Monday, October 01, 2007

Trying out Medication: Week 1

Here is his experience after one week on Olazapine:

It's a week since I started on the Zyprexa Zydis and the Zantac (generic used). I have been tired, the first 4/5 days were very tiring, it seems better now, less tired. (the 'spaced out' feelings have gone). There has been no noticeably gain in weight, maybe a pound or so, but my weight can fluctuate by 1 or 2 pounds a day anyway.....I have not been able to exercise much this week as I have been so tired, however I am now over this and will exercise from now onwards. I will have a blood test in a couple of weeks to check my levels.

The facial ticks are all but eliminated, I am surprised that this happened so quickly. I feel less/hardly any stress in talking situations and indeed have intentionally put myself into more speaking situations as my confidence has grown. My stuttering has dropped considerably and I am only in week 1 of the treatment. There are hardly any blocks anymore and if it continues at this rate, I will be all but fluent soon - I'd never use the word "cured".

The fact that I am taking the drug may well have given me increased confidence and the upward spiral of confidence has occurred as opposed to the usual downward spiral that we usually experience, so it is self perpetuating. I liken the drugs to a pair of glasses for my eyesight, while I wear the glasses/take the zyprexa it will help my eyesight/speech, however if I take the glasses off/stop the treatment, the symptoms are still there.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

In what way does Zantac prevent weight gain / side effect of the other medication?

Lynne

Anonymous said...

I have been considering taking Zyprexa(or Abilify) for my severe stutter. I have stuttered as long as I have been able to talk. I attended the Hollins Communications Research Institute with positive results. As with the Mcguire program, it takes a lot of effort to say anything fluently. If you don't mind me asking, what dosage of Zyprexa and Zantac are you taking?

Stephen said...

Hi,

I have started on 5mg of Zyprexa Zydis at night and 150mg of Zantac morning and night.

The weight loss effects are reduced because your stomach is not exposed to Zyprexa as much,so the idea is that this does not stimulate some of the stomach serotonin receptors that are thought to be responsible for appetite increase.

I will be taking a blood test in about 2 weeks to check if any levels have been affected (i.e. lipids/glucose fasting levels). If there are any increases I can switch to Abilify as the side effects are less, however the testing on stammering are less examined.

How was the Hollins Institute?....they claim a 93% fluency rate?, what sub-type of stammer do you have?.....

These drugs appear to work best on people who anticipate their feared words and produce more dopamine as oposed to people who 'merely' stumble on words haphazardly and have more repetitions vs blocking.

I hope that this helps.

Kind regards

Anonymous said...

Before the Hollins Institute I would block on nearly every word and frequently could not speak at all.

After Hollins, I have gained tools to help me control my stuttering and have been able to control/prevent the blocks more often. I believe the 93% fluency rate is the rate of fluency while in the clinical building. Everyone is more fluent in the clinical setting(on the last day) than in the real world. The fluency rate (<3% disfluencies), is much less than 93% in the real world. With that said, I do believe that Hollins is one of the best, if not the best stuttering institute that exists.

I do anticipate speaking and feared words before I stutter. I usually know in advance that I am going to stutter.

Thanks for the info Stephen

ferramis said...

Interesting to follow. I would like to do it as well if I could find a doctor who would know what I am doing and could monitor me. But so far I don't really now if doctors know what they are prescribing. I once tested Valium on my self and I saw some fluency, but also lots of side effects. But while reading some pages about side effect on Zantac I got really scared. Hope it helps you and give some hope to others.

Stephen said...

Ferramis, where do you live? if it is in the USA, I suggest that you look at UCI Irvine.

A routine blood test will show if you are OK to take such medication and regular tests will show if any levels are moving in the wrong direction. I spoke to my doctor about the treatment and he was happy to let me have the Zyprexa off label.

If you look at ANY drugs 'possible' side effects you would never take any drug at all a the drug firms want to cover themselves for any eventuality.

ferramis said...

@ Stephan: I am living in Sweden. There is also another problem, that I have a phobia (start hyperventilating) against needles and blood ;) That would make it difficult I guess? But I am always open for recommendations.

Anonymous said...

I am extremely interested in your progress Stephen. In December 06 I did persuade my doctor to prescribe me Zyprexa (Olanzapine) but I decided to not proceed due to side-effects concerns and my stammering doesn't impinge on my life too much nowadays (I stammer but it doesn't stop me doing things).
I also considered Abilify (after talking to Per Alm who said it was interesting in that it is a dopamine modulator rather than straight reducer) but my doctor was more comfortable prescribing Olanzapine due to greater amount of trials for stammering.
Please continue keep us posted.

