Jump to content




Photo
- - - - -

Weight Gain On Abilify---Can I stop taking Abilify?


  • Please log in to reply
29 replies to this topic

#1 Haleybabee

Haleybabee

    Member

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 6 posts

Posted 30 November 2008 - 12:42 PM

I have ADD/ADHD, anxiety disorder and am also Bipolar. I am on 10 mgs of Abilify for the Bipolar. I used to weigh 110 lbs when I first started taking Abilify 3 yrs ago. I have gained 15 lbs since I've been on Abilify. Now I weigh 125 lbs. My self-esteem is low---I was a perfect, movie star Sz 2 all my life, and now I'm up to a SZ 8. This doesn't sound like a big deal, but to me it is, because I was super skinny all my life up until now. Abilify doesn't really even help me--I'm still non-functional at work. The only thing is I don't have manic episodes---Like road rage, for example, which I used to get often before beginning Abilify. I do not suffer from depression; however, I am beginning to feel really down about this continual weight gain. Can I just stop taking Abilify? What would happen to me if I went off of Abilify cold turkey?


#2 tryp

tryp

    DBT = Diary Card Bingo

  • Inmate
  • 6657 posts

Posted 30 November 2008 - 12:46 PM

Who do you get your Abilify from? I don't know anything about Abilify specifically, but going off psych meds cold turkey if you have another option isn't the best idea. Can you call your pdoc and talk about this? Can you hold off until your next appointment? If the meds aren't working the way you want them to, you should definitely let your provider know, and maybe they can help you come up with a solution.

Edited by tryp, 30 November 2008 - 12:47 PM.

Diag-nonsense: complex PTSD w/ recurrent depression
Tx: Lamictal (250) + prazosin (7.5) + therapy


#3 Haleybabee

Haleybabee

    Member

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 6 posts

Posted 30 November 2008 - 12:53 PM

Who do you get your Abilify from? I don't know anything about Abilify specifically, but going off psych meds cold turkey if you have another option isn't the best idea. Can you call your pdoc and talk about this? Can you hold off until your next appointment? If the meds aren't working the way you want them to, you should definitely let your provider know, and maybe they can help you come up with a solution.


I have talked to my psych doctor and expressed to her my disgust about the weight gain but she just tells me to change my diet--However---Eating is the problem--It seems like since I've been on the Abilify my appetite has increased---Its voracious, as a matter of fact. I can't stop eating.

#4 AnneMarie

AnneMarie

    Member

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 4644 posts

Posted 30 November 2008 - 12:57 PM

Well, it sounds like you were put on Abilify to stop you from going manic. You haven't gone manic since being on it. I'd venture to say the consequences of going off would be to go manic again.

Abilify is one of the more weight neutral stabilizers. You could work with your pdoc on trying other meds, but it's a crap shoot. Some can prove to be very fattening. Some not. Your mileage may vary.

How much dieting do you do? How much regular aerobic exercise? Part of what you are facing probably is related to aging, and yes, that starts in the mid/late twenties.

You can wait until you see your pdoc to sort this out. If you absolutely can't, then absolutely call your pdoc Monday morning. That would indicate disinhibition and possible hypomania.

Bipolar I and ADD


#5 tryp

tryp

    DBT = Diary Card Bingo

  • Inmate
  • 6657 posts

Posted 30 November 2008 - 12:58 PM

Who do you get your Abilify from? I don't know anything about Abilify specifically, but going off psych meds cold turkey if you have another option isn't the best idea. Can you call your pdoc and talk about this? Can you hold off until your next appointment? If the meds aren't working the way you want them to, you should definitely let your provider know, and maybe they can help you come up with a solution.


I have talked to my psych doctor and expressed to her my disgust about the weight gain but she just tells me to change my diet--However---Eating is the problem--It seems like since I've been on the Abilify my appetite has increased---Its voracious, as a matter of fact. I can't stop eating.


