20 Important Abilify Facts You Need to Know about (Aripiprazole)

abilify

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Abilify (maintena) is?used to treat conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression as well as to treat irritability and symptoms of aggression, mood swings, temper tantrums, and self-injury related to autistic disorder in children.

It is classified as an atypical antipsychotic medication

The drug works by leveling out certain neurotransmitters – in effect inhibiting the more extreme moods associated with psychotic disorders.

Specifically, it dampens the?action of dopamine and serotonin in the brain, lowering abnormal levels of excitement.

Unlike antipsychotics of the past, Abilify acts as a partial agonist to dopamine receptors, rather than a full agonist like previous antipsychotic drugs.

This makes it a markedly safer alternative to standard antipsychotics.

Sales of this drug have been very high in recent years and many people have been switched over to an Abilify prescription.

The rise in consumption is partly due to the effectiveness of the drug as well as a widespread adverting campaign that was run through TV ads.?

In fact, Abilify is one of the most successful drugs in the pharmaceutical industry.

Last year this medication had sales of over $5,000,000,000.

Yes, five billion dollars.

This makes it the 2nd highest selling pharmaceutical drug on the US market.

If you’re new to Abilify you likely have some questions about the drug.

So let’s dive into the most important information about this drug.

Can you Overdose on Abilify?

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1.) The amount of this medication needed to result in an overdose?greatly depends on the individual characteristics of the user.

Body weight, length of use and individual brain chemical balances all factor in.

Everyone has different chemistry and will experience an overdose of different amounts of the drug.

2.) Symptoms that might indicate an overdose has?occurred?include:

  • Extreme confusion
  • Chest pain
  • Irregular or fast heartbeat; slowed heartbeat (beyond usual levels of change)
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing, tightness in the throat or neck leading to breathing airway restriction.
  • Severe rash, itching, or hives
  • Seizures
  • Pronounced swelling of face, eyes, or extremities
  • Swollen tongue, odd tongue movements, or tongue that protrudes from the mouth (Tardive dyskinesia)
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Strong Fever or sweating
  • Unusual, uncontrollable facial or body movements
  • Vision changes

3.) Can an overdose of this drug result in death??

Yes, Abilify is known to cause death when taken in too high of a dosage.?

Overdoing an aripiprazole medication often results in?serotonin syndrome for the user.?

The effects of this syndrome range from mild irritability and accelerated heart rate all the way to fatality.

It depends on how much of an overdose it is.?Learn more about serotonin syndrome.

4.) In the event of an expected overdose, you or your loved ones should take immediate action and seek medical help.

Any?noticeable negative side effect is cause for a medical consultation.

These and other symptoms might be signs of an allergy, incompatible aripiprazole drug interactions, or other complications and should be addressed as soon as possible.

5.) Treatment options for an overdose?will vary.

If the overdose was recent, a healthcare provider may give certain medicines or place a tube into the stomach to “pump the stomach.”

However, once Abilify has been absorbed into the body, there is no treatment that can remove it quickly.?

In these cases, treatment must revolve around supportive care in addressing the symptoms that occur as a result of the overdose.

For example, supportive treatment options may include:

  • Fluids through an intravenous line (IV)
  • Seizure medications?or medications for other complications
  • Other treatments based on complications that occur.

Can Abilify Cause People to Feel Sleepy or Drowsy?

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Yep, it can. And it often does. Many people complain about Abilify making them feel too sleepy to function well.

6.) Abilify and drowsiness are often known to come together.

It’s just the nature of this medication to affect parts of the brain which dictate feelings of energy and awareness.?

Abilify can make you extremely drowsy; using alcohol with Abilify can worsen this side effects, so be careful about that.

Extreme tiredness easily presents safety concerns.

7.) How to combat feelings of sleepiness:

  • Occasionally, some people find they cannot handle any amount of Abilify?(even 1mg doses) without experiencing disabling bouts of extreme tiredness. If you find that this medication makes you able to do very little more than lay around in bed all day, then you might need to find an alternative medication.?You shouldn’t have to suffer that much tiredness.
  • Experiment with taking it during different times in the day.?Maybe you function best when taking Abilify in the morning, soon after you wake up. Or, maybe you feel your worst when you take it in the morning. Better try taking it in the late afternoon or before you go to sleep. Switching things up like this might really help you. If Abilify makes you feel exhausted you might want to time it for when you’re feeling more low key.
  • Give yourself some adjustment time if you’ve only just started taking Abilify. It can take several months for your body to feel “evened out” on the drug. If you feel like the drug isn’t causing you too much fatigue right now then you might as well give it a little longer before trying out an alternative. Of course, if it is too bad to handle, make a switch sooner rather than waiting.

Abilify causing bad sleeping problems??

You may already have sleep apnea?or just trouble sleeping, and Abilify might make it worse. No one likes to feel exhausted even more than they already are, so try an alternative to Abilify or try adding sleeping medications like Ambien or Unisom sleep gels.

Abilify: good?for depression? Or good at causing?Depression?

8.) For some people it is great at reducing symptoms of depression.?

Abilify performs well at reducing symptoms anxiety and accompanying depression for many people.

If it’s working for you, and the side effects aren’t debilitating, then that’s great!

but…

9.) Many others experience new or increased depression from prescribed doses of Abilify.

This is not uncommon.

While some people respond well to the changes in their life caused by Abilify, the downsides to the drug just don’t mesh well with others.?A

bilify can be great for depression, but if it’s tiring you out and making you feel weak enough that you need an amphetamine just to feel like anything other than apathy, you might want to shop around.

Some young people have thoughts about suicide when taking medicine for a major depressive disorder and other psychiatric disorders.

Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using Abilify.

Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.?

Abilify and TD (Tardive Dyskinesia) / TA (Tardive Akasthisia)

10.) Tardive dyskinesia, while rare, is a very real condition associated with antipsychotics like Abilify and needs to be addressed immediately when it occurs.

Tardive dyskinesia (TD) is a movement disorder caused by the neuroleptic or antipsychotic drugs including the older ones such as Thorazine and Haldol and also the newer ones such as Zyprexa, Risperdal, Geodon, Abilify, and Seroquel.

