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Invega (Paliperidone) Withdrawal Symptoms: List of Possibilities

Invega (Paliperidone) is an atypical antipsychotic approved in 2006 for the treatment of schizophrenia.  Several years later in 2009, a longer-acting format of the medication called “Invega Sustenna” was also approved.  Invega Sustenna is an injectable form of the drug that is administered every 4 weeks and is thought to be advantageous it mitigates risk of users forgetting to take a daily pill.

The drug functions primarily as a D2 dopamine receptor and 5-HT2A serotonin receptor antagonist.  It also affects the H1 histamine receptor which can promote drowsiness, and also has a modest affinity for the Alpha-1 and Alpha-2 noradrenergic receptors.  Most experts consider Invega a new and improved version of the drug Risperdal due to the fact that it contains the same active metabolite and has less side effects.

Since Invega has a high affinity for the D2 receptor as an antagonist, it is thought to work extremely well for reducing positive symptoms of schizophrenia such as hearing voices (hallucinations) and delusions.  However, many people taking Invega may find that it doesn’t work well enough for negative symptoms and cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia.  Among those that find the drug ineffective or intolerable, withdrawal from the medication may be an appealing option.

Factors that influence Invega withdrawal

Assuming you end up discontinuing Invega, you may experience an array of withdrawal symptoms.  There are generally some common factors responsible for influencing both the number and severity of symptoms you experience.  In addition, these factors tend to predict how quickly you will fully recover following complete cessation of the medication.

  1. Time Span

The duration over which you’ve been taking Invega (or Invega Sustenna) will likely influence the severity of your withdrawal symptoms.  Those that have been taking the drug for a longer duration tend to have a much tougher time coping with discontinuation than those only taking it for a short duration.  In other words, someone that was only on Invega for a few months should have an easier time with the withdrawal than someone taking it for several years.

This is due to the fact that shorter-term administration results in fewer neurophysiological changes to accommodate the drug.  Those that have been taking the drug over a long-term have likely experienced more neurophysiological (neurotransmission, hormone, metabolic, etc.) changes as a reaction to the drug.  As a result, discontinuing after a prolonged duration of usage (e.g. years) will be of greater difficulty for most.

  1. Dosage + Type

It is important to consider the fact that those taking higher doses are likely going to have a much tougher time facing withdrawal than those taking lower doses.  Individuals that ingest high doses of Invega are allowing the drug to have greater influence over their neurochemistry and physiology.  In general, the higher the dose, the greater the shift away from homeostatic functioning and the increase in neurophysiological adaptations stemming from greater potency.

Due to the fact that high doses often are more difficult to discontinue, it is always recommended to take the minimal effective dose.  In other words, taking the minimal amount of the drug for symptomatic management is advised.  In addition to dosage influencing withdrawal, it is important to consider the specific type of Invega you’re taking: extended release vs. injectable.

  • Invega: This is a form of Invega that is manufactured in extended-release tablets that are administered once per day. These tablets are manufactured in doses of 1.5 mg, 3 mg, 6 mg, and 9 mg.  Those that are taking this form of Invega may have an easier time with discontinuation than those attempting to wean off of the injectable form.
  • Invega Sustenna: This format of Invega is injectable, and is usually administered with a starting injection of 234 mg. However, dosages are said to include: 39 mg, 78 mg, 156 mg, and 234 mg.  Due to the larger gaps between doses and tapering difficulty of injections, some people may have a tougher time tapering off of Invega Sustenna.

You may want to work with your doctor to determine whether it would be smart to switch from the Invega Sustenna to the standard Invega tablets for tapering.  The standard extended-release tablets can be tapered by 1.5 mg at a flexible pace.

  1. Cold Turkey vs. Tapering

Quitting Invega cold turkey is likely to be a recipe for withdrawal disaster.  Those who quit cold turkey are essentially stripping their brains of a substance that it was expecting.  If the person was well-adjusted to a high dose and had been taking the drug for a long duration, cold turkey may leave a person’s neurotransmission and nervous system in a state of chaotic disarray.

Those who conduct a slow taper off of Invega are likely to have the best outcomes.  Slow tapering (at an approximate rate of 10% per month) allows the nervous system to gradually adjust to function with less of the drug.  In essence, a slow taper guides your nervous system in the direction of reverting back to homeostasis and simultaneously minimizes severity of withdrawal.

  1. Individuality

It is important to consider that two people could take Invega for the same condition, at the same dose, for the same amount of time, and conduct the exact same tapering schedule – yet have radically different withdrawal symptoms.  Various individual factors will certainly play a crucial role in determining how quickly you recover from withdrawal.  These factors include things like: genetics, daily habits, and whether you use other substances (e.g. medications, supplements, etc.).

For example, someone who has genetics that promote quicker rebalancing of neurochemistry following Invega withdrawal may only have symptoms spanning over the course of a couple weeks.  Another individual may find that their neurochemistry takes much longer to rebalance after Invega discontinuation.  While there isn’t anything you can do to change your genetics, lifestyle choices also matter.

