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Postby cloud antlers » Mar 13, 2011 11:51 pm

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Re: Getting off Abilify

Postby Corvus » Mar 14, 2011 12:06 am

My experience with abilify was short lived. It was the drug to end all pharmaceuticals for me. It made me angry, anxious, completely unable to sit still for longer than 5 minutes, compulsive and obsessive. So, I was only on it a few weeks and then just quit. I don't remember having problems- but that could have been because the med gave me so many problems.
Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you. -Jung
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Postby cloud antlers » Mar 14, 2011 12:24 am

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Re: Getting off Abilify

Postby kimbriel » Mar 14, 2011 2:02 am

As you might imagine, cloud antlers, I have experience with Abilify (if you remember my psych visit video). I was only really on 10mg max, and I was never psychotic when I got put on it though. I was on it for 10 months and I tapered off quickly in one month. I'm now a little over 2 years Abilify-free.
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Postby cloud antlers » Mar 14, 2011 2:30 am

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Re: Getting off Abilify

Postby Stigma3Nigma » Mar 14, 2011 7:00 pm

hey Cloud Antlers, I am currently off abilify with doc's permission as of last Wednesday. I haven't noticed much change yet (I was on between 20 and 30 since September)...but I'm hoping my cognitive faculties improve as the drug leaves my system, since that is the problem I was/am having. I did get akathesia at 30mg, 50mg must have been horrible. Glad to hear you are getting off it as well. I'll keep you posted if I have any tangible changes. Its my belief it may have contributed to my depression or at least my mental decline so I'm just happy to remove it from my regimen.
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Postby cloud antlers » Mar 14, 2011 11:27 pm

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Re: Getting off Abilify

Postby PrincessGreen3 » Mar 15, 2011 1:44 am

Hi

I am on 20mg Abilify and the only side effects that I am experiencing are some obsessive behaviours, I wish they would lower the dose to 10mg and eventually 5mg and than none at all. When I stopped taking Abilify my symptoms came back which is why I am back on injections plus the Abilify tablet. I wish I was only on the Abilify and not the injections.

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Postby cloud antlers » Mar 19, 2011 1:35 am

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Re: Getting off Abilify

Postby sweetmadness » Mar 20, 2011 9:36 am

Hey Cloud Antlers,
Here's my honest experience with Abilify. It was the only one that worked for me. I couldn't sleep, and then I found it helped me calm down. I had ringing in my ears for so long (tinnitus) and nothing would help, it actually helped with that. I think it was neurological as my mom has complained of headaches and shocking without medication for so long. So, it really does help. One time I smoked marijuana and the effects weren't wearing off, I was having memory lapses and really weirded out, I took Abilify and it brought me back to reality. The honest to God truth is, Abilify may be like a miracle pill for me. I also think that it's good to experience life, and that medications aren't the ultimate answer to life. But, when I'm rational my life is much more fun. I can live.
"Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better."
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Re: Getting off Abilify

Postby sweetmadness » Mar 20, 2011 9:41 am

Also wanted to add: I've tried getting off it. I went for a year off it, and then I became psychotic after about six months. I was really out of it....I just don't think it's worth the risk for me, personally. I'm in college so It's not worth it. I don't want to freak out and embarrass myself in college. That happened in HS, I stormed out of Spanish, thought my principle was looking at me through a mirror, thought the councilor wanted to brainwash me...etc.

I don't think it's easy, though, believe me. If you can function without it--more power to you! Nash did it, to my knowledge. If you can compensate for the symptoms by exercising your brain more, I think that would alleviate the stress and possible relapse. But you can't deny the risk. I know that the worst part of relapse, is we think we're well until it's too late. We deny help, get angry because we so desperately want to stop taking pills....
"Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better."
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Re: Getting off Abilify

Postby Parenthetical » Mar 21, 2011 10:43 pm

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Postby cloud antlers » Mar 22, 2011 1:28 pm

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Postby cloud antlers » Mar 26, 2011 11:32 pm

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Re: Getting off Abilify

Postby S.G. » Apr 19, 2011 6:15 pm

I was on Abilify (20 mg--but upped to 25 mg for a week if I started to get manic symptoms & that would knock those symptoms out & then I would return to 20 mg) for about 20 years!! I was paranoid & very depressed & a lot of stuff w/dx of bipolar 1, PTSD, acute anxiety, etc. I did very well on Lithium (never felt that good in my life; had 1st suicide attempt at 15), but blood tests showed my kidneys were malfunctioning on Lithium. Doc told me to drink more water. I drank massive amounts of water (felt very good in the rest room!) so had to get off it after a couple mos. as couldn't get my kidney function to normal. I do have some kidney damage after that short time on Lithium.

