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Want to go off of Abilify

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So I've been on Abilify and Lamictal for bipolar disorder for about 2 years now, and I just recently realized that one or both of those drugs (most likely Abilify) could be causing me to gain weight. I'm not talking about a little bit of weight either; over the past 2 years I've gained about 50 lbs. I was pretty skinny to begin with, but not anymore. I'm the kind of person who cares a lot about their physical appearance (even though I'm not incredibly social), so this is a pretty big deal to me. I've also experienced a few other problems that may or may not be related to Abilify, but I'd rather not talk about them here; sufficed to say that they're rather important to me as well. Still, the weight gain is the main problem.

I made an appointment a long time ago to see my psychiatrist in June. This was before I knew when school ended and also before I came to the realization that the medication I was on could be causing the weight gain. I think it is probably too late to make the appointment any sooner (he is probably booked by now), so I'm not sure what I should do. I really don't want to wait a whole month to do something about this - I want a solution now. I know I might sound impatient, but realize that I've been dealing with this for about 2 years now.

If I can talk to my doctor, I might consider changing my medication to something else. Otherwise, I'm considering just going off of my medication altogether. I realize there's a risk of having a relapse, but this problem is significant enough to me that I'm almost willing to risk it. What do you think I should do?

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Posted · Report post

Talk to your doctor no matter what, don't just come off your medication on your own, that could cause some serious problems. Can't you call and talk tp someone about this rather than just waiting for your appointment?

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Posted · Report post

I might be able to do that, although I keep forgetting to call. I've been extremely busy the past couple of weeks. I like your avatar, by the way.

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Posted · Report post

If you're bipolar, there's not just a risk of relapse if you go off your meds, you WILL relapse, it's only a question of when. Don't do anything before you see your doctor.

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Posted · Report post

I agree with the others: I had a psychotic episode when I went off my meds without my doc's approval. Don't do it.

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Posted · Report post

I'm having the same problem with Abilify. It's becoming a huge problem especially since I have a problem with eating disorders/body image. I see my pdoc on Mon and intend to ask her to switch up my meds.

It really is a shame because Abilify works great for me. I am just miserable with the weight though. And it all goes to my stomach...i look pregnant. Can't deal and it's gotten to the point where I'm purging again. No good.

Good luck to you

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Posted · Report post

Yea when I cold turkey'ed abilify after only a month of use, it fucked my mood up. So make sure if you do go off you do it slowly and if you have been on it this long, and you have a mood disorder, some type of breakthrough mood symptoms are probably going to come up.

Before you change your medication, try changing your diet first. Many of these drugs cause weight gain by inducing glucose intolerance (an inability to metabolize glucose correctly). You can circumvent glucose intolerance by eating a low carb diet and taking supplements like chromium. I have inborn glucose intolernace (i.e. not drug induced), and the only way I can stay thin and not be 300 pounds with numerous disorders related to glucose intolerance is by eating a very low carb diet (and chromium/inositol also help).

I also suggest inositol for glucose intolerance, but this supplement possibly can trigger mania for bipolar disorder (anecdotal report is mixed, some say it helps mania others say it causes it....there is no sufficient evidence either way, and a lot of antiepileptics do deplete inositol like lithium, which causes lots of symptoms that can be corrected by inositol supplementation).

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Posted · Report post

I'm having the same problem with Abilify. It's becoming a huge problem especially since I have a problem with eating disorders/body image. I see my pdoc on Mon and intend to ask her to switch up my meds.

It really is a shame because Abilify works great for me. I am just miserable with the weight though. And it all goes to my stomach...i look pregnant. Can't deal and it's gotten to the point where I'm purging again. No good.

Good luck to you

I'm feeling just like this. Maybe we all need to go off it! It does work wonderfully though, I think.

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Posted · Report post

Yea when I cold turkey'ed abilify after only a month of use, it fucked my mood up. So make sure if you do go off you do it slowly and if you have been on it this long, and you have a mood disorder, some type of breakthrough mood symptoms are probably going to come up.

Before you change your medication, try changing your diet first. Many of these drugs cause weight gain by inducing glucose intolerance (an inability to metabolize glucose correctly). You can circumvent glucose intolerance by eating a low carb diet and taking supplements like chromium. I have inborn glucose intolernace (i.e. not drug induced), and the only way I can stay thin and not be 300 pounds with numerous disorders related to glucose intolerance is by eating a very low carb diet (and chromium/inositol also help).

I also suggest inositol for glucose intolerance, but this supplement possibly can trigger mania for bipolar disorder (anecdotal report is mixed, some say it helps mania others say it causes it....there is no sufficient evidence either way, and a lot of antiepileptics do deplete inositol like lithium, which causes lots of symptoms that can be corrected by inositol supplementation).

OW, is glucose intolerance something for which you've actually been tested, and with which you've been diagnosed by a doctor? Or is it one of your self-diagnoses? I only ask because I can't seem to find any references to, "inborn glucose intolerance," other than type I diabetes. Everything I'm seeing suggests it's either lifestyle related, or secondary to some other health issue. So, just curious?

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Inborn glucose intoleranace is not a diagnosis. This is a phrase of speech I selected to describe a person who has glucose intolerance/disorder issues.

Impared glucose tolerance or IGT is a medical diagnosis made when a person has signs of type II diabetes that are below clinical diagnosis. It is basically mild diabetes, sort of cyclothymia compared to bipolar II.

