cloudmonger

Abilify-Detailed questions

15 posts in this topic

Many folks here have really positive experiences with Abilify. I know it can take 6-8 weeks to work, and it’s tricky to get the dosage right (because certain doses can increase restlessness, another dose may provide more antipsychotic relief, etc)

I did a brief past trial on it, but got scared because it made me restless (almost like akathisia) but I’m considering giving it another try.

I wanted to get thoughts on several things:

1.) If you found Abilify really helpful & then stopped, WHY did you stop?

2.) Did it cause other medical issues from long-term use? I worry about reported effects like: Raised Prolactin, liver enzymes, White blood cell count, Blood sugar problems/diabetes, tardive dyskinesia, etc)?

3.) Also afraid of the Weight gain (more than 5-10 pounds) or difficulty that a med can cause in losing weight. Have most people had this issue with Abilify?

4.) Did it improve your depression symptoms (or mainly improve other psychosis/schiz-symptoms instead)?

 

Edited by cloudmonger

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1 hour ago, cloudmonger said:

I wanted to get thoughts on several things:

1.) If you found Abilify really helpful & then stopped, WHY did you stop?

2.) Did it cause other medical issues from long-term use? I worry about reported effects like: Raised Prolactin, liver enzymes, White blood cell count, Blood sugar problems/diabetes, tardive dyskinesia, etc)?

3.) Also afraid of the Weight gain (more than 5-10 pounds) or difficulty that a med can cause in losing weight. Have most people had this issue with Abilify?

4.) Did it improve your depression symptoms (or mainly improve other psychosis/schiz-symptoms instead)?

 

1.  (can't answer ... still on it)

2.  For me it did not give me any side effects except for headaches.  Nothing like you mention above though.

3.  I had no weight gain with abilify.

4.  Idk about depression symptoms (I wasn't depressed that I can remember ... if I was, I was on other meds to help that). 

       For me it really helped with the psychosis/schiz-symptioms.

 

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Abilify causes a tremor in my hands. A little bit of propranolol makes it steady. That is the only side effect I have. BTW Abilify LOWERS Prolactin and is used as a treatment for folks that have to take an AP that raises it. I had no weight gain and no change in my labs for diabetes, which I had years prior to starting Abilify. I take it as an add on to treat depression, only. It really works,

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7 hours ago, cloudmonger said:

Many folks here have really positive experiences with Abilify. I know it can take 6-8 weeks to work, and it’s tricky to get the dosage right (because certain doses can increase restlessness, another dose may provide more antipsychotic relief, etc)

I did a brief past trial on it, but got scared because it made me restless (almost like akathisia) but I’m considering giving it another try.

I wanted to get thoughts on several things:

1.) If you found Abilify really helpful & then stopped, WHY did you stop?

2.) Did it cause other medical issues from long-term use? I worry about reported effects like: Raised Prolactin, liver enzymes, White blood cell count, Blood sugar problems/diabetes, tardive dyskinesia, etc)?

3.) Also afraid of the Weight gain (more than 5-10 pounds) or difficulty that a med can cause in losing weight. Have most people had this issue with Abilify?

4.) Did it improve your depression symptoms (or mainly improve other psychosis/schiz-symptoms instead)?

 

3
  1. I stopped it because of severe akathisia it caused when I reached 15 mg.
  2. No other medical problems were caused by it. No hyperprolactinemia, no raised liver enzymes (at least I don't think, my liver enzymes have been raised for over a year now and I can't pinpoint the cause, but I don't think it was Abilify because they're still raised and I'm off of it), no effects on white blood cell count, no effects on blood sugar, didn't have problems with tardive dyskinesia, but did have problems with akathisia.
  3. I actually lose weight on Abilify. I lost 40 lb while on it and while following the ketogenic diet. I had absolutely zero weight problems with Abilify.
  4. It improved my depression symptoms fantastically at first (at 2 mg) almost to the point of being hypomanic, then I went to being my old depressed self again. Increased to 5 mg and it helped a little more, but not nearly with as much oomph as the first time, plus I started developing a little akathisia with that dose increase, so we went back down to 2 mg. No help. Increased back to 5 mg, no akathisia, no help. Increased to 10 mg, which helped a little, and prematurely increased to 15 mg at my request which helped me fantastically, except for the akathisia that set in about a week or so later. Then had to go down to quartering the 15 mg dose for 3.75 mg, which I eventually got out my 5 mg and split them for 2.5 mg which was much easier, and it had zero benefit, but the akathisia was gone.

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Abilify made me manic. I felt TOO good. I also had extreme insomnia from It. I ended up in the hospital. But that is just my experience. Others have benefited from it.

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Quote

 

1.) If you found Abilify really helpful & then stopped, WHY did you stop?

2.) Did it cause other medical issues from long-term use? I worry about reported effects like: Raised Prolactin, liver enzymes, White blood cell count, Blood sugar problems/diabetes, tardive dyskinesia, etc)?

3.) Also afraid of the Weight gain (more than 5-10 pounds) or difficulty that a med can cause in losing weight. Have most people had this issue with Abilify?

4.) Did it improve your depression symptoms (or mainly improve other psychosis/schiz-symptoms instead)?

1) I'm another one that had it cause akathisia.  I can't say I ever found it really helpful, but it was enough to get me out of an IP stay, which is good enough for me.  That said, it was stopped in the PHP I went to next because they agreed with me that it was causing akathisia.

2) No medical issues that I know of.  None of the ones that you've listed.

