Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 205257

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Abilify agitation

Posted by laurarn on March 2, 2003, at 10:19:50

I take Abilify 7.5 mg in the morning. This is my eighth day on this med. A couple of days ago I began to wake up in the morning feeling as though I needed to continually move my legs.

I have a sense of restlessness, and am not really able to concentrate on any one thing for too long.
I believe in waiting out side effects and giving a med at least a 2-3 month trial to see if it is working.

I can get past this restless thing, but it is beginning to drive my crazy. I am a bit agitated as well.

Any advice?

 

Re: Abilify agitation

Posted by SLS on March 2, 2003, at 13:31:30

In reply to Abilify agitation, posted by laurarn on March 2, 2003, at 10:19:50

> I take Abilify 7.5 mg in the morning. This is my eighth day on this med. A couple of days ago I began to wake up in the morning feeling as though I needed to continually move my legs.
>
> I have a sense of restlessness, and am not really able to concentrate on any one thing for too long.
> I believe in waiting out side effects and giving a med at least a 2-3 month trial to see if it is working.
>
> I can get past this restless thing, but it is beginning to drive my crazy. I am a bit agitated as well.
>
> Any advice?

Hi Laura.

You are probably experiencing a side-effect common to (neuroleptic) antipsychotics known as akathisia. It is grouped into the category of extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS). Akathisia usually shows itself early in treatment, and very often resolves without intervention. I wouldn't be able to tell you how long it might take for it to do so.

"(Akathisia is having a feeling of inner restlessness and the urge to move, rocking while standing or sitting, lifting of the feet as if marching on the spot, and crossing and uncrossing of the legs while sitting.)"

http://www.namiscc.org/newsletters/February02/aripiprazole.htm

The incidence of EPS has been reported to be very low with Abilify (aripiprazole), however, it is probably higher than what the PDR and package insert assert.

http://www.rxlist.com/cgi/generic/abilify_ad.htm

"The most frequently reported adverse events were insomnia, nausea, akathisia,anxiety, headache, somnolence, light-headedness, and upper respiratory tract infection."

http://216.239.51.100/search?q=cache:kY2M-goYKhsC:www.formularyjournal.com/formulary/data/articlestandard/formulary/472002/38652/article.pdf+aripiprazole+akathisia&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

There are some medications that your doctor can prescribe to you to lessen the intensity of akathisia until it disappears. I would recommend that you speak to your doctor. There are, of course, other neuroleptics that might help you which would not produce this side effect. For what condition have you been prescribed Abilify?

Good luck.


- Scott

 

Re: Abilify agitation

Posted by kb on March 2, 2003, at 16:02:53

In reply to Re: Abilify agitation, posted by SLS on March 2, 2003, at 13:31:30

I had difficulty sleeping on abilify due to restlessness and my pdoc told me to stop taking it.

 

Re: Abilify agitation

Posted by SLS on March 2, 2003, at 21:47:52

In reply to Re: Abilify agitation, posted by kb on March 2, 2003, at 16:02:53

> I had difficulty sleeping on abilify due to restlessness and my pdoc told me to stop taking it.


I think Abilify can cause insomnia even when it isn't producing akathisia. I wouldn't use insomnia alone as an indicator of akathisia. I think most people experience insomnia when they first start taking Abilify. It made my sleep rather choppy at first. I used Ativan for the first week or so to help sleep through the night. The insomnia has since abated. I began at 20mg per day and have remained at that dosage for these last three weeks. I am taking it in the hope it will augment antidepressants to treat my very stubborn bipolar depression.


- Scott

 

Re: Abilify agitation

Posted by kb on March 2, 2003, at 22:07:52

In reply to Re: Abilify agitation, posted by SLS on March 2, 2003, at 21:47:52

I didn't mean to imply that the insomnia was an indication of akathesia. I was taking 7.5 and went up to 10 - I tend to be very sensitive even at low doses. I was taking it as an augmentation drug also, for atypical depression with anxiety - I also take effexor, wellbutrin, lexapro, and a bunch of non-psych meds (I have Lupus).