According to these resources, Abilify has more risk of TD/A than any other atypicals (olanzapine/risperidone). The scary thing about Abilify induced TD is that It can be:

  • Permanent.
  • It can come on after you stop the drug.

Tardive Dyskinesia involves involuntary muscle control and twitching, most often occurring in the face (predominantly?eyelids, tongue, mouth), but also in other areas like the neck, shoulders, torso and arms and legs.

Think:

  • An inner restlessness that induces a compelling need to be in constant motion.
  • Jaw constantly contorting or thrusting
  • An overly “thick” feeling tongue
  • Unnecessary squinting
  • Inability to keep mouth closed resulting in uncontrollable drooling
  • Unmanageable tic-like facial movements

Definitely, let your physician note of any abnormal symptoms like those listed above.

It’s worth noting that the onset of TD tends to be extremely slow with AAPs (atypical antipsychotics).

But while most TD cases do not develop until at least 3-6 months of exposure, some have occurred only after a few doses or less.

How About Abilify induced Tardive disorders statistics?

How common are these?occurrences??In otherwise physically healthy adults, 5%-8% per year will develop the disorder, with cumulative rates in the range of at least 15%-20% for the first three years.

In the elderly, the risk of tardive dyskinesia accumulates at 20% or more per year. (Abilify is not recommended for use by older adults with dementia.)

What’s more common Abilify, weight loss or weight gain??

The answer to this question is that it varies.

Everybody is different and every reaction to drugs has it’s own unique flavor.

Some people gain weight, some people lose weight, and for others their weight remains neutral.

Abilify is considered to be one of the least likely AAP’s to cause weight fluctuations. But it still happens.

11.) Cases of weight gain on Abilify

  • Many people experience a dramatic increase in their appetite once starting Abilify. Some individuals complain of feeling entirely insatiable. No matter what they eat or how much of it, there is rarely satisfied. Just craving for more food. This alone can cause dramatic weight gain, but in these cases could there be additional reasons for weight gain as well? Maybe not just from the food, but from something in the medicine causing drug interactions with the body too.
  • Abilify is a?drug that affects the central nervous system, and drugs like this are known to occasionally cause weight gain. When this side effect occurs, the weight gain is not caused by diet as much as it is to do with how the drug works. (Abilify is known to cause insulin resistance, which can then lead to metabolic syndrome). Note, this doesn’t happen to everyone and is dose-dependent.
  • Weight gain can be temporary and once one’s body adapts to the dosage it may settle down or it may not.
  • When compared to other drugs in the same class, Abilify is less likely to make people gain weight like other AP’s and AAP’s.
  • Effects of weight gain can be enhanced when adding additional drugs to your regimen. Drugs like?Luvox (for treating OCD) have been known to enhance the hormonal disrupting signaling of aripiprazole drugs.
  • Some people are more susceptible to sugar carb cravings than others. For these people, their cravings might become far more pronounced while on Abilify. This is likely to lead to weight gain.

Withdrawals from Abilify

(Note: you should never reduce or stop your regimen without the doctor’s approval and oversight.)

12.) Stopping atypical antipsychotics can often lead to withdrawal symptoms, (though?this phenomenon hasn’t been studied that well yet).

Some possible reactions that have been reported include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, anxiety, agitation, confusion, uncontrollable muscular movements, and sweating.

In fact, just?take a look at this long list of the side effects caused by Abilify.?When considering withdrawal effects, in general, you’ll want to think of typical side effects from the drug becoming an enhanced version of themselves.

  • The main side effect of stopping AAP’s cold turkey is the sudden and rapid return of the symptoms you took the medicine to stop from occurring in the first place
  • Some doctors will tell you that there are few or no noticeable withdrawal effects from this drug.?To assume that there is no withdrawal effect from a medication that alters brain chemicals and produces a sedative effect?(like Abilify) is unprofessional and unbelievable. They themselves have never taken it before and are likely making assumptions from what they’ve been told by the drug manufacturer.?
  • Some people are prescribed Abilify for the major depressive disorder, and withdrawals when stopping the medication can include mood swings more severe than what they would experience before taking the drug.
  • Because withdrawal from antipsychotic medications is?underappreciated, there are few guidelines given to physicians on how to wean patients off such drugs. One thing is for sure, tapering is important. It is highly discouraged to stop taking such drugs suddenly.
  • It’s important to note that some of the symptoms accompanying withdrawals may be attributable to depression relapses, such as dysphoria, rumination, insomnia, and irritability, whereas other symptoms are more suggestive of withdrawal (e.g., nausea, lightheadedness, muscle twitching).
  • Hair thinning and hair loss have been occasionally associated with Abilify use and during withdrawals from this drug. Take note of any hair coming out while in the shower / while brushing and bring it up with your doctor.
  • Coming off of small doses of this drug can cause withdrawal symptoms similar to larger doses.?Individuals who are on higher mg doses often know the importance of slow tapering. But those who are in smaller amounts (1mg, 2mg, 3mg) sometimes decide to quit cold turkey because of how little they are consuming. But many people complain of having extreme negative symptoms when dropping even small doses like this.

On Abilify and pregnancy

13.) If you are pregnant or become pregnant while taking Abilify, you should talk to your doctor about alternative treatments for your condition.

Abilify can cause problems in newborns if taken during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

If you’ve already conceived while on the drug you have some tough things to consider.?

  1. proceed and hope to have a healthy baby.
  2. proceed with the risk of having an abnormal baby / developmentally disabled baby.
  3. have an abortion and lose a child who could have been born healthy.

You must weigh the benefits of the medication against the possible risks to the fetus.

Studies about the effects of aripiprazole’s on pregnancy are limited, but?the safest course is to avoid the drug during pregnancy.

This is especially important during the first trimester. Only take it if completely necessary, and if you can avoid it during the beginning and end of pregnancy.

Nursing while on this drug is not recommended. Small amounts of the drug are known to be distributed in breast milk. The manufacturers of the drug advise abstaining during nursing.?

