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Zyprexa (Olanzapine) Withdrawal Symptoms + How Long Do They Last?

Zyprexa (Olanzapine) is an atypical antipsychotic drug that is commonly utilized for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It works more on serotonin receptors than dopamine receptors, but targets both. Although this is a drug that can work well for treating severe mental illnesses, more than 50% of people quit taking it during clinical trials due to severe side effects. In comparison to the older “typical” antipsychotic drugs, the only advantage this medication has is slightly fewer side effects.

However, it is associated with greater weight gain than older antipsychotic medications. Of all antipsychotic drugs, this is the drug that has been found to cause the most weight gain. Zyprexa has been tested for eating disorders and anxiety disorders, but has not been found effective for treating either condition in clinical trials. The only conditions that this drug should be used to treat are schizophrenia and bipolar disorder – after other options with less side effects have been explored.

Most people that have taken Zyprexa end up coming to a point where they have to weigh the benefits they are getting with the side effects of the drug. A majority of individuals end up quitting simply because the side effects are overwhelming. These side effects can include: increased cholesterol, weight gain, metabolic changes, increased stroke risk in elderly and/or the development of diabetes.

Factors that influence Zyprexa withdrawal

Below are several factors that influence withdrawal from Zyprexa. Perhaps the most influential factors are time span over which you took the drug and your dosage. However individual factors and how quickly you taper off of the medication can also play a role.

1. Time Span

How long were you on Zyprexa? In general, the longer you take an antipsychotic medication, the more dependent you become on it for everyday functioning. If you took this drug for many years, it will likely be much more difficult to withdraw from in comparison to someone who just took it for a month or two.

2. Dosage

Most people that are on this drug for an extended period of time end up having to increase their dosage. The greater the dosage you take, the easier it is for your body to build a tolerance to that higher dose. When you withdraw from the medication from a higher dose, you will likely need to conduct a longer taper than someone who is just on a low dose. If you quit cold turkey from a high dose, the withdrawal symptoms are thought to last much longer and be more severe.

For schizophrenia, most individuals take between 10 mg and 15 mg daily. The recommended starting dose is typically 5 mg. In general, most psychiatrists will gradually titrate a patient up to a dose that provides relief from symptoms. Antipsychotics carry powerful side effects and usually the lowest effective dose is recommended to minimize those effects.

3. Cold Turkey vs. Tapering

Did you quit cold turkey or did you conduct a gradual taper? Antipsychotics like Zyprexa are very serious drugs and the withdrawal effects can be debilitating. It is always recommended to conduct a very gradual taper to allow your body to slowly adjust to functioning without the drug over a period of time. In general the tapering period should be influenced by your current dose as well as how long you took the drug.

If you were on this particular drug for an extended period of time, it is recommended to taper at a rate of 10% per month. By slowly reducing your dose, you will give your neurotransmitters some time to accommodate and adjust to changes in the amount of the drug you ingest. If you are very sensitive to even minor reductions in dose, you can request a liquid compound that will allow you to reduce your dose by fractions of milligrams.

4. Personal Factors

Individual factors play a huge role in determining the difficulty of withdrawal. Some people naturally are very sensitive to changes in dosage and may have a much more difficult time withdrawing. Additionally some people have much more social support than others which helps them cope with their experience coming off of the drug.

People taking other medications or transitioning to another antipsychotic may not even notice much of a withdrawal compared to individuals who were only taking Zyprexa. Some individuals have better dietary habits, sleeping patterns, exercise habits, less stressful jobs, etc. – all these factors can play a role in influencing withdrawal. Therefore it is recommended to not compare yourself to that of other people when withdrawing.

Zyprexa Withdrawal Symptoms: List of Possibilities

Below is a list of symtpoms that you may experience when coming off of Zyprexa. Keep in mind that not everyone will experience every single symptom listed below. You may experience a few of the symptoms or many and the severity of withdrawal will be influenced by individual factors.

  • Anxiety: Many people report very extreme anxiety when they quit Zyprexa. This is a drug that many people find calming and when taken away, a person can feel extremely anxious. Do your best to practice relaxation exercises and recognize that the anxiety is part of withdrawal.
  • Appetite changes: While on Zyprexa, many people experience significant increases in appetite. A person may feel as if they are never full and/or are transforming into Hulk as a result of the food that they eat. When coming off of Zyprexa, most people experience decreased appetite.
  • Bipolar symptoms: Some people may experience a reemergence of Bipolar symptoms (e.g. mania) when they quit taking this drug. If you have Bipolar disorder and are on this medication, proceed slowly and with caution when withdrawing.
  • Concentration problems: If you find it very difficult to concentrate on tasks such as reading, writing, and/or work, you are not alone. Many people have major difficulties with focusing when they are going through withdrawal. This symptom tends to improve over time as your brain adapts to functioning without the drug.
  • Confusion: When you experience a bunch of uncomfortable physical symptoms accompanied by foggy thinking, concentration problems, and emotional disturbances, this can result in a state of confusion. If you feel confused often, just know that this will improve over time.
  • Crying spells: The depression that people experience when quitting an antipsychotic like Zyprexa can be very tough to deal with. This may result in a person crying excessively because they feel so down in the dumps.
  • Depersonalization: Do you feel unlike your old “normal” self? This is because your neurotransmitters are out of balance and have changed since you took the medication. It will likely take your brain some time to reset its homeostatic functioning.
  • Depression: Many people report extreme depression when they stop taking this drug. The depression is thought to be a result of lowered levels of dopamine and serotonin. You should eventually experience some lift in mood after some time off of the medication.
  • Diarrhea: Some people experience diarrhea when they discontinue this medication. This isn’t an extremely common symptom, but one that has been reported. If this is the case, you may want to consider some over the counter Imodium.
  • Dizziness: Among the most common withdrawal symptoms from any psychiatric medication is that of dizziness. It is common for people to feel very dizzy, especially if the tapering was done too quickly. Dizziness will eventually lessen over time as the brain functioning readjusts.
  • Fatigue: Most people report excessive tiredness and general fatigue when they come off of Zyprexa. You may have a difficult time performing everyday tasks because your energy level is so low. Just know that your energy level will eventually return as time passes.
  • Hallucinations: There is evidence pointing to the fact that some people experience psychotic symptoms as a result of withdrawal. This is thought to be a result of changes in dopamine receptor functioning and dopamine levels.
  • Headaches: Some people experience splitting severe headaches when they come off of this medication. Having headaches accompanied by dizziness can be a very difficult one-two punch. Just know that these should subside after your body restores proper functioning.
  • Insomnia: This drug tends to calm people down and in many cases makes them sleepy. When coming off of it, the opposite can be true. Some people report such intense anxiety and an inability to fall asleep.  Insomnia may persist for quite some time after your last dose.  It should improve as you make some lifestyle changes and your neurotransmitter levels change.
  • Irritability: Do you notice yourself becoming increasingly irritable? If you feel more irritable than normal and little things set you off, it may be a result of withdrawal. Neurotransmitter levels are in fluctuation, which is thought to lead to people feeling irritable.
  • Memory problems: It is very common to experience poor memory functioning upon drug discontinuation. It isn’t well known as to why these drugs can lead to memory problems. With that said, most people do experience improvements in memory with time off of the drug.
  • Mood swings: Some people experience pretty severe mood swings upon discontinuation. One minute you may feel as though the withdrawal is over, the next you may feel swamped in a state of deep depression. For this I’m not referring to “bipolar” mood swings, rather just unexpected changes in mood.
  • Muscle cramps: Those who have taken this medication over the long term may experience muscle cramps and/or weakness during the withdrawal process.
  • Nausea: Many people report intense nausea during the time in which they discontinue their medication. The nausea can be severe to the point that a person also vomits. In general, the nausea after the last dose shouldn’t last more than a couple weeks.
  • Panic attacks: Some individuals report experiencing heightened anxiety to the point of panic attacks. In other words, a person experiences such high arousal that everyday activities lead to intense feelings of panic.
  • Psychosis: It has been documented that withdrawal from antipsychotics can cause psychosis. It is not very common to experience this upon withdrawal, but it does happen. Obviously this may signify the reemergence of schizophrenia, but in those without schizophrenia, it can be part of withdrawal.
  • Restlessness: If you feel especially restless for no apparent reason, it is likely due to the withdrawal that you are experiencing. The changes in neurotransmitters, elevated level of arousal, and anxious thinking can make a person restless.
  • Suicidal thinking: It is extremely common to feel suicidal during your withdrawal. You may experience suicidal thoughts that seem as if they will never subside. Over time, these should gradually subside. If you feel suicidal and cannot cope with these thoughts, please seek professional help.
  • Sweating: Many people sweat intensely when they withdraw from psychiatric drugs – this antipsychotic is no exception. If you notice that you are sweating profusely throughout the day and wake up sweating in the middle of the night, just know it’s part of the process.
  • Vomiting: Feel flu-like to the point that you are nauseous and keep vomiting? Some people have reported intense vomiting spells during the first week or two when they initially quit this medication. To reduce this symptom, be sure to wean off of Zyprexa as gradually as possible.
  • Weight loss: Taking this drug is known to increase appetite and slow metabolism, which leads to many people gaining weight. Zyprexa is one of the worst drugs for trying to keep weight off – most people eat way too much food on this drug in particular. When you stop taking it and stay off of it for awhile, you should also lose the weight that you gained.

Zyprexa Withdrawal Length: How long does it last?

When it comes to withdrawal from Zyprexa, there is really no exact timeline that can be followed. The withdrawal symptoms and length have a lot to do with individual factors such as: how you tapered off the drug, how long you had taken it, and whether you are on other medications. For people that have taken this drug for a long term, the withdrawal symptoms may linger for over 90 days. For others, the withdrawal may only persist for a couple of weeks – it totally depends.

If you worked closely with a professional for tapering off of Zyprexa and gradually weaned off of the drug over a period of weeks or months, you may not have many symptoms following your last dose. On the other hand, someone who has taken it for years and decides to quit “cold turkey” may find themselves really struggling with severe symptoms as their brain attempts to rewire itself for functioning without the drug.

I always recommend evaluating symptoms after 90 days. Many people overreact with intense panic and anxiety in the first few weeks thinking that their withdrawal symptoms will never improve. The reality is that with good sleep, proper diet, exercise, and structure (e.g. work), most people will notice improvement in their withdrawal after 3 months being drug-free. Even if you are not fully recovered after 90 days, you will likely feel much improved compared to the initial couple weeks of withdrawal.

If you have successfully withdrawn from Zyprexa or are currently experiencing withdrawal symptoms, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. Your experience may greatly help another person who is going through the same withdrawal.

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{ 181 comments… add one }
  • tommy August 28, 2014, 6:20 pm

    hiya I was recently taking olanzapine 2.5mg for anxiety/panic this is a horrible drug and I would strongly advise anyone prescribed this for anxiety/panic to stay miles away from it, i went through the withdrawals for about 6 weeks, insomnia, high anxiety, worsened panic, night sweats, etc. I’m glad I came off it though, you feel million times better without that poison in your system.

    • RCJ June 1, 2016, 5:20 pm

      This medication made me go from 150 pounds to 183 pounds in less then 2 months. It also made me tired all of the time, plus suicidal thoughts. I did a gradual taper off. Since I have been off of this toxic drug for 4 days I have suffered really bad headaches, plus 1 night of insomnia.

      • RCJ June 1, 2016, 5:29 pm

        It also lowered my sex drive. Since I have been off for 4 days my energy level has slowly come back and the increased appetite is slowing down. I am slowly starting to feel like myself again.

  • Joe S September 1, 2014, 6:54 am

    I was on 20mg of zyprexa for almost 5 months.. I stopped taking it and I started getting paranoid, and having panic attacks..

  • vera w October 4, 2014, 10:09 am

    was on olanzapine for over 5 years, overcame my insomnia but put on 4.5 stone. misadvised by my GP on how to withdraw from it, and went through hell, insomnia back, nausea, severe headaches, arrhythmia, confusion, severe anxiety and depression. now 4 months down the line and still experiencing nausea, insomnia and arrhythmia. THIS IS A DANGEROUS DRUG.

    • PK August 13, 2015, 10:08 am

      I wonder what your Dr advised you on how to get off your medication. The standard accepted way to get off, advised by the FDA, is 10 % reduction every 14 days. Is this the advice your Dr gave you?

      • Kay February 10, 2016, 6:11 pm

        I was on Olanzapine for a couple of years, I was only taking 2.5 mg but my doctor told me to cut it down to 1.25mg for two weeks and then just stop it. That was 4 months ago and I’m still nauseous and regularly vomiting, I get awful headaches and generally feel terrible. I’m getting no help from the GP. GP and pharmacist keep saying this cannot be Olanzapine withdrawal as the sickness should not last more than 2 weeks!

        • Matthew September 2, 2016, 3:10 am

          I have been on zyprexa and other medications like it for years. Sadly it appears for the wrong reasons. I am also experiencing the nausea and insomnia. Sadly I suspect that research on withdrawal from this drug after years of usage may not have ever really been done because of difficulty in doing so. So far I am with you that the 2 week thing doesn’t stand at all. To tell you the truth, my system in general has felt about ready to give-out and die from the withdrawal that has been lasting for months.

        • Debra Habanek September 9, 2016, 12:38 am

          It definitely can be olanzapine withdrawal… I’ve been off of it for six months now and still have terrible withdrawal symptoms. I’ve lost 46 lbs, I have awful anxiety and panic attacks, constant headache, nausea, crying spells, depression and I don’t want to see or talk to anyone. I took this drug for 7 years.

          I was on 7mg then weaned down to 5mg then 2.5mg and finally 1.25mg before stopping. It’s been a nightmare but it is slowly settling down. I would recommend staying away from this medication if at all possible… don’t ever start taking it. This is the second time I’ve been weaned off of it. The first time the withdrawal was so bad I had to start taking it again. This time weaned off slower and I will never take it again!!!

    • Danielle March 8, 2016, 2:11 am

      Vera I have successfully bean off olanzapine for 6 months now. For insomnia try getting your magnesium levels up by using magnesium oil. I was applying it all over my body 6 times a day to relieve my anxiety. Low levels can cause insomnia too. Magnesium is also good for the heart. With the insomnia try ginger tea or chewing on crystallized ginger, you can also squeeze some fresh lemon in your ginger tea, as the lemon will help detox your liver and kidneys.

      • danielle March 8, 2016, 8:47 am

        Hi Vera, Oh dear, the ginger and lemon I suggested are actually to relieve your nausea.

  • Carla B. October 14, 2014, 9:42 pm

    Did anyone experience more vivid dreams or wild dreams of a creepy nature?

    • Victoria October 16, 2015, 5:49 pm

      Yes…it increased more psychotic dreams while treated for bipolar without being bipolar [just major depression]. Tapering off of 10 mg now and taking paxil and klonopin.

    • Lisa maree January 17, 2016, 9:42 am

      Yes Carla I had the worst vivid nightmares all the time

      • Maria February 1, 2016, 9:16 pm

        I had the most horrible nightmares. People trying to kill me and dead bleeding bodies all around me in a lake and sinking to the bottom. Scary stuff!

    • Katelyn January 23, 2016, 4:04 am

      Yes I have been off of 5mg zyprexa for 3 weeks. I have had the worst dreams I’ve ever had in my life in this past 3 weeks.

    • Myra August 27, 2016, 11:01 pm

      Yes!

  • Mojo October 20, 2014, 6:23 pm

    I have been on zyprexa for 4 years now , I’m tapering down, in my in-patient I was on 40 mg a day, now I’m only on 2.5mg. This drug helped me a lot to achieve everything, I graduated from medical school, happily married and I have 2 lovely daughters. I’m living a very fulfilling life, thanks to my Doctors, parents, wife, friends, and Zyprexa.

    I’m tapering off of it now and hopefully by 3 months from now I’ll quit it for good. My advice for every one, don’t lose hope, listen to your doctor, keep your head up. Best of luck.

    • Holcombe August 19, 2015, 2:44 am

      Were you successful at withdrawal?

  • Scott October 29, 2014, 11:47 am

    I have gone cold turkey on 20mg that I have been taking every day for over a year. I had a horrible first two days feeling like I was going to vomit, but day three I still haven’t slept for more than two hours, but not feeling like I am going to throw up. Time will tell. Now I just need to avoid the toxic advice of the ‘health’ professionals who gave it to me in the first place. Not happy with them at all.

