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Questions for those that have tried clozapine


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One thing with clozaril for a fact. BE WARNED trying to come off this can turn u into the next American Psycho. It's called "rebound psychoses". I experienced this when I had foolishly stopped it suddenly. We are talking the worst psychotic episode u will ever have in ur life. Worse than any drug induced episode. Because of this doctor's will be unlikely to take you of this. This is a drug for life.

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I had a terrible time on clozaril.  I gained a ton of weight, then when I went off of it, I couldn't control the weight so I had to go on another medication for that.  Also, it messed with my sleeping so much that I haven't slept a full night since starting/stopping it.  That was in 2006.  Didn't touch my mood that much that I can remember.  My WBC count also dropped. 

 

Be prepared for weekly bloodwork until levels are stable.  I was only given one week's medication at a time, get the bloodwork, see the pdoc, then get the next week.

 

I have read though that many others love this medication and that it is really helpful.  I've just had a bad experience on it.

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i really hope a lot more people reply becasue, as melissa said, it works great for others. i can think of one in particular here who has a much more positive response to it.

 

anyway, mine wasn't great. so...

 

1. why? after years of discontinuations and ...blah blah blah i went on clozaril for refractory schizophrenia. it's (or was at the time...which was maybe.....almost ayear ago now) also the only antipsychotic studies show reduce attempts or completions and there was hope that it'd ..make me less inspired to take action against self. i took it for six months.

2. i have no idea how to answer this question of percentages???

3. my problem was that i was never fully stabilized. because i couldn't be. for years. and clozaril's more a maintenance thing apparently once you've actually had the psychosis broken through. that didn't really happen for me until quite recently. but i didn't really appreciate that was the case. like, only really really recently do i have a grasp of what the world is like without constant auditory and visual things and people ...i'm not exactly completely lacking delusional thinking but i do kinda see that there are probably not ......like i probably do just have flesh comprising self and not implanted shit, if you  know what i mean. so i can't say that it was all that great. i will say that i personally am much more responsive to typical antipsychotics and always have been.  the past few years have been a bitch but back in the day they worked well. the only atypical that really worked well for me is zyprexa. it still does for disorganization syndrome symptoms and such...for formal thought disorder specifically, and that's something prolixin just hasn't been as good for. haldol wasn't either or all the others. 

 

my entire recollection of clozaril is unpleasant praying for death and blood draws.  didn't have any problems with the blood counts, but i did develop orthostatic hypotension and less than satisfactory bowel experiences...less than satisfactory insofar as nearly non existent. i'm sure it wasn't that horrid but i ended up having them write "refractory psychosis" in my chart...which is a treat to learn is different from the straight refractory schizophrenia...and had double digit rounds of bilateral to break through it. if i'd had that pre-clozaril...because the refractory psychosis wasn't DUE TO clozaril...but having that...clozaril didnt' break through it....i might have a very different personal history with it.

 

others find it AMAZING and it saves lives....certainly. i know at least half a dozen people in person on it (know from day program..php...iop...hospital, etc) and they are able to live because of it. so...just something to keep in mind.

Edited by mellifluous
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I started on clozapine a while ago as other meds weren't making much of a difference and I had spent a considerable amount of time in hospital under a section.

 

For me it's helped hugely and I know others that have benifited from it too. Struggles are still present but nothing so severe that warrants admissions into hospital. Just makes things more manageable.

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1. Why did you start clozapine?

I had to start clozapine because I couldn't tolerate any of the other medications.  The other medications gave me side effects I couldn't tolerate. (akathisia, one med affected my swallowing, etc)  I started this medication in the hospital.  I was started on 25mg/d and we worked up from there.

 

2. If you are treatment resistant, how much is it in %?

I probably would classify as treatment resistant, but I couldn't give you a percentage.

 

3. How well did clozapine help you in your symptoms compared to other atypicals especially positive symptoms?

clozapine works very well in treating my symptoms.  I've been on clozapine since Nov. 2010.  I am currently on 325mg which I take at bedtime.

 

If you choose to take clozapine, you must adhere to the blood test.  The blood tests are required, not optional.  You will go for blood work once a week in the beginning.  But over time, you will then progress to just once every other week, and then after a year, once a month.  (I go once a month now myself).

 

I wish you the best with your treatment and I hope this helps,

~ Andy

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I am on clozapine now.

I started it because I was on Zyprexa (30mg) and it was helping but not fully.  My doctor started clozapine because it is one of the more effective antipsychotics and it can help negative symptoms.  Also he said it has less side effects.

Clozapine made my positive symptoms really manageable and also is helping with negative symptoms.

Only problems with it are the weight gain (which I have had a lot of) and the weekly blood tests.

 

For me this is the most effective antipsychotic I have tried however I may be stopping it soon because of the weight gain. 

 

Good luck

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