Bipolar Disorder and Sleep: Levomepromazine,Neurocil and Nozinan

I’ve written a lot about Lamictal and Generic Lamictal (Lamotrigine) the past few months. This is the drug I take as do many other people with bipolar disorder. One reader commented that she couldn’t sleep when she was on Lamictal. That was a side effect I had not heard. Other people have had the same problem- here is a comment from a reader:

Hi Julie,

It took nine months before I could sleep without some sleep aid. Low doses of Zyprexa or levomepromazin helped.




Hi Lena,

A friend of mine has had trouble sleeping and her doctor suggested that she use a small dose of Zyprexa. She knows it will work, but she’s scared to feel like a zombie again. She just started a new job. It’s frustrating for her. Others use the Zyprexa with great success. She has to find something that will work for her.

I wasn’t familiar with the other drug you mentioned, so I looked it up.

Levomepromazin is an anti psychotic that has strong sedative effects. I can see how it would work like Zyprexa in terms of sleep. Currently, Levomepromazine is not registered in the USA. In Europe it has been marketed for decades as Neurocil® and Nozinan®.

Nozinan® is also available in Canada.

I also read that it has a lot of side effects in high doses which may be why it’s not used as an anti psychotic in the US. Or, of course, it could just be something economic!

Severe sleep problems are really dangerous for people with bipolar disorder, so if you’re having trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor and get more information. Also, make sure your sleep problems are not a result of mania!

Some drugs, like Lamictal produce such unbelievable relief- people are willing to stay on then despite the side effects.  Sometimes the side effects are just too strong. It depends on the person. The good news is that side effects often get a lot better if you can make it through the first three to six months.

2 comments to Bipolar Disorder and Sleep: Levomepromazine,Neurocil and Nozinan

  • Sarah

    I was on Zyprexa for two months after my hospitalization for mania and it worked well initially but then I entered what my husband calls the “Zyprexa zombie” month. Finally he called my psychiatrist (I was really unaware of what he was talking about but everyone around me including my husband could see it) and we switched to Seroquel. Puts me to sleep, controls my moods, and doesn’t make me a zombie. I love Seroquel! (except for the excess sleepiness feeling when I am on too high a dose…)

  • Lena

    Hi again!

    That was some time ago! I have been medication-free for 19 months now – almost free from depression, some mild hypomanias still. And some major life-style changes! Anyway – I´m back to work and am on my way in two hours from now to a planning meeting about an international research project about nutrition and depression, where I probably will be some sort of assistant/coordinator. Thankyou for your books and your blog – they have helped me so much!


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