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Istvan15: My life with Abilify


Istvan15

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Hi everyone!

 

How can I start it...? I am sorry for that my english is not perfect. I was a very shy boy in my childhood, who did not want to share his feelings with anybody. So I closed the door of my room and sat in the dark. Nowadays I know that it was a very bad decision. After I went to secondary grammer school. I felt the same in the hostel, tried to not share my thoughts. Finally I could not sleep and  fainted. My parents took me home, and after they called the ambulance. Since then I get pill every day. I feel that I am not the same person I was before... I wanted to wean off my med, but I could not. I tried it abrubtly as my doctor suggested. I gained a big weight, and I hated myself. I tried to wean off med with cold turkey several times but I could not. In that condition without the med I do not know anything about me, sometimes I wake up for a little time. My diagnose is bipolar, but they say they do not know what is that exactly. I always think about this, all my life. I want to enjoy my life, but I can not. I want to taper off my medicine. I hope finally I can do it. Because i want to feel all the pleasures what I should feel. I have a big pressure in my head always, so I can not concentrate to anything. I hope the best. I hope who read it can help me or heard about a similar story. Thank you for your helping in advance. :)

2006- Zyprexa 30mg several times cold turkey

2010- Abilify    30mg  one cold turkey

2013- Abilify    15mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Istvan and welcome, we are very pleased to have you here and will support you in getting off

the psych meds.  It is so sad that you were given tablets as a child.  :(

 

All of us here have been taking medicines that have harmed us. You CAN get off abilify but need to 

taper slowly. We recommend NO MORE than 10% reduction every 4-6 weeks.

 

Read the topic on tapering abilify, and if you have any questions you don't find the answer to, please ask.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1896-tips-for-tapering-off-abilify-aripiprazole/?hl=abilify

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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Hi Istvan.  I'm sorry too that you were put on these meds.  Im curious: are you on both 30mg of Zyprexa AND 15mg of Abilify right now, or just the Abilify?  Either way, that's a TON of medicine.  Once I was placed on 2mg of Abilify, and I can honestly say that I'd rather die than live on that drug.  The akathesia and insomnia were horrible.  Not to mention the embarassment of going to the pharmacy to fill an antipsychotic.  Being on these drugs not only harrms our minds and bodies, but they stigmatize us too.  Anyway, afer six months on the Abilify, I did manage to wean off it and felt soooo much better. It's doable.  Good luck to you. 

insomnia, anxiety, depression- since childhood

lyme disease, dysautonomia, chiari malformation- dx 4/1997

nortriptyline- 75mg since childhood

clonazepam- 3mg since 4/1997

trazodone-100mg since 4/2013, now tapering

rotating antibiotics and antimalarials for lyme disease

midodrine- 10mg for dysautonomia

repeated skull surgeries for chiari malformation

 

Link to comment

Hello Istvan and welcome, we are very pleased to have you here and will support you in getting off

the psych meds.  It is so sad that you were given tablets as a child.  :(

 

All of us here have been taking medicines that have harmed us. You CAN get off abilify but need to 

taper slowly. We recommend NO MORE than 10% reduction every 4-6 weeks.

 

Read the topic on tapering abilify, and if you have any questions you don't find the answer to, please ask.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1896-tips-for-tapering-off-abilify-aripiprazole/?hl=abilify

Hi mammaP, thank you for replying. Yes, it was very bad, you know to live these things as a young person. I gained about 60 kg that time, after I lost most of this weight, with the power of my mind. I will try to taper off the med, but I am very afraid of that. :( . But I am very happy that I found this forum! And not me the only person who feels this way... I read about a program which uses nutritionals  to taper off these kind of meds, what do you think about it? Any experience? 