Someone who keeps themselves busy, maintains a sleep schedule, proactively reduces stress, eats a healthy diet, and socializes – may have a better outcome than someone doing the opposite.  Make sure you’re doing everything in your power to maintain a healthy lifestyle, while staying occupied (with work and extracurricular activities) to keep your mind from ruminating upon withdrawal symptoms.

Invega Withdrawal Symptoms: List of Possibilities

Below is a list of symptoms that you may experience upon withdrawing from Invega.  Understand that most people will not experience every last symptom, this is just a list of what users have reported following cessation of Invega.  Realize that the severity of the symptoms is subject to significant individual variation.

  • Agitation: It is common to feel agitated after you’ve discontinued Invega. The agitation may feel like overwhelming nervousness and/or internal excitation.  Some people become irritable and/or restless due to the fact that they feel agitated.  To cope with the agitation, you may want to consider exercise, relaxation, and/or other pharmacological interventions.
  • Anger: Some people will feel incredibly angry and upset as a result of the withdrawal symptoms. Many people are extremely sensitive to negative emotions as they discontinue antipsychotics like Invega.  Do your best to deal with the anger constructively rather than going into a state of rage and/or taking it out on someone else.  Express the anger in the form of art, writing, or go for a run and use some of the extra energy.
  • Anxiety: This medication often decreases arousal and ultimately anxiety for users. However, those who quit taking it may experience a dramatic increase in anxiety.  Even those who never dealt with anxiety prior to using Invega may find themselves unable to stay calm.  Although your nerves may feel a bit “rattled” and hypersensitive, you can take steps to keep your stress level down to cope with anxious thoughts.
  • Appetite changes: Many people notice that their appetite decreases during the withdrawal process. This decrease in appetite may be related to hormone changes and/or as a result of the flu-like symptoms associated with withdrawal.  It’s tough to maintain an appetite when you feel nauseous, dizzy, and as if you’re sick.
  • Concentration problems: Another reported withdrawal symptom is difficulty concentrating. You may have a tough time focusing at school or work – especially during the early stages of withdrawal.  It may seem as though you have severe “brain fog” or clouded thinking and as if your cognitive function is slower than usual.  Understand that your pre-drug level of cognitive function will eventually return.
  • Confusion: Some people may feel exceptionally confused when they first stop taking Invega. The confusion is generally a result of impaired cognitive function, memory problems, and clouded thinking.  This may be caused by fluctuations in levels of neurotransmitters and receptors following cessation of Invega.
  • Crying spells: The depression following Invega withdrawal is significant enough to cause crying spells. You may be unable to hold back tears and may need to release emotions.  While crying is a sign of painful emotion, it can also be a useful coping mechanism.  Realize that as your brain readjusts to functioning without Invega, the withdrawal-induced crying will eventually subside.
  • Depersonalization: While depersonalization could be a symptom of an underlying psychiatric condition, it can also stem from medication withdrawal. Discontinuing Invega may leave your brain trying to fill certain gaps in neurotransmission of dopamine and serotonin that had previously been filled by the drug.  During the process, the assault on your neurotransmitters may result in feeling depersonalized or unlike your homeostatic self.
  • Depression: In certain situations, withdrawal from Invega can result in severe increases in feelings of depression. Even if you were not depressed prior to taking the drug, withdrawal can lead to deep feelings of sadness.  The sadness may be a result of imbalanced neurotransmitters, receptors, and brain activation.  It is recommended to work with a professional to manage these feelings, especially if they are overwhelming.
  • Diarrhea: Some people may endure gastrointestinal distress when they stop taking Invega. They may have an upset stomach and diarrhea.  If your bowel movements are out of control when you cease usage of Invega, you may want to consider conducting a more gradual taper and/or taking some over-the-counter Imodium.
  • Dizziness: It is very common to feel incredibly dizzy when discontinuing Invega, especially if you do it cold turkey. The more rapidly you taper, the more greater the intensity the dizziness is likely to be.  Dizziness can often be minimized with a slower taper, but generally occurs for a couple weeks after the final dose.
  • Fatigue: If you find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning, have low energy throughout the day, and just want to sleep – it could be related to withdrawal. Obviously it could also be related to a resurgence of negative symptoms (e.g. avolition and anhedonia), but the fatigue may be exacerbated by withdrawal.  In some cases it can take an extended duration before homeostatic levels of energy are restored.
  • Flu-like symptoms: The combination of feeling dizzy, nauseous, achy, hot flashes, and vomiting – may lead you to believe that you’ve contracted the flu. In fact, some people end up thinking that they actually have the flu until they realize that these symptoms coincidentally emerged after they stopped taking Invega.  Realize that these symptoms tend to significantly subside after a few weeks.
  • Hallucinations: Since this medication is commonly prescribed for the treatment of schizophrenia, many people may experience a relapse in symptoms upon discontinuation. Invega is thought to effectively manage hallucinations due to its potent antagonist effect on the D2 receptor.  Upon cessation of the drug, hallucinations may be increasingly intense.  Therefore it is recommended to discontinue under close supervision of a psychiatrist.
