Below, we have summarized key points selected from numerous clinical studies on Lybalvi withdrawal. Lybalvi is a new kid on the block in the antipsychotic medication class. In the middle of a mental health crisis such as an episode of psychosis, or a diagnosis of Bipolar, there typically isn’t a lot of time to consider options outside of medication. After the crisis has passed, perhaps this is the time to re-evaluate treatment plans and strategies, especially where the use of Lybalvi is associated with the emergence of new and troubling symptoms.
Another potential problem is misdiagnosis which is notoriously common, about 69%, according to a survey published in the Journal of Psychiatry (Edgmont).6 While there may be a time and place for antipsychotics, that may not always necessitate a lifetime of heavy medication. But coming off medication has to be done properly or one might end up back in the soup.
You will want to locate a physician who has the familiarity and confidence in proper Lybalvi withdrawal and discuss if this is a viable option for you. Never abruptly stop taking Lybalvi. Seek help and guidance to come off safely.
Do Your Symptoms Require Lybalvi?
Alternative to Meds has had a near 20-years-long mission to provide safe holistic withdrawal assistance to our clients and a pathway to natural mental health. We are a nurturing, pristine facility with over 40 licensed professionals equipped with compassion and a profound understanding of the protocols that can facilitate your journey to drastically reduced or entirely drug-free natural mental health. We invite you to view our historical success rates from an independently researched source. There is hope. We are here to help.
15 Years Experience by Professionals Who Understand Your Journey.
Opioid receptor blockers are typically used short-term to reverse an opiate overdose. These medications are also used longer-term for opiate and alcohol dependency. Drugs such as naloxone and naltrexone are drugs sometimes used to block the effects of opioids or alcohol as part of a strategy for addiction recovery. According to Lybalvi`s drugmaker, samidorphan was combined with olanzapine to help prevent the substantial weight gain which is typical with olanzapine. Although Lybalvi’s opioid receptor blocking is thought to reduce fat accumulation, it is strongly contra-indicated in patients concurrently using opioids or while coming off opioids. Lybalvi can precipitate severe opioid cessation symptoms in persons dependent on opioids. Because it does not enhance the reward centers, Lybalvi is not considered a drug that is prone to abuse.7
Olanzapine and Lybalvi are similar in their efficacy and safety profiles in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia or BiPolar 1 disorder. Lybalvi is associated with excess sleepiness, dry mouth, and weight gain, which was found to be 2% less than olanzapine alone in drug trials. Lybalvi and olanzapine both increased appetite, but Lybalvi to a lesser degree. Olanzapine is structurally very similar to clozapine, and similarities in withdrawal have been cited in clinical case reports. Some Lybalvi withdrawals and drug adverse effects are quite similar. It is the timing of when these present that can help distinguish whether they are symptoms of the cessation process. The withdrawal symptoms (even after a slight reduction) are often misdiagnosed as relapse or some new mental illness that is emerging. The temporal relationship will help inform which it is. The following list of Lybalvi withdrawal symptoms may not be complete, as there are limited studies available at the current time.
Lybalvi withdrawal symptoms can include:
Patients taking opioids and interrupting or stopping Lybalvi are especially at risk for overdose and hospitalization if opioids are continued or resumed during Lybalvi withdrawal.8
Infants born to mothers taking Lybalvi in the third trimester are prone to agitation, tremors, breathing difficulties, stiffness in muscles, decreased muscle strength, feeding disorder, and excessive sleepiness. Some infants require lengthy hospitalization to recover.
Withdrawal-emergent psychosis, particularly if Lybalvi withdrawal is abrupt, can be more severe than pretreatment featuring illusions, hallucinations, and catatonia.9,11,17
Spasmodic movements of the eye, mostly upward but also downward or lateral, may last for minutes or hours.10
Paresthesia: burning, prickling, itching, numbness, crawling feeling under the skin13
Agitation, anxiety, tension, restlessness 16,17
Withdrawal-emergent parkinsonism featuring unstable posture, gait impairment, shaking, tremors, rigidity, and other impairments believed associated with dopamine dysregulation.15,19
Consider a Holistic Approach to Lybalvi Withdrawal
No one, especially someone in a weakened and fragile state should have to maneuver through Lybalvi withdrawal alone. The withdrawal process must be done very slowly. That is of paramount importance. But utilizing holistic strategies can provide a multitude of ways to greatly ease the process and make it less arduous.
At Alternative to Meds Center, we assist Lybalvi withdrawal with an abundance of holistic therapies that can soften and ease what might otherwise be unwieldy and difficult to tolerate. Coming off antipsychotic medications must be done precisely and gradually to overcome the changes related to regaining dopaminergic stability. Done in the context of the natural restoration of balance, the process becomes much easier to tolerate and less subject to erratic or unpredictable events.
