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Zyprexa Alternatives

This entry was posted in Antipsychotic and tagged on by .
Medically Reviewed Fact Checked

Last Updated on January 9, 2024 by Carol Gillette

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

Zyprexa alternatives have become a hot topic — a greater awareness is emerging of diverse choices for effective mental health treatments. It may be possible to eliminate the suffocating side effects of antipsychotic medications and feel confident using alternative drug-free options for a balanced, satisfying life.

Alternative to Meds Center provides effective Zyprexa alternatives treatment that can help those who want to come off this medication safely and start living their lives more fully.

Do Your Symptoms Require Zyprexa?
successful zyprexa alternatives
Antipsychotic alternatives are alive and well at Alternative to Meds Center. We have accumulated and published evidence of our client’s consistent success, a success that lasts long-term after finishing their programs with us. Whether a medical condition or some other contributing issue was overlooked, we work to get to the bottom of what is causing unwanted symptoms and handle them without resorting to prescribing heavy medication when alternatives can be just as or more effective, minus the side effects.
This video details the recovery journey of a young man who was basically a throwaway in mental institutions. He had been hospitalized so many times that there seemed no hope. His mother still believed in his potential, and amazingly got him to ATMC. He was able to dump the diagnosis of schizophrenic, and in the 10 years since graduating has been an accomplished book author and international speaker.
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Why Natural Zyprexa Alternatives?

When Zyprexa® (olanzapine) is initially prescribed and administered, there is no real way to tell beforehand how a patient will react. Possibly, this medication may not be sufficient to control a patient’s symptoms. That can be a prelude to the hopelessness that there is no help at all. Ultimately, side effects can become too overwhelming to continue treatment. Some side effects can even be potentially lethal, such as gastric hypomobility, or shutting down the intestines which can be life-threatening.1,2 Weight gain, diabetes, and other reactions are clearly noted in consumer warnings issued by the FDA and are mentioned on the drug label information.3,4,5 There can be much better, safer, and less toxic Zyprexa alternatives.

WARNING:  Individuals should always consult a doctor before reducing their dosage or discontinuing the use of their medication.

Healthcare providers may recommend Zyprexa substitutes such as therapy or other antipsychotic medications, such as Haldol (haloperidol), Clozaril (clozapine), and others. The FDA has licensed Zyprexa, (generic name olanzapine) for the treatment of schizophrenia and mania or depressive episodes with bipolar disorder. When mixed with Prozac (fluoxetine) it is also prescribed for “treatment-resistant depression.” Some doctors have prescribed it “off-label” for anorexia as it causes weight gain in a significant percentage of those who take the drug.21

DRESS SyndromeDoctors also prescribe Zyprexa when other drugs do not work, such as when persons with depression do not respond to antidepressants. So, some Zyprexa users are already taking it because previous drug treatments were unsatisfactory. Studies clearly show that a drug like Zyprexa can produce no improvements for some, and horrible outcomes for others. These can include obstruction or paralysis of the intestines that can lead to sepsis and death.2

Other concerning side effects occur with DRESS (Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms) syndrome — internal swelling, fever, rash, peeling skin, kidney or liver damage, and other severe reactions. DRESS syndrome typically emerges several weeks or months after beginning an antipsychotic medication.4

When depressed individuals try many different drugs that don’t work, it can worsen depression and lead an individual to feel utterly lost. An individual might begin to wonder why the drug is not working. They may even start to think that there is something hopelessly wrong with them. There is nothing wrong that cannot be, at the very least, improved if not fully resolved with the correct treatment. Prescription medications are not the only treatment for depression, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder. When prescription drugs such as antipsychotics don’t work, it may be time to consider Zyprexa alternative therapies. Maybe the problems weren’t because of a label you were given, or you were “treatment-resistant,” but more likely, some contributing factors just weren’t looked into. Effective alternative treatments provide relief in a way that can sort out the matter, and help to avoid the risks of psychotropic medications.

