Tag Archives: Olanzapine

Ibuprofen may reduce pain and inflammation due to it helping prevent breakdown of cannabinoids within the body

In a recent post I mentioned that the over-the-counter medication ibuprofen might be helpful for people who are trying to withdraw from the prescription medication olanzapine/Zyprexa (TM) because ibuprofen also helps prevent the breakdown of cannabinoids within the body but without affecting mental health symptoms. I didn’t have the citation about ibuprofen handy but have since found it.

The post mentioning ibuprofen was the third in a series about the prescription medication olanzapine/Zyprexa (TM):

  1. “Quit stalling,” is also a handy phrase; or Olanzapine may be dangerous to individuals and others, ,
  2. Zyprexa, $4.8 billion in prescription sales in 2007, and diabetes may also become a side effect, ,
  3. So, “we have nothing to fear but fear itself,” psychiatrists and their prescription pads, an unhealthy microbiome, and the occasional suicide bomber, . This is the post that mentions ibuprofen.

Excerpts from p83 and 82, Editors, Emmanuel S. Onaivi, Takayuki Sugiura, Vincenzo Di Marzo, Endocannabinoids: The Brain and Body’s Marijuana and Beyond, (Taylor & Francis Group, 2006, Florida), pages 82 and 83 are from Chapter 3, by: E.S. Onaivi, H. Ishiguro, P. W. Zhang, Z. Lin, B. E. Akinshola, C. M. Leanoard, S. S. Chirwa, J. Gong, and G. R. Uhl, Chapter 3, Endocannabinoid Receptor Genetics and Marijuana Use.

A note before typing the excerpt about ibuprofen: Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) is a primary enzyme for breaking down cannabinoids whether they are from internally produced (endogenous) sources or from external foods or other substances such as medical marijuana or the prescription medication for Multiple sclerosis called Sativex (TM).

“In addition to PMSF, numerous compounds have been identified that block FAAH reversibly and irreversibly. Among these is ibuprofen, which is an active inhibitor, but not other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAID) such as naproxen.” [Onaivi, et al., 2006, p83]

The paragraph doesn’t explain what PMSF is but according to the search engine it is likely to be a serine protease inhibitor used in biochemistry to “prepare cell lysates” — which means to split cells open by causing their membranes to breakdown. “phenylmethane sulfonyl fluoride or phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride (PMSF),” [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PMSF] [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysis]

Cannabinoids are not only messenger chemicals that can trigger actions within the body, they are also building blocks for strong and flexible membranes. Cannabinoids are released from the membranes as needed  individually rather than being stored in bulk and released in batches the way brain neurotransmitters are stored.

The paragraph actually started on page 82 and explains that FAAH is a membrane-associated serine hydrolase found primarily in brain and liver. And research with rat brain activity has shown that the enzyme is most prevalent in areas that also have many CB1, Cannabinoid Receptors type 1:

“The currently known endocannabinoids, derived from membrane phospholipids that contain arachidonate (Mecholam et al., 1998) are metabolized by FAAH (Deutsch and Chin, 1993), which is a membrane-associated serine hydrolase enriched in brain and liver. There is an overlap of the distribution of FAAH and its activity in the rat brain with the expression of CB1, which has led to the suggestion that FAAH is probably the major enzyme in the brain responsible for inactivation of fatty acid amides (Elphick and Egertova, 2001). This, in the human brain the distribution of CB1R and the FAAH enzyme frequently overlap in many structures.” [Onaivi et al., 2006, p82]

Excerpts from p83 and 82, Editors, Emmanuel S. Onaivi, Takayuki Sugiura, Vincenzo Di Marzo, Endocannabinoids: The Brain and Body’s Marijuana and Beyond, (Taylor & Francis Group, 2006, Florida), pages 82 and 83 are from Chapter 3, by: E.S. Onaivi, H. Ishiguro, P. W. Zhang, Z. Lin, B. E. Akinshola, C. M. Leanoard, S. S. Chirwa, J. Gong, and G. R. Uhl, Chapter 3, Endocannabinoid Receptor Genetics and Marijuana Use.

