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Saphris Alternatives

This entry was posted in Antipsychotic on by .
Medically Reviewed

Last Updated on November 30, 2021 by Diane Ridaeus

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

In the main, today’s medical professionals are not trained or encouraged to provide comprehensive or reliable Saphris alternatives. Medical school does not cover the subject. Alternative to Meds Center does have this expertise and does have the trained medical staff to provide this help.

Antipsychotics such as Saphris® (generic asenapine) are sometimes needed during a very real crisis — but need not automatically result in having to continue taking heavy drugs for a whole lifetime. There are other entirely workable Saphris alternative choices for the treatment of schizophrenia.

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The Need for Alternatives to Saphris and Other Psychotropic Drugs

Allopathic physicians generally first prescribe medication before much investigation is carried out. This is understandable in cases of a bonafide mental health crisis that needs to be brought under control without delay. Saphris is an antipsychotic medication prescribed for schizophrenia in adults. It comes in a sublingual tablet that dissolves under the tongue, and in a transdermal patch sold under the name Secuado®. Sometimes the medication is found not to produce the desired results. Lack of efficacy is not uncommon, and side effects are sadly very common, such as akathisia, oral hypoesthesia (total loss of sensation in the mouth), extrapyramidal symptoms including tardive dyskinesia, Parkinsons-like symptoms, rashes, weight gain, dizziness, drowsiness, cardiac issues, and others.1,6 Even after some time has passed, the opportunity may not have been made available to explore Saphris alternative treatments where the medication was not easily tolerated or effective. Fortunately, every day we are seeing more and more physicians and researchers turning their attention to alternatives to Saphris. Holistic doctors prefer treating their patients in non-toxic ways before prescribing medications such as Saphris, allowing their patients to successfully reach their health goals with minimal or no meds. Though the trend is slowly changing, there are few physicians who are equipped with knowledge and familiarity enough to provide comprehensive help with Saphris alternatives. Alternative to Meds Center can help.

Saphris Alternatives can Reduce Side Effects of Drugs

Side effects of antipsychotic drugs can become ruinous and may negate any perceived benefits.  Alternative to Meds Center specializes in providing a broad range of non-drug-based mental health treatment options and solutions. At our inpatient center, Saphris alternatives involve treatment plans that are carefully designed, taking into account the needs of each individual. Clinical staff design the client’s program based on the labs and other vital information that is carefully gathered. In the majority of cases, treatment plans combine safe drug weaning or reduction, sometimes to zero, with many other treatments to support the process. In these ways, the program helps reduce and even eliminate altogether lingering drug side effects.

What are some Saphris alternatives used in treatment?

Talk therapy is an effective way to help stabilize and calm a person from an agitated or tense state. Guided counseling can help identify and prevent triggers from knocking a person down over and over again. CBT is a specific genre of counseling that can help patients create new strategies and rethink past negative patterns for improved satisfaction in life. Such counseling therapies can give the client a pathway to gradually create a much more complete internal peace. Additional alternatives to Saphris with proven efficacy are shown in the list below. 

Saphris Alternatives Include:

  • CBT (cognitive behavioral counseling) 7
  • DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy) 8
  • Upgrade the diet to omit sugars, refined carbs, saturated fats, and do consume omega-3 fatty acids 9
  • Test for and resolve nutritional deficiencies 18
  • Mild exercise, aerobic exercise, Tai Chi 11,19
  • Equine-assisted therapy, yoga, mindfulness meditation, mild and calming therapies 12,13
  • Removal of toxic accumulations, avoid further exposure to molds, neurotoxins* 10,14
  • Peer support, social skills training 19,20

*Published research has shown toxic exposure (i.e. to lead, neurotoxic chemicals in pesticides, chemicals in food processing, cleaning products, etc.) can lead to psychiatric symptoms such as psychosis.14 Mold spores can also be neurotoxic according to a study published in “Toxicology and Industrial Health” that found water-damaged buildings were linked with neurologic and neuropsychiatric symptoms that mimic dementia, movement disorders, and other symptoms of neurologic damage.10

Nutrition and Other Stabilizing Therapies for Mental Wellness

holistic stabilizing therapiesAlternatives to Saphris can be stabilizing and enhance overall results, synergistically helping to bring about successful treatment outcomes. A core component of stabilizing each client involves dietary changes and supplementation, both designed to this end.4 Additionally, daily and weekly scheduled activities include exercise, yoga, massage, biotransformational sauna, equine therapy, aromatherapy, colon hydrotherapy, acupuncture, mindfulness meditation, nebulized glutathione, correction of the diet, neurotransmitter rehabilitation,  IV and NAD therapy, and much more.