  • Cindy October 29, 2014, 10:59 pm

    Where do I begin? I have been taking Zyprexa for almost three years. I started to take it because I was underweight and because my doctor thought I was bipolar. The drug worked fine for the first year and then my life started to change. It changes who you are and the sedation is unbearable. I have tried to quit 5 times before this one. I never make it past 14 days because the withdrawals are so severe. The nausea, vomiting, crying, the mood swings, and the horrible thoughts. This time I had to take 5 weeks off work and I still feel horrible. I pray that I can one day become myself again. I do not recommend antipsychotics to anyone who does not experience actual psychosis. HORRIBLE!

  • Tara November 10, 2014, 4:44 am

    My husband has been on zyprexa for a few years under doctor instructions he quit cold turkey. Since august he has been throwing up (seriously everyday) has had higher anxiety is experiencing numbness in the body and we have monthly doc check ups and all they do is put him on an IV for fluids and send him home with nausea pills that seem to not do a thing. They basically just say they are not a psychiatrist so they don’t know how to treat him. He has had blood work up done, ultrasound done of gallbladder and liver, and a CT done of his abdomen and still no answers! Please if anyone has experienced something like this it would be nice to hear about and if you have any advice or answers on how to get through it. I would greatly appreciate ANY advice.

    • Kayce February 9, 2015, 3:20 pm

      Go to a psychiatrist! Should never take specific field drug advice from a GP. I have been taking it for over four years and even tapering off at 25% a month has had me miserable for months on end. Best of luck to you, there is an end and your future will be brighter when you arrive there.

    • Shauna April 3, 2015, 7:06 pm

      Omg my feet and hands are always swollen and numb in the a m. I told my pdoc and she said it is a side effect! I have only been on it 3 months and gained 30 lbs! I have been off it five days and withdrawal is kicking in! My body odor stinks, I’m nauseous, dizzy and having crying spells! These drugs are a flipping joke!

      • Jennifer February 4, 2016, 2:40 pm

        Yes about the B/O but I think it’s a sign that your hormones are starting to function again. The zyprexa really messes with your hormones which is also why your metabolism shuts down. I’m going on 24 days down to 2.5… shaking and sweaty, but I’m not giving up this time.

    • Emma February 19, 2016, 10:25 pm

      I had a similar experience, I’ve been taking it for four years. When I went off of the drug the first time I attempted to wean myself off I experienced very similar symptoms. I also threw up several times during the week on average about three times per week. I went through all of the tests had all of the blood work, but they were unable to find anything and as a result I developed an ulcer from all of the vomiting and started to puke up blood.

      None of the pills worked on a long term basis to rid me of the nausea. Since then I have discovered that that CBD oil helps the nausea and withdrawals. I stopped puking the moment I took it and this was a huge thing for me, it also helped my energy levels and anxiety. I have since been able to stop taking the drug entirely after weaning off of 2.5 mg over two years at a rate of 1/4 dose less every three months.

      • Marisa April 1, 2016, 12:44 pm

        Hi Emma, Thank you for sharing. Can you tell me what CBD Oil stands for and if it can be purchased at a health food store… Whole Foods perhaps. I have been on Olanzapine 5 mg for 9 months now and have gained 30 pounds while feeling sluggish even after sleeping 8hrs or 12 hrs.

        It’s my goal to tapper off this medication ASAP!!! I wish you continuous success in your journey or goal to go off this medication as well. Take care. :)

        • Gretchen Alexander June 6, 2016, 5:46 am

          Hi Marisa. I have been on zyprexa for many years and am now down to 1.25 mg / day. CBD oil is a type of cannabis oil, but it differs from typical cannabis products in that it is made to contain no THC, thus it doesn’t get you high and has little recreational use. But it is enormously useful when it comes to pain, anxiety, and inflammation.

          The two main psychoactive components in cannabis are THC and CBD. THC gets you high. CBD is the part that helps you sleep, helps with pain, etc. Personally I benefit a lot from the healing qualities of cannabis but I hate being high. CBD is a huge healing tool.

    • Kristine July 11, 2016, 3:43 pm

      I withdrew from zyprexa 3 months ago and still having awful symptoms. I had numerous tests done because my bladder was acting up and I could hardly urinate for a month or so, I had tests taking, nothing showed! I hope he feels better soon!

  • Megan November 14, 2014, 5:21 am

    I have been on olanzapine for 2 years and have gone from a size 12 to a size 18. I have tried many times to stop gradually but I end up not being able to think straight and I have severe breathing problems when I try to stop. I’m determined not let this drug rule my life as it has made me unhealthy. So I’m trying to come off it again… its been 2 days without any and I’m feeling dizzy and like I want to vomit.

  • Rebecca November 26, 2014, 3:15 am

    Hi All, I’ve been on zyprexa for just over a year and have been trying to come off. Any good news stories out there? I’m suffering extreme anxiety and depression along with nausea at the moment. I’m trying to stay positive though and am hoping meditation and exercise will help. I really want to get off zyprexa!

    • Jackie January 5, 2016, 5:17 pm

      Have you tried switching to a different antipsychotic?

  • Louisa November 30, 2014, 12:50 am

    I have been withdrawing off Zyprexa for just over two weeks… It’s been hell. Nausea every day, but I can live with that. What is unbearable is the mood swings and panic attacks. I feel suicidal one minute, then extremely angry or anxious the next. Reading that other people have similar experiences however is comforting… My doctor is suggesting I go back on it because I am having such a strong reaction but I am going to hang in there. Good luck to everyone else!

    • Ed January 30, 2016, 6:04 pm

      Hang in there. It gets better.

      • Ed February 1, 2016, 8:40 pm

        I took Symbyax, that contained just 3mgs of Zyprexa, for about 5 years. I had severe memory problems as a side effect so I decided to quit taking the drug. I became completely psychotic! I had to get back on the meds and taper slowly. To do this I had to open capsules and cut the powder into little equal piles.

        I was taking one eighth of just 3mgs of Zyprexa when I quit this time. After about 4 days of completely discontinuing the drug the withdrawals hit me! All this after tapering down to almost nothing for months. My best advice is to taper down very slowly before you quit all the way. Expect some discomfort because Zyprexa is a VERY BAD drug.

        • Ed July 26, 2016, 4:00 pm

          Update. It has now been 5 months since my last dose of Zyprexa. Memories are starting to come back but I am a long way from being as healthy as I was before taking this drug. It feels like I may never be the same again. The first few months were a living hell and I am not exaggerating. It is tough to do and very uncomfortable but getting off this poison can be done.

          I should never have been prescribed this poison in the first place. So far Zyprexa has seriously messed up 6 years of my life. The creators of this ‘so called’ medicine should be held accountable for the grief they have caused to its unsuspecting victims.

          • Laura Tanner August 23, 2016, 6:14 pm

            My son has been on olanzapine from the age of 16, he is now 19 his max level was 20mg. We have been in the very slow process of coming off, it has taken us a year but he is now at one month no olanzapine. We are determined to deal with side effect of the drug in order to try and get back to some sort of normal life. He still suffers a lot with sweating, anxiety and depression.

            He gained a lot of weight on the drug, now he has lost the majority of the weight gain. He has been smoking marijuana as it seems to help with his withdrawals and keeps his appetite up. This has been an extremely!!! Hard road to travel!!! But am hoping for the light at the end of this long tunnel!!! Sure wish there was some sort of support program out there, it is a lonely road to travel.

            Best of luck for anyone dealing with these issues, olanzapine is NO GOOD the sooner you can get off the better!!!

  • Cindy November 30, 2014, 7:28 am

    Damn this stuff is awful! I’ve been recently diagnosed with bipolar 1 and the doctors have me on 20 mg of olanzipane and 450mg of lithium. I had to secretly stop taking the olanzipane because it is toxic crap. I have no idea who I am when I am taking it… I’m so far removed from myself that I am simply numb! I just quit it cold turkey and I haven’t looked back since. Although I was only on it for a month and a half. These chemicals that these “health professionals” put us on are crazy! They are dulling us down. I don’t want any part in it. :)

  • davonni jackson December 18, 2014, 11:43 pm

    I have been taking zyprexa off and on for 7 years. Always in 3 month intervals due to hospitalization. I had such a difficult time pin pointing which medication I was taking was causing me to have more severe anxiety than i had prior to taking it. It caused me to use it as a crutch or a convenient reason to not cope with my mental illness. It also was the cause of my misdiagnosis.Now that I have been diagnosed with Bipolar personality type 1. I’m hesitant to accept this diagnosis since it comes during my zyprexa withdrawal period. Also my sex life is crap.

  • dee December 19, 2014, 11:26 pm

    I was on this drug for only 2 weeks. Then I slowly came off it. The withdrawals were terrible. I am wondering how long until it stops. The worst are the thoughts for me. It’s been 3 weeks now since I’ve been off. How long until my brain goes back to normal?

  • Chris December 20, 2014, 10:40 pm

    Great article and comments. I was given Olanzapine (Zyprexa) to help with anxiety from benzodiazepine withdrawals. I was at 10mg and gradually tapered down to 0.6mg per day. It was a brutal 3 month tapering and I suffered daily. By the third day off, my heart was jumping out of my chest. Then came night sweats, diarrhea, rage/anger, fear, paranoia, crying spells, and depression to a suicidal level. It’s been 17 days since my last dose and I want to believe symptoms are better but I don’t know since it is still horribly tough.

  • Abolaynain December 21, 2014, 10:51 am

    I have been on that goddamn drug for almost 1 one month then stopped it without gradual. I got low blood pressure and weak heart beats and difficulty breathing when making any movements. Then I got panic attacks, making me unable to focus on any thing ,so I went back on it and then stopped it gradually. One week after stopping, I was almost perfect. But the second week, I had nausea, dizziness, insomnia and then difficulty breathing. I felt better for almost one day on end of the second week and then came the symptoms again. Now I’m on the third week and almost feel no better. When will those symptoms disappear?

  • Bek December 26, 2014, 3:04 am

    I have been on zyprexa for three years – put on it when I was hospitalised for severe depression. I am bipolar (type 1) and zyprexa (with my other meds) works really well for me. BUT I have become physically very unwell due to extreme weight gain. So about a month ago I took my last dose. It has been very hard emotionally; I feel like I am slipping back into a depressive episode. I can’t sleep and the anxiety and sadness is extreme. I am so hoping it will only take 90 days to get through this. I just have to hang on. It is so very hard.

  • Chris December 27, 2014, 8:36 pm

    Update: I lasted 21 days off Zyprexa. On day 20 I was vomiting due to the dizziness and nausea. I also became extremely sensitive to lights and noise. On day 21 I could barely walk without passing out from weakness and dizziness. So I went back on 2.5 once a day and I will attempt an even more gradual taper once I stabilize. The nausea is still bad but my anxiety and depression are better.

    I hate this drug and hate that I went through 3 weeks of withdrawal only to have to start over, but it could not be help as I nearly ended up needing to be hospitalized. I will look into getting a liquid formula so I can more easily measure taper reductions. So either I really need this drug to function or my tapering wasn’t slow enough…I’m hoping it’s the latter.

    • Christena January 12, 2016, 12:38 am

      Hell Chris. I know exactly how you feel. I was on 2.5 mg for about a year. I then cut it in half with a pill cutter and about a month ago I tried to go off it. I experienced extreme nausea and vomiting It was so hard going to work I couldn’t eat breakfast because I would throw up and on my drive home I would have to hold in from being sick and soon as I got home I would be sick.

      I ended taking sick days at work because I felt so awful and then I started getting depressed because I wanted to go off the medication so badly. Eventually like you I gave in and am taking it again. I am slowly weening myself off it. I suggest a pill cutter. I am now down to a quarter which is very difficult to cut. I want to try and go every other day and then off entirely. If you try again and are successful please let me know.

  • corey December 30, 2014, 7:57 am

    First off, I wouldn’t recommend this drug to anybody who isn’t seriously mentally ill. If you have enough sense to know your problem and if you can tell reality from non reality then I don’t recommend this drug. I will admit it can make you more calm but it comes with a price of being a total idiot and not giving a damn about yourself or what happens to you. Listen I’m not saying that I’m a doctor, so what ever choice you make needs to be smart and not just rapid. But look remember the reasons why you are on it and that people do care about you. I mean honestly the problem might be that you think to much which in that case just try natural ways to deal with that.

    I have the worst OCD I would think that my dad is going to die if I don’t do certain things or I would think that my animals would be punished and what I found is the more I engage that thought the more I would believe it. Drugs can help the way you feel but in all reality there just chemicals made in a lab there not some holy powder that will make things better. They’re just making you not care as much. And the thing I find that is so funny is that 100 years ago there was no such thing as antidepressants and anti-whatever and yes there were some whacked out people but they still managed just fine. The thing is these big pharmaceutical companies are getting paid billions by these so called mental disorders and it helps the economy.

    Think about it even if there was a cure there will never be one made in this world because that would mean no more psychiatric services no more psychiatric hospitals and no more psychiatric drugs and if you think that there going to give up billions if not more to help little Susie get through her bipolar or whatever I don’t think you’re living on earth. But listen you may have a serious mental health disorder you may not, that is only something you and your doctor can determine. Zyprexa destroyed my personality and it made me someone who was weak and spineless.

    It made me not care about myself. I wouldn’t shower for weeks, I would spend all of my money on fast food, and I would masturbate for hours. I would bang my head to music that I couldn’t even feel, and I would basically just let time fly by and not care about the outcomes of my choices. Don’t ever give up hope. Chances are you’re reading this and you are either new to the drug and don’t like it, or you’ve been on this drug or multiple drugs for many years. My message is don’t give up on yourself – you weren’t created with a bottle of zyprexa in your womb so you prob can live without it.

    If the withdrawals are too severe then yes, it would be a good idea to seek additional help. If you are having breathing problems like some post said then do the smart thing and go to the ER because that’s just too much. Also if you are having psychosis, it might be a good idea to take a dose and talk with your doctor or just go to the ER because anybody that’s ever experienced it knows how scary that can be. Feel free to reply.

    • Purple October 21, 2015, 12:50 am

      I agree no one should be prescribed zyprexa unless it is necessary. I was prescribed this just cause I had a little anxiety and the doctor didn’t want to give me a benzo, and I didn’t know better than to not trust a doctor and research what they give me. I’ve been on it 4 years and tried to get off many times and never can handle the horrid withdrawals so I end up taking again!

      The worst for me is the total insomnia I do not sleep not even for a minute I just lay there awake all night the longest I stayed up was two weeks straight than I had enough and my doctor won’t give me any benzodiazepines to help with it and sleeping meds don’t work for me. I feel like a diff person on this Med only thing good is I feel more laid back but also I’m afraid to talk to people I will go to extreme to not have to talk to people besides my close family, to where I won’t let my husband leave me alone with someone cause I can’t conversate I feel I never have nothing to say and feel dumb.

      Also I have gained 40lbs which I do not like and the doctor put me on a weight loss pill and I was able to lose 30lb put I can’t be on it long so I will just gain it all back I have been eating less than a bird to lose this weight and I can’t do it much longer. I need to get off this evil drug. Has also caused other health problems like my pulse is always over a hundred at rest which isn’t normal I’m always afraid I’ll have a heart attack!

      Also severe constipation which I have to take a laxative every single day or I won’t go. I could go ten days and not even have an urge to go! I feel I’m stuck on this medication for the rest of my life! Any advice on getting off no matter if I taper or not the withdrawals are still hell! Also I ask my doctor for help and tell him I want off and he keeps telling me I’m fine on it so I should stay on it!

    • mary January 30, 2016, 2:31 pm

      I’ve been on 20 mg Zyprexa for over 3 years and 2 weeks ago started cutting them in half then I plan on going down to 1/4 next month or so. Feeling nausea, weak, headaches & depressed, but I’m determined to get off it. I went from 141 lbs to 230 lbs. Developed diabetes and hypothyroidism after I started taking it. I want to be healthy again. It has numbed my emotions and made me slow witted. It looks like its going to be a long hard road, but I’m done with zyprexa.

    • Alexandra February 16, 2016, 8:54 pm

      Brilliantly and intelligently said Corey. Very very thoughtful, helpful and honest thank you.

  • Andy January 4, 2015, 12:15 pm

    Hi Guys, well what can I say, Olanzapine is very intense and is a very high stimulant and its intresting to realise how hooked you are on it. I will tell you my tale. In 2012 I was diagnosed with a panic disorder caused by a variety of things I do not wish to discuss. I was in and out of hospital and sectioned under MHA (Mental health Act) for a few weeks. The doctors, although brilliant just placed me onto these tablets and said watch my weight as it would balloon.

