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Old 10-12-2012, 03:30 PM   #1
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Question about Schizophrenia medications (Clozaril and Haldol)

Hello all!

My name is Alex and I have a question about schizophrenia medications. I've done some research and found a lot of people touting Clozaril. How do other medications such as Haldol compare? I have a friend who said Clozaril gave him his life back and Haldol paled in comparison. My girlfriend of several years now has Schizophrenia and was on Clozaril and is back on Haldol. Her father believes her psychiatrist and social worker were in a conspiracy to test clazoril on her and was very much opposed to her taking it. Her psychologist and I both noticed she did markedly better on clazoril (after only a few months) than on haldol, but her father disagrees. Also, I noticed the weight gain seems to be worse on haldol. Since switching from clozail to haldol she has gained 10 lbs. Also, is there anything to help the weight gain side effect that it seems all the medications have? She is now 40 lbs over her normal weight and her cholesterol is dangerously high and she has lower back problems due to most of the weight storing in the front of her stomach (which I find unusual because I thought people gained weight more evenly). Is weight gain inherent to the drugs themselves and does it mostly occur around the belly, or is the weight gain a product of other side effects like lethargy, slowed metabolism, ect.? Namely, if she started eating healthier quantities and exercising daily would she return to her normal weight with time even though she's still on the drugs? She used to be in track and enjoyed running, and while on clozaril started running again, but now she seems to make excuses to not run, and recently she told me she was trying to gain weight. Her doctors have advised her to lose weight.
Thanks for any feedback!

 
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Old 12-16-2012, 05:30 PM   #2
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Re: Question about Schizophrenia medications (Clozaril and Haldol)

haldol is considered a "typical" (older) antipsychotic, and clozaril an "atypical" (newer) though it is thought to be more related to a typical than some of the other atypicals. haldol is very effective but can cause tardive dyskenesia, a movement disorder that results from too little dopamine, something that antipsychotics suppress. clozaril has more of a risk of weight gain and diabetes, and also an inherent risk with white blood cells, which means you have to have your blood tested once a week when you start.

though clozaril usually causes more weight gain than haldol, i'm not saying that it can't be the other way around. meds affect people differently. as my psychiatrist says "we are all a catagory of one."

meds can affect metabolism, meaning it's harder to maintain an normal weight on these drugs, but extra exercise and healthy eating can really make a difference.

i hated the way haldol made me feel, but clozaril has been awesome even though i don't like the side effects. people are afraid of it because of the blood disorder issues, but if you are monitored such things can be avoided. unfortunately it is a lot more expensive than haldol.

i have been on almost all antipsychotics in the book. if you need more info let me know!

 
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:57 PM   #3
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Re: Question about Schizophrenia medications (Clozaril and Haldol)

I have had schizo affective disorder for eleven years. When I was started on Clozaril my symptoms reduced greatly, but to maintain effectiveness the dose had to be increased. After five years the dose was at its maximum, so my psychiatrist added Haldol. A year later my symptoms returned. A new psychiatrist suggested a change from Clozaril to Latuda. Latuda is great! I have been on it for two months. Immediately after the med change friends and family noticed that I was a different person, and loved the changes they saw. It has made every aspect of my mental illness more manageable. I am still on a low dose of Haldol, but plan to end it completely.

Since the onset of schizo affective disorder I gained over hundred and sixty-five pounds. Most of the weight gain happened on Clozaril. During my time on Clozaril I developed diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and was sleeping ten to fourteen hours daily. Since the med change to Latuda I have lost over forty pounds. Mostly with no diet change and minimal exercise. My PCP has taken me off two cholesterol medicines, one diabetes medicine, and decreased the other diabetes medicine. Now I sleep seven to eight hours a night and feel great when I wake up.

Maybe Latuda or another newer atypical anti psychotic is a good choice. Everyone is different. Good luck finding something that works well.

 
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:38 PM   #4
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Re: Question about Schizophrenia medications (Clozaril and Haldol)

Quote:
Originally Posted by markv64 View Post
Since the onset of schizo affective disorder I gained over hundred and sixty-five pounds. Most of the weight gain happened on Clozaril. During my time on Clozaril I developed diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and was sleeping ten to fourteen hours daily. Since the med change to Latuda I have lost over forty pounds. Mostly with no diet change and minimal exercise. My PCP has taken me off two cholesterol medicines, one diabetes medicine, and decreased the other diabetes medicine. Now I sleep seven to eight hours a night and feel great when I wake up.
.
what sucks for me is that the meds that seem to help the most with my symptoms are the ones that cause the most weight gain. i started at 95 lbs (pretty tiny for my height, but i struggled with anorexia) seroquel made me gain 15 lbs, which was fine (i was 110) and it helped my symptoms minimally. zyprexa made me gain 20 (130, still pretty ok) and was good, but not my dream med, and clozaril (which is my miracle medication) added another 20 (150).

since my highest weight i finally have been able to lose 30 lbs but it takes a LOT of work. i exercise everyday and don't eat for pleasure, just for sustenance. diabetes is always a risk but i'm doing what i can. i am tired but really try to be active everyday.

i've heard great things about latuda from some people. meds are often a sacrifice, but i do know people who have found meds that worked for them that don't cause a lot of side effects. oh man though, i'd love to be able to get 8 hours of sleep and be ok. i'm exhausted all the time with no end in sight. i'm getting more and more used to the clozaril but it's still hard to deal with.

 
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