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bDaisy

Abilify

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Hi

I am pretty new to the boards and I just started taking Abilify to help as an antidepressant along with zoloft (I have been on zoloft for two years)

Does anyone have anything good or bad to say about this drug?  Des it make you sleepy or very very awake?  Could it possibly be having a positive effect already - or is that wishful thinking?  any input appreciated!

bDaisy

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Hi bDaisy, I found this to be far from sedating.  Infact, it caused insomnia.  It was strange because I was taking it with 600 of Seroquel which is my usual dose of that.  I was quite manic so my pdoc did not want me to stop the Seroquel until we go me to the right dose.  I ended up discontinuing the medicine after a week.  I also did experiece nausea but my stomach is very sensitive.  Good luck with it.  Hopefully, it is better than Geodon.

Katie :hearts:

P.S. You mention depression.  May I ask what your diagnosis is?

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Yep, far from sedating is right!  It is 2:50 am and I am wide awake.  I took it this morning so this would not happen! The thing is - I don't feel depressed I just feel - well - awake.  My diagnosis is major depression with PTSD. I think I like this drug except that I would like to sleep.  Did you take Geodon with bad results?  I took seroquel a long time ago and I loved how it quieted the noise in my head.  I am afraid of weight gain or I would try it again.  Did you have any trouble with weight gain on seroquel?  Thanks for responding - appreciate it!

bDaisy

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No problem.  I never took Geodon.  My doctor did not want me on it because it has some rare cardiac side effect and I had some issues with another med that had a similar side effect.  I really like Seroquel and I have not had problems with it for the 4 years I have been on it.  I hated Zyprexa and disliked Risperdal.  I have not seen evidence of weight gain and I would say I eat fairly healthy and exercise 3 0r 4 times a week.  Some people do think it causes weigth gain, but I never experienced it when I started, increased dose, or cumulatively over 4 years.  Maybe if you like Abilify a lot but it causes sleep problems you could consider a sleep aid.  Did you try the clonidine after all?  I think that helps with sleep.  I guess the key question is whether this type of sleep difficulty is typical for you or if the medicine caused it or contributed to an existing sleep problem.  I guess maybe you should just see how it goes for a bit.  I am going to look for more info on Abilify and I will report back to here.

Katie :cool1:

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I did a little research starting with the official Abilify site.  Bristol Meyers Squibb seems to pride itself on the fact that it doesn't cause sleepiness.  Apparently 88% of people in clinical trials reported feeling no sedation.  I definitely think that it is important that meds not zonk you out all day, but I don't think insomnia is so great.  They do mention insomnia and restlessness as side effects.  They claim the medicine is good because it is weight neutral and causes many fewer movement disorder side effects than the old AP's.  It is also noted that it works quickly and may be effective in the first week.  I looked at some other message boards to get a sense of real experiences.  Many people felt wired or energized to an excessive extent and in most cases this created insomnia.  A minority of people had a positive experience after having taken meds that were too sedating and made them feel like zombies.

Katie :idea3:

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Hey thanks Katie!  I am up again without a thought of sleep at 1:15 - which isn't so late but it is for me.  I have never had insomnia isues until the past few months.  But this is really over the top with the abilify.  I should be cleaning closets or something!  It bothers me that I don't sleep because that used to be one of my HUGE escapes.  I feel I am being denied. :grinning:

I guess I would rather this than a zombie walking.  I think it can be effective in the first week because I have not felt "suicidal" in the past couple days.  I was getting down there for a bit. I will stay on this for now I guess.  goodbye sleep.

thanks for looking that up.  I really appreciate it!

bDaisy

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Guest I am Cat

bDaisy,

I can't believe you have trouble sleeping with Abilify.  I haven't noticed that at all.  In fact, I take it to combat my mania which makes me an insomniac...  Of course, some times I do use Ambien at the first in conjunction to jumpstart the cycle... but usually, I don't have anything except the Topamax and Abilify.  I don't notice a difference between taking and not taking it.  I sometimes miss doses and can't really tell a difference, you know?

As for weight... there is no weight gain with Abilify.  None.  It's weight neutral.  It's supposed to be anyway.  Again, it's coupled with Topamax, which is known for it's weight LOSS properties.  

I've been pretty happy with the Abilify and the way it's taken the place of Lamictal.  It was a hard spot to fill seeing as how I really liked the Lamictal.  But it has run the good race.