  • Headaches: Those that discontinue Invega rapidly may experience severe headaches perceived as migraines. Others may experience less debilitating, brief headaches.  To cope with the headaches, it is recommended to stay hydrated, do your best to stay relaxed, get proper sleep, and eat a healthy diet.  Keep in mind that anxiety may increase muscle tension and exacerbate headaches.
  • Heart palpitations: Upon discontinuation of Invega, you may experience anxiety over changes in your heartbeat. It may feel as if your heart is skipping a beat, fluttering, or beating especially harder than usual.  Heart palpitations are common when discontinuing any psychiatric drug, and may be exacerbated by anxiety.
  • Hot flashes: Some people will feel as if they develop a mild fever upon discontinuation or other changes in bodily temperature. You may experience hot flashes characterized by sudden, unexpected feelings of bodily heat.  In other cases you may experience cold flashes, or brief feelings of cold body temperature accompanied by chills.
  • Insomnia: Many people notice that taking Invega makes them feel sedated and sleepy. Upon discontinuation, some people experience the exact opposite of sedation, feeling exceptionally aroused.  This increase in arousal and dopaminergic activity can cause debilitating insomnia as a withdrawal symptom.  It has been speculated that a sudden halting of the adrenergic antagonism (experienced while on the drug) may contribute to this symptom.
  • Irritability: Withdrawing from a potent antipsychotic like Invega may cause some people to feel irritable. The irritability may be due to the fact that the drug is no longer antagonizing various dopaminergic and serotonergic receptors.  Those that struggled with irritability prior to using Invega may notice that the irritability experienced during withdrawal is even more intense.
  • Itchiness: An uncomfortable reaction to Invega withdrawal is that of itching and/or a skin rash. While this reaction most commonly occurs while taking the medication, it could persist for awhile after you’ve stopped the drug.  Should you start to itch, talk to your doctor about what can be done to reduce it.
  • Memory problems: It should come as no surprise that users report memory problems while taking Invega, as well as while discontinuing. There is evidence that antipsychotics cause brain damage, possibly leading to permanent memory impairment.  In many cases, memory deficits linger long after antipsychotic usage, but can recover for some individuals after several months of withdrawal.
  • Mood swings: Nearly everyone will notice that their mood becomes unpredictable during withdrawal. One minute they may feel angry and another they may feel anxious.  Moods are subject to significant fluctuation during withdrawal due to the fact that the nervous system and brain are attempting to restore homeostasis.  As changes are made to neurotransmitter levels and neural pathways, moods are subject to change.  Generally, moods tend to become more stabilized in time (assuming that the individual doesn’t have bipolar disorder).
  • Muscle pain: A physical reaction that people experience when quitting Invega is muscle pain. Don’t be surprised if you feel body aches and joint pain as well.  The achiness and feeling of physical malaise tends to improve after several weeks as the body learns to function without being under the influence of the drug.
  • Nausea: It is common to feel nauseous when withdrawing from Invega. The nausea may be especially wicked during the first week of discontinuation.  Some people experience nausea so severe, that they end up vomiting.  Those that gradually taper off of Invega should be able to minimize the likelihood of nausea, whereas cold turkey discontinuation nearly guarantees it.
  • Restlessness: You may notice that feelings of nervousness and anxiety are debilitating during withdrawal and trigger restlessness. Assuming you become restless or unable to sit still, you may want to engage in physical exercise to burn some of that nervous energy.  If you feel restless, but can’t push yourself to exercise, consider a breathing exercise to relax your body.
  • Sleep problems: It is common to experience sleep difficulties following cessation of Invega. Some people may find that they cannot get enough sleep, while others will realize that they cannot stop sleeping.  Don’t be surprised if your circadian rhythm becomes imbalanced during withdrawal, resulting in either insufficient or excess sleep.
  • Suicidal thoughts: Some people end up becoming severely depressed during withdrawal and feel as if they want to die. If you feel suicidal, it is recommended to seek immediate medical attention.  With proper professional intervention, these withdrawal-induced suicidal thoughts can be managed and overcome.  Assuming they emerged during withdrawal and you didn’t have them prior to the drug, they are likely to diminish.
  • Sweating: You may notice that you begin to sweat profusely after you quit Invega. The sweating is thought to be a natural bodily detoxification mechanism and may promote healing.  However, it is also important to consider that the sweating could be a reaction associated with physical tolerance to the drug.  Many people wake up in a pool of sweat during the night, while others may notice that they’re dripping with sweat during the day.
  • Tremors: Some people experience tremors or “shakes” when they stop taking Invega. If your limbs and/or body start to shake uncontrollably upon discontinuation, it’s likely related to withdrawal.  These tremors are a physiological reaction associated with detoxification from a drug that your body was still expecting to receive.  Most people find that the shakiness diminishes within several weeks.
  • Vomiting: Those who discontinue Invega may end up vomiting for the first week. Vomiting is especially common among those who quit cold turkey from higher doses.  To minimize the likelihood that you’ll end up puking, consider gradually tapering off of the drug.
  • Weight changes: It is well documented that Invega causes weight gain in a certain percentage of users. Assuming you gained weight while taking the drug, you may end up losing weight upon discontinuation.  If you lost weight from the drug, you may end up gaining the weight back that you lost.  This is due to the fact that your physiology is no longer influenced by Invega.

