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Abilify Withdrawal Symptoms?


QuittheCure
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Hi all,

 

I didn't see a lot on this forum about Abilify withdrawal, but I wanted to ask and see if someone has info.

 

About a day or two after stopping the Abilify, the ringing in my right ear got louder. I already have tinnitus, but this is pretty loud. But that's nothing I can't deal with. <_<

 

However, I've been having a hard time concentrating on one task at a time lately. I can usually multitask very easily. But now, I stop and start things, as opposed to just multitasking. I lose track of what I'm doing. I almost started a fire in the kitchen yesterday because I was cooking and totally forgot about it! :unsure: Thank God my sister is here with me most of the time!

 

Unfortunately, last night, I got a scare. I had just crawled into bed at 1am (can't go to sleep early anymore because the brain is busy!) I had my eyes closed but I wasn't asleep, just relaxed. I suddenly heard someone say "Hello." Or at least I think I did :unsure: I opened my eyes and said, "huh?" thinking perhaps it was my sister, and I had just misheard her. (She sleeps in the same room as me). She told me that she hadn't said anything.

 

I was really shaken because it seemed so clear, as if someone was next to me. (It almost seemed like they said it in my right ear.) :unsure:

 

I had such a hard time falling asleep because I was afraid to hear that voice again. My mind felt like it was being stretched in two different directions. Of course, this morning, I feel like I just imagined it all--maybe I really had fallen asleep and just didn't realize it.

 

This morning I'm fatigued, of course, but I can't go back to sleep. My father is talking my ear off and I'm so aggravated for no good reason. (Same thing happened last night.)

 

Sorry to complain. I'm just not sure if it's the Abilify or just a fluke. I was only on 5mg, a baby dose.

 

Lisa

Drug History (approx):

 

2002-2003

Zoloft

2003-2004

Paxil

2005-2007

Lexapro

2008

Cymbalta, Ativan

2009

Cymbalta, Lamictal, Ativan

2010- (February) 2012:

Cymbalta 60mg, Lamictal 200mg, Abilify 5mg

--

Currently (March 2012):

Stopped Abilify 5mg on 02/28/2012

Holding at Cymbalta 60mg and Lamictal 200mg

--

 

Lisa

Quit the Cure

http://quitthecure.com/

 

"And be renewed in the spirit of your mind." ~ Ephesians 4:23

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  • Administrator

See http://www.drugs.com/ppa/aripiprazole.html

Major Depressive Disorder

Adults

 

PO Recommended starting dosage for patients already receiving an antidepressant is 2 to 5 mg/day. Gradually make dose adjustments of up to 5 mg/day at intervals of no less than 1 wk. Efficacy of adjunctive therapy was established within the range of 2 to 15 mg/day.

Relative to some drugs, 5mg might be a "baby" dose, but for Abilify, it's a full dose. Dosages interact differently with different nervous systems.

 

Yes, Abilify has withdrawal symptoms. If I could roll back time, I'd suggest you taper off even 5mg of Abilify. How about trying 2.5mg and seeing if you feel better? Then you can taper from there.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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See http://www.drugs.com/ppa/aripiprazole.html

Major Depressive Disorder

Adults

 

PO Recommended starting dosage for patients already receiving an antidepressant is 2 to 5 mg/day. Gradually make dose adjustments of up to 5 mg/day at intervals of no less than 1 wk. Efficacy of adjunctive therapy was established within the range of 2 to 15 mg/day.

Relative to some drugs, 5mg might be a "baby" dose, but for Abilify, it's a full dose. Dosages interact differently with different nervous systems.

 

Yes, Abilify has withdrawal symptoms. If I could roll back time, I'd suggest you taper off even 5mg of Abilify. How about trying 2.5mg and seeing if you feel better? Then you can taper from there.

 

 

Alto,

 

I guess I shouldn't be underestimating these drugs. What looks "little" can be a literal wolf in sheep's clothing. If I had know this ahead of time, I would have definitely cut the little bugger in half.

 

Yet, since I posted yesterday, and as of today, I'm feeling okay. It's manageable. I'm not hearing things so that's good! Maybe I just jumped the gun. Then again, when I didn't think it was even possible the ringing in my ears got even louder last night! Boo. I tried some white noise on my iPod touch and I could still hear the ringing over the sound. <_<

 

Otherwise, I feel a little shaky, like my blood sugar is low (which it might be). Still feeling fatigued, dizzy, easily distracted, and I keep starting and stopping things. Also, a little out of breath, even when I'm sitting still.

 

But I think I'm going to ride it out. I can try some Camille tea to calm myself, see if that helps the breathing. But come Tuesday, when I see the psychiatrist, I will assess how I'm feeling. If the symptoms are still there, I'll just hold off on beginning the taper on the Cymbalta.