2006- Zyprexa 30mg several times cold turkey

2010- Abilify    30mg  one cold turkey

2013- Abilify    15mg

Link to comment

Hi Istvan.  I'm sorry too that you were put on these meds.  Im curious: are you on both 30mg of Zyprexa AND 15mg of Abilify right now, or just the Abilify?  Either way, that's a TON of medicine.  Once I was placed on 2mg of Abilify, and I can honestly say that I'd rather die than live on that drug.  The akathesia and insomnia were horrible.  Not to mention the embarassment of going to the pharmacy to fill an antipsychotic.  Being on these drugs not only harrms our minds and bodies, but they stigmatize us too.  Anyway, afer six months on the Abilify, I did manage to wean off it and felt soooo much better. It's doable.  Good luck to you. 

Hi Ellen, thank you for understanding, No, I am on 15 mg of Abilify, it would be terrible if I used both of them. The Abilify is really enough to "enjoy" it. :( . In this case you can imagine my feelings, because you used this drug. And how did you taper off it? I think in a very slow way. Thank you Ellen :)

2006- Zyprexa 30mg several times cold turkey

2010- Abilify    30mg  one cold turkey

2013- Abilify    15mg

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Istvan, we don't recommend the nutritional supplement programmes during withdrawal. Some can make things worse, then it would be hard to know what is causing the problem.

 

 

The only supplements that are recommended here are a good quality fish oil for omega 3, magnesium and perhaps melatonin for sleep. Some members can't take all of those, it's trial and error but they are the ones that have been most helpful for people generally. 

Have a look at the symptoms and self care section where you will find lots of info on supplements. 

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/8-symptoms-and-self-care/

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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Hi Istvan.  So sorry I'm just now getting back to you.  It's funny: our individual bodies are so sensitive to some medicines, and insensitive to others.  For example, I can wean off even the narcotics Klonopin and Percocet, but mere trazodone (an antidepresant) is giving me h*** when I try to wean off it. For me, abilify was one of the esier ones to wean off, but keep in mind that that is the exception, not the rule.  I was on a very small dose: one fifth of a ten mg tablet each day.  As I couldn't cut the pill into less than fifths without it crumbling, I had to just stop. I immediately felt better and suffered no withdrawal symptoms.  Please don't be discouraaged, and please don't expect yourself to do the same.  Is your doctor open to prescriing the solution?  It would be much easier to work with for tapering.  You don't have to tell him you're tapering.  You could just point out that it's less expensive or something like that.  Then you could get a 15ml syringe, and just draw out 1mg less each month or so.  Take heart: I do belive that overall Abilfy is less habit forming than many of the other atypical antipsychotics (at least from what I've read and experienced).  You may well experience much less akathesia (restlesness) and sleep better while withdrawing too.  Just make sure you guard against any rebound psychosis.  If you abruptly stopped like I did, it's a very real risk.  You don't want to end up in the hospital with forced drugging! Know that I and others on this board can relate to the misery that Abilify causes.  You're not alone, and you will get better!

insomnia, anxiety, depression- since childhood

lyme disease, dysautonomia, chiari malformation- dx 4/1997

nortriptyline- 75mg since childhood

clonazepam- 3mg since 4/1997

trazodone-100mg since 4/2013, now tapering

rotating antibiotics and antimalarials for lyme disease

midodrine- 10mg for dysautonomia

repeated skull surgeries for chiari malformation

 

Link to comment

Hi Istvan, we don't recommend the nutritional supplement programmes during withdrawal. Some can make things worse, then it would be hard to know what is causing the problem.

 

 

The only supplements that are recommended here are a good quality fish oil for omega 3, magnesium and perhaps melatonin for sleep. Some members can't take all of those, it's trial and error but they are the ones that have been most helpful for people generally. 

Have a look at the symptoms and self care section where you will find lots of info on supplements. 

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/8-symptoms-and-self-care/

Hi, ok I will not try this solution. Thank you. If the psychosis came back during the taper process, what would I do?

