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aneki: Hi! Tapering Abilify.


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Hi all!

 

My name is Barry - and I am a 40 something software engineer from Michigan.

 

My therapeutic journey started around 2004/2005, after trying a variety of drug cocktails - paxil, pamelor, nopramin, effexor, with no success, I found a great psychiatrist who put me on a sample new drug he had recently received that had very promising results in clinical trials.

 

The combination was 10mg of Abilify and 50mg of Pristiq [a somewhat derivative of effexor]. This combination was the miracle I needed to make it through the next 15 years of my life.

 

Fast forward 15 years to today. I went from around 168lbs to my current weight of nearly 240. The research I have done leads me to believe that abilify has been the culprit for this weight gain; with advice to taper off. I have currently tapered down from 10mg of abilify to around 4.5-5mg daily. It has been a gradual effort, after discovering that 2.5mg increments were too much for my mind to tolerate. Instead, I tapered down 1mg every 4-6 weeks; and today I feel no different than I did when I was on the 10mg dose. I went to 4mg probably a bit too quickly after arriving at 5mg, and it made me irritable and intolerant of various stimuli around me - so I went back up to 5mg and have stayed there for around 6-7 weeks now.

 

Has anyone had similar experiences? I hope that I can lose/shed some of these pounds I have picked up. I read that typically you want to allow a month of taper time for each year on the drug. Given that I was on around 14-15 years, I figure its going to take me a year to get off of it.

 

It seems that it is more fickle at the last 4-5mg. Is it harder to taper the last 5 mg than it is the first 5 if you were on a 10mg dose?

 

Does anyone know if the metabolism I had will return in some fashion to allow me to shed some weight? I have tried diets, exercising, cutting out various foods that were not the best, with no clear results - leading to obvious feelings of disappointment and such.

 

Thanks for reading, and look forward to hearing everyone else's stories!

 

-barry

 

 

 

 

Current Meds

  • Pristiq (50mg) 2005 -
  • Abilify (10mg - currently tapered down to 5mg)  2005 -
  • Dexedrine (45mg)  2020 -
  • Dextrostat (50mg) 2020 -

 

Prior Meds

  • Effexor 2004 - 2005
  • Paxil 2005
  • Cymbalta 2005
  • Zoloft 2004
  • Nopramin 1996 - 1997
  • Pamelor 1997 - 1998
  • Ritalin 1999 - 2004
  • Adderall  2004 - 2020
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  • ChessieCat changed the title to aneki: Hi! Tapering Abilify.
  • Moderator

@aneki

 

Welcome to SA. We are a volunteer ran site helping members taper off psychotic medications, or have tapered off and are now healing.

 

This is your introduction page where you will receive information, ask questions and meet other members. We ask that you only have one introduction page so we can keep all your information in one place.

 

First can you please create a signature page.

 

Instructions:  Withdrawal History Signature

 

You are very correct, you tapered Abilify way too fast. You need to stay on the 5 mg until you reach stabilization. 

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 


Tips for tapering off aripiprazole (Abilify)

 


What is withdrawal syndrome?

 


The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Brain Remodelling

 

Weight Gain, Weight Lose and Appetite Changes

 

Do you still take Pristiq? If you do, you should hold on the dose you are on until you are finished with the Abilify taper, which could tale quite a while. Unfortunately, most dr's or psychiatrists don't know the proper way to taper off these drugs and it causes a lot of withdrawal symptoms.

 


Dr. Joseph Glenmullen's withdrawal symptom checklist

 

After you read the links provided, please reach out with any questions you may have. I hope I have helped you get started.

PREVIOUS medications and discontinuations: Have been on medications since 1996. 

 Valium, Gabapentin, Lamictal, Prilosec and Zantac from 2000 to 2015 with a fast taper by a psychiatrist.

 Liquid Lexapro Nov, 2016 to 31-March, 2019 Lexapro free!!! (total Lexapro taper was 4 years-started with pill form)

---CURRENT MEDICATIONS:Supplements:Milk Thistle, Metamucil, Magnesium Citrate, Vitamin D3, Levothyroxine 25mcg, Vitamin C, Krill oil.