 

Re: Abilify agitation

Posted by canwetalk on March 2, 2003, at 22:43:54

In reply to Abilify agitation, posted by laurarn on March 2, 2003, at 10:19:50

My daughter is also on Abilify 15mg. She's been on it now for a month and a half. She also experienced restlessness, anxiety, aggitation and not being able to sleep through the night.

Her psdoc prescribed meds to help the aboved problems and she is coming along much better.

One has to give the medicine a chance to adjust to the individual. My daughter is now adjusting to it and is doing much better.

My suggestions to you have your psdoc give you something for the side effects you are having, especially if they become to bothersome. Second, you have to give abilify a chance to get into your system. So hang in there and I am sure you won't be disappointed.

 

Re: Abilify agitation canwetalk

Posted by SLS on March 2, 2003, at 23:48:03

In reply to Re: Abilify agitation, posted by canwetalk on March 2, 2003, at 22:43:54

> My daughter is also on Abilify 15mg. She's been on it now for a month and a half. She also experienced restlessness, anxiety, aggitation and not being able to sleep through the night.
>
> Her psdoc prescribed meds to help the aboved problems and she is coming along much better.


Hi.

I'm glad things are coming along.

What medication did the doctor prescribe? Did he/she determine whether these symptoms were of akathisia?

Thanks.


- Scott

 

Re: Abilify agitation kb

Posted by SLS on March 2, 2003, at 23:56:43

In reply to Re: Abilify agitation, posted by kb on March 2, 2003, at 22:07:52

> I didn't mean to imply that the insomnia was an indication of akathesia.

I didn't think you did. I just wanted to be sure that no one should necessarily come to that conclusion and abort a trial too early.

> I was taking 7.5 and went up to 10 - I tend to be very sensitive even at low doses. I was taking it as an augmentation drug also, for atypical depression with anxiety - I also take effexor, wellbutrin, lexapro, and a bunch of non-psych meds (I have Lupus).

Wow.

Have you tried Zyprexa? I might go back to it and add amantadine (Symmetrel) to prevent weight gain.

If you don't mind my asking, what medications are you taking for Lupus? A friend of mine seems to be ailing from several autoimmune conditions simultaneously, and I'm not sure she has been treated aggressively enough. Her doctors did not initially think that she had Lupus, but I believe they will have to re-think this. I don't think there has been any involvement with the kidneys, thank God.

Thanks.


- Scott

 

Re: Abilify agitation laurarn

Posted by medlib on March 3, 2003, at 1:31:31

In reply to Abilify agitation, posted by laurarn on March 2, 2003, at 10:19:50

Hi Laurarn--

Are you taking any other psych meds with Abilify? Meds which act on dopamine, such as stimulants, Wellbutrin, Effexor and other neuroleptics can, when combined, produce or worsen EPS that a single drug might not elicit. Have you had any helpful results from Abilify yet?

medlib

 

Re: Abilify agitation

Posted by laurarn on March 3, 2003, at 10:33:24

In reply to Re: Abilify agitation laurarn, posted by medlib on March 3, 2003, at 1:31:31

Thanks to all for your replies. I like Scott's description of sleep as "choppy". That is a word that fits. My experience with meds has been that I do initially have side effects but they go away over time. It is encouraging to know that this may be the case with the akathesia as well. I've also reduced my caffeine consumption down to a couple of cups in the morning. Maybe I should stop that as well?

Two weeks ago we stopped Seroquel 25-50 mg at bedtime for sleep. I still have it available as needed but wanted to go off it completely to have a better picture of how Abilify would work. So, I am not on any other meds except for the Abilify.

I've noticed one benefit in my short time on this med. When anxious or stressed, my thoughts become jumbled up and I have a hard time picking out just one to express. This is getting better with the Abilify. It seems as though my thoughts are slowing down and becoming more sequential. I guess I can share more on that later.

