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To what extent does the brain recover after stopping antipsychotics?

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Posted (edited)

Forgot to add: I was given 100mg of Paliperidone injection every month for a year. They are LAI (Long-Acting Injections) and they last for a month. The last shot I got was beginning of September.

 

All I want is my old brain back. With or without the psychosis, I don't care. I just want to be able to function and enjoy life again. I wonder if my dosage of 100mg per month would be considered high and the time I was on it has been too long? Most people I have read has been on such low dosages I wonder why I was put on 100mg. 

Edited by Narshe81

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You are entitled to your opinion, Narshe.

 

However, CB is a pro-med, pro-treatment site.

 

We encourage people to work with their treatment teams to find solutions to their problems, including med side effects and after effects.

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Posted (edited)

 

What if I have to live like this forever? I have been seriously contemplating suicide. I don't want to live like this. 

 

Narshe, from my experience, I don't think it's a lifetime deal. I have recently changed meds and can actually feel a difference. I'm smiling a tad more and am starting to "feel" conversations again. I'm down but not out... if you know what I mean.

 

I know what you mean about not wanting to live out the rest of your life feeling the way you do but I honestly think that things will change for you. My life is by no means perfect, but I can feel the grip of depression loosening. This may happen for you too. You won't notice it happening until you look back on the prior months, and maybe you'll see by comparison that you have improved a bit. This is what keeps me going. Bit by bit.  

 

In the mean time now that you are med free, try to live the best life you can. Don't dwell on the past and please try not to obsess about the way you feel now. Life is dynamic, things will change.

 

Suicide is never the answer - Please go see a pdoc about this. 

Edited by DanTheMan

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No medication is going to permanently alter you, it will be out of your system eventually.

I was on long acting injections for a while, when I went off them (no longer necessary, normal pills were taking care of it, but sometimes I want to go back ON the injections because I feel like they had less side effects and it was easier..) everything went back to status quo pretty soon.

 

I do not advocate drug use. However, I did use illicit drugs while on a cocktail of medications, including a high dose of antipsychotics and more, and I did get high. The drugs were in the dissociative and psychedelic category. I'm not discussing it, and will not discuss it. It was stupid, I'm lucky I didn't really fuck myself over whether short or long term. I still continue to have the occasional drink once in a while, but have been off of all illicit substances for 5 years. 

 

Maybe you should rethink priorities if getting high is more important than your mental health and living life.

 

Here's some food for thought, that the actual psychiatric disorders can cause brain damage.

http://www.psychiatrist.com/pcc/brainstorm/br5807.htm

 

 

Psychotropic drugs have long been recognized as firefighters, extinguishing the blaze of erupting symptoms of mental illness. More recently, they have been recognized to double as safety inspectors, in fact preventing outbursts of future episodes.

 

 

http://www.schizophrenia.com/disease.htm#

 

 

Individuals with schizophrenia, including those who have never been treated, have a reduced volume of gray matter in the brain, especially in the temporal and frontal lobes. Recently neuroscientists have detected gray matter loss of up to 25% (in some areas). The damage started in the parietal, or outer, regions of the brain but spread to the rest of the brain over a five year period. Patients with the worst brain tissue loss also had the worst symptoms, which included hallucinations, delusions, bizarre and psychotic thoughts, hearing voices, and depression.

Please note that while there is significant loss of brain gray matter, this is not a reason to lose all hope.

 

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I'm sure it was geodon because all of those effects were very new to me, and surfaced exactly when I started geodon. I've also read about many other people who've reacted similarly to antipsychotics. 

I'm curious about this too...I had side effects that have been very permanent surface that started EXACTLY when I started Geodon that never went away. I swear I have such a love/hate relationship with this drug.

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I am an artist and used to be motivated, happy, and outgoing. Soon after having started antipsychotics I noticed I have lost my creativity and find it difficult to concentrate on anything. Everything became worthless and I have no willpower or motivation to do anything. I wasn't like this at all before I started antipsychotics. I sure had some minor delusions and they are gone now. I don't even think it was the medication that got rid of it too, I felt like I just figured out that the ideas were crazy on my own.

