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Zyprexa has turned me into a zombie!


Guest Swede

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I'm taking this med for my BP II and it has taken away my will, I might as well stare at the wall for the rest of my life and not care. Can't get anything done and feel nothing, I'm entirely numb inside. And this medicine is for mood stabilization? The only mood I have is the zombie-mood! My head is empty, can't t think in pictures anymore (can't think much at all) Just wanted to warn about this medicine. Am I the only one with these symptoms?

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These symptoms can occur, but normally go away after a couple of weeks. If they don't you may need to reduce the dosage or switch to another med.

If you are manic, and have been running manic for many years, zyprexa squashes that mania like a bug. You could also be having "mania withdrawl". No, this isn't an official scientific thing...just my observation based on hubby and others. Mania can be like a drug. Taking away the mania can be like a junkie trying to stop doing drugs.

Sure, zyprexa might not be the drug for you, but do yourself a favor and give it some time.

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Hi! Thanks for your reply. I've never been manic, it's not part of BP II, only hypomania and very long depressions inbetween. My hypomanic states have never really been noticeable, those were periods when I functioned "normal". I don't have a very high dosage of Zyprexa, still it seems to

dull all senses. Taken it for a couple of months. Perhaps an antidepressant should be added to my treatment because Zyprexa is mainly used to prevent mania and perhaps it's keeping me depressed. Freshly diagnosed with BP, I've just begun my journey into the medicine jungle.

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Zyprexa made me extremely tired and after a few weeks made me feel like my heart was sinking into my stomach. If you've been on it for a while and go off, do it VERY gradually. Possible withdrawal without going to another AP can be terrible.

I wonder if Risperdal or Abilify would be better for you.

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I forgot to take my pill once and got a terrible headache which I think was due to Zyprexa. My doctor however claims that it's not addictive and that the headache is not connected to Zyprexa. I am also very tired all of the time and my appetite has increased. Lost interest in life.

Risperdal and Abilify are also antipsychotics, no? I wonder why doctors prescribe antipsychotics to people who have never been psychotic? BP I and BP II according to my doctor are two separate diseases and BP I can't become BP II and vice versa so there is no risk of me becoming manic.

Zyprexa made me extremely tired and after a few weeks made me feel like my heart was sinking into my stomach. If you've been on it for a while and go off, do it VERY gradually. Possible withdrawal without going to another AP can be terrible.

I wonder if Risperdal or Abilify would be better for you.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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well oddly, it's had almost the opposite effect on me. I was prone to mixed episodes, and my old AD sent me into a bit of one a few weeks ago. The pdoc stopped it instantly and put me ion Zyprexa, and with one exception, it's been superb. I can think, function, and be productive without going nuts at the same time. The only downside, is I can't stay awake beyond 9.30pm... Pdoc again next week, so we'll see about reducing the dose.

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What sort of dosage are you on? I started on 15mg on Wednesday for psychotic mania, and went up to 20mg today. So far Zyprexa has kicked the ass of the psychosis but I'm still prettu manic. I'm feeling fairly zombified but put that down to being thrown on a big dose straight away.

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Did the big Z thing for 'mood stabilization', absolutely hated it.

Slept 16-20 hours a day when I could... Slept 14 hours on weekdays, was known at work as the fellow who chugs an entire 6 cup pot of coffee every single morning (I had two extremely large coffee mugs for that purpose).

The EPS weren't any fun either.  I'm already tremory and twitchy to begin with, and this stuff made me look like I had Parkinson's.  This was a Bad Thing since my then job involved assembling and testing medical device prototypes, without any mechanical guides whatsoever.  (It's like in pre-school where you glued cutouts onto a background... except these lateral flow capillaries had to be installed within 1mm tolerance on either side, perfectly parallel to the rest of the cutout).  Tremor and brain fog are not wise career choices here.

The worst part while taking it? The horrible akasthisia.  Zyprexa is considered the mildest AAPs for this particular side effect.  Akasthisia manifests itself differently in many people (some get restless in general, some start compulsively eating, other people tend to pace around).  My form made it intolerable to wait from 10:45:05 AM to 10:45:06 AM.  Six months on the big Z felt like living for 10 years.  It was the only reason I left a fairly decent job in San Jose, California and had to move back in with my parents in the Arctic wastelands of Indiana.

I titrated off of this horrible stuff starting a year ago, going down to 5mg for 2 weeks, and 2.5mg for 4 weeks.  No problem at all.  Then, I went completely off of the big Z.  First? Couldn't sleep the night for around 2 weeks.  Felt like I was wired on amphetamines the whole time.  After that is when my entire dopaminergic and serotonergic systems crashed (akin to the fall from bipolar mania).  I was bedridden for 3 weeks with catatonic depression, only waking and getting out of bed to shower and get maybe, one meal a day.  It was bad.

Then I got put on a high dose of Cymbalta and an antidepressant-level dose of Trazodone, which pulled me back up (a month later, into hypomania as well!). 

So watch yourself on the big Z, and watch yourself even more if you get off of it after longer-term therapy.

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When I was first diagnosed as bipolar (type II), I was also started on Zyprexa.  I was at 5 mg a day.  When I wasn't sleeping, I was eating.  I gained a lot of weight in a very short amount of time.  I had to go off of it because, well, I have a life that I couldn't attend to while taking it.  I tried Trileptal and lithium, although not at the same time.  The Trileptal didn't work well (don't remember exactly why).  The lithium worked a little too well and I couldn't feel anything one way or another.  I had no emotions on it.  Now I'm on Topamax and it seems to be working well for me.

