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CPK: 2 months on Abilify, now on withdrawal.


CPK

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Hello to all; I'm John from Spain, I'm currently on withdrawal stage since 3 weeks, I was taking Abilify 15 mg at first; two weeks after I started taking it, it was lowered to 10 mg; finally, after 2 months my pdoc stopped it cold-turkey.

 

I've passed through akathisia and racing heart, but at this moment I think this medication "burned my nervous system" in the sense that these last weeks I find it very hard to do daily activities, I feel very depressed, with lack of the initiative I know I had before taking these meds and a feeling of poor concentration. I entered here in a try to find (at least approximately) how much long the withdrawal symptoms could take and to read about similar experiences (not only in time -just few months, not years- but also on dosage -not 2 or 5 mg like many people took but what it seems the standard dose, 10-15 mg-).

Edited by scallywag
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  • Early November 2016: Started with Abilify 15 mg daily with Olanzapine.

Mid-November 2016: Abilify dosage  reduced to 10 mg.

22 November 2016: Finished with Olanzapine; continued with Abilify and Lormetacepan 2 mg.

26 December 2016: Finished with Abilify cold-turkey without discontinuations neither reinstatements.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

John, -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)

You, like many of us, were given advice to do an aggressive taper that has a high risk of creating withdrawal symptoms. I'm sorry that's happened for you.

To answer your questions, we need more details, so A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly?

  • Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016.
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs.
  • You can find instructions in this topic: Please put your withdrawal history in signature
  • If you are using a phone or mobile device, you need to switch to the "full" or desktop version of the site. Instructions are in Post 9 and Post 10

Recovery after a "cold turkey" discontinuation is unpredictable. Doctors believe people get through it in 6-8 weeks; maybe some people do in fact have symptoms for only 2 months. Others deal with symptoms for many months or years, sadly. There's no way of knowing how long it will take for you.

You'll find some posts from people who have taken Abilify in this topic:
Tips for tapering off Abilify (aripiprazole).

Other ways of connecting with folks coping through withdrawal from this class of medication:

Cognitive symptoms are common, as is lack of motivation. Here are links to discussions on each:
Brain fog; blank mind; comprehension, cognitive and memory problems.
Anhedonia, apathy, demotivation, emotional numbness 

 

I hope you'll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation. I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but am glad that you found us.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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  • Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016.
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs.
  • You can find instructions in this topic: Please put your withdrawal history in signature
  • If you are using a phone or mobile device, you need to switch to the "full" or desktop version of the site. Instructions are in Post 9 and Post 10

 

-No drugs prior to 24 months ago.

 

-Dates are as follows:

  • Early November 2016: Started with Abilify 15 mg daily. Also took Olanzapine (I can't remember the exact dosage). Diagnosis was outbreak caused by anxiety.
  • Mid-November 2016: Abilify dosage was reduced to 10 mg daily (this change however is for sure); Olanzapine continued without changes.
  • 22 November 2016: Finished with Olanzapine; continued with Abilify and Lormetacepan 2 mg.
  • 26 December 2016: Finished with Abilify cold-turkey without discontinuations neither reinstatements.

-Withdrawal current symptoms: Lack of energy and motivation (specially at noon), poor concentration compared to before taking Abilify, depression (I hadn't before taking this drug), peaks of anxiety, strong anhedonia (thanks for the related link).

  • Early November 2016: Started with Abilify 15 mg daily with Olanzapine.

Mid-November 2016: Abilify dosage  reduced to 10 mg.

22 November 2016: Finished with Olanzapine; continued with Abilify and Lormetacepan 2 mg.

26 December 2016: Finished with Abilify cold-turkey without discontinuations neither reinstatements.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

That's heavy medication to deal with an episode of high anxiety -- one benzodiazepine and two "anti-psychotic" medications, one of them (Abilify) at the starting dose for schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Was this prescribed by your regular doctor, an E.R. doctor, or a psychiatrist?

 

Your symptoms are almost certainly the result of the introduction of several drugs in a short period of time and  subsequent rapid or drastic discontinuations.

 

Was the olanzapine stopped "cold-turkey"?

 

Are you still taking lormetazepam?

If not, when did you start taking it, and when + how did you discontinue?

If yes, when did you start taking it, and what is your current dose?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Link to comment

That's heavy medication to deal with an episode of high anxiety -- one benzodiazepine and two "anti-psychotic" medications, one of them (Abilify) at the starting dose for schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Was this prescribed by your regular doctor, an E.R. doctor, or a psychiatrist?