 

The medication took everything from me. I can no longer function and I cannot find joy or pleasure from anything. I have lost my job and just spending my days feeling like dead inside with constant feeling of despair and anxiousness. All I can think about is how much longer do I have to feel like this and fear that it is permanent. I have read many posts from many different people about antipsychotics and found only bad news about it. Many people don't recover after a year of stopping the medication. Many reported permanent side effects of the med years after stopping. 

 

The reason I am so obsessed about getting high off weed is because I use it as my marker for recovery. I figure the day I can get high again would mean that my brain has recovered. So far I haven't noticed ANY improvements after having been off the med for a month now. I am scared to death that my dopamine and serotonin receptors or my mesolimbic pathway are permanently damaged.

 

How can this sort of medication be prescribed like this? They even prescribe it to children. I don't think it's right. This med does more harm than good in my opinion. I understand that it may have helped some people, but I figure the symptoms of the illness has to be really severe to the point that the person cannot function without the med to warrant the use of antipsychotics. I personally think the maker of the drugs have intentionally failed to report all the side effects of the med and just want to get as much profit from it as possible.

 

 

What if I have to live like this forever? I have been seriously contemplating suicide. I don't want to live like this. 

Oh whoa ok I just saw this post.

Everyone's experience is different, but I'm a creative professional too and I had fears about medication making me a different person. What you need to realize is that the mental illness ITSELF might be the cause of what's going on, and not necessarily a side effect or cause of the medication. You said you were having mild dellusions - what might have been happening is that your illness was getting worse as you aged or was somehow onset by some physiological or psychological factor. What you're experiencing right now might be something you'd be feeling ANYWAY had you chosen to take or not take the drug.

It's a big chicken vs. the egg thing to me when I look back on this - my mental issues starting affecting my life when I was about 27, but I'd always had mild symptoms. My life got really out of control after I started seeking treatment.

On one hand, I can look at it as the meds doing more harm than good - but I think what's more likely is that I was getting worse ANYWAY, and the meds really at more times DID do more good than harm. I hope to get back to that place soon.

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Oooo yeah I can relate to that after I was forcibly introduced to the injectable form of antipsychotic for psychosis. Life was totally different there is this layer of deafeningly dull blah over everything. Like you move through the day just waiting to flop on your unmade bed and what, who cares about taking your clothes off. haha But alas like a famous Ayurvedic boss says all that life gives you is medicine b.c. it is seeded with a life lesson, I like to try and look at like that. But yes.  Little motivation and natural desire; where there used to be zest and drive into many creative endeavors. And it  is quite curious how it affect "higher" intelligence and memory concentration etc(mayhaps due to fluoride and pineal calcification).....But it has now been almost a year and a half for me since I've received my last injection. Yippy! And there are many things I’ve learned since then, you can do that helps, even meds if that’s your bag of tricks.  I mean what a large world with a vast wealth of experiences and exciting experiments to pool from; though most of the alternative lifestyle ones are harder to find. Though these days are rising and being well excepted by the more open minded practitioners. I say that to say don’t get knocked down there’s always hope if we talk and share someone's heard something that'll help you eventually yay planet earth!! I’ll share a few things and if you like what you hear there’s MOUNTAINS more…. First it helps a lot to get someone who believes in you, wow does that help. Second relax relax, relax.  Always look forward. For me I became obsessed with looking back after every precious inch of progress and saying “buuut I was injected not fair yada yada or looking back to look forward in fear” blah! Then with help I started taking every thought captive and spreading the good vibes. Slow and steadily wins the race! Drop the power to all those stressors. As much as you have the free will to drop all the past systems/loops of thoughts that bring ya down and start rebuilding. I mean even thought by thought if you have to. It may be slow at first but don’t let the sharp edge of your expectation be dulled there is hope!!!! Workout those neurons one at a time the scientists are all over how neruplasticity is AMAZING. Also consistent exercise is pivotal it’s a game changer. Releasess feel good dopa-yum, oxygenates the lobes..umm then there is remineralization, increasing brain pleasing fats (coconut oil/omega 3’s) and increasing nutrient dense foods. Again if you can’t then hey no sweat don’t worry it’ll come if it needs to.. But the amount work you put in WILL be rewarded with eqivelant  blessings out, you decide for you. Now comes some good stuff that really shoots you out ahead. As for memory and intelligence and conversation integration (which were the most important for me)  A lil technique Seneca (think ancient Rome/mnemonics) used (and he knew everyone of his soldiers by name. whew!) Is simply when the days over, and do this only in the ease of relaxation, maybe on your bed before you sleep. Think about the all events in your day in reverse order, to the best of your ability. Keep doing this every night at first it may be lil detail or you may be pleasantly surprised BUT soon enough you’ll relize the flow of recall will unfold more and more and you’ll be able to open box after box of calm realizations then the conversations you had will be more enhanced and understood within your memory place. It’s a powerful meditation my friend. Okay that should be enough to get you started but that’s simply the tip of a galaxy of options. Don’t want to overwhelm you or anything. But the TRUTH will set you frree! :) Part of the problem, for me with such powerful life changing influences like the one you went through is it makes it difficult to form new thoughts at the neural synapses level and we are here to create So shazam! Boy I researched this for over a year; hours a day…. Don’t recommend that. Ha but lemme know if you’re interested in nutrition/mind improving expanding herbs/specifics mind or body meditations/exercises/social developments/new frontiers of thinking/musical and tonal endeavors/just talking to yourself in different ways to explore and shed that dull drawl. Also even in this amazing sea of possibility and Light you will still have ups and downs. Remember when you’re hunting elephants don’t let yourself chase the rabbits keep your eyes on your prize. You can do this man, one day even thought by thought at a time. There is so much potential set inside you brother. Peace!

