Medication

One month of Abilify and I feel like a ZOMBIE!

LifeontheIsland Community Member October 10, 2008
  • Last year's Halloween party. Was NOT a zombie last year! We won 2nd place in the costume contest! :-) 

     

     

     

     

    My Dr. said that I may feel tired for a few weeks, but I feel like a complete zombie. It's hard to have the motivation to get anything done. I don't really feel any less depressed, and I'm lacking any days of feeling really good. Does this get any better?

     

    Anyone have any ideas about what to do if this one drug doesn't even me out? Are there other things to take to combat this, or should I try something else? Any advice is appreciated.

     

    Thanks!

28 Comments
  • Anonymous
    Jodi
    Oct. 25, 2008

    Hi.  It took me about two months to feel "evened-out" on abilify. and I sm still having issues after several years.  It can take several months for your body to adjust to a med but if you really feel like this is not working for you, have an honest dialogue with your MD and ask about other options.  There are tons of Anti-Psychotics out there...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Hi.  It took me about two months to feel "evened-out" on abilify. and I sm still having issues after several years.  It can take several months for your body to adjust to a med but if you really feel like this is not working for you, have an honest dialogue with your MD and ask about other options.  There are tons of Anti-Psychotics out there and Abilify may not be the right one for you.

    • LifeontheIsland
      Oct. 27, 2008

      Jodi,

       

      Did you ever experience loss of memory while taking Abilify? I have and it is unnerving. I cannot remember conversations, phone calls, appointments, etc. I am now writing everything down.

       

      Thanks for responding!

    • LifeontheIsland
      Oct. 27, 2008

      Jodi,

       

      Did you ever experience loss of memory while taking Abilify? I have and it is unnerving. I cannot remember conversations, phone calls, appointments, etc. I am now writing everything down.

       

      Thanks for responding!

  • Anonymous
    Sylvia
    Oct. 20, 2008

    Hello!

     

    I don't know how long ago you posted your request, but I wanted to be of some help, and let you know what has helped me tremendously.

     

    I have found that many of the prescription drugs I have taken over the years have not been helpful to me, as they cause me to be depressed and less motivated. I also found that I had been misdiagnosed for...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Hello!

     

    I don't know how long ago you posted your request, but I wanted to be of some help, and let you know what has helped me tremendously.

     

    I have found that many of the prescription drugs I have taken over the years have not been helpful to me, as they cause me to be depressed and less motivated. I also found that I had been misdiagnosed for many years. I found that I suffer from anxiety which can cause depression.

     

    You should try Lexapro. It has worked well for me. It works so well, that it is all I have to take to cope with everyday life. After all the prescription drugs I have been on...Lexapro has had more of a postive impact in my life and how I feel than any other drug I have taken.

     

    You really need to be careful about what you allow your doctor to prescribe. You also need to know yourself well enough to know how you feel and what is the cause of your being emotional or whatever else you are afflicted with. Doctors can make mistakes and misdiagnose you. You need to know yourself and not what others have to say about you. I would also suggest giving your life to Jesus Christ. as Lord of your life. He has carried me through sooo much in my life, and let me know things that I would otherwise not have known. Just trust him, and let him in!!

     

    I will pray for you. Take care and please try the Lexapro. It has worked wonders for me!! I only take 10 milligrams once a day.

     

    God bless you!!

  • Surviver48&counting
    Oct. 18, 2008

    Hi Honey, I don't know if you are still on the abilify or not but, I had just about the same experience.  Ask your Dr. to PLEASE consider another med for you, and REMEMBER you are paying him and you are and should be involved in the development of your care plan and how it is being used in your treatment.  You are not a experiment subject either. ...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Hi Honey, I don't know if you are still on the abilify or not but, I had just about the same experience.  Ask your Dr. to PLEASE consider another med for you, and REMEMBER you are paying him and you are and should be involved in the development of your care plan and how it is being used in your treatment.  You are not a experiment subject either.  I hope they find the right med for you.  The best that ever worked for me was zoloft ( my dx is bi-polor) but I get severely depressed when it does happen.   Good luck and keep your chin up O.K.  Bye-Bye

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Oct. 17, 2008

    If I were you, I would ask my Dr. to let me try half the dosage for a couple of weeks.  Some people are not big into pharmeceuticals & cannot handle large dosages that might be normal for the "average" PERSON.  GOOD LUCK!~A

