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Anything besides Cogentin?


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Three times I tried Abilify. All three times, I liked how it made me feel. However, each time I took it I got restlessness. Each time I was taking Abilify with Cogentin. Cogentin even at 2mg/day doesn't seem to help with the restlessness.

I tried taking more than 2mg/day but it makes my eyes bloodshot and produces (at least for me) a "drugged" feeling.

I've tried benzodiazapines in the past and they never "agreed" with me. Klonopin made me suicidal, Xanax increased the restlessness and Ativan did nothing for the restlessness.

What I'd like to know is are there any other medications besides Cogentin that I can take to help prevent restlessness from Abilify?

Thanks,

Andy...

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That restlessness you were having is called "akathisia", and I know how it feels (former Zyprexa and Abilify patient here... Because of akathisia, Zyprexa lasted 3 months before I quit, and Abilify lasted all of 4 days).

There are a lot of drugs in Cogentin's family (i.e., the anticholinergic drugs). You can also speak to your pdoc about the most common anticholinergic akathisia treatment, which is plain old Benadryl (diphenhydramine). Of course, being an antihistamine as well, it can also knock you out.

The other major med I can think of is Artane (trihexyphenidyl; one that most pharmacists can't spell out). I've taken it on and off and it's helped me with my parkinson-like movement disorder symptoms (unrelated to taking Zyprexa or Abilify). A similar drug (though I don't think it's used for akathisia) is Vistaril (hydroxyzine), a combination antidepressant/anticholinergic/antihistamine.

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How often do you have to take Artane? Is it a once a day treatment, or is it better taken multiple times a day?

According to the prescribing information data, Artane is generally taken three times daily, which is inconvenient for some (though not me, I have to take meds 3 times a day as it is!). Again, the drug is normally used for patients with Parkinson's disease and related syndromes. Please note also that it's not approved for antipsychotic-induced akathisia (in fact, I'm not sure ANY drug is!!).

Another couple anticholinergics you might want to consider are Ditropan (generic name oxybutynin; it's approved for urinary incontinece) and Detrol (same approval). However, as advertised, these meds don't cross as well into your brain, so in theory they would be less potent on your akathisia and more potent on giving you peripheral symptoms like dry mouth and your body overheating due to lack of sweating. (I'm on Ditropan for excessive sweating... I mean episodes of sweating to the point I lose blood volume and collapse... whether the temp outside is 30F or 100F.)

My dementia-pdoc was concerned about Ditropan crossing into my brain (where it can interfere with your thinking) and told my regular pdoc to take me off of it. That lasted all of two days, your mileage (between bathroom stops?) will vary.

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