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I am an artist and used to be motivated, happy, and outgoing. Soon after having started antipsychotics I noticed I have lost my creativity and find it difficult to concentrate on anything. Everything became worthless and I have no willpower or motivation to do anything. I wasn't like this at all before I started antipsychotics. I sure had some minor delusions and they are gone now. I don't even think it was the medication that got rid of it too, I felt like I just figured out that the ideas were crazy on my own.

 

The medication took everything from me. I can no longer function and I cannot find joy or pleasure from anything. I have lost my job and just spending my days feeling like dead inside with constant feeling of despair and anxiousness. All I can think about is how much longer do I have to feel like this and fear that it is permanent. I have read many posts from many different people about antipsychotics and found only bad news about it. Many people don't recover after a year of stopping the medication. Many reported permanent side effects of the med years after stopping. 

 

The reason I am so obsessed about getting high off weed is because I use it as my marker for recovery. I figure the day I can get high again would mean that my brain has recovered. So far I haven't noticed ANY improvements after having been off the med for a month now. I am scared to death that my dopamine and serotonin receptors or my mesolimbic pathway are permanently damaged.

 

How can this sort of medication be prescribed like this? They even prescribe it to children. I don't think it's right. This med does more harm than good in my opinion. I understand that it may have helped some people, but I figure the symptoms of the illness has to be really severe to the point that the person cannot function without the med to warrant the use of antipsychotics. I personally think the maker of the drugs have intentionally failed to report all the side effects of the med and just want to get as much profit from it as possible.

 

 

What if I have to live like this forever? I have been seriously contemplating suicide. I don't want to live like this. 

 

Hi Narshe81 (and also jjasonn).  We're in a pretty similar boat in terms of experience, and I agree with most of what you're saying.
 
I had a psychotic episode last December, and in January 2013 I was given the normal starting routine for Invega Sustenna - 1 234mg shot (1/7/2013) followed 1 week later by a 156mg shot (1/14/2013).  This was the worst thing that has ever happened to me - bar nothing.  Not the episode!  That was bizarre, to be sure, and I'm worried about my medical condition....  but it's the drug that was so horrifying and destructive.  I was dying to find the same information you're seeking Narshe and jjasonn, earlier this year, and I still am.  All I can report is from my experience in the last 11 months and my research of the drug label and articles I could find online.  I have learned some things.  I never got another shot after 1/14/2013.  That was against the recommendation of my doctor.  We'll see how it turns out.  Taking this torture as a precautionary measure, when it's far far worse than delusions themselves?  That calculus didn't make sense to me.  I hope I'm right.  For one thing, it's absoultely clear that my doctor did not grasp the potency of this drug.
 