How long do Invega withdrawal symptoms last? (Duration)

Everyone wants a concise timeline letting them know when to expect certain symptoms to appear, when to expect certain symptoms to fade, and when to expect the withdrawal to be over.  Unfortunately, there is no such timeline due to the fact that withdrawal is subject to variability based on the individual.  Some users have reported that withdrawal symptoms from Invega only last several weeks, while others have reported that symptoms lasted nearly a full year following their last dose.

As a general rule of thumb, you may want to use 90 days as a good checkpoint for reevaluation of withdrawal symptoms.  While three months may seem like a long-time, it is important to consider how long you had taken the drug, as well as the numerous changes it made to your neurochemistry.  It takes time to restore homeostatic neurochemistry as well as physiology following discontinuation of a potent antipsychotic like Invega.

Additionally, a timetable of several months before reevaluating withdrawal symptoms allows you to see the bigger picture of your recovery.  Attempting to track day-to-day, or even week-to-week changes may be highly discouraging due to the fact that change doesn’t occur overnight.  I recommend writing in a Journal to track your recovery over a longer period of time.

In addition, you’ll want to keep working with your psychiatrist and regularly see a psychotherapist to discuss your experience.  Make sure that you’re doing everything in your power to enhance recovery (diet, exercise, work, social, sleep, stress reduction).  If withdrawal seems tough, take things one day, one hour, or even one minute at a time.

Have you experienced Invega withdrawal symptoms?

If you’ve discontinued Invega, feel free to leave a comment mentioning whether you experienced any withdrawal symptoms.  To help others understand your situation, mention why you were taking Invega, the dosage, and how long you took it.  Also discuss how quickly you tapered, the most debilitating withdrawal symptoms you experienced, and how long they lasted before you noticed improvement.

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48 thoughts on “Invega (Paliperidone) Withdrawal Symptoms: List of Possibilities”

  1. My granddaughter has been cold turkey for 2 months and going through hell. Her psychiatrist gave her no withdrawal plan, said it would take about two weeks. Thank God for this article, maybe now we can get some help.

    • My son also has withdrawal symptoms stemming from quitting cold turkey prescribed by his doctor. It’s been 2.5 months since quitting, and he continues to have excessive sleep problems, low energy, and memory problems.

      If the 90-day recovery time is the mark for improvement, we should see some change after being on Invega 156 mg for 2 months, according to this article.

      • Martha you cannot just go off that high a dose… your brain can’t cope. At least get the psychiatrist to put him on 3mg extended release… the brain needs time to adjust!!!!! Keep persevering with your family!

  2. I’m am on Invega 3 mg and I’m going to quit cold turkey because you can’t cut these pills. Has anyone quit cold turkey after a year or more on the drug? What was your experience?

      • I quit cold turkey after being on a 156mg injection for 5 months. The withdrawal symptoms are BS. This medication stays in your system for over 150+ days and it tapers itself off. It would make sense to have withdrawal symptoms for a medication that stays in your system for an extremely shorter period of time.

        I’ve been off for about 2 months now and the negative side effects of the meds are still there but aren’t as strong. The worst side effect for me is insomnia, which these meds CAUSED months prior to me going off. I can lay down but I never feel tired.

        I never can get any deep sleep without taking anything. The worst part is that my psychiatrist caused this issue by not listening to me, and now refuses to prescribe me sleep medication that will work because it has addiction potential.

        • Hey Quin, I hope you’re right. I’ve been receiving the 156mg injection since the end of April 2018. I am not the same person that I was before taking this medication. I used to take 3mg of FLUANXOL twice daily, but I was abusing cannabis for three years and living in the middle of a psychotic nightmare.

          When I was finally admitted to a psych ward, I was put on risperidone for a couple of weeks, and then switch to 156mg of invega. I’ve never felt so depressed. My hallucinations are more aggressive than they ever have been. My anxiety is through the roof. I have absolutely no motivation to do anything.

          All I want to do is sleep and eat. I’ve gained 40lbs. It has completely killed my sex drive, which ruined my relationship. I saw my psychiatrist three days ago. I told him all of this, and he said “change is painful” and I’ll just have to “adjust to the pain” and then he said to “really sink my teeth into CBT” but I’ve been trying to get him to address these issues for two months and its always the same.

          I’ve done everything he said to do, including move out of my apartment and into a group home… I feel ten times more disabled than I did before… my diagnosis is schizoaffective. A covering psychiatrist at the outpatient clinic prescribed me 5mg of haldol to take twice daily as needed as temporary relief.

          My pdoc left for a holiday without telling me, and my appointment was rescheduled for two months later. When I saw him again, he saw me for 10 minutes and pretty much told me to deal with it. Now, I’m going to. I’m going to stay with my mom for a few weeks in another part of the country, and I’m not going to take my injection before I leave. My pdoc said there’s no way he’ll even consider reducing the invega… but I have never felt this helpless, nor have my hallucinations been this aggressive.

