Olanzipine and OC Behaviors?

My son (almost 22) recently spent three days in the psych ward of our local hospital - it was overall a positive, but terrifying, experience for him. While he was there, the drs changed his meds, including moving him from Aripiprazole to Olanzipine. At first, the change was almost magical. It had been like all the filters and shadows that had built up around him were stripped off and he was just my son again! Now, 2 weeks out, I’ve noticed a huge increase in his obsessive-compulsive behaviors. Yesterday, he was talking about “needing” a new bike or “something bad would happen” to him. I can’t talk him out of it. He has no money, but talked about trying to get a credit card, selling beloved possessions, asking family members for loans, and even selling plasma to try to get the money. I’m heartbroken that he’s struggling with this, but thankful he hasn’t stolen anything or been violent. Has anyone had similar experiences moving to Olanzipine? I’m so tired. I literally don’t know what to do.

No, I didn’t see any OCD when my son was put on olanzapine. It sounds like he’s still having delusions. Is he hearing voices? Bring up what you wrote with his psychiatrist. They may want to increase the dose. 20 mg is maximum.

Aripiprazole is more strongly associated with compulsive gambling and spending side effects, but my understanding is Olanzipine isn’t commonly associated with emergent OCD symptoms. It’s actually one of several second generation antipsychotics that are sometimes used to help treat OCD when SSRIs aren’t effective. However, it’s been observed it can exacerbate OCD symptoms in those already diagnosed which may mean there was a latent undiagnosed OCD component to his illness.

It’s not clear to me that these are strictly OCD symptoms, however. More like obsessive thoughts or delusions. Another possibility could be an underlying manic stage of a bipolar condition. My brother (diagnosed with bipolar disorder) often has similar obsessions and spending desires when actively bipolar.

Two weeks isn’t a lot of time to fully transition to the medication, in my experience. I’d give it another couple of weeks to a month to be sure, as my experience is it can make you a bit dizzy and emotionally wobbly for a few weeks. Main side effects for me were crazy weight gain and hunger.

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Thank you for your input! No, he’s not reporting any hallucinations at all, just these wild obsessive-compulsive thoughts. I’ve got calls in to his psych and his therapist, so now I’m just waiting.

Thank you for your input! I’ve got calls in to his psych and therapist, so waiting on that. He started on Seroquel - gained 40 pounds in a month! Hence the switch to Apiprazole which seemed great for a while… I’ll definitely ask about the possibility of other comorbid diagnoses.

To be clear, delusions are obsessive (mostly erroneous) thoughts that resist plausible explanations to the contrary. The vast majority of my symptoms were delusions, not hallucinations. At times delusions seek to offer explanations to hallucinations, but more often exist separately and sufferers can be obsessed with proving them correct or acting them out. For example my most florid state which led to my hospitalization might best be described as the sort of quest common in video games. That is: obtain just the right items and use them in a certain way to reach a goal of my delusional system. Individually the steps in that quest may have appeared to be random obsessions outside the context of a broader delusional system narrative.

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The decision to use drugs to control unwanted symptoms is a dangerous one, many people ending up with a cocktail of medications each medication attempting to alleviate a symptom which has arisen because of a medication already administered. Make sure you fully investigate the side effects of all medications. Suffering individuals will find themselves in hospital being experimented upon with a variety of antipsychotics and antidepressants, nobody knowing what the outcome will be. It may be beneficial to engage a professional to encourage dialogue around any concerns that may be hidden. Perhaps fears or traumas experienced.