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Invega Tapering

This entry was posted in Antipsychotic on by .

Last Updated on May 12, 2021 by Carol Gillette

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Alternative to Meds Editorial Team
Written by Diane Ridaeus Published Feb 12, 2020
Medically Reviewed by Dr Samuel Lee MD

Rarely will you find a medical professional who’s equipped with the expertise to competently navigate Invega tapering, or weaning & titration programs for antipsychotics in general.

Antipsychotics like Invega, though perhaps properly prescribed during a time of demonstrable crisis, may not always mean that a lifetime of being medicated is justifiable as the best way forward.

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Invega Tapering the Safer, Easier Way

Invega tapering done within a nurturing setting such as Alternative to Meds Center is much easier than trying to face what may feel brutal and defeating especially without excellent personal support. Invega users do not have to suffer the often fierce symptoms of weaning off Invega. We have clinically proven effective Invega alternatives to make side effects and symptoms a part of your past. Alternative to Meds Center has shown that there are other ways to ignite feeling good and engaged in life other than mind-numbing drugs. Done properly, Invega tapering and withdrawal can be done with little discomfort, and many benefits to overall health.

How Do You Wean Off Invega Safely?

invega schizophrenia bipolarThe generic name for Invega is paliperidone and is also available under other brand names, and in a time-release or injectable form, which may introduce some added complications for Invega tapering. It is one of the atypical antipsychotic medications that have become widely used for treating schizophrenia, schizoaffective and bipolar related mania, episodes of psychosis, and other critical conditions.

Like all members of this class of medication, there are limitations and risks. Untrained physicians may not be equipped or able to completely disclose these details to their patients, due to time restraints or because they just don’t know about them.

Often, the decision to begin taking a neuroleptic drug such as Invega is done under extreme pressure, without a lot of time to study the matter fully. After the crisis passes, one may want to take the opportunity to study the problem in more depth, as part of planning for long-term treatment and improved health. Invega titration should always be slow and gradual. There is much to learn about the process. We hope the following information useful and helpful in this quest.

Invega Tapering Treatment Results Overview

As mentioned above, doctors prescribe medications such as Invega in a time of desperate need. For example, to bring a critical situation such as acute psychosis safely and immediately under control. Options can seem extremely limited at such a juncture. However, researchers have done studies showing that antipsychotics may not always be the best route for extended or long-term use, as will be discussed further below.

It is clear that the more one can learn about medication effects, the better one is equipped to deal with them. Just as important is the knowledge that drug-free treatment methods can lead to a sustainable recovery. Truly, a person can equip themselves adequately to provide a pathway for a bettered quality of life. In this way, one can begin to achieve very real overall improvements in one’s mental and physical health.1

A study was run in the Netherlands that reported on a seven-year follow-up that persons who had suffered a schizophrenic or schizophrenic-related disorder who had discontinued their medication had achieved twice the functional recovery rate as compared to those who were still on maintenance medication treatment plans for the same time period.2

Since Invega or similar medications may not be the most efficacious choice for long-term treatment in all cases, learning about safe and gentle methods for Invega tapering may be a much more beneficial option to consider.

Concerns With Invega

tardive dyskinesia side effectsAntipsychotic drugs are most concerning because they cause significant side effects over long-term usage. The drug can cause tardive dyskinesia, heightened blood sugar levels, weight gain, high cholesterol, Parkinson’s disease or Parkinson’s-like conditions, dystonia. As well, the drug may precipitate or aggravate certain heart problems such as cardiac arrest, stroke, long QT syndrome. This type of drug can cause many other potential side effects. So, this will negatively impact a person’s health and quality of life.

When the initial crisis of a psychotic episode or other mental health event has passed, a person may consider Invega tapering to avoid these types of risks. For example, tardive dyskinesia is widely considered persistent and even permanent once it has developed. Weaning off Invega and similar drugs should be considered early rather than after long-term use to avoid negative health impacts.

Tardive dyskinesia is not a disease but a side effect of neuroleptic medications. There are more than 50 drugs that are known to induce tardive dyskinesia, a great proportion of which are in the class of antipsychotics, such as Invega.3

How Antipsychotic Drugs Work – Known or Unknown?

There are many theories about how drugs like Invega work and how they affect neurology, but this study is far from complete. One factor that is thought likely is that metabolites from antipsychotic drugs can be toxic to human neurochemistry and injurious to neurons. Studies have been carried out to find out more about this possible antipsychotic effect on the brain.5

stabilize brain chemistryAntipsychotics can affect several types of neurotransmitters and their receptors. Regarding dopamine, for example, the drug is thought to create hypersensitive dopamine receptors along the CNS pathways while concurrently setting up a chronic dopamine blockade that is also medication-induced. This can cause a cascade of other responses including oxidative stress and cell death.

Because of these types of manipulations of neurochemistry, the person’s moods and other important body and organ functions are also affected by the drug and must also be monitored during Invega weaning and titration. Some of these effects may be helpful in reducing psychosis or symptoms of mania, but some can be damaging indeed, where the drug is continued for an extended time.

Sometimes it is clear that this damage is reversible, and sometimes (20%) it is observed to be permanent when the medication is taken for an extended period of time, and especially where certain genetic factors may also affect how well or how poorly the body itself is equipped to protect or repair itself from these drug-induced effects. More careful study is needed on this topic as the problem of reversing persisting antipsychotic drug side-effects has not yet been satisfactorily understood or resolved in the medical-scientific community. As harsh as it may sound to some, patients are still being asked to play the role of guinea pig in the drug industry game.4

Alternative to Meds Center Offers Healthy and Safe Invega Tapering

Perhaps the initial mental health emergency that you or a loved one has suffered has passed and your attention has now turned to the next steps that may help to achieve bettered mental and physical health, and learn the most proven steps for how to prevent relapse.

Please contact us for more information about our educational steps within the program for self-care and neurochemistry support. Alternative to Meds Center has developed a nurturing inpatient Invega tapering program for those looking for ways to safely titrate from or even discontinue neuroleptic medications and to improve mental health naturally, providing another option besides relying on prescription drugs for a lifetime.

1.Shrivastava et al.,  “Atypical antipsychotics usage in long-term follow-up of first episode schizophrenia”  2012 Jul, US National Library of Medicine and Indian Journal of Psychiatry [cited 2020 Dec 2]

2. Insel T, “Antipsychotics: Taking the Long View” (Thomas Insel, former NIMH Director) 2013 Aug, National Institute for Mental Health [cited 2020 Dec 2]

3. Klawans et al., “The reversibility of “permanent” tardive dyskinesia”  1984, US National Library of Medicine [cited 2020 Dec 2]

4. Cornett et al., “Medicine-Induced Tardive Dyskinesia: A Review and Update” National Institute for Mental Health [cited 2020 Dec 2]

5. Crowley et al., “Brain Levels of the Neurotoxic Pyridinium Metabolite HPP+ and Extrapyramidal Symptoms in Haloperidol-Treated Mice.” Neurotoxicology 2013 Dec., PMID24107597 [cited 2020 Dec 2]

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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Nothing on this Website is intended to be taken as medical advice. The information provided on the website is intended to encourage, not replace, direct patient-health professional relationships. Always consult with your doctor before altering your medications. Adding nutritional supplements may alter the effect of medication. Any medication changes should be done only after proper evaluation and under medical supervision.

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