Here's the bottom line Narshe: it has been 11 months. I'm still messed up from the drug, but it has improved dramatically over time.  I would say I was devastated through July (6 months out), transitioned from devastated to "heavily impaired" from July to October (9 months out), and since November I've been "impaired" (11 months out).  I'm plenty messed up now, with cognitve issues, sexual function issues, anhedonia etc., but its nothing next to the hell I was in in February.  Each month I can notice significant improvement in my cognitive function, my mood, and emotional sensation ... my sexual interest and testicular function, twitching, weight gain (20 lbs), dizziness upon standing, restlessness, inability to think or focus or engage watching tv, listening to music or playing games; difficulty conversing, feeling pleasure and being generally in perpetual deep boredom, having no motivation at all.  My only experience with feelings as low as suicidal ones, in my entire life, was in January-February.  That has certainly passed.  Some of the effects in that incomplete list went away before others.  And I didn't feel that great or aware about my improvements each months until after about 6 months.  At the very beginning I was urinating every 30 minutes and couldn't move my face.  Most of the list was ongoing after two months.  Anyway, I didn't feel like I was appreciably improved until around September - so that's 8 months later before I personally felt any real hope of recovery.  I hope knowledge of that date helps you. This (11 months) is the first month where I feel I can "pass for normal" to an average person.  They might think I'm tired, but would never think I'm way off/drugged, even if they know me, actually.  I can still tell I'm messed up, of course.  But I can also tell that I've gotten a lot of abilities back.  It's very exciting actually.  I also lost the 20 lbs I gained from the drug through vigorous exercise from July to September. (recommended)  I still have many of the same feelings you have: I'm hoping I'll improve all the way, maybe 90% or something, maybe more.  And I'm very worried about the permanent effects.  I'm personally very focused on the cognitive effects, but I'm also wondering if my tongue will stop twitching when I stick it out and so on.  Thinking was the name of my game, 24/7, and it was just snatched away.  But I can tell you that you won't remain devastated forever; that it at least improves to "impaired".  And in 6 months maybe I'll be able to tell you that you'll improve all the way or almost all the way.  Also, DO NOT be discouraged by people telling you that you're exaggerating, that there is nothing wrong, or that they can't tell (which may be true); that your complaints are actually of the condition and not the drug, etc.  These people have no idea what they're talking about.  I have a supportive and attentive girlfriend, who was able to see many of the subtle things (to an outside observer) of which I complained.  That was very helpful to me. My father on the other hand, thinks this has all been exaggeration and a hypchondriac's prattle.  So I had to deal with that and it's tough.  The drug is devastating for real; don't be BSed out of knowing that.
 
My diagnosis was psychosis NOS (not otherwise specified).  That basically means I didn't get a "real" diagnosis cause they weren't sure what I had / had happened.  My psychosis consisted entirely of paranoid delusions and it lasted about 45 days - I had no hallucinations, no difficulty thinking (delusional belief formation aside), etc - I definitely had paranoid delusions though.  I also separately have depression and high anxiety.  I normally take no medications of any kind and I never do any drugs, including alcohol, with the sole exception that I sometimes smoke tobacco.  I'm a physicist with advanced degrees and I went to/ worked at some of the very top schools in the country.  That's diagnostically relevant, but I'm also hoping to get a cred. boost.  I'm 29 years old.  I still am trying to figure out what my underlying diagnosis is... bipolar perhaps?  I don't think I have schizophrenia, but I'm not certain.  Statistically, it would be a late onset.  I really just don't know, and neither did my doctor(s).  But I was told to continue taking antipsychotics just in case I was schizophrenic and I disregarded that advice.  I recovered "100%" from my psychotic delusions in late January, which I was told is rare.  So far I've had no recurrence of any psychotic symptoms.
 
As far as I could find, there is nothing that can be done to speed the removal of the drug from your body.  I suspect that obesity makes the drug last longer as it gets stored in fat, but that's a bit of a guess.  My intuition says drink a lot of water and exercise if you want to try and speed up the removal.  According to the label for Invega sustenna, enzyme CYP3A4 might be important for eliminating paliperidone.  It says that if you take an inducer of CYP3A4 you may need a higher dose for paliperidone to be effective.  It later claims that this result is contradicted by other studies, so its unclear.  You could try to induce that enzyme. Capsaicin is the only food I found online to induce that enzyme.  I never tried it, and I certainly didn't want to take another drug for this purpose, but I wouldnt mind spicy food.  Kind of an aside I guess, but it might be worth trying.  St. John's wort is a major inducer as well, but its a drug.
 
