View Full Version : Abilify As Mood Stabilizer


netsavy006
01-08-08, 04:00 PM
I've not heard of this but I can see the possibility, I'm taking Abilify as a mood stabilizer. I'm @ 10mg right now, but my psychiatrist said we could go anywhere from 20 - 40mg/day. Does anyone else know about abilify as a primary mood stabilizer?

I can see it's helping me so I'm not worried about that.

Crazy~Feet
01-08-08, 04:05 PM
It's for taming mania, mood stabilizers are different.

netsavy006
01-08-08, 04:06 PM
I know. Lithium, Depakote, Lamical, they're mood stabilizers. But their giving me abilify for mood swings related to bipolar. But I've never heard of Abilify being used by itself for bipolar disorder. I've always heard of it used in combination with another medication. I hope this expresses myself better.

Crazy~Feet
01-08-08, 04:10 PM
I understood the question :) and I agree. I've never heard of Abilify being used by itself for bipolar disorder, eventually it seems that a mood stabilizer is added to the mix.

I may be wrong though, it's always possible I have forgotten someone who does have this experience.

netsavy006
01-08-08, 04:19 PM
Who is the someone with the experience? Can't be me because I don't have experience with this. I just recently got a final confirmation of bipolar 1 disorder.

Crazy~Feet
01-08-08, 04:29 PM
Like I stated, I am not aware of knowing anybody with this experience and if I do know someone I have forgotten all about it. :)

adhdogwalker
01-08-08, 05:03 PM
My doctor just gave me Abilify as a mood stabilizer about a month ago. I'm also at 10 mg. and it's helping me a lot so far. I have to go next week so he'll probably adjust my meds then. It helps a lot with the moodiness although I did have a bit of a hypomanic episode since I started it. My cycling seems to be less severe since I started it. I feel a lot more optimistic and more organized even though things still aren't perfect.

meriellyn
01-08-08, 05:57 PM
I've heard of it being used alone in some cases. Seems like a viable treatment for someone whose primary concern is mania/hypomania.

Everybody is different. For example, it is often said that Lamictal, while it seems to control/prevent hypomania in a stable patient, generally isn't sufficient as a stand alone treatment for a patient who is already in a hypomanic or primarily hypomanic mixed state. But my personal experience was completely contrary to this belief.

So I'm sure this (Abilify as a primary or stand alone treatment) is posibility for some people as well.

netsavy006
01-08-08, 10:02 PM
Well as Lexapro could trigger a manic episode, I gather I'll need an anti-psychotic to help manage that. Abilify and Lexapro I'm told can be increased as necessary.

Crazy~Feet
01-08-08, 11:18 PM
OK....for me Lamictal doesn't do a thing for hypomania, it decreases my depression and did from the 3rd day onward, but I did have to titrate up to reach max benefits. In fact, it is being prescribed off-label for treatment-resistant unipolar depression.


I took Abilify for agitation, which precedes hypomania in my case. As most people here know, I can no longer take Abilify ;) due to a rare and peculiar *cough* side effect *cough*.


The reason Lamictal is usually not able to do anything for a person in an active cycle is because it takes AGES to titrate up properly and reach a therapuetic window for most patients. Abilify does not precisely fit this description (if the first dose is sufficient for the symptoms, no need to titrate up...too much, titrate down, etc.).

meriellyn
01-09-08, 12:27 AM
Well as Lexapro could trigger a manic episode, I gather I'll need an anti-psychotic to help manage that. Abilify and Lexapro I'm told can be increased as necessary.

Yeah that could work, I suppose.
SSRIs don't make me manic (or less depressed, unfortunately), but I know they do many BPers.

OK....for me Lamictal doesn't do a thing for hypomania, it decreases my depression and did from the 3rd day onward, but I did have to titrate up to reach max benefits. In fact, it is being prescribed off-label for treatment-resistant unipolar depression.



I had to titrate up too but it started improving my prodominently hypomanic mixed state (one of my worse), pretty quickly. Not the first pill, obviously but it eased in pretty quickly.

I totally realize that's not usually the case though.

I think Lamictal for unipolar depression is a great thing. Especially for unipolar depression in people with BP in their family history. It definitely does a number on depression (without all the SSRI side effects).


The reason Lamictal is usually not able to do anything for a person in an active cycle is because it takes AGES to titrate up properly and reach a therapuetic window for most patients. Abilify does not precisely fit this description (if the first dose is sufficient for the symptoms, no need to titrate up...too much, titrate down, etc.).

Yeah, the fact that you have to titrate fairly slowly is definitely an issue for many. And for many it just can't break the mania alone, even though it can prevent it to some degree once it's over. But I didn't go up to my current dose right away (as part of the initial titration) so it didn't take me too long to get it together. Then I increased a couple times later.

Obviously others have different needs, especially in more extreme situations (I've never had a full blown manic episode, contrary to one of my idiot doc's file, which would certainly have different needs.)



[Does anyone else just hate the name of "Abilify"? Ugh. :P]

Crazy~Feet
01-09-08, 12:36 AM
Does anyone else just hate the name of "Abilify"? Ugh.

LOL! Yes! I was thinking Disabilify when I had issues with it :D...heh.



I think Lamictal for unipolar depression is a great thing. Especially for unipolar depression in people with BP in their family history. It definitely does a number on depression (without all the SSRI side effects).

Me too, I am for this all the way! SSRIs have some truly crummy side effects, and well, I was misdiagnosed with treatment-resistant depression myself. Years of almost constant depression is brutal. Hopefully this tactic will change that for many people...maybe even save lives.

meriellyn
01-09-08, 12:59 AM
LOL! Yes! I was thinking Disabilify when I had issues with it :D...heh.