That sounds frustrating. Did you also tell her that you don't think the drug is controlling your symptoms as much as you'd like? If nothing else, you can always just tell her you are not willing to take that med anymore, and she will probably then work with you to change it or at least give you a good reason to keep taking it. Maybe she has some good reasons for you to be still taking it? As Stacia says, if it's controlling your mania, that's a powerful plus, and the benefits may end up being worth the weight gain.

Edited by tryp, 30 November 2008 - 12:59 PM.

Diag-nonsense: complex PTSD w/ recurrent depression
Tx: Lamictal (250) + prazosin (7.5) + therapy


#6 Haleybabee

Haleybabee

    Member

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 6 posts

Posted 30 November 2008 - 01:06 PM

Who do you get your Abilify from? I don't know anything about Abilify specifically, but going off psych meds cold turkey if you have another option isn't the best idea. Can you call your pdoc and talk about this? Can you hold off until your next appointment? If the meds aren't working the way you want them to, you should definitely let your provider know, and maybe they can help you come up with a solution.


I have talked to my psych doctor and expressed to her my disgust about the weight gain but she just tells me to change my diet--However---Eating is the problem--It seems like since I've been on the Abilify my appetite has increased---Its voracious, as a matter of fact. I can't stop eating.


That sounds frustrating. Did you also tell her that you don't think the drug is controlling your symptoms as much as you'd like? If nothing else, you can always just tell her you are not willing to take that med anymore, and she will probably then work with you to change it or at least give you a good reason to keep taking it. Maybe she has some good reasons for you to be still taking it? As Stacia says, if it's controlling your mania, that's a powerful plus, and the benefits may end up being worth the weight gain.


I guess it is controlling the mania. I am 36 yrs old, so my metabolism is probably changing, which doesn't make things easier. I want to lose 15 lbs by X-Mas. I have just started working out again, but its frustrating--I hop on the scale and have actually gained weight. I guess there's no easy solution.

#7 AnneMarie

AnneMarie

    Member

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 4644 posts

Posted 30 November 2008 - 01:12 PM

Here are some things to consider when thinking about changing meds.

The one you have works. Five lbs a year is something that some extra work should curb. (I have gained nearly 40 lbs in less than a year due to a med, so I am sympathic even if it might not sound like it. I also am on a strict diet w/exercise to try to slowly knock it off. I may not succeed, but the med works in ways no others have so it stays.)

Start up may include nausea and/or the stupids. Both hopefully will go away after a few weeks/month, but maybe not. Then you may be off to trial the next med which repeats this fun.

The med may not work and you go manic, or the cross over may otherwise be rough.

It may take multiple meds to do what this one does.

The next med may be more fattening.

The next med might work right off the bat. (In my experience, the odds of this are not very high.)

I'm not trying to say stay on Abilify. Personally, I believe anticonvulsants and Lithium are better long-term treatment than antipsychotics. I'm just trying to convey the reality of the med-go-round. It is not fun.

PS - Yes, if you are 36, much if not most of it is your metabolism changing.

Edited by Stacia, 30 November 2008 - 01:15 PM.

Bipolar I and ADD


#8 Petrucci914

Petrucci914

    Member

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 35 posts

Posted 01 December 2008 - 12:02 PM

Abilify and Geodon are the only weight-neutral Antipsychotics.

My guess would be a change of metabolism or diet

#9 sylvan

sylvan

    Pill Party

  • Admin
  • 4162 posts

Posted 01 December 2008 - 03:56 PM

Abilify and Geodon might be weight-neutral for some people but they are not weight-neutral for all. My son and I both take Abilify and have each gained a significant amount of weight. Stop the Abilify and the weight starts dropping off. Start back on the Abilify again and the weight gain starts.

It has been a year since one of the best people that I've ever had the pleasure of knowing passed away. He was strong, intelligent, caring, and honest. I had the honor of calling him Daddy. I will miss both my parents for as long as I live. I hope that I can be even half as good of a spouse, parent, and friend as the two of them were. Life is now forever changed for me. It will never be like it was. That doesn't mean it will all be bad, it will just be different.


