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Hi guys!

I’m new to this forum, so this will be my first post. I’ve found a lot of comfort reading about all of your experiences. Thank you for that!

I recently started taking abilify to control my hypomania. Started on 1.25 mg for a week, and I’ve been on 2.5 mg for little over a week now. I am extremely sensitive to medication - especially the ones acting on dopamine. I probably won’t be able to get above 2.5 mg - maybe 5 mg if I’m lucky. 

If abilify doesn’t work, Lithium will be next.

My problem is... Abilify is making me hypomanic. 1.25 mg made me hypomanic for about 4 days, then it stopped. Since upping my dosage to 2.5 mg I have been hypomanic, and it doesn’t seem to end anytime soon. It’s uncomfortable activating for me. I have read about some similar experiences, BUT I haven’t read about anyone having this reaction, and then actually found relief from hypomania/mania afterwards - staying on the same low dosage.

I’m really desperate, since I’ve pretty much tried everything else and do not want to end up on lithium. 

Let me know what you think! :-)))

Sarah / Denmark

 

Edited by Cyclingsarah

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Abilify made me manic, so what you're saying is entirely possible. It's also possible that while it makes you feel hypo for a few days, as long as you adjust, it's not a problem. Have you called your pdoc?

But you shouldn't be so scared of Lithium! It's a little bit of a pain in the ass at first, because you need to get blood tests, but once you've found a level, you only need tests like twice a year. I love lithium, and I am not alone! The reason Drs. don't like it is mostly because of the blood tests. It is still considered the gold standard treatment for bipolar illness. 

Sorry to go on and on about it, but you said if Abilify didn't work, you'd have to go on lithium, and it looks like the Abilify might not be working. So I wanted to let you know it isn't a catastrophe if the Abilify fails. But you really need to call your pdoc and ask if being activated for a few days after raising the dose is okay. It may be.

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Thanks for your response!

my pdoc said to give it another week, which is fine by me. Just afraid of crashing too hard.

I’m not scared of lithium per se, but I’m bipolar ll, and just really don’t want to feel too flat, you know?

Does it make you feel flat?

Edited by Cyclingsarah

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No, I actually started taking it for depression! But everyone is different. The main problem for me is the side-effect of thirst, you need to drink a lot of fluids while you're on it. 

 

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I found lithium a lot more tolerable than Abilify. No problems with lith, horrible restlessness from Abilify.

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4 hours ago, mcjimjam said:

I found lithium a lot more tolerable than Abilify. No problems with lith, horrible restlessness from Abilify.

Agreed. Abilify didn't work well for me. Lithium is a huge help. No weight gain, either. Personally, I don't feel horribly "spaced out," either - as I did on other meds. Thirst and heat intolerance this past summer seem to be the only issues. Drinking more water is no big deal. :)

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I am not bipolar, but Abilify pushed me into a state that could be described as hypomania if I were bipolar. That state lasted only about 2 months. I didn't crash or anything. Things just settled down into a more normal yet slightly elevated mood which is where Abilify has kept me since.

Having said that, taking low doses of Abilify is like taking an antidepressant. It's going to elevate you. That is why lower doses are recommended for depression. You need much higher doses if you want to control mania or hypomania.

If higher doses cause you restlessness and that restlessness turns out to be akathesia, there are treatments for akathesia.

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Abilify cranks me up.  Lithium brings me down and has been very transparent for me.  Might I suggest an alternative?  Try Keppra.  In studies it is shown to control mania.  I've used it before.to good effect.

 

Eric

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17 hours ago, AyYiYikes said:

Agreed. Abilify didn't work well for me. Lithium is a huge help. No weight gain, either. Personally, I don't feel horribly "spaced out," either - as I did on other meds. Thirst and heat intolerance this past summer seem to be the only issues. Drinking more water is no big deal. :)

Sounds really good and uplifting. Thank you!

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Keppra's nickname is Kepprage, so be careful of that if your pdoc prescribes it.

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Think i’m gonna go with lithium if the abilify keeps messing with me, since it’s the drugs working on dopamine i’m extremely sensitive to. I just feel like im on speed or something...

I still haven’t tried depakote, but Im already on lamotrigine and gabapentin.

i just need the hypomania under control

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With regards to lithium, come on in! The water's fine. Super cheap compared to abilify! Has some unpleasant side effects. Your pdoc could recommend adding a little to the abilify starting at a small dose and going up as needed or ditching the abilify since you're already on lamotrigine. It specializes in tamping down the highs. Too high a dose will bring on more side effects like feeling dull, shakes (drink more water) or dry lips. It takes a couple weeks to adjust and some go away. I'm a fan of using a sub clinical dose if it works - but I'm also not in the danger zone like others are of likely hospitalization if my meds get too low - knock on wood.

What got me was the intense carb cravings at a higher dose - I'm prone. Now at a lower dose, I'm not noticing any that I can't handle. Gabapentin didn't do much for me so I quit it. Gabapentin can make weightloss more difficult. Most of these things except bupropion can add weight. Bupropion (wellbutrin) is too activating for some people but can be added to treat depression and cravings. I really like it.

 


 

Edited by wilesoph
typo

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I’m glad Lithium is working so well for you. Actually i’m very happy to hear that all of you think so highly of it. Think I’ll start on it next week after my appointment with my pdoc. 

My current cocktail is 

lamotrigine 75 mg 

gabapentin 900 mg

zoloft 25 mg

remeron 37.5 mg

abilify 2.5 mg

 

The hypomania has died down a bit - seems to be in mixed state now. Yet it still feels like I’m on speed or something. I don’t like it at all.

Think the plan is to cut the abilify back down to 1.25 and add a small dose of lithium. Then if all goes well hopefully I’ll be able to ditch both lamotrigine and remeron.

 

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