Saturday, January 19, 2008

Geodon and Insomnia

Does anyone else out there take Geodon (antipsychotic/mood stabilizer), and do they experience completely unpredictable sped-up-ness and then very strong sedation cycling so that it is either great or a serious problem one way or another for someone who is trying as best she can to organize her life, which, for, this person, can not be done without reliable sleep cycles taking precedence?

Geodon is the only drug of it's ilk that I can take side-effect-wise even though that is the one I od-ed on trying to play it by ear.  [reference tomorrow]  Too much... too little....  I'm strongly inclined to try to wean myself off it, against the advise of everyone who knows me.  I understand that it is very helpful when it is helpful.  But it's 3:52 in the morning.  I did my work (my real work - see last post "Work") downtown yesterday till 5:30 PM, hiked up the cable car line home again  (since I didn't stamp my transportation card this month again) (I did get that ticket taken care of [will link refer that too) tidied the place and the cat with my cat-sitter on his way home, ate my frozen cannelloni, called my brother to say hello and ask a tech question, took my antivirals, Geodon, fell asleep without Ambien (- which is good because I want to save them because Geodon also seems to cancel them out so sometimes I need more than one - which also might have been part of that od sedation).  I did everything right and I am wide fucking awake.  I tried.  I tried letting  sleep sink in from the somnolent cat curled around  my chest.  

I've been doing the Saturday part of my work in the mornings - still not early like most people are capable, but morning.  Thankfully tomorrow, he (my cat-sitter doesn't need me till 1:00 PM, but this is really pissing me off because I'm trying to do everything right. And morning is going to suck now 1:00 PM or not. OK I'm taking another Ambien (against the rules because I took one an hour ago) but sometimes they seem to have no effect all - only with the Geodon.  Otherwise they are heavenly reliable.

I'm sorry to be complaining.  If I weren't really trying, it wouldn't matter.  I'd just sleep when I can, and not venture too far from the apartment alone for when the sedation hits.

I am, wishing everyone else better luck, though.


laughingwolf said...

sorry, no... have never taken either of them... only prozac, when i really had to

hope you got some sleep, hon!

Jim said...

Two of my daughters are taking similar antipsychotic/mood stabilizer medications and I know what you mean.

One of them take sleeping pills so she can sleep while the other one already have another medication she is taking is makng her sleep.

I have trouble sleeping at times so there are days I do struggle. However, when I struggle, I am remind myself that I am doing this for "ME" so I can feel good. That works for me.

Have a GREAT weekend.

Hugs, Jim

Merelyme said...

my goodness are not are sharing facts about your experience and you are trying and as i see it...succeeding. you are moving beyond survival. i hope you did manage to get some sleep.

Tery said...

I was on Geodon and I hated it. I never left the bathroom and everday I felt like I had the flu. I don't remember the sleep pattern though..sorry.

Hope you are doing well.

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

Insomnia sucks. I hope you can sleep soon.

I have never taken Geodon. Is there any way that you can switch meds?

tati said...

I have nothing to contribute on the med issue. just sending love.

i did start a blog when you get time and inclination to hop over.

susan said...

I am sorry you are having so much trouble with Geodon. I know for me ( I was on 200 mg taken at once at night) it caused rapid heart beat and in the beginning cause sleeping like 18 hours a day or more.

I am down to a decent 60 mg now and it's working much better.

I had the same problem with Ambien as you did as well. It seems the meds either make me sleep to the point I am a zombie, or sleep so little I am in danger of flipping to mania.

take care.

KD said...

Please talk to George about the geodan and don't stop taking it on your own. i can't believe that he can't or can't deal with this issue.

about jenji said...

First of all, you're not complaining; if you want to hear complaining I'll introduce you to my *Aunt Edna.

*name changed to protect Aunt Edna's identity

Second, insomnia.

Ah, yes.

I refer to this sleep dilemma as The Circadian-Kick-In-The-Pants or what my R-rated audiences have come to recognize as The Circadian—are you fuckin balling me—Kick-In-The-Pants.

Sometimes, Circadian-wise, our bodies will just do what they want to do despite the myriad of drugs that may be running through our systems.

At night I take Risperdal, Trileptal and Restoril, which all sport the may-cause-sedation label upon the bottle when I pick them up from my dealer—ah, pharmacist. In fact, my pharmacy warns that I shouldn’t operate a vehicle and/or heavy machinery until I know the full effects of these drugs and seeing as I’m not planning on any impulsive late-night travels and/or necropolistic exhumations, one might surmise that I might settle in for a peaceful night of sedated slumber. I’m just sayin’ the labels warned me and I’m counting on it.

However, I too will often find myself frustrated, staring at a computer monitor and/or television infomercial late night/early morning (and ultimately a “somnolent cat”) as I attempt to make sense out of nonsense; sense of the sedative or non-sedative effect, which seems to defy all pharmacotherapeutic rationale.

