Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

No Need for Doc Appts Anymore - Question

I am new here
I have known my fiance for 26 years through regular mail and emails. We got together face to face for the first time this July.
I believe he was diagnosed and given meds in his 20’s and that he saw his psychiatrist regularly. He is now 61.
For about a year now his doctor said that he needs no more appointments and simply needs to continue on his meds (forever) He has also been working 2 part time jobs for about a year as well. He still receives some disability insurance. This is in the UK.

My question is, is there anything I should know or be aware of or to watch for etc?

I am extremely fortunate in that he is not addicted to anything and he even quit smoking many years back. Also, he has always been proactive in taking his meds and has a good grasp on it all. He told me that if he missed 2 days of his meds that he would probably be very ill, so he is open to discussion and is good at advocating for himself.

When talking with him and his pastor, I made mention of having his doctor’s phone number in case I ever had any questions and his pastor said that my fiance’ is very aware of his mental health and that he would likely spend a few days in bed to recuperate if there were any problems.

The most concerning thing (that hopefully is nothing to worry about) is that he is on Olanzapine and today I read that it is virtually impossible to get off of. Obviously he needs it, but he did mention to me the other day that if he became immune to it, that there would be no alternative of any other med to take. I didn’t understand it when he said it but after reading that it is virtually impossible to get off, I thought it might relate to him saying that. hopefully, becoming immune to it is rare.

Thanks for listening.
Kathy (an American in the UK)

Not sure what you mean about “impossible to get off of”, there are several diagnosed people on this forum who have used Olanzapine (Zyprexa) and are off it now and on other drugs— myself included. Can you cite a source for what you read? Olanzapine is notorious for causing weight gain, so doctors, patients and caregivers alike tend to be interested in alternatives, and there are many and new drugs come out periodically as patents expire.

There’s some literature that antipsychotics in general are hard to stop once you start, but I don’t know anything particularly special about Olanzapine. Generally once someone is diagnosed with a psychotic disorder they tend to take some form antipsychotic medication indefinitely as they do not cure the illnesses. Think of AP medication as you might insulin for a diabetic in this his case. Since you are in the UK Clozapine is an option if he becomes resistant to Olanzapine. It is often an effective drug of last resort in the states because it has rare serious side effects that require frequent blood testing. It is more commonly used in the UK/EU.

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Thank you so much for the reply and for the optional med in case he ever needs it. Hopefully he won’t though!
I am happy that you asked about the link. When I went back to check and did a little more digging, I discovered that it was a reply on a message board discussing the med.
When I first saw it, it was the synopsis underneath a link after searching out the name of the med. So, it was an opinion and not necessarily fact then…
My apologies if I seemed to spread misinformation!

yep, you got that right…

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