    I went from being 12 stone, too a 18 stone in two years, suffering from palpatations and chest pains and increased weight gain to the point of stretch marks around my body. I realised after being on olanzapine for nearly 2 years that it was doing more harm then good, no matter how calm and relaxed they made me. I did feel they were hindering my progress at being normal. I started to come of them very slowly due to my doctors orders, first from 5mg to 2.5 mg and then after about a year started coming of them even slower first every other day, then every other two days etc…

    Am now on every 5 days and I am suffering at times. I am most unwell when I have free time, as I don’t like spare time and I prefer to be busy. I am at University in my final year which keeps me occupied but hate the spare time. Alcohol is also a hindrance as it makes me feel more unwell if I drink that. I’m at the point were I am not drinking anything alcohol as well as caffeine based. Hopefully these symptoms will pass. I just want to be off these tablets now.

  • Ken January 17, 2015, 1:54 pm

    Hi: I am trying to taper off this poison. It has given me tardive dyskinesia. My muscles twitch and move all the time. I crossed over to this drug from the drug seroquel. I have terrible insomnia and I can’t sleep more than a couple of hours every night. Horrible experience. This drug should only be used with severely psychotic patients, but alas they are giving it out for everything from having an eating disorder to having anxiety. Prescribing this drug long term is malpractice and the doctors who do it should be sued. -Ken

    • Kathryn Jones March 26, 2016, 9:56 am

      I’ve been on 15mg of olanzapine for about two years since they took me off seroquel after it became incompatible with my new necessary medication. I’ve also had extreme (for me) weight gain and didn’t feel like I needed it for psychiatric purposes, more for insomnia and to put on weight as I was very under weight.

      I have recently jumped off it and have been very fatigued and emotional, I’ve cried twice in two days when I haven’t cried in years. I’m kind of determining whether or not to keep up with the cold turkey. I didn’t think that they were addictive or I probably wouldn’t have taken them. I haven’t had any medical advice.

  • Jude Conway February 15, 2015, 1:04 pm

    I have been looking after my mother who is (was) a lively 80+ – she was prescribed Olanzapine 8 years ago when diagnosed with dementia. Another Doctor from her mental health team has now overturned the dementia diagnosis and she has been withdrawn cold turkey from the low dose Olanzapine. Six months later, we are going through the horrors of hell – intense crying, nausea, actually vomiting, anxiety, psychosis, extreme moods, never ending hunger one day, disinterested in food the next.

    We were not offered a health professional to ‘walk us through’ the withdrawal and each day is as bad as the last. At a multi-disciplinary meeting last week, I was strongly advised to consider putting her in a home, and my pertinent questions on withdrawal went unanswered. I would like to agree with Scott who posted on Oct 29 and commiserate with Tara (Nov 10th) that I too am not happy with the lack of care and attention.

  • Sara March 2, 2015, 10:31 am

    I have been in Zyprexa 40 mg for two years. I gained weight and is afraid of developing diabetes so I just stopped cold turkey. I like the drug because I had beautiful dreams every night. I always had to take at least 4 benadryls with the sleep aid my doctor prescribed for side effects. I also believe they have helped me mitigate withdrawals. At first I couldn’t sleep. So I bought some sleep aid. That helped once you fall asleep one time your brain will start to fix itself so that it can fall asleep without zyprexa. My third night and I slept most of the night. Plus I don’t feel foggy and irritated. I almost feel back to myself. Good luck everybody.

  • Robert March 6, 2015, 3:49 pm

    I was on 5mg olanzapine for 9 months. It helped me after I experienced a mental breakdown (psychosis caused by zoloft). I should have only taken it for a few months but carried on taking it. My weight went from 12.5 stone to 14.5 stone. I decided to quit cold turkey. I experienced insomnia for around 6 weeks from discontinuation then my sleeping pattern returned to normal. I had no other withdrawal symptoms.

    However, the effects of the drug don’t seem to go away. I have been clean for 5 months now and still feel an emotional bluntness / numbness a feeling like stuff does not really matter. I’ve started fighting to get the weight off me as this medication messes up your metabolism. All I would say is that for me this drug is definitely not for long term use, but it’s like a sledgehammer if things do get out of control.

  • Trish March 12, 2015, 4:40 am

    I was on Symbyax (6 mg Zyprexa/50 mg Prozac) for four months for depression/anxiety. In my opinion, this is an evil drug. Although, I didn’t recognize a problem, my daughter asked, “Mom, what is going on? You’ve gained weight (18 pounds), you don’t take care of yourself, you don’t take care of the house… what is wrong?” I realized the “downward spiral” started about one month after I began taking the Symbyax and I was so depressed I didn’t even realize it!

    At the suggestion of my psychiatrist, I quit taking the Symbyax and began taking 40mg of Prozac – basically just stopping the Zyprexa component. The past six days have been a living hell! I have experienced the worst anxiety I’ve ever had in my life … panic attacks which have made me vomit and cry uncontrollably, have headaches that have made me want to pull my hair out, and horrible nausea. The withdrawal from this medication is almost unbearable.

  • kate March 14, 2015, 3:01 am

    A close friend has been on Zyprexa for almost 2 years at 10 mg a day and the results were positive. But the free pills the drug companies provided have dried up, doc trying to get them cheep for him. Meanwhile he is off the pills for 3 days, suffering terrible headaches and some nausea and anxiety, slight visual issues too. I fear his bipolar symptoms will come back now too!! Staff at the doctors office called in a script for enough to get him through (2 weeks). Problem is they cost $139.00 and he can’t afford that. They haven’t returned his calls and is miserable and fed up with it all. How can doctors be so uncaring toward their patients? I am a contact person and cleared on his HIPPA papers to discuss things, I may be calling them Monday to rip someone for this huge lack of caring towards their patient!

  • Skip March 22, 2015, 9:02 am

    I’ve been on Zyprexa for 6 years, stop taking it 3 months ago and still have nausea, feel dizzy and severe anxiety, fatigue. Is it normal that my symptoms are still here after 3 months? Can anyone help with answer?

    • Kay February 10, 2016, 6:23 pm

      I was wrongly prescribed this for mild anxiety and took it for two years, then had bad GP advice about how to come off it. I stopped taking it in October 2015 and now 4 months later I’m still nauseous all the time, frequently vomiting and getting terrible headaches. I cannot get any help from my GP as she does not believe Olanzapine withdrawal can last this long. I don’t know who to turn to, but after 4 months I am never going near that drug again. Somehow I have to keep going, there must be an end to this!

  • Sugaray0212 March 27, 2015, 2:09 am

    I was prescribed zyprexa when I visited a psychiatrist because of my insomnia. I asked for a sleeping pill for short term use. I didn’t know what zyprexa is until two weeks into taking it I was experiencing panick attacks, shaking, confusion. I did my research and was stunned it was an anti-psychotic drug. I read some horror stories of some horror stories of people who have taken it and that frightens me more. I quit cold turkey. I didn’t know about the horrible withdrawal and the tapering approach to coming off the drug. What a big mistake.

    I was not able to get out of bed or function. I couldn’t eat and didn’t sleep for 3 weeks. I thought I was going to lose my mind. I changed doctor who diagnosed me with depression. I was put on quetiapine, mirtazapine. I had a severe headache the first night but I endured two more weeks of sleepless nights. I was a vegetable at this point and lost a tremendous amount of weight. I saw my psychiatrist and she changed quetiapine to zyprexa and added benzodiazepine for sleep.

    A month later I stabilized. I was very against taking zyprexa but was desperate for sleep at that point. I lost my job due to the withdrawal. Once stabilized, I tapered zyprexa down to 2.5 mg. I stayed there for a month then stopped. The withdrawal was less painful this time. I experienced anxiety, fatigue, insomnia and I was less hungry. I will soon taper my antidepressant. My psychiatrist thinks I’m bipolar too. I was not depressed nor manic so I don’t agree with this diagnosis. She said I should take zyprexa again because I couldn’t sleep and she said she wants to avoid me getting manic for I have bipolar tendencies.

    Crazy! I will never ever take zyprexa again and once I’m off my antidepressants I think I’m done with psychiatry. I lost many job opportunities, time, neglected my children because I can’t even take care of myself at some point; all because of the crazy psychiatrist who put me on zyprexa.

    • James June 2, 2015, 2:44 am

      Can we say…I hope zyprexa is banned? I agree.

    • freddie September 8, 2015, 1:22 am

      I have a similar story as yours. Are you off the Zyprexa? I went from 1.5mg to .625. I also had insomnia but was diagnosed as bipolar. Would like to share stories and results.

  • lorna langridge April 6, 2015, 9:49 pm

    I was on Olanzapine 5 mgs for 10 years but after 2 years I tried to stop the drug and had such frightening side effects that I went back on it. I was told it was a return of the original symptoms but I knew it was not. I suffered severe free floating anxiety, nausea, insomnia and a feeling of impending doom. I took the drug and it stopped within 2 days.

    Since that original withdrawal I have tried several times with a slow reduction but I have still suffered but to a lesser degree. I am now on .625 mgs every other day and it has taken me years to get this far. I still feel the effects of nausea, insomnia and anxiety if I miss a dose and know my appetite and sleeping will be affected for a few weeks when I reduce the dose. It is a minuscule dose to some and it can still have such a powerful effect.

    Back in 2005 the medical profession would not believe me when I told them of the discontinuation effects and put it down to a return of my original symptoms, but I knew it was not. I had a psychotic episode following a traumatic episode and now I believe I would have recovered without relapse without drugs. The drug did not have too many side effect for me apart from tachycardia, constipation and raised cholesterol but I feared the ticks, and diabetes and because it had such a hold on me I had to come off of it.

    I am pleased that it is recognized that the discontinuation can have such severe effects and now take it seriously. Hopefully the medical profession will have second thoughts about starting the drug but I doubt it as the drug company would encourage more people to be prescribed the drug for trivial reasons. It should only be prescribed in the most serious of psychiatric diagnosis and be reviewed within the year as to the need to continue.

  • Dom April 12, 2015, 10:21 pm

    I was on zyprexa 5mg for 6 months then on the sixth month my doc put me to 2.5mg. After a couple weeks I went cold turkey and I’m now on my 7th day. Have nausea and am feeling very depressed. Hoping to feel better soon.

    • Dom July 18, 2015, 11:42 pm

      After 3.5 months now feeling better… no nausea, occasionally feel depressed but nowhere close to where it used to be when first stopping cold turkey. Though I only used for 6 months 5mg, it looks like I’ve successfully quit zyprexa cold turkey!!

      • Kay February 10, 2016, 6:27 pm

        Well done, I’ve been off Olanzapine for 4 months now, I’m not depressed or anxious but I am so fed up with the nausea and vomiting, I cannot believe it is going on so long.

  • Anita April 23, 2015, 5:51 am

    I just stopped the Olanzepine (Zyprexa) 10 mgs, one tablet at bedtime for major depressive disorder and panic attacks after two weeks. I am also taking 40 mgs of Prozac (still on Prozac) and 1 mg of Clonazepam as needed. I gained 20 pounds in two weeks while taking this drug. (Yes, 2 weeks) I was taken off Olanzepine and given Bispirone 10 mgs, 3 times daily. My biggest withdrawal symptoms are shortness of breath, swollen legs and ankles and muscle pains in lower back, knees and legs. My appetite has decreased somewhat. I’m disappointed that I was given such a powerful medication. I’m paying the price for it now. It will be nice to feel good again. Best wishes to you all for a speedy recovery from this drug.

  • Jill April 26, 2015, 7:28 pm

    I have been on zyprexa for about 4 years. It was given to me because I have had a severe eating disorder for 24 years. I will admit it helped me tremendously. But at the price of gaining about 70 pounds! I’ve been tapering off now for the last 5 months. My max dose was 20 mg. At one point I tried to quit cold turkey and the withdrawal was unbearable so I went back in 5 mg. Well a few weeks ago I decided I need to lose weight. And 5 days ago I decided to quit zyprexa entirely.

    Surprisingly I’m OK. I am dizzy but its manageable. I’m sleeping great and I’m not that anxious. But it is important to note I’m on ambien and a small dose of klonopin so maybe that’s why I’m not withdrawing so bad? My treatment team is 100% against me getting off zyprexa. They are afraid I will relapse. I don’t care. The weight gain was unbearable. Good luck to all of you and hopefully some of you will have better withdrawal reactions.

  • Mario Magana May 6, 2015, 5:24 pm

    I’ve taken Zyprexa for 2 years and had to quit because I developed high blood sugar, high cholesterol, memory problems and just because it wasn’t helping with my schizophrenia anymore. Last night I quit taking it and within 3 hours I got severely shaky, got insomnia and now feeling like I’m going to faint. Zyprexa is horrible. My short term memory has gotten better though, yay!

  • Chantal Oakley-Edwards May 7, 2015, 11:53 pm

    Holy Moley! This drug is evil! I was put on Olanzapine aged 21 at 10mg I’m now 34 and have been off this drug for about 1 month. I don’t really remember what I was like before the drug but being on it I tried to commit suicide 13 times compared to 0 before. I’d put on 4 stone in 6 months. I’m experiencing some horrid withdrawals and seriously contemplating to start again just to make them stop.

    I do not have a memory, I can’t hold items or cut up food, I feel I’m in a goldfish bowl, the cramps I’m getting in legs, toes and even my chest is so painful. My bad thoughts are stronger than ever and I’m a zombie state 24/7. I’m also on Mirtazapine start of 30mg and down to 7.5. Called the doctor to get help but can’t be seen for 24 days! I can’t cope with this.

    • James June 2, 2015, 2:39 am

      Hey, I feel for you man. I’ve been on zyprexa for the last 3.5 years. I honestly say to hell with all psychiatric medication. I feel that slowly tapering off zyprexa over a couple years might be your best bet since you’ve been on it for the last 13 years. Maybe 7.5 mg for 6 months, 5 mg 6 months, 3.75 mg 6 months, 2.5 mg 6 months, 1.875 mg 6 month, 1.25 mg 6 month, 0.625 6 month, 5 days a week for 3 month, 3 days a week for 3 month…and nothing. That’s 4 years. I hope that will work if you want to try to slowly taper off. I hope everything gets better for you!

      • ellen November 17, 2015, 3:47 am

        Tapering off. Been on Zyprexa 20 years. Tried to go cold turkey from 5 mg on the advice of psychiatrist. Bad results. Now, on my own, down to 2.5 mg after 2 months. So far, so good. The rest may take a long time, but it seems it is worth the try. Even my psychiatrist recommended attempting to stop so, I feel good. Lots of annoyances: Vertigo, nausea, constipation, anxiety, numbness; however, all mostly manageable. Guessing this will be a long road, but it is happening.

  • Michael May 26, 2015, 9:50 pm

    I was put on olanzapine years ago to help quit marijuana use, reduce anxiety, depression, help me eat, calm me down, etc. For the first few months I had a lot of trouble adjusting to life on this drug. After a while my drug use was halved but never got below that. I also gained a stone in weight and began eating more. I got up to 20mg a day very quickly. Then after a while my smoking increased and my eating slowed and almost stopped. I got severely depressed and suicidal.

    After years on it a friend told me I was not myself and that it wasn’t helping me. I stopped taking it three weeks ago and things started to get better. A week later I stopped smoking all together and started eating a lot more. I felt like my brain was waking back up. I found I could do things I never had the confidence to try before. I am getting withdrawals like vivid dreams/nightmares, snapping at people, over thinking about things, excessive sweating, trouble sleeping, etc.

    I think this is the worst drug I’ve ever know and has nearly f#cked my life up. Everyday is a struggle but with support I am getting through it all. If you are struggling with this drug you are not alone, I hope this helps people in a similar situation.

  • Evan Gagnon June 2, 2015, 4:54 pm

    I have been on a low dose of olanzapine for 2 years now. I have been taking half of a 2.5 pill every night. Since I started this pill I have been suffering from debilitating side effects. The worst of all my side effects is the fact that this pill has taken away all of my sexual desire. 6 days ago I stopped taking the pill altogether. Some withdrawal symptoms have been appearing such as restlessness, insomnia, lack of appetite, and excessive sweating. I know it may sound silly, but I have found that marijuana has greatly been helping me through this withdrawal period.