Tried Geodon--fell asleep while driving & got so dizzy on that; only lasted 4 days.

Then went to Abilify w/Lamictal, Xanax...

Concerta for ADHD & Provigil for excessive daytime sleepiness.

Abilify really helped me to think clearly, but I gained 50 lbs. on it. When I first started on it, it was supposed to be "weight neutral" but now they warn about metabolic syndrome (which I have) & weight gain. Everyone in my DBSA support group gained on Abilify except one person!

Abilify gave me the ability to benefit from Dialectical Behavioral Therapy & individual therapy. After 3 mos. of DBT & therapy I wanted to get off Abilify--thought therapy was helping so much. Meds provider agreed as she saw such a positive change in me. So got off Abilify (I just quit taking it altogether w/no problem) & am lessening dosages of Lamictal...
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Postby cloud antlers » Apr 24, 2011 3:42 pm

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Re: Getting off Abilify

Postby kimbriel » Apr 24, 2011 3:56 pm

Ooh, I lost weight on Abilify. I lost a ton of weight on Seroquel. I'm a weirdo.
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Re: Getting off Abilify

Postby Lu Dommel » May 22, 2011 11:38 am

Hi,

I have been on 30mg of abilify for 4 months.

Now I have quited abilify (with the help of Jezus Christ and lost of friendly people from the church and God) since a little longer than two months now.

I am becoming more and more tired. I think the abilify is still in my system. It went good with me for a long time - and I am doing good, because I have absolutely no psychotic symptoms - but the tiredness is increasing this week. I thought I was going to go to my study for the first time this college year 10/11, but I felt so tired.

I hate it. Does anyone has any good advise? Please help. The only thing I can think of is drinking lots of water.
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Re: off Abilify/tiredness

Postby S.G. » May 22, 2011 2:20 pm

I would definitely get a good, thorough physical exam to address the fatigue. Fatigue is very debilitating & there can be many causes (I know as I have quite a few of them!). Chronic fatigue leads to depression, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, irritability--just plain old low quality of life. For me the battery of blood tests at my physical exam w/the internal medicine doc (who actually dxed me w/bipolar 1 rather than unipolar depression which my G.P. had been dxing me with & "mis"treating me for many years w/anti-depressants) turned up several causes for my fatigue & additional causes of depression besides the bipolar issue (lucky me).

**Pernicious Anemia (so started w/monthly B-12 shots; did this for a few years & then the I.M. doc read a study in Sweden that showed high doses of oral B-12 {2,000 mcg} was as effective as the shots so she had me try that & tested me to see if it worked which it did so I do that daily now which is much more convenient than having to go to her office monthly for the shot but insurance doesn't pay for the OTC supplement pills as they did pay for the shots). Pernicious anemia is more prevalent in people of Northern European descent (which I am) & the person usually has it for about 10 years before it is dxed (similar to bipolar). The doc did the test twice (2 weeks apart & before the 2nd test had me not take any kind of aspirin or OTC pain relievers & told me to not take anything other than my currently prescribed meds & to not drink any alcohol as the test results can show either anemia OR liver damage & taking these other things out of the equation before the 2nd test cleared up the question as to whether it was actually liver damage or pernicious anemia). The doc said my levels were so low she didn't know how I got out of bed in the morning! It is amazing what you get used to as "normal." I remember when I first got on Lithium & I felt SO GREAT! I wondered, "Is this what other people feel like all the time?" I couldn't believe how good I felt. I've never felt like that before or since (had to get off it within 3 mos. due to kidney malfunction & even have a small amount of kidney damage just from that short time on it & have to take potassium chloride pills daily now). SORRY, I am such a rambler!! If pernicious anemia is not treated it eventually leads to insanity (my husband says the doc didn't catch it in time for me!) & then death (thus, the name "pernicious" which means "deadly" or "fatal"); similar to untreated syphilis, I believe!

