Olanzapine: Still Treading Water

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July 31, 2016 | 17 Comments

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  1. Thank you, Sally, for the detailed update. So sorry that things are still far from resolved for you – although, maybe, you would describe yourself as being in a slightly better place than when we last read about you in full detail?
    We need your book and I need your story. (Please see David’s blog for my reason for saying that).
    I suffer from a hearing loss, caused apparently, by recurring ear infections as a young child. The problem lies mainly on my left side. Everything that you say about balance, toppling forwards/backwards, dizziness etc., I can fully assure you are all connected to inner ear problems. I always say that I can lose my balance on a thick wool carpet never mind a step or two! Escalators are a nightmare – especially coming down. Was once stuck at the top in Next for twenty minutes trying to settle myself down sufficiently to step on without toppling over and landing at the bottom faster than any escalator could carry me! I can laugh now – could have cried then!Many people think that hearing loss can easily be rectified with a hearing aid – mine can’t and I very much doubt if yours would either. I can’t even put my left ear to a phone, not simply because I won’t hear clearly but it would stimulate the tinnitus and leave it at a highly disturbing level.
    I am the lucky one – I only have this problem to contend with. For you, the ‘hearing problem’ is just one of so many. I just wanted you to know how closely linked that particular group of symptoms were. Living with them, and only them, is a case of adjustment; living with them and so many others must be pure hell.

    • Good morning Mary

      that’s so interesting, the similarities in your balance problems connected to hearing difficulties – I can identify precisely with the impossibility of escalators, and the way a very minor difference in the thickness or softness of a carpet can utterly destabilise balance (uneven grass is a killer). I think one-sided hearing loss is tough too as one loses stereo sound and locating where a noise or voice is coming from is impossible. I’m sure the hearing/balance thing is closely connected but I did have a series of exhausting inner-ear tests which gave my vestibular system the all clear. The ENT consultant said it was a ‘deep brain’ thing. However – all the info about similar symptoms, deriving from different types of damage, must surely help the process of mapping the effects of psychotropics?

      As for being in a slightly better place? A different place I guess. Certainly much better than the very first post-withdrawal post but coming to terms with long-term difficulties brings its own challenges. I realise, looking back, that some of the insouciance around life post-olanzapine was part of the legacy! A kind of carefree/couldn’t care-less-ness which was very enjoyable, but has waned to a degree and I guess was linked to a disinhibition that was part of the withdrawal process. Certainly my language was wildly OTT. That’s tamed slightly, partly as the small grandchildren started to repeat some of Grandma’s more colourful swear words which didn’t go down too well with the parents.

    • Mary – have just looked on David Healy’s blog for your reason for needing my story – I’m bad at tracking down comments often – could you kindly direct me to which post?

      Thanks

      • Sally, the reason is that I want as many examples as possible from England with which to target the complacent lot in the House of Commons! The comment is 3rd from the end of ‘ Why do people sing’ – dated July 31st.

  2. Sally,

    Thank you so much for all of your incredible achievements in the midst of the endless pelting of this pitiless storm of the kaleidoscopic onslaught of psycholeptic “medication” poisoning.

    I practiced medicine for forty years.
    I believe you.

    WE NEED YOUR BOOK.

    To write with such self discipline and dedication to prevent similar devastating harms to those who might trust psychiatric medication, but who might, at least initially, have a choice, deserves a place in a new order of honours lists!

    Furthermore, your brilliant series of Rxisk posts on Olanzapine devastation et al merits a platinum disk.

    Other Registered Medical Practitioner.

  3. This is a very well written and thoughtful piece and you might be interested to read the link posted by The Cat from the comments section and this was in 2007

    http://www.madinamerica.com/2016/07/did-i-choose-the-wrong-profession/

    http://web.archive.org/web/20110827055731/http://zyprexakills.us/

    Zyprexa is Eli Lilly’s best selling drug, used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Eli Lilly recently agreed to pay up to $500 million to settle claims relating to Zyprexa. This latest settlement brings the total paid by Eli Lilly to resolve lawsuits involving Zyprexa to more than $1.2 billion.

    • Thanks for the links Annie – very interesting and appalling. Eli Lilly have struggled since Zyprexa/olanzapine went off patent a year or so again..that, plus losing the Prozac patent. However they are hot shit in the diabetes field, are massive sponsors of Diabetes UK and seem to fund diabetic education for GPs. So, if everyone like me who has hyperglycaemia as a result of taking olanzapine ends up on a Lilly drug – they’re still making a hefty profit.