    Any of the side effects I develop have been negated due to smoking a bowl (except for sweating.) For any of you who feel comfortable substituting one drug for a less harmful one, I would greatly suggest this. I have been on pills and doctor prescribed medications since I was 14. I am 19 now. Everything has made me feel worse, ESPECIALLY ZYPREXA, except for weed.

  • r spreadbury June 22, 2015, 2:09 pm

    Only 5mg for bipolar diagnosed after 2 breakdowns in 2 years. Taken for 7 years. Loss of interest in anything no libido erectile dysfunction high cholesterol and pre-type 2 diabetes + fat wait. Tried to quit loads of times. Failed because of bad anxiety. Finally went for it because it was either quit or stay on forever. Reduced to 2.5 for 3 months then stopped. Now 6 months after the last tab I have got my life back and my libido. But during this period tried mindfulness, acceptance therapy, going to gym to pump iron, and accepting who I am and that nothing lasts forever. Good look. Don’t ever go on this drug unless you are in crisis then come off as soon as possible.

  • Ellen June 22, 2015, 8:08 pm

    I have had a terrible time withdrawing from 2.5 mg. Zyprexa. I did half for a few months and then stopped totally. I think it has been a month or so. I am very nauseous, lost 10 pounds and am beginning to feel somewhat better but my anxiety is high. My psychiatrist is saying go back on it but I am not!!! It is a horrid drug and the withdrawal is horrid. I think doctors who prescribe it should be charged with a crime but I am stuck with my doctor since I have seen him for 40 years almost.

  • Hannah June 28, 2015, 7:58 pm

    I have recently come off olanzapine. I had been on it for nearly 3 years after being sectioned in hospital with psychosis. I had no obvious side effects as I gradually reduced it over the period of about a year; I went from 10mg, to 7.5mg, 5mg, then finally 2.5mg. When it was time to come off it I looked online, and to my horror found hundreds of horrible stories about people not being able to come off it, with nausea and sickness, insomnia, anxiety and more. It really upset me and I spent hours reading these stories, but the majority seemed to be bad!

    I decided that if I came off it and I was OK I would definitely post to some of these forums with a more successful story, to bring others hope, perhaps. I also asked my mental health nurse, and she said she hadn’t really heard anyone having problems coming off it! So to anybody coming off it, remember that everybody is different, and while some people may have withdrawal or a bad reaction, it is probably more likely that the majority of people who don’t have problems coming off don’t look online at these forums, and don’t see any reason to post.

    I am sorry for all of you that do have problems trying to come off this medication, and I am not saying that your problems are not real or that they don’t matter, i just want to balance out the viewpoint a bit that seems to suggest that the majority of people have a bad time with this. So after reading these stories I decided to decrease the olanzapine even more by cutting my 2.5mg tablets in half. I did this for about a week, but just felt my body was screaming at me that I just did not need this drug anymore.

    So I stopped and I was OK! I immediately felt better, more alive some how. My skin did feel quite itchy for a few days but that’s about it really. It wasnt terrible, just a bit annoying. and I started getting up much earlier! I used to sleep for hours, at one point I must have been sleeping for about 16 hours a day. Now I generally get about 8 hours, which is my ideal. I have been off the olanzapine for about 2 months now and have lost 1 of the 3 stone I put on whilst I was on it.

    I am so happy to be off it, its not good to be on in the long run. I just hope I can stay off it now! I hope my story will encourage anyone who may be reading about this who wants to come off it. Please keep positive! and good luck to you all.

    • Kerstin July 7, 2015, 4:10 pm

      Thank you for your positive input. Hope you are still doing well. You made my day! Much love from Germany. -Kerstin

    • sally December 18, 2015, 9:44 pm

      I have read all the comments and still feel I want to try coming down off my 5mg olanzapine. I’ve put on 3 stone since I started taking it 15 years ago. I also developed diabetes, but it’s the noticeable hunger that doesn’t seem normal. I’m in a better place anxiety-wise, so still feel positive about trying to cut down to lose some weight. Seeing dr after X-Mas… Wish me luck.

  • Fred July 1, 2015, 8:19 pm

    I was on 10 mg of Zyprexa for nearly 10 years, started tapering off last year and took my final dose in May. I’m still not sleeping well and have good days/bad days for anxiety. Occasionally I have vivid dreams/nightmares. On the plus side, I’ve lost 10 pounds. In general I think Zyprexa helped me, and I didn’t have any side effects other than a little weight gain. If things don’t get better soon I may go back on it.

  • Michael July 19, 2015, 12:20 pm

    I was taking zyprexa for 8 months. Went pretty much cold turkey on 15mg due to side effects and about 3 days after my last dose I had intense nausea, vomiting, severe diarrhea & crying spells. I would wake up each day with tremors and start dry retching until I drank some water to vomit up. Could hardly move out of bed. Only thing I could eat without pain and vomiting was a small amount of fresh soup.

    After a week of this my condition started to slowly improve. It’s now week 3 of my withdrawal, I still have slight nausea & insomnia. My mental health has improved greatly, I can think and use my brain again. Mentally I feel so much better just need to keep dealing with the physical withdrawal symptoms. I have been drinking large amounts of pure spring water it seems to help.

  • Jeremy August 5, 2015, 6:56 pm

    After being on zyprexa for 6.5 years at 20mg per day, I decided to get off it. I had gained 77lbs, had high cholesterol, metabolism issues and high triglycerides. I have been diagnosed as Bipolar 1 with psychotic features. When I first started zyprexa it was a miracle. I felt really good (but not manic good) and could function very well. Then we had to start upping the dose. I was at 20mg a day with a 10mg PRN option.

    I gained so much weight so fast I got diastasis recti. That happens to pregnant women. Stretch marks go without saying. I have recently gone off benzos after 15 years and so I thought I would try and see how I did off the zyprexa. WOW! I was dumb and went cold turkey. Shakes, nausea, vomitting, skin crawling, sweating, loose stool all the time, cramps (dear God the cramps!), heart palpitations, insomnia, night terrors, dizziness, high tempature, mild anxiety, hypomania, insane thirst…I think the only thing that has not happened is dying.

    It has been two months of this. I am willing to pay this price because I am tired of being a zombie, still having symptoms and being obese. Now I can see my toes again. So it should be worth it. Good luck everybody!

  • Mike August 14, 2015, 11:30 am

    I was put on this drug while I was in a hospital. I was put on it along with lithium. I couldn’t stand the fact it made me sleep 12 hours at a time, caused me to feel like a zombie. It made me feel like I had a lobotomy.

    I’m about one month out after being on it for about 3 months. My head is clearer and the depersonalization has dissipated. I’m waiting for things to get entirely better. I miss writing. My imagination hasn’t rebounded just yet.

  • Mary August 21, 2015, 4:22 am

    I was on 2.5mg for about 6 months and decided to quit cold turkey. It has been almost 2 months since I quit. I have experienced: nausea, daily vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, severe muscle cramps so bad that I have gone to the ER, loss of appetite (I have to force myself to eat most of the time), and insomnia. I can’t believe my doctor put me on this garbage without trying any other medication first.

    When I was on the medicine I gained 24 pounds in the first two months. I am only 5’2″ and already weighed 165 lbs. to begin with. The last thing I needed to deal with was the host of problems being obese caused me, but that was not the worst part. When I was not at my part-time job or at school, all I wanted to do was sleep all the time. This caused me miss out on a lot of things. It also ruined my relationship with my boyfriend.

    I hated this medication while I was on it and the withdrawal has been almost unbearable. I do not trust doctors anymore. Just recently I was prescribed three medications to help with my severe muscle pain. I was shocked to read the accompanying literature and discover that all three had “potentially fatal” side effects. I’m sorry. No more rat poison for me. I am a mother and I love myself. I refuse to let the medical community ruin or possibly end my life. I am investigating alternative treatments.

  • Bianca August 21, 2015, 10:30 pm

    First of all, I’d just like to say that the hospital I voluntarily admitted myself into mysteriously has no record of my treatment on file, so I have no idea what the dosages were at the time that I received them. Anyways…I received an injection of zyprexa upon voluntarily admittance to said hospital and an “1 month” injection of prolixin upon discharge. 4 days after my discharge, and 10 days after receiving the injection of zyprexa, I felt great until these horrid feelings of intense anxiety/worthlessness/guilt/shame (depression?) and crying spells hit me out of nowhere.

    There was blurry vision and restlessness from the prolixin, then swollen ankles after trying to walk the restlessness off so I could actually sleep. I’d spend hours wailing and crying in bed and in the shower because I couldn’t walk outside or concentrate. Complete loss of appetite for days. I experienced starvation without hunger, and complete exhaustion while being restless.

    A friend encourages me to eat more to help the drugs metabolize and that’s when the real torture began. At this point, the restlessness was gone but my crying intensified. Thoughts about committing suicide plagued me and I actually made a desperate plunge for a kitchen knife to end my life a few times due to the distress I was in. Soon numbness occurred in my brain and what felt like depression set in. Also experienced headaches, then strange sensations on the right side of my brain. I had no idea what was going on with me until I somehow realized via Google search that these were withdrawal symptoms.

    The hospital is denying that such a thing exists, but finding this site gave me hope that I could make it through this. I’m traumatized by the extreme emotional turmoil these drugs put me through. I’ve never felt such high levels of anxiety and depression in my entire life, and I know what depression feels like. Everyone has a different opinion about my diagnosis. It’s been torture. After 2-3 months of endurance, I’m beginning to feel like my normal self again with only lessening anxiety attacks to worry about.

    My brain still feels numb and an occasional headache, like it’s trying to balance itself out, but I’ve improved drastically from the way I’ve been feeling previously. Now I just need some therapy and to mentally recover. Why do I feel like a victim of medical malpractice?

    • Lisa October 1, 2016, 6:22 am

      Quit zyprexa 10 mg, cold turkey, after being on it for 2/1-2 years. This is day 11, and I’m going through hell. I got up and moved around for the first time today, just to return back to all the hell. Why is my brain doing this???

  • Lisa Mcbride September 7, 2015, 12:52 am

    I’ve been on Zyprexa, 10 mg daily for 6 years. I have Schizoaffective I disorder. The only side effect I suffered while on this drug was a gradual 50 pound weight gain. 3 months ago I started a diet and exercise program to try and lose the weight I’d gained. I had no success losing any weight at all so I decided to quit the Zyprexa cold turkey 5 days ago. So far I’ve noticed a significant decrease in my appetite. I have no other withdrawal symptoms. I have read the horror stories written on this board about serious withdrawal sickness. My question is how long after your last dose did the withdrawal symptoms start? I’m concerned about becoming as ill as others have written.

    • Lisa October 1, 2016, 6:24 am

      I hope you don’t become ill. I would not wish this on anyone!!! Best of luck.

  • Vikki September 9, 2015, 12:07 am

    I am currently withdrawing from zyprexa. Dr stopped it due to weight gain and high cholesterol. He stopped me cold turkey and did not replace it with anything. I told him about my side effects coming off of the medicine which developed within a few days…nausea, vomiting, severe headache, difficulty concentrating, terrible depression and anxiety, stomach cramping, loss of appetite, and extreme tiredness. He told me to go to army GP.

    GP said I have migraines. Needless to say, it has been three months of this now and I don’t seem to be getting better. I took 10 mg…finally went to the ER because it just persists. I was told zyprexa withdrawal and that it can last for months…how many more months? Some days I’m completely non-functional…I took the med for about a year.

    • Jennifer Donovan December 3, 2015, 4:02 am

      Hi Vikki. I can relate to your withdrawal symptoms. I am two weeks into coming off Olanzapine. I was on 2.5 mg so I tapered by a quarter over a month. I went to ER because of stomach/lower abdomen pains and of course results showed up nothing. Sometimes I don’t think you are not told the terrible withdrawals you will get from this terrible drug. I wasn’t! Some days I feel better than others but I am no where mee feeling right yet. Hoping this won’t last too much longer but I know I would never go back on this drug! Cheers, Jenny

  • jon September 12, 2015, 8:32 am

    I have never been psychotic, but was given a low dose of Olanzapine and left on it for years. In my ignorance, I quit cold turkey. Withdrawal panic attacks were so bad I had to go back on it. I managed to get off the stuff by cutting down slowly over a few months. I feel that my heart has been damaged through this experience, it’s not as good as it was. I have a very jaundiced attitude to the whole mental health industry.

  • Jenny Donovan September 17, 2015, 9:16 am

    Coming off 2.5 mg Olanzapine one night on and one off. Is it normal to suffer from cold legs along with the muscles tightening and fatigue? I have only been doing this for just over a week. How long will these symptoms go on for? Please help.

  • Joe September 20, 2015, 4:39 am

    I accidentally quit taking olanzapine 2.5mg. I’ve been wanting to for a long time. I’m not sure when, but at least since the beginning of the week (monday) according to my pill box. I didn’t put the olanzapine in it. Starting Wednesday evening, I started noticing severe akathisia or anixety – so bad I could not sleep, sit down, lie down, etc… I kept going on long walks all night long.

    I eventually managed to get 4 hours of sleep. Thursday I had the same problem except I slept 2 hours and Friday I didn’t sleep at all. Now it is Saturday night and I can’t sleep. I feel so awake, and anxious, and restless. I would be surprised if I can sleep Sunday too. I’m seeing my doctor on monday and will be asking for something to knock me out. I’ve been very weepy though all of this, because it feels so horrible and I didn’t know what was causing it until today.

  • Paul October 1, 2015, 4:45 am

    I’ve been on Zyprexa for about 4 years now, initially 10mg, increasing to 20mg after being sectioned six months ago. Schizophrenia is the latest diagnosis, but I’ve previously been diagnosed Schizoaffective with Major Depressive Disorder. Olanzapine was a walk in the park compared to Rispiridone, which I was initially given, and was pure nightmare fuel. I’m also on 375mg of Effexor XR.

    The weight gain is now noticeable, I’m constantly hungry and making quite poor dietary choices. Food tastes amazing and is now the biggest pleasure in my life. Incredible carbohydrate cravings. I used to be lean – skinny – but I’ve now grown breasts (I’m a guy!) and feel like any attempt to lose weight is doomed because of this drug. I’ve kind of resigned myself to being a blob with no sex drive and no chance of finding another partner.

    So Olanzapine did quell my psychosis, which is good, but has made me a fat, doped-out hermit. I’d love to be able to quit it, but I am truly afraid of my schizophrenia symptoms returning, along with the horror stories people are telling about withdrawal – I honestly don’t think I could cope with what people here are describing on top of my illness.

  • Erika Shaw October 10, 2015, 8:56 pm

    I have been on Zyprexa for over five years. At first I was on 2.5mg but a couple years in I increased to 5.00. My psychiatrist recommended I go down to 2.5mg again. It’s been three days since I went on the lower doses. What I am experiencing is that I sleep until 11:00am and then I still don’t want to get up. I’ve decided to go back on the 5.0mg because I cannot sleep my life away. I forgot to mention previously that decreasing the Zyprexa dosage from 5.0mg to 2.5mg also gave me nightmares.

  • shahid ahmed October 12, 2015, 8:08 pm

    Hi I was put on olanzapine zyprexa a year ago after suffering psychosis. I have tried coming off this drug several times as I don’t have psychosis anymore but have failed to due to side effects. I last about 10 days before the headaches and fever gets too much and I start taking it again. I have switched to another antipsychotic which is quetiapine seroquel. It’s been about 10 days on this and I’m still suffering from olanzapine withdrawal hoping it stops soon as I can no longer take being depressed and fat. I have put on 40kgs in a year since being on this horrible drug called zyprexa or olanzapine.

  • skip October 19, 2015, 10:32 am

    I was on Zyprexa for last six years for panic attacks and anxiety (first on 5 then 3.75mg), two months ago I started to taper it slowly, every 25 days 1/10. Right now I am on 7/10 of 3.75mg and last tapper was 9 days ago but I still have nausea, dizziness, weakness, tremor, high anxiety and panic. Does anyone have similar reactions when tapering this medications and how long did they last? Please help me, I am desperate.

  • Katerina October 25, 2015, 10:13 pm

    I have bipolar 1. Olanzapine (Zyprexa) knocks me out, which is great when I can’t sleep/ have anxiety (I also have anxiety and panic attacks), but terrible the rest of the time. I love the medical profession’s silent weighing up of risks when they prescribe this stuff. Psychosis > Diabetes > Obesity > Other stuff … yet realistically the top three are bad news >.<

    My doctor's good, and tailors medications to my mood episodes, using Olanzapine only when I'm hypomanic. Even then, I don't take it every day, because of the side effects, and because hypomania is fun! I want to enjoy feeling great when depression feels so awful and is a strong memory. Once out of the woody danger of mania (I can get psychotic), the Olanzapine isn't something I take.