I hope it works out for you in the long run.

I'll check back.

Cat

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Funny. I just got off lamictal because of a rash, and I also get mania which makes me an insomniac. I will ask my doc about Abilify. I wouldn't mind a med that peps you up since I take Remeron which makes me groggy in the mourning .:angry:  :D

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Hi all,

I am taking abilify for anxiety.  I take it at night and it doesnt keep me up.  It seems to be working okday - not my wonder drug but worthwhile.  Anyone use long-term?

take care,

bebo

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I just started Abilify because of the Lamictal problem a few days ago. I read this ( http://www.bms.com/news/press/data/fg_pres...lease_4766.html ) which gave me some confidence to discuss this drug with my Doc. I get manic (mania, ect.. lol) and since I tollerate anti-manic drugs so badly, there was literally nothing else to give me. Me and my Doc were doing some kind of staring contest

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Rant all you want to and Welcome to our forums, Sesshoumaru!   :hearts:

Sounds like you have a great Dr. to work with you.  :;):

Keep posting and let us know how you're doing..We care.

(Oh and be careful in the shower!  :bump:)

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Guest I am Cat

bebo,

I guess I've been using Abilify long term... for more than a year or so.  So, yeah, I'd say that's long term.  Maybe two years... I lose track.  I've been on it a long time anyway.  It's working really well, at any rate.  I'd say, as well as anything I've tried, including the Lamictal/Topomax combo I rave about.  So, give it a go.  I couple it with Topomax for the boost that keeps me going.  Only needs tweaking every once in a while with little break through mania happenings, but that's all, and that's not bad.  I don't seem to have too many depressions (and you can't beat that with a stick!)

:hearts: Sesshoumaru, yes, please be careful in the shower!  by all means!   :bump: !  Straterra didn't work for me either, had to switch to Adderall... good luck getting things worked out.

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Hi everyone, I'm new to these forums.

I've got the opposite tale of woe to tell:

My boyfriend was diagnosed as bipolar, and started on Abilify (along with Lexapro for depression) about 4 weeks ago - He's on 25mg/day now of Abilify, and so sedated he can't even drive anymore. His MD's response is to increase the Abilify. Yikes!!! Needless, to say, his business is going down the tubes but fast!!!

Has anyone had a response like this to Abilify? Do you think it could be the combination of Abilify and Lexapro?

His MD comes w/high recommendations, seems to know what he's doing... but I'm not so sure.

Gayle

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Guest I am Cat

Gayle,

First of all, Welcome to the forums!  We're happy to have you here!

Secondly,

I checked on google for interactions between these drugs and there were none listed.  I also checked for side effects for BOTH of these drugs and both listed INSOMNIA as a side effect.  But another article called Lexapro a bit sedating...  

I don't understand what would be making him so sleepy... Is he taking anything else?  changes in work environment, sleeping patterns, living spaces?  Moon phases?  (ok, I threw that last one in for a giggle  :D ), but you know what I mean.

It just doesn't compute.  ???

Bebo,

I've been on 15 mg for some time now.  At one time I was on 30 mg, but I found it to be bothersome in that, I was feeling so disconnected from my body.  Almost like I was disassociating.  I felt like there was a mini-cam on my head, and my hands and feet were the only parts I could see.  I would take drives and end up where I was headed, but I didn't REALLY remember getting there, you know?  It was sort of an "out of body" experience.

Gayle!  Could THIS be what your bf is experiencing?  It's not a sleepy thing, it's more of an "unaware" thing... a disconnected thing... drugged.  Drugged.  Yep, that's it.  I felt drugged.  I would lose whole conversations... and being ADD, that didn't help me at all.

Geez, how did I forget about this?  I switched back to 15 mg while I was in the Eating Disorder Hospital because they felt I was disassociating and felt it was part of my trauma issues.  I told him (my pdoc at the hospital) that I thought it was drug related (because they had just switched me to a heavier dosage... the 30 mg, before I left home.  To stave off a manic attack I had just had)  It worked, but left me "out of sorts".

15 mg worked better for me and i asked to be taken off it completely.  They did, and within four days, I was manic again.  So, I've been back on it since March (only going off once again, to try the theory again...back ON again.  :( )

so 15 mgs it is.