Natural Alternatives to Zyprexa

You are most definitely not alone if you have found Zyprexa side effects troubling, or if the medication has not been as effective as was hoped. Following are some of the natural Zyprexa alternatives that may have some therapeutic value, best used within a medically supervised program or regimen.

Natural Alternatives to Zyprexa include:
  • holistic evidence-based alternativesCognitive Behavioral Therapy, other forms of psychotherapy 10,68,70,71
  • Gluten-free, clean, well-balanced diet 28-30,32
  • Test for food allergies 27,29,32,82
  • Microbiome support 33-35,73,74,79
  • Avoid MSG (glutamate) 36,75
  • Keep blood sugar levels in check 22,24,37,38
  • Avoid heavy use of caffeine and stimulants 39
  • Resolve nutritional deficiencies 13,40,48,72,77,82
  • Tryptophan 41,76
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA 43,44,80, 81
  • Lithium Orotate 45-53
  • Orthomolecular use of niacin and vitamin C 54,55
  • Avoid neurotoxic products and clean out toxic accumulations 56-61
  • Exposure to sunlight and regular exercise 62,63
  • Improve sleep with non-drug-based, holistic strategies 42,64
  • Eliminate alcohol, cannabis, other substance use/abuse 65,66,67

CBT as an Alternative to Zyprexa

talk therapy positive resultsAccording to Health Quality Ontario, a 2018 review found that individuals fared better with CBT when compared to medication alone. Patients experienced a reduction in “positive” or active symptoms of psychosis, which participants reported as a desirable treatment outcome. We also learn from a 2009 study published in Psychiatry that CBT proved effective for persons who did not respond well to medication. Such studies expressed a need for more research into CBT and other effective and viable treatment options over medication alone.10,61,68,72

The Open Dialogue approach to treatment offers another option besides drugging for life. Combining peer and family support within a controlled, non-judgmental, residential setting continues to show substantial improvements in positive (presence of hallucinations, etc.) and negative (emotional blunting, withdrawal from others, etc.) symptoms. The Open Dialogue programs have proven to be effective as a natural alternative to Zyprexa.69

While Open Dialogue began in Finland, it has become popular around the globe. In the US, reports show a reduction of psychotic symptoms, less use of medication, and fewer hospitalizations, and that could be very good news for persons looking for a non-drug-based treatment.31

Talk therapy examples:

  • CBT individual or group sessions 10,61,68,72
  • ODT (Open Dialogue Therapy) 31,69
  • EMDR (eye-movement desensitization & reprocessing therapy) for PTSD 70
  • Exposure-based CBT for PTSD patients with schizophrenia 71

Talk Therapy as a Natural Alternative to Zyprexa

Counseling has evolved many forms to choose from, including online Skype sessions, making this option more accessible than ever before. Talking in trust with a person whose job description does not include chastising or other judgmental responses can open a way to move forward through a period of crisis and unrest.

Diet … Surprisingly Effective Zyprexa Alternative

Exciting research has shown that strategic diet choices can produce significant improvements in mental health.11,12,27,28,29,30,32,82

food as medicineBetter dietary choices are seen as helpful in a vast array of symptoms such as mood swings, psychosis, depression, and others.33,34,35,48

A pilot study way back in 1965 published in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that in as little as 2 weeks, a modified and improved diet greatly reduced or eliminated schizophrenia and other psychiatric symptoms. Diet can be profoundly effective as a natural Zyprexa alternative.28

Food allergies also play an important role in mental health. These can be tested as part of investigating whether allergies are responsible for prompting unwanted symptoms. According to published research in Integrative Psychiatry, certain allergies can have a delayed reaction of a few days which can confound the situation. These delayed allergic reactions can be misconstrued as ADHD, autism, anxiety, hyperactivity, and other conditions. Once discovered, however, these reactions can be avoided by designing a diet that doesn’t include such foods or substances.27