    I feel for people who are on it long term.

  • Ed McLendon October 28, 2015, 5:32 pm

    I have been taking Symbyax for about 4 years. I was not aware of Zyprexa being a component of Symbyax until the side effects from it started to destroy my life. I have cut my doses in half and have been feeling the withdrawal symptoms. I would never have taken any of this medicine had I known beforehand about the terrible consequences of quitting taking it.

  • Anne October 29, 2015, 8:22 pm

    I have a love/hate thing for Olanzapine. I was prescribed 10mg per day for dypshoric mania, and it did completely get rid of those symptoms. However it also made me gain a lot of weight very quickly, made me feel completely numb and apathetic about everything, and reduced my cognitive performance noticeably.

    I decided I wanted off the drug, but felt like I couldn’t tell anyone. My relatives would be very disapproving and upset with me, and my psychiatrist would never agree. It’s like I don’t have the right to weigh the pros and cons for myself and make my own decision.

    So I quit cold turkey by myself 12 days ago. So far I have had severe lethargy, body aches, constant nausea, cold sweats, insomnia and mental fog. It really feels like I have the flu. Luckily so far there has been no return of BP symptoms other than the insomnia.

  • Kathy November 5, 2015, 3:55 am

    My son was put on Zyprexa in May for a psychotic episode that put him in the hospital for a week. He has been on a maintenance does of 5mg daily since then, but has been trying to get off for a couple of months due to lethargy, anxiety and weight gain. It has been HORRIBLE and now he’s had another psychotic episode because he couldn’t sleep for 4 days – nothing over the counter helped.

    He even took a Klonopin, which he swore he wouldn’t take again. Finally, we all gave in Monday night and he took 5 mg. because he thought his brain was dying and insisted on going to the ER. He was asleep within 30 minutes. His psychiatrist has created a drug addict! Surely, someone knows how to get him healthy again!!!

  • Marcia November 11, 2015, 11:04 pm

    I’ve been on Zyprexa for 5 years and felt really good while taking it – my depression was under good control. Unfortunately, I have gained 50 lbs, am now diabetic and my cholesterol is all over the map. I tapered my dose down with my psychiatrist’s direction. While the side effects have not been as severe as what some people have described, I am anxious, have been having mood swings and some of my thoughts have not been pretty. It is reassuring to know that others have been going through this. My doctor’s recommendation was to take a low dose for another month before stopping – maybe this will work for someone else.

    • Marcia December 18, 2015, 8:47 pm

      Well, it’s been a bumpy road. Still attempting to wean myself off. Still experiencing pretty severe insomnia, sweating and anxiety at times. A work in progress. Damn, what wicked stuff!

  • Jack Willy November 17, 2015, 9:42 pm

    I decide to stop taking Olanzapine because I was feeling always sleepy and no energy. I was taking 2.5 mg for about 4 years. It’s been 3 weeks now and I feel down, have severe anxiety, I’m not hungry but make myself eat anyway, have trouble sleeping, and difficulty having a normal conversation with friends and family. I will keep trying to get off because they say it could take 6 weeks and getting better. So I will keep you informed of my progress.

  • james November 21, 2015, 7:40 am

    About a year ago (November 2014) I was put on 10mg zyprexa after a psychotic episode which resulted from severe insomnia. I continued taking the drug for 2 and half months but being aware of the potential side effects I decided to get off it. I tapered to 5mg after 2 weeks and to 2.5mg 2 weeks later. I didn’t feel any change in symptoms no return of insomnia and everything felt fine. After another 2 weeks I reduced to 1.25mg and then to 0.625mg after another 2 weeks. I still felt OK, and then I quit entirely in march 2015. I have not since had any withdrawal symptoms. I am writing this to give hope to someone out there that quitting zyprexa is possible. I read of the same experience from the internet and that gave me the confidence to quit zyprexa. All the best to anyone trying to come off this drug.

  • Sebastian Mata November 29, 2015, 12:08 am

    I have been on Zyprexa for two years. I started at 2.5 mgs following a breakdown that required hospitalization. Over time, I have gone to 5 mgs. I have tried repeatedly to come off Zyprexa but have never been successful. Confusion, dizziness, anxiety eventually take over. I caution everyone against taking a medication for which there is no withdrawal protocol. That should tell you volumes about the danger of taking this drug – psychiatrists have no idea of its withdrawal effects (I have had the best p-docs in the field) and generally will simply tell you not to get off it once you are taking it. Definitely a dangerous drug that will place you in a straight jacket from which you will not be able to escape.

  • Flora Catto December 5, 2015, 9:11 pm

    My husband has been on Olanzapine for 2 years. He has been reducing it slowly for 6 months (on medical advice). He has not had any for 2 weeks but wants to stay in bed. He is very shaky, having difficulty holding cutlery and mugs. His memory seems to have been affected too. In all the forums I have read no-one mentions shaking.

  • Marty December 5, 2015, 9:58 pm

    I have been on Zyprexa for 16 years, ever since a couple of psychotic episodes. I gained 180 pounds at the worst of it. I was on 30mg for a short time, but have been on 25mg for about 15 of those years. I have to say it is very effective in terms of making you feel well mentally, but I think it was totally unnecessary to have me on such a high dose. I will start tapering off shortly, but I am very mad that my father and psychiatrist were both advocates for this dosage.

    I have developed man-breasts, my concentration has been very bad for those 16 years (haven’t been able to read books, which was a favorite past time of mine) , I’ve had panic attacks, had issues with personal hygiene, frequent crying, and I am lucky I don’t have diabetes (yet). Schizophrenia is a horrible mental illness and Zyprexa may be the most effective drug to treat it, but try to be aware of the side effects and, more importantly, try to come to an agreement with your doctor to not put you on a dosage higher than 20mg daily. 10 to 15mg a day is more reasonable.

  • Garry December 7, 2015, 10:32 pm

    I have been on this drug for over 10 years, on 10mg for a long time but now on 20mg for the past few months following a hospital admittance for schizophrenia. Over this time I have put on some weight like many others. I’ve decided to go cold turkey and not tell my doctors and mental health team as I’m sure they will not approve, or worse, section me. I feel this drug doesn’t help me compared to the side effects and after 10+ years on chemicals I want to regain my own mental balance drug free. I have to say at this point, reading the withdrawal symptoms, I’m quite worried about how I’ll handle it, hoping it goes relatively smoothly. Wish me luck and good luck to everyone else coming off this drug.

  • Cat December 8, 2015, 4:59 pm

    I was put on 2.5mg of Olanzapine a few months ago alongside antidepressants to help with depression. It did initially lift my mood at first but that unfortunately didn’t last; my depression came back pretty hard after about a month and a half. I wasn’t best pleased with the physical side effects either – A friend noticed I’d seemed a bit withdrawn; I was permanently hungry, noticeably gained weight, and became more lethargic than usual, which only added to the depression I already had.

    I came off Olanzapine two weeks ago (mostly due to frustration at the sudden weight gain), and I’ve already mostly lost the weight I put on, and feel more awake, more cheerful and less sluggish, but the withdrawal symptoms initially came with a rather persistent out-of-nowhere anxiety attack that lasted about a week (cheerful and anxious at the same time = a hell of an experience…) and four days of the most terrible insomnia. (Over-the-counter sleep aids have helped with the insomnia and my sleep patterns are now mostly back to normal.)

    I’m not a doctor, and I expect Olanzapine probably works pretty well for some people, but I didn’t have a particularly good time of it, and would definitely not go on it again.

  • Jack Willi December 14, 2015, 1:09 am

    Like I promised! On Nov 17 2015 I left a comment that I was stopping Olanzapine and it was hell. I promised to let you know if I made it, but I did not. I had to start taking it back and at soon that I did I felt better. So I guess I’m stuck with it. It is a very bad drug but when you have to take it, you take it, at least so you can live your life. Just want to tell those who can stop taking it… you’re lucky, but for the others, please don’t suffer for nothing. Take it and do the best you can… you’re not alone. Maybe one day I’ll try again, but for now, it’s the way it goes. There you go.

  • Simon December 15, 2015, 7:29 am

    Me too. Been up all night. Been getting minimum sleep, despite exercising like crazy during the daytime. Trying to eat healthy etc., but still feel angry and sad, then confused. My memory problems make it all the more embarrassing.

  • Bryan Hartman December 19, 2015, 1:52 pm

    This drug is no joke. It’s been my 3rd month on taper at 50 percent. 20-10-5 in 3 months. I have mild hallucinations, panic attacks, diarrhea, impending sense of calamity, insomnia and a metallic taste in my mouth. I go back in 7 days to move to 2.5 mg. Is this going to get worse?

  • Bryan Hartman December 19, 2015, 2:02 pm

    How bad does it get? 20mg for 6 months. I am not sleeping, having suicidal ideation, not functional at work, lost my drive for sex and can’t perform my basic duties. Above all I feel violated.

    • J.E. December 20, 2015, 3:48 am

      Looks like you’re getting it as bad as it gets to be honest. I think the real question is how long can you bear with it. It’s possible you might be tapering too fast, but I’m no medical expert so you may want to ignore my advice. It’s totally understandable to want to be off the stuff as soon as possible, but perhaps you should remain at 5 or 2.5 until you stabilize a bit and then continue with the tapering process when you’re not feeling as terrible. Instead of going with a fixed timeline, maybe you should go with feeling. Your brain and body may not be ready for another drop. I hope you are successful in getting off the poison.

  • Kirsty December 21, 2015, 4:42 am

    I was on zyprexa 10mg twice a day for 8 years. Though it did help with my bipolar and depression I stacked on the weight. I spoke to my psychiatrist and he dropped me down to 5mg a day and swapped me to sodium valporate. That was 8 weeks ago-I have lost 11kg, and every day I feel sick to the stomach from the time I get up to the time I go to bed. I also sweat profusely through the night. I spoke to my GP today and he said it could be another month or so before I stop feeling ill all the time. I just hope that it comes sooner than later!

  • Mike December 26, 2015, 1:37 pm

    My doc gave me Olanzapine 20mg a year ago for my agitation, restlessness and shouting/yelling. My symptoms became worse and I have uncontrollable loud yelling in the mornings upon waking up. My current dose is 8.4mg and I am slowly tapering off every 1-2 weeks at 5%. Has anyone experienced uncontrollable yelling?

    • Nicki December 28, 2015, 5:54 pm

      Hi Mike. Yes…I have some form of uncontrolled yelling…it’s like a whole bunch of anger wells up inside of me and I yell or spout strange words. I was thinking it was almost like Tourette syndrome symptoms. I also move uncontrollably in the morning and during meditation…

      • Mike December 29, 2015, 3:58 pm

        Hi Nicki, What is your dosage? Did you manage to overcome the yelling? I have been reading on all the withdrawal symptoms, but it seems yelling is uncommon. My loud yellings and agitation/restlessness start from 7 AM till noon, and by late afternoon, I am much calmer and quieter. I also take Mirtazapine and Britellix. If this is withdrawal, why is it happening in the mornings only?

  • Nicki December 28, 2015, 5:49 pm

    Hi…I’ve been on various doses of olanzapine for 18 years or so and I finally had the courage to talk to my Doc about how it’s not working for me. I am currently on 1/4 of a 2.5 MG tablet…so many unwanted symptoms that cause me fear and grief…I regret ever agreeing to take the drug…but when a Dr tells you it is the answer (especially when you’re young) you feel uncertain about your own abilities.

    My experience with the mental health system has been a negative one. I am also taking trazadone and my body keeps telling me that I don’t need these drugs… In fact, my body is fighting back. I know I will feel better once the symptoms of withdrawal subside but it’s a scary journey sometimes. Don’t forget that you are ok and that the symptoms are in reverse.

    It’s hard to trust doctors who want to prescribe and I find that because they are accountable for you as a patient that they don’t use any natural judgement…at least that’s the problem I have with my doc. She over does her job. She’s just a family doctor, but I wish she would have more confidence in my opinion about my own state! I don’t need more doubt and fear put on me while I bring myself back to natural mental health.

    One day at a time…believe in ourselves…we are the ones who have been through it…don’t let a doctor dominate your decisions about your own health…they are meant to be informed guides only.

  • Phil January 3, 2016, 11:27 pm

    I am new to this site, and am glad I found it. I was given this drug for sleep and anxiety, many years ago. I started tapering off of zyprexa 2.5mg in Aug 2015 with a liquid titration at 1/2 to 1 percent per day from the original dose. I was having withdrawal symptoms that would subside. First month – 20 percent; second month – 20 percent, third month – 20 percent; 4th month – 10 percent.

    I slowed because symptoms were increasing. I stopped taper late November; went into severe withdrawal. I was going too fast. Multiple symptoms. Have been holding for 32 days at .8mg/day. I was also on klonopin and successfully tapered off of that drug over 1 year (finished 1 Aug 2015). My symptoms are: skin pain, formication, burning, discomfort, agitation, insomnia, vertigo, lack of appetite, and just general unrest.

    All other symptoms have primarily subsided. Symptoms are still rolling in and out at 32 days. When I stopped the taper, the symptoms maxed at about 22 days. Based on my experience, I would NOT microtaper this drug like I did. If I pull out of this and I am able to taper more, I will make small cuts, and hold for one month.

    IDK if I will need to be updosed at this point. I am attempting to hold where I am. I appreciate others comments as they are going through these experiences of stopping and restarting, as well as any success stories.

  • Jenn January 7, 2016, 4:45 am

    I’ve been taking 5mg of zyprexa for the last 2 yrs & 2 months. I tried about a year ago to stop taking it & the anxiety was so bad I thought I was going to jump out of my skin. I agree w/others that you just end up lazy, don’t shower, & have no desire to do anything, no sex drive either. I have gained 64 pds & I’m not happy. It’s like your appetite not only becomes insatiable but you’re never full either.

    Portions become out of control. 6 months ago I went back on adderall & it just doesn’t work the same way it did for the 10 yrs I was on it prior to having it taken away & being put on this crap! I was convinced it was because I was just too fat for it to work properly even at max dose. I’m convinced it’s because of the zyprexa. I don’t know when I stopped, it was a couple days before New Year’s.

    Today in Jan 6, 2015. I am nauseated 24/7 & every little movement makes me sweat. I want to do nothing but lay in bed & sleep. No anxiety or insomnia… moody… man I’m a straight b*tch! I hope the nausea goes away soon. I don’t know if I can do this for months…but I know that I’m not going back on it as a way to fix it. I just think that’s insanity. I’ll deal somehow, it’s mainly just a nuisance I could do w/o.

    Shocked that my adderall isn’t nipping it in the butt though. Usually if you feel like garbage, adderall will make you feel like a million bucks! I had no idea about any of this until I just decided to look up if there was such a thing as zyprexa withdrawal. Makes me want to choke my psychiatrist for ever putting me on this crap! But I’m in it for the long haul, tried everything to lose this weight & I’m over it. I want it gone yesterday! Good luck everyone!

  • Tee January 11, 2016, 6:27 am

    My daughter who is 17 was on zyprexa for 8 months for bipolar. She was released out a mental hospital on 20mg of zyprexa once a day and Trileptal 900mg twice a day. By the second month she was able to go down to 15mg then 10mg the next month. Two months afterwards 7.5mg. Then 5mg the next month. By this point she had gained about 70lbs and was boderline diabetic.

    I was starting to feel like she had to get off of this medicine soon ASAP. The next month 2.5mg. She was very irritable and short tempered at this dose but stabled after 2 weeks. Seems like it would take her 2weeks to stable out on each dose change. Next month 2mg (by dissolving in liquid and extracting the needed dose). 2 weeks later 1.25mg liquid. 1 week .062mg for one week then stopped.

    After stopping it was at the two week mark she began to really feel the withdrawal. The trileptal was increased (mood stabilizer). It’s been 12 & 1/2 weeks off and she is better but she still isn’t out of the fire. She hasn’t become psychotic since she’s been off but she just sleeps a lot and has a hard time concentrating, focusing and anxiety. Her schoolwork is suffering. I hope she starts to level off soon.

    If not may need to but her on something else. For some reason I have faith in a couple more weeks she will completely pull out of this. My suggestion for anyone coming off zyprexa for bipolar is to increase or get on a mood stabilizer after the first week this will help. Zyprexa has some mood stabilizing to it so you lose that aspect off coming off of it. Best wishes to everyone I will keep you posted on how she’s doing.