Anonymous said...

Partially because of this post, yesterday I talked to my doctor and just took my first doze of Abilify a couple of hours ago. The doze is 10 mg every morning.

I feel pretty sedated and my mind is foggy, but that could be because I only got three hours of sleep last night. 

Over ten years ago, before the atypical anti-psychotic drugs were common, my doctor suggested that I try a small dose of Haloperidol. That only lasted a few days, until I was sitting in one of my college classes and had an intense attack of akathisia, muscle spasms, sweating and panic. I barely made it home that day and wouldn’t touch that stuff again with a ten foot pole.

A couple of years ago, my current doctor suggested that I try Zyprexa. Remembering how sensitive I was to Haloperidol and having read about the extrapyramidal side-effects, I was extremely hesitant, but in the end, decided to give it a try. After a week of feeling like a heavily sedated, emotionless zombie, I stopped taking it. In retrospect, I probably should have stuck with it another week or two, to see the side-effect subsided. This is why I brought it up again yesterday. He suggested Abilify instead, due to its lower potential for bad side-effects. I agreed.

I’m a 29 year old male severe stutterer with some bad facial secondaries. I’ll try to keep you guys updated on my progress. Cheers.
-Silent P.

Anonymous said...

Hi Silent P,

I just wanted to encourage you to keep us posted, because I am also going to start to take Abilify for stuttering.

Thanks,

Silent Jay

Anonymous said...

I spent most of my second day on Abilify sleeping. I got up in the morning after nine hours of sleep (my body always seems to require about 9 hours), took the pills, drank some coffee, ate a bagel and watched some TV. After two hours, I felt all energy drained out of me and a strong urge to co back to bed. I did just that. Got up two hours later, drank another cup of coffee and played some video games. Two hours into it, another bout of intense energy drain, causing me to go take another nap, this time a three hour one.

Wow. Finally got up at 7pm. I did have an intense work week and my sleep was all f'ed up, but it never caused me to crash like this before. This Abilify is a GREAT sleeping pill.

Any way, I called my doc and left a message, asking him if I could take the pills right before bed instead of mornings. I don't see how I will be able to work otherwise.

By the way, in addition to Abilify, I am also on 20 Mg of Lexapro and 300 Mg of Wellbutrin, for depression and anxiety. Dr said that there shouldn't be any negative drug interactions.

Stephen said...

Good luck with the Abilify - I would imagine the first week of it will be the worst in terms of the sedation effect as it was with the Zyprexa.

I take the Zyprexa at night, and am now OK during the day.

I have an appointment with my doctor this week and a blood test at the weekend to check my levels.

If my glucose fasting levels have increased, I may well be on Abilify also, so I am very interested in your experience with the drug.

Its just over 2 weeks since I started on the drug and I must admit my speech has improved (ahead of time) and I dont worry about speaking situations as much.

Only time will tell.

Anonymous said...

Silent P. here:

It's day 5 on Abilify for me. Still feeling very weak and tired, even though, I now take the pills before bed time (instead of morning). I have developed some akathisia (restlessness - difficulty sitting in one place without moving), and a bit of a periodic tremor.

It takes everything I have just to get through the work day, which involves sitting in front of a computer for 8 hours. The weakness and restlessness are preventing me from enjoying my hobbies too. Out of sheer frustration of feeling so weak, I almost cried on my way to work this morning, which is strange, because the anti-depressants always made it almost impossible for me to cry.

Basically, it really sucks to be me right now. I'm just hanging it there, hoping the the side-effects are going to subcide soon and I might see some improvement in speech fluency. My speech seem better today. Could be Abilify starting to work or it could be just one of those "good days". Impossible to say.

Trying to stick with it,
Silent P.

ora mccreary said...

We seem to have multiple "anonymous's" here, but to the "anonymous" described in the post....

It would be interesting to know what dosages of olanzapine and Zantac you're taking. Was there any discussion with your doctor about how the dosage was determined?

Thanks.
Ora

Stephen said...

Hi Ora,

I am taking 5mg (once per day at night) of the Zyprexa Zydis and Zantac twice per day (each dose being 150mg).

Stephen

Anonymous said...