When I speak of glucose tolerance issues, I describe any person who has signs of glucose metabolism dysfunction. E.g. signs of insulin excess like skin tags and acanthosis of skin, PCOS, hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia, feeling extremely fatigued after eating, chronic hunger, weight gain particularly around the midsection, ... you know, signs that your glucose and insulin system is FUBARed.

I have a history of extreme obesity, PCOS, and reactive hypoglycemia, all of which are connected to glucose metabolism disorder and insulin disorder. All of these conditions are controlled when I eat a glucose balancing diet. Yes these are officially diagnosed and yes the diet controls them.

Type I diabetes is not related to any metabolic disorder. Type I diabetes is an autoimmune disease, usually acquired early in life, where the beta cells that make insulin are attacked by the body and killed, so that insulin is no longer naturally produced. The person with type I diabetes has a metabolism like everyone else (no intolerance to glucose, no insulin signalling disorder) the only issues is that they don't make insulin any more because of this autoimmune disease.

Type I diabetes has no relationship to type II diabetes, pathophysiologically speaking, they just share similar symptoms of hyperglycemia.

EDIT: oh and IGT is not "lifestyle related", it is basically mild type II diabetes. Many people with IGT go on to develop type II diabetes. Lifestyle does affect how bad one's diabetes is, but it does not cause diabetes. This is a myth that needs to die, because lifestyle alone cannot describe why one person becomes extremely obese or diabetic on the exact same lifestyle where in which another person would be thin and have no glucose / insulin disorder. Genes control how lifestyle affects us, ultimately genes determine whether or not someone will have any glucose issues, IGT, or type II diabetes... lifestyle just pulls the trigger or makes it worse.

Edited by OscillateWildly

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Posted · Report post

Yea when I cold turkey'ed abilify after only a month of use, it fucked my mood up. So make sure if you do go off you do it slowly and if you have been on it this long, and you have a mood disorder, some type of breakthrough mood symptoms are probably going to come up.

Before you change your medication, try changing your diet first. Many of these drugs cause weight gain by inducing glucose intolerance (an inability to metabolize glucose correctly). You can circumvent glucose intolerance by eating a low carb diet and taking supplements like chromium. I have inborn glucose intolernace (i.e. not drug induced), and the only way I can stay thin and not be 300 pounds with numerous disorders related to glucose intolerance is by eating a very low carb diet (and chromium/inositol also help).

I also suggest inositol for glucose intolerance, but this supplement possibly can trigger mania for bipolar disorder (anecdotal report is mixed, some say it helps mania others say it causes it....there is no sufficient evidence either way, and a lot of antiepileptics do deplete inositol like lithium, which causes lots of symptoms that can be corrected by inositol supplementation).

i WAS a victim of abilify(15mg daily)and i KNOW what will happen to you if you decide to stop taking it,PLEASE do that extremly slow,this is not gonna be fun

i find inositol(1000mg every 4 hours)to be doing magic against anxiety,i have never heard of side effects from taking it(toooo much can cause soft stool),i once found a website that had pages over pages talking about its benifits(dont ask me,do ur own look)and the only side effect they mentioned was.......IT WILL MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER(they were not selling it nor had links to others selling)

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Posted · Report post

Going cold-turkey off of meds is a bitch. I don't recommend it.

As for weight...have you considered seeing a dietitian who is familiar with med-induced weight gain? They might be able to come up with an eating plan for you. I've heard a lot of folks around here say to eat like a diabetic - lots of fiber, little to no simple carbs. Good advice for most people, honestly.

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Posted · Report post

You never go off a medication cold turkey. It could have disasterous effects, if not tapered off correctly. Follow a doctor's advice if you want to get off of Abilify but don't go off the drug on your own.

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Hi, I just started Abilify for Bipolar mixed, and I already have to go off of it! I have to pee every 2 minutes, it feels like I have a UTI but I don't. Also at first my appitite was bad and I could not even eat a small meal, and then it changed and I was eating too much. Sex is not as good either, but on top of that I cannot get out of my own way, I am very very weak, tired, dizzy occasionally, just feel all around awful. I don't know how to go off, but I did go down 5mg's last night and my bladder and me feel better already. I will stay at 15 for few days and go down again maybe, if my symptoms are still bad. I hat the way I feel. Good luck to you!!! ABBYGAIL

So I've been on Abilify and Lamictal for bipolar disorder for about 2 years now, and I just recently realized that one or both of those drugs (most likely Abilify) could be causing me to gain weight. I'm not talking about a little bit of weight either; over the past 2 years I've gained about 50 lbs. I was pretty skinny to begin with, but not anymore. I'm the kind of person who cares a lot about their physical appearance (even though I'm not incredibly social), so this is a pretty big deal to me. I've also experienced a few other problems that may or may not be related to Abilify, but I'd rather not talk about them here; sufficed to say that they're rather important to me as well. Still, the weight gain is the main problem.

I made an appointment a long time ago to see my psychiatrist in June. This was before I knew when school ended and also before I came to the realization that the medication I was on could be causing the weight gain. I think it is probably too late to make the appointment any sooner (he is probably booked by now), so I'm not sure what I should do. I really don't want to wait a whole month to do something about this - I want a solution now. I know I might sound impatient, but realize that I've been dealing with this for about 2 years now.

If I can talk to my doctor, I might consider changing my medication to something else. Otherwise, I'm considering just going off of my medication altogether. I realize there's a risk of having a relapse, but this problem is significant enough to me that I'm almost willing to risk it. What do you think I should do?

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