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Oct. 16, 2008

    I had been taking Cymalta for depression for several years and it helped me tremendously.  But due to life circumstances, like my son getting maried and moving 450 miles away, my husband quit his teaching job to work on his PhD full time - that was over 3 years ago and he still hasn't completed it and has not worked in 3 1/2 years. He was happy to just...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I had been taking Cymalta for depression for several years and it helped me tremendously.  But due to life circumstances, like my son getting maried and moving 450 miles away, my husband quit his teaching job to work on his PhD full time - that was over 3 years ago and he still hasn't completed it and has not worked in 3 1/2 years. He was happy to just drift along letting me work 2 nursing jobs to support us.  then my car died and my husband took it to a place that was going to give him a "deal" - well my car is still there, not repaired and that will be two years in Nov.  I had to sell all the solid 18K jewelry we had made when we lived in Egypt 20 years ago, along with all my grandmother's jewelry that was handed down to me to make our mortgage payments. And last NOvember, i just fell apart.  I had my first manic phase in Oct. of 2008 and by the second one, i knew what was happening and got on medication.  I have been taking my Cymbalta for depression, Klonopin for anxiety, (just when i need it) and my medication for bo-polar disorder is Lamectial.  I have had VERY good results from this medication.  I also take Wellbutrin for depression, which gives me a lot of energy and helps with motivation.  So, that's my recipe! and i know everyone doesn't get the same results from their meds, but I would highly advise you to discuss this combilation with your doctor.

  • Anonymous
    Nelson Colon
    Oct. 16, 2008

    Have you tried Neurontin? 

    Maybe you should talk to your doctor about it...

     

    I have been on numerous meds and I could never be compliant on taking them because of all their negative side effects...but after years of trial & error, one doctor placed me on Neurontin ( for seizures) which has helped me stay on an even keel with minimal side effects....

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Have you tried Neurontin? 

    Maybe you should talk to your doctor about it...

     

    I have been on numerous meds and I could never be compliant on taking them because of all their negative side effects...but after years of trial & error, one doctor placed me on Neurontin ( for seizures) which has helped me stay on an even keel with minimal side effects.

     

    I'm pretty active...still have trouble sometimes getting out of bed...having bouts with depression (although praying & seeking the LORD on a daily basis helps tremendously)

    Once I get going and make the effort to move ...take my meds with vitamin supplements for energy (sublingual B-12 also helps) and a good breakfast (lots of fruit, yogurt, and eating foods with low-carbs, high-protein and high-fiber like oatmeal).

     

    Exercise also helps...I get out and not just exercise , but I actually got certified in Kicboxing and as a Personal Fitness Trainer and have been actively training people for the past 10 years.

     

    People with our condition of chemical imbalance have to find balance in our lives by first and foremost having a real relationship (not RELIGION) with GOD...and I have found that relationship to become more real in the person of Jesus Christ. He is the Bridge Over Troubled Waters that allows us to cross-over and come back to Our Heavenly Father.

     

    We have to feed our Spirit man(or woman) as well as feed our minds (or soul) with good things, positive things...things dealing with FAITH! Read! Not just any literature, but books that inspire and truly edify...YES like the BIBLE to begin with...having a good solid foundation. PRAY! (that's how you feed your soul and not just your mind.) YES...PAYER makes a BIG difference! Prayer combined with reading the living Word of GOD amplifies our faith.

     

    Then we have to make sure we also take care of our bodies(our bodies are a temple). Feed it good wholesome things (lots of fruit & don't forget your veggies:)

    Helps you lose weight naturally and ups your energy levels dramatically.

    Stay well hydrated and drink plenty of water.

     

    Stay away from everything that toxifies your body...YES , like alcohol and other drugs that can counter effect your medication...thus defeating the whole purpose.

     

    Find balance this way...Body, Mind & Spirit...like an Isoceles Triangle that is even on all 3 sides and of course find a medication that will work with your chemistry and remain compliant, and you should feel miraculously better!

     

    I hope that helped...God bless!Innocent

     

     

     

     

    • LifeontheIsland
      Oct. 27, 2008

      Thank you Nelson.

       

      I do have a relationship with god. It helps.

       

      Neurontin is something I may try for my recovery after my upcoming back surgery.

       

      ~Cathy

  • Anonymous
    gemii1
    Oct. 16, 2008

    Abilify is not necessarilly an antidepressant; it is a mood stabilizer.

    Talk to your doctor; both my kids take Abilify and it works for them

    when they take it a night time.