This is Silent P., the Abilify guy here again:

I am now clean - OFF that drug.

I could barely put up with feeling drained and zombified all the time, but when the akathisia, restless leg and tremors joined the list of side-effects and got worse, I just couldn't take it any more. The way that I felt after 6 days on Abilify, it made me imagine biting the barrel and blowing my brains out, just to stop feeling that way.

My work involves sitting in front of a computer and trying to do that, for 8 hours, with akathisia and restless leg, was a truly hellish endurance experience. One morning I had an office meeting. I spent the hour shifting around in my chair and trying to hide my trembling hands. I didn't get most of what was said during the meeting.

So, I did decide that this had to stop. I just can't afford to play around with this stuff at this time. Yes, there is a possibility that if I stuck with it for another week, I could see an improvement in my fluency, but I just couldn’t bare these side-effects for even a few more days. I haven't taken Abilify for 36 hours now and I am feeling like my old self again. It's wonderful! You never know how good you have it, until you experience something really crappy. Luckily, I didn't spend any money on this expensive drug, as the doc gave me samples.

Any way, this is the third anti-psychotic down for me, after Haloperidol and Zyprexa. I have to say, as surprising as it is, Zyprexa wasn't as bad as Abilify for me, as far as side-effects are concerned. With Zyprexa, I only recall feeling zombified - none of this other crap. Of course, Haloperidol was the worst. Now, I only have one potential pharmaceutical solution to place my hopes of getting more fluent on: Pagaclone.

I wish the manufacturer and the FDA would hurry the heck up, or at least respond to my trials applications. :(

Disclaimer: I wouldn't even think about trying to dissuade any of you from trying Abilify to see if it improves your own fluency. We all react differently, sometimes drastically so, to various drugs. The fact that I have previously displayed sensitivity to the side-effects of anti-psychotics, combined with the fact that I am also on several other meds (Lexapro, Wellbutrin and Ativan (as needed)), makes it very likely that your own experience taking Abilify will be more positive. Good luck and best wishes to any of you who decide to try anti-psychotics in order to improve your fluency. I will just have to wait for Pagoclone myself.

On a lighter note, any of your fellow stutterers like karaoke?

Silent P.

Anonymous said...

I'm a 29-yr old stutterer who has never tried medical therapies but after reading this it might be worth it to give Zyprexa a shot.

Can someone tell me how one would go about testing this out?

I'm in graduate school and I don't have a regular doctor (minimal health insurance). What kind of doctor should I go to? Any advice would be much appreciated

Thanks!
Simona

Anonymous said...

Simona,

Since these are psychiatric drugs, the doctor to go to would be a psychiatrist or a psychiatrical nurse with prescription priveleges.

If you're on a limited income, check if your city/town has a state-sponsored Adult Mental Health Services office. These places offer help to low income people and the doctors give away samples of the drugs that they receive from the pharmo companies. You can get a refferal from your local state Vocational Rebab office. These guys help disabled people (stuttering is covered under the Americans With Dissabilities Act) become more employeable and are quite eager to do it. They did a lot for me when I was still in college, buying me fluency assist devices, paying for therapy, etc.
Hope this helps,
-Silent P.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that helps a lot... will get started.

Thanks so much, Silent P.

Simona

Anonymous said...

Hey Stephen,

How's Zyprexa going for you? Any changes?

Thanks,

-Silent P.

Stephen said...

Hi,

Its week 4 of the Zyprexa and things are going well so far.

I find that I block less and they are less severe.

I also find that I am not as preoccupied about my speech and the thinking ahead for alternative words has diminished.

The initial tiredness has passed and I am managing well with the drug as long as I take it at bedtime.

I am waiting until the end of week 6 for the bloodtests and this will tell me if my fasting levels have changed.

Weight wise, I have gained about 5lbs, but I will be able to burn that off with my exercise, so I am not over worried about the weight.

My facial contortions have all but gone as well.

So overall the effects are positive, and I am informed that the main speech related benefits will 'kick in' after 6 weeks, so time will tell.

More updates soon..

Stephen

OnlinePharmacy said...

hth19I Your blog is great. Articles is interesting!

phentermine at discount p said...

GXSvWx Wonderful blog.

diet meridia pill site web said...

Nice Article.

said...

Nice Article.

name said...

Magnific!

central coast limo wine tours said...

Good job!

cosmos tour to germany said...

Please write anything else!

health insurance ny afford said...