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Hi,

Yes, you know, that could be it...he seemed to be doing okay on 15mgs (ok being a relative term since he was near-suicidal when he was put on it!), and each bump up has made him consistently more "drugged". At 20mgs, he had mornings when he couldn't figure out how to eat breakfast - so, the MDs response was to bump him up to 30mgs (!?!) Pretty much non-functional now, can't complete a thought or a sentence. He says he's really tired of sleeping, but can't do anything else. (sigh) so until we hear back from the doc, he's reduced it to 25mgs and reduced his Lexapro down 5mgs as well. If nothing from the doc (the man's notoriously hard to get ahold of), then I'm all for reducing it (over time of course) to 15mg, to see if that helps.

Thanks so much for your reply, and your concern!

Gayle

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Gayle,

Yup *shakes heah knowingly* yup... It's all coming back to me... I remember now the feeling of being drugged and trying to keep my eyes open at that higher dosage... Couldn't do it.  Nope.  You might try reducing it.   I felt like I was out of control of my body.  Like I was on some Fear Factor show and aliens had overtaken my body for science or something.  And they were working it with a mini cam!   :hearts:  Everything was in slow motion.  Everytim I slowed down I fell asleep... I remember now... An out of body experience.  Yep.  

Jeez... what a spaz.  How could I forget?  You know... that whole stay at the eating disorder hospital was so traumatic at the beginning... I guess I just blocked it out...

sorry guys, I wasn't very helpful there, was i?  *hangs head in shame...*

bummer.

Yep.  VERY sedating and drugging at higher dosages.  Yep.

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Actually, Cat, VERY helpful ...you said you stabilized @ 15mgs? Do you know how slowly the dosage needs to be adjusted? (I'm assuming he can't just start taking 15mgs instead of 30mgs...)

thanks!  :idea3:

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Hi!

I started on 7.5mg for 3 days and now on 15mg.  I take it at night before I go to bed.  

My first side effects were restlessness and drowsiness.  I was to drowsy to do anything and restless to sleep.  I just seemed to be lying in bed, tossing and turning.

Now I am on 15mg, still at night before I go to bed.  I take it with 200mg of Trazadone and I manage to get 8 hours sleep.  I feel wired during the day.  My head feels full and I find it really hard to concentrate which can be frustrating.   I was also having trouble holding things due to the shaking.

Today, I feel a little better as I am able to type.  I have noticed one thing, I feel really positive about stuff and I feel like someone has just turned on the lights

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I just stopped taking this yesterday. I was so manic!!!!! Didn't like the way it made me feel at all!!!! I had been on 15mgs for 6 days.

I am going to start taking geodon as soon as the s/e's from this clear up.

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Now on 30mg (15mg day and 15mg at night).  Feel slightly more restless and a little agitated, but after 1mg Ativan and 25 mg Propranolol, I am as cool as a cucumber and have lots of energy. :p

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Guest I am Cat

Hi guys... sorry to take so long to get back here... it seems my Topomax really does wreak havoc with my memories skills.... it's so weird... i remember things for days on end, then completely forget about them.  It's SO odd!

Anyway, I'm still on the same dosage of Abilify... and I just don't have those sleeping problems ALL the time, you know.  In fact, MOST of the time I sleep ok, but I'm on 350 mg of Topomax at night also.  But I'm on 40 mg of Adderall during the day that keeps me working at a pretty fair clip painting this and cleaning that.  I'm a psycho Queen!  So I wonder if I just wear myself out?  I get about six hours of sleep a night on average.

But when I'm manic, as I feel myself doing now... I will get less.  But I'm on prednisone for some sinus, ear, and upper respiratory infections and I know that it will drive me manic in a few days, and my meds will have to be adjusted for that... Probably by increasing the Abilify... this sedates me though.  

I wonder... is that because I'm ADD?  Does it have that effect, just like the Adderall, of slowing DOWN a person with ADD whereas it would speed UP a person without it?  I wonder   ???

Just some thoughts...

Let me know how you're doing, guys.  I care.

love and laughter,

Cat

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Hi all,

I noticed a lot of people seem to take abilify for the mania that goes with bipolar dep.  I only have depression and was wondering if anyone takes abilify for just the depression?  I know two different times I did not take the abilify at night and the next day I felt tired and somewhat depressed so I have to assume it must be working although I thought I was taking it for anxiety!  If it works for dep that is even better!

Thanks,

bebo

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