After the amount of time I've been off the drug (better put - since last injection), I'm not sure anymore if I'm still heavily drugged, or rather if my brain chemistry hasn't normalized (or if there is permanent and irreversible damage). A bit of both I expect (or all three).  But FYI the half life for a 234 mg dose is 49 days.  My dose was essentially 400mg in some sense.  Your dose (naively at least) is 100 mg plus what was left over before that; probably another 200 mg or so. So permanent damage from duration of use aside, we probably quit from similar dose amounts.  Since the half-life decreases with quantity, using 49 days should give you conservative estimates of the amount of palmitate left.  I remember finding 15mg to be the best conservative estimate of my equivalent oral daily dose at injection time.  SO, 2 months later, its about 7.5 mg/day and so on.  I'm not sure how useful or accurate this method is though because it doesn't align with my experience that well.  One thing to keep in mind is that 49 days is a median.  That means for some people they still had 85% after 49 days.  I found something a while back that had actual raw data and the variance was very high.  I personally set my expectation at double the median to be very conservative.  With the time of "brain recovery" though, I mean...  this is pretty much guess-work.  The main thing is the my personal "raw data" - which is that I know how I feel.  And you do get better over time.  I would be interested in getting a blood test to see how much drug is still in me (and how much prolactin), but I never did that.  You could consider that if you were very curious.  Another kind of raw data.
 
Anyway, I've learned a lot about paliperidone from obsessing about it online the past 11 months.  Bipolar patients can expect decreased cognitive funtion, including poor verbal recall, poor working memory, and slow processing speed.  Switching to abilify can reverse hyperprolactinemia, for anyone having sexual issues and wanting to stay on anti-psychotics.  That first tidbit points out that the underlying condition can have a big impact on your experience of paliperidone, since the drug apparently improves thinking for some schizophrenics.  This is already too long and I think it hits what you wanted to know already, so I'll end here. Hope this helps.  You just have to wait it out... for you know, maybe 18 months total?  It's a while.  Good luck.  And as far as permanent effects I'm in your boat completely.  Anyone out there have information about how things look past 11 months?

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Posted (edited)

Bipolar patients can expect decreased cognitive funtion, including poor verbal recall, poor working memory, and slow processing speed.  Switching to abilify can reverse hyperprolactinemia, for anyone having sexual issues and wanting to stay on anti-psychotics.  That first tidbit points out that the underlying condition can have a big impact on your experience of paliperidone, since the drug apparently improves thinking for some schizophrenics.  This is already too long and I think it hits what you wanted to know already, so I'll end here. Hope this helps.  You just have to wait it out... for you know, maybe 18 months total?  It's a while.  Good luck.  And as far as permanent effects I'm in your boat completely.  Anyone out there have information about how things look past 11 months?

 

 

is there a reason you specified bipolar patients? are other patients shown in studies to respond differently?

 

duh...soz...i just read sentence three and see you mention it for schizophrenia. nevermind. x

Edited by mellifluous

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I am an artist and used to be motivated, happy, and outgoing. Soon after having started antipsychotics I noticed I have lost my creativity and find it difficult to concentrate on anything. Everything became worthless and I have no willpower or motivation to do anything. I wasn't like this at all before I started antipsychotics. I sure had some minor delusions and they are gone now. I don't even think it was the medication that got rid of it too, I felt like I just figured out that the ideas were crazy on my own.

 

The medication took everything from me. I can no longer function and I cannot find joy or pleasure from anything. I have lost my job and just spending my days feeling like dead inside with constant feeling of despair and anxiousness. All I can think about is how much longer do I have to feel like this and fear that it is permanent. I have read many posts from many different people about antipsychotics and found only bad news about it. Many people don't recover after a year of stopping the medication. Many reported permanent side effects of the med years after stopping. 

 

The reason I am so obsessed about getting high off weed is because I use it as my marker for recovery. I figure the day I can get high again would mean that my brain has recovered. So far I haven't noticed ANY improvements after having been off the med for a month now. I am scared to death that my dopamine and serotonin receptors or my mesolimbic pathway are permanently damaged.