Gluten sensitivity may play a key role for individuals hospitalized with acute mania. There are studies that suggest a link between celiac disease and schizophrenia. Omitting foods high in gluten can offer great benefits to this population.27,29,30,32

Nutrients as a Natural Zyprexa Substitute

A number of nutrients have proven useful in supporting a healthy microbiome including B12, B6, zinc, serine, lysine, glycine, tryptophan, and others. These nutrients where deficient can cause dysfunction in the “gut-brain axis,” resulting in unwanted symptoms. Correcting these makes for a productive alternative to Zyprexa or other pharmaceutical drugs.33,34,35,41,76,74,79

The Microbiome and Bipolar Psychosis

crucial role of gut healthThe “gut-brain axis” has come to the forefront of nutritional therapies for mental health. A healthy microbiome is essential to monitoring thousands of factors in human health, including those that support mental health, as suggested in a 2016 Schizophrenia Research study by Severance et al. According to a review of clinical data, there is a strong link between gut inflammation and symptoms of schizophrenia. Other studies published in Science Direct suggest a promising avenue for the treatment of schizophrenia may be further developed by closely monitoring and comparing microbiota of non-schizophrenic and schizophrenic patients.33,34,35,73,74,79

The use of probiotics can restore the balance in gut bacteria, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinics and Practice, in 2017. Clapp et al report that this rebalancing of normal microorganisms in the gut could be effective as a treatment or even prevention of certain psychiatric symptoms, making it an effective natural alternative to Zyprexa.73

Bonaz et al’s research published in Frontiers in Neuroscience in 2018 sheds light on how the gut-brain axis can affect the vagus nerve and the importance of restoring the balance of microbiota in the gut. The vagus nerve is the prime modulator of the parasympathetic system which plays a crucial role in mood, anxiety, and stress responses. Supporting the microbiome, in turn, supports a healthy and functioning vagus nerve, which in turn, supports mental health.74,77,78,79

MSG and Glutamate containing foods

There have been a number of animal studies but few to none on humans on the possible detrimental effects on mental health connected to MSG as well as foods containing an abundance of glutamate. Though less than definitive in its findings, the FDA suggests possible harm to people who are sensitive to the potential neurotoxic effects of MSG.36,75

Blood Sugar Levels and Mental Health

Padder et al’s research from the University of Nassau Dept. of Psychiatry shows a troubling connection between hypoglycemia and misdiagnoses of a vast array of disorders including psychosis. Diet can be an effective tool to maintain blood sugar levels and avoid such misdiagnoses and the tragedy that can ensue from incorrectly administered treatment.22,24,37,38

Eliminate Caffeine

Some persons are more sensitive to stimulants like caffeine than others may be. Elimination of caffeine has been shown in one documented case published in the Journal of Affective Disorders to be responsible for a complete remission of psychiatric symptoms that 10 years of medication was unable to resolve.39

Supplements as Zyprexa Alternatives


There is a condition called ADT (acute tryptophan depletion) that is discussed in a 2013 study by Young, published by the Royal Society. Raising and lowering tryptophan levels has shown a not entirely understood correlation with changes in mood such as aggression, low mood, and suicidality in some persons. Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin. There is some evidence that low levels of tryptophan may be linked to symptoms of schizophrenia, and that mitigation may be indicated through diet and supplementation. As reported by van der Heijden in the 2004 Journal of Neural Transmission, antipsychotic medications have been linked with lower availability of tryptophan, which could possibly help answer why some persons do not respond to such medication. Amino acids can play an important role in alternatives to Zyprexa for mental wellness.41,76,48

Lithium Orotate

Lithium orotate is a highly bioavailable form of lithium, without the toxicity of the pharmaceutical version called lithium carbonate. Studies show lithium is linked to a significant reduction in episodes of mania, depression, and other bipolar symptoms in patients.45-53

Orthomolecular Use of High-Dose Niacin and Vitamin C

Dr. Abram Hoffer’s groundbreaking studies documented the therapeutic efficacy of niacin (B3) and vitamin C in treating schizophrenia. His work laid the foundations of what is now called Orthomolecular Medicine.