Now I just have to re-trace my steps to find the information about olanzapine and anandamide because I’m not sure where that citation was from. The anti-psychotic activity of the drug is believed to be due to it affecting dopamine and serotonin levels within the brain. [https://www.pharmgkb.org/chemical/PA450688#tabview=tab3&subtab=31]

My research into how olanzapine worked was a while ago. Wikipedia also just mentions the dopamine and serotonin affects but also includes more information about the Eli Lilly company’s lawsuits. The company settled 8000 lawsuits with $700 million in 2006. They are also stated to have agreed to pay $500 million more to settle 18000 other lawsuits in 2007 but that factoid says [citation needed]. More recently in 2009 the company plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge regarding marketing Zyprexa for off-label use and agreed to pay $1.4 billion. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olanzapine]

I thought the mechanism involved inhibiting the enzyme that breaks down cannabinoids but obviously I need to search a little harder or this series of posts about olanzapine/Zyprexa (TM) will be based on [citation needed]. Yeah, I am saved by the search engine combined with perseverance with assorted search terms:

Cannabinoids may be responsible for weight gain associated with schizophrenia,” February 5, 2015,  “After the treatment, [16 weeks on olanzapine] the researchers observed hyperactivation in the left amygdala (limbic region) in, relative to a control group of healthy subjects. These brain changes were associated with increased levels of glucose, triglycerides and anandamide,” [http://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-02-cannabinoids-responsible-weight-gain-schizophrenia.html]

A different article about the same research group’s findings:

“Average blood oxygenation level-dependent signals revealed that limbic brain regions in the left amygdala and right insula became hyperactive to appetizing rather than neutral images after olanzapine treatment, and increases in activity were significantly higher than in control participants.”

“These brain changes were associated with increased levels of glucose, triglycerides, and anadamide, the primary cannabinoid neurotransmitter, binding to the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptor.”

— from the article by Liam Davenport on Medscape.com, “Antipsychotic-Related Weight Gain Explained?,” February 12, 2015, [http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/839713]

/Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

So, “we have nothing to fear but fear itself,” psychiatrists and their prescription pads, an unhealthy microbiome, and the occasional suicide bomber

In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt said “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” during his first inaugural speech as a newly elected President of a United States. The country was suffering from the Great Depression and many people were unemployed and struggling to survive. You can hear his inspiring words from that day in a short excerpt from the speech, and read the full transcript at historymatters.gmu.edu: [http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5057]

So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. – Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933, First Inaugural Address, [http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5057]

Fear can paralyze and divide us at times when we need to take action and work together to make changes that help stabilize the situation causing fear.

There are a lot more psychiatrists with prescription pads than there are suicide bombers and lots more individuals with unhealthy microbiomes than either psychiatrists or suicide bombers. The odds of encountering a psychiatrist may be lower than the likelihood of meeting someone with an unhealthy microbiome or having the bad luck of being in the vicinity of a suicide bomber.

The psychiatrist with a prescription pad writing olanzapine/Zyprexa prescriptions may be turning otherwise non-violent people into violent people (who may or may not also develop diabetes or other unpleasant side effects); and the individual with an unhealthy microbiome may have anxiety or other negative mood symptoms because of the neurotransmitters that are being produced by the types of bacteria colonizing the intestines. Some types make positive mood neurotransmitters and some types make anxiety producing neurotransmitters. Read more about the intestinal microbiome and mood: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166223613000088]

We have been trained by advertising to fear too many things, silly things like whether someone might notice our body odor, or whether our outfits are the currently popular style, or whether the little one will get accepted at the best preschool so that they will have a better chance of later being accepted at the best university. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself because it disables us from making decisions based on our values rather than basing them on advertising messages.

