Rarely can you find one medical professional, let alone a whole team, who has the expertise needed to find workable and effective olanzapine alternatives and for planning long-term treatment.
Olanzapine alternatives at Alternative to Meds Center are well worth considering, given olanzapine’s (Zyprexa’s) potential toxicity, which can cause dramatic side effects and rarely, even death.
Does Your Diagnosis
For a decade and a half now, Alternative to Meds Center has led the way on antipsychotic withdrawal, antipsychotic alternatives, strategies, and treatments. See our published evidence describing the long-term success rates of our clients. In the midst of an acute crisis situation, the need for sedation may be the overarching factor. But prior, and post-crisis is an opportunity to check for overlooked medical conditions, or other factors that, if addressed, could prevent another crisis in the future.
15 Years Experience by Professionals Who Understand Your Journey.
A prescription for antipsychotics, even if indicated during a time of unquestionable crisis, does not always mean that a person has no other options besides remaining medicated for life. Olanzapine users should not have to suffer drastic and harsh symptoms when olanzapine alternatives are available and less harmful. We have clinically proven ways to reduce, soften and eliminate adverse effects and symptoms so that they can fade away. Alternative to Meds Center has shown that there are many other techniques that result in feeling good, and once again engaged in life. We provide our clients with proven olanzapine alternatives to this end.
Olanzapine Alternatives vs Long-Term Antipsychotic Use?
In general, atypical antipsychotics are not recommended for long-term use once any initial crisis point has well passed.
For instance, once a psychotic episode has ceased, may be an opportunity to gently transition to less toxic treatment measures.
Olanzapine clinical trials were very short (3-4 weeks) even for the approved uses of the drug, whereas long-term use was not well explored in any of the pre-approval trials done on olanzapine (brand name Zyprexa).1
Risks of Extended Use of Antipsychotic Medications
Extended use of antipsychotic medications can increase the risk of diabetes, tremors, movement disorders like tardive dyskinesia, akathisia, heart disease, NMS (neuroleptic malignant syndrome) and many other side effects that can begin to significantly outweigh any perceived benefits of drug therapy.
These are good reasons to think about alternative treatments where olanzapine or similar drugs do not produce the desired results in treatment, and where side effects have made life difficult.
Antipsychotics and Off-Label Uses
For elderly dementia patients, olanzapine was once promoted “off label” for dementia-related behavior problems, but this practice has largely disappeared since too many deaths resulted. A $1.4 billion fine was imposed on the manufacturer, Eli Lilly, for their ad campaign that ran from 1999 to 2003, that targeted elderly rest homes. In addition to the fines, the FDA put a black box label on the packaging of olanzapine or brand name Zyprexa, warning of increased mortality when prescribed to elderly dementia patients.2,3
Off-label use of virtually all of the atypical antipsychotics has become all too common, and in fact, reportedly doubled from 1995 and 2008. Drugs like olanzapine, paliperidone, Clozaril, etc., are prescribed for many issues besides the FDA approved ones, i.e., to treat schizophrenia, bipolar mania, and psychosis. Off-label uses include the treatment of anxiety (due to the drug’s sedating effects), depression, insomnia, substance abuse, personality disorders, PTSD, eating disorders, and also OCD.4
Olanzapine Alternatives for Schizophrenia and Other Conditions
Whether or not one was prescribed for treatment of schizophrenia or for insomnia, the efficacy of using atypical antipsychotics for off-label use has not shown to be significant enough to discount alternative treatments which can be extremely effective for such a wide array of disorders and symptoms.
For anyone prescribed antipsychotics for schizophrenia, psychosis, mania, etc. there may have been a dire need to dampen the symptoms during a time of crisis. However, once the crisis has passed, it may be advantageous to consider alternative treatments that will produce better results and less harm for sustainable mental stability and wellness without heavy drugs.
Diet as an Alternative Therapy
One example of alternative treatments found effective for schizophrenic symptoms is upgrading one’s diet.
Studies have shown a dramatic reduction in auditory hallucinations, a dramatic reduction in delusions, and many other desirable outcomes from changing the diet alone.5,5,7
There are many other alternative therapies and strategies besides adding more drugs to one’s daily regimen.
Alternatives to olanzapine include:
Improved or modified diet.
CBT for depression, anxiety.
Other forms of cognitive therapy for schizophrenia can be explored.*
Seek guidance from a qualified naturopath or other physicians for nutritional therapies that have proven helpful* for the reduction of symptoms of psychosis or schizophrenia.
*A study in the Lancet showed CT significantly reduced psychiatric symptoms and stated it was “a safe and acceptable alternative for people with schizophrenia spectrum disorders who have decided not to take antipsychotic drugs.”
Notes on Coming Off Antipsychotic Medication
However easy it may have been to begin taking medication, coming off a drug like olanzapine may not always be easy to do unless informed help and guidance is available, and in any case, should never be done abruptly.5
Always seek guidance and competent help for planning your gradual discontinuation of heavy pharmaceutical drugs such as olanzapine, or similar antipsychotics.
Alternative to Meds Center Offers Olanzapine Alternatives
At Alternative to Meds Center, we specialize in getting to the root causes of symptoms a person is troubled with and seeks to remedy these using scientific, effective, and safe methods. Along with safe tapering programs, protocols are used to eradicate the reasons for someone’s insomnia, or eating disorders, etc. In documenting our successes, we know how well our clients have responded to sound and natural (non-drug-based) protocols. Our facility is beautiful, relaxing, and welcoming and our clients appreciate the nurturing atmosphere and support provided.
Rather than being stuck on heavy medications for a lifetime, there are olanzapine alternatives that can be accessed at Alternative to Meds for relief and we encourage anyone interested in finding out more about our inpatient programs to contact us.
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.