  • Jean January 19, 2016, 5:35 am

    I was on 10 mg of Zyprexa for only 3 months, but started adding weight so fast I decided to come off it cold turkey. For the first two weeks or more, I felt no withdrawal symptoms whatsoever. Then I suddenly got hit by really massive anxiety, and depression, and also insomnia. Three weeks later the anxiety seems to be getting better, but I still have the insomnia, and I am only now starting to experience strong cramps in my calves at night.

    I know Zyprexa is a thienobenzodiazepine, and so I read up on benzodiazepine withdrawal on Wikipedia. Apparently withdrawal is not monotonic, so it waxes and wanes, sometimes better, sometimes worse. I’m getting that with the insomnia: last week I started getting some decent sleep, and thought the insomnia was passing; this week it’s bad again. This is one nasty withdrawal.

  • Skip February 3, 2016, 12:25 pm

    Is it normal to have withdrawal symptoms even if I tapper dose very slow? Can anybody answer me please? I have anxiety, weakness, nausea, panic attacks, feeling tired…

    • Ed February 4, 2016, 6:38 pm

      Taper very slowly over several months and it will lessen the withdrawal symptoms when you do stop completely. It is easier said than done I know because I have been through it. The makers of Zyprexa should be held accountable for creating this EVIL drug.

  • Davina Rowan February 6, 2016, 2:56 am

    I have to say that my experiences with Olanzapine have also been totally negative. I feel this drug has ruined my biological functioning nervous system capabilities. I was forcibly put on Olanzapine in 2002 after what the Mental Health Team thought I was having a psychotic episode/breakdown, schizophrenia symptoms.

    Just last year I wanted to taper off a 2.5mg dose. At first I did well whilst the levels were still in my system. But since January this year withdrawal symptoms have kicked in. Insomnia, nausea, unable to eat, anxiety, depression, nightmares and ‘hearing voices’, muscular spasms and many more.

    I too think this drug should be banned and I am going through an intense emotional experience realizing that being put on Psychiatric Medications have actually ruined my health. If I could bring one good thing to the world out of this experience is do not take psychiatric medication, and try and sort out issues that arise by talking to positive people.

  • Ai Ling February 7, 2016, 5:36 am

    I was diagnosed as Bipolar 2 March 2015 which I don’t think I have Bipolar. I would say it was anxiety. Doctor put me on Zyprexa for 8 months. I gained 4kg and my cholesterol went up to 8.3. I decided to stop cold turkey. The withdrawal symptoms was quite bad, I felt anxious, scared all the time. I had insomnia for 5 weeks.

    I went to see GP, he gave me: cortisol, 5-HTP and GABA. After 5 weeks all the withdrawal has gone and I feel like my normal self again. Thanks to my GP. If you have decided to quit Zyprexa, just be prepared for withdrawal symptoms, fight it and you will feel so good.

    • Mike February 8, 2016, 3:01 pm

      Hi Ai Ling, Thanks for sharing your experience. When you were taking Olanzapine (Zyprexa), what were the side effects you faced? Also, if it’s ok, could you email me your GP contact please? My condition has worsened and to stop my yelling, my doc has upped the drugs just to sedate me. To them, it’s either sleep or yell. I feel so trapped, confused and frustrated.

  • Karrah February 19, 2016, 3:16 am

    My husband has been taking 10mg of ZyPrexa for about 3 months along with lithium and lexapro but those a lot longer. He was put on it to help with his bipolar and anxiety. He recently ran out and couldn’t get a refill right away. Now he is going through some of the withdrawals.

    He is sweating at night like crazy and it’s so bad he soaks the bed, whole body is cramping, stiff neck, diarrhea, severe migraine, joints hurt, no appetite, and tired. This are what hes experiencing so far and its been one week today. He said he feels like dying. I wish the doc never put him on this drug.

    This is a horrible drug and should be pulled from the market. I never noticed any difference in him by taking the ZyPrexa except weight gain and slept more. Im praying the withdrawal doesn’t last long. If anybody knows of something he could do to stop it or get it to let up some would love to know.

  • Kay February 21, 2016, 4:59 pm

    I have now been off Olanzapine for just over 4 months and I still have nausea and vomiting. This I am coping with, but in the last week I have started to have physical signs of anxiety, chest pain, a shaky feeling and crying, I did not have this when I started the drug.

    I was put on Olanzapine because of feeling worried in the mornings when I woke up, it was just mild anxiety the doctor should have just tried increasing my antidepressant. Wish I had never gone near this drug but you trust doctors don’t you?!

  • Jean February 29, 2016, 6:52 pm

    I have been on zyprexa for 2 years. I am slowly tapering off of it, about 10 percent every 14 days. I am have severe panic attacks during the night. I fall asleep and then the attacks wake me up with severe heart palpitations This goes on for awhile until I eventually fall asleep. I cry easier too.

    Has anyone used another med to get through the withdrawal symptoms. I read it could take up to 90 days to feel somewhat normal again. I was put on it for sleep. I did well on sleep but now my blood sugar is up among other things. I am currently on 2.5.

  • Rachel March 1, 2016, 2:10 pm

    I have been on Zyprexa for two weeks and my doc is slowly tapering me off. I am so mad because I was on the hospital and the psychiatrist there suggested I take it… now I’m out of the hospital and me regular psychiatrist is livid that I was given it and is tapering me off. I have crying spells, mood swings, panic attacks, tingling in limbs, etc. How long does the withdrawal last? I was only on it for two weeks, but this is hell!

    • Joe March 6, 2016, 7:22 pm

      Hi Rachel, I have been having very similar effects. I keep having crying spells and am experiencing some anxiety. I have only been off of it for five days. I’m hoping it gets better. I was on Zyprexa for 3 months and have slowly tapered off. I’m giving it a week before I make any other changes. Good luck to you.

  • Joe March 6, 2016, 3:13 pm

    I was on Zyprexa for about 4 months and slowly tapered off of it over the past month and a half with my psychiatrist’s help. I am now completely off of it but am struggling. I keep crying and am feeling really anxious. Does anyone know how long withdrawal symptoms last? I am trying to battle through it and let it take its course without going back on it but it is really hard.

    • Joe March 11, 2016, 10:18 pm

      I just went on Gabapentin to deal with the extreme anxiety of coming off of Zyprexa and am feeling a million times better. I felt better instantly with taking the Gabapentin. I highly recommend this to anyone going through withdrawal from Zyprexa. I’m slowly starting to see my withdrawal symptoms fade. Hope this helps and good luck to everyone out there. This has been an awful experience but it gets better!

  • Vicki Banfield March 6, 2016, 9:59 pm

    Hi, I have been on zyprexa for over 6 years now. I went from size 12 to 22 over 6 years. My stomach looks like I am pregnant mmm I look even worse than that. I was on 5mg day 2 1/2 mg at night. I was able to get off the 2 & 1/2mg at night with no problem. I have been reducing my 5mg one day 5mg next day 2 & 1/2. OMG I cant believe it.

    I have been so unwell with extreme anxiety and foggy thinking and concentration just dropping this small amount. It’s been 4 weeks and I am slowly getting use to the reduced amount. I cant believe I have been so unwell just dropping 2 1/2 mg. My goal is to get off this altogether but it looks like it is going to be a very long time. My psychiatrist has put me on Gabapentin which helped with my extreme anxiety. Good luck everyone.

  • sara March 16, 2016, 2:30 pm

    I have been taking zyprexa the past 6 months. After reading Andrews Salomon book about depression (The Noonday Demon), I have decided that I am not that sick and I can live without this drug, which didn’t make me feel better or different than what I felt only with serotonin, yet made me fat. I cut it of twice, but the symptoms where horrible.

    First try, I wanted to kill myself. I had my first panic attack ever and I got very scared about the thoughts and feelings I had. Yet the doctor told me that if I am experimenting these reactions, is my body’s way of telling that I needed zyprexa. So I started taking it again. 3 weeks later I tried again to quit it, but same thing happened. Terrible headaches, muscular cramps and depression.

    Today I have decided to cut it off again, because I read the more you take it, the more difficult is to cut it off. And it makes me fat. My doctor does not understand that this is a drug I don’t feel comfortable with, so I took this decision on my own and I will try to cut it off on my own, also.

  • Manuel Macheras March 21, 2016, 12:12 am

    I started taking olanzapine in 1999 and I have always wanted to cease taking them from day 1. I have tried several times to stop but the withdrawals are hellish to say the least. I have resighned myself to the fact that I may be taking it for the rest of my life, however, with a proper balance of diet and exercise and plenty of rest, I should manage, but if I could get off ’em, I would.

  • Reginald March 22, 2016, 6:53 pm

    Hi, I was committed to a mental hospital after I suffered a psychotic breakdown. Over there they gave me zyprexa and put me in isolation. After a couple of weeks they released me. I’ve been on zyprexa for three years and a half. Last year on 16 November I quit taking it after tapering off for several months. The first weeks I was suffering from insomnia and was feeling anxious and agitated.

    I also suffer from itching skin. Even now, four months later I have nights where I wake up and the itching almost drives me crazy. On the positive side I can say that I sleep less than I did when I was on Z. I’m also in a positive mood and I know I’m gonna get better. To all those people who are still in doubt I can recommend the books of Robert Whitaker.

    In these books he explains how after taking Zyprexa the dopamine receptors, serotonin receptors, histamine receptors, adrenaline receptors and muscarine receptors get blocked. As a response the brain creates more receptors. When you stop taking Zyprexa there are too many receptors available for signaling. As a result you get a flood of different signaling responses.

    In a way it’s like you’re on amphetamines. The itching comes from the histamine flood. Autopsies have shown that the number of receptors after six months is back to normal. The brain has then yet to recover from the onslaught. So there is hope for all of you. We just have to be patient.

  • Marcy March 31, 2016, 7:28 pm

    My husband was on zyprexa for a almost two months. Started with 20mg for 3 weeks, then went down to 10mg for 10 days, 5 mg for 10 days and now he is off. The withdrawal has not been bad, insomnia for the first 2 nights, a little bit of anxiety, but everything gone after a week or so. Just to give a little hope to the ones trying to get off this med. I was terrified after reading all the comments here and promised I would come back to write something if everything went ok. Good luck to everybody!

  • Tom April 4, 2016, 10:54 pm

    I am so thankful to have come to this website during my search regarding the withdrawal effects from Zyprexa. My symptoms have been pretty severe considering I quit cold turkey and I was taking the drug for nearly 2 years 10mg per day. I have been sweating profusely, can’t eat much, severe nausea periodically throughout the day, depressed, major major anxiety and irritability, but the worst feelings I have is like carrying an extra 50 lbs on my shoulders throughout the day as if I have the worst flu with no energy or motivation to do much at all.

    The doctor that prescribed this for my bipolar depression didn’t explain the side effects or try any other drugs prior to zyprexa. I’ve been on Zoloft, prozac, cymbalta, and a couple other antidepressants that did little for me, so I thought this drug would work per my expectations that my doctor knew what she was prescribing me! Boy will I be more proactive when I see the new psychiatrist in a couple weeks from now! The bottom line is I have felt like shitzu for the past 2-3 weeks and don’t feel much better at all.

    My recommendation would be NOT to quit cold turkey. In my case, I have outweighed the side effects as more serious to my health such as high cholesterol, borderline diabetes, lowest testosterone, and enough weight gain to make me sickened by the way my body now looks, and no matter how healthy I tried to eat, the weight gain was still a problem. I will continue to suffer the withdrawal effects as long as they last because I will never take Zyprexa ever again…and that’s my story. Thank you.

  • Liz April 6, 2016, 6:32 pm

    I was taking 10mg of Zyprexa at night and over the 5 months I took it I gained 20 lbs, my regular doctor said my blood sugars went up and now is evaluating me for diabetes. Did I like taking it? Yes, it helped me sleep through the entire night. But I felt I was becoming dependent on it and the weight gain was causing all sorts of other issues.

    I quit cold turkey, probably the worst idea ever. It’s been three weeks since my last dose and I’m having several severe withdrawal symptoms. Every night I have sweat through my clothes and sheets, have incredible hot spells throughout the day, my muscles feel like I have the achy flu and I get bouts of nausea that rival morning sickness.

    I keep telling myself this will all go away but I sure wish it would hurry up because it’s starting to feel like this is going to be the rest of my life. I’ve lost 12 lbs in the last three weeks and am glad about that but I sure feel weak. I highly recommend trying every alternative before starting on this powerful drug.

  • Sean April 8, 2016, 10:11 pm

    Hi, So I stopped taking Zyprexa about a week ago. I was taking it for about 3 months and was also taking trileptal along with it. I am starting to have some withdrawal symptoms. I constantly start overthinking things that aren’t really important, or I randomly feel depressed. Get severe headaches. Is there anything I could try while I am going through this? It really scares me to go back to the medicine and it feels like this is never going to end.

    • Joe April 9, 2016, 2:25 pm

      Hi Sean, I have recently experienced some very similar withdrawal symptoms. I can say that Gabapentin has helped me deal with the anxiety I was experiencing. It was really severe, but since I started taking that, it has faded. I am not 100% but better than I was when I was experiencing the withdrawal. Hope this helps. Good luck it gets better.

  • Cengiz savran April 9, 2016, 2:03 pm

    My name is Cengiz and I am writing from Denmark and I have read all of your stories. I was wondering how your progress on coming of the olanzapine is and if you are still experiencing the withdrawal symptoms. I too am trying to get of the zyprexa I have been taking it for 11 months now.

    Currently I am on a dosage of 5 mg. I started with 5 mg but upped my dose to 15 mg but that was only for 3 months. Now I’m down to 5 mg again. Right now I don’t know if I am experiencing withdrawal symptoms. I freeze a lot, fever like symptoms, insomnia, stomach cramps, etc.

    I am so afraid of this medication because I know it is a dangerous drug. I am afraid that it has caused brain damage. I know that you are not a doctors but it is nice to speak with someone who has tried the hell themselves. I have tried to come off of the drug 6 times but unsuccessful maybe because I did it to fast.

    This time I will do it on a slower pace. Maybe we are talking months. I hope someone can answer back because I desperately need to someone who has been there themselves.

    • Reginald April 15, 2016, 12:19 pm

      Hi Cengiz, It’s been 5 months since I stopped taking Zyprexa and recently the thing that bugged me most was itch. Now that has stopped and I am able to sleep for seven hours each night. Still I am not back to normal. I feel like there is a block of cement in my head. It’s blocking my feelings and expression. I have read about similar experiences which lasted for years before finally disappearing.

      As Zyprexa is a benzo this should not be surprising. The thing that I keep in mind is that I have enough rest, food and movement. I have a full time job and I am able to do some work at home. The thing I miss most is a relationship but I am confident that one day that will be possible again. Greetings.

  • Amy B April 20, 2016, 5:11 pm

    I was prescribed Zyprexa 5mg for 7 years. I took it for a total of 8 years and just recently got off. I was on 2.5mg for roughly 1 year then thought it was time to get off. I went to my GP and he advised me to cut down to 1.25mg per night for 2/3 weeks and so I did.

    I have been completely off for about 3 weeks now. I experienced nightmares (about 2 or 3) and would only sleep for a few hours for the first week but then I was fine. My appetite most definitely decreased and I do feel nauseous a lot of the time but other than that I am fine. They say the longer you are on these pills, the harder it is to get off.

    Personally I think it depends on the individual. Don’t look too much into people’s experiences and be afraid to take the step of getting off the medicine. I have read a lot of reviews and I felt sick and frightened. But I take into consideration that each individual is different and I love that we can all share our experiences and get advice from one another on here. I wish you guys all the best!

    Now to get off 100mg of Pristiq that I have been on for 12 very long years. 😅

  • Lady L May 6, 2016, 1:07 am

    Looking to do a taper safely off 20mg taken once per day currently of the dissolving olanzapine tablets. The doc said to try going down to 15mg for one week, then 10mg next week, then 5mg next week, and to sort of figure it out from there based on possible WD symptoms (or not). Weight gain has been negligible and have been on it for something like 3-4 months now.

    Very concerned with possible issues discontinuing this as I am already underweight and have appetite problems (severe lack of) even while taking this. It seems most people have a huge surge in appetite and weight gain but unfortunately that has not been the case here. Would like to hear opinions on a safe taper with the orally dissolving tablets as they are a bit difficult to divide up and even just breaking into 4 parts.