Taking antipsychotic medication during the last 3 months of pregnancy may cause problems in the newborn, such as withdrawal symptoms, breathing problems, feeding problems, fussiness, tremors, and limp or stiff muscles.

However, you may have withdrawal symptoms or other problems if you stop taking your medicine during pregnancy.?

If you become pregnant while taking Abilify, do not stop taking it without your doctor’s advice.

14.) Your surgeon or anesthesiologist needs to know that you are taking Abilify if you are having any type of surgery, including oral or dental surgery.

15.) Abilify may cause an increase in blood sugar, particularly when you first start taking this medication.

16.) People taking Abilify may overheat more easily and have trouble cooling down after activity than those not on the drug.

17.) Avoid drinking grapefruit juice when taking this medication?as it?can lead to deleterious interactions.

18.) This drug will not cure schizophrenia, bipolar or depression, but it will help control the behavior that accompanies these conditions.

19.) If you have or have ever had heart disease, diabetes, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, stroke, or seizures you should talk to your doctor about these conditions before you take Abilify.

Aripiprazole’s?may interact with other medications or supplements, including antihistamines, antidepressants, antifungals, sleeping pills, HIV medications, high blood pressure medications, and more.

If you are taking other prescription drugs or supplements, you should check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking Abilify.

20.) What is the?half life of abilify??Ariprazole and its active metabolite, dehydro-aripiprazole, have half-lives of 75 and 94 hours, respectively, and are seemingly unaffected by age or gender.?

Given these lengthy half-lives, it would seem less likely that aripiprazole would cause withdrawal symptoms.

92 thoughts on “20 Important Abilify Facts You Need to Know about (Aripiprazole)”

  1. My son is 47. He started on 5mgs oral arpiprazole. When inceased to 10 mgs he began to hallucinate badly. Never had hallucinations in his life. Now on Abilify Maintena. Hallucinations/delusions/talking to himself all day long. After only one injection he is standing up walking across room, returning to chair, sitting down then repeats over and over maybe for half anhour. Severely affected by antipsychotics. He suffers environmental illness, chemical sensitivity. Psychiatrists do not accept, yet 4 doctors have diagnosed.

    1. Abilify and Wellbutrin safety? A bad combination!

      According to Drugs.com there is a major Drug Contraindication between bupropion, brand name Wellbutrin, and aripiprazole, brand name Abilify:

      Interactions between your selected drugs

      bupropion ? aripiprazole

      Applies to:Wellbutrin (bupropion) and Abilify (aripiprazole)

      Talk to your doctor before using buPROPion together with ARIPiprazole. Combining these medications may increase the risk of seizures, which may occur rarely with either medication. In addition, buPROPion can increase the blood levels of ARIPiprazole, which may increase other side effects. You may be more likely to experience seizures with these medications if you are elderly, undergoing alcohol or drug withdrawal, have a history of seizures, or have a condition affecting the central nervous system such as a brain tumor or head trauma. Your doctor may be able to prescribe alternatives that do not interact, or you may need a dose adjustment or more Abilify and Wellbutrin Safetyfrequent monitoring by your doctor to safely use both medications. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol during treatment. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

      In addition to the widely known seizure contraindication, mixing Abilify and Wellbutrin can, in rare cases, cause multiple chemical sensitivity, MCS. Why? First, one of the major foci for many kinds of adult epilepsy is the limbic area of the brain. The limbic system has also been implicated in the etiology of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity as well. This is too close a link to be ignored.

      Also, Abilify and Wellbutrin are metabolized in the liver using cytochrome P450 at the exact same enzymatic location, the CYP2D6 location. For those who are unfamiliar with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, MCS can be totally incapacitating much like Gulf War Syndrome of the combat Vets from the first Gulf War. Imagine breathing in air that everybody else is breathing, but you have a major physical reaction such as choking or hives, but you do not know what is wrong. It could be Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. Chemicals in the air are everywhere in today?s society, from your favorite restaurant to your local transportation system. As you can easily imagine, MCS can cripple a life.

      Wellbutrin and Abilify have opposite effects on the cytochrome P450 CYP2D6 location of the liver, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CYP2D6 . In fact, when you see the table on Wikipedia, Wellbutrin is a STRONG Inhibitor of CYP2D6. See the following partial list of antipsychotics that also work on the CYP2D6 location , e.g.

      haloperidol
      risperidone
      perphenazine
      thioridazine
      zuclopenthixol
      iloperidone
      aripiprazole
      chlorpromazine
      levomepromazine
      remoxipride

      Corroborating this cytochrome P450 CYP2D6 link with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, see the below snippet from MEDLINE:

      Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2013;2013:831969. doi: 10.1155/2013/831969. Epub 2013 Jul 7.
      Xenobiotic sensor- and metabolism-related gene variants in environmental sensitivity-related illnesses: a survey on the Italian population.

      Caccamo D1, Cesareo E, Mariani S, Raskovic D, Ientile R, Curr? M, Korkina L, De Luca C.
      3.3. Analysis of CYP2D6 Genetic Background and Risk for Disease

      The analysis of genetic background at the CYP2D6 gene locus showed that the CYP2D6*4 was the most represented gene variant in all subgroups of SRI (Sensitivity-Related Illness) cases compared with the CYP2D6*41; moreover, this latter variant was absent in the control population.

      1. What effect does alcohol have on someone taking 5 mg of Abilify a day? My daughter’s boyfriend does this and she’ concerned because he has a compromised liver. Please reply.
        Sincerely,
        Betsy C Griscom

      2. Carla Thompson

        Just to let anyone know. If you where prescribed Abilify there is a class action lawsuit against the drug company that makes the drug: Side effects that they knew about but kept under cover was that a lot of people will gamble excessively. As well this drug company was paying Drs to push the drug. The FDA in the states sued and got 515 million dollars for their deception. If u developed a bad gambling habit and lost money u may be approved by Toronto lawyers to get name on lawsuit and get money for help to quit and for emotional suffering. I developed a bad gambling habit and am on the list for money settlement. Please comment if this has happened to u.

