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Fanapt Alternatives

Last Updated on December 19, 2023 by Carol Gillette

Alternative to Meds Editorial Team
Medically Reviewed by Dr Samuel Lee MD

Rarely does a medical professional have the training and expertise — much less the time — to put together a comprehensive program for Fanapt alternatives in treatment.

Atypical antipsychotics like Fanapt may have been needed during a time of demonstrable crisis. However, one can examine the feasibility of Fanapt alternatives to avoid a lifetime of being medicated if that is not what the person wants.

Do Your Symptoms Require Fanapt?

successful fanapt alternatives
Alternative to Meds has been the expert on antipsychotic alternatives for over 15 years. We have published evidence regarding our success. Underlying issues may have been overlooked. There are many less toxic ways to help address symptoms than forever relying on drugs. We find that often, a prescribing physician may have overlooked certain medical or environmental conditions, especially as this drug is frequently prescribed during the height of a crisis. Once the person has stabilized somewhat, perhaps that can allow the time to consider a gradual transition to Fanapt alternatives. And, Fanapt alternatives can provide robust preventative measures before a crisis arises. 
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What Do We Mean by Fanapt Alternatives?

We are not talking about better drugs, or different drugs, or combining Fanapt® with more drugs, or electroconvulsive therapy. At Alternative to Meds Center, we offer our clients the opportunity to discover and treat the real underlying and contributing factors that threw a person over the edge into unmanageable psychosis, or other severe conditions that led to a physician prescribing a drug such as Fanapt.

Fanapt is licensed by the FDA to treat schizophrenia in adults.17 Fanapt is sometimes prescribed off-label for other conditions, such as treating anxiety, bipolar depression, MDD, ADD, dementia, eating disorders, insomnia, OCD, PTSD, Tourette’s syndrome, substance abuse, autism, and others.18-20

Unfortunately, physicians are not well-trained in the subject of alternatives to drugs, and even the FDA admits it doesn’t know how atypical antipsychotic medications actually “work,” but there are many effective alternatives to Fanapt and similar drugs, that may be preferred as they do not carry with them the risks of side effects, developing dependence, or lack of efficacy.

The clinical trials that preceded the approval of Fanapt were 4 weeks and 6 weeks in duration, and showed many concerning adverse effects. In animal studies, Fanapt use prompted higher incidences of stillbirths and fetal deformities, as well as cancerous tumors in breast, pituitary, and pancreatic tissues, and maternal deaths. In the elderly human population, risks included stroke and death which occurred more frequently than in the placebo population in the trial. Other findings in the trials showed decreased fertility rates, increased cardio and blood pressure impairments, neurological disorder symptoms, and many other adverse effects.17 To avoid these risks, one may wish to consider alternative treatments that carry no such adverse health consequences.

Effective Alternatives to Fanapt

Natural alternatives to Fanapt can include:  (see below for expanded descriptions for each)
  • natural alternatives to fanaptDiet modification
  • Monitor/control blood sugar
  • Test for and remedy nutrient deficiencies
  • Stay hydrated
  • Restore gut bacteria for a healthy microbiome
  • Supplementation
  • Avoid toxic exposures in work/home/school environments
  • Remove toxic accumulations from the body
  • Relaxation exercises
  • Physical exercise
  • Things to avoid:  sugar, caffeine, recreational drugs, alcohol
  • Improve sleep area — remove electronics, sources of blue light
  • Adequate exposure to sunlight, bright light therapy
  • CBT and other psychological counseling

Alternatives to Fanapt may not have been available at the time when a mental health crisis was in motion. After the crisis has passed, it may be desirable to consider some non-drug-based treatment options to address psychiatric symptoms, and these may also provide effective options as part of an overall holistic tapering program when considering coming off a drug such as Fanapt. Despite reviews finding no efficacy for doing so,20 Fanapt is frequently prescribed off-label for symptoms that may be better managed or eliminated through judicial use of non-drug-based treatments. The following are examples of non-prescription-based alternatives to Fanapt that may be able to address troublesome symptoms safely.

