Schizophrenia Community
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Zyprexa Addiction

I was diagnosed with schizophrenia about 2 years ago.At that time I took risperdal and helpirodol along with ambien for a period of 3 months.The doctor quite unnecessarily prescribed ambien even though I did not have any sleep problems.Any way after 3 months a different doctor stopped the ambien.I was totally without sleep for nights on end.So they prescribed zopiclone , followed by temazpam.These could only give me 4 hours of sleep every night.
After another 3 months like this the doctor switched me to zyprexa 10mg.This I found to be a great relief and  was sleeping 7 hours a day on zyprexa alone.After about 6 months like this the zyprexa dosage was reduced to 5mg.This worked fine and I was still sleeping about 6-7 hours daily.This continued for a year but now I am able to sleep only 5 hours on 5mg of zyprexa.I may have to up the dosage to sleep well.While this is not a major problem I feel that this will eventually lead to disaster because we cant up the dosage continuously as I develop tolerance. My doctor is not bothered about my sleep problems.I would like to be pill free now as my delusions have been completely cured,Really I dont mind taking zyprexa, but after seeing many horror stories on the internet about ambien and zyprexa dependence/addiction  I am very concerned about what I should do.I would much appreciate if someone can throw some light on this.
15 Responses
Avatar universal
Chances are you will probably always have to take something like that as it more goes into remission rather than being cured.  Schizophrenia is a disease that is chronic and tends to come back due to things like stress or whatnot where you relapse off medication.  It's kinda scary if you look up a picture of what happens to the brain with this disease while not on antipsychotics.  Maybe you can try another one that worked like this if you had one like that that you took before?
585414 tn?1288944902
Zyprexa is not addictive in any manner. It is however an antipsychotic. If you are being treated for schizophrenia or another psychotic disorder you will need an antipsychotic so if you can't tolerate Zyprexa you could ask your psychiatrist about changing to another one. As for sleep some sleep aides can be addictive but you could ask your psychiatrist about Rozerem which is an FDA approved medication that is a sleep aide that works like melatonin to adjust the sleep cycle and is safe and non addictive. If you are on any other sleep aide though (besides the Zyprexa) a person can build up a tolerance to those so if you want to discontine them ask your psychiatrist and follow their titration schedule for safety reasons. Don't make any changes on your own regardless.
Avatar universal
hi joseph and all,
i read your post and agree about not stopping the meds without consulting with your doctor first.
have a long talk about wanting to stop the meds you choose to and you will need to be monitored and also monitor yourself.
i have heard of those who are med free on other forums so i would not completely rule this out.
i wouldn't worry too much about the side effects, but discus it  all with your doctor.
good luck.
Avatar universal
Yeah rabin1m points out things I usually say but left out.  I've heard of people before in special circumstances such as having a stress free life who don't relapse for no reason at all being taken off of medication and doing OK and yeah don't stop meds on your own, it takes careful and slow reduction to withdraw from them properly that only a doctor can properly do.  When I had to go through cold turkey withdrawal from Geodon I had some hellish symptoms but when I properly withdrew from it later I experienced none.
Avatar universal
I took myself off my medication and I tapered very slowly.  It didn't work for me...I relapsed.  Stopping your medication because you think you don't need them because your schizophrenia is caused by something else isn't a good idea.  Only stop your medication if your doctor agrees that it's ok to stop them.    

There are some people who can do ok without medication, but I think they're in the minority.  I think most people need medication.
Avatar universal
I had the same thing happen as choo_choo after my body readjusted to not being medicated.  I realized it just would slowly get worse where it's unnoticeable and then when I'd get stressed to where I have an anxiety attack I would mostly relapse.
Avatar universal
hi josesph,
it sounds as though you are suffering more with a sleep disorder if i am reading your posts correctly.
i also would want the natural sleep back although i do not have a problem with sleeping.
have you considered the reasons and spoken about the reasons you cannot sleep with your doctor?  I would try and get to the acual root of the problem as to why you have trouble sleeping...example; nightmares, etc.
you mentioned delusions, but yet you still have a problem with sleeping so do try and find the reasons for not sleeping and some natural remedies can be offered as learning relaxation, some minor meditating, reading before bed, etc...hope you get to sleep and do well with being med free.
i agree though that stopping cold turkey isn't a good idea as there can be dangerous withdrawl symptoms so discuss all with your doctor first.
many have sleep disorders; need to find out which and then alternative treatment can be discussed i would think.
Avatar universal
hi joseph and All,
i wish there were an edit button for the posts here; hahaha.....
anyway, forgot this; if i am correct i believe sleep deprivation can cause hallucinations aka as delusions perhaps also...
now, you state the delusions are gone so this is why i put emphasis on the sleep disorder...
could it be although you were diagnosed by a doctor with schizophrenia that you rather may be suffering from a sleep disorder???
not trying to play Doctor, but trying to make sense out of things : )
very logical i'm afraid...
check it out and don't forget the notebook; it helps to get all in order and also helps so you won't forget to cover everything.
Avatar universal
Yes I wish there was an edit button as well although that would make it harder to keep track of the messages than it already is so I can see why they didn't include it.

Anyway yeah you're right that sleep deprivation can cause hallucinations.  I think it all depends on how they are sleep deprived and such.  After all the key to diagnosing mental illness for example is knowing the very small details like when psychosis occurs specifically down to every detail and such.  I think if you're mentally ill you have even worse hallucinations than people who are not.  I'm not sure if it can cause delusions though.  This article says it's possible and it details what happens in general on each day of deprivation for about a week.

Avatar universal
Oh snap, that's the effects of total sleep deprivation.  Dunno if that stuff happens more slowly over time if you only sleep like 5 hours a night or something like that for a long time.  I used to only sleep one hour a day but didn't really experience that stuff that I know of but I did literally pass out a lot while sitting down or I'd fall asleep while walking and wake up running into a trash can or something.
Avatar universal
I forgot to mention I slept one hour a day for six months and then finally couldn't do it anymore.
Avatar universal
laughing out loud corlen,
sleeping one hour a day for 6 months, my God, can't believe it.
i believe you, but you must have been running into more than trash cans : )
thanks corlen.
Avatar universal
I have nocturnal asthma and when it gets bad, my paranoia gets worse because I get sleep deprived.  It doesn't seem to affect my "hostility" issues or my negative symptoms...just my paranoia.  I've never had problems when I've had voices, so I don't know if sleep deprivation would make my voices worse.
Avatar universal
lol yeah it also caused me to run into other dimensions!  Well not really because that was after all that when I slept 12 hours or more a day once again but I have been in probably false alternate realities before a few times.  Sometimes just being tired for the day exacerbates my symptoms.  I just blame my sleeping patterns on my mental illness for the hell of it so I can blame something since no one will tell me why I have insomnia and sleep too much off and on and I read half the people with schizo disorders suffer from chronic insomnia or sleep too much or both.
Avatar universal
I have a qustion more or less how do you get a person to get help when they totaly refuse to get help?
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