        1. Yes I had same problem I am the person who started the class action law suit here in Toronto. It ruined my life

          1. Susan Fuhrman

            Are you seriously blaming the pill for your choice to be an addict?? Lol GTFO

          2. Hey, Susan: you shouldn’t criticize people that seek help for mood or psychotic disorders. The neurotransmitters in people’s brains are something that nobody controls. If you were unlucky enough to become ill with a disorder would you like to be ridiculed by someone as callous as you? You should be ashamed of yourself for what you said. Keep in mind that our actions speak more about us than our thoughts. What does that say about you? What compulsion drove you to demean people that struggle with disorders beyond their control? Regardless of your excuses, you are you, and thankfully we don’t live life near you.

          3. Cynthia Knapp

            I have been on 30, yes 30 mg. Tabs for oh I would say 10 years along with We lb u tron 150 mg. I have gained a tremendous amount of weight. I also have a compulsive need to smoke! Whatever, I will smoke. Does that fall under gambling?

          4. louise s mcewan

            can you help me get help, with the class action and how to wean off, this med has ruined my life, no life i have had for the last idk over 1.5 ears, i have closet gambled and slept and that it, my life feels ove, im here seekng help in how to wean off safely, im on 20 mg abilify and told my dr no more, i finally realized this med was ruining my life.so my psychiatrist says 20 mg today, then nothing tomorrow then 20 the next day and then just stop the abiliy, this seems to quick and dastric, im scared to do it this way, please help me

        2. Dose this drug make u think about sex or say stuff u should not I?m needed help with my son that is 11 and he is acting out

          1. It can absolutely cause sexual acting out. I would speak to his doctor about possibly finding another medication. This is one of the more negative possible side effects.

        3. louise s mcewan

          hi there, i was greatly impacted by gambling with abilify, how do i get in touch with toronto lawyers, i to gambled like crazy while on abiify, im here looking of help to wean off this med safely. im on 20 mg and my dr wants me to take 20 mg yesterday 0mg tody, 20 tomorrow and then 20 the next day, doesnt seem right idk the fluctuations in meds why not reduce me to 10 mg first then off, idk i need help and the toronto lawyers name that is helping abiify patients, i need help asap, unsure what to do,

  2. I am unable to withdraw from Abilfy without experiencing severe restless leg syndrome all night long, allowing me to get only one or two hours of sleep. I’ve gone back on the 5mg dose I’d been on for about 5 years and the restless legs have ceased to be a problem. I feel like a slave to this medication and would like to know of a protocol to use to get off it.

    1. I, too, have been on Abilify for 6 years. Although I feel normal and good, I have gained 40 lbs. I have tried to get off of it, weaning for months at a time and go right into horrible withdrawl when finished, having to start on them all over again. I am a slave to it also and need to accept that this is the way it’s going to be. I work out and it is very hard to loose the weight, but I keep going. I’m 63 and am on 2 mg. I am very frightened to switch to another drug in place of Abilify because I don’t know what I’d be walking in to.

      1. I’m so angry. I’ve put on 30 lbs. Prior to Abilify I had never been on as diet . O gave birth to 8 kids and always maintained 135lb body weight after. Now no matter what diet I try and how much excessive I do I can’t loose even 1 lb. Abilify is metabolic poison. I’ve read post after post that say exactly what I’ve said. No weight will come off no matter what they do. There should be a lawsuit against Abilify for this. I am beside myself with self fat hate and anger.

    2. TOM Asmar

      Yes I’m on 5 mgs trying alison to get off my 5mgs always tried weak cannot . Think always dizzy confused in cotton able stranded always feel I g backward can you help me to come over this .

  3. Cassandra

    I suffer from severe depression during the day time hours but I think it’s (abilify) working miracously to improve my well being.

    1. Me too. It’s only been a week and I am noticing I have ALOT more energy. I don’t feel so hopeless. I hope the success continues bc I feel better than I have felt in years.

      1. Vanessa Guyette

        Abilify did begin to help me to feel more energy and motivation. I also have fibromyalgia and severe chronic pain after a near fatal car accident. The problem I had was a sudden increase in my blood pressure and heart rate after about two weeks on Abilify. I do take a couple of medications that may have interacted with the Abilify to cause the problem, but I am so confused as to what I should do. I was elated to finally feel even slightly more myself and to actually feel like doing anything. Side effects are so scary and this medication seems to have its fair share of those. Have any of you who had a good experience with Abilify had any problems over time or elevated blood pressure? Wendy, is this still helping you?

  4. I am praying some day I’ll be able to not take anymore. I don’t like what it’s doing to me:( Looking into herbs and natural things.

    1. Me too, I have been prescribed Abilify since I was 19, now I am 23, and I really hope to God that somehow, I can get off this medicine..
      I believe there is an alternative in homeopathy.

      All the best,

      1. Laura Ross

        I was on 5 MG of ablify for 8 yrs. I tapered off very slowly. The withdrawls were intense. It basically took two months of anxiety and not sleeping before I felt normal again. I actually feel great now. My mind is much clearer! Hang in there. It does get better.

        1. How long did you taper for? My poor husband was told to only taper for four days, and he’s a mess three weeks later.

        2. Thank you for giving me a glimpse of hope that this withdrawal nightmare does eventually end.

  5. Well PEPs says it dose not hurt thyroid,, just have to wait 20 years to find out this drug is young on the market..

  6. I’ve been off Abilify for 3 months and still experience withdrawal symptoms. Excessive crying, restless legs, anxiety, changes in appetite (sometimes hungry, sometimes can’t eat all day) and depression. None of these were present (except depression) before I started Abilify. I took 2 1/2 mgs for about 5 years. Tried about 5 times to come off but couldn’t stand the side effects. Hope they stop soon I’m a mess, but determined to stay off, can’t afford it anymore.

  7. I just started seeing someone whom I like very much. He takes abilify and I have noticed that he moves his tongue a lot. For what I’ve read, this seems like a bad side effect that should be addressed. However, because we just started dating, I don’t exactly know how to bring this up to him. Any thoughts?

    Concerned for my new friend.