Again, your replies are so greatly appreciated.

 

Re: Abilify agitation SLS

Posted by kb on March 5, 2003, at 13:35:56

In reply to Re: Abilify agitation kb, posted by SLS on March 2, 2003, at 23:56:43

I was on Zyprexa, which was a good drug for me, but caused steady weight gain - I now weigh the most I have in my life, so my pdoc switched me to Abilify.

I take Plaquenil for the Lupus and I used to add Chloroquine until things got more under control. I have also take oral steroids (medrol) during symptom flares, and I take salagen and celebrex for symptoms.

 

Re: Abilify agitation medlib

Posted by kb on March 5, 2003, at 13:38:37

In reply to Re: Abilify agitation laurarn, posted by medlib on March 3, 2003, at 1:31:31

Wow - I was taking wellbutrin, effexor and abilify - no wonder I was having trouble!

 

Re: Abilify agitation

Posted by laurarn on March 11, 2003, at 11:01:50

In reply to Re: Abilify agitation medlib, posted by kb on March 5, 2003, at 13:38:37

I stopped my Abilify three days ago. Tha akathesia was just too pronounced. There may be other options instead of quitting, but I am just too leery of this med now.

I am just now starting to feel a lessening of the agitation and restlessness. I know the half-life is long and will need another couple weeks most likely to return back to normal.

Now my dilemma. I left a message for my pdoc about stopping it until my next visit (weekly). I know there are meds to counteract the akathesia, but I've never felt so strongly about not wanting to use a particular med. I cannot describe the mental and physical turmoil I've been experiencing. I just want it out of my system.

There. Enough said. On to better things. I am strong and buoyant. Life will go on.

 

Re: Abilify agitation

Posted by labrat0017 on April 20, 2003, at 1:31:20

In reply to Re: Abilify agitation, posted by laurarn on March 11, 2003, at 11:01:50

i started abilfy a little while ago, maybe two weeks, for atypical depression and impusivity and mood swings. i'm also on wellbutrin and prozac and some other stuff. i have noticed that i can't sit still, i can't sleep, and i feel so unbearbly unsatiable. nothing keeps my attention for more than a minute, and i can't sit still at all. i found out that this was akathesia caused by the abilfy. i found that i feel a little better when i have caffiene, even though that doesn't seem to make sence....i switched from zyprexa because of weight gain, but i'd rather gain weight than be this uncomfortable. i'm glad to hear i'm not alone, although i'm not glad that anyone else has to deal with this. it really does suck

 

Re: Abilify agitation labrat0017

Posted by lauran on April 20, 2003, at 13:44:30

In reply to Re: Abilify agitation, posted by labrat0017 on April 20, 2003, at 1:31:20

Hi labrat. I feel for you as I know just what you are going through. I had to stop the Abilify as I simply could not tolerate the akathisia. My pdoc has actually switched me to Zyprexa. I am concerned about the weight gain but it seems much better than experiencing the akathisa.

Hang in there, it does go away over time. My advice though is to not just stop an AP altogether suddenly. It would be better to talk to your pdoc about going back on the Zyprexa and then tapering if need be. Just a thought. Good luck.

 

Re: Abilify agitation

Posted by Ellen S. on April 21, 2003, at 22:30:58

In reply to Re: Abilify agitation labrat0017, posted by lauran on April 20, 2003, at 13:44:30

>... I had to stop the Abilify as I simply could not tolerate the akathisia. My pdoc has actually switched me to Zyprexa. I am concerned about the weight gain but it seems much better than experiencing the akathisa.

FWIW, Geodon (ziprasidone) is another AP that does not seem to contribute to weight gain. There is, however, a possible cardiac complication from Geodon.