It's just my opinion of course, but I would ask you to think twice before adding an antidepressant to your medications, especially without the benefit of already having a mood stabilizer on board.

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Zyprexa is great if you are manic. It can knock mania on its ass.

Zyprexa is also used as a mood stabilzer but usually short term. Symbyax, a combination of Zyprexa and Prozac, is approved for bipolar. I don't trust it for mania as it made me hypomanic, just my expereince.

Atypical APs do have many off label uses and are prescribed for conditions other than psychosis --anxiety, insomnia, etc --.

Risperdal and Abilify are APs. Abilify can be activating for some people, so if you are depressed it can help. For some people it is too activating, was for me.

The zombie effect does wear off, that is it is a side effect. I have taken Zyprexa, 2.5 - 20mg doses, for nine months last year I took Zyprexa. The zombie effect and sleeping all day is much worse for me on Seroquel than it ever was on Zyprexa. But as always, we all react differently to different meds. And if you do stop Zyprexa, be sure to taper down. As Herfous stated, if you just stop Zyprexa you will have many sleepless nights until your body adjusts.

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ZYPREXA. Where do I begin. ;) Well I'll just keep this short and not-too-sweet.

Diagnosed with Bipolar I just this year and I'm 44 years old, presented depression only I guess, but  :)   I still can't believe how much of my life has been wasted, finally found a wise PDOC and a med to augment an AD that really, really works. But I've gained 25 lbs in 3 months. Can't hack it.

Titrating down from 10 mg, now at 5 mg, titrating up with Geodon. I'm expecting miracles.

My point, if I have one: Great Med, Shame 'Bout the Weight.

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Hated the stuff.  Was put on it when was first diagnosed, and I not only gained 10lbs the first week I was on it, but literally could not wake up.  I was incapable of doing anything other than getting myself to the bathroom, and maybe, just maybe, scrounging myself something to eat.  Near catatonia.  On 5mg.

I hung tough for the "couple of weeks" and still had the same symptoms.

Nasty stuff.

I was switched to Seroquel, and it's worked well for me.  I've gained some weight, but nothing even remotely approaching the kind of immediate weight gain I had with the Z.  And I since I'm on high doses, I don't have a problem with Seroquel's sleep producing side effects.

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I've been on Zyprexa for 5 days now, and I have to say I'm quite impressed. I was on 15mg a day for the first two days and was then bumped up to 20. The first few days I slept lots, but I was taking a shed load of benzos alongside which was probably part of the problem. I'm still a bit manicky now, but I feel as though my mania has come down a step each day- I imagine in another couple of days I'll be mania free. Much more impressed with this than Seroquel- all that did was made me so tired I could barely keep my eyes open, and delayed the mania for the few hours I was sleepy- it didn't seem to get rid of the mania in the same way the Zyprexa does. The one thing I did like about Seroquel was that if I hadn't been taking it for a few days and was desperate for sleep, I could pop a 200mg tablet and be out cold for a good 15 hours.

As far as I'm aware, no weight gain yet. If anything, my appetite is less then it was...

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Reading all comments I draw the conclusion that Zyprexa is very good against mania. However, for us non manic and more prone for depressions it seems to be  too "heavy" and very sedating drug. The drug companies of course want their medicines used for as many illnesses as possible cause it will boost their profits. I will take Zyprexa one more month and if nothing changes demand to switch to Abilify or perhaps some antidepressant like Cipramil.

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I had the exact same problem when I was on 20 mg. Staring into a white wall was fun. No feelings whatsoever. It might be the wrong med for you or you just might need a lower dose. Only you and your doctor can figure that out.

Hope you're feeling better soon!

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Hi! Nice to see a fellow 'landsmaninna' here! I'll try this medicine from hell for one more month and then switch to something that hopefully is less sedating. I look like I have escaped from some horror movie or can star as the head-zombie in "Resident Evil"!  ;)

I had the exact same problem when I was on 20 mg. Staring into a white wall was fun. No feelings whatsoever. It might be the wrong med for you or you just might need a lower dose. Only you and your doctor can figure that out.

Hope you're feeling better soon!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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Reading all comments I draw the conclusion that Zyprexa is very good against mania. However, for us non manic and more prone for depressions it seems to be  too "heavy" and very sedating drug. The drug companies of course want their medicines used for as many illnesses as possible cause it will boost their profits. I will take Zyprexa one more month and if nothing changes demand to switch to Abilify or perhaps some antidepressant like Cipramil.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Swede-

Yes.  Zyprexa can be very effective in the treatment of psychosis. Given your description of your symptoms however- no mania, BP II- I wonder why you are on it if it doesn't seem to be providing you with any benefits.  I may have missed something in a post [sorry if I did] but are you on an AC for stabilization right now?

Also, have you ever tried an antidepressant before?

I'm just curious as to what other meds you are on or have been on and what would lead you doctor to have you on Zyprexa for so long. It should be helping you to be more functional and/or pointing you in 'the right direction' in terms of starting a healthy lifestyle again.

Do you think it might work better with something else also? As was said, it may just be better at a lower dose. Do discuss this with your doctor and be very clear that you are unhappy with the medications side effects if they don't improve.

~navy~

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I was diagnosed with BP II a couple of months ago and was put on Zyprexa for mood stabilization, first 5 mg and then 10 mg, the later being the 'starting' dosage in Sweden. Before that I have never been on any medications. I am more stabile now in the sense that I feel numb inside. I am also very hungry all of the time, tired and have no motivation to do anything. Feel indifferent. Also have difficulties remembering things. Zyprexa is sedating, I think I need something that will push upwards, not downwards. Will definitely discuss it with my doctor next time I see him.

Swede-

Yes.

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