    1. Heather Thorne

      Yes it is a side effect google Tardia Dyskinesia, a disorder that can develop while on abilify or after having been on it.

    2. Enid, that is a side effect and it is the dyskinesia as Heather says. My son, 21 years old, got one injection of abilify and has terrible dyskinesia, but it is his eyes. He will not get another injection of abilify. He also has extremely blurred vision now and can’t stop walking around to sit down. The scary thing is that some of this may become permanent. How do you live with uncontrollable eye movement? No reading, computer work, driving…. I would talk to your new friend gently. This side effect may not bother him or maybe he is unaware. Good luck

  8. Hello, has anyone noticed minor or major hair loss from using this drug? If anyone can help then that would be great.

    1. Heather Thorne

      Yes I have been taking Abilify 15 mg , since Jan and my hair is falling out.

      1. katherine corrigan

        then get to your Dr. get off this horrible med.

    2. Jodie Rossi

      Yes, only on 1 mg. per day for 3 months but have been losing lots of hair. Take other meds with it. I do credit it for helping me get out of a very long depressive episode though. Thank g-d it is only a small dose. Hopefully one day I won’t have such a disasterous time getting off it as people have described here.

  9. I’m currently taking 15mg daily of abilify. I gained 35 pounds in a matter of months and continue to gain weight. I don’t know if this is the drug causing my weight gain or if it is because of some other reason. I constantly need to nap during the day because I feel restless. Is anyone else experiencing these same symptoms? Would love some feedback.

    1. Elizabeth

      I feel so sleepy, so out of it, mornings after Abjlifu which led to me losing a. Very good job. ! Do Not Like it Sam I am.

  10. I have been talking this product for years. I was prescribed. For 20mg once a day to help severe depression. I have gained almost 100 pounds. I do not feel this medication has been helpful. Last time I had blood work done I was one and a half points away from having diabetes. I take medicine for triglycerides and have been on the diabetic diet. I have lost some weight. I believe abilify has been detrimental to my overall health. I have been out for three days and can no longer afford abilify. Wish me luck and those who pray please remember me.

  11. Experiencing severe restless leg syndrome (more like restless body syndrome) as a withdrawal symptom. Going on three weeks. Trying everything possible to get some f’ing sleep and nothing is working. Actually afraid of overdosing on a concoction of drugs just in an effort to finally sleep… Really angry that getting off a med would have such a debilitating side effect. I’m now afraid to drive or work (I lack my ability to focus and fear that I may hurt an animal I’m grooming due to pure exhaustion).

  12. I am currently on 400mg of ability injection my Dr.told me I won’t have any side effects because the injection wears off after 32 days of your last shot did any one try this and if so did you have any side effects

    1. Carol Tuck

      I have been taking injections also. 300 mg. I have been off it 4 38 days . I am now experiencing aniexty. N muscle acks. Not sure whether 2 take a shot or not. Any advice.

  13. I am an adult female who has been on Abilify 30 mg for severe depression. I sleep for 14-16 hours a day and the only emotion that I have is apathy. I want to get off it, but I am afraid of the withdrawal. I read horror stories of people that have been on much lower doses and have had severe withdrawal symptoms. Does the dose matter in regards to withdrawal symptoms?

    1. No it does not matter what kind of mg you were on. You need to get your doctor to taper off I’ve been off of it for 21/2 months and it’s hell this is absolutely the worst drug I’ve ever taken I think I would have been better with non treatment of bipolar disorder

  14. I take 3mg abilify/day and 300mg Wellbutrin/day. These drugs have saved my life and I don’t have any side effects other than a horrible memory (which is better than not being able to function!).

    My only concern is that I’d like to have a child some day? I am afraid of going off it (Abilify) and losing my mind again!

    1. My Psychiatrist told me never to take Abilify and Wellbutrin together. You’re at higher risk for developing some serious health problems. If your regular Dr is prescribing this, you might want to go to a psychiatrist since they are much more knowledgeable about these serious drugs than primary care physicians.

      1. vguyette

        I know this post is older, but I wonder if anyone has experienced an elevated blood pressure that isn’t affected by my medication I take for it. I also have a very rapid heart rate, flushing and a very hot face. I do take Wellbutrin and for around two weeks Abilify.. The psychiatrist I see is new to me and he knew I was taking Welbutrin also. What are some side effects with taking the two together. This has me a bit scared and also the comments about weight gain and stopping Ability and withdrawal.

        1. I first started out with just wellbutrin 400mg a day it worked for a few months but I fell back into the…no motivation or energy and was fine doing nothing. My physc just prescribed me abilify 2mg last week along with clonidine .01 for the anxiety. So far I get dizzy spells here and there but nothing major…the first few days I was extremely tired couldn’t keep my eyes open but after a week I am more motivated, less irritated and want to do things for me that is a life changer! I do have problems sleeping tho but do.not want to add another med..so I take melatonin which helps a little bit..I am.concerned about what I’ve read about the weight gain tho! While wellbutrin is an appetite suppressant but abilify is not so I am not sure how that will affect me. The clonidine tho a low dose makes me sleepy with the abilify but nothing a good cup of coffee won’t help! Just thought I’d share my experience with you as I do not see alot for the combo abilify wellbutrin and clonodine. Best of luck to you!

  15. Hi Nadia,
    I just wanted to reply, because i was on ability 5 mg and got pregnant I gradually went off. withdrawal stunk but then I felt great my whole pregnancy and my baby is healthy and 18 months old and I am just starting to feel my depression symptoms again these past few months and am going back on. But just wanted to give you hope if you decide to have a child some day.

  16. My 9 yr old was taken off of abilify 10mg and was told to taper off for a week (down to 5mg then nothing). Saturday was the first day that she was off of the med and started having this violent uncontrollable thumb movement. Today (Tuesday) the school nurse called, my child is in the office and in uncontrollably crying saying her thumb hurts. My child is having a full blown panic attack because she cant stop the involuntary thumb movement. I called the doc and was told to give her benedryl… if this didn’t stop or reduce the incidences of movement to call her back and she would call in something called Congentrin… I am scared for my little girl as I have read that this movement could be permanent due to nerve damage caused by the medicine. 🙁 I am hoping that is not the case.