 

How can this sort of medication be prescribed like this? They even prescribe it to children. I don't think it's right. This med does more harm than good in my opinion. I understand that it may have helped some people, but I figure the symptoms of the illness has to be really severe to the point that the person cannot function without the med to warrant the use of antipsychotics. I personally think the maker of the drugs have intentionally failed to report all the side effects of the med and just want to get as much profit from it as possible.

 

 

What if I have to live like this forever? I have been seriously contemplating suicide. I don't want to live like this. 

 

Hi Narshe81 (and also jjasonn).  We're in a pretty similar boat in terms of experience, and I agree with most of what you're saying.
 
I had a psychotic episode last December, and in January 2013 I was given the normal starting routine for Invega Sustenna - 1 234mg shot (1/7/2013) followed 1 week later by a 156mg shot (1/14/2013).  This was the worst thing that has ever happened to me - bar nothing.  Not the episode!  That was bizarre, to be sure, and I'm worried about my medical condition....  but it's the drug that was so horrifying and destructive.  I was dying to find the same information you're seeking Narshe and jjasonn, earlier this year, and I still am.  All I can report is from my experience in the last 11 months and my research of the drug label and articles I could find online.  I have learned some things.  I never got another shot after 1/14/2013.  That was against the recommendation of my doctor.  We'll see how it turns out.  Taking this torture as a precautionary measure, when it's far far worse than delusions themselves?  That calculus didn't make sense to me.  I hope I'm right.  For one thing, it's absoultely clear that my doctor did not grasp the potency of this drug.
 
Here's the bottom line Narshe: it has been 11 months. I'm still messed up from the drug, but it has improved dramatically over time.  I would say I was devastated through July (6 months out), transitioned from devastated to "heavily impaired" from July to October (9 months out), and since November I've been "impaired" (11 months out).  I'm plenty messed up now, with cognitve issues, sexual function issues, anhedonia etc., but its nothing next to the hell I was in in February.  Each month I can notice significant improvement in my cognitive function, my mood, and emotional sensation ... my sexual interest and testicular function, twitching, weight gain (20 lbs), dizziness upon standing, restlessness, inability to think or focus or engage watching tv, listening to music or playing games; difficulty conversing, feeling pleasure and being generally in perpetual deep boredom, having no motivation at all.  My only experience with feelings as low as suicidal ones, in my entire life, was in January-February.  That has certainly passed.  Some of the effects in that incomplete list went away before others.  And I didn't feel that great or aware about my improvements each months until after about 6 months.  At the very beginning I was urinating every 30 minutes and couldn't move my face.  Most of the list was ongoing after two months.  Anyway, I didn't feel like I was appreciably improved until around September - so that's 8 months later before I personally felt any real hope of recovery.  I hope knowledge of that date helps you. This (11 months) is the first month where I feel I can "pass for normal" to an average person.  They might think I'm tired, but would never think I'm way off/drugged, even if they know me, actually.  I can still tell I'm messed up, of course.  But I can also tell that I've gotten a lot of abilities back.  It's very exciting actually.  I also lost the 20 lbs I gained from the drug through vigorous exercise from July to September. (recommended)  I still have many of the same feelings you have: I'm hoping I'll improve all the way, maybe 90% or something, maybe more.  And I'm very worried about the permanent effects.  I'm personally very focused on the cognitive effects, but I'm also wondering if my tongue will stop twitching when I stick it out and so on.  Thinking was the name of my game, 24/7, and it was just snatched away.  But I can tell you that you won't remain devastated forever; that it at least improves to "impaired".  And in 6 months maybe I'll be able to tell you that you'll improve all the way or almost all the way.  Also, DO NOT be discouraged by people telling you that you're exaggerating, that there is nothing wrong, or that they can't tell (which may be true); that your complaints are actually of the condition and not the drug, etc.  These people have no idea what they're talking about.  I have a supportive and attentive girlfriend, who was able to see many of the subtle things (to an outside observer) of which I complained.  That was very helpful to me. My father on the other hand, thinks this has all been exaggeration and a hypchondriac's prattle.  So I had to deal with that and it's tough.  The drug is devastating for real; don't be BSed out of knowing that.
 