2006- Zyprexa 30mg several times cold turkey

2010- Abilify    30mg  one cold turkey

2013- Abilify    15mg

Link to comment

Hi Istvan.  So sorry I'm just now getting back to you.  It's funny: our individual bodies are so sensitive to some medicines, and insensitive to others.  For example, I can wean off even the narcotics Klonopin and Percocet, but mere trazodone (an antidepresant) is giving me h*** when I try to wean off it. For me, abilify was one of the esier ones to wean off, but keep in mind that that is the exception, not the rule.  I was on a very small dose: one fifth of a ten mg tablet each day.  As I couldn't cut the pill into less than fifths without it crumbling, I had to just stop. I immediately felt better and suffered no withdrawal symptoms.  Please don't be discouraaged, and please don't expect yourself to do the same.  Is your doctor open to prescriing the solution?  It would be much easier to work with for tapering.  You don't have to tell him you're tapering.  You could just point out that it's less expensive or something like that.  Then you could get a 15ml syringe, and just draw out 1mg less each month or so.  Take heart: I do belive that overall Abilfy is less habit forming than many of the other atypical antipsychotics (at least from what I've read and experienced).  You may well experience much less akathesia (restlesness) and sleep better while withdrawing too.  Just make sure you guard against any rebound psychosis.  If you abruptly stopped like I did, it's a very real risk.  You don't want to end up in the hospital with forced drugging! Know that I and others on this board can relate to the misery that Abilify causes.  You're not alone, and you will get better!

Hi Ellen,

I am very sensitive to the Abilify, and it is so bad... I do not know that the liquid solution is available or not in my country. I will not do the abruptly wean off again, because I suffered too much and too many times because of this... I do not want to go back to the hospital, and I hope a very slow taper will help. But when I read this story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3931-edted-son-tapering-abilify/#entry45612 I was a little bit disappointed. Because this thing can happen with me again.And when I am in that estate or condition, I can not write to you... :( Do you know anybody here who wean off Abilify, from 15 or 30 mg, and his story is similar to mine? Thank you very much!

2006- Zyprexa 30mg several times cold turkey

2010- Abilify    30mg  one cold turkey

2013- Abilify    15mg

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Istvan, could you speak to your pharmacist? They can tell you if abilify is available in your country.

You could then tell the doctor that you have spoken to the pharmacist, maybe the pharmacist will write 

information down for you to show the doctor.

 

I did this because my doctor was not helpful with prescribing liquid but he did give it to me when I showed

him the information from the pharmacy. Doctors don't always know what is available and just say NO

because they do not understand the importance of a slow taper. 

 

If you go very slow, even less than 10% you will reduce the risk of bad withdrawal.

I think it would be very helpful for you to have liquid as it is easier to get an accurate dose with a syringe.

You can still taper slowly and safely with tablets but it would be harder at low doses. 

Let us know if you manage to get the liquid, or if you decide to taper with the tablets. 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Istvan.

 

Your English is fine. If you have trouble understanding any of the content on this site, please find an English-speaking friend to help you translate.

 

.... If the psychosis came back during the taper process, what would I do?
 

 

It is hard to see that you were ever psychotic. However, the idea is to reduce the dosage of Abilify so gradually, you will not suffer withdrawal symptoms or "relapse."

 

Edted's son eventually was successful in his slow taper.

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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Dear Istvan:

I am sorry that my thread was upsetting. Remember that that thread started 9 months ago.

 

I don't know what dosage my son is on now (somewhere in the threes). We don't talk about the w/d much anymore because keeping the cuts below 5% is working for him.

He has moved out on his own, has a job he likes, and is looking at grad schools.

 

There is a lot of great advice on this site. My son was particularly moved by a comment from Gianna Kali. Her comment about getting off the meds was that she is now stronger in the broken places.

 

Be well,

Ed

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Itzvan, Welcome! Your comments communicate very well what life on an antipsychotic can be like.