**Low Thyroid--This was also found in the blood tests at my physical. I now take thyroid pills. The doc has me on Synthroid & will not prescribe the generic form as she said she has found the generic form does not produce satisfactorily consistent levels of the medicine in the patient so she has to test the levels more frequently! So the cost is actually more to get more frequent blood tests than to pay a bit more for Synthroid than for the generic form. She doesn't hesitate to prescribe the generic form of other medications (though for certain people she has found certain generics just don't work). I have a friend who takes Ambien for sleep & the generic just doesn't work for her, but her insurance will not pay for the "name brand" even if the doc specifies it! That makes me so angry that the insurance companies are deciding which medications you have to take (unless you can afford to pay out-of-pocket which most of us can't). It seems to me your doc who knows you, your medical condition & is actually "treating" you should be the one to have the final say on what medications you take--not some bean-counting insurance guy. I've heard some insurance companies make you "try" the cheaper things before you can go onto the more expensive ones, even if your doc thinks the more expensive ones would be the best choice for you. I think that is a terrible idea, because the insurance "guy" would probably require you to take Lithium (cheap & works well in most people but does cause permanent damage in some people, like me) & if your doc thinks maybe another medication would be more effective for you or beneficial or produce less side effects than Lithium but he/she is forced to put you on Lithium despite his best medical opinion for several mos. just to get the insurance people off his back so he can prescribe the medication that is the one he thinks will be the most effective for you is not only wrong, but dangerous. Ugh--just picked up my medicines from the pharmacy yesterday & didn't look at them (of course) & now see they gave me the generic for Synthroid so called them & pharmacist said if the doc didn't specify to NOT give the generic they will automatically give the generic. So I told her my doc has told me she does not want me to take the generic for Synthroid & would she please look at the actual script (put me on hold for a long while to show her "power, I guess), but then came back on w/the "What do you know? The doc DID specify NO GENERIC FORM OF SYNTHROID!" No apology, however. Just for me to bring back the wrong medication (at my "convenience"--which will never be convenient, actually) to switch it out to the correct medication.

**Sleep Issues--Whether chronic insomnia, sleep apnea or interrupted sleep (or any of the numerous problems that can make a good night's sleep difficult of impossible), sleep problems need to be addressed. First, there needs to be a proper dx so there can, hopefully, be some kind of remedy besides drugging you. I had a sleep study done & don't have sleep apnea, but do have very poor sleep. I just wake up for no reason, am very (very, very) restless (kept pulling off all the monitoring patches, too) so I don't get into that deep REM sleep (cannot remember any dreams at all) so have excessive daytime sleepiness despite taking Concerta (stimulant) for ADHD. Fell asleep while driving so now take Provigil (life-saver, literally; usually prescribed for people w/narcolepsy) so can function during the day & carry around caffeine pills, too, for if I feel like I'm drifting off.

**Anxiety--High anxiety drains you, as does chronic pain (issues I'm going through right now). Hello, Mayo Clinic! My social life is seeing the neurologist, pain management doc, surgeon, psychiatric nurse practitioner, I.M. doc, DBT group, & a long-suffering husband.

I have to find some way to balance all this cr*p & have some quality of life, some joy, get some exercise--both for my body & brain & to reduce the anxiety. Need to try to maintain a healthy diet when I just want to eat some ice cream, take a Klonopin (or 3) & go to bed!

Overcoming challenges are a part of life, but being exhausted make it so much more difficult so tackling the fatigue issue is very important. Good luck!!



I finally switched to the internal medicine doc who instantly (well, after reading my family history of mother w/bipolar 1 & seeing me in an agitated, crying, & hyped up state & speaking like a revved up 78 LP) dxed me in a "mixed" episode of bipolar, started me on Depakote & gave me a referral to a pdoc (ended up not staying w/that pdoc or on Depakote, but it started me on my merry way trying to "get stable" w/the new dx of bipolar 1).
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Postby cloud antlers » Jun 22, 2011 3:06 am

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