My diagnosis was psychosis NOS (not otherwise specified).  That basically means I didn't get a "real" diagnosis cause they weren't sure what I had / had happened.  My psychosis consisted entirely of paranoid delusions and it lasted about 45 days - I had no hallucinations, no difficulty thinking (delusional belief formation aside), etc - I definitely had paranoid delusions though.  I also separately have depression and high anxiety.  I normally take no medications of any kind and I never do any drugs, including alcohol, with the sole exception that I sometimes smoke tobacco.  I'm a physicist with advanced degrees and I went to/ worked at some of the very top schools in the country.  That's diagnostically relevant, but I'm also hoping to get a cred. boost.  I'm 29 years old.  I still am trying to figure out what my underlying diagnosis is... bipolar perhaps?  I don't think I have schizophrenia, but I'm not certain.  Statistically, it would be a late onset.  I really just don't know, and neither did my doctor(s).  But I was told to continue taking antipsychotics just in case I was schizophrenic and I disregarded that advice.  I recovered "100%" from my psychotic delusions in late January, which I was told is rare.  So far I've had no recurrence of any psychotic symptoms.
 
As far as I could find, there is nothing that can be done to speed the removal of the drug from your body.  I suspect that obesity makes the drug last longer as it gets stored in fat, but that's a bit of a guess.  My intuition says drink a lot of water and exercise if you want to try and speed up the removal.  According to the label for Invega sustenna, enzyme CYP3A4 might be important for eliminating paliperidone.  It says that if you take an inducer of CYP3A4 you may need a higher dose for paliperidone to be effective.  It later claims that this result is contradicted by other studies, so its unclear.  You could try to induce that enzyme. Capsaicin is the only food I found online to induce that enzyme.  I never tried it, and I certainly didn't want to take another drug for this purpose, but I wouldnt mind spicy food.  Kind of an aside I guess, but it might be worth trying.  St. John's wort is a major inducer as well, but its a drug.
 
After the amount of time I've been off the drug (better put - since last injection), I'm not sure anymore if I'm still heavily drugged, or rather if my brain chemistry hasn't normalized (or if there is permanent and irreversible damage). A bit of both I expect (or all three).  But FYI the half life for a 234 mg dose is 49 days.  My dose was essentially 400mg in some sense.  Your dose (naively at least) is 100 mg plus what was left over before that; probably another 200 mg or so. So permanent damage from duration of use aside, we probably quit from similar dose amounts.  Since the half-life decreases with quantity, using 49 days should give you conservative estimates of the amount of palmitate left.  I remember finding 15mg to be the best conservative estimate of my equivalent oral daily dose at injection time.  SO, 2 months later, its about 7.5 mg/day and so on.  I'm not sure how useful or accurate this method is though because it doesn't align with my experience that well.  One thing to keep in mind is that 49 days is a median.  That means for some people they still had 85% after 49 days.  I found something a while back that had actual raw data and the variance was very high.  I personally set my expectation at double the median to be very conservative.  With the time of "brain recovery" though, I mean...  this is pretty much guess-work.  The main thing is the my personal "raw data" - which is that I know how I feel.  And you do get better over time.  I would be interested in getting a blood test to see how much drug is still in me (and how much prolactin), but I never did that.  You could consider that if you were very curious.  Another kind of raw data.
 
Anyway, I've learned a lot about paliperidone from obsessing about it online the past 11 months.  Bipolar patients can expect decreased cognitive funtion, including poor verbal recall, poor working memory, and slow processing speed.  Switching to abilify can reverse hyperprolactinemia, for anyone having sexual issues and wanting to stay on anti-psychotics.  That first tidbit points out that the underlying condition can have a big impact on your experience of paliperidone, since the drug apparently improves thinking for some schizophrenics.  This is already too long and I think it hits what you wanted to know already, so I'll end here. Hope this helps.  You just have to wait it out... for you know, maybe 18 months total?  It's a while.  Good luck.  And as far as permanent effects I'm in your boat completely.  Anyone out there have information about how things look past 11 months?

 

 

Probably the most insightful and informative reply I have had yet. Thank you very much. 

 

It has been almost 4 months now and I have yet to feel any improvement. You only had two starter shots and you still haven't fully recovered from it fully. This is frightening for someone who has been on it for 10 months like myself. 

 

Please, keep us updated with your recovery progress. I am very interested to know if or when you can recover fully from this drug.

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For what it's worth, I took slurroquel in various doses for about 5 years.