  3. I was on invega injections for 3 months was mandatory taking these injections because I got caught with drugs (and a big misconception of having schizophrenia). After a while my doctor realized it was just drugs and took me off the invega (thank god) – but my dad was mad that I wasn’t feeling horrible.

    The drug took away my sexual appetite and ability to orgasm as a whole – and I feel corrupted and locked out of my body. I hope my abilities return to their former glory. This drug is horrible right up there with abilify and should never be taken.

    The doctors did not plan out the side effects – as I am depressed without orgasms and more depressed on the drug than I am without. I have been off the drug for 2 weeks and haven’t noticed anything. I am going through a cold turkey quit because I absolutely hate this drug. Never take invega sustenna.

    • Thanks for reporting on your physical symptoms and effects that have caused more problems for you. I hope you aren’t having any more difficulties and can challenge yourself everyday to do something nice for yourself.

      I’m relaying this information to my son about these drugs and find it mind-altering that medical professionals aren’t assessing the need to know these medications aren’t helping. Patients take drugs thinking doctors are helping, and doctors feel good about providing the need that really isn’t there. This is a horrifying.

  4. Doctor can’t be reached now for a week. I’m headed to emergency because he hasn’t called in a refill. I’ve been on Invega 11 years. Now a week without and I’m sick. I feel like I have the flu and I’m having hot flashes. I threw up, I’m nauseous and dizzy. I’m very upset.

  5. I have been put on Invega 9mg, one 6mg and one 3mg tablet, since I was discharged from the hospital 6 months ago for marijuana related delusional thinking/borderline schizophrenic behavior. I decided last Wednesday to stop taking my invega cold turkey, because I was getting tired of my doctor not letting me wean off of this drug.

    I thought that withdrawing from this drug sounded like an appealing option, because I’m honestly tired of taking a drug I don’t need. I don’t have schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, and am tired of paying for the medication as well. I know this sounds like a dumb move on my part, but it’s my choice as to what I put in my body, not my doctor’s or the hospital’s.

    It’s been about 5 or 6 days, and I am going through full blown withdrawal. It’s not unbearable enough for me to want to go back to invega, but slightly debilitating. I feel extremely depressed and borderline suicidal, but I have NO true desire or reason to die or to go through with killing myself. I feel very fatigued and tired.

    I never vomited so far, trust me if it were that bad, I’d probably go back to my invega. I have been dealing with a slight-moderate nauseous feeling, it’s bothersome but not unbearable. I have been having chills. I’m really glad it’s chills and not hot flashes. The anger/irritability is pretty severe though, along with the depression… that’s probably one of the most severe symptoms I’m experiencing, especially since I already have ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) and have pretty bad anger issues.

    But I’m not having a hard time managing it. Overall, I think dealing with the withdrawal is worth it, just so long as you are not prone to suicidal actions/tendencies. I am not at all worried about committing suicide. I realize that it is just a feeling brought on by chemical imbalances in my brain from the cessation of this drug, and that these feelings will get better and go away in time.

    I am definitely trying to stay away from alcohol and illicit drugs, because these things can make my depression worse or cause me to act irrationally, especially with the withdrawal symptoms. Overall, I have been through far worse drug withdrawal symptoms than this. So I feel like I can accomplish this easily.

    • After reading your post, I feel that my son has been labeled as you feel you have with your diagnosis. I’m curious if you have had any symptoms now that you have no drugs in your system. I believe you are being authentic and truthful about the choices you have made.

      • To be honest, you are doing something very risky. You should always cooperate with your doctor. A big part of getting the help you need is building a relationship with your doctor that is based on trust and faith that your doctor has good intentions regarding you and your case.

        I do believe you might feel your doctor is not right for you but that means you should seek a different professional rather than take a medical matter into your own hands. The treatment of mental health is a medical issue, it is not a mere emotional phase you are experiencing.

        I have been through drug-induced psychosis (weed) which happened after I abused marijuana for several years following a severely traumatic incident. I developed a good relationship with my doctor and my commitment to therapy while I was on a combination of medications allowed me to continue my university education and keeping a job for several months.

        My doctor also advised me how to change my diet so that the medications do not cause damage to my organs over time. He also asked me to do regular blood tests and frequent ultrasounds to monitor my physical health. My psychotic episode and breakdown was in 2013, I was 20 years old, since then I have been investing a lot of effort in my mental health with my doctor who also connected me to a psychologist.

        I am almost 25 now and I have managed not to get myself into rehab or hospital and I have been able to complete undergraduate and postgraduate studies as well as several summer internships. I am now (after 4-5 years of treatment) withdrawing from my medications systematically and will soon be off of them completely.

        Had I not cooperated with my doctor, I would probably be in a situation where my professional life is practically non-existent and I would have had to deal with living in a rehab facility for a long time. Now that I am withdrawing from my pills and my mental health issue is coming close to an end, I have come to appreciate that a lot of what I was thinking and experiencing (which I assumed was not worthy of a medical diagnosis) was in fact genuinely psychotic.

        However, at the time I was under the impression I was perfectly normal. Your struggle with mental health does not have to be a tragic phase in your life. Just admit you need help, cooperate and it will be very bearable until you reach the mental state you seek for being happy and content.