 

I have taken Abilify, but was switched to another antipsychotic, Zyprexa. I was pretty crazy at the end, mostly because I was then having problems with another drug. I was always in touch with reality, though, and could reason and knew what I was doing. We just carried on, and eventually I settled down as the other drug was reduced. I did yell at my husband a lot.

 

I read of a study where people with psychosis were taken off their drugs and compared to others who stayed on the drugs. In the long run, the ones off drugs did better, but they said the first year off was difficult. I'm sure they did not go off as slowly as recommended here. But I am just saying you don't need to worry too much even if things get a bit difficult for awhile. I will have been off Zyprexa a year at the end of this month and it never crosses my mind that I might need to go back on it.

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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Istvan,

 

So sorry that I'm just now replying.  I didn't see your note to me.  No, I don't know who has been on Abilify, but of course you can hit the search button and type in abilify.  You should get plenty of folk's experience that way.  And your dose is much more typical than mine was, so know that most people are tapering off 10-30mg like you, not the mere 2mg like me.  PLEASE WEAN SLOWLY.  you're on a hefty dose of a very strong drug.  As for the fear of going psychotic while tapering, do you know when you're about to lose touch with reality?  I personally did know, so I kept my stash of Abilify handy in case of an "emergency".  If you know you're about to lose it (lose touch with reality), you could always take one whole tablet to prevent psychosis.  After all you don't want to end up in the hospital where you'd probably be put on a HIGHER dose.  In fact, I still have my leftover tablets from seven years ago- just in case I need one to keep myself out of the hospital.  As soon as you stablize, you could go back to your weaning dose.  Of course psychosis is scary and embarassing, so I plan to keep my left-over stash for life, just in case of an emergency.  Hope this helps a little.  I also would definately beg for the liquid.  Antipsychotics simply can't be weaned off rapidly, as rapid weaning in and of itself could potentially induce psychosis.  Good luck.  You can do it!

insomnia, anxiety, depression- since childhood

lyme disease, dysautonomia, chiari malformation- dx 4/1997

nortriptyline- 75mg since childhood

clonazepam- 3mg since 4/1997

trazodone-100mg since 4/2013, now tapering

rotating antibiotics and antimalarials for lyme disease

midodrine- 10mg for dysautonomia

repeated skull surgeries for chiari malformation

 

Link to comment

Istvan, could you speak to your pharmacist? They can tell you if abilify is available in your country.

You could then tell the doctor that you have spoken to the pharmacist, maybe the pharmacist will write 

information down for you to show the doctor.

 

I did this because my doctor was not helpful with prescribing liquid but he did give it to me when I showed

him the information from the pharmacy. Doctors don't always know what is available and just say NO

because they do not understand the importance of a slow taper. 

 

If you go very slow, even less than 10% you will reduce the risk of bad withdrawal.

I think it would be very helpful for you to have liquid as it is easier to get an accurate dose with a syringe.

You can still taper slowly and safely with tablets but it would be harder at low doses. 

Let us know if you manage to get the liquid, or if you decide to taper with the tablets. 

Hi, I will be back in Hungary in a few days, I think I will try it with tablets, because I get used to it. I should buy a scale for it.

Thank you MammaP

2006- Zyprexa 30mg several times cold turkey

2010- Abilify    30mg  one cold turkey

2013- Abilify    15mg

Link to comment

Dear Istvan:I am sorry that my thread was upsetting. Remember that that thread started 9 months ago.I don't know what dosage my son is on now (somewhere in the threes). We don't talk about the w/d much anymore because keeping the cuts below 5% is working for him.He has moved out on his own, has a job he likes, and is looking at grad schools.There is a lot of great advice on this site. My son was particularly moved by a comment from Gianna Kali. Her comment about getting off the meds was that she is now stronger in the broken places.Be well,Ed

Hi Ed,

It was not a sad story, but I really do not want to live that situation again, when I was that condition... It was terrible, for me and for my family. You are very brave. But I have never tried a slow taper before. But I think my family will not able to treat me at home that time if it happen to me again... But I will try. Thank you for writing.