3) I've recently gained a ton of weight (more than fifty pounds over where I'd like to be), but I believe that was due to higher dosages of seroquel and  not abilify.  I think it was rather weight neutral.

4) I was manic at the time and it actually helped me come down, but I know that's not the typical experience in the slightest. 

sorry, can't figure out how to modify so it's not one big quote

 

Edited by dancesintherain

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19 hours ago, cloudmonger said:

Many folks here have really positive experiences with Abilify. I know it can take 6-8 weeks to work, and it’s tricky to get the dosage right (because certain doses can increase restlessness, another dose may provide more antipsychotic relief, etc)

I did a brief past trial on it, but got scared because it made me restless (almost like akathisia) but I’m considering giving it another try.

I wanted to get thoughts on several things:

1.) If you found Abilify really helpful & then stopped, WHY did you stop?

2.) Did it cause other medical issues from long-term use? I worry about reported effects like: Raised Prolactin, liver enzymes, White blood cell count, Blood sugar problems/diabetes, tardive dyskinesia, etc)?

3.) Also afraid of the Weight gain (more than 5-10 pounds) or difficulty that a med can cause in losing weight. Have most people had this issue with Abilify?

4.) Did it improve your depression symptoms (or mainly improve other psychosis/schiz-symptoms instead)?

 

1. Still on it. I was forced to stop it a few times due to the cost but now the generic is good.

2. No.

3. I gaine a little weight from it, but nothing like I gained from Remeron. Also, not everyone gains weight on it.

4. Yes, it did. Super fantastically. It keeps anhedonia and apathy at bay and gives me an interest in life again.

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27 minutes ago, jt07 said:

1. Still on it. I was forced to stop it a few times due to the cost but now the generic is good.

2. No.

3. I gaine a little weight from it, but nothing like I gained from Remeron. Also, not everyone gains weight on it.

4. Yes, it did. Super fantastically. It keeps anhedonia and apathy at bay and gives me an interest in life again.

Thanks all. jt07 I know that you've mentioned before in other posts that Abilify was one of the best meds in your regimen. How long have you been on it? Did you have terrible withdrawals when you had to go off?

This is something for me to have a serious think about. It seems jt07, we are quite similar in diagnosis and treatment. My main issue is adhedonic Major Depression that is pretty treatment-resistant. Part of my issue is also Anxiety symptoms with the depression along with possible ADD (inattentive issues). Like you, I've also had good experiences with only Lamictal, Citalopram and Ritalin!

I'm considering upping my Lamictal, will be going back on Celexa, and will continue to consider another Abilify trial if this doesn't help. I'm getting desperate and not getting any younger....

Edited by cloudmonger

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20 hours ago, cloudmonger said:

1.) If you found Abilify really helpful & then stopped, WHY did you stop?

2.) Did it cause other medical issues from long-term use? I worry about reported effects like: Raised Prolactin, liver enzymes, White blood cell count, Blood sugar problems/diabetes, tardive dyskinesia, etc)?

3.) Also afraid of the Weight gain (more than 5-10 pounds) or difficulty that a med can cause in losing weight. Have most people had this issue with Abilify?

4.) Did it improve your depression symptoms (or mainly improve other psychosis/schiz-symptoms instead)?

 

1. It worked, but caused untreatable insomnia above 3mg. Nothing could counter the insomnia.

2. No medical issues.

3. I actually lost a bit of weight while I was on it.

4. It was great for my depression, and I can only assume that higher doses would have been more effective, but I never got above 3mg for any period of time.

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I've been on Abilify since 2011, and it's been great. When I had to go off it due to problems affording it, I went off cold turkey and never had any withdrawals which is largely because Abilify has a very, very long half-life and it does its own taper.

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I know that Abilify can be an amazing med for a lot of people. However, the side effect I experienced -- absolutely awful migraines -- made me stop the drug. So long as you can tolerate it, give it a try. I have heard positive things about Abilify being relatively weight-neutral. I do hope you have a positive experience with it should you choose to add it to your regimen. :)

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10 hours ago, Strangelove said:

I know that Abilify can be an amazing med for a lot of people. However, the side effect I experienced -- absolutely awful migraines -- made me stop the drug.

FWIW ... I can relate to the abilify giving me terrible headaches also.  Not complete migraines, but definitely close.

Other than that abilify is a great med ... I take it currently.  Has been weight neutral for me.  I do get headaches, but I can usually ward them off when I feel a bad one coming.

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I'm possibly considering another trial of Abilify. however, when i was on it years ago - it made me really physically restless and more agitated (which my pdoc said is a very common side effect) so she's not super convinced it will work for me.

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2 hours ago, cloudmonger said:

I'm possibly considering another trial of Abilify. however, when i was on it years ago - it made me really physically restless and more agitated (which my pdoc said is a very common side effect) so she's not super convinced it will work for me.

Try taking cogentin with it for two months. It could be a mild form of akathisia. 

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2 hours ago, Flash said:

Try taking cogentin with it for two months. It could be a mild form of akathisia. 

My pdoc said it was akathisia - I had involuntary movements (mainly restless legs, crossing/uncrossing legs incessantly and when standing shifting weight back & forth on feet) Very uncomfortable.

I had it at a higher level when on the other A/Ps for a longer period in my sig. i had these bizarre involuntary "jerks" or tics (always adjusting trunk & twisting upper shoulder area) that other people could notice, it was awful. I hate to have to take another drug (with possible side effects) to combat symptoms of one drug...but it sounds like many people here do that and sometimes may be worth it.

Edited by cloudmonger

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