        If you cooperate with a medical professional, you are much more likely to lead a functional working life while you are coping with your mental health issue and I think that will make how you see that chapter of your life very different. Concerning Martha’s post, I suggest you and your son find a doctor you are both comfortable with and that you trust as this is essential in any treatment.

        But if a medical professional already labelled your son (even though he might be completely wrong), it might be better to find a doctor you are comfortable with for a second opinion just so as not to potentially ignore a possible medical mental health issue that needs attention.

        Your role as a mother will play a big part in any mental health treatment your son receives which is why it is very important that you (not only your son) also have a trusting and positive relationship with his doctor.

        • Interesting perspective, Larry. I wonder how I can understand your diagnosis when you say you will no longer need the drugs you once relied on. Psychosis doesn’t have a cure.

          After 5 hospitalizations in 6 months, you’d think a nurse, a doctor, a therapist, a treatment center would have raised some valid concerns whether or not these drugs are sedating the sufferer just to make them defenseless in a way the patient doesn’t question taking these types of drugs.

          As far as my role as a mother goes, I would like to think it’s to support my loved ones who are not being listened to. It’s helpful to hear your perspective, Larry, regarding your choice of listening to a doctor and not having to live in a rehab facility for a very long time.

          Since you were 20 at the time and no one can force you to do anything, why wouldn’t you just commend yourself rather than thinking it’s about the power of choices we have to make to a very complex problem?

  6. This is my third injection from invega. It has hurt my sex life it has hurt my muscles up. It has messed me up majorly not the same person at all. I just done have emotion that much anymore I am feeling it. I am like 2 weeks after the 28 days of not taking it. My stomach hurts badly. I am feeling bad. My head hurts badly.

    I get ESP from it and I take benzos to take away with allergy meds every night. Had to to up my dose myself since I have no doctor right now of benzo to 1mg extra in the morning to cancel out the head pains. I am trying to get off all of my meds. Been taking pills since I was 6 years old I am 34 now. If you look up all of bipolar meds and all of the other kinds they all give you cancer. Look at the medicaid study of 1002 people they study for long term use with cancer.

  7. I was forcefully injected monthly with Invega Sustenna Paliperidone (extended release) for 1 year at– starting 156mg then 234mg, tapering back to 156mg for the last two. I have been off all medications for one year now. Nutrition and other health was a major factor in my recovery. I suggest researching specific foods that help with paranoid schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, and sleep. I had great difficulty with anxiety and sleep, but it does pass.

  8. My doctor didn’t taper me off the Invega but basically put me on another medication. I quit cold turkey but wasn’t told to do anything otherwise. I was on 12 mg of the pill form and I’m experiencing every symptom listed. I have had memory problems as an affect of taking this pill for over 5 years.

    I hate foreign doctors because of their egos. My doctor is a moron and I don’t actually see him in person. My appointments are through a video conference. These doctors here in central Arkansas are a joke. Before your doctor takes you off any medication, ask about the symptoms of withdrawal.

  9. Hi everyone! I have taken Invega in pills (6mg, but since around a year ago I took the 3mg ones) since May 2014 until the 28th of this last October. Only these last days I’ve decided to research on paliperidone and finding out what it’s purpose is. The withdrawal symptoms I’ve been having (begun a few days after stopping taking the pills) a weird feeling in my head, something close to a headache, yet this is becoming less and less with each passing of the days, and last Wednesday (2nd November) I had pains all over my body, but that was only that day.

    Invega side effects I had was making me feel sleepy most of the time, I gained a lot of weight, had dizziness sometimes when I would get up fast, but the worst of all it is how it has affected my memory in these last 2 years. I read this could be permanent or that it could pass, I seriously don’t know. I still plan on studying more, and what I have found out with this drug when I am studying, is way more difficult to hold on to the information.

    So this is pretty much the symptoms I had, today I feel better than yesterday, and yesterday was better than the day before. Did anyone had improvement in their memory after ceasing Invega? Thank you.

  10. Hello. I’m back on this site and hope and pray that all of you are well and doing better Ameeen. I was forced to take invega sustenna for 12 months. And in that time from January to August 2016 I was in psych wards 8 or 9 times. Thank God my shrink has discontinued the drug.

    I have every withdrawal symptom that is listed except for shaking and tremors. But I ache all over in pain all the time and angry and irritable a lot. It’s pretty miserable. But Alhamdulillaah I’m very happy to finally be off this drug. I had my last injection on August 22 and am back on stelazine 5-7 mg a day.

    Alhamdulillaah I am not experiencing any signs of psychoses and pray that they don’t reoccur. Ameeen. This drug invega sustenna did a very good job of ruining my life and I am very grateful I don’t have to get injected with it anymore. I feel as tho it may take a year before I and my mind recover. Subhana الله

  11. My 10 yr old was on Invega 6 mg for about 2 years. We took her off of it slowly and her last dose was Aug 2, 2016. She has been suffering with intense fear, night terrors, hallucinations, paranoia, general psychosis seeing/hearing things. She has movements in her hands and arms, looks like Parkinson’s, which gets worse when tired or severe anxiety.

