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Avatar universal

off-label use of antipsychotics: risperidone and zyprexa

Hi,
I've been diagnosed with a debilitating case of mixed anxiety/depression disorder. My psychiatrist had initially prescribed
risperidone 0.5mg (off-label use as anxiolytic) and Prozac. However, after using this combo for a month, my panic attacks have worsened, and I actually have to use Clonazepam SOS for severe attacks. My psychiatrist has now asked me to start on Zyprexa 2.5mg and Sertraline 50mg. My questions are:
1. Although I do not have schizophrenia, why am I constantly being prescribed antipsychotics as off-label anxiolytics?
2. Is it true that zyprexa and risperidone can induce schizophrenia if a non-schizophrenic person uses them?
3. Should I insist on a non-antipsychotic antipanic agent?
4. How risky is the use of Clonazepam (I use 0.75mg thru'out the course of the day, later to be reduced to 0.5 and then 0.25mg) as a SOS anxiolytic?
Will someone please help me on this? I can't keep on bugging my psychiatrist, and my panic attacks are so bad sometimes that I feel I am being tortured. My parents are worried sick as well.
12 Responses
675718 tn?1530036633
i take sertraline and clonazepam they help me out alot :)
Avatar universal
thank you for your answer. I've taken sertraline in the past, and I'm sure it'll help, but I can't help feeling a little anxious about Clonazepam. I've heard horror stories about people getting addicted to it and suffering from withdrawal and rebound symptoms. Hence the worry.
Avatar universal
You can experience withdrawal symptoms from practically any psych med.
675718 tn?1530036633
i don't get withdrawals :)
Avatar universal
what is your dosage of clonazepam?
675718 tn?1530036633
.5 mg   :)
675718 tn?1530036633
at night time
Avatar universal
and how long have you been taking it? i mean, you get to hear the usual horror stories about people getting used to a low dosage, then having to take more and more, etc. what is your experience? me, i take 0.75-0.5 mg, make tiny fragments with a pill-cutter, and keep having those thrice to four times a day, along with a Zoloft 50mg at night. I was recommended Zyprexa as well, but I'm not having that anytime soon.
Avatar universal
Those horror stories you hear is called building a tolerance most likely.  Some people are unlucky enough to experience this to all meds and have to constantly swap meds which I know one person who is in the psych ward a lot because they go there to be in a safe environment while their meds adjust because they develop tolerance to the meds.  Also, when you relapse you generally have to have your meds increased or changed because they lose effectiveness.
675718 tn?1530036633
i know about tolerance i take the pill to sleep if i had to cut the pill i would not :)
Avatar universal
I hope I won't be that unlucky :-) The pill-cutting method is working fine so far, and I'll switch over to titration (dissolution of clonazepam in hot water and ingestion of progressively smaller amounts of the solution) when my doctor recommends me to go off it. anyway, I am waiting for the zoloft to kick in. It was a big help the last time.
Avatar universal
Antipsychotics and anticonvulsants are sometimes prescribed for anxiety. I was also given zyprexa (used off label) for anxiety and depression. Please make sure to ask your doctor about side effects of this medication. I gained 50lbs while on zyprexa and developed glucose tolerance problems.

We really do not know how these medications work, or the long term effects. At the end, it is a chemical you are adding to your brain. However I do not think they cause schizophrenia in non schizophrenics. Everyone is different though.

I think it will be smart to ask about other alternatives and the pros and cons of each one.
I used clonazepam years ago for anxiety/panic attacks. I was told to take it only for 6 months since it can cause dependence.

I was a panic attack sufferer. It is very important that you try to find the source of anxiety in your life, as well as do exercise or breathing techniques. (That helped me). Do not only rely on the medication. If you do not find the cause of the problem, all you will be doing is to mask the problem with medications.
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675718 tn?1530036633
El Paso, TX
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