    1. SMR, I would really like to hear how this issue worked out with your daughter. I hope it resolved! Thank you.

  17. Cristina

    I have been on Abilify for two years. I started at 2.5mg for mild psychosis and severe depression. 2.5mg, I was told, is not a therapeutic dose even though I was noticing positive changes in mood after the first week. My doctor insisted that I increase to 5mg and then 10mg the next week. I had a bad reaction to the 10mg dose feeling like my chest had restless leg syndrome, if that makes any sense. I went back down to 2.5 on my own against my dr’s advice and felt incredible for months. Well, then I happened to have an appointment with my doctor on a very bad day. He insisted that I go back up to 5mg at least. I had already gained 20lbs at this point since starting Abilify about a year before. I followed his orders and took my 5mg daily. I gradually began to notice severe apathy, confusion, hair loss, memory loss, inability to focus on anything whether I enjoyed it or not, extreme fatigue, returning anxiety and depression and crying at the drop of a hat. In the last year, I have gained an additional 60lbs. I have always been chubby, but I went from a decently healthy 160lbs to a nearly morbidly obese 240lbs. I’m 5’6″. Any and all attempts at weight loss failed miserably even if I could manage to stave off the intense, insatiable sugar cravings Abilify caused and work through the fatigue to exercise. I decided to take this into my own hands because I know my psychiatrist is out of ideas and will just encourage me to continue Abilify. I tapered slowly from 5mg, to 2.5 for a month and now have been completely off for 2.5 weeks. I am experiencing deep depression, anxiety, daily diarrhea and nausea, decreased appetite, disturbing thoughts, mild psychosis and other unpleasant symptoms I’m surely forgetting. Abilify was a good idea at a low dose (for me) but the weight gain has become unbearable. I feel so ugly and I now have sleep apnea. I hope the symptoms subside soon and I lose some weight. This pill gave me hope at first. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t.

  18. I am so glad to hear about the Wellbutrin and Abilify interaction. I take both and the dr. said nothing about it. I intuitively knew to start weaning myself from Wellbutrin and I ‘m glad to have some back up. Went from 300XR to 150XR, where I’m staying for a few weeks before a smaller amount. Thanks again.

  19. ANGELINA DA SILVA

    MY SON HAS BEEN HAD ABILIFY 400 FO 2 AND A HALF MONTHS. tHIS WAS ALSO WITH RESPIRIDONA
    AL 9 MG A DAY. IT WAS GOOD. WHEN REPITAL WAS REDUCED THE EFFECTS OF ABILIFY WERE NOT GOOD. CAN NOT SLEEP WELL, RESTLESS, TALKS TO HIMSELF. AFTER A FEW DAYS OF LEAVING RESLPETAL, WE ARE ALWOST BACK GO SQUARE ONE. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO BE AFFECTIVE OR IS IT PERHAPS NOT THE MEDICATION HE NEED.

  20. Just to let everyone know in case they did not. There is a class action suit against the drug companies that make ablify never informed or disclosed certain side effects.. One is Extreme gambling. There is a lawfirm in Toronto and California that will be suing because of this. Settlements will be paid after the case for distress and compensation. Need to get on the
    list quickly because they are taking patients info now.

  21. I’m only on 1 mg of ability for severe depression and anxiety and suicidal thoughts. I am finally able to function and feel ok. But being on the lowest dose everrr I just don’t understand how I can’t get off of it. I relapse within 10 days and can’t function anymore. Is this normal as such a low dose??

  22. My 8 year old Autistic son was prescribed Abilify about 2 months ago. At first it was 2 mg, and for a month there was no changes. Than his dr increased to 5mg and 10mg. With 10 mg he became extremely aggressive (punching holes in wall, destroying things around house, hitting us and biting, things he never did before). We took him off that med 3 weeks ago but behaviors are still present and I am wondering if this is normal. His doctor is off now for holidays but as soon as she is back we will talk to her about it. Did anyone have similar experience? Thanks

    1. How have things been since this? Curious as I also have a son who is seven and this drug is scaring me….would like another opinion

  23. Firstly let me just say thatIt’s hard work reading your posts as I am unaware of all the suffering out there and I am sorry to read your stories. But hope is still a most powerful thing, so good luck.
    A twenty year old boy who has experimented with recreational drugs and who has now been prescribed, and is taking, Aripiprazole 10 mg is coming to live with me in an effort to help him along. Depression and anxiety are his symptoms.
    What I would like to know is what the F is doing with prescribing a healthy boy this stuff. What I read is a horror story which may only get worse and never end.
    What I am asking is what are the real and natural alternatives that will make him feel happy and calm in his life.
    This brain mess shit is a severe road to ride and I am frightened for a life that has only just begun.
    What about root causes and life skills and enviroment?

  24. I have been on the Abilify/Wellbutrin combo for about 10 years. My psychologist didn’t tell me about this interaction. I have also developed mild tardive dyskinesia and she won’t let me go off the Abilify. She said she would try to prescribe another antipsychotic and that should help. But she’s a doctor. Why does she not know that all antipsychotics can cause TD? She’s supposed to KNOW these risks. So now I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. I don’t want to take another antipsychotic drug, but I don’t I think I might go into mania either. Also, I think she fired me as a patient because nothing seems to help my bipolar. She said she was referring me to another psychiatrist. She didn’t say why, but I have a feeling that she just cut me loose. Just like that. No warning and no reason why.

    1. Elizabeth

      That’s awful…I am. Sorry . Gives a bAd name to professionals in her field everywhere

  25. My 9 year old grandson is on 5 mg of Abilify. He has been on Abilify for 7 mos. started at 1 mg. He has psychotic disorder and is high functioning Autistic. He no longer hurts himself (SIB- self injurious behavior). His hallucinations have decreased greatly. He functions better in school. Since being increased to 5 mg. he becomes fatigued easily. His fingers move constantly since being on this medication. These symptoms concern me his doctor says if they are causing problems functioning we address them. There is no other medication to treat his condition without worse side effects. It has helped him alot. Side effects concern me but so does his condition.