Thanks to author.

ringtones said...

actually, that's brilliant. Thank you. I'm going to pass that on to a couple of people.

said...

Hello all!

purchase cheap cialis online said...

ebEoMk Good job!

free ringtones fo said...

Good job!

lipitor alcohol said...

companies marketing mineral makeups and also get the best bargains in mineral makeup you can imagine,
find aout how to consolidate your students loans or just how to lower your acual rates.,
looking for breast enlargements? in Rochester,
homeopathy for eczema learn about it.,
Allergies, information about lipitor,
save big with great bargains in mineral makeup,

change edition interviewing motivational people preparing second
,

interviewing motivational people preparing second time
,

interviewing people motivational preparing for a second time
,

black mold exposure
,

black mold exposure symptoms
,

black mold symptoms of exposure
,

free job interview questions
,

free job interview answers
,

interview answers to get a job
,

lookfor hair styles for fine thin hair
,

search hair styles for fine thin hair
,

hair styles for fine thin hair
,

beach resort in the philippines
,

great beach resort in the philippines
,

luxury beach resort in the philippines
,
iron garden gates, here,
iron garden gates,
wrought iron garden gates
, here
,
wrought iron garden gates
,
You: The Owner's Manual: An Insider's Guide to the Body That Will Make You Healthier and Younger
,
answer from more much,
eat eating mindless more than think we we why
,
la times classified,
new york times classified


texturizer,
texturizers here,
black hair texturizer,
find aout how care curly hair,
find about how to care curly hair,
care curly hair,
lipitor rash,
lipitor reactions,
new house ventura california,
the house new houston tx,
new house washington dc,
new house washington dc,
new house ventura california,
the house new houston tx,
the house new houston tx, that you ar looking for,
new house ventura california, you need to buy,
new house washington dc,

hair surgery transplant
,

air filter allergy
,

refurbished dell laptop computers
,

hair surgery transplant
,

air filter allergy
,

refurbished dell laptop computers
,

hair surgery transplant
,

air filter allergy
,

refurbished dell laptop computers
,

chocolate esophagus heartburn study
,

chocolate esophagus heartburn study
be informed,

digestion healing healthy heartburn natural preventing way
,

digestion healing healthy heartburn natural preventing way
,


Allergies, lipitor rash,
alcohol rash,
lipitor and alcohol,
lipitor alcohol,

natural remedies to aid healing of esophagus
,

chicory heartburn
,

effectiveness of zocor vs. lipitor
,

chocolate esophagus
,
southwestern wrought iron yard gate,
exterior iron gates,
oriental wrought iron gates,
powder coated iron garden fencing,

tax forms said...

black mold exposure,black mold symptoms of exposure,wrought iron garden gates,your next iron garden gates, here,hair styles for fine thin hair,search hair styles for fine thin hair,night vision binoculars,buy, night vision binoculars,lipitor reactions,lipitor reactions,luxury beach resort in the philippines,beach resort in the philippines,homeopathy for baby eczema.,homeopathy for baby eczema.,save big with great mineral makeup bargains,companies marketing mineral makeups,prodam iphone praha,Apple prodam iphone praha,iphone clone cect manual,manual for iphone clone cect,fero 52 binoculars night vision,fero 52 night vision,best night vision binoculars,buy, best night vision binoculars,computer programs to make photo albums,computer programs, make photo albums,free printable tax forms,printable tax forms, free here,craftmatic adjustable air bedcraftmatic adjustable air bed, info hereboyd night air bedboyd night air bed, low priceair bed in wisconsinbest air beds in wisconsincloud air inflatable bedbest cloud air inflatable bedsportable sealy air bedportables, sealy air bedsaluminum rv luggage racksaluminum made, rv luggage racksair bed form raisedbest air beds form raisedsupport equipments aircraftbest support equipments for aircraftsinformercials bed airbest, informercials bed airmattress sized air bedsbest mattress sized air bedantique doorknob identificationantique doorknob, identification tipstroubleshooting dvd playertroubleshooting with the dvd playerflat panel television lcd versus plasmaflat panel television, lcd versus plasma pic the bestcauses of economic recessionwhat are the causes of economic recessionbed air foam adjustablebed air adjustable foam hoof prints antique and unusual equestrian printshoof prints, antique equestrian printsbuy adjustable air bedbuy the best adjustable air bedsair bedscanadian storesair beds, cheap canadian stores