Note for anyone who may be trying to wean off of olanzapine/Zyprexa, based on patient forum comments and my own experiences with the medication: (with your psychiatrist’s approval and guidance) Cut the tablets into smaller and smaller fractions and gradually taper off the drug over several days/weeks/whatever it takes; and taking a tablet of ibuprofen every four-six hours when stopping the medication may also help with withdrawal symptoms from the olanzapine/Zyprexa, because ibuprofen’s anti-inflammatory and pain relief functions are also due to it preventing the breakdown of our natural cannabinoids, however ibuprofen doesn’t cause psychiatric affects or withdrawal symptoms,  so it must not be affecting the cannabinoids in quite the same way as olanzapine/Zyprexa.

/Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

Zyprexa, $4.8 billion in prescription sales in 2007, and diabetes may also become a side effect

/7/13/16 – additional link: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/homicide-and-ssri-alibi.

Still looking for the first link I saw, but others have been concerned about side effects linked to the prescription medication since as early as 1998.  According to another article I found, [http://www.narpa.org/playing_down_the_risks_of_a_drug.htm], there were so many patients in the state of Alaska with Medicaid who used the medication and who then developed diabetes that the State of Alaska sued the company who produces the drug. The State of Alaska was seeking reimbursement for the increased costs of diabetes care for the patients who had been prescribed Zyprexa and went on to develop diabetes. The medication is a product of the Eli Lilly company and it is used primarily for patients with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, however it may be used for patients with PTSD or other undiagnosed symptoms resembling psychosis.

The medication was first released in September 1996 for patients with schizophrenia. “But doctors quickly began to report to Lilly that patients suffered severe weight gain, high blood sugar and even diabetes after taking the drug.” [http://www.narpa.org/playing_down_the_risks_of_a_drug.htm],

A little more information is in this article but it is mostly a review of the first article: [http://www.drug-injury.com/druginjurycom/2008/03/zyprexa-and-dia.html] I haven’t found a resolution to the case yet.

From an article posted in September 2008: “Gueriguian testified that Eli Lilly knew as early as 1998 that Zyprexa increased the risk of developing diabetes, but did not issue warnings about those effects until 2007.” “In 2007, Eli Lilly updated Zyprexa’s label to warn of severe increases to weight and blood sugar.” Learn more: [http://www.naturalnews.com/024089_Eli_Lilly_drug_FDA.html#ixzz43sqKbm5s]

The severe increases in weight based on my experience with the medication may be due to a combination of increased snacking and increased fluid retention – uncomfortable edema in the calves and feet for me ( The snacking was caused by an insatiable appetite leading to snacking on carbohydrates, it seemed just like having the munchies from use of medical marijuana and so I got busy with the search engine and cannabinoid receptor lingo.)

Looking through my old articles found this link to lawsuits about suicide risks and Zyprexa: “In five pre-marketing clinical trials conducted by Eli Lilly involving 2,500 patients, 12 patients committed suicide, making Zyprexa the drug with the highest suicide rate of any other antipsychotic in clinical history, according to Dr. David Healy, a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Wales. Healy also claims that Lilly “suppressed data on suicidal acts on Zyprexa from these trials. The data are not available in the scientific literature, nor from FOI [Freedom of Information Act] requests to the FDA, nor from enquiries to the company.” The number of suicidal acts reported has yet to be confirmed.” Read more: [https://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/lawsuit/zyprexa-suicide.html]

An article on drugdetox.org gets right to the point:  “SIDE EFFECTS: Death, hostility, diabetes, panic attacks, paralysis (see list below).” There is a really long list of potential side effects of taking the drug and a shorter but also disturbing list of side effects associated with withdrawal from the drug, but the site does seem to be a commercial site for detox services:

WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS

Zyprexa can be a very difficult drug to stop taking.”

  • agitation
  • anorexia
  • anxiety
  • bipolar disorder symptoms
  • diarrhea
  • emesis (vomiting)
  • insomnia
  • itching
  • muscle pain
  • nausea
  • restlessness
  • rhinorrhoea (runny nose)
  • sweating
  • symptoms of schizophrenia

TREATMENT

Withdrawal from Zyprexa should only be done under the care of a health practitioner. The safest way is to withdraw at an inpatient medical detox facility with a protocol that includes hydration, vitamins and supplements for biological balancing. Call us to talk to a Detox Advisor.”