2006- Zyprexa 30mg several times cold turkey

2010- Abilify    30mg  one cold turkey

2013- Abilify    15mg

Link to comment

Hi Meimeiquest,

I wish I could not write it down, I mean my life with this drug... I switched to Abilify from Zyprexa, but they are quite similar. I was often in touch with reality, but I did not do what I really wanted to do. I hope you understand me. And when I was awake from this condition I could explain what I did and why. I think I will start it in January. Thank you for sharing your story with me.

 

Istvan

Itzvan, Welcome! Your comments communicate very well what life on an antipsychotic can be like.I have taken Abilify, but was switched to another antipsychotic, Zyprexa. I was pretty crazy at the end, mostly because I was then having problems with another drug. I was always in touch with reality, though, and could reason and knew what I was doing. We just carried on, and eventually I settled down as the other drug was reduced. I did yell at my husband a lot.I read of a study where people with psychosis were taken off their drugs and compared to others who stayed on the drugs. In the long run, the ones off drugs did better, but they said the first year off was difficult. I'm sure they did not go off as slowly as recommended here. But I am just saying you don't need to worry too much even if things get a bit difficult for awhile. I will have been off Zyprexa a year at the end of this month and it never crosses my mind that I might need to go back on it.

2006- Zyprexa 30mg several times cold turkey

2010- Abilify    30mg  one cold turkey

2013- Abilify    15mg

Link to comment

Istvan,

 

So sorry that I'm just now replying.  I didn't see your note to me.  No, I don't know who has been on Abilify, but of course you can hit the search button and type in abilify.  You should get plenty of folk's experience that way.  And your dose is much more typical than mine was, so know that most people are tapering off 10-30mg like you, not the mere 2mg like me.  PLEASE WEAN SLOWLY.  you're on a hefty dose of a very strong drug.  As for the fear of going psychotic while tapering, do you know when you're about to lose touch with reality?  I personally did know, so I kept my stash of Abilify handy in case of an "emergency".  If you know you're about to lose it (lose touch with reality), you could always take one whole tablet to prevent psychosis.  After all you don't want to end up in the hospital where you'd probably be put on a HIGHER dose.  In fact, I still have my leftover tablets from seven years ago- just in case I need one to keep myself out of the hospital.  As soon as you stablize, you could go back to your weaning dose.  Of course psychosis is scary and embarassing, so I plan to keep my left-over stash for life, just in case of an emergency.  Hope this helps a little.  I also would definately beg for the liquid.  Antipsychotics simply can't be weaned off rapidly, as rapid weaning in and of itself could potentially induce psychosis.  Good luck.  You can do it!

Hi Ellen,

I do not want to go back to the hospital, so I will wean very slowly. When I left the medicine I felt very well for about one and a half week, so I did not realized what was happening to me. After I was getting worse and had imaginations...Yes i have some remained medicines, so because of this I want to try it with tablets.I will take from the stash in emergency, yes thanks for the advice. Thanks, and good luck for you too! 

2006- Zyprexa 30mg several times cold turkey

2010- Abilify    30mg  one cold turkey

2013- Abilify    15mg

Link to comment

Welcome, Istvan.

 

Your English is fine. If you have trouble understanding any of the content on this site, please find an English-speaking friend to help you translate.

 

.... If the psychosis came back during the taper process, what would I do?

 

 

It is hard to see that you were ever psychotic. However, the idea is to reduce the dosage of Abilify so gradually, you will not suffer withdrawal symptoms or "relapse."

 

Edted's son eventually was successful in his slow taper.

Hi Altostrata,

 

I know that it was a succesful taper, I meant about the psychosis that is why I worry about. You know that I get it again. I will do a slow taper soon, thank you.

 

Istvan

2006- Zyprexa 30mg several times cold turkey

2010- Abilify    30mg  one cold turkey

2013- Abilify    15mg

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