#10 null0trooper

null0trooper

    Member

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 3928 posts

Posted 01 December 2008 - 04:19 PM

I was a perfect, movie star Sz 2 all my life, and now I'm up to a SZ 8.


From the wording choices there, I'd hazard a guess that it would be very much worth your while to work with a therapist on body image issues.

What's important is to have a functional mind in a healthy body, regardless of the official size of your dress.

Proof once again that we are the only adventurers for whom the letters "AD&D" stand for "Attention Deficit Disorder" - Roy Greenhilt, Order of the Stick

Rule your own nation at Cyber Nations, A nation simulation game! Yes, I do waste spend a lot of time on it, especially the Viridian Entente's alliance boards.


#11 Haleybabee

Haleybabee

    Member

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 6 posts

Posted 06 December 2008 - 09:23 AM

I was a perfect, movie star Sz 2 all my life, and now I'm up to a SZ 8.


From the wording choices there, I'd hazard a guess that it would be very much worth your while to work with a therapist on body image issues.

What's important is to have a functional mind in a healthy body, regardless of the official size of your dress.


But I don't have body image issues...Its about control. I have ABSOLUTELY no control over anything in my life, even though I try to make changes and do the things I'm supposed to do. I try and eat sensibly and work out, but still gain weight, so I have no control over regulating the weight. My job sucks, and there's not a thing in the world I can do to make it better, (I've tried), so I have no control over happiness in the job setting---My bipolar/ADD/ADHD prevents me from functioning at work, despite being on meds. Finally, I never have any money--I am on a strict budget due to having to file Ch 13 Bankruptcy and being forced to pay back $1450.00 a month to the Bankruptcy Trustee---So I have no control over my money---Because I never have any money. These three issues--ie--weight, money/lack thereof and inability to perform at work because of ADD/Bipolar---are totally out of my control.

#12 AnneMarie

AnneMarie

    Member

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 4644 posts

Posted 06 December 2008 - 10:11 AM

All of what you mentioned in is prime therapy territory. Seriously. Many of the people here go to therapy, so please don't read more into it than meds and therapy are the best treatment for bipolar. There is a lot to deal with, accept, and learn to manage, including all that you mentioned.

I don't know whether you have an ED or not. This is only a point of info - EDs are steeped in control issues.

As with everyone who has bipolar, you may be forced to choose between sane and fully functional with some extra pounds or svelt with some level of crazy and limited to no functionality. Sorry. If nothing else, a lean diet and a lot of exercise can usually keep it under control.

PS - I think I said this on your other thread. Make your pdoc and meds a priority. As long as you are running in some sort of mood state, everything is difficult and priorities can get messed up. Once you are truly stable, then you can figure the best way out of your present situation, including dialing in the best meds. Really. It is much easier then.

Edited by Stacia, 06 December 2008 - 10:16 AM.

Bipolar I and ADD


#13 Ashdene

Ashdene

    Ashdene

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 639 posts

Posted 21 December 2008 - 11:45 AM

do you think that part of you mania is what lead you to be so thin in the first place (increased control)? i know that might sound odd but just throwing it out there. If you get controlled over your eating then, well maybe since you don't have mania you are allowing yourself or realising you appetite more? Hence reaching a healthy weight?

I'm totally guessing and throwing it around!!!

But i feel your pain. i used to be super skinny and now starting to look normal, and its killing me, not everybody understands that!

Edited by Ashdene, 21 December 2008 - 11:46 AM.