 

It took a while for me to get my brain back, but I also gave myself with various "challenges" (like making myself read along in a printed book while I was listening to the audio version, playing brain games online, sudoku, crossword puzzles, etc even when they were hard).

 

I'd say that after 6 months of being off I felt remarkably more functional and about a year after being off, I had my brain back.

 

I took slurroquel for PTSD/anxiety symptoms, though, so I'm not sure if that makes a difference, as there aren't really "negative" symptoms in the same way.

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There's a high possibility your suffering from something other than the anti-psychotic medication withdrawal.. The reason your doctors are blowing you off is that its  unlikely for you to still be suffering from withdrawal symptoms. Like a previous poster said "No one wants to be crazy".  I personally have been off and on Geodon twice, once time for 12 months and one time for 3 months, and havn't had any lingering side affects, but everyone is different ;)

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I would also like to know. Been on risperdal for two years and I'm getting off in the near future. I just quit smoking cigarettes because I had two relapses or w/e u call them and both times I started smoking in my room and inhaling the smoke while I tried to sleep.

So basically what I'm looking for is success stories to get my spirits up. I haven't felt emotions for two years and my mom just goes along to whatever the doctors say and won't let me discontinue them in the way I want to. So yea success stories please. Thanks

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I would also like to know. Been on risperdal for two years and I'm getting off in the near future. I just quit smoking cigarettes because I had two relapses or w/e u call them and both times I started smoking in my room and inhaling the smoke while I tried to sleep.

So basically what I'm looking for is success stories to get my spirits up. I haven't felt emotions for two years and my mom just goes along to whatever the doctors say and won't let me discontinue them in the way I want to. So yea success stories please. Thanks

 no success story here, but i totally feel your pain. my family wont also let me get off the meds and its been a year and a half and they dont understand that i suffer because of this medicine. 

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how are you doing now narshe?

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how are you doing now narshe?

Last time we pm'd he was still experiencing the post-effects (about a month ago). As for the success stories, well after almost a year I feel ok, really. I can't say that it is 'my old self' back because I don't exactly remember my pre-med world perception and concioussness, most likely it isn't. But again the state when you are bothered by it (what's worse - bothered by it every second you are awake) is completely gone. But I enjoy music, series, cinema, reading, studying, working out again to a certain extent, I can wake up at 6 am again to get shit done and remain motivated through the day. My aesthetical perceptions are kinda back. I distinguish kinds of music again, it's not that sharp perception of greatness within and association with a tune, but at least I can say that I like and enjoy something and produce an emotional response (again maybe not as strong as it used to be). But I can honestly say that if anytime in my future life I'll face ANYONE violently forcing this type of medication on me for WHATEVER reason I'll coldheartedly murder that person and do time in prison instead. For a thinking/creative/emotional person, in fact for anyone with a healthy ego and a sense of Self, the experience is nightmarish, crippling and torturing. People who take the stuff willingly probably deserve what's coming to them. People who are being force-fed this stuff should grow a pair and seriously reconsider their attitude to authority, independence and life in general. The parents force you - some parents emotionallly cripple their children while thinking they are doing the right thing for them, remember that. They don't always know what's right for you even though they are your parents and have lived longer than you. They can't feel what you feel and very often they don't bother thinking for themselves. The doctors tell you - after dealing with 4 different pdocs while/shortly after treatment, I'd rather do what a Nazi officer would tell me to than listening to the crap they told me. The major part of the idustry/profession is probably further from the words "ethics" and "human" than any other form of exploitation, compulsion and coercion. I can only wish anyone who is still experiencing the post-effects to keep strong, work out, excercise your brain and remember that in a year you'll most likely feel at peace with yourself again, will be able to be productive and be capable of achievemnt, experiencing emotions, empathy and enjoy the gift of life through a normally functioning brain.

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that's good news, and perhaps you'll continue to recover

 

do you enjoy recreational drugs again?

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People who are being force-fed this stuff should grow a pair and seriously reconsider their attitude to authority, independence and life in general.

 

This is just downright offensive.

 

Some people need antipsychotics to stay stable. It has NOTHING to do with cowtowing to authority figures.

 

And even LESS to do with whether one has testicles or not.

 

I am closing this thread because it's had it's time.

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