Alternative to Meds Center uses an array of orthomolecular treatments to assist our clients to regain mental wellness using such natural alternatives to Zyprexa and other pharmaceuticals.54,55

Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)

Studies show a clear connection between high-fat consumption, particularly the omega-3 fatty acids, and improved outcomes for schizophrenia patients. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) is found in omega-3 fish oils. It has a history of successful treatments for various psychiatric symptoms including those in schizophrenic persons. There are numerous natural sources for this important dietary supplement including fish and grass-fed beef.43,44,80,81

Cleanse Toxic Accumulations

Neurotoxins are endocrine disruptors thought to contribute to or cause reactions that can mimic psychiatric symptoms. Industrial, medical, dental, and other common uses of mercury and other toxic chemicals can accumulate in the body. These can be tested for and cleansed from the body. Doing so may help the neurochemistry to naturally normalize.56-59

Another point of interest is the suggestion that toxic exposure to mercury can affect the reuptake of glutamate resulting in neurological damage. Similar glutamate abnormalities have been shown in persons with schizophrenia and other neurological disorders. A recommended alternative to Zyprexa is to test for and clean out these toxic accumulations.15,16,17,60,61

Exercise, Especially Cardio, Yoga, Walking

Mittal et al’s study on regular, moderately intense exercise suggests such activity may help regenerate healthy neurochemistry and cognitive function in persons. Exercise is a relatively under-studied natural alternative to Zyprexa or other psychiatric drugs but is easy to do anywhere, anytime for a potential wealth of benefits.62

Quality Sleep

As Seibum et al’s research shows, physical and mental health issues often co-occur with inadequate or disrupted sleep. Inadequate sleep can impair cognitive function and cause undue stress and strain. The use of non-pharmacological treatments has shown efficacy in achieving a higher quality of sleep, such as supplements, CBT, and easy-to-learn physical relaxation routines.42,64

Eliminate Cannabis Use

Grewal et al’s study describes a 17-year-old female who suffered cannabis-induced psychosis. Her symptoms resolved after cessation, with the use of CBT and other non-pharmacological treatments.

An extensive study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry compared incidents of cannabis-induced psychosis with subsequent schizophrenia with non-cannabis-related diagnoses of schizophrenia. The study compared participants with a diagnosis of schizophrenia who had no prior cannabis use with an approximately equal number of participants with cannabis-induced psychosis who had a subsequent diagnosis of schizophrenia. The study notes there was a delayed onset (up to a year after a cannabis-psychosis diagnosis) of schizophrenia in approximately half of this group. Age was noted as significant in that the patients with cannabis-induced psychosis developed symptoms of schizophrenia at a younger age compared to the non-cannabis-use group.65,66,67

Cannabis use is no laughing matter as a psychosis-inducing agent, and as such deserves more scrutiny and focus in the field of mental health treatment.

Zyprexa Lawsuit — The Zyprexa Papers

In 2006, a lawyer by the name of Jim Gottstein began a subpoenaing effort to release information from Eli Lilly regarding Zyprexa, which became known as the now famous Zyprexa Papers. His fervor about these disclosures resulted in a series of investigations and lawsuits 25,26 and a well-publicized Congressional investigation. As a result, In 2009, the manufacturer of the drug Eli Lilly pled guilty to concealing the life-shortening metabolic issues associated with Zyprexa and was ordered to pay $1.4 billion in civil and criminal penalties. Jim published his book, The Zyprexa Papers in 2020 giving a first-hand account of what really happened, including his legal fights on behalf of his client Bill Bigley, the psychiatric patient whose tragic journey made possible the exposure of the Zyprexa Papers.