Lol... I should say so.
It's such a ridiculous and somewhat insulting name. My dad saw the commercial when it first came out and was shocked and amused that someone would name a psych med "Abilify".



Me too, I am for this all the way! SSRIs have some truly crummy side effects, and well, I was misdiagnosed with treatment-resistant depression myself. Years of almost constant depression is brutal. Hopefully this tactic will change that for many people...maybe even save lives.

I was diagnosed with anti-depressant resistant depression as well for a while. Amusingly enough, this was *after* having been diagnosed BPII and taken Depakote for a a period. Lol. Genius.
'Here, take this *new* SSRI... the rest have sucked for you but this'll totally work.' :rolleyes:

I totally agree about the years of almost constant depression. That's definitely been my main problem, particularly when I was younger, and it's truely brutal.
Oh how I wish someone had been able to give me some Lamictal back then!

I'm hopeful that it'll work for my mom now. She started titrating last week. She's been diagnosed w/ major depression, anxiety/panic disorder, and OCD and bounced from antidepressant to antidepressant without improvement. She's having a really hard time right now and called me the other day with "What do I do? What else can I try?" and of course I had to strongly reccommend Lamictal. I hate that docs dont think of that when sntidepressants don't work! :P That should be the next go-to. I hope it'll catch on quickly.

Hell, I'm way more for Lamictal than SSRIs/SSNRIs... I know they work for some people but lord the side effects! And I'm not sure I've ever been quite the same since. I know a few people who feel similarly.

Certainly not for everyone but I think Lamictal is a great depression med with way less side effects (and lower instance of those side effects) than people settle for with other depression medication.

Crazy~Feet
01-09-08, 01:11 AM
I'm hopeful that it'll work for my mom now. She started titrating last week. She's been diagnosed w/ major depression, anxiety/panic disorder, and OCD and bounced from antidepressant to antidepressant without improvement. She's having a really hard time right now and called me the other day with "What do I do? What else can I try?" and of course I had to strongly reccommend Lamictal.

Meriellyn, I would very much appreciate it if you kept us posted on her progress...maybe start a thread in Depression, if that's OK with you? I am certain that many people could benefit from that information. :)

meriellyn
01-09-08, 01:20 AM
Meriellyn, I would very much appreciate it if you kept us posted on her progress...maybe start a thread in Depression, if that's OK with you? I am certain that many people could benefit from that information. :)


Definitely will. I swear she got slightly more tolerable within a couple days. (I'm sure she's thought similar things about me... lol)

We saw a movie a couple days ago (about a week in) and she seemed to have an honestly good time for the first time in a good long while.

I'm excited about getting her on it. I suggested it a few months ago and she seemed interested but it was kinda pushed aside with not having seen her pdoc much and having a shingles outbreak for which she was put on Cymbalta. :P

I'm going with her next time (in a couple weeks). :)

Matt S.
01-09-08, 02:48 AM
Andy didn't you swear off Abilify a couple of months ago?

netsavy006
01-10-08, 03:39 PM
Yes I did because of jerky movements, but the doctors in the ER determined it as EPS and gave me an anti-eps medication called Cogentin. Now I'm doing better.

Matt S.
01-10-08, 04:30 PM
Good to hear you are doing better.

adhdogwalker
01-10-08, 10:49 PM
Well, nix what I said about Abilify just a few days ago. It started giving me such severe restlessness that I discontinued it. I was so horribly agitated I couldn't do anything because I couldn't sit still for even a millisecond. I was having trouble even walking dogs-- too antsy, believe it or not, to do that. I felt better yesterday, but today I am horribly restless. I spent 12 hours speedwalking and I'm ready for another loop or several around the park. Now I'm wondering if it was the Abilify or I was just getting restless. I think I might be getting manic-- I sure feel like I won't be sleeping tonight. This sucks & I'm totally frustrated. I haven't been playing the med game for long but so far Abilify & Seroquel are just not reigning the mania in.

netsavy006
01-11-08, 04:32 PM
I had the severe restlessness, and that is another reason why I have to take cogentin. Medications like cogentin, artane and benadryl are common medications for eps and restlessness. That doesn't mean you have to take them but it's practiced that when the symptoms arrive to add an anti-cholenergic drug.

Missgoldie
01-12-08, 01:23 AM
I just went to a new Dr today and I was given Abilify. That is it....

Seems strange to me as well but I will give it a try although I am a little apprehensive.

netsavy006
01-12-08, 12:08 PM
Abilify is not one of the worst medications IMO. I've been on all but 1 atypical anti-psychotic and am familiar with my reactions to them. Abilify has been the only one I could 'tolerate' the best...

Missgoldie
01-12-08, 03:02 PM
Just took my first pill a 4 hours ago, I am dizzy, eyes feel blurred and I have nausea, should I continue with these?

netsavy006
01-12-08, 10:49 PM
I'm not in a position to answer such a question. I'd contact the doctor and check.

Missgoldie
01-13-08, 04:32 PM
I am definitely not taking more...last night was hell...

my dizziness got worse, when I stood up the room went black and I could not see and I started getting shooting pains up my arm and leg.

netsavy006
01-18-08, 02:45 PM
Wow. Make sure to get up slowly with abilify. It's suggested not to get up to quickly because of the risk of dizziness or fainting.

adhdogwalker
01-19-08, 11:34 AM
In the short period of time that I took Abilify, I did have problems with dizziness if I stood up too quickly. I also got motion sick extremely easily-- couldn't ride in a taxi at all and had to take the subway everywhere because that didn't bother me.