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Melphill Has anyone successfully weaned off Abilify? Gabapentin tapering.


Melphill

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I have been on Abilify for approximately 1 year as an adjuct for depression. I also take Viibryd, a fairly new antidepressant.  I have tried twice to wean off of (the Abilify).  I am on 2 mg and the first time I tried to wean off I took 1 mg for 2 days and then stopped and within a week I started thinking irrationally, worrying all of the time about everything and then came the anxiety.

 

About a week ago I tried to tapper off again, this time being more careful and cutting my 2 mg tablet in half and then in half again to try to take 1.75 mg. Today I woke up with moderate anxiety and worrying about everything. I am also having hot flashes and have a feeling of general malaise. I took a klonopin for my anxiety and that only helped for about 2 hours. I finally gave in a took my 2 mg tablet of Abilify.

 

The abilify did save my life a year ago, but I don't want to be on it any longer. It is affecting my memory tremendously.  I am really terrified that I won't be able to get off of it. I did read and article where it talks about using the liquid form and titrating the dose down at 10% per month. I think that I am going to try that next after I am stable again.

 

I would like to hear from anyone that has successfully weaned off Abilify and what kind of advice they might have. I would love to sue this drug company for enslavement to this drug!

 

melphill

Edited by manymoretodays
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  • Administrator

Welcome, Melphill.

 

Yes, people have successfully tapered off Abilify, and you can, too. You need to taper more slowly. See this topic http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1896-tips-for-tapering-off-abilify-aripiprazole/

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 have been reading the book "Your Drug May Be Your Problem." Today I got my liquid Abilify from the pharmacy. I feel empowered to start to taper my Abilify of 2 mg. I am going to start the taper at 1.8mg for 3-4 weeks and see how I feel. I will eventually have to taper off of Adderal 10mg and Viibryd 40 mg. I am also scared. I have been on psychiatric meds for 1/2 my life, 25 years. There is a peace of me that says the depression will return and I can't live without medication. I know that I am damaging my brain and I have got to do it. I work a 12 step program and am learning new coping mechanisms and how to live life. I pray that I am successful and that I will have a story that I can share with others to help them also.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to the forum, Melphill.  Your plan to taper off Abilify very slowly is a good one.  It's a very, very strong drug, so it's best to taper in tiny increments. Listen to your body as you go and take it as slowly as you must to remain functional and reasonably comfortable.

 

You'll find lots of solid information and friendly support here.  You can do it.  My best wishes go with you.

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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I tapered off of Abilify last summer. I was taking 5mg and went down to 2mg, then off. If you are having a hard go of it, then its a better idea to go more slowly. It can be done! ((((( hugs )))))

Currently taking 300mg EffexorXR, 180mg Zeldox (down from 240mg) & 100mg Seroquel (for intractible insomnia).

1995-2013 on and off too many medications to list including hypnotics, anxiolytics, mood stabilizers, antipsychotics & antidepressants.

2013 February 22nd diagnosed with endometrial cancer. April 29th DaVinci robotic assisted hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo oopherectomy & lymph node sampling.

Current diagnoses; Depression & Schizotypal Personality Disorder.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." ~Anais Nin

 

 

 
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Thanks for your responses. I did get the liquid Abilify about a week ago. I started tapering 6 days ago. I have only gone down from 2mg to 1.8mg. So far I don't feel much different although I do seem to be feeling more apathetic. I am having to really push myself to do things, but I don't feel depressed.  I have developed a lower lid eye twitch about 3 weeks ago. It happens daily and I am wondering if it could be from the Abilify. I am trying not to think that it could be the beginning of tardive dyskenisia. I am also taking 10mg of Adderall daily that I am going to wean off of and I don't know if the eye twitch could be caused from that. I did read that Adderall can cause magnesium deficiency and low magnesium levels can cause muscle twitches. I started taking magnesium last night to see if this helps. So far today I still have the eye twitch.

 

I am also wondering if I should try and wean off the Abilify faster in case this is the beginning of Tardive Dyskensia. Has anyone else experienced anything like the eye twitch?

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Dear Melphill:

My son is also tapering Abilify. He had numerous unsuccessful attempts before finding this site. I know it's different person to person, but with the exception of tapers in extreme amounts, it takes him about 3 weeks to feel the benefits from a reduction. He had eye twitches a number of times, but they always resolved.

Be well,

Ed

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Dear Melphill:My son is also tapering Abilify. He had numerous unsuccessful attempts before finding this site. I know it's different person to person, but with the exception of tapers in extreme amounts, it takes him about 3 weeks to feel the benefits from a reduction. He had eye twitches a number of times, but they always resolved.Be well,Ed

Thanks Ed for your response. What dose of Abilify did he start his reduction and how long did it take him to get off of it?

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Dear Melphill:

A lot of detail can be found in my intro thread, but the short answer is that this go around, he dropped pretty quickly to 5Mgs and the began to taper at .2Mgs per month. He is at 4.6Mgs now and will probably postpone the next cut which was to be on July 7th because he has had a bit of a return of the urge for alcohol and caffeine. He figures that it will be over 5 years to get off the stuff, but if he can minimize withdrawal symptoms and avoid a catastrophe, that's OK. It takes what it takes, right? He doesn't plan to exceed 5% drops, so at 4Mgs, he'll cut the reduction to .1mgs/month. Abilify has a really long half-life, so the time between reductions needs to be long to give the nervous system some rest between drops. How are you doing?

