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How Can Abilify Improve Psychosis/schizophrenia?


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Does anyone know how this medication can improve these conditions when it has the opposite action to every other antipsychotic on the market? i.e. it is a D2 receptor agonist rather than a D2 receptor antagonist? I thought this type of action would exacerbate symptoms of psychosis. Is Abilify really less likely to cause movement disorders than other antipsychotics?

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I have schizophrenia with depression and take Abilify 30 mg as my anti-psychotic along with Effexor 150 mg for mood. It has almost completely gotten rid of the voices in my head. So I consider it a success as an anti-psychotic for me, even though I still rarely remember conversations with people that they deny happened. Now when I reduced my Effexor, I got more depressed and started to hallucinate music, baseball broadcasts, and recently someone crying when they weren't there, but now that my Effexor got increased again my depression is lessening and the hallucinations rarely happen anymore that I know of. So my medication really helps me.

As for how it works, I don't know anything about that. I don't even know what a movement disorder is.

I might have to get off the abilify due to side effects of dizziness and elevated heart rate, and then try a different anti-psychotic. I'm not looking forward to that.

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I just looked up movement disorders. I get minor shaking of the hands and when I am not laying in bed staring at the ceiling or when I am out and about I don't like sitting, but that is about it. I've had worse.

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Anti-psychotics (Abilify included) can cause Tardive Dyskinesia, a serious and often irreversible movement disorder that causes tics you can't control (such as poking your tongue out or smacking your lips repetitively). The reason they think antipsychotics cause this is due to long-term antagonism of dopamine receptors, particularly the D2 receptor. But instead of being an antagonist at this receptor like most other anti-psychotics, Abilify is an agonist. So theoretically the risk of movement disorders should be less, but Abilify has still been shown to cause movement disorders like Tardive Dyskinesia. I think Seroquel and Clozapine have lower rates for movement disorders than Abilify (I know Clozapine does, but I'm not sure about Seroquel) despite being dopamine antagonists.

I'm really just wondering if anyone knows about the pharmacology here. I'm wondering how Abilify can still be effective despite having the opposite mechanism to every other antipsychotic, and if there's any benefit for someone with a movement disorder to take this over other antipsychotic drugs. I developed tardive dystonia after only a week on Metoclopramide. It's now a permanent problem that prevents me from taking certain medications and taking the dose of antidepressants I require to keep my mental illness under control.

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