Dopamine hypersensitivity is the technical name for the wild reactions that can occur in antipsychotic withdrawal as the dampening effects of drug therapy begin to lift. Just as a driver needs to carefully descend a steep slippery slope by applying adequate braking, neurotransmitter rehabilitation can be the ‘brakes’ that provide safety and confidence. At Alternative to Meds Center, many strategies help to stabilize eating, sleeping, and general mood before any dose reductions are made so that stability is the focus right from the start. Orthomolecular medicine as well as many therapeutic and evidence-based holistic therapies are used in this process.
Tips for Planning Lybalvi Withdrawal
There may be a great need for time to rest and recuperate without the pressures of work or home life. Inpatient treatment affords this time and space. If possible, plan on inpatient treatment but choose a facility that understands your goals and that you feel confident in the approach that will be used. Ask questions freely before you begin, and it may help to ask someone you trust to guide you in selecting a program you feel is a right fit for you.
Coming off heavy medication needs a group effort. Before starting the process, one should consider the advantages of putting a contract for safety in place. This is sometimes called a Ulysses contract, where you and your care partners make an agreement, in writing, and signed by you, so that if you suddenly veer from your treatment goals or decide not to follow the doctor`s orders, you understand hospitalization or the police may need to be involved for your safety and those around you. Spiraling out of control can thus be prevented by the use of such a contract, to help you keep yourself safe.20
Cautions and Concerns About Lybalvi Withdrawal
One of the biggest concerns about coming off medication is going too fast. At Alternative to Meds Center, you have over 40 professionals to coordinate with and ensure that the process is going at a tolerable and comfortable rate. Daily consultations keep your progress well-monitored so that any microchanges can be implemented easily and without delay. A wide variety of therapeutic, relaxation, and recreational opportunities as well as peer support programs are in place during your stay.
It may be wise to consider a facility like Alternative to Meds Center, which has direct access to hospitalization in the rare case that it may be needed, for any unexpected medical situations that may arise.
Many persons can eventually eliminate antipsychotic drug therapy. It may not be possible for every person to entirely eliminate their medication in a few months. We understand this and aim to reduce the dosage as much as possible while maintaining a desirable quality of life, and will coordinate with your medical caregiver so that when you return home, you can continue your program under their care to reach your end goal.
What is Lybalvi Prescribed to Treat
According to the FDA drug label, Lybalvi is approved to treat schizophrenia in persons over the age of 13, and Bipolar 1 in adults. As with all medications, off-label uses of antipsychotics are not uncommon. Some known circumstances include eating disorders, cases of extreme agitation, chemo-induced nausea, and delirium. It should be noted that Lybalvi is contraindicated in persons who are elderly and suffer from dementia, and also for anyone currently using or dependent upon opioids.2,21
Best Holistic Help at Alternative to Meds Center
We have a profound understanding and appreciation of the effort that is required for successfully achieving natural mental health. The journey can be long. But it does not need to be unduly arduous. Many of our staff have personal experience in transitioning to drug-free mental wellness and this provides them with confidence and compassion to help others reach their health goals.
We welcome your inquiries and questions, and we will do our very best to guide and help you as you are in the decision-making phase of your treatment planning. You may have an interest in finding out about insurance and other details which we are happy to assist with. We are here to help. Contact us today for all the information you would like to receive on our world-class, truly exceptional Lybalvi withdrawal programs.
11. Chouinard G, Samaha AN, Chouinard VA, Peretti CS, Kanahara N, Takase M, Iyo M. Antipsychotic-Induced Dopamine Supersensitivity Psychosis: Pharmacology, Criteria, and Therapy. Psychother Psychosom. 2017;86(4):189-219. doi: 10.1159/000477313. Epub 2017 Jun 24. PMID: 28647739. [cited 2022 Oct 13]
17. Keks N, Schwartz D, Hope J. Stopping and switching antipsychotic drugs. Aust Prescr. 2019 Oct;42(5):152-157. doi: 10.18773/austprescr.2019.052. Epub 2019 Oct 1. PMID: 31631928; PMCID: PMC6787301. [cited 2022 Oct 13]
21. Thomas K, Saadabadi A. Olanzapine. [Updated 2022 May 2]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK532903/ [cited 2022 Oct 13]
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.
Diane is an avid supporter and researcher of natural mental health strategies. Diane received her medical writing and science communication certification through Stanford University and has published over 3 million words on the topics of holistic health, addiction, recovery, and alternative medicine. She has proudly worked with the Alternative to Meds Center since its inception and is grateful for the opportunity to help the founding members develop this world-class center that has helped so many thousands regain natural mental health.
Medical Disclaimer: 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.