    She started hurting herself and was admitted for 3 days to a child psych ward. They started Seroquel 50 mgs. Since she came home a week ago she has been sleeping most of the night, overall doing pretty well. Today she got really agitated and got a severe headache over her left eye, threw her into a total meltdown staying she heard people screaming at her all day long and now bells are ringing etc.

    Finally calmed a little bit then started vomiting. I hate seeing my baby like this. Anyone else seen symptoms well after 6 weeks? I’m wondering if some of this will go away.

    • My son was forced to take Invega Sustenna. He was unable to eat, having muscle spasms of the face. We are Working on the withdraw. We started with gradually tapering off. After ten months, I still see signs of facial tremors at times and the mouth moving for no reason. He has spasms of moodiness. Things are gradually getting better. He seems to be regaining his strength and have his bowel movement back to normal.

      I do think this drug almost killed him. It is not a good drug. We are still working to overcome all the side effects and it was not a good idea to ever start this drug, He has lost his desire to socialize and work with others. We are hoping this will come back soon. Muscle spasms and changes in the internal organs(IE digestion) were terrible. I can’t say how terrible this drug is enough.

      My son sometimes is up all night and can’t sleep and sometimes has to sleep for days. It has totally destroyed his life. Prayers for him to recover from this nightmare. We are getting to a year now. He is passed some of the terrible pain and crying and outbursts from with draw. He still has tremors with mood swings and depression from this drug. Take it off the market, it is awful.

  12. I’ve been on 1.5mg for maybe 6months. Smallest dose possible. This drug messed my hormones up so bad. I have galactorrhea (milk coming from my breasts) I’m 49 yrs old. Had a hysterectomy in 2009. Make sure your doctor checks your prolactin level while you are on this drug.

    • I had the same side-effect while on the drug. Do monitor the prolactin levels. I have had hyper prolactinemia the entire time. I’m only 40 and before Invega I had regular menstrual cycles. However once my dosage reached 6mg, I noticed that my cycle was completely disrupted. Sometimes there was 15 days in between other times 45 days. It increased my PMS depression, and I would have frequent bouts of depression mid-cycle.

      You might experience the same bouts of depression based on the change in hormones too even if you’ve had a hysterectomy. I have also suffered from some brain fog and memory loss. I had more ‘mind blanks’ and moments I couldn’t focus for an hour or two on end nearly every day, as well as increased appetite, and sometimes fatigue. I’m currently titrating off of it and started the first withdrawal/ adjustment side effects within 12 hours of not taking my usual dose.

  13. I was being injected with 150 mg Paliperidone for two months. The withdrawal effects included paranoia and talking to myself. I’m now going to use homeopathic remedies. The remedies included vitamin B3 and Stramonium.

  14. Update: I am off Invega and feeling much like my old self. My memories are coming back gradually. My arrogant bitch psychiatrist kicked up a fuss and tried to order a shot for me when I told her I was going off and I left the office with my dad and am never going back there. I won.

    • Good for you. I would’ve done the same thing. Doctors don’t always have all the answers. Sometimes only YOU know whats best for you. I’m glad you’re off of this awful drug and are back to yourself.

  15. I have been off Invega for a week (75mg dose). I have been on the drug since march 2016. My withdrawal symptoms included but not limited too, intense anxiety, depersonalization, depression, mood swings. Sensitivity to bad emotions. The depersonalization was probably the scariest thing, I felt like I didn’t have access to my memories and was unsure if my old self would return. I am going to the doctor today, I pray they won’t put me back on invega. I am not out of the woods yet but I suspect the worst of the withdrawal effects have passed.

  16. I took two injections and I recommend you do your research before taking anything. This injection can make your life a hell. I’ve been off the shot for three months. Only problem now is the sleeping. I can’t nap during the day. Sometimes I can’t sleep at night either. How much longer is this hell?

  17. My son was on 11 mg for 5 months. He stopped the invega because of muscle spasms. The muscle spasms increased in intensity once he stopped.

  18. Report # 3. Hello again. 40 days since my last injection of invega sustenna 50 mg. I’m doing better Alhamdulillaah – the aches and pains have left my body. Now afflicted with nausea. Have had to stop drinking cafe as it makes me sick to my stomach.

    Stelazine at 6 mg a day is working well to manage any symptoms of psychoses. Paranoia has abated. Tho I must say I’m extremely talkative. Which is annoying. I’m very grateful the bodily pain is gone tho now I’m exceptionally tired and lethargic. No energy at all. Mind seems to be improving and becoming more positive thanks to the stelazine. Tho I’m still exceptionally critical irritable and cranky.

    But I must admit things are getting better. I’m still experiencing a lot of confusion tho and that is troublesome. Apparently the Drs in the hospital were quite concerned about my reaction to the invega sustenna. I hope they document it. Ok. I hope that anyone reading this can benefit. I’m grateful for this site as it has been most helpful to me. Thank you.

  19. Hello again. Today it’s 32 days since my last injection of invega sustenna. I’m in physical pain in my entire body. Advil gel caps have lost their efficacy. I’m exceedingly depressed have lost my appetite and have to force myself to eat. And I’ve gained 15 pounds in a month. I am having difficulty sleeping and have no energy at all.