  26. My Doctor and my psychiatrist don’t seem to be on the same page. They both want what is best for me, however, I wish they would tell me exactly why I am taking Abilify. Did I experience or an I experiencing psychosis? Is my depression that bad that it requires an antipsychotic medicine? I am 45 years-old and I feel that I am too old to be schizophrenic, and bipolar has been ruled out. My therapist clams up and the intake therapist suggested ADHD. I am confused because the hell I am living is real, very real to me. These police helicopters, my journal entries being read and countless other things I know for a fact that are being used to place pressure on me are beyond what I am able to handle at times. I trust no one and I trust my medical staff only, but they don’t communicate with each other to agree on the one issue that matters most to me; what is wrong with me? How does Abilify play into my current treatment? I surrendered my firearms out of pure desperations and for public and personal safety, and I am feeling sorry to not have kept one hand gun to end this f misery I am experiencing. Thank you for letting me vent.

  27. If anyone is trying to come off mess once you taper to the smallest dose wait until you feel your symptoms coming back then tale that smallest dose just once. Your symptoms should go away. You will probably need to do this once a week untill you feel you can take the plunge completely. At least your only taking that small dose only once a week, practically taking nothing. I’ve done this with several antipsychotics. Good luck to you all.

  28. Terell Kracro

    What can be done about so many questions and so few answers in this thread? People need answers.

  29. Hi
    I have been taking abilify 5 mg for 6 months and i just stopped it in one week day after day
    And now im suffering of loss of libido
    Errection problems
    My penius shrinked most of the time like turtle , i dont know what happened to me
    Any one can help ?

      1. TOM Asmar

        Also I’m been on it for many years . Still feeling very tried n sleepy cannot stay awake. . Confused all the time cannot stand falling backwards . . Don’t have no sex driver at all depressed all the time nothing bother me at . Nothing at all plus my legs n arm shakes for no reasons want to come it please help me

  30. B A Davis

    I took Ability for a little over a year. I felt fantastic. I felt like I did when I was young with no worries. Then I developed Tardia Dyskinesia. My son told me I looked like a mental patient although I felt great. I had to slowly discontinue the medication. I am seriously considering going back on because I can not get past the severe depression and anxiety. Nothing else helps. I would rather be fat and happy with a weird tongue twitch and look goofy than be depressed and have panic attacks all the time.

  31. Susan Fuhrman

    I recently was put on abilify and I’m dropping pounds like crazy…it doesn’t make me sleepy it actually does the opposite…is this normal I’m bi polar.

  32. I have been taking Ablify 30MG for bipolar disorder since 2009 !
    Worked wonders for me , until , my bipolar has improved & ive remained stable , thus , deciding to reduce Ablify & come off it altogether , I finished my last dose of 5MG almost 3 weeks ago & felt great ! Until now 🙁 Awake on and off all night due to intense restless leg syndrome , pain in my body like cramping to the point whereby I am eventually getting up and giving up on sleep ! I have been like this for one week & it’s getting worse ! I am not going back on Ablify as I feel it is obvs a very dangerous med to be taking if in fact it does this to you when you try to withdraw !!! I , mentally feel brill & am ready to go back to work , however , I am awaiting an app with my GP to address these withdrawal symtoms as they are becoming a major problem !

    1. My daughter has been taking aripiprazole since 2008 and stopped it last august due to the side effect: leg stiffness that made her walking very difficult. After 3 months without aripiprazole she recovered from the walking problem, but her symptoms came back and the P.Dr prescribed her aripiprazole again ignoring the side effect that I told him. After 4 months she could not walk again with spine distorted. So i HAVE TO ask my daughter to stop taking aripiprazole, and hope that her walking problem can recover. But more than two months have pasted I did not see any sign of recovery which makes me extremely worried. I am terrified that she may be permanently disabled!

  33. Joe Kristoff

    I am severely depressed and on 150 mg Zoloft and have just been given 2.5 Abilify for the first week then increase to 5mg. I was on Remeron with Zoloft but just got tired. I hope this works because I cannot even cry.

  34. Ehhh its alright for me, less anxiety less depression im not tired all the time little bit of mental clarity dont seem to want to eat as much. Though it gives me to much mental energy ive been sleeping less just these past 2 days been on for like two weeks 5mg. Better than olazipine, i have to stay on something…BPD Thumbs up for me everyone is different. Dont get scared by reviews in my opinion ive been through way worse in my life than a withdrawal thats if u decide u need to stop taking it. Your doctor should know the right way to wean off and or onto another.

  35. I had to aburtly stop taking Abilify 2 1/2 months ago. I was 5 mg and took it for 7 years.

    The last two months has been horrific. It started with persistent dizziness and nausea every day. Now I have severe anxiety every day all day.

    It feels like the shock you feel when you first find out someone you love passed away.

    I can’t function, focus or do anything productive. I’ve had to take a month long leave of absence from work.

    Been to the ER twice and they said it was from Abilify withdraws. Went to a psycothrist and he said people do not have withdraws from Abilify and that I am having symptoms of biploar. One, he was a condescending asshole and laughed at me for suggesting it was withdraws. Two, I didn’t have these symptoms before taking Abilify.

    Abilify has ruined my life! I gained 55 pounds, became type 2 diabetic and lost over $50,000 from compulsive gambling which was triggered by the Abilify and why I stopped taking it cold turkey. Since coming off the Abilify the gambling has stopped by I am going out of my damn mind from this anxiety.

    I’m now going to lose my job on top of all this and am broke because I lost all my money from gambling.

    I’m going to end up homeless.

    Avoid this shit at all costs!