     

    good luck

  • Jill
    Oct. 16, 2008

    I tried Abilify too and I had the same reaction.  I am now on Symbyax and I was only tired for 3 days.  The first day is the worst, I just didn't feel like me.  It doesn't take long to take affect.  You should try it.  It is relatively new to the market, I think about 8 months now. 

    • LifeontheIsland
      Oct. 20, 2008

      Jill, My Dr, is putting me on another med to help. I think it is Symbyax. I'll know for sure when I pick it up tomorrow. It is supposed to be an anti-depressant to work with the Abilify for my prolonged depressive state and generalized anxiety - without throwing me into a manic phase.

       

      I can tell that Abilify is working a bit for me emotionally,...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Jill, My Dr, is putting me on another med to help. I think it is Symbyax. I'll know for sure when I pick it up tomorrow. It is supposed to be an anti-depressant to work with the Abilify for my prolonged depressive state and generalized anxiety - without throwing me into a manic phase.

       

      I can tell that Abilify is working a bit for me emotionally, but I'm still the Zombie-girl. That zombie effect has only slightly improved, not enough to really be productive yet.

       

      Thanks for your responce and encouragement.

  • Jill
    Oct. 16, 2008

    I tried Abilify and it didn't work for me either.  My doctor recently put me on Symbyax.  It's relativley new, but has been working for me.  It didn't take long to get into my system.  I was tired for the first 3 days and then I was fine.  I hope this helps you.

  • Anonymous
    trish schanz
    Oct. 16, 2008

    Hi

     

    I took abilify and I felt the same way and it didn't get better. I got off it and now I am on 1200mg lithium and 75 mg effexor. I now feel like myself but don't be mistaken the ups and downs still come but they are shorter less severe and I know when I'm in them.

     

    In the beginning of treatment the doctors are trying different things,abilify...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Hi

     

    I took abilify and I felt the same way and it didn't get better. I got off it and now I am on 1200mg lithium and 75 mg effexor. I now feel like myself but don't be mistaken the ups and downs still come but they are shorter less severe and I know when I'm in them.

     

    In the beginning of treatment the doctors are trying different things,abilify is pretty new and if your on it usually you can tell right away if it's going to work, the same if it's not going to work for you.Only you know your body so try different things until you find what works for you.It's frustrating for sure but keep your chin up you'll find the right combo.

     

    Trish:)

    • Anonymous
      gemii1
      Oct. 16, 2008

      Hi, just a brief note on Effexor, if I may. When I first started taking it - it helped me. Eventually, after about a year the dosage went up and so did my weight. Effexor will make you gain a lot of water weight and eventually you may need increases. I told my doctor after about 1 1/2 years I wanted to wean myself off of it. I did. He said just stop taking...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Hi, just a brief note on Effexor, if I may. When I first started taking it - it helped me. Eventually, after about a year the dosage went up and so did my weight. Effexor will make you gain a lot of water weight and eventually you may need increases. I told my doctor after about 1 1/2 years I wanted to wean myself off of it. I did. He said just stop taking it - don't listen to that re: any meds. Your bodies chemistry starts to depend on the meds. I went through hell weaning off of it, not sleeping, sweating, shaking, hunger, not hungery, moody...yes, major withdrawals. BUT IN THE END IT WAS WORTH IT! I lost the 40 pounds of water weight I gained and switched to a new med that has not increased my weight.

       

      Please be careful.

      Peace

    • LifeontheIsland
      Oct. 20, 2008

      Thanks for your input. I was on Effexor last winter/spring/summer and I gained a lot of weight. I was a size 6 and went up to almost a 12! I stopped taking the Effexor because it was not helping me at all. I've been off it for about 3 months, and the weight is coming off. Hip-hip-hoooray!!!

       

       

       

       

       

      Thanks also to Trish for her...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Thanks for your input. I was on Effexor last winter/spring/summer and I gained a lot of weight. I was a size 6 and went up to almost a 12! I stopped taking the Effexor because it was not helping me at all. I've been off it for about 3 months, and the weight is coming off. Hip-hip-hoooray!!!

       

       

       

       

       

      Thanks also to Trish for her encouraging words!

    • Anonymous
      gemii1
      Oct. 20, 2008

      You are most welcome and fantastic that you are now off of it!!!