Why is this happening? I mean, I’m an educated woman—I can figure this out, I’m up anyway. Is it the time-release Wellbuterin speaking up? Is it the Concerta beckoning to be heard? I mean, what?

By the way, what’s the one thing more annoying than a “somnolent cat” during a fit of insomnia?

That would be my "somnolent cat" Harold, who snores like a feline version of Fred Flinstone. Now that's a double whammy, as his peaceful posture indicates sound sleep and his percussive breathing indicates, no really Mom, I’m sleeping. Ah, to be a cat—my cat.

Eventually, I just came to the conclusion that my system is on a clock foreign to all humankind and that I was in fact meant to be some sort of nocturnal, tree-dwelling life form.

When I truly thought back I realized that my clock has always been a temperamental and sensitive force to be reckoned with. Basically, it just is what it is and I’ve had to learn to be okay with the fact that I can in no way predict when it will be what it wants to be.

To answer your question about Geodon, I find that Risperdal, which is in the same class as Geodon, will often provide that hit-or-miss result as well. For me, it’s a very fine line in dosage: too much and I’m thick-tongued, dimwitted, groggy and essentially useless; too little leaves me edgy, jittery, hyper-alert and wired. I’ve gone on and off this drug for different reasons here and there and overall the benefits outweigh the costs, but it still remains a royal pain in the ass when it comes to getting it just right.

As for the insomnia.

I’ve struggled with it all my life. Most of the time I can ride upon the reliable sleep cycle with the help of various drugs, but sometimes I just have to throw on a helmet and go off-road despite them. I would recommend that you talk to your doctor about the dosage, as they (antipsychotics/ms) can be touchy—especially if you have a sensitive system. I would strongly discourage that you just go off this drug cold turkey, as doing so could have dire consequences depending upon your dosage.

Good luck and avoid those infomercials!

Oh and say night night to your kitty from my kitty.

Be well,

Greta Perry said...

Here is hoping you will crash and have a good night's sleep tonight!

+PHc said...

Thank you Laughingwolf and Jim. Your comments here make me happy, although I'm sorry Jim's daughter's have difficulties.

Merelyme, I'm so glad to see you back, If I just didn't sleep , but didn't get mad, and wrote something you know that had something to it... and didn't take the sleeping pill, just stayed up, I'd be zonked the next day , but I could do it. But when I get mad and start taking too many sleeping pills that might help a little bit at the time maybe, I get all the side-effects of the double or triple hangover and really - no way - not possible- can't do anything. I guess it makes me so mad because it's not what I think of as a side-effect if it has total control of my ability to do anything at all sometimes which is scary. But yeah - by the time I needed to be, I was functional enough. Thanks.

Yeah Teri, I feel like I have a mild flu which doesn't bother me, and feel like I have to pee all the time, but can't. It's helpful just tp hear others out there whovw taken it. Thanks.

And no Whimsy, I've been on everything in the pharmacopeia and these side effects I have been able to live with - life-limiting as they are because you can't plan around the unpredictability, but the side-effects of all the others were, for me worse (like lactating). So my pdoc has honored what I can stand and what I can take, and this is it - and really does help the way it's supposed to too. But I'll just have to take less the nights before I have to do something scheduled.

Susan, I'm glad the 60's working better for you these days - it can rally help some.

Tati, love back! And I can't wait to read a blog from you!

+PHc said...

Thank you Susan and good luck - keep in touch!

KD - Thank you and you know this is not a new conversation with George. Geodon in itself (if allow it to be life-definig) improves quality of life better tan any of the others. But it impairs participation in life outside blogging and cat. No - even cat care sometimes.

Jenji - a lot to respond to! Thank you and lets keep in touch, too.

Listen to this one as a cruel joke from God for an unhappily childless 41-year-old: Risperdol (and some others) cause for me breast enlargement and LACTATION. Insomnia is preferable.

I'm glad you have a cat though.

Thank you Greta. I just woke up. I can't believe all this support. (woke up to find the gas stove still on all night and morning and afternoon - I'm glad to be alive!)

about jenji said...

No, no , no!

You drew the unlucky lactation card?

Oh man. I read about that. And here I thought that side-effect was just a figment of my imagination--

You win!
Childless AND lactating? Cruel.


+PHc said...

AND HIV+ and lactating so it's just one more fluid to feel freaked out about.

Merelyme said...

i take melatonin to get to sleep but i suppose that it doesn't work for everyone. i don't feel groggy when i get up with it.

+PHc said...

Merelyme, hanks melatonin is one thing I haven't tried. Ambien doesn't make me groggy at all when I'm not on Geodon - but it just doesn't work when I'm on the Geodon so I end up really stupidly taking two or thrree of them to get any sleep - That's when I can't function the next day You're not supposed to do that. I'll try one Ambien and some melatonin and see. I just now woke up feeling fine - at midnight. So I'm trying to catch up a little on everything.