  • Change in diet:  choose organic (pesticide-free), eliminate chemical additives and processed foods, and also check for food allergies that can manifest as psychiatric symptoms and lead to misdiagnoses.13,21,22,27,50
  • Blood sugar:  control blood sugar spikes and crashes by avoiding high glycemic foods. Blood sugar management is an important aspect of reducing unwanted symptoms.3,15,16
  • Remedy vitamin/mineral/micronutrient deficiencies:  Common examples are vitamin D, magnesium.23,28-32
  • Drink water, stay hydrated:  Symptoms of dehydration and salt depletion are often misdiagnosed as psychiatric in nature.9,10
  • Supplementation:  support healthy microbiome and neurochemistry using probiotics, fermented foods, Kava, herbal teas, passionflower extract, GABA, taurine, and other amino acids as examples, selecting products that can meet individualized desired outcomes.23,28-32,36.43
  • Counseling:  CBT has been documented in studies as more therapeutic than pharmaceuticals. There are many forms of talk therapy to consider for your unique needs.24
  • Cleanse toxic accumulations:  sauna, chelation, and ionic foot baths are some options to purge these destructive agents from the body.1,4,5,25,26,42
  • Check for toxic mold exposure:  mold exposure can induce unwanted symptoms and is often overlooked before issuing a mental illness diagnosis.11,40,41
  • Relaxation therapies:  mindfulness meditation, yoga, Reiki, therapeutic massage, and acupuncture, have all been shown efficacious for unwanted symptoms like anxiety, tension, depression, and insomnia.33-35
  • Bright light therapy, exposure to sunlight, getting outdoors:  mental health benefits are near-immediate, and extremely long-lasting, without side effects of pharmaceutical drugs.38,39,44.
  • Exercise:  mental health benefits can be robust with even mild or moderate exercise daily or working up to several times a week.37
  • Insomnia and mental health symptoms such as psychosis, anxiety, and depression are often linked:  Take steps to clear out electronics and other disturbances in the bedroom. Melatonin, chamomile tea, and other supplements can help improve sleep quality and duration. Get a correctly-shaped pillow, comfortable mattress, and some black-out curtains, comfortable light-blocking eye protectors that may also help.2,23,44-47,49
  • Caffeine and other stimulants:  should be avoided at least 6 hours before bedtime, and strictly eliminated if insomnia, anxiety, or mania are issues of concern.48
  • Avoid personal care products with neurotoxic components:  including everything from cosmetics to cleaning products, off-gassing paint, and furniture, “air fresheners” in the home and workplace. These are important to avoid, especially as potentially thousands of chemicals may be causing havoc, especially as they are apt to be contacted daily, and over long periods of time.42
  • Quit recreational use of alcohol, cannabis, and cocaine. These and other drugs, even if prescribed, can induce symptoms resembling psychosis and mania, especially over long-term use. 6-8,12

Many safe alternatives to support natural mental health, such as those in the above list, are within easy grasp for most. Alternative to Meds Center has developed an amazing array of safe alternatives to Fanapt and similar drugs. Please contact us directly to find out more information about how these alternative treatments are used in-patient for our clients.

What Kinds of Things Commonly Trigger Psychotic Episodes?

gut microbiome brain connectionSome of the most common reasons for triggering an episode of psychosis range from experimenting with recreational drugs, to suddenly stopping drinking alcohol after long-term use, to being exposed to some kind of environmental toxin, lack of sleep, poor diet, stress overload, and even to medical conditions.

Usually, the causes of a sudden psychotic episode are the last thing on anyone’s mind when in the middle of such a crisis. But after the crisis has somewhat settled, this is an optimum time to start looking for those underlying reasons.

Once some of the potential culprits are discovered, these can be addressed for long-term and sustainable relief of symptoms. Importantly, many of these precursors to psychosis could be classified as treatable medical conditions.

Some of the most documented triggers for psychosis and other psychiatric symptoms are:
  • Mercury, lead, or other types of toxic exposures cause neurological dysfunction4
  • Dehydration 9
  • Low levels of sodium in the blood 10
  • Toxic molds in living quarters or workplace 11
  • Recreational drug use, i.e., cannabis, cocaine, etc.6,7
  • Prescribed drugs, i.e., Prozac®, Digoxin®, or others which may induce psychosis/ agitation/ violent mood swings, hallucinations, etc.1,8
  • Alcohol withdrawal 12
  • Exposure to environmental toxins, chemicals in cleaners and solvents, and arsenic, may cause acute psychosis and other psychiatric symptoms.5
  • Sleep deprivation, prolonged sleep loss 2
  • Nutritional deficiencies especially vitamin D and to a limited extent vitamin C, etc.13
  • Psychological stress, trauma 14
  • Medical conditions such as high or low blood sugar and diabetes 3
  • Poor diet leading to neurological impairment, mood dysregulation, or other negative outcomes 50

Pronouncement of a Mental Illness Does Not Equal a Cure

antipsychotic addiction recovery sedona drug rehabIt is well documented that physicians are in the vast majority trying their best to help their patients. However, let us remember that pronouncing a mental disorder label does not actually fix what is wrong. As in the case of so many of our clients at Alternative to Meds Center, once the reason(s) underlying symptoms are discovered, and after addressing the cause(s), labels have little relevance. Correcting the diet, removing neurotoxins from the body, reducing stress levels through psychological counseling, and other actions are much more important and could be absolutely critical to the recovery (tapering and withdrawal) process after antipsychotic medications.

Let’s consider a surprisingly overlooked example:  a person can go into a hallucinatory state due to crashing blood sugar levels.3 Consequently, the problem will never be reversed or corrected by sedating the person with Fanapt or other drugs just to make their symptoms invisible. However, the underlying medical condition, hypoglycemia, would also remain invisible and would continue to put the person at risk both mentally and physically. We must always search for underlying causes and treat them properly when they are discovered.

Find Out More About Alternative to Meds Center

Call us for more information about the thorough testing and treatment programs the center offers, and how we support natural mental health. Fanapt alternatives delivered in a compassionate, pristine inpatient setting under medical supervision could be the answer you or a loved one has been needing to find for a long time.


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14. van Winkel R, Stefanis NC, Myin-Germeys I. Psychosocial stress and psychosis. A review of the neurobiological mechanisms and the evidence for gene-stress interaction. Schizophr Bull. 2008;34(6):1095-1105. doi:10.1093/schbul/sbn101[cited 2021 Nov 24]

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Originally Published Mar 23, 2020 by Diane Ridaeus

This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Samuel Lee

Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente.  He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

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