  4. Dear sally,
    Thank you for sharing your nightmare story.
    So many of your experiences are in parallel with what so many patients are experiencing today.
    Clinicians need compassion not a book.
    Many have closed their doors to the wise.
    A patient could be a target of ill health if they end up in the wrong hands.
    Too many drug companies are misleading the vulnerable and creating revenue for the clinicians by creating diseases that never existed.
    Every patient has a story to tell.
    I believe that many patients have been ra**d by clinicians and drug companies just to benefit their pockets.
    Healing is a billion dollar industry infested with one hidden agenda.
    People are starting to understand this and many hide behind a white cloak of lies and continuous deceit.
    A problem only becomes evident when many people are given a voice.
    How can the patient be rsponsible for the damages a drug induces?
    This is a cop out for clinicians and drug companies taking NO responsibility of damaging the good health of people.
    You end up with one disease and by the time you finish with a professional you have about a dozen or two added to you ill health list.
    Perhaps doctors should write a book on how they fool their patients.
    Sally, I wish you all the best with writing your book.
    I hope it brings you peace and justice for all you have endured.
    Many blessings, Carla.

    • Carla

      I’m very slow in saying ‘thanks’ for that lovely comment – and for all the contributions you’ve made. I hope things are going better for you now but we all struggle on, one way or another. Thanks to you too

  5. Dear Mary,
    I honestly believe that there needs to be a Royal Commissions and Public Inquiries into these medications that have harmed and killed so many innocent people.
    As far as I am concerned, the welfare and safety of the public come first.
    There needs to be transparency and accountability and if there are organizations sweeping important information under the carpet, it needs to be made public.
    Our stories need to be heard, loud and clear.
    Too many people who have been impacted by ‘ so called, safe medicines’, need to tell their story.
    It may shed some important evidence that needs to be uncovered.
    By speaking up, the public are made aware of issues that could potentially impact their wellbeing.
    More whistle-blowers need to come forward and state their case.
    We have been judged, silenced and ignored for way too long.
    There have been so many enquiries into other systemic problems, why not this one?
    I am certain that many who have participated their time, dedication and personal experiences to RXISK, would welcome the opportunity to inform the public.
    If we keep getting the same standard responses, over and over again, the public will soon start to believe that no one has an interest in our safety.

    • Well said Carla! I share your views entirely – especially as regards the need for an enquiry into the devastations caused to so many people’s lives.
      I would imagine that it’s all too easy to ‘keep quiet for an easy life’ if you are lucky enough to recover sufficiently from these medications to have a fairly ‘normal’ quality of life. But, in doing so, where does it leave the ones who have not managed to recover? Surely it is our duty, as the ones who have witnessed the suffering or as the lucky ones who made some degree of recovery, to keep on working, tirelessly, to show our support for those who are still far from well and also to show respect for those for whom these medications created more havoc than they could handle. Their lives must not be allowed to be a mere statistic nor their deaths simply counted as ‘things that sometimes happen with mental health problems’.
      Life is sacred – each life, whatever its condition, is worthy of the best that we can provide for each other. Pity that the truth of that statement holds so little meaning in many high places these days.

  6. Dear Mary,
    Your compassion and kindness are always appreciated.
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
    Looking back, I have come to realize that I have been too harsh on many clinicians and those in higher places.
    I believe that there are still good people within the medical and political infrastructure.
    Many got into the political arena to help and serve the people.
    Many became clinicians to heal the best way they could with the tools they have got.
    To tarnish everyone with the same brush would be very unscrupulous of me.
    There are so many good people trying to achieve the very things we all want.
    Perhaps all the challenges are there to make us stonger for our true soul purpose.
    If you and I ever get that opportunity to be the voice for those souls who have been so severely harmed or tragically died by ingesting these medicines, we will leave this life knowing that we tried to make it better for others.
    Although, we are exhausted beyond what many can tolerate, I strongly believe and have faith that those in higher power will be more than happy to pave the way for prosperous changes.
    The changes we have all been waiting for will benefit everyone.
    Everyone is waiting for a wind of change.
    We must remain optimistic through adversity.
    To everyone who has been impacted by perilous medicines, please do not despair.
    I all leave you with a quote from Geraldine Solon. It is a quote that we should all keep tucked away in our heart.
    ” A lesson for all of us is that for every loss, there is a victory, for every sadness, there is joy, and when you think you’ve lost everything – there is hope.”