Natural Zyprexa Alternative Therapies

Zyprexa alternative therapies include:
  • Acupuncture 6
  • Massage 7
  • Chiropractic therapy 18
  • Psychotherapy (CBT & other talk therapy) 10,61,68
  • Physical exercise 7,8,9,62,63
  • Dietary changes to support mental health 11,12
  • Nutritional therapy — supplements to remedy deficiencies 13,40,48,72,77,80,81,82
  • Additional physical therapies such as yoga and animal-assisted therapy 14,19,20,21

Physical Therapy, Exercise as Zyprexa Alternatives

holistic equine therapyMassage therapy can help,7 but likely won’t adequately replace the need for antipsychotic medication in the middle of a full-blown crisis situation. Over time, however, individuals with depression, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder, can begin combining simple therapies for effective relief and improvement.

For example, equine therapy is a gentle and very popular alternative that has been shown to significantly improve aggression and psychiatric symptoms associated with schizophrenia.19,20,21

Therapeutic massage, acupuncture,6 yoga,14 Qi Gong, and other relaxation techniques are examples of strategic assets that can comprise a well-rounded, comprehensive Zyprexa alternatives program. Each person has their own level of ability for physical activity, and a structured plan can be devised to accommodate what a person can accomplish. Progress is more important than overly strenuous or excessive efforts. A well-structured treatment plan combining natural alternatives to Zyprexa is often much more effective than prescription drugs.3

Diet and Nutritional Therapy as Zyprexa Alternatives

Lab testing has shown us that the answers are going to be different for each person. For example, testing could reveal excessive amounts of dopamine (the neurochemical of reward). An excess of this natural chemical will cause everything to be too stimulating and can result in manic episodes. Rather than suppressing the symptoms, correcting the diet along with the use of targeted supplements could help. Another factor that can lead to excess dopamine is eating a diet that is low in nutritional value and high in sugar.22 Schizophrenia patients often lack essential nutrients such as niacin and other B vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin D, for example.23 It has been well-established that both high blood sugar and low blood sugar conditions do result in psychotic episodes or mania, particularly in sensitive individuals.24,37,38

Zyprexa, like all antipsychotic medications, restricts dopamine. Unfortunately, this also results in a person who is now unable to enjoy life’s rewards. Between these two extremes may be a better alternative to Zyprexa addressing diet and nutrition for mental health.13

Alternative to Meds Center’s Integrative Approach

zyprexa alternatives sedona drug rehabAlternative to Meds Center uses a comprehensive array of Zyprexa alternative treatments that are designed to get to the root of the problems a person has been experiencing, as opposed to simply dulling the awareness of unwanted symptoms, or deadening the person’s reactions to life. Reducing symptoms along with reducing dosage are two prime points of focus, in tandem, for a safe, manageable experience.

The Center uses evidence-based treatments that are proven and based on science. Zyprexa alternative treatments are specifically selected based on test results and patient assessments. Guesswork and intuition have no roles here. We are looking for answers, and we work with each client individually using orthomolecular medicine and other science-based therapies to hone in on the exact factors that need addressing. This thoroughness is reflected in our clients’ successes and what sets us apart from other “drug treatment” centers that do not offer these options, and sadly, have limited awareness of effective alternative treatments and resources to promote wellness.

Alternative Zyprexa Treatments for Recovery

Following are examples of techniques used at Alternative to Meds Center to successfully reduce the dosage of antipsychotic drugs, while concurrently reducing side effects:

Once the individual feels relaxed and stable from these therapies, the doctor can slowly reduce the drug.

Natural Zyprexa Alternatives at Alternative to Meds Center

Alternative to Meds Center in beautiful Sedona Arizona has been helping people for over 15 years to extricate themselves from the tangle that can occur when drug dependence and drug side effects and unwanted symptoms needed authentic help. We offer the kind of help that can give a person back access to their hopes and dreams and their love of life. We invite your call, so you can talk with us and find out more about the kinds of help that Alternative to Meds Center can provide concerning natural Zyprexa alternatives, tapering, and withdrawal.


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Originally Published Oct 30, 2018 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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