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Author Topic: First day on Abilify. Is this how it works?  (Read 286 times)

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Offline BrainProblemSituation

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First day on Abilify. Is this how it works?
« on: January 08, 2014, 07:41:23 PM »
I just wanted to see if anyone else felt the way I did about starting Abilify, or could say if it was normal.

I had been on Risperdal, together with Lexapro daily and Xanax at night.  Risperdal helped mute my anxiety, but it was very sedating, plus I lactated and God knows no one needs that as a side effect.  The doc switched me out to Abilify.  He warned me about the agitation side effect.  I was very nervous yesterday about that, because I do not need help being agitated, but I am willing to wait it out if it truly helps. 

As instructed I took 2.5 mg around 10 pm yesterday, together with Xanax.  I thought I was tired, but I didn't sleep till 1:30 am or so -- I wasn't anxious, just wide awake.  I had finished up a Diet Coke at 6 pm, so possibly the insomnia is not Abilify's fault, but I am not sure.
At 5:30 am, I woke up and immediately panicked about something stupid for the next two hours.  (I don't even remember what it was exactly.)  The rest of today has been steady nervousness and worry, but no freakouts about anything. 
I'm really tired right now, but I don't want to drink any more caffeine, in order to find out whether or not Abilify is keeping me awake. 

Does this sound like anyone else's experience?  Will it get worse before it gets better?
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Re: First day on Abilify. Is this how it works?
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2014, 11:31:00 PM »
Does this sound like anyone else's experience?  Will it get worse before it gets better?

I suspect that the insomnia had more to do with caffeine from the Diet Coke, plus some anticipatory nervousness, and these may explain your money panic attack too.

Are you taking Abilify only as a supplement to the Lexapro and Xanax because they aren't controlling your anxiety well enough? If so, what doses are you on and have you previously tried any other antidepressants?

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline crystalclear81

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Re: First day on Abilify. Is this how it works?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2014, 03:46:24 AM »
hey just from personal experience I took abilify in conjunction with my anti depressant for anxiety and panic.( I don't have any psychotic disorders) anyway I became very agitated and would lash out on people meaning just get snappy and angry my moms the one who noticed the most anyway I ended up going off them because of that
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we have to be there for eachother ;)

Offline BrainProblemSituation

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Re: First day on Abilify. Is this how it works?
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2014, 07:27:44 PM »
I have GAD, which is severe lately (along with major depressive disorder, OCD tendencies and mild PTSD) and the Risperdal and Abilify were both meant to control my anxiety.  I also take Lexapro at 10 mg for depression.  I take only .125 mg of Xanax at a time, usually at night only, because I am sensitive to it. 

The last couple of days have been difficult.  I've experienced severe anxiety and tears.  I've been taking .125 mg Xanax during the days in order to control this and cope, and it hasn't given me as much of the sedation as it used to. 

It is so hard to know what to think about the Abilify.  The Risperdal, which I had at 1 mg, at least made me feel better, but it seems as if Abilify does nothing but scare me.  I don't have much of a choice but to hang with it until Tuesday, I guess, when I can next talk to my dr. (at best).

Edit: You asked me what antidepressants I previously was on.  I switched to Lexapro last year after my dr. said the Prozac that I was on was probably exacerbating anxiety.  Before Prozac, I was on Effexor for a long time, but I became concerned that Effexor deadened my creativity and my self in general.  Previous to that, I was on Paxil, but I didn't like its side effects, particularly weight gain. 
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Re: First day on Abilify. Is this how it works?
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2014, 09:58:16 PM »
I have GAD, which is severe lately (along with major depressive disorder, OCD tendencies and mild PTSD) and the Risperdal and Abilify were both meant to control my anxiety.  I also take Lexapro at 10 mg for depression.  I take only .125 mg of Xanax at a time, usually at night only, because I am sensitive to it.

Ideally, you should only need to take an antidepressant to control both anxiety and depression. These disorders are just different points on a continuum produced by the same brain deficits. It appears you've only been on SSRIs to date (Effexor only becomes a SNRI at doses higher than most take, 150-225mg and above). It is possible that you'd do much better on either a true SNRI, duloxetine (Cymbalta) and desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), or one of the tricyclic antidepressants. Pristiq is an active metabolite of Effexor (venlafaxine) so may have a similar impact on creativity, etc, though this isn't a certainty.

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I've been taking .125 mg Xanax during the days in order to control this and cope, and it hasn't given me as much of the sedation as it used to.

The benzodiazepines are not good sleeping pills as the sedation wears off fairly quickly, often within a couple of weeks with daily use. Fortunately, the anti anxiety effect is produced by different binding sites which are much more resistant to the development of tolerance.

Quote
I switched to Lexapro last year after my dr. said the Prozac that I was on was probably exacerbating anxiety.  Before Prozac, I was on Effexor for a long time, but I became concerned that Effexor deadened my creativity and my self in general.  Previous to that, I was on Paxil, but I didn't like its side effects, particularly weight gain.

Unfortunately, all the antidepressants can affect creativity and weight, either negatively and positively depending on individual biology. There are no guidelines on this so you need to take them to discover how they will affect you.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline BrainProblemSituation

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Re: First day on Abilify. Is this how it works?
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2014, 04:11:13 PM »
Thanks for your replies, Ian; I'm going to give the Lexapro some thought.  Today has been almost unbearable.  I'm calmed down now but I feel agoraphobic, which is not that usual for me. 
I'm trying to get ahold of my dr. earlier than Tuesday.
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