Drug History (approx):

 

2002-2003

Zoloft

2003-2004

Paxil

2005-2007

Lexapro

2008

Cymbalta, Ativan

2009

Cymbalta, Lamictal, Ativan

2010- (February) 2012:

Cymbalta 60mg, Lamictal 200mg, Abilify 5mg

--

Currently (March 2012):

Stopped Abilify 5mg on 02/28/2012

Holding at Cymbalta 60mg and Lamictal 200mg

--

 

Lisa

Quit the Cure

http://quitthecure.com/

 

"And be renewed in the spirit of your mind." ~ Ephesians 4:23

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I am not familiar with abilify withdrawal but I would imagine it can be pretty tough like all psych drugs. Recently, a counselor told me I should try this drug but I will not and am wondering why they added it to your other drugs. What made you want to get off? I have read some bad stories about this drug and it is being heavily marketed right now.

Various SSRIs/SNRIs 7- 1/2 years

Went Cold Turkey from Celexa 2011, Stayed Off

Psych Drug Free and Loving Life (over 6 years and counting)

 

How I Stay Well: Diet, exercise, meditation, supplements, etc

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Hi Zepplin :)

 

During the last six years I've been on both Cymbalta and Lamictal. I started the Abilify about 2 years ago when I had an "incident" :wacko: with some herbs, supplements, and the medications. (I'll definitely have to share that story sometime as a cautionary tale.) To begin with, my depression wasn't completely "managed" before the "incident," but after it, I felt like my brain was completely fried. I also felt emotionally scarred and shaken.

 

So, the nurse practitioner recommended Abilify for me. She explained that Abilify can help the other two drugs work together better. I felt so physically "damaged;" I needed something to help me function again. So, I started the Abilify, adding it to my morning dose of Cymbalta.

 

I was so drowsy it wasn't funny. :blink: But when I switch it to the evening, I didn't feel any side effects after that.

 

Despite a recent rant on my blog, I can still "recommend" Abilify if you feel you absolutely need something to help you out. However, I recommend with caution. :excl: Everyone reacts differently to medications. I may have felt one side effect, but that doesn't mean it would be as simple for you or the next person. The same is true when it comes to withdrawal effects. And the withdrawal effects are a serious price you pay when you decide to quit.

 

Abilify really did make a huge difference for me, though. I felt better within days. However, the rest of my stability I attribute to therapy, as well as taking some tips from a book called The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression Without Drugs by Stephen S. Ilardi, Ph.D. There was tons of info in his book that really helped me get over that final hurdle. I'm revisiting it now to see what will help as I quit these meds.

 

I once argued with my cousin when she posted a rant on Facebook about Abilify. Having no personal experience with this dark road we go down, she couldn't understand why multiple medications are needed to treat depression. I don't know. I just knew it worked. And it was wrong to judge people for doing what they felt needed to be done to live a sane life.

 

Anyway, I've decided to quit my medications for multiple reasons. I was taking 13 medications, and at 32-years-old, I hated the idea that they all were probably trashing my liver. I also need to stop them so I can better manage my Intracranial Hypertension (IH). I don't really have any choice but to take meds for the IH (it's that or I go blind while having a permanent excruciating headache). So, my neurologist wants me to at least taper the antidepressants down a bit.

 

But quite frankly, I'm tired of being a slave to the mental health system. I feel a lot more emotionally stable now. I've learned to handle my stress and emotions better. And I've found natural ways (that don't land me in the hospital) to combat depression.

 

The withdrawal effects aren't fun, though. And Alto reminded me that 5mg isn't a "baby" dose of medication. That little blue pill is a wolf in sheep's clothing. So far, my withdrawal symptoms are bearable. (At this point, I have a high tolerance for discomfort and pain.) But again, that doesn't mean everyone will have the same luck.

 

I hope this helps, Zepplin. You're doing the right thing by doing research ahead of time so that you know what you can expect.

 

Lisa :)

Drug History (approx):

 

2002-2003

Zoloft

2003-2004

Paxil

2005-2007

Lexapro

2008

Cymbalta, Ativan

2009

Cymbalta, Lamictal, Ativan

2010- (February) 2012:

Cymbalta 60mg, Lamictal 200mg, Abilify 5mg

--

Currently (March 2012):

Stopped Abilify 5mg on 02/28/2012

Holding at Cymbalta 60mg and Lamictal 200mg

--

 

Lisa

Quit the Cure

http://quitthecure.com/

 

"And be renewed in the spirit of your mind." ~ Ephesians 4:23

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I've been on Abilify but only about a week. I have been on lots of other antipsychotics and it seems I get w/d symptoms but they aren't as long lasting as from Antidepressants. But of course I can't be sure about Abilify in particular and everyone is different. So it's as they say, always good to taper.