The world over, research shows that identifying and repairing nutritional deficiencies produce some quite astounding results. Studies have documented there is a direct link between certain deficits and unwanted symptoms including depression, anxiety, psychosis, and others. Identifying and fixing deficits can produce amazing results all on their own.2

Peer support and learning social skills in a community atmosphere have shown greater adherence to treatment and significant easing of symptoms in schizophrenic persons.20.   

The compassionate community atmosphere at Alternative to Meds is often remarked on by our clients, who gain confidence as symptoms drop away and quality of life increases. Combining a comprehensive set of therapies like the above examples especially within a safe and compassionate inpatient setting can have a therapeutically synergistic effect, providing gentle yet effective, non-harmful and sustainable treatment outcomes. 

Purging Neurotoxins from the Body

Saphris alternative treatments include purging toxic residues from environmental sources, food or air pollution, accumulations of heavy metals, and other sources. Everything from pesticides to food additives can have disastrous effects on mental health. Purging these from the body produces profound positive changes in mood, sleep, energy levels, and other benefits.15

Psychosis and Overproduction of Dopamine

Much research has found a common denominator of experiencing psychosis or psychotic episodes. Namely, excessive dopamine. Too much dopamine in the system can cause everything in the environment to overstimulate the person. As a result, the overstimulation produces a manic state, which is also called mania or psychosis.16

What precipitates the overproduction of dopamine?

stabilize brain chemistryOne example, the presence of neurotoxins stimulates the overproduction of dopamine, leading to psychoses and other symptoms.5 We also know this overstimulation can cause mania or psychosis. While more research is needed, we are also beginning to learn how a genetic problem may play a part and how precise supplementation can mitigate some of these conditions.3

Testing can determine when toxicity is present. Following testing, the focus can shift to cleansing out these toxic elements. Orthomolecular medicine, food-based nutritional therapy along with supplementation, and physical therapies like massage, Reiki, and others, all work together to assist the process. A major goal is to stabilize or normalize the person’s neurochemistry using these natural and food-based nutritional treatments. Many other forms of supporting therapies enhance recovery, including amino acid therapy, peer support, personal training, classes on understanding healthy neurochemistry, self-care principles, Equine Therapy, and much more.4

Find Out More Information Today

Please, if you have been looking for a treatment plan that does not focus on toxic drugs, give us a call and get a detailed description of how the program works, as well as insurance or other questions you may have. Drugs can help in a crisis. However, they can only temporarily mask symptoms. So, we invite your call, and you can talk with us and find out more about tailored tapering and withdrawal treatment plans we provide to help you or a loved one with safe, gentle, and effective Saphris alternatives.