    It’s proving challenging even with a pill cutter. Anyone have a similar situation past or present? Would appreciate any and all input and ideas. Thank you!

  • Jane June 19, 2016, 12:10 pm

    I have read every single story above, to give me the courage to persist with not taking any more Olanzapine, I have been off it for one week. Like Lady L, I have also had the unusual experience of not gaining any weight while on Olanzapine for the past 14 months. I stayed hungry but now that I’ve stopped taking it, I have virtually no appetite. What I find hardest now is the insomnia, I am trying not to let that stress me out, even getting a little sleep is good and sure I slept too much while I was on the drug!

    Meditation and swimming have helped me to stay calm. I did Cognitive Behavioral Therapy last year and am thinking more positively. I wish I had got that kind of help years ago but I guess it wasn’t available the last time I had a psychotic break (16 years ago). Given the long period of relatively good mental health, my prognosis is good.

    I now know that I am not a relaxed person but an anxious one. Self awareness and looking for another perspective on my own thoughts will hopefully help me to lead a happier life. Good luck to you all and stay strong.

  • Luna June 25, 2016, 12:19 pm

    End of week 3. Been on this med for twenty years. Having made attempts in the past cold turkey definitely would say it’s been much easier tapering. I am not experiencing alarming weight loss this way. I also am able to manage the extremely intense dreams that come up. Being finally off I gotta say it hurts. Headaches insomnia to the point of fear and desperation in attempts to sleep.

    Definitely tremors and shakes. I’m sad to see this could last three months or more. However I cannot go back. It’s so nice to feel. 30 years of my life on psych meds and at 33 years old it’s so nice to finally get to find out who I am. This process is hard, if you are doing it you are not alone. Do your best to hang in there and find good supports.

  • Martyn June 27, 2016, 8:20 pm

    Was on 10mg a day for 4 years. I am now a type 1 diabetic, weaned myself off and lost the weight I’d gained pretty much instantly… as for the diabetes, well that’s for life.

  • Gwen July 1, 2016, 7:08 pm

    I was initilly on 10 mg for five months went to 7.5 mg for two months and then 5 mg for two months and been off for a few days. The only side effect is brain shifting which happens to me from any drug. I can actually feel my brain adjusting. Completely tolerable. Lost five pounds in two days since being off.

  • Sandie July 4, 2016, 4:12 am

    Hi everyone, thank you all so much for documenting your experiences with coming off Zyprexa. I have been on the drug for about 8 years for major depression and anxiety. I initially was put on 5mgs per day and then had a major depressive break after going cold turkey to come off it on my own. Major mistake by me, put me in hospital for a week in which they increased my dose to 10mgs per day.

    Have been on 10mgs for about 4 years now. I have decided to try again on my own to taper off this drug due to many side effects I have been experiencing which I know will only lead to other disease processes taking place in the long term. I too, put on a lot of weight being on this drug. It is not so much that I would eat too much as I don’t.

    For me it is carbohydrates, my body just does not cope with them leading to massive weight gain over the years when I do eat them. I have tried many diets in the past and for me the only diet that allowed me to lose a lot of weight whilst on this drug was a low carbohydrate diet. I am currently down to 2.5mgs of zyprexa as of today. The withdrawals I have experienced whilst tapering down have been really bad at times.

    Strong nausea, flu like symptoms, aching joints, runny nose, fatigue and dizziness most of the time. In my initial taper down to 7.5mgs, the withdrawal symptoms lasted 10 days. From 7.5mgs to 5mgs, I experienced no real withdrawal symptoms and was so pleased. Now that I am down to 2.5mgs as of today, withdrawal symptoms are back, nausea and dizziness at the moment.

    I am determined to get off this drug, it really is a bad drug and the doctors who prescribe it, never tell you about the long term side effects of this drug or how hard it is to get off it. I have no confidence in GP’s to help me get off this drug as I know they do not have enough knowledge about it and hence I am doing it myself after doing a lot of research and reading all your comments.

    I wish you all the best of luck with getting off this drug and hope you can bare the withdrawal symptoms. I have to believe that there is light at the end of this tunnel. I will comment again here if I am successful coming off Zyprexa completely. Thanks again to you all.

    • Luna July 13, 2016, 1:43 pm

      Hey buddy, I too was on a chunk of time… 12 years. without any symptoms too extreme during the tapering. Then I discontinued it. The majority of the withdrawal lasted two weeks or so. I was left like so many with sleep issues. Specifically waking up at exactly 3am with nightmares. This is having been off for a lil over a month now.

      When I researched the specific consistent time I found it has to do with liver function of replenishment and a lack of glycogen which causes a release of adrenaline to up blood sugar. Zyprexa is known to cause high blood sugar and diabetes. My psych prescriber was requesting that I go back on and instead i saw a medical professional who surprisingly knew more about the medication that the psych doctor.

      Though blood sugar levels are in normal ranges seems that the body is responding with symptoms of hypoglycemia. Many of those symptoms are congruent with symptoms of this me upon discontinuation. This can be due to living so long in the higher ranges that normal ranges now cause these reactions. We are hoping this self regulates as the body adjusts to new normal levels.

      Definitely do research and if things show up I personally would talk to a doctor about it. Though I did wait till other symptoms subsided so that I did not come across as ‘mentally ill’ under some random diagnonsense. Just passing this along to you as many people who have been on 5+ years have big sleep issues.

      I wanted to let you know some things I had done that in the end validated my experience and helped me advocate for the harm the drug was doing. Be well, good luck. Luna

  • Jeremy July 18, 2016, 7:46 pm

    I am withdrawing from this drug. Was on 5mg and now down to 2.5 mg. I went through a lot of the symptoms in this list. Including anxiety, memory loss, tiredness. The anxiety has gone away after a month and a bit but I am still feeling excessively tired and just not quite myself. I’ve been on this drug for 7 years.

    I just want off all these psychiatric drugs which I should not have been forced onto in the first place. I also stopped taking all supplements which were “prescribed” by a naturopath which I stupidly took thinking it would help with the fatigue caused by the zyprexa. Not sure if I am suffering from withdrawal symptoms from that. Never take antipsychotics unless your planning to harm somebody yourself or someone else.

    Or get some other help first before talking with your drug pushing docs. Talk to a friend or counsellor first. These drugs should only be prescribed in life or death situations.

  • Kim bradley July 20, 2016, 1:30 pm

    My son has been on this drug for 10 months. At present he is in hospital going through horrible withdraw symptoms sickness, convulsions, he has lost memory functions, not being able to urinate, sweating like he’s just got out the shower. My son has aspergers. It was given to keep him calm it turned him into a zombie. My son is unrecognizable today. Horrible drug.

  • Holly July 24, 2016, 9:14 pm

    I’ve been on Zyprexa about 18 months. I started at 5 mgs the first couple months, then down to 2.5 mgs and am now taking 2.5 mgs every other night (equals 1.25 daily). I am coming off without my doctor’s help as he thinks I should be on medication the rest of my life. I disagree and I want off of it because of the 25 lb weight gain and the fact that it blunts me emotionally.

    So far, I am doing very well and do not feel any different at this dose than higher ones except for the fact that my emotions are coming back. I know that I must taper slowly but since I only have 5 mg tablets and they are so hard to cut after cutting them in half, I have decided to just decrease by extending the time between dosing.

    My next drop will be a 2.5 mg dose every 3 days. I figure that when I am finally down to a 2.5 mg piece every 7 days, I can stop them. Yes, I am a bit afraid because of all the horror stories I read on the internet but I have found some very positive stories of people who said they did not have a problem coming off Zyprexa.

    I know my way is different from those who keep cutting their tablets smaller and smaller but I’ll see how it goes and I promise to report back.

    • Els54 August 3, 2016, 2:48 pm

      Hi Holly, I was wondering how are you doing. I’ve just tapper down my dosage to 1.25mg from 2.5 mg and I’m afraid after all the horror stories I read here. How have you been feeling? Have you quit olanzapine entirely?

      • Holly August 6, 2016, 2:12 am

        Hi Els54… I am still 2.5 mg every other day… will be lowering again soon by extending my dosing time out another day. I want to stay at each new lowered dose at least 4-6 weeks and make sure I am ok before lowering again. I am doing just fine! I noticed after the last decrease that I woke up throughout the night a few times but that only lasted about 4-5 nights and was completely manageable.

        Don’t be afraid! I have told myself that if I have any problems, I will go back up to the dose that I was on before and stay there a bit before lowering again. Yes, some people have problems but a lot of people don’t! Keep your chin up because you may be one of the people who are able to taper off with little to no problems!

        People who don’t have problems don’t come to the internet to post, only the people who have problems do. That is why it is so tipped to one side with horror stories on the internet. Just take it slow and easy and don’t rush it. Good luck :)

      • Holly August 9, 2016, 6:38 pm

        Hi Els54….I’m doing very well. I’m still on 2.5 mg every other night. Ready to do another step-down…just trying to decide whether to do the 2.5 mg every third night or try and cut my 2.5 mg piece down to 1.25 mgs. I believe the key to tapering olanzapine is slow and steady. I’m going to take 4-6 months to go from 1.25 mg/day to 0.

  • Jemma July 27, 2016, 1:59 pm

    Just to say I’ve stopped and started this medication several times with no withdrawal symptoms, bar sleep being a little more elusive. But I also have ADHD so sleep has always been a little elusive! I’ve had periods up to 4-6 months of taking 10mgs daily and quit easily.

    Now I take it only once a week max for an early night and frequently go 2-3 weeks without using it at all. The weight gain has been a big issue in me quitting, but as I was only 7.7lbs when I started, I suspect the weight gain was the reason I was prescribed this medication. I’m 9.7lbs now!

    I think where I’ve experienced opiate withdrawal, it helps me to easily withdraw off other meds as any withdrawal symptoms are so mild in comparison I easily ignore them and get on with my life.

  • Bipolar cowboy from Wyoming August 4, 2016, 2:06 am

    Hello all. I had been taking Zyprexa for too many years. It caused me to gain 15 – 20 lbs, caused me to sleep 12 – 15 hours a night, and severely affected my intelligence. And took from me many other passions and interests I had.

    Thankfully, I started seeing a nurse practitioner, and ditched the psychiatrist. Now I’m taking Latuda, have lost the weight, and am ever so slowly regaining my cognitive abilities, passions, and interests.

    Please, please, please, I know how stressful and chaotic of a time it is when you find out you’re bipolar but, make sure you do your research, ask questions, and be as proactive as you can!!! It will pay off tenfold for you in the future!!!

  • Johany August 18, 2016, 1:48 am

    Hi, is anyone there to help please!!!! I started taking zyprexa 8 months ago due to a psychotic break as a result of taking an hallucinogenic drug. I was on 10mg for 2 weeks then tamper down to 5 mg for 2 months then tamper down to 2.5mg for 6 months and I cut back to 1.25mg two weeks ago. 3 days ago I started feeling very depressed, I had been feeling depressed these entire 8 months, having ups and downs, but the depression has come back full on.

    I don’t know if it’s because I tapered down or because the depression has come back. I’m taking to my psychiatrist because he’s a dumb ass and I don’t want to see another psychiatrist because they all want to put me on heavy meds. I use to be a happy girl before trying drugs (which I only did once) and it resulted in this. Please I need help I’m pretty suicidal I just can´t take it anymore.

    I’ve seen 7 psychotherapists 5 psychiatrists and 2 general doctors. I don’t know how to go back to normal!!!!!

  • Debra Habanek September 9, 2016, 1:04 am

    I was put on zyprexa over 7 years ago for bipolar disorder and anxiety/panic disorder. I started out at 7mg. I gained weight and slept a lot. I started having problems with my blood sugar and cholesterol and blood pressure. I also started having facial edema in the mornings. Finally decided it wasn’t worth the side effects to take it any longer.

    It didn’t help me much anyway. Tried unsuccessfully to wean off of it once but couldn’t handle the withdrawal and started taking it again at 5mg. A couple years later I decided my health was important enough to go through the withdrawal. I weaned down slower this time… all the way down to 1.25mg before stopping. I’ve been off of it for 6 months now and it has been pure hell.

    I’ve had intense anxiety, panic attacks every morning, leg cramps, headaches, dizziness, nausea, crying fits, deep dark depression and I’ve lost 46lbs. I’ve recently started taking magnesium supplements and drinking herbal teas to sooth some of the symptoms and it has helped somewhat. The anxiety isn’t as intense and the panic attacks are less severe.

    I’ve been told it takes a very long time for withdrawal from olanzapine to be completely over. I would recommend to everyone they stay far, far away from this medication. It is evil! I’m hoping my withdrawal will be over soon but I’ve talked to some others that have said it can take up to a year for your brain to adjust to not having it.

    I will never take it again. I will get through this nasty withdrawal and NEVER take it again. Now if my doc wants me to take any medication, I check it out fist… I go to sites like this and find out what it would be like to try and get off of it. If it’s nasty, I won’t even start taking it. I’d rather deal with my illness than the side effects of the meds and the withdrawal from those meds!!!

  • Joe September 21, 2016, 10:45 pm

    My Doc gave me 5mg Olanzapine to help w/sleep. I really regret not researching it before I took it. I’ve been on it for 3 months. I had sever side effects of fatigue, depression, and suicidal thoughts. I tried cold turkey but had severe anxiety. This medication is bad news period.

    Now it’s gonna take me at least 3 months to be back to normal. In my experience changing brain chemistry changes a person for life. I’ve been a drug addict and even after years clean I never went back to what I was before. These meds change brain chemistry. They are no fun to get off.

  • Holly September 23, 2016, 8:00 pm

    Updating the journey of my Zyprexa (olanzapine) taper as I promised I would in my first post above. I am now taking a 2.5 mg piece every 3 days now. I am having depression and anxiety but I am persevering. As long as I have no psychotic symptoms, I feel it is discontinuation syndrome and I am going to push through.

    I am also having ringing in the ears since going lower…don’t know if that’s related but I’m reporting it in case anyone else has it. The last time I went off Zyprexa, I had only been on it 6 weeks but I did it cold-turkey and went through depression and anxiety that lasted about 12 weeks. I am going to hang in there and get through this.

    I’m not sure when I’ll try to stop the Zyprexa. I started this taper in May…it is now September. I wanted to do this very slowly so I may keep pushing the dosage forward until I’m taking a 2.5 mg piece every 7 days. By then, I would think I’d be able to stop. If anyone has a positive story about tapering Zyprexa or any story about getting off this drug, I’d like to hear it.

  • Jamie September 24, 2016, 2:31 pm

    I have been on Olanzapine since it came out nearly 20 years ago…yes, I put on 5 stone, annoying and very difficult to get off even with a good diet and regular exercise. Mentally I have found it very good within reason. I prefer it to the injections I was once on for 10 years, my mood is pretty stable-memory not too good, pros I sleep well I’m alert in the mind–cons, weight gain, and rare panic attacks-once a year. Better than being a psycho…

  • Cat October 3, 2016, 10:52 pm

    I was on 2.5mg and tried to go off cold turkey last week. I lost my appetite, had insomnia and fever, terrible frequent panic attacks and suicidal ideation. After two days I went back on it and am feeling ‘normal’ again – I’m still panicky in the mornings. I hate this drug, it messes with my concentration and memory and it makes me oversleep. I need my brain for work and am scared I will underperform and lose my job.

    None of the side effects were explained to me when I was put on Olanzapine in hospital, they just forced it on me without any discussion because I was experiencing psychosis (possibly caused by high dose Zoloft). I will try to come off again one day because I believe that ultimately this drug is doing me more harm than good. It’s a comfort to read the comments here and know that I am not alone in this terrifying experience of being treated for a mental illness.

    We are all experiencing a degree of mental suffering that is beyond what most people can imagine and it takes enormous courage to keep fighting and also openly share experiences. I wish everyone the best of luck and send wishes for a full recovery and happy life.

  • Fred October 7, 2016, 12:08 pm

    Hello Cat, For the past 5 weeks, I too have been slowly reducing my Olanzapine intake; quite frankly, it’s a b-tch, especially the insomnia and irritability. Good luck to you!

    • Fred October 9, 2016, 1:41 am

      I am in my 6th week of slowly weaning myself from olanzapine. I might have discovered a better way to successfully get off this drug, which, at least for me, is quite difficult. I have been taking methylphenidate CD for about 10 years in addition to taking the olanzapine. I have come to the belief that my taking 80 mgs. of methylphenidate CD in the morning helps with the difficult withdrawal symptoms of slowly getting off olanzapine.