Dx: Bipolar 1, ADHD, dyslexic with a ton of history of EDs and its consquences


Rx: Seroquel(150mg), Lamictal(300mg), trileptal(150mg), Concerta(36mg), Prozac (40mg), Dormonocte (2mg)

Stuff I have tried: Epilim, Topamax, Rivotril, Ciprilex, Welbutrin, Ativan, Straterra, Abilify, Zolpidem, Stilnox.... Ok really got to think hard now..... eek the list keeps growing


#14 danceintherain

danceintherain

    Member

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 1082 posts

Posted 21 October 2009 - 06:17 PM

I hope this doesn't come across the wrong way--but 15 pounds over the course of 3 years may not be a side effect. It definitely could be, if all your eating, exercise, stress, living habits, work environment, etc was completely the same. But those sorts of things can have a huge impact as well. So I wouldn't discount them as an option. That said, the AAPs are known for weight gain, so it definitely could be a side effect. Or some combo thereof.

Not having manic episodes is pretty huge--and I'd suggest that it's a sign that it's working. Other drugs might work equally well--but going off something completely would presumably lead toward another episode, based on the nature of the illness. So it might be worth talking to a pdoc about the situation and seeing if there's a possible switch that could be made?

The other thing that might be worthwhile is some therapy work on the body image/self-esteem stuff. I don't know your situation, but it can be helpful for some people. I've found it helpful myself.
bipolar I ish. Used to have some ptsd-like crap, but that's resolved.

current RXs: Ativan (1 mg), Lamictal (300mg, split); WellbutrinXL (150mg); geodon (20mgs w/ food). Also levothyroxine (75 mcg), levosertralizine, and
birth control.

Past Rxs: zoloft (like a sugar pill); lexapro (hit an akathesia problem or something else nasty like that); seroquel; ambien; sonata (all worked at different points in time, just changed for different reasons); effexorXR (wonderful for helping to yank me out of an episode; stopped after a few years b/c it seemed to be causing some agitation).

#15 OscillateWildly

OscillateWildly

    Member

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 714 posts

Posted 22 October 2009 - 04:02 AM

Abilify isn't a big weight gainer. Didn't affect me, and I have pretty incredible fatness tendency. I actually stopped sleeping and eating as consistently on it (but some days I would be ravenous so whatever).
Perhaps, this needs to be stated - a manic tendency will suppress body weight. Catecholamines (the neurotransmitters that make you wacked) make the body burn fat and suppress appetite. Loss of appetite & weight loss will happen for manic and psychotic people. Actually, drugs that make you stop throwing up can double as antipsychotics for that reason (because you become nauseated and lose your appetite when dopamine & serotonin is high, dopamine blockers prevent you from vomiting up your food). So it might be that your weight was low partly because of your MI problems.

But meds do cause abnormal weight gain and can promote metabolic diseases too, that is undoubtedly true... I always recommend a diabetic (low carb) diet for metabolic disease tendency. If the med is helping, don't stop it because of weight gain... try a weight / glucose/insulin control diet first. This will lower your appetite and improve your body fat burning much more easily than cutting calories, exercising, or any of the conventional advice.

#16 ooh_shiny!

ooh_shiny!

    I'm not crazy, I'm mentally spicy!

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 123 posts

Posted 17 November 2009 - 08:34 PM

oh no. you sound just like me except for the fact I went manic, gained 15 pounds, now a size 5 instead of a size zero, and IM JUST gonna start abilify tomorrow. i hope i dont gain too much... :-(

DX: Bipolar I, ADHD, GAD, OCD
, EDNOS (recovered)
RX: Abilify 5mg, Ritalin 240mg/daily, Xanax .50mg
Ex Rx's: Lamictal, Prozac, Seroquel, Zyprexa, Trazodone, Welbutrin, Dexedrine, Adderall, Concerta, Trileptal, Lorazepam, Clonazepam, Lexapro, Lithium, Cymbalta

Click to read my blog: Mentally Spicy




#17 kdbee

kdbee

    my friends love my "quirks"!

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 364 posts

Posted 16 December 2009 - 07:38 PM

Weight gain on meds is a HUGE issue for me...because I have a lifelong history of eating disorders. You mentioned that you don't have problems with your body image but also stated a few things that sound like something could be going on.