Ed

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Hi Melphil, I just wanted to say a huge thanks for your post on my thread. Those are all things I need to look into. Right now I am trying to get the whole family moved onto the Weston A. Price Foundation style of eating--that's probably as far as I can move everybody. I desperately need to get my exercise act together...I don't really want to move into other interventions until I have taken that "natural" step. This whole experience has somewhat "weirded me out" on trusting any professional or company about healthcare. Being a nurse, that's a problem! I thought I would throw up when I read about muscle and joint pain being a rare, but possible side effect of Prozac. In 2006, I had huge pain about 10 days after stopping Prozac/Cymbalta, and then it left for good. Good luck on your I continuing journey! Meimei

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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  • 7 years later...

Titled:  Gabapentin tapering

 

Hi,

 

I haven't posted on her in a couple of years. I successfully tapered off Abilify several years ago and it took me nine months using the liquid. 

 

Now, I have been tapering off gabapentin for almost 1 year. I was prescribed this medication for alcohol cessation. I continued this medication for anxiety and untreated childhood ptsd. Last March I was at 300mg and I am currently at 50mg. I had been tapering down 5mg every 1-2 weeks without much difficulty. I would have mild symptoms for about 3 days after the taper, mild anxiety, depression, irritability and it would pass. 

 

Last week I tapered by 10mg from 60mg to 50mg and a day or two later I started feeling horrible, General malaise, achey, exhausted, like I had the flu. My memory is terrible and my eyesight has been affected.  Its hard for me to see in bright lights, everything looks like a glare.  I don't have insomnia, in fact I sleep extremely deep and don't want to get up in the morning. My arms and legs feel heavy and tingly and I fee like I am walking through water. I was cleaning the kitchen, earlier and I broke out in a sweat and got weak and had to lay down. 

 

I joined a Facebook group for Gabapentin withdrawal and the moderator told me that I was tapering way to slow. That at 100mgs I should have stopped completely. She said that I should get off of it completely now because the longer I am on it, the more brain damage that it causes! She says micro tapering is bad and causes more damage!! Help! Now I am so confused. 

 

I am an RN and I have to continue to work 12 hour shifts, I can't go through anything any worse than what I have felt in the last week and still work.

 

I have also been taking ionized magnesium, vitamin d and zinc and B6, P5P and other supplements for my high histamine levels. 

 

I thought just getting off quickly caused sometimes permanent brain damage? If this is true, this woman should not be moderating this gabapentin withdrawal group on Facebook because she is dangerous!!

Edited by manymoretodays
added title, merged with Introduction, added gabapentin to Introduction Title
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  • manymoretodays changed the title to Melphill Has anyone successfully weaned off Abilify? Gabapentin tapering.
  • Moderator

Hi Melphill, @Melphill and welcome back,

I found your Introduction, and so have moved your most recent post here, as well as added Gabapentin to the title.

 

And then, really helpful for all of us, mods, members, administrators is this:

Please summarize your withdrawal history in your signature

 

I think you are tapering a bit faster than your system can adapt and adjust to right now.

 

And then, of course we'd love to hear how you tapered off your Abilify.  Were you able to utilize the information here, and then apply it to your taper?

And then how did it go?  You'll see your previous posts and responses above now.

 

this offers a harm reduction plan for tapering, and why
the 10% taper, is based on each previous dose, not the starting dose, as you'll see
 
 
General information on what is going on, and withdrawal symptoms:
 
 

 

When we take medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made.  The CNS likes stability. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.
 
We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) 

 

Really sorry for your horrible experience on FB, Melphill, and hope you can begin to heal again here.  

Please work on the signature, with dates of your most recent changes to the gabapentin included.  That will really help us to support and advise you further.

 

On 2/8/2021 at 12:56 PM, Melphill said:

Last week I tapered by 10mg from 60mg to 50mg and a day or two later I started feeling horrible, General malaise, achey, exhausted, like I had the flu. My memory is terrible and my eyesight has been affected.  Its hard for me to see in bright lights, everything looks like a glare.  I don't have insomnia, in fact I sleep extremely deep and don't want to get up in the morning. My arms and legs feel heavy and tingly and I fee like I am walking through water. I was cleaning the kitchen, earlier and I broke out in a sweat and got weak and had to lay down. 

 

I think if I were you, and seeing as it is just over a week since you tapered, I might go ahead and try 55 mg now, for my total daily dose.  You can find out how to adjust your dose, in the tapering topic.

How often do you take the Gabapentin?

And how long have you been taking the supplements you mentioned?:

"I have also been taking ionized magnesium, vitamin d and zinc and B6, P5P and other supplements for my high histamine levels."

 

 

 

More about updosing here:  About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

See what you think, most of the pertinent information is in the first post there.

 

 

 

And best,

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

manymoretodays(mmt)

Edited by manymoretodays
removed some text

2022 May- continuing with limited activity on site, just something I need to do right now

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021. Lapsed.  Redo of quit smoking 9/28/2022.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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