  7. To everyone who has been harmed by a perilous medicine, please do not be ashamed to speak up.
    Why would professionals want to destroy anyone who has been harmed by a perilous medicine?
    If anything, professionals should be defending you because you ingested something that harmed you.
    It is in their best interest to advocate for you especially if you have been unjustly treated. By advocating, they can make other consumers aware of the risks that are suppressed.
    Why is there so much dishonesty surrounding these so called ‘safe medicines?’
    If your health has suffered and no one has helped or covered up information that should be disclosed to the public, I do not see any justice in what has happened to so many innocent people.
    The Citizens Commision On Human Rights is a big establishment which protects the rights of all citizens.
    Why are they not protecting consumers from perilous medicines?
    Someone has to be our voice.

  8. Some people are treated worse than criminals for speaking about their experiences, relating to these medicines.
    I wonder if this undesirable, misaligned, innapropriate, dysfunctional, biased, decieving and ambiguous culture will ever change.
    I believe it will and it is not until the people hear shocking evidence surrounding these so called safe medicines that those who have done the unforgivable will be held accountable.
    If one has the right to tamper with the molecular structure of these medicines than the people who has been injured has the right to state their case without all the lies and deceit.
    The scales of justice was tipped in favour of those who abuse their power and treat the vulnerable with the utmost disrespect and lack of dignity.

  9. Hi,

    I am tapering olanzapine and have some balance issues in the morning occasionally. a couple of times it hit me pretty bad and I had to go to the doctor. I discovered that taking an electrolyte mix used for fitness solved the problem, atleast so far. I use one called Electro mix, which is just a little satchel of electrolytes like potassium and magnesium you mix with water. there are a lot of other brands, I used a nother one called nuun. even gatorade, but it was too sweet for me.

    If I wake up dizzy I take a glass of it and feel better pretty soon.

    in terms of healing, I havent read in complete detail your whole hisotry, and this might sound stupid in comparison to your problems, but you might start doing some meditation, it has a subltle effect that builds up over time to heal the brain.

    best of luck!

  10. I just started putting in my name to contribute, having found Jamal’s contribution of 12th September2016 very interesting, as it chimes very well with my thoughts on this. The following paragraph just popped up in the writing space, I don’t know where it came from, but it’s also very interesting and I didn’t want to delete it!

    By unknown contributor —–

    The holistic view of course includes the objective scientific explanations of physiology and accepts that that people have inner experiences that are subjective, mystical, spiritual or religious, which affects their well being and their beliefs.

    Back to my own contribution again ——
    I was so pleased to read what Jamal wrote about using an electrolyte mix to help him with dizziness on waking, whilst he tries to get off Olanzapine.
    I only discovered RxISK a few weeks ago and have been reading all the posts on both this Blog and on David’s Blog which have given me a lot of new insights. My own son took his own life when put on Olanzapine for just a few weeks, on top of other drugs like Sertraline. His problems had started 11 years before that, when he took the acne drug RoAccutane/isotretinoin, which made him suffer a weird sort of low mood so he was given Seroxat which triggered a mini psychosis. But he managed to keep going despite akathisia and dreadful sensations coming off Seroxat in 2002. The doctors didn’t understand what was happening to him, and kept lobbing in drugs like Risperdal, even to the point where he was seemingly fitting on them.
    But we knew about a balanced powder of vitamins, minerals, which was totally devoid of wheat, egg, milk or any other common allergens, as we’d used it (still do) firstly to detox to get rid of organophosphates which had made us ill (from dipping our sheep) and to line our gut before breakfast every day. Like Jamal’s, you mix it with water. We also consulted doctors who considered diet, vitamins and minerals vital to neurological health. We gave this UltraClear Sustain (made by Nutri) to our son, and every time he had periods of using it, the awful feelings in his brain used to lessen. I can see now that this is partly how he managed to keep going, working, coping, for 11 years.
    I realise that the two Blogs on RxISK are for sharing the knowledge about the risks of medication, but I do feel that if my son had read them and got the feeling that there was no hope of recovery from these effects, he’d definitely ended his life sooner. I guess none of us really KNOW for sure that there is no hope of recovery. So sharing info like Jamal has, and also on a previous Blog somewhere Larry commented about the work of Dr Carl Pffifer, these things are worth considering and reading about. I know one shouldn’t raise false hope, but these are natural elements which just restore balance to the brain’s cells, it’s just like nurturing a sickly plant, so long as it’s done gently and sensibly. How marvellous it would be if bloggers could run their own trial – DH comments somewhere that there have been no trials to show these things work.
    Sadly, I think my son could have kept going if he had not been shouted at and terrified by an extraordinarily (we feel) stupid arrogant psychiatrist.