Loosing 15 lbs by christmas? TOTALLY unrealistic... that sounds like something I would say and have in the past. Loosing massive amounts of weight in a very short period of time. It's not rational. It can't happen if you're eating a healthy diet. You'd either have to have your leg chopped off or stop eating.

Control: One of the main reasons people suffer from eating disorders is control. We feel like everything else in our life is out of control and at least we can control just this one thing.

Perfect movie star body: Another unrealistic notion. It's a fantasy. Oftentimes when we do achieve this fantasy we do so at the cost of our health.

I don't know... I can't say whether you have an eating disorder or not. Only you know that. I hope that, if you do, you try to get yourself on track...it's so easy to get out of control.

Edited by ksh, 16 December 2009 - 07:42 PM.

Alright. Here you go--

DX/Issues: BP2 (mixed+rapid cycling), OCD, ADD, EDNOS, anorexia nervosa (recovered), BDD, some sort of avoidant shit, really bad & constant paranoia about everything, domestic abuse survivor

Drugs: Lexapro 10, Wellbutrin 450, Abilify 15, Klonopin 2 (max 6mg/day), Adderall 20-30

Past R/X's: Lithium (tried twice), Lamictal (complete hell), Depakote, Abilify (tried twice. second time worked amazingly. AMAZINGLY! Unfortunately, I simply cannot afford it...), Luvox (tried twice), Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Geodon, Dexedrine (did nothing), Ativan (really good for social phobia), Restoril, Wellbutrin (working amazingly this time around)

Other EEG Biofeedback (worked miracles for my OCD. My compulsions are infrequent and when they happen are manageable the vast majority of the time. Obsessions still happen, not as bad and are manageable), acupuncture- I did this for about a year and a half. While it helped greatly with some problems (my screwed up digestive system, poor immune system, constant lethargy) it did nothing to improve any aspect of my mental health. That said, I definitely think it's worth giving a try :)

#18 Stars

Stars

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 332 posts

Posted 16 December 2009 - 09:17 PM

I did not see what date this thread was started on but losing 15 pounds by xmas is probably not going to happen at age 36. I use to be able to eat yogurt for 3 days and lose 10 pounds. now the weight just eeks off at 1/4 or 1/2 pound increments. You are not old, please do not get me wrong. You are still young and I totally understand why you would want to be that size 2. You have to take meds-it seems. There are only a few drugs that are weight neutral. I'd have a talk with pdoc next visit. If it feels like an emergency, I agree, go in b/c it is not really an emergency and you are probably getting manic- which is an emergency.

#19 Guest_Guest_*

Guest_Guest_*
  • Guests

Posted 23 January 2010 - 03:15 AM

Perfect movie star body: Another unrealistic notion. It's a fantasy. Oftentimes when we do achieve this fantasy we do so at the cost of our health.


It's apparently not fantasy since people can actually achieve it and still be healthy. Anyone who claims otherwise is simply bitter.

#20 Guest_nina_*

Guest_nina_*
  • Guests

Posted 21 February 2010 - 11:13 PM

All the folks above who say that Abilify is weight neutral are wrong! I was given samples by my doctor. My appetite was over the top! No amount of food was enough for me. This is highly unusual for me. I stopped the medication immediately and returned all unopened samples of the drug to the doctor. He was quite surprised at my weight gain. I have 5 pounds of fat just hanging out on my belly. It is gross. I have stopped taking Abilify since Oct and it is now February. I still have the extra weight and the humungous appetite as well. I don't know how to stop this unusual appetite that I have never experienced before. I wish someone could tell me to what to do do settle down my appetite. Maybe I need medication which will control withdrawal symptoms. I don't know.





The content of individual posts on this site are the sole work of their authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and/or policies of the Administrators, Moderators, or other Members of the Crazyboards community. Health related topics should not be used for the purpose of diagnosis or substituted for medical advice. It is your responsibility to research the accuracy, completeness, and usefulness of all opinions, services, and other information found on the site, and to consult with your professional health care provider as to whether the information can benefit you.