  1. FDA label Saphris (asenapine) sublingual tablets [approval 2009] [cited 2021 Dec 1]
  2. NICM Health Research Institute, Western Sydney, Nutrition May Play a Key Role In Early Psychosis Treatment. Western Sydney University Press [INTERNET] 2017 Nov 2017 [cited 2020 Dec 1]
  3. O’Donovan, MC, Craddock, NJ, Owen, MJ, Genetics of psychosis: insights from across the genome. Hum. Genet. & National Library of Medicine [online] 2009 [cited 2021 Dec 1]
  4. Seredova M, Maskova A, Mrstinova M, Volicer L. “Effects of Hippotherapy on Well-Being of Patients With Schizophrenia” Arch Neurosci. 2016; 3(4):e39213. doi: 10.5812/archneurosci.39213. [cited 2021 Dec 1]
  5. Brown JS, “Introduction: An Update on Psychiatric Effects of Toxic Exposures.” Psychiatric Times Vol 33 Issue 9 [online] 2016 Sep 30 [cited 2021 Dec 1]
  6. Citrome L. Asenapine for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder: a review of the efficacy and safety profile for this newly approved sublingually absorbed second-generation antipsychotic. Int J Clin Pract. 2009 Dec;63(12):1762-84. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-1241.2009.02228.x. Epub 2009 Oct 14. PMID: 19840150. [cited 2021 Dec 1]
  7. Rathod S, Phiri P, Kingdon D. Cognitive behavioral therapy for schizophrenia. Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2010 Sep;33(3):527-36. doi: 10.1016/j.psc.2010.04.009. PMID: 20599131. [cited 2021 Dec 1]
  8. CAMH Patient information letter [online] [cited 2021 Dec 1]
  9.  Peet M, Nutrition and schizophrenia – beyond omega-3 fatty acids [online] [cited 2021 Dec 1]
  10. Empting LD. Neurologic and neuropsychiatric syndrome features of mold and mycotoxin exposure. Toxicol Ind Health. 2009 Oct-Nov;25(9-10):577-81. doi: 10.1177/0748233709348393. PMID: 19854819. [cited 2021 Dec 1]
  11. Girdler SJ, Confino JE, Woesner ME. Exercise as a Treatment for Schizophrenia: A Review. Psychopharmacol Bull. 2019;49(1):56-69.[cited 2021 Dec 1]
  12. Sheng JL, Yan Y, Yang XH, Yuan TF, Cui DH. The effects of Mindfulness Meditation on hallucination and delusion in severe schizophrenia patients with more than 20 years’ medical history. CNS Neurosci Ther. 2019;25(1):147-150. doi:10.1111/cns.13067 [cited 2021 Dec 1]
  13. Bangalore NG, Varambally S. Yoga therapy for Schizophrenia. Int J Yoga. 2012 Jul;5(2):85-91. doi: 10.4103/0973-6131.98212. PMID: 22869990; PMCID: PMC3410202. [cited 2021 Dec 1]   
  14. Brown JS, Introduction:  An Update on Psychiatric Effects of Toxic Exposures [Psychiatric Times Volume 33 Issue 9, 2016 Sept 30] [cited 2021 Dec 1] 
  15. Genuis SJ. Toxic causes of mental illness are overlooked. Neurotoxicology. 2008 Nov;29(6):1147-9. doi: 10.1016/j.neuro.2008.06.005. Epub 2008 Jun 24. PMID: 18621076. [cited 2021 Dec 1]
  16. Kesby JP, Eyles DW, McGrath JJ, Scott JG. Dopamine, psychosis and schizophrenia: the widening gap between basic and clinical neuroscienceTransl Psychiatry. 2018;8(1):30. Published 2018 Jan 31. doi:10.1038/s41398-017-0071-9  [cited 2021 Dec 1]
  17. Tost H, Alam T, Meyer-Lindenberg A. Dopamine and psychosis: theory, pathomechanisms and intermediate phenotypes. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2010 Apr;34(5):689-700. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2009.06.005. Epub 2009 Jun 24. PMID: 19559045; PMCID: PMC2838993.  [cited 2021 Dec 1]
  18. Rao TS, Asha MR, Ramesh BN, Rao KS. Understanding nutrition, depression and mental illnessesIndian J Psychiatry. 2008;50(2):77-82. doi:10.4103/0019-5545.42391 [cited 2021 Dec 1]
  19. Kang R, Wu Y, Li Z, Jiang J, Gao Q, Yu Y, Gao K, Yan Y, He Y. Effect of Community-Based Social Skills Training and Tai-Chi Exercise on Outcomes in Patients with Chronic Schizophrenia: A Randomized, One-Year Study. Psychopathology. 2016;49(5):345-355. doi: 10.1159/000448195. Epub 2016 Sep 2. PMID: 27584836. [cited 2021 Dec 1]
  20. Guo X, Zhai J, Liu Z, Fang M, Wang B, Wang C, Hu B, Sun X, Lv L, Lu Z, Ma C, He X, Guo T, Xie S, Wu R, Xue Z, Chen J, Twamley EW, Jin H, Zhao J. Effect of antipsychotic medication alone vs combined with psychosocial intervention on outcomes of early-stage schizophrenia: A randomized, 1-year study. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2010 Sep;67(9):895-904. doi: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2010.105. PMID: 20819983; PMCID: PMC3632506. [cited 2021 Dec 1]

Originally Published Mar 24, 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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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.

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