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Zyprexa, tourettes, and my experience

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  • Zyprexa, tourettes, and my experience

    Hello everyone, this is my first post here. I used Zyprexa specifically for tourettes so I'll share with you my experience and opinion on it.

    First off, it did reduce my tics on the lines of 50-80 % at 2.5 and 5 mg dosages (I varied these based on how I felt symtomatically aswell as side effect wise.) However, I came off it and will explain why below:

    Metabolic/Health reasons

    I took the prescription drug Zyprexa for tourettes over the course of 1.5-2 years. My prior history before zyprexa was I was just average shape, maybe 145 lbs and one day I decided to get into fitness and work out. The first thing I did was scrapped junk food and although the first 2-3 days I missed the chips and chocolate, I told myself I?d rather reach my goal. After the 3rd day I never though of junk food and never ate a single bad meal for 10 weeks straight. I ended up at 130 lb 9-10% bf and life was great. Shortly after I went on Zyprexa for tourettes and ended up at the 170 lb 23% bf status over the span of 6 to 7 months.

    From what I know it increases insulin levels, can cause metabolic syndrome X, Type 1 diabetes in people with no prior risk factors, heavy sedation ( on average I was sleeping 12-14 hours waking up with the feeling that I have woken up way too early and have to go to the airport kind of feeling), and developed uncontrollable sugar/fat cravings. The feeling was if I desperately needed some kind of fix and as every minute goes by it would get worse and worse. Food was constantly on my mind, and even if I forced myself to eat a large health meal (chicken, brown rice, sweet potatoes) it would be as if the signal would not register in my head and I would continue to feel worse unless I satisfied that urge. My theory thinking of it now was that increased insulin levels would lead to perpetually low sugar levels, which cause sugar cravings, and basically it would be a vicious cycle back and forth of insulin destroying sugar, sugar being added, then more insulin needed to fight the sugar. I also read that It blocks the serotonin (5HT2A) receptor as well as the dopamine (D2) receptor. Dopamine as I understand it is the reward center but i'm not quite sure how much of an affect this was having compared with the increased insulin levels.

    As of January 2005, I came off it cold, and like a light being switched in my head, I woke up from the foggy slumber I'd been under for nearly 2 years. I could think alot clearer, and things seemed more enjoyable. To my surprise, those urges/binges that had been constantly affecting me went away and within 1 month (without working out) I dropped to 160, then once I resumed cardio and weights I dropped another 10 to 150 about 3 weeks later.

    Although this major metabolic problem for the most part ceased after discontinuation, I had lasting side effects in regards to elevated prolactin levels. As you may or may not know, one of the functions of dopamine is the suppression of prolactin in both male and females. With a dopamine inhibitor like Zyprexa, the current levels of dopamine may not be sufficient to offset prolactin levels and they can increase over time. I had a prolactin blood test done, and the expected range for a male was from 3.0 - 18, mine turned in at 29. Effects of increased prolactin levels include decreased libido, fatigue and lower testosterone levels. For me, libido has been hit hardest, as I take 3 days to recover from the refractory period after orgasm. I also developed prolactin induced gynecomastia aswell as galactorrhea affecting the nipple area, and im currently awaiting treatment with the prescription Dostinex to reduce these levels and get rid of the aforementioned problems.

    So it seems at least for me that I've gone full circle, and when I look back at my choice, and whether or not I would have done it again, I would have to say no, as the tourette symtoms returned once medication ceased, however some side effects persisted and I now have some other medication induced problems to deal with. Not everyone is affected by these medications as bad as others, but at least for the weight gain and negative impact on your health, it's something to consider as atypical antipyschotics will not cure your condition, and the longer you stay on one the more chance you can develop tardive dyskinesia (uncontrollable motor tics) which is almost always permanent.

    If anyone has any questions feel free to ask.

  • #2
    Zyprexa, tourettes, and my experience


    Welcome to the TSFC Forum and thank you for sharing your experience.

    For anyone interested, some additional resource links on Zyprexa can be found HERE
    TouretteLinks Forum


    • #3
      Zyprexa, tourettes, and my experience


      Welcome to the TSFC forum!

      Thank you for sharing your experience and you are right about not everyone reacting to medications the same.

      Unfortunately there are always some side effects with any medication and no real "cure" for TS symptoms.

      Your experience will be very helpful to other readers and the link Steve provided is an excellent follow up.

      I hope you join in on other topics you find on the forum and feel free to create your own.

      I am glad you found us.


      • #4
        Zyprexa, tourettes, and my experience

        Thanks for the welcome, it is appreciated. I know of the difficulties in dealing with this condition, as I still do, and will most likely for the rest of my life. But if theres one thing that's rewarding to me, is being able to help other people suffering from a similiar ailment.

        The unfortunate fact is that when a person is really down on a condition like this, their judgment can become clouded, they have the option to take something that can relieve the condition, but sometimes the cost down the road can be a lot harsher than having just tried to deal with the condition and not mask it. As we know, there is no cure for tourette's at present, at least with the medications that are out. A persons perception can also play a big role as I found out myself. After coming off Zyprexa cold, I experienced major depression 1.5 weeks later, and I was up and down for almost 7 months. When I tried using nicotine patchs (and even coffee), I felt great for the first time in a long time, and I seemed to have come out of the depressive swings I was for most of 2005. The interesting thing is, nicotine seems to make my tourette's worse, I will experience motor type tics that I don't normally (most of my tics are vocal). Yet my mood is positive, and sometimes almost even euphoric, despite the fact that my tics increased. Then there were times when I was not too symptomatic, yet I felt very frustrated and sad. So it's alot more complicated than just the severity of the tics, and I think the most important part sometimes is how you feel as a person, and at least for me, nicotine and even stimulants like caffeine make me feel great despite increasing my symptoms.

        Once again thanks and it's good to be here.