      I grew from a size 8/10 to size 14/16. The weight was evenly

      distributed, which was nice; but I wasn't feeling good about my

      weight or needing to buy a whole new wardrobe!!! SO....I had to

      ditch it!

       

      Stay strong and blessed be.

      gem

  • morninggrl
    Oct. 12, 2008

    that I was thinking about is the med my son is on. He now takes Invega, which is paliperidone. It's related to risperidone but doesn't have the same side effects. I think the most common one is t.d. or extrapyramidal symptoms (the twitching stuff), or high blood sugar. I tried to switch to Invega, but it would have cost several hundred dollars a month with...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    that I was thinking about is the med my son is on. He now takes Invega, which is paliperidone. It's related to risperidone but doesn't have the same side effects. I think the most common one is t.d. or extrapyramidal symptoms (the twitching stuff), or high blood sugar. I tried to switch to Invega, but it would have cost several hundred dollars a month with my current insurance. Thank God my son has better coverage than me.

  • Anonymous
    tabby
    Oct. 11, 2008

    I am extremely med sensitive because my system is sensitive.  I took one low dose of Abilify and had lip puckering, leg jerking, eye twitching, and itching all over.  There is a potential for tardive dyskinthesia (?sp) that can become perm. and though the psychiatrist kept insisting I continue taking it... if I was already having the lip puckering...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I am extremely med sensitive because my system is sensitive.  I took one low dose of Abilify and had lip puckering, leg jerking, eye twitching, and itching all over.  There is a potential for tardive dyskinthesia (?sp) that can become perm. and though the psychiatrist kept insisting I continue taking it... if I was already having the lip puckering and leg jerking, along with eye twitching and massive itching all over my body... I wasn't about to continue taking it.

     

    The anti-psychotics and most of the mood stabilizers cause weight gain in most people.  If you are prone to gain weight, you'll likely do so on the meds.  There are a few meds, very few, that are supposedly weight neutral but you'll need to question your psychiatrist on this.  Some psychs prescribe other meds in combo with these meds to slow down or offset the weight gain.. something to ask about as well.

     

    Point is: advocate for yourself.  There are worse effects than just weight gain and yet sometimes the benefits do outweigh the side effects.  If a drug has you gain 25 pounds but makes you feel like living and thriving and your mood swinging has stopped swaying so much, and the relationships you have are improving because of, then isn't that what you are aiming for?

     

    If you say "no weight gain" as most us women do, then you are restricting yourself to a very very limited number of meds of which none may help and then again, one may do wonders.  Like Bipolar, what med works for one doesn't necessarily work for another.

     

    You shouldn't have to live your life Zombied.  If it doesn't improve by your next psychiatrist appointment, then tell your psychiatrist.  If he/she won't listen, then insist (nicely but firmly) they listen or change psychiatrists till you find one that does. 

     

    You won't receive any benefit of help if the two of you can not work together and instead work against each other.

     

    Good luck..

     

    • KodyD
      Oct. 11, 2008

      Tabby that is a great posting grate advice but i have to say: nothing is worth gaining 25lbs, period. alot comes with being fat and over weight, clogged arteries, high platlet counts, high cholesterol, no way good.  Their are too many drugs out that don't have that side effect, if youve tried them all and thats your only choice then maintaining a proper...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Tabby that is a great posting grate advice but i have to say: nothing is worth gaining 25lbs, period. alot comes with being fat and over weight, clogged arteries, high platlet counts, high cholesterol, no way good.  Their are too many drugs out that don't have that side effect, if youve tried them all and thats your only choice then maintaining a proper diet and daily exercise has ben proven to counter the weight gain with those meds. My sister takes reperidone and first 2 months gaind 15lbs, she eats healthy now and works out and runs daily and has lost that additional weight.

    • LifeontheIsland
      Oct. 20, 2008

      Tabby's post was wonderful and informative, thanks Tabby.

       

      Luckily, Abilify is not making me gain weight. If anything, I'm still losing the weight I gained last winter/spring/summer. Along with health dangers, gaining weight is terrible on me emotionally. I hate the way I look, nothing fits me out of my fab wardrobe, and it makes me feel awful. Staying...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Tabby's post was wonderful and informative, thanks Tabby.

       

      Luckily, Abilify is not making me gain weight. If anything, I'm still losing the weight I gained last winter/spring/summer. Along with health dangers, gaining weight is terrible on me emotionally. I hate the way I look, nothing fits me out of my fab wardrobe, and it makes me feel awful. Staying emo-healthy is my main priority when it comes to my BPD, and being my correct weight/size is one of those ways I help myself feel good.