      I do believe that this might not be prudent for everyone trying to get off of olanzapine, but so far it is helping me greatly. For those considering taking methylphenidate, it probably is more prudent to take a small dose of methylphenidate if one is not yet taking this medicine.

  • Ed October 7, 2016, 8:37 pm

    I am getting off this crap (Zyprexa) ASAP. I was fine for 6-7 months after my first BP episode at age 56. I went to emergency due to pain in my side and flu-like symptoms. They heard “lithium”(my only med at time) and signed me in for 6 days in psych ward. Turns out I had pneumonia and a bladder infection. But they started me on Zyprexa 7.5 mg once a day.

    I immediately started cutting in half when I got home, then 1/4. I just got prescription for 2.5mg tabs which I will cut into 1/4s and then take the plunge after a few weeks at 0.6mg daily. Horrible stuff – I could sleep my life away and gained 20 lbs. in 7 weeks. I’d go cold turkey but I can’t risk a night without sleep just yet.

  • Fred Fisher, Esq. October 9, 2016, 11:40 am

    I am a 65 year old New York attorney, now living in semi-retirement in Charleston, South Carolina, my hometown. I have been a lawyer in New York for over 34 years, and I have been taking Zyprexa, then Olanzapine, for about 15 years. I was prescribed 30 mgs. of this drug as a mood stabilizer in or about 2001. Like many others on this site, I believe that I am addicted to this drug. In addition, I have regrettably gained 70 pounds in weight. Quite frankly, I am very disappointed with this drug for a host of reasons and am now aware that this drug predisposes one to Tardive Dyskinesia, a horrible and embarrassing neurological disorder.

    I hope that I will be off of this drug in a year, as I am reducing my Olanzapine intake by 10% a month on the 1st day of each month. More specifically, the 10% reduction is 10% of what I am taking on the 30th or 31st day of the prior month. For example, on August 31st, 2016, I was taking, as prescribed by my doctor, 30 mgs. Therefore, on September 1st, 2016, and for every day in September 2016, I reduced my Olanzapine intake to 27 mgs./daily. Now in October 2016, I have reduced my drug intake to 24.3 mgs./daily. Provided my withdrawal symptoms are not severe, I plan to reduce my November 2016 dosage to about 22 mgs./daily and so on.

    I wonder whether Eli Lilly, the manufacturer of Zyprexa and/or the manufacturers of Olanzapine, generic Zyprexa, have adequately warned the consumers of this drug of the fact, I believe, that the drug is highly addictive, that the side effects of taking this drug can be serious, severe, and debilitating. Furthermore, the drug is habit-forming, with even a reasonable withdrawal resulting in symptoms from this drug, being both horrific and maddening. I am exploring the possibility of bringing a products liability cause of action against Eli Lilly and/or the generic manufacturer(s) of this drug.

    This would be a very complex undertaking as there are statute of limitations’ issues and there is the need, I believe, to bring any cause of action against the specific manufacturer(s) of Zyprexa and/or Olanzapine. In addition, I have learned on the internet that manufacturer(s) of this drug have already either been ordered or agreed to pay out billions of dollars in damages. My suspicion is that there probably has been a class action or class actions’ lawsuits against the drug manufacturers of Zyprexa and Olanzapine.

    Should anyone suffering from adverse side effects from taking this drug and/or the horrific withdrawal symptoms in their both successful and unsuccessful attempts to get off of this drug, I would be interested in hearing from you to ascertain whether there is both a sufficient and sizable number of individuals interested in bringing either individual and/or class action lawsuits for damages. Anyone interested in exploring the possibility of bringing an individual and/or being part of a class of individuals in a class action cause of action against the manufacturer(s) are welcome to write me a letter detailing with great specificity their personal experiences with this drug.

    In addition, it is important to communicate to me the exact and specific name of the manufacturer of Olanzapine, which is generic Zyprexa. Your pharmacist should be able to provide you with the name of the manufacturer. Please write down the name of the manufacturer on the document which you should be getting from your pharmacist when getting refills of the drug. Send me a photocopy of that document with the name of the drug manufacturer, as provided to you by your pharmacist.

    Furthermore, please provide me with the approximate or exact date when you were first put on this drug. (note that I am not characterizing it as a medicine) and what dosage in milligrams/daily of this drug which you were or have been taking. Also provide me with your full name, address and telephone number. All information provided to me is both privileged and confidential as I am an attorney and information provided to me in my capacity as an attorney is given to me in the strictness of confidence.

    In conclusion, I am not at this time making a commitment to anyone that I will be bringing either individual or class action lawsuits against any drug manufacturer; rather, I am, at this time, merely exploring the possibility. All correspondence should be sent to me, at the following address in New York city:

    Fred Fisher, Esq.
    New York Attorney at Law
    C/o Kenneth J. Aronson, Esq.
    270 Madison Avenue, 13th Floor
    New York, New York 10016

    I can also be reached anytime by telephone at (843)764-9926.

  • Traci October 11, 2016, 12:26 am

    I took this for a year for anxiety. While I was taking it, I was a zombie. My husband said that I wasn’t me at all, it was like no one was there. I eventually asked my psychiatrist to let me come off it. He was reticent, but I insisted. I tapered slowly, and it was relatively easy until I dropped to 2.5mg. Then I got a little insomnia. The drug had made me sleep solidly through the night and on 2.5mg I found myself waking up a few times, but that wasn’t too bad.

    None of this could prepare me for what it would be like after the last dose. After taking the last dose I was fine for the first day and then the insomnia hit. I couldn’t sleep at all. I would get the odd fifteen minutes here and there but that was it. This went on for months. I never felt sleepy, tired but never that nice sleepy feeling you get just before you go to sleep. This was coupled with the most intense anxiety I’ve ever felt in my life.

    It got to the point where I just felt that I couldn’t cope with even the smallest things. My life was just one long string of panic attacks. My psychiatrist tried to make me go back on the drug. He said there was no withdrawal from Olanzapine and it was my anxiety returning. This felt different though, much worse than the original so I said no, I wanted to keep going.

    I was about four weeks into withdrawal and there was no way I was going through that for nothing. Then he suggested clonazepam. I took a couple, but realised I’d be trading one addiction for another so I persisted without them. Five weeks after stopping the drug the anxiety vanished almost overnight. It was amazing. I felt like my old self again. The insomnia persisted for a few months then improved a little.

    Now three years later, my sleep patterns are still not normal, but I do at least get some sleep most nights. I never want to go through withdrawal like that again. It was a five-week nightmare and I have no idea if I’ll ever sleep normally again.

  • Marco October 11, 2016, 2:32 pm

    Hi everybody and Thank You all for your stories. I have been on 15mg for about 2 years, and am now on my second week without it, cold turkey, as my doctor said. Taking Seroquel for sleep, plus benzodiazepines (Kainever). Also taking Citalopram for my anxiety during the day. Yesterday I felt like I was dying: awful sleep, extreme panic attacks during the day, sweating like a pig, confused mind, nauseas.

    This was day 13 since I’ve been off. I tried quitting earlier this year but after a week, my life was hell. This time I have some meds to help me get through it, but I NEVER would have taken this knowing the withdrawal effects. NEVER. I resent my doctor for this. I just needed some help with sleeping and my anxiety during recordings (I’m a musician). Now I’m an addict.

    This shall pass, but one’s got to be Very Strong. And Patient, I guess. All the best for you, and speedy recoveries!

  • Lana Miller October 12, 2016, 1:54 pm

    I have tried before to stop taking olanzapine. The withdrawals were so horrific that I was not successful. My blood sugar has been high along with weight gain and a cholesterol problem. I am now cutting a 2.5 tablet with a Razor or blade and am down to 1/3 tablet. I have had crawling skin sensation, urinary problems, panic episodes, sweating and more.

    Stopping very slowly seems to be lessening the withdrawal symptoms. I was prescribed this drug for anxiety a little over a year ago. The most I have ever taken is 1/2 of a 2.5 mg tablet. This is a horrible drug and I was never informed that all this was going to happen to me.

  • Barbara Gomez October 24, 2016, 8:31 pm

    I took this drug for several months and decided on my own to just drop it. I was ignorant about the tapering off side. Anyway within a very short period of time I became the most ill I’ve ever been in my life. Hyper anxiety with constant shaking, nausea, complete loss of appetite, felt horrible physically. I literally wanted to die as all desire even to live fled from me.

    This lasted 4 months until my daughter finally convinced me to see a doctor who actually prescribed me another drug Seroquel 50 mgs. It did finally help me but my legs became uncontrollably restless so I asked the Dr. for 25 mg pills and the restless leg syndrome ceased. I’ve been on this med for several years now and do well with it however every case is special and needs to be treated as such.

    By the way I have also been on an antidepressant for at least 30 years. I hate having to take any mess but I have accepted they help me so I will take them the rest of my life.

  • Emmanuel November 14, 2016, 6:00 am

    Hi, I have been on olanzapine daily since 2008. Started of with 5mg at first, after a years, was prescribe with 10mg. The last 5 years was on 15mg, until August 16 when I started tapering 2.5mg per 14 days. I have been free from this drug for 2 weeks. I used to sleep like a baby even before I was on the drug. While I was taking for the past 9 years, I dose off minutes after I close my eyes, sleep for 12 hours average daily.

    While I was at 5mg, I had a mild insomnia; second day off the drug, massive insomnia hit me, had a hard time falling asleep, I wake up to any sort of sound. The other withdrawal symptoms are massive sweating, literally whole body even with mild air-conditioning on. However, I would like to know if anyone had trapped wind in their stomach, between the sternum and belly button. I constantly feel like I need to burp, but it just won’t come out.

    I have tried indigestion medicine to burp, and I did, it lasted for 1 hour, then happened again. It has been a problem to sleep, alongside with insomnia. If you have experienced this symptom, I would like to know your advice. Thank You.

  • Lisa November 16, 2016, 12:22 am

    I have been off of a dosage of 5/25 mg for about 1 1/2 weeks. I’ve taken the drug for the last 5 1/2 years for severe depression. I tapered off by taking the drug every other night. I am experiencing insomnia and excessive sweating, but gratefully, a decrease in appetite.

    This drug helped to save my life when I was in the depths of a horrible depression, but I am glad to be coming off of it now. I just wish the withdrawal was over already. I am grateful that I don’t have a stressful job at all, and a very understanding boss and partner.

  • Ric November 21, 2016, 9:52 pm

    I finally got off olanzapine in July 2016, so I have been without it now for 4 months and feel very well and extremely happy to have finally withdrawn from it. I have been taking it for 6.5 years at varying does from a maximum of 10mg down to only 0.0625mg when I finally came off it completely. I have found it a very hard drug to come off due to the anxiety and insomnia that I have felt many times when trying to stop taking it.

    My final success in coming off it was after I had read many people’s stories on blogs such as this and tried different pieces of advice that I came across. The key thing for me, as is stated by most people is the need to taper one’s withdrawal off it by slowing reducing the amount that you are taking, i.e. in my case from 10mg to 7.5mg to 5mg to 3.75 mg to 2.5 mg, to 1.125 mg, to 0.0625 and then finally to 0.

    I would recommend a minimum 3-month gap between any of those incremental reductions and for the last few changes it may be necessary to have a 6-month gap. I have found that it is also important to be in a sufficiently stable environment to be able to cope with some of the temporary sleep disturbances that result from reducing one’s dosage. Each time I reduced my pill dosage I had disturbed sleep for a few nights.

    It is also important to remain in contact with one’s doctor to advise what is happening. Key additional things that I did that may have been critical in my reductions were as follows; a) I read that taking magnesium supplements can reduce the anxiety affects and so I have been taking magnesium now for over 6 months and have found myself to be significantly less anxious.

    Quite why doctors don’t prescribe magnesium tablets to people generally baffles me as they appear to be affective and I understand that many people are deficient in magnesium (I found that they can be purchased in Asda for only £2 for 30 tablets). I also read that red dates (Ziziphus jujube) are another very good way of minimising helping with the sleep changes red dates. My target internet price for these was £2.50 for 250 g (available from the Sous chef.

    They appear to be good for insomnia and are also an excellent source of vitamins. In addition, I also took a standard multi-vitamin to ensure that there were not any other vitamin or mineral shortages that were potentially causing some of my symptoms. For the sleep disturbance when I gave up olanzapine completely, I also tried having a small glass of red wine in the evening before bed for a few weeks which I found helps with sleep as long as you don’t drink too much and remember to stop drinking after a few weeks, when the withdrawal is over.

    I was put onto olanzapine by a psychiatrist when I was diagnosed as bi-polar after my marriage broke down. I had what would be classically described as a nervous breakdown and was hospitalised/sectioned for 3 weeks, with some psychotic symptoms. Looking back on it now, the pressure of earning a living to support a wife and 4 children in a fairly loveless marriage became too much for me and when it became clear to me that my wife wanted a divorce I had the breakdown.

    I have since been made redundant more than once when I have taken short periods off work for stress, but now find myself in both a less stressful job and also with a supportive relationship and I am now feeling better than I have for a very long time. Olanzapine in my opinion is a helpful drug when one is in a desperate psychological state and one is finding it difficult to function. However, the down side of it is that it is very hard to withdraw from, even though it is officially classed as non-addictive.

    The body does seem to become dependent upon it. For lesser problems than a serious psychosis, I believe that the olanzapine medical ‘cure’ might be worse than the illness. One of the things that I found olanzapine does is to give one very bad indigestion, i.e. a lot of burping, particularly late in the evening. This does not disappear on its own when one comes off the drug.

    I have found the best cure for this is to make tea with blended raw ginger, which generally appears to be excellent for the digestion and again I am not sure why doctors don’t recommend it to their patients with bad indigestion. I was prescribed proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) to reduce acid production and it gave me appalling stomach cramps meaning that I was unable to continue the course, whereas ginger appears to have no side effects and works extremely well.

    Other things that have now improved since I have come off olanzapine are as follows:

    1) My sex drive has returned to normal; it had been strongly down on olanzapine.
    2) I am now dreaming again, or at least remembering my dreams, which was something I never did when taking olanzapine, apart from when I first took it when I had some very bad nightmares.
    3) I now only need 6-7 hours sleep a night and mostly wake refreshed, whereas I would sleep for 9-10 hours or so on olanzapine and then struggle to get out of bed in the morning.
    4) I am no longer living in a ‘foggy’ state and have rediscovered my joy of life, i.e. with emotions, as olanzapine is a mood stabiliser and appears to limit the extremes of one’s emotions. The world has generally become a much brighter place for me.
    5) I now smile again, having been rather joyless whilst taking it.
    6) My eating habits have become more normal as olanzapine gives one a strong appetite, particularly when one first starts to take it. I put on 2.5 stone in weight on it, which I have still to lose.

    Olanzapine seems to be effective as an anti-psychotic, and also reduces anxiety and has anti-depressant affects. Thus, when one comes off it one’s anxiety can go up and one can become depressed. My experience is that both of these can be overcome in time and the regime that I described above is what enabled me to do this.

    I no longer have psychosis and I believe this to be because I am now much less stressed. I do not know if I am truly bi-polar, however, I am no longer taking any medication and am happy and functioning well in life. I believe that the problems that I had were a result of life events and that once I had overcome the problems with the events that happened to me (end of marriage, not living with my children, selling house, losing job), then I became well again.

    I did recover eventually and in order of how they happened I got myself somewhere to live temporarily, then a new job, then somewhere to live more permanently where I could sometimes see my children, then eventually a new relationship. Along the way I changed job more than once as I found that employers can make one redundant quite quickly when they find out that you occasionally go off sick with stress.

    However, eventually I have managed to resolve most of the problems and it has only taken me 6.5 years to do! So I wanted to just say to anyone suffering from any of the symptoms that I had, or any of the side effects of taking olanzapine, it is possible to come off it and life can get much better in time; just take your time.

  • Amber December 7, 2016, 4:23 am

    I have been on 5mg for about 4 months (also on effexor and seroquel for 7+ years) and am coming off zyprexa because it’s side effects are ruining my life. Been off for 5 days now cold turkey. It’s a small dose and I ran out of scripts. I have intense body pains, irritability, intense anxiety, sweating a lot, and I’m exhausted at all hours of the day.

    I am looking to just push through these side effects to get this f-cking thing out of my system – no withdrawals could be as awful as being on zyprexa. Hoping the withdrawal effects will take a couple of weeks maximum? Will read through ppls comments and will most likely post again when the withdrawals subside. Good luck to everyone! Amber

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