 

I edited the message to include 'outbreak', which I forgot to mention; also, it was prescribed by an emergency physician.

 

 

Was the olanzapine stopped "cold-turkey"?

 

I can't remember if the dosage here was lowered too, but I guess yes.

 

 

Are you still taking lormetazepam? If not, when did you start taking it, and when + how did you discontinue?

 

 

I started with Lormetazepam on 22 November 2016.

 

Finished with it on 10 January 2017, tapering 1 mg from 26 Dec 2016 to 10 Jan 2017 as a personal suggestion to my pdoc (I had read about benzos and possible withdrawals  and I didn't want to worse the situation).

  • Early November 2016: Started with Abilify 15 mg daily with Olanzapine.

Mid-November 2016: Abilify dosage  reduced to 10 mg.

22 November 2016: Finished with Olanzapine; continued with Abilify and Lormetacepan 2 mg.

26 December 2016: Finished with Abilify cold-turkey without discontinuations neither reinstatements.

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All the experiences I read in this forum are based on years of 2mg/5mg of Abilify and combined with other drugs. What I'd like to read is the exact opposite (10mg/15 mg, in relatively short period of time and with the less combinations as possible). If someone could link it to anything related to this, It would be very useful. 

  • Early November 2016: Started with Abilify 15 mg daily with Olanzapine.

Mid-November 2016: Abilify dosage  reduced to 10 mg.

22 November 2016: Finished with Olanzapine; continued with Abilify and Lormetacepan 2 mg.

26 December 2016: Finished with Abilify cold-turkey without discontinuations neither reinstatements.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

CPK, if the folks you've found through searching the site have taken lower doses than you for a longer time, you may not get much of a response.

 

I did see the topic you started in the Symptoms forum. Someone who's reading the site but isn't yet a member may decide to register to respond to your question.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Link to comment
  • Administrator

I started with Lormetazepam on 22 November 2016.

 

Finished with it on 10 January 2017, tapering 1 mg from 26 Dec 2016 to 10 Jan 2017 as a personal suggestion to my pdoc (I had read about benzos and possible withdrawals  and I didn't want to worse the situation).

 

 

Hi, CPK. 

 

Welcome to SA from me, too. 

 

Did you notice if you had any additional symptoms from stopping the lormetazepam? 

 

It not, you may not have been dependent on it after 6 weeks. It's possible to become dependent on a benzo in only a couple of weeks, but I'm hoping you were able to safely and comfortably come off. With so many drugs in your cocktail, it would be hard to tell which symptom is coming from which drug. 

 

It's great you did the research and found out how dangerous these drugs are after only a few weeks use. The reason it's hard finding similar accounts as yours is because most of us didn't find out in such a short time. 

 

I'm hoping your symptoms will be short lived, but in the meantime, take a look at the non-drug coping skills section and see if any of these threads may help you with your symptoms. 

 

 

Non-drug Techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

Since you went on these drugs for anxiety, perhaps target your non-drug coping skills towards things like gentle yoga, mindfulness meditation, tai chi, etc. Things are calming and teach us the relaxation skills we need to learn. 

 

Also, some people find fish oil and magnesium to help calm the nervous system down. Please research all supplements and only add in one at a time and at a very low dose.

 

King of supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker

 

Please let us know how you're doing. 

 

 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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  • 2 years later...

I took 5mg for 5 days, then 10mg for 10. 15 days on Abilify in total. Tapered off in a week

No prior history of psychiatric/recreational drug use. I developed depersonalization/derealization disorder in December 2016, and recovered completely in August. What I'm experiencing currently is very, very different to anything I experienced then. 

 

- September 1st to 5th (2019) : Took 5 mg of Abilify (Noticed my confidence levels beginning to decline, slight depression/dread/panic beginning to creep in, creativity/cognitive abilities seemed slightly diminished)

- September 6th to 15th (2019) : Increased dose to 10 mg (Symptoms listed above became worse, and developed severe restlessness)

- September 15th to 23rd (2019) : Tapered over a period of 1 week. Restlessness improved but other symptoms became slightly worse

- September 23rd to 30th (2019) : Depression continued to increase. On the 30th I started experiencing the worst case of depersonalization I've ever experienced. Severe depression, thoughts and emotions gone, could barely function cognitively. I'm a bit calmer now but the symptoms haven't improved still

 

November 24th to December 7th : Reinstated 10 mg. Noticed no effect other than breast growth. Tapered over a week and quit again

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