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Constance: withdrawing from Abilify


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Hello, I've been taking abilify 10mg along with 60mg of prozac for 5 years. It is prescribed for major depression and anxiety. I also take 60mg of adderall to stay awake. Recently i decided to abruptly go off the abilify, i was sick with the flu for over a week and decided to contonue to not take them. I'm tired of the weight gain, flat affect, and feeling tired all the time. It has been about two weeks now and I'm experiencing a lot of anxiety. Im wondering how long it should take for the abilify to leave my system, or do i have to slowly taper off of it ?

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A slow taper is always the safest way to get off of psychiatric drugs. Here are some specific tips on Abilify:


Tips for Tapering Off Abilify


And here is some general information about tapering:


Why Taper By 10% of My Dosage?


The thing with psychiatric drugs is that they change the structure of a person's central nervous system, killing off some neurological receptors and growing new ones in an abnormal way, so that even after the drug has left a person's body, those changes remain. Stopping the drug abruptly is like yanking a crutch away from someone with a broken leg. BOOM! Down they go! The idea of a slow taper is to give the CNS support while it re-normalizes, which can take months to years.


Because your CNS has become sensitized to this drug, as evidenced by withdrawal symptoms, you might want to try reinstatement at 2 mg. and allow at least four days for improvement of your symptoms.


Here's some more reading:


About Reinstatement and Stablizing


Also, when you have time, please add your drug history to your signature like so:


How To Add Your Drug History To Your Signature


Welcome to the forum, Constance. You'll find lots of solid information and friendly support here.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor

Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/


Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.


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Drug hx: prozac, paxil, celexa, welbutrin, effexor, provigal, adderall, lamictal, buspar, ativan, klonopin.

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Jemima: Because Abilify metabolizes so slowly (75 hour half life in a normal metabolizer) and because it is claimed that 40% of its effect is produced by its active metabolite; I would think it would take closer to two weeks than 4 days to feel much of the 2mg reinstatement. We certainly have seen that it takes my son a long time to stabilize on reinstatement, but maybe his response is not the norm. Just my opinion, please correct anything that I have misunderstood.


Constance: Cold turkeying an antipsychotic is at least as bad an idea as with other psychotropic drugs. I claim no expertise, just my observations of my son's horrific experiences with trying to get off Abilify. Those observations would strongly support Jemima's suggestion to reinste (and doing it right away) at 2 Mgs. At 2mgs, you will still have 71% dopamine receptor occupancy (that is an average, not necessarily true for you) and less likely to add extreme aberrant thinking to the neuroemotions the withdrawal is currently causing. If you haven't read this site's section on tapering, please do. These drugs are powerful and withdrawal is a dangerous process. People risk withdrawal because they believe (correctly, in my opinion), that continuing with the drugs is even more dangerous. Please view your tapering process as one of the most important things in your life.



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I forgot to mention that Prozac is a potent inhibitor of CYP2D6, so please be very careful of any changes in that drug until you have figured out your tapering protocol.

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