BLACK BOX WARNING

“The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has decided that some drugs pose very serious risks and have required these drugs have what is called a black box warning. Zyprexa has a black box warning. Here is the warning.”

WARNING

“Increased Mortality in Elderly Patients with Dementia–Related Psychosis — Elderly patients with dementia–related psychosis treated with atypical antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death compared to placebo. Analyses of seventeen placebo–controlled trials (modal duration of 10 weeks) in these patients revealed a risk of death in the drug–treated patients of between 1.6 to 1.7 times that seen in placebo–treated patients. Over the course of a typical 10–week controlled trial, the rate of death in drug–treated patients was about 4.5%, compared to a rate of about 2.6% in the placebo group. Although the causes of death were varied, most of the deaths appeared to be either cardiovascular (e.g., heart failure, sudden death) or infectious (e.g., pneumonia) in nature. ZYPREXA (olanzapine) is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia–related psychosis (see WARNINGS).”

Read more: [http://www.drugdetox.org/druginfo/zyprexa.php]

A list of patient adverse reactions without an actual FDA adverse reaction report: http://www.druglib.com/reported-side-effects/zyprexa/reaction_suicide_attempt/

An article describing an adverse reaction involving murder of a family member by a patient on Zyprexa and Zoloft who also had a prior history of violence against others: [http://www.drugawareness.org/zoloft-zyprexa-grandson-stabs-grandmother-111-times/]

An article that includes a list of mass school shootings around the world that involved a shooter who was on some type of psychiatric drug/s: http://www.cchrint.org/2012/07/20/the-aurora-colorado-tragedy-another-senseless-shooting-another-psychotropic-drug/

While I still haven’t found the website link I was looking for, the following article about psychiatric myths is a thorough summary of the issues, that is written by the author of a book on the topic: “I have estimated in my book, ‘Deadly Medicine and Organized Crime’, that just one of the many preparations, Zyprexa (olanzapine), has killed 200,000 patients worldwide.” [http://davidhealy.org/psychiatry-gone-astray/]

/Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

“Quit stalling,” is also a handy phrase; or Olanzapine may be dangerous to individuals and others

The page of many quotes may have been a stalling tactic on my part. The childhood motto of mine, “One learns by trying,” had made me realize that sometimes you learn that it would have been a better idea not to have tried whatever it was that you tried.

A prescription medication was something that I hadn’t tried by choice however and I hadn’t been fully informed about how it functioned chemically. After trying it I learned that while it is effective in the short term over time negative side effects can get painful and reduce quality of life. What was worse though became obvious when trying to stop taking the medication — psychological withdrawal symptoms were very severe — worse than normal levels of bad mood that I had ever previously experienced and dangerously bad, risk of self injury or injury to others bad.

What I discovered about the medication’s chemical function within the body is that it prevents the breakdown of our natural cannabinoid, anandamide, our body’s equivalent of the euphoric cannabinoid found in marijuana, called THC. There are cannabinoid receptors in the prefrontal cortex that are involved in suicidal thoughts and which have been found in a research study to be overactive in some alcoholic and depressive patients. The medication Olanzapine/Zyprexa may be causing over-activity of this area of the brain in some patients and then if they try to stop taking the medication it is like the brain is suddenly having to withdraw after having gotten used to a constant over supply of THC/anandamide.

Several adverse medication reports have been provided to the FDA regarding this medication where a person killed a family member or acquaintance while the patient was either withdrawing from Olanzapine at the time, or had the prescription in their name but the exact timing of use was not known at the time of the adverse event.

I’ll have to keep looking for a different link that showed actual reports, but in the meantime here is a list of other adverse effects: [http://psychroachesadverseevent.blogspot.com/2009/03/zyprexa-adverse-reactions.html]

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./