Xanax 1mg 3x day June, 2000 to 19-September, 2020 Went from .150 grams (average weight of 1 Xanax) 3x day to .003 grams 3x day.

19-September, 2020 Xanax free!!! (total Xanax taper was 15-1/2 months-1-June, 2019-19-September, 2020)

I am not a medical professional.

The suggestions I make are based on personal experience.

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I have not changed my Pristiq dose, nor am I sure if I will. I mostly want to get off of the Abilify so that I can get back to a weight that is easier to manage.

 

How do I know when I have reached stabilization for a tapered dose? What is an appropriate amount to taper at a time when going from 5mg and downward?

 

Thank you!

Current Meds

  • Pristiq (50mg) 2005 -
  • Abilify (10mg - currently tapered down to 5mg)  2005 -
  • Dexedrine (45mg)  2020 -
  • Dextrostat (50mg) 2020 -

 

Prior Meds

  • Effexor 2004 - 2005
  • Paxil 2005
  • Cymbalta 2005
  • Zoloft 2004
  • Nopramin 1996 - 1997
  • Pamelor 1997 - 1998
  • Ritalin 1999 - 2004
  • Adderall  2004 - 2020
Link to comment
  • Moderator

@aneki

 

I'm glad you haven't touched your Pristiq. You can always taper that at a later time.

 

Here is some information on "withdrawal normal"

 

Withdrawal Normal Description

 

You never want to taper more than 10% a month, and a lot of people go much slower.

 

The Brassmonkey Slide Method of Micro-tapering

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

The slowness of slow tapers

PREVIOUS medications and discontinuations: Have been on medications since 1996. 

 Valium, Gabapentin, Lamictal, Prilosec and Zantac from 2000 to 2015 with a fast taper by a psychiatrist.

 Liquid Lexapro Nov, 2016 to 31-March, 2019 Lexapro free!!! (total Lexapro taper was 4 years-started with pill form)

---CURRENT MEDICATIONS:Supplements:Milk Thistle, Metamucil, Magnesium Citrate, Vitamin D3, Levothyroxine 25mcg, Vitamin C, Krill oil.

Xanax 1mg 3x day June, 2000 to 19-September, 2020 Went from .150 grams (average weight of 1 Xanax) 3x day to .003 grams 3x day.

19-September, 2020 Xanax free!!! (total Xanax taper was 15-1/2 months-1-June, 2019-19-September, 2020)

I am not a medical professional.

The suggestions I make are based on personal experience.

Link to comment
1 hour ago, aneki said:

How do I know when I have reached stabilization for a tapered dose? What is an appropriate amount to taper at a time when going from 5mg and downward?

 

Thank you!

Hi, I understand that you want to go fast. I hope the links you’ve been given are helping you to see that ‘fast’ has a high failure rate. I too wanted to go fast and got VERY ill, needing 4 months off work, taking a year to stabilise and not being fully well for 2 years. Fatigue was my huge issue and I could (and still can) only work part time.  This time I am tapering using the BrassMonkey slide. I’ll be a year in next month. I’m unrecognisable from a year ago. I have recently been able to do so much more.  Please don’t fall into the trap of trying to go fast, it can cause bad WD effects and ruin your life. Much better to go slow and steady and have gradual improvements.  
 

So, you might want to consider either the BrassMonkey slide or the 10% every 4 weeks when you feel ready to taper. I love the BM slide. I’ve had minimal WD effects all along ☺️

Mirtazepine 15mg Nov 2018 -April 2019

April - Sept 2019 Mirtazepine 7.5

October 2019 - about 4 Nov 6mg Mirtazepine 

4-13 Nov anxiety & sleep problems caused by change of brand & jumping around with doses

13 Nov 2019 to 7 Dec 2019 10mg Mirtazepine 

8-10 Dec 2019 15mg Mirtazepine 

11 Dec 2019 to 14 Dec 12.5mg Mirtazepine 

15 December 2019 to 13 June 2021 15mg Mirtazepine 

14 June 2021 started brass monkey Slide.  
2021: 23 August 12.3mg, 28 October 11.1mg, 6 Dec 10mg

2022 12 Feb 8.5mg, 27 Feb 8.1mg, 22 March 7.7mg, 5 May 6.9mg

 

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