 

As for the voice saying "hello", that is not a real uncommon thing that happens upon waking or falling asleep. It's not psychosis, it's called Hypnagogia. I get this but along with Schizophrenic hallucinations. Taking Niacin has eliminated the problem for me. I take 2, 500 mg of flush free Niacin a day.

 

Edit: I don't know why the link isn't showing up on Hynagogia. Here's a link to info about it at Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypnagogia

Taper from Cymbalta, Paxil, Prozac & Antipsychotics finished June 2012.

Xanax 5% Taper - (8/12 - .5 mg) - (9/12 - .45) - (10/12 - .43) - (11/12 - .41) - (12/12 - .38)

My Paxil Website

My Intro

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As for the voice saying "hello", that is not a real uncommon thing that happens upon waking or falling asleep. It's not psychosis, it's called Hypnagogia. I get this but along with Schizophrenic hallucinations. Taking Niacin has eliminated the problem for me. I take 2, 500 mg of flush free Niacin a day.

 

 

Shanti,

 

Thank you so much for this info. I saw it yesterday, but I didn't get a chance to respond. But thank God I saw it!

 

Early this morning, around 5am, I woke up with a screaming headache and extreme dizziness. The room was pitch black but everything felt like it was spinning rapidly. It wasn't the usual migraine, and I don't think it was my IH because my eyes felt okay; no resistance with moving my eyes and no blurred vision when I got up to go to the bathroom. Maybe another withdrawal symptom or something random? I tried to put off taking anything, and just went back to relax in the bed.

 

I heard a "beep" in my ear (the right one again). It woke me up--but then I had sleep paralysis and couldn't move. I heard the beep again and then struggled out of that sleep state. But I kept struggling back and forth for the next hour or so, continuing to hear the noises in different ears. It took me awhile to find real sleep.

 

It was so disconcerting, but it would have been worse had it not been for your response to this post. Thanks again! B)

 

Lisa

Drug History (approx):

 

2002-2003

Zoloft

2003-2004

Paxil

2005-2007

Lexapro

2008

Cymbalta, Ativan

2009

Cymbalta, Lamictal, Ativan

2010- (February) 2012:

Cymbalta 60mg, Lamictal 200mg, Abilify 5mg

--

Currently (March 2012):

Stopped Abilify 5mg on 02/28/2012

Holding at Cymbalta 60mg and Lamictal 200mg

--

 

Lisa

Quit the Cure

http://quitthecure.com/

 

"And be renewed in the spirit of your mind." ~ Ephesians 4:23

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  • Moderator Emeritus

 

See http://www.drugs.com/ppa/aripiprazole.html

Major Depressive Disorder

Adults

 

PO Recommended starting dosage for patients already receiving an antidepressant is 2 to 5 mg/day. Gradually make dose adjustments of up to 5 mg/day at intervals of no less than 1 wk. Efficacy of adjunctive therapy was established within the range of 2 to 15 mg/day.

Relative to some drugs, 5mg might be a "baby" dose, but for Abilify, it's a full dose. Dosages interact differently with different nervous systems.

 

Yes, Abilify has withdrawal symptoms. If I could roll back time, I'd suggest you taper off even 5mg of Abilify. How about trying 2.5mg and seeing if you feel better? Then you can taper from there.

 

 

Alto,

 

I guess I shouldn't be underestimating these drugs. What looks "little" can be a literal wolf in sheep's clothing. If I had know this ahead of time, I would have definitely cut the little bugger in half.

 

Yet, since I posted yesterday, and as of today, I'm feeling okay. It's manageable. I'm not hearing things so that's good! Maybe I just jumped the gun. Then again, when I didn't think it was even possible the ringing in my ears got even louder last night! Boo. I tried some white noise on my iPod touch and I could still hear the ringing over the sound. <_<

 

Otherwise, I feel a little shaky, like my blood sugar is low (which it might be). Still feeling fatigued, dizzy, easily distracted, and I keep starting and stopping things. Also, a little out of breath, even when I'm sitting still.

 

But I think I'm going to ride it out. I can try some Camille tea to calm myself, see if that helps the breathing. But come Tuesday, when I see the psychiatrist, I will assess how I'm feeling. If the symptoms are still there, I'll just hold off on beginning the taper on the Cymbalta.

 

 

Like I said elsewhere, I think you really should hold off on starting any new tapers for a while regardless of your current symptoms. Most of the time when people quit psych meds the worst of the withdrawal symptoms don't kick in immediately. Usually there's a lag time. And then the withdrawal plays itself out over a period of months with varying symptoms.

