Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Please give valuable input regarding Clozapine


#1

Hello,

My nephew aged 21 yrs has been suffering from/diagnosed with Schizophrenia for the past 1.5 - 2 yrs. His doctor initially treated him with a variety of antipsychotics but they having no effect on him, started Clozapine treatment on Jan 8th 2014. His dosage was increased to 400 mg/day starting beginning of Feb. And now, it being 12th March, the doctor feels that it is kinda delayed for my nephew to not show any improvement at all and fears he could be treatment-resistant. On browsing around the net, I found that sometimes responsiveness to Clozapine takes longer… Do members here have idea on how fast or slow Clozapine treatment would give responsiveness? Also, what treatment options are available for those who are ‘resistant’ to Clozapine?

Thank you.


#2

Welcome to the forum jravi. It’s my understanding the Clozapine is the treatment resistant option but that doesn’t mean that other medications would not work instead. I think it has a 40-60% success rate so unfortunately it will not work for everyone. My son has been on Clozapine for over a year now. Previously on a lot of different medications but he was also chronically addicted to marijuana so nothing was helping to any big degree. My son wasn’t living with me when he was first put on it so I only know second hand but his previous caregiver noticed little things at first and over the next couple months things were still getting better even with the marijuana use. If your nephew is not getting worse or suffering from more symptoms then perhaps it is still too soon. Also my son has never been on just Clozapine. He has been as high as 450 mg/day to get him stable. Currently on 300 plus 1 mg Risperdol and 300 mg Lithium. This combination seems to work really well for him.

Do you mind if I ask what symptoms your nephew is currently experiencing that the Clozapine is not helping with?


#3

Thank you for the reply, BarbieBF. My nephew is in India and I don’t have first hand exposure to his symptoms. But my sister has been telling me that my nephew complains that there is a bunch of people ‘sitting in his mind that have hijacked his thoughts and are controlling him’. And that, if he ever wishes to think anything, these people are ‘mocking’ at him, and passing insulting remarks at him. He has been going on and on with this same symptoms for a very long time now. These were the original symptoms that made my sister take him to the psychiatrist initially and with all different medications that have been tried including Clozapine, these symptoms haven’t gone away or reduced at all! He was even given 8 sittings of ECT treatment few months ago, and though for a short period after that, he did say he felt like 50% of his symptoms had gone, he reverted back to his old symptoms soon after that and has been complaining like he did initially. That is why, I wonder if Clozapine exposure hasn’t yet been adequate for him - when I browse around the net, in some places, it is said Clozapine typically kicks-in at 6 weeks, when the patient supposedly notices a big improvement. Whereas in other places it is stated that the patient takes a long time for recovery, like 6 months to an year even with Clozapine. I don’t know which one is correct?. Thanks for sharing your son’s medication history, I will tell my sister about adding Risperdoi and Lithium.


#4

@jravi…a lot of people think clozapine is a wonder drug, but in my opinion it is not. The medication comes with a lot of hype, but this hype is mainly borne from the fact that it is a drug that can be lethal.

Anyway, my point is, do not lose hope if clozapine does not work. Schizophrenics will generally tell you that schizophrenia generally improves in time. In my opinion it is an illness that heals holistically. It may improve in a year, it may take two or three, but it will improve. Trust me, in time this illness improves itself. In my opinion, it is an illness that heals holistically. It takes time, and tolerance and patience from family. That is my honest opinion.

What helped me immensely was spirituality. My schizophrenia was spiritual in nature, having been tormented with voices from the devil. Through spirituality I improved a lot. My psychiatrist was bugger all help to me, but the people who did help me a lot were a Christian organisation called the Legion of Mary. So, my point is, if your nephews illness is spiritual in nature, spiritual organisations can help.

Also, I see you didn’t get many responses to your thread thus far, but I would advise you to post these type of questions in the Diagnosed Section of the forum as you will get a lot more answers. Be sure us schizophrenics like to help and we will but sometimes the “family section” gets overlooked.

Anyway, take care, and your nephew will get better. It just takes a bit of time.


#5

I agree with this.

Clozaril worked well with me but came with several physical side effects, The constant eating syndrome started with clozaril.


#6

@karl Thank you for the reply and the encouragement, hopefully my nephew will get better with time! Especially since he was a normal child and adolescent, we are hoping that this illness developed will not be a major detriment to his established intelligence and emotions!

I will pass on the information regarding the spiritual assistance that can remedy some of the symptoms… Thanks again.


#7

My experience with Clozapine was not good either. I was on it for about 8 months with no real improvement in my hallucinations.


#8

FIrst,at what dose is your nephew up to on clozapine? At one point I needed up to 775mg. Also, I needed to take 2 other antipsychotics in addition. There are so many options with a diligent psychiatrist.

It can take up to 3-4 months to show improvement on clozapine.

don’t give up, bit also, do not deal with complacency.

also, make sure drugs or alcohol are not involved.

brooke


#9

Thanks, Brooke. I will pass on the info regarding 775 mg of Clozapine to my sister.


#10

Im on 775mg of clozapine…it takes longer for clozapine to set in. It can take anything from 6 months to 2 years for clozapine to kick in


#11

This has come up at a good time for me, as my son is now on it. Thanks.