       

      Oh, to be my normal size 6 AND be even with my moods - ALL the time! Would be great. I'm working on it. I gained up to almost a size 12, and am now about a 9/10. It is slow going, but I am making progress! Even a friend noticed recently, so that made me feel good.

       

      Thanks for you imput on this topic.

    • morninggrl
      Oct. 11, 2008

      It is true that there can be weight gain and tardive dyskinthesia (sp?) with risperidone, just like any of the atypical antipsychotics, but as was mentioned before, you have to balance your side effects against the benefits. I have put on ten pounds, yes, but if I would get out and exercise I know I could lose it. To me, it's well worth it to feel 'normal'....

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      It is true that there can be weight gain and tardive dyskinthesia (sp?) with risperidone, just like any of the atypical antipsychotics, but as was mentioned before, you have to balance your side effects against the benefits. I have put on ten pounds, yes, but if I would get out and exercise I know I could lose it. To me, it's well worth it to feel 'normal'. The t.d. I don't have a problem with, although I know others do.

    • KodyD
      Oct. 11, 2008

      not sure, Ii definelty is related to taking neuro meds, but i do know that their is no cure for that when you get that involuntary movement thing

  • morninggrl
    Oct. 10, 2008

    Risperidone has been my literal life-saver. It controls my mania and irritability and doesn't leave me feeling numb or zombie-ish. It's marketed as generic risperidone or as the brand name Risperdal. It does make me a little tired, so I just take it at night. The one side effect that bothers me is the joint aches at higher doses, but apparently that's not terribly...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Risperidone has been my literal life-saver. It controls my mania and irritability and doesn't leave me feeling numb or zombie-ish. It's marketed as generic risperidone or as the brand name Risperdal. It does make me a little tired, so I just take it at night. The one side effect that bothers me is the joint aches at higher doses, but apparently that's not terribly common. It might be worth talking to your pdoc about...

    • KodyD
      Oct. 10, 2008

      Uh on the risperdone dont forget the weightgain & high cholesterol, my doctor's wont even prescribe that stuff or serequol

    • LifeontheIsland
      Oct. 11, 2008

      Thanks for your reply!

       

      I'll ask my Dr. about it, but I won't risk the weight gain. I've been fighting to lose the 20 lbs I gained last winter during my deep depression and attempt to quit smoking. Ugh! Haha...

       

      Thanks again for caring to write.

  • KodyD
    Oct. 10, 2008

    Abilify, was to me a complete zombie also, after a few hours i couldnt even keep my eyes open, it was so bad i had to stop taking it. Keep in mind all meds affect everyone differently and you should give yourself ample time like a good 4 weeks maybe even 6 to feel full effects. With abilify I could not drink a thing not even beer, at that time i smoked a little...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Abilify, was to me a complete zombie also, after a few hours i couldnt even keep my eyes open, it was so bad i had to stop taking it. Keep in mind all meds affect everyone differently and you should give yourself ample time like a good 4 weeks maybe even 6 to feel full effects. With abilify I could not drink a thing not even beer, at that time i smoked a little weed also it was the only way to come down and sleep, that was a big mistake.

    I hated that stuff with a passion, it made me feel so fign wierd, some people on here rave about it they are the lucky ones i guess. geodon is the best med Iv ever taken.

    • LifeontheIsland
      Oct. 11, 2008

      Thanks for your reply. I'll look into the medication you recommended. Anything's got to be better than being ZOMBIE-girl all the time. I'm almost at the four weeks of taking Abilify.

       

      I just don't want to take ANYTHING that will promote weight gain, anxiety (have too much of that, and Abilify doesn't help at all...)

       

      If I do have a drink, it...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Thanks for your reply. I'll look into the medication you recommended. Anything's got to be better than being ZOMBIE-girl all the time. I'm almost at the four weeks of taking Abilify.

       

      I just don't want to take ANYTHING that will promote weight gain, anxiety (have too much of that, and Abilify doesn't help at all...)

       

      If I do have a drink, it puts me to sleep, so I tread very carefully there. Weed? I can't go against the law - wish I could, but that'd be one more complication and if Dr.'s find out - I lose my credibility. :-(

       

      Luckily, my Dr.'s have been wonderful to me. Treat me with true caring and the time I need to talk. Nice. I hear that many do not have that support.

       

      Thanks again!