 

Re: Abilify agitation

Posted by DrMom on May 2, 2003, at 13:48:54

In reply to Re: Abilify agitation, posted by Ellen S. on April 21, 2003, at 22:30:58

Thanks for all the post on akathesia. I had no idea it was a side effect of the abilify my daughter was taking for Schizophrenia. It is getting impossible for her to concentrate at school because of it. I did read that this drug was not recommened for children so now I'm wondering why it was prescibed. She is also taking the medication for the side effects of the muscle stiffness. Does anyone know of a better alternative to switch to, I know most of the antipsychotic drugs are full of side effects.

 

Re: Abilify agitation kb

Posted by Nicole Foster on May 4, 2003, at 10:28:24

In reply to Re: Abilify agitation SLS, posted by kb on March 5, 2003, at 13:35:56

> I was on Zyprexa, which was a good drug for me, but caused steady weight gain - I now weigh the most I have in my life, so my pdoc switched me to Abilify.


My husband was just switched from Zyprexa to Abilify. With the Zyprexa (plus Zoloft) he was totally sedated all day, and if woken would be very aggitated, sometimes angry... Has anyone else had this?
Also what can he expect from switching?
Thanks

 

Re: Abilify agitation

Posted by canwetalk on May 5, 2003, at 9:01:45

In reply to Re: Abilify agitation kb, posted by Nicole Foster on May 4, 2003, at 10:28:24

Nicole please keep us posted as to how you and your husband are doing on the Abilify. I do know that it can cause anxiety, a problem with sleeping. In some people it can cause agitation.

My daughter is on Abilify 15mg and has been now for 4 months. She has experienced these symptoms and would like to know Nicole if you and your husband do also.

Abilify is a new med and we really do not know all of the side effects of it. It is a safe med of course because the FDA would not have approved it. Keep us posted if you don't mind. Thanks

 

Re: Abilify agitation DrMom

Posted by Griobhtha on May 5, 2003, at 10:15:33

In reply to Re: Abilify agitation, posted by DrMom on May 2, 2003, at 13:48:54

The FDA prescribing information for Abilify states NOT to prescribe for children.

Which AP to try is almost getting as hard as which AD to try. I've beeen on Seroquel, which put me to sleep. Zyprexa made me tired and caused my hands to balloon. Geodon made me very ansy.

I had been taking Risperdal for quite some time (2mg/day). It works great for me, even calming my nerves quite a bit and giving me 1 or 2 points (10 pt scale) on my depression scale. My only problems have been weight gain and loss of libido. I gained 30 pounds after starting it (massive increase in appetite (and I was already overweight), but through working out 6 days per week I've lost that 30 pounds. However, though still working out, I can't get down past 265lbs.

The loss of libido has been a bigger problem. Even after switching to Abilify (2 weeks now), the problem persists. I want to try adding Dostinex (cabergoline) to combat this, but I'm not sure how it will work.

As for the Abilify, I think I too have reached my limit with the uncontrollable sense of needing movement (agitation?); and it's hard to get to sleep and stay asleep. I think I may go back to Risperdal and wait for a newer version of it, or a direct competitor, to come out.


> Thanks for all the post on akathesia. I had no idea it was a side effect of the abilify my daughter was taking for Schizophrenia. It is getting impossible for her to concentrate at school because of it. I did read that this drug was not recommened for children so now I'm wondering why it was prescibed. She is also taking the medication for the side effects of the muscle stiffness. Does anyone know of a better alternative to switch to, I know most of the antipsychotic drugs are full of side effects.

 

Re: Abilify agitation

Posted by DrMom on May 5, 2003, at 11:34:26

In reply to Re: Abilify agitation DrMom, posted by Griobhtha on May 5, 2003, at 10:15:33