    My body my mind my soul are all exhausted. I am irritable and angry all the time and have taken to complaining vociferously. I’m just plain miserable. But thank God I’m not suicidal or having any hallucinations or psychoses. And that is an improvement. My memory has been affected adversely and I can’t remember people’s faces or names.

    I curse the doctors who forced me to take this drug. I only hope things improve. At the moment I have very little hope in even that. I hope no one else suffers like this as it’s horrible.

      • HI Diana. I was on the invega for 8 months. Was off for one month and ended up in the hospital again and my shrink forced me back on it again. I was on it a total of 11 or 12 months. And am now off if for 59 days. The withdrawal symptoms are very severe as I’m in pain in my whole body I’m angry all the time my nerves feel as though they are being burnt and tortured. I am having difficulty sleeping.

        The only improvement is that I’m not psychotic and I can go to the bathroom again but I feel awful and hopeless a lot of the time. When I wrote the statements above I had been on the invega for 8 months. A ghastly awful horrible drug. Wicked and evil. The man who made it should be forced to take it!!! A taste of his own medicine.

  20. Hello. I was forcefully injected with invega sustenna in August 2015. The starting dose was 150 mg. a week later I was injected with 100 mg and following discharge from hospital at 28 day intervals I was forced to receive injections. 1 time at 75 mg and subsequently 50 mg. my last two injections of the drug on December 10 and January 7 made me extremely psychotic and I was hearing voices badly paranoid and seeing things physically that didn’t exist.

    I was terrified. My experience of the drug and being forced to take it was horrid. I was paranoid the whole time depressed and very suicidal which I have never been in my life. December and January 2016 were the worst months of my life. Thank God. My cousin took me to the hospital on January 10 where I spent 17 days on a variety of other drugs to reduce the symptoms of paliperidone. A wicked drug.

    Subsequently I am home now and with the help of two psychiatrist from the hospital my current psychiatrist has stopped the injection. Thank God!!! Now I’m experiencing memory loss can’t remember faces or people or things that I had memorized. I wake sick every day and ache all over feel as tho I have a bad case of the flu. Crying has not subsided as I cried the whole time I was on invega sustenna.

    I was highly constipated on the drug and had at one point couldn’t go for 10 days. Currently I take senna 5 tabs every night so I can defecate. I had every side effect that invega sustenna had to offer. Sic. A horrible drug. That should be taken off the market. Alhamdulillaah I’m off it. And the withdrawal symptoms are not nearly as bad as being on the drug.

    I’m back on stelazine my preferred drug and pray that doctors smarten up when they inject someone with a drug without asking about haldol and risperidone and without a trial period of tablets. The mental health system leaves a lot to be desired. And I am starting to advocate and fight for change to make it more humane.

  21. I had been on Invega 6mg since April 2015. My doctor is tapering me off and so far I am down to 4.5mg I was supposed to drop down 1.5 mg each week, but was having very bad mood swings so he decided to keep me on the 4.5 for another week. The mood swings are not as bad now and I see my doctor in a few days to see if I can drop down to 3mg now. I am feeling way better now and am hoping I am eventually able to taper off completely.

  22. I was forced to take several injections of Invega Sustenna in a psychiatric ward several months ago. Following the injections, I had severe cognitive difficulties including memory problems, difficulty concentrating and decreased mental capacity. In addition to the mental impairment issues, I also had severe gas, greatly increased appetite and difficulty staying awake.

    At one point, I developed the Parkinson’s like symptoms while walking to get food. My foot begun curling into a ball without my consent, causing me a great deal of pain. The effect only lasted a couple hours, making it the least of my assorted side effects. I have stopped taking the antipsychotics, but I am still suffering from the cognitive issues.

    The other symptoms have all but disappeared, however the cognitive issues are sticking around more than two months after my last injection. The drug has caused all sorts of psychological damage, some of which still remains. Some of the psychological effects include depression, lack of motivation and a constant desire to talk to people. While suffering from all of this, I was going to school and working part time.

    The final result was a intensely miserable semester and now what is shaping up to be another poor one. The effects of this drug are hard to put into words, the truth is much worse than I can express, true torture.

  23. When I got off gradually from invega (slow release) to go onto abilify I went through withdraws. Not particularly right away. A couple of weeks. Kinda like pain all over the body and I guess anxiety.

  24. I’ve been on invega since February 2015,I moved and lost my medical card so I haven’t been able to get into a mental health place to get my shot. November 22nd was my due date to have my shot and I been waiting on my case approval through human services where I live. My major withdrawal symptoms just started 2 days ago… I pray I don’t have to go long cause I’m a drug user and an alcoholic. I self medicate to feel better about my diagnosis, anxiety, PTSD, ADD, paranoid schizophrenia, etc. – it’s A vicious cycle! This site did help give me knowledge though.

  25. I have been taking 6mg of Invega daily for two years. I went off the medication for a week to see if any schizophrenic symptoms would return. I did not experience any of the possible withdrawal symptoms listed and no delusions returned. I decided to go back on the medication as insurance but I have been considering going off the medication again.


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