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Abilify Withdrawal Symptoms: All You Need To Know

If you’re thinking about stopping Abilify or have already begun, you might be wondering about Abilify withdrawal symptoms. The withdrawal symptoms of ABilify start showing up when you stop taking the medication suddenly. Researchers estimate that around 75% of patients attempt to stop within 18 months of taking Abilify medicine.

Abilify is a strong antipsychotic medication that’s beneficial for mental health conditions, yet it can lead to dependence and withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it. In this episode of The HealingUs Podcast, Dr. Ed Ratush discusses the difficulties people face when recovering from withdrawal. He emphasizes the importance of being honest and humble during treatment. Dr. Ratush also discusses the commitment needed for healing and the challenges that come with it. He shares ways to stay mindful of progress and how technology can help recover.

This blog covers the typical Abilify withdrawal symptoms and offers tips on managing them effectively.

What is Abilify?

Abilify has the active drug aripiprazole, which is in a group of drugs called atypical antipsychotics. You can also get it as a generic drug called aripiprazole. This medication is used to treat bipolar disorder & schizophrenia.

Aripiprazole works by restoring the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain and belongs to a group of drugs known as atypical antipsychotics. This medicine is majorly prescribed to treat:

  • Major depressive disorder in adults
  • Manic and mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder in adults and some children
  • Irritability is linked to autism spectrum disorder in some children
  • Schizophrenia in adults and some children
  • Tourette syndrome in some children

Since its development in the late 1990s and release in the US in 2002, Abilify (aripiprazole) has been extensively studied in clinical trials involving different age groups and populations. Specific adverse reactions were observed, which made the FDA issue a black box warning, limiting its prescription to specific populations or age groups.

Ability Withdrawal

Abilify withdrawal, also known as discontinuation syndrome, happens when someone stops taking Abilify suddenly or reduces their dose a lot. This occurs because the body needs time to get used to not having the drug anymore. Symptoms usually start within a few days to a week after stopping and can include anxiety, trouble sleeping, feeling irritable, nausea, and dizziness.

The experience of withdrawal can be different for everyone. How long it lasts and how strong the symptoms can vary greatly. It depends on the quantity of the drug, how long you took it, and how your body works. Gradually reducing the dose with help from a doctor can really help lessen these withdrawal symptoms.

Abilify Withdrawal Symptoms

Despite its frequent prescription, there is often insufficient discussion about how to stop taking Abilify. Discontinuing any medication should proceed slowly due to the potential.

Aripiprazole withdrawal symptoms.

Stopping Abilify suddenly can sometimes cause rare but severe symptoms like muscle spasms and tremors known as tardive dyskinesia. If you experience any unusual physical changes when trying to quit Abilify, you must see a doctor immediately.

Here are major Abilify withdrawal symptoms one can face:

Anxiety

Stopping Abilify can lead to anxiety or panic attacks because the drug is suddenly no longer in your system. To help with these symptoms, trying different types of anxiety therapy could be beneficial.

Insomnia

During Abilify withdrawal, experiencing trouble falling asleep or staying asleep through the night are common symptoms.

Depression

After stopping Abilify, many people experience a decline in mental health feeling depressed, which can lead to feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, or even thoughts of suicide.

Nausea & Vomiting

When taking off Abilify, some individuals might experience side effects such as nausea or vomiting, mainly if they were on a high dose for a long time.

Irritability

After using Abilify for a while, some people may feel agitated or irritable once they stop taking it. This happens because Abilify has a calming effect on brain chemistry, which is suddenly removed. It’s important to gradually reduce the dose of Abilify before stopping completely.

Headache or Migraine

When stopping this medication suddenly, headaches are common. They can range from mild discomfort to severe migraines that may need medical attention.

Cognitive Impairment

Memory problems, difficulty concentrating, and confusion can arise from abruptly stopping Abilify. These cognitive impairments are potential outcomes of discontinuing the medication suddenly.

Fatigue

Fatigue is often experienced when withdrawing from Abilify, adding to the challenges of discontinuation.

How long does Abilify Withdrawal Last?

Research shows withdrawal from Abilify usually starts about 1 week after stopping and can last up to 4 weeks, though some may feel better within days. The duration and severity of withdrawal symptoms depend on factors such as:

  • Age
  • Duration of Abilify use
  • Dosage taken
  • BMI
  • Overall health

Abilify Withdrawal Timeline

When discontinuing Abilify, carefully following your doctor’s instructions is crucial because everyone reacts differently to stopping the medication. The timeline for withdrawal from psychiatric drugs varies based on the overall health of the patient. An outline of the Abilify withdrawal timeline might look like this:

  • Days 1-3: Mild headaches and nausea
  • Days 4-7: Increased anxiety and agitation
  • Days 8-14: Insomnia and restlessness
  • Weeks 2-4: Depression and mood swings

How Long Does it Take to Get Abilify out of Your System?

Battling with Abilify withdrawal symptoms is challenging indeed, but you should prioritize your health and take the necessary steps to steps to  manage the process:

  • Get enough restful sleep each night.
  • Stay active with regular exercise to boost your mood and release natural endorphins.
  • Eat nutritious meals focused on fruits and vegetables, avoiding sugary snacks.
  • Discuss your experience openly with friends and family.
  • Consider counseling or therapy sessions.
  • Keep your doctor informed throughout the process.

These steps can significantly reduce or prevent Abilify withdrawal symptoms.

FAQs: Abilify Withdrawal Symptoms

Que: How long do withdrawal symptoms from Abilify last?

Ans: Withdrawal symptoms typically start about 1 week after abruptly stopping Abilify and can last for 1 to 4 weeks.

Que: Can you fully recover from antipsychotics?

Ans: Some people can stop taking antipsychotics without problems, but it can be challenging, especially after long-term use of one year or more.

Que: What is the most common side effect of Abilify?

Ans: The most common side effects of Abilify include nausea, vomiting, constipation, headache, insomnia, anxiety, and blurred vision.

Que: How long does it take to feel normal after stopping antipsychotics?

Ans: Withdrawal symptoms from antipsychotics usually begin within a few days of stopping or reducing the dosage. They are most severe around one week and then gradually improve.

Que: Will I feel better after stopping antidepressants?

Ans: Stopping antidepressants may lead to improved mental clarity, weight loss, and restored sexual function. Any side effects are usually mild and temporary.

Conclusion

The safest way to withdraw Abilify is to taper off slowly under your doctor’s guidance. This involves gradually decreasing the dose until you can stop taking it altogether. Doctors usually recommend reducing the dose by 10-50% every 1-2 weeks or longer, depending on how you respond and tolerate the changes and how you overcome Abilify withdrawal symptoms.

This gradual decrease helps reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms and allows your body to adjust more comfortably. Working closely with your doctor can help you better in slowly withdrawing the Abilify.

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