  36. I’m scared after reading all this :/. I felt like I had no choice but to start my 8 year old son with autism/ADHD on ability. He has been on guanfacine for a couple years to calm him down. He is still aggressive towards his 2 year old sister and I feel like her body guard and feel like she will be damaged from all his abuse and constantly going after her. I just put him in abilify because he can’t stop going after her and he looked like a zombie and was sleeping all day. Now I’m reading about all these bad effects it has on people. Shit I don’t know what to do

    1. don’t give children these drugs….look for alternatives. get him off but extremely slowly, it could take a year or two. imo their brains aren’t mature yet so don’t interfere with drugs. if he doesn’t get on with is sister, keep them apart, simple as.

    2. Don’t give children those drugs. Wean him off very slowly taking a year or two. If he doesn’t get on with his sister,,keep them apart. Simple as.

  37. At the age of 64 I went on vacation and forgot to bring my meds (abilify). The night after the third day of cold turkey I experienced severe restless leg syndrome, severe insomnia, head aches, severe shaking of my hand, and had very bad jitters. These symptoms continued until I was finally home and was able to take my meds. After a lot of thought about what had happened to me, I stopped taking the abilify and 4 years later I am still on meds for my restless leg syndrome and am not able to sleep without some sort of sleep meds. While the abilify worked very well for my depression the affects that I just described caused me to never take it again.

  38. One more thing….I went to a number of doctors that all said that it all is probably in my head. Soooooo you will not get much help from the medical profession. They all treated me as if I was some sort of nut job that was just trying to possibly get into a lawsuit or something and everything was just all in my head.

  39. Carol Tuck

    I was forced on Abilfy, do 2 dissulional thinking , that was drug induced. My psycristist does not want 2 ween me off ,saying its keeping me stable. Losing hair. Aniexty, sexual thought, n low plattlettes count r my side effects. N yet he still says I’m stable. I’ve been on wellbutrin also. Dont no what 2 do. Any suggestions would b appreciated

    1. I would insist on a weaning off of it. I have all those symptoms and I think the pros weigh out the cons in this situation. I?ve learned if they are not listening then that?s when you have to advocate for yourself. Doctors are not perfect!! Change doctors if you need to.

  40. Since starting Abilify (5mg) a few weeks ago I have been consistently waking at 1am and not being able to sleep after. It’s killing me during the day as I invariably fall asleep at work. Anyone else experience this?

    1. I have too! A few times a night actually and I?m on lunesta too!

  41. I have read all of your comments thoroughly, and appreciate the time you all took to be so informative in sharing such personal experiences. There are a few concerns I have; one in need of a more immediate response (or expectations/advice). My girlfriend was prescribed ARIPIPRAZOLE 5mg TODAY for audio hallucinations and “mood swings”. Its been almost 3 months since she started hearing voices. Its been a emotional rollercoaster so far including 2 er trips and and a couple scare with pills. Luckily she was only given 10 (5mg) but if there was no tolerance level yet and she took them all… Should I be more concerned then just keeping her awake for a couple hours and then monitoring closely for the next day or so.?? Yes. I called poison control(they recommend medical attention, but it was more for trying to hurt herself, then the dosage consumed) Hoping someone can let me know if the amount she had could potentially be lethal. ..? 2) For those who care to share their opinion, is this going to be a good fit for these hallucinations and rage episodes. It’s breaking my heart watching her be so consumed by the voices, they have taken over her life and my life as well. She is slipping away fast. If anyone can relate, I would love any feedback, advice, etc. Thank you for listening (reading)

  42. I had been on 2mg at the beginning of February and then decreased to 1mg the past 2 weeks because I was extremely tired during the day, I was feeling unmotivated, I was eating so much more and I already binge eat. I lost 40 lbs 3 almost 4 years ago and it?s been a continuous struggle because of my low self-esteem so it wasn?t an option to stop exercising and now I don?t even want to do that!! I was feeling super hyper sexual, my anxiety and headaches have been really bad, plus I gained 7 pounds in the past month. I?ve asked to come off it and I was given authorization so I?m just going to have to see how I do. I don?t care, it?s a horrible drug. I wish I had never started it….I?m just trying to be compliant. I want to be off all drugs!!

  43. Thank you to everyone that’s made a comment on this, I was given some Abilify to try by my doctor and before I take any medication I always do some research on to find out the side effects, interactions, etc. I’m glad I came across this!! I’m a 20 year old female with Bipolar Disorder, was taking Quetiapine 50 mg every night before bed for 2 years but went off that almost a month ago. Withdrawal symptoms from the Quetiapine are finally gone! I am currently looking for another alternative to help my moods, depression, and anxiety…does anyone know of something else other then Quetiapine (Seroquel) or Abilify? Thanks for reading! Best of luck to anyone else!

  44. Hello.
    I have been on and off of abilify, for over five years I started with 5-10 mg pills then went to 400mg injections for every month. Stopped taking it for around 6 months in June 2016 got heavily psychoses in January last year, I took 400mg every 3 weeks till mid October last year. I have gotten other help regarding my diagnosis so I?m not on abilify (medicine) since then.

    My question is simple, I was curious to know when all of the medicine will completely be out of my body system. I?m 19 years started on the drug when I was 12 and 6M. years and stoped at 18 October last year.

    Thanks lots.

  45. Abilify is a very good medicine but it makes my blood sugar go up and I am not able to exercise, because of lack of energy.. I don’t want to cut the medicine but I have to I guess. I am afraid of getting back the symptoms again. I have bipolar disorder and anxiety and depression. It cut my anxiety. It was really very bad.

  46. Anyone taking the 400mg monthly shot have muscle weakness to the point of not being able to lift arms?

  47. My daughter tapered Abilify down from 15mg to 2.5mg successfully over several months. She also takes 225mg (non-therapudic dose) of Lithium and 30mg of Celexa. Our psych tapered her completely off the Abilify about 6-weeks ago, and cut the Lithium in half (to 112mg) about 2-weeks ago. Now my daughter suffers from mood swings and bouts of excessive crying.

    We have jnow put her back on 2mg Abilify and 225mg Lithium. We would like to have her start to taper again in a couple of weeks.

    Any suggestions or recommendations on a taper schedule for the Abilify (from 2.5mg ultimately to wean her completely off)? Thanks!

  48. is there anything I can take after coming of aripirozole if my brain isn’t adjusting too well without the aripiprozole?

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