 

I would be very surprised (but happily so) if someone with a polydrug history like yours was able to just CT a psych med and walk away without problems. Even with a taper there's usually a recovery period.

 

I would recommend you consider waiting three months before considering starting a new taper. If at the end of that time you are completely without withdrawal symptoms it would probably be okay to start to taper another med. If you are still having symptoms you should wait until you're stable, no matter how long it takes. People can get themselves into a lot of trouble by trying to get off too many meds too fast.

 

Just my fifty cents...

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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Like I said elsewhere, I think you really should hold off on starting any new tapers for a while regardless of your current symptoms. Most of the time when people quit psych meds the worst of the withdrawal symptoms don't kick in immediately. Usually there's a lag time. And then the withdrawal plays itself out over a period of months with varying symptoms.

 

I would be very surprised (but happily so) if someone with a polydrug history like yours was able to just CT a psych med and walk away without problems. Even with a taper there's usually a recovery period.

 

I would recommend you consider waiting three months before considering starting a new taper. If at the end of that time you are completely without withdrawal symptoms it would probably be okay to start to taper another med. If you are still having symptoms you should wait until you're stable, no matter how long it takes. People can get themselves into a lot of trouble by trying to get off too many meds too fast.

 

Just my fifty cents...

 

Rhi,

 

Your "fifty cents" is worth a million! I take everything everyone on this forum says very seriously. Especially when they have more experience in this arena than I do.

 

Just as I signed onto this forum again, I felt seriously nauseated and dizzy. I've been barely able to get rid of this headache, and I always feel breathless--like I'm having a mini panic attack...just without the panic. :blink: My sister keeps looking at me weird because I keep breathing so heavily, trying to catch my breath. And this even happens while I'm sitting!

 

I hate to complain and list every little symptom. I'm just hoping that anyone else who looks for/googles this information will find some comfort in knowing that maybe this is normal.

 

I always need to consider that my IH could play a role in this, but I believe that taking your advice will help a lot. The 6-month mark where I usually end up in the ER in need of an immediate lumbar puncture (because of my IH) is quickly approaching. Waiting to taper for an extended period is a really good idea. There are so many symptoms present right now.

 

BTW, what is the average lag time? (I know there's not a perfect science to this but I bet I'll get better info off this site then from my psych!) I've been off the Abilify for 11 days so far. Is that why my symptoms may be increasing in severity?

 

Sneaky little pill :ph34r: LOL.

 

Again, your help means a lot to me.

 

Lisa

Drug History (approx):

 

2002-2003

Zoloft

2003-2004

Paxil

2005-2007

Lexapro

2008

Cymbalta, Ativan

2009

Cymbalta, Lamictal, Ativan

2010- (February) 2012:

Cymbalta 60mg, Lamictal 200mg, Abilify 5mg

--

Currently (March 2012):

Stopped Abilify 5mg on 02/28/2012

Holding at Cymbalta 60mg and Lamictal 200mg

--

 

Lisa

Quit the Cure

http://quitthecure.com/

 

"And be renewed in the spirit of your mind." ~ Ephesians 4:23

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  • Administrator

I've been off the Abilify for 11 days so far. Is that why my symptoms may be increasing in severity?

Yep, your nervous system is trying to cope with a drastic change. You can take your chances with toughing out Abilify withdrawal, but with your other conditions, I wouldn't. Do your nervous system a favor and go back on a fraction of a tablet.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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I heard a "beep" in my ear (the right one again). It woke me up--but then I had sleep paralysis and couldn't move. I heard the beep again and then struggled out of that sleep state. But I kept struggling back and forth for the next hour or so, continuing to hear the noises in different ears. It took me awhile to find real sleep.

 

It was so disconcerting, but it would have been worse had it not been for your response to this post. Thanks again! B)

 

Lisa

 

Yes, since w/d, I've been having more weird noises, right upon falling asleep or waking up. Sometimes a zap. But more often a noise. It can sound like a bell, phone, crash, clank, voice, even music. Very weird. But I haven't had it since using the Niacin. I originally started it for hallucinations but noticed it also helped with the Hypnagogia. I hope it works for you. Be sure to start out with low dose of Niacin because of possible sensitivity. I had no trouble with it and actually was taking 7 a day with no trouble.

Taper from Cymbalta, Paxil, Prozac & Antipsychotics finished June 2012.

Xanax 5% Taper - (8/12 - .5 mg) - (9/12 - .45) - (10/12 - .43) - (11/12 - .41) - (12/12 - .38)

My Paxil Website

My Intro

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