  11. I would like to describe my horrendous experience with Zyprexa. First, I would like to describe the events, that led to a Bipolar Diagnosis. In January 2001, I developed persistent insomnia, which lasted for around six weeks. In the prior December, I was diagnosed with an Ovarian Tumor, that had a 50% of being malignant. At the time, I was a Registered Nurse, specializing in Cancer Care. I was well aware, that the survival for that specific type of cancer, was less than 20%. I was referred to a specialist, in oncology surgery. It was Christmas time, and he was on a six week vacation. So, during the six week delay in surgery, I became very anxious, with obsessive thoughts on possible outcomes. Eventually I had the surgery, which proved to be benign. Several weeks after the surgery, was when the sleep issue started. Thus, I went to my doctor to get a short prescription for sleeping pills. My doctor felt I was depressed, a diagnosis I absolutely disagreed with. At that time, I was so sleep deprived, I would have taken anything she suggested. She gave me a prescription for Celexa, an SSRI antidepressant. Reluctantly, I had the prescription filled, and took one 20 mg pill that evening. Within an hour, I was in full blown psychosis. At the time 2001, Eli Lilly, the manufacturer of the first SSRI , Prozac, were aware that SSRI medications caused psychosis, and sucide ideation and homocide. Those side effects were not written on the medication label. Thousands of lawsuits were filed against the manufacturers. but were settled out of court, so the general public, were unaware, myself included, about these dangerous side effects. Due to lies, deceit and propaganda, Eli Lilly, convinced psychiatrists, that if an individual had a psychotic break, after taking an SSRI, then they must have, some, as yet undiscovered mental disorder. Psychiatrists took the bait, be,ieved the misinformation, and fabricated the ‘Bipolar Diagnosis ‘. Prozac came on the market in 1987, and soon after, there was a huge rise, in the number of people being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Prior to 1987, Bipolar Disorder, was seen very infrequently diagnosed. So, that is how I got my ‘mental diagnosis ‘. I probably had delayed anxiety, which may have responded to an anti anxiety pill, sleeping pills and cognitive therapy. I was prescribed Zyprexia, which coincidentally was also manufactured by Eli Lilly. A week after starting Zyprexia, I started to sleepwalk. I would go to bed, and sometime during the night, get up and walk around my house. I would have no recollection of getting out of bed, and no idea where I was. I would try to locate myself, by using my hands to touch items of furniture,
    walls, doors etc. Once, I made a positive identity of where I was, I would wake up, and go back to bed. I was terrified going to sleep at night. I discussed the situation with my psychiatrist. as I was absolutely sure, the Zyprexia was the cause of my nightly walks. My biggest fear, was that I would fall down the stairs, leading to the basement. My psychiatrist felt the benefits of Zyprexia. far exceeded my sleepwalking concerns. Exactly, one year, since I was prescribed Zyprexia, I fell down the stairs to the basement, landing on my head, on the concrete floor. I sustained a large depressed fracture of my skull, and was transferred in critical condition to The Head Trauma Unit, at a local hospital. There was bleeding into the area of my head, between the bones of the skull and the outer covering of the brain. Pressure was building up, as there was no place for the blood to escape to. If the bleeding continued, then a hole would have to be burrowed into the skull, to relieve the pressure. I had daily CT’s of the brain, to monitor the bleeding. Eventually after three days, the bleeding stopped. Naturally, I suffered a severe concussion and have no memory of that period in the hospital ICU. I was discharged after two weeks, with severe short term memory recall. Once the swelling subsided, my cognitive capabilities return. In view of the severity of the accident, Zyprexia was discontinued. Within a week, my sleepwalking stopped.
    Now, sixteen years later, I am questioning the validity of the ‘Bipolar Diagnosis ‘. I have started tapering the dose of Seroquel. an antipsychotic medication. I believe I was miss diagnosed, thanks to the lies, deceit and propaganda of Big Pharmacy. Thanks to sites like this one, books such as Anatomy of an Epedimic, and Medication Madness etc, I am a much wiser person today. My psychiatrist should have filed a lawsuit against Eli Lilly, but he, like other psychiatrists at that time, were enjoying free dinners, subsided weekends at Los Vegas and elaborated cruises, on the backs of people like myself. The one thing , I vividly remember, soon after my diagnosis, was that when I visited his office, he had a cupboard, filled to capacity with free samples. He used to hand out these toxic medications, as though they were candy. I am in the process of looking for a new psychiatrist, who will partener with me, to eventually become drug free.

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