put into your body.i went from a living hell to a fairly happy person,learn from your mistakes.if you feel that you have not made mistakes to get a mental illness,then make it your daily duty to see how you feel and try to respond in a positive way.ie-do something.inactivity slows progress,good luck and god bless.
Avatar universal
please read  my posting under yours.my nickname is soulsurvivor687
Avatar universal
I gave it up very slowly, i took it as an add on for severe depression.  I tapered very slowly under my doctors supervision.

Every time I reduced I got a 'rebound' of symptoms, sometimes I had to go back up to the previous dosage.  I tapered over 18 months.  That was five years ago and I haven't needed an anti psychotic since.  It depends on your sons illness and his doctors advice doesn't it?
Avatar universal
Avatar universal
How are you feeling now, after almos 3 years? My son is starting his dropp out from 10mg  to 7.5mg.
Avatar universal
I'm not sure what the doctors diagnosed your son with but mine some was being treated for bipolar & has been taking zyprex dor 3 years. He started on 15mg, gained too much weight so we went to 10mg. He also started eating in his sleep, & eating so much it was causing him to throw up...many times in his sleep also. We ended up going to 5mg, (I change it) he did fine. Not much throwing up anymore. I weaned him off completely 5 days ago , so far no withdrawals!! I ask how he feels daily, he says fine. I gave him 2.5 mg (cutting the 5 in half) for about a few months then started cutting the half in half for about a month & then completely stopping. Sending prayers all works out!
Avatar universal
I'm so sorry. I've weaned my son off recently. He's taken it for 3 years. Started on 15mg, then 10mg, then 5mg for a year, I started him in 2.5 for about 6-8 months & cutting that in half for about 5 weeks, now off! I'm thinking 7.5 from 20 is a big leap! My son says he feels fine so far but he still takes Prozac!  
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