Abilify (Aripiprazole) is a second-generation antipsychotic which is used for treating depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. It is a partial dopamine agonist. It is important to know withdrawal symptoms and the right way to do it, in order to avoid any side effects.
Like every psychostimulant drug, it is significant to gradually decrease the dosage of the drug to escape any brain stressful consequences, especially when quitting “cold turkey”. It can be difficult to handle and it can be more or less intense, depending on the individual. It is best to agree with your doctor/psychiatrist about the proper withdrawal plan and what drug to use for replacement.
Factors That Can Influence Abilify Withdrawal
The factors which can influence the drug withdrawal are mostly the same among any psychostimulant medication. It is important to consider time span, dosage, individual factors, tapering.
Dosage (2 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 30 mg)
It is the same when it comes to every medication withdrawal. When you’re using the higher dosage, you will need a longer period to adjust to the condition of being without the medication. The maximum dose of 30 mg will take the longest time whereas the 2 or 5 mg per day will take less. The most common dosage among users is 10 and 15 where the withdrawal period can also vary from person to person.
Time span stands for the time you are on the Abilify treatment. The longer you are taking the medicine, the longer you will need time for its withdrawal. It is much harder to discontinue a drug when your body get’s used to it and your brain needs to readjust to the new condition once you discontinue from its use.
For some, it is easier and for some, it is harder to bare the withdrawal symptoms. They can differ from person to person, depending on their sensitivity, genetics, lifestyle habits, etc. It is always going to be different between two individuals due to theirs different characteristics.
Tapering is extremely important when it comes to withdrawal since it gives the body the time needed for it to adjust to the stressful situation and the new chemical balance. Quitting “cold turkey” can lead to severe symptom occurrence which can be more expressed with those who received higher doses. It is best to gradually lower the dosage until the lowest ones to escape the side effects of the drug missing from the body until it’s complete clearance.
Abilify Withdrawal Symptoms
There are numerous symptoms which can occur when withdrawing from Abilify. Not all of these symptoms are going to happen in every individual and not in the same amount. In some will be expressed in a mild form, while in others will be more severe. They are short term and will pass over time.
When quitting Abilify, especially if it was used as a therapy for depression, this kind of symptom can be common. It can be even worse than before the drug intake since the body will have to adjust to the drug deficiency.
Anxiety can happen to every person and it is the most common one symptom among those who are going through withdrawal from Abilify. You can feel stressed and have anxiety to an increased extent. It will slowly fade.
Since there is no balance like with the medicine intake, the symptoms can occur in concentration problems. The brain is going through a change which will have to adjust with time. The dopamine is low and you can get alteration of cognitive functions.
Another common symptom can be a headache. It can be a mild or a severe one like a migraine. When trying to cope with it, you may need some supplements and strong character to deal with it until it subsides.
You may suffer from lack of sleep where you can feel restless and your sleep cycle can suffer from imbalance. It may be present for a few weeks after which it should go back to normal.
You can feel nausea and dizziness when withdrawing from Abilify. It can be severe when quitting cold turkey since your body will suddenly lack the drug effects and your brain can be in shock.
You can experience mood changes and cry when getting off Abilify. This can be an emotional imbalance which you can express through many ways such as this one. Be aware of it and try to cope with it until it subsides.
You may even experience hallucinations which can be serious and lead to fear. This is mostly present among those who were treating schizophrenia with Abilify. It is the state without the drug treatment.
You can have symptoms such as diarrhea when your body can react like when in shock. You can have diarrhea which will go away after a few days and if not, you can try to use over-the-counter medications such as Imodium.
You can sense the joint pain when quitting Abilify and other psychostimulant medications. It is due to a muscle and joint tension where the results can be a painful outcome.
Some people have felt anxiety to a higher level where they’ve had panic attacks. It can be stressful to deal with withdrawing from Abilify and some relaxation might help.
When going off Abilify or antipsychotic medication, your brain tries to get back to its previous condition. This is stressful for the body and it can be expressed through psychosis episodes. This does not to happen just in patients suffering from schizophrenia and bipolar disorders. It can happen to anyone depending on their state and individual characteristics.
Some people have had vomiting problems accompanied with dizziness and nausea. This is a rare symptom, but it can happen due to neuroreceptors changes which can trigger the gag reflex and end up in bowel irritation and vomiting.
Your body is going through adjustment which is a stressful state and it needs time to adjust. The stress hormones can be excreted and act on glands to secrete the sweat. This can help with detoxication from the drug as well.
Abilify withdrawal can lead to weight loss since it did slow the metabolism during its function. When quitting Abilify, one can notice slight metabolism changes of which can be weight loss outcomes.
How Long Do Abilify Withdrawal Symptoms Last?
This is totally relevant from person to person. As we mentioned above, there are a lot of factors which can influence the withdrawal symptoms appearance and duration. It can stay in your system up to 34 days after which the withdrawal symptoms usually get worse. It can be a long period and a hard one to handle. It is also important to taper the dose to quit right and to avoid severe side effects. Make sure to be in touch with your psychiatrist to observe any changes and the flow of the withdrawal. If you take care of yourself, you will have better chances at avoiding nasty effects of drug clearance. The period can last from a couple of weeks to a few months, depending on the time span, tapering, dosage, individual characteristics, etc.