> The FDA prescribing information for Abilify states NOT to prescribe for children.
>
> Which AP to try is almost getting as hard as which AD to try. I've beeen on Seroquel, which put me to sleep. Zyprexa made me tired and caused my hands to balloon. Geodon made me very ansy.
>
> I had been taking Risperdal for quite some time (2mg/day). It works great for me, even calming my nerves quite a bit and giving me 1 or 2 points (10 pt scale) on my depression scale. My only problems have been weight gain and loss of libido. I gained 30 pounds after starting it (massive increase in appetite (and I was already overweight), but through working out 6 days per week I've lost that 30 pounds. However, though still working out, I can't get down past 265lbs.
>
> The loss of libido has been a bigger problem. Even after switching to Abilify (2 weeks now), the problem persists. I want to try adding Dostinex (cabergoline) to combat this, but I'm not sure how it will work.
>
> As for the Abilify, I think I too have reached my limit with the uncontrollable sense of needing movement (agitation?); and it's hard to get to sleep and stay asleep. I think I may go back to Risperdal and wait for a newer version of it, or a direct competitor, to come out.
>
>
> > Thanks for all the post on akathesia. I had no idea it was a side effect of the abilify my daughter was taking for Schizophrenia. It is getting impossible for her to concentrate at school because of it. I did read that this drug was not recommened for children so now I'm wondering why it was prescibed. She is also taking the medication for the side effects of the muscle stiffness. Does anyone know of a better alternative to switch to, I know most of the antipsychotic drugs are full of side effects.
>
>
I did notice on a current website that Abilify wasn't suppose to be prescibed to children. Unfortunately the doctor at the hospital that prescribed it wasn't a child psychiatrist. I had no clue this hospital didn't have a child psychiatrist in their adolescent floor - how stupid! Our experience with him was a nightmare especially since he filed commital papers when he knew I didn't trust him or his staff. So she was stuck seeing him for 2 weeks and I had no choice - this is another subject matter however that would take days for me to vent about. She sees a new doctor now that the hospital stay is over and someone else takes over the commital and this new doctor just told us to increase the cogentin and this would help get rid of the akathesia. I am skeptical however since one of the side effects I read about cogentin is listlessness. I am only going to give it a few more days and then this Abilify will be out the door. No one should have to live like that.

 

Re: Abilify agitation

Posted by lynn3 on May 9, 2003, at 7:52:37

In reply to Re: Abilify agitation, posted by DrMom on May 5, 2003, at 11:34:26

I have been on Abilify since November, the agitation was getting really bad about a month ago. My doc cut my dose from 15 mg to 10mg every day, also added a sm. dose of seroquel (50mg) at bedtime. The agitation is gone! It amazes me how they tweek these meds to help a person.

 

Re: Abilify agitation

Posted by smg on May 11, 2003, at 9:39:20

In reply to Re: Abilify agitation, posted by lynn3 on May 9, 2003, at 7:52:37

Sorry to hear that there are so many of us on Abilify. I have not experienced the akathisia that so many seem to have. I'm being treated for bipolar disorder and Abilify is one of the many meds that I take(Prozac, Risperdal, Depakote, Cogentin if needed). My main problems are dizziness and sleepiness. Sometimes I feel that I could sleep for days. I don't know which is worse, the illness or the cure.

 

Re: Abilify agitation smg

Posted by SLS on May 11, 2003, at 10:48:46

In reply to Re: Abilify agitation, posted by smg on May 11, 2003, at 9:39:20

> Sorry to hear that there are so many of us on Abilify. I have not experienced the akathisia that so many seem to have. I'm being treated for bipolar disorder and Abilify is one of the many meds that I take(Prozac, Risperdal, Depakote, Cogentin if needed). My main problems are dizziness and sleepiness. Sometimes I feel that I could sleep for days. I don't know which is worse, the illness or the cure.

For what reason are you taking two antipsychotics?


- Scott

 

Re: Abilify agitation

Posted by Ms.Zebra on May 11, 2003, at 14:13:05

In reply to Re: Abilify agitation, posted by smg on May 11, 2003, at 9:39:20

I just started Abilify (15mg) about one week ago and ever since my irritability has increased, and I am not sleeping through the night. I get to sleep just fine, but I wake up several times. I can not tell if these are side effects from the medication or not. Has anyone else experienced increased irritability?


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