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Tuesday, March 24, 2009 Kathy, Community Member, asks

Q: How does Abilify work on depression and anxiety?

I have been on Abilify for seven months.  The other medications I take are Effexor and 1mg of Klonopin.  My doctor has decreased the Klonopin to .5mg.  I have not been depressed during the seven months, but I have been anxious.  I feel Klonopin helps my anxiety.  My doctor says that Abilify helps anxiety, but I don't see that in the drug information pamphlet.

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Answers (3)
InTheBubble, Community Member
6/ 3/09 6:13am

I can't answer your question, but I do have some insights on these drugs.  My nephew has schizophrenia and takes Abilify, and it causes him anxiety.  My best friend, always healthy before, developed severe depression after his twin brother died, and he was put on Effexor ER, which solved that problem.  He's still on it after ten years . . . no side effects.  I, also with no health problems, started suffering severe anxiety attacks about seven years ago (I was worried about my elderly mother).  I tried to shake it for a year, got very sick after one Valium, and finally succumbed to my doctor's insistence that I try a strong anti-depressant that also controls anxiety.  He suggested some drugs, and I chose Effexor ER because my friend was using it quite successfully.  It took three months to get "on" Effexor, and it was a hellish ride, but after that, I felt perfectly fine.  And now, after six years on Effexor, nothing has changed.  I am seemingly immune to fear or anxiety (I even call Effexor my "don't give a damn" pill).  It works great for me . . . no side effects whatsoever.  My only wish is that I could eventually stop it since it's no fun taking powerful drugs if you don't have too and it IS expensive.  But I've learned that Effexor is almost impossible to quit.  One source suggested weaning off Effexor as you wean onto Prozac (Prozac being much easier to quit).  So I tried that . . . for one day . . . I got very sick and immediately stopped that effort.  It seems I'm on Effexor for the rest of my life . . . I just wish it were cheaper.  One other thing: I do take a 1-mg Clonazepam (Clonapin/Klonapin) periodically to stop restless leg syndrome (in bed) and sometimes when I can't sleep . . . it always works within about 30 minutes.  I take about one of these per week.  I hope this helps.

Danielle, Community Member
3/22/10 12:07pm

i am taking abilify right now and had a horrible anxiety attack the other day... my doctor swears ablify helps with anxiety, i have read everywhere and see nothing to that sort or feel nothing to that sort, im in the same bind as you... soryy :(

Renee Culver, Editor
8/14/14 1:20pm

Hi Kathy,


I'm sure by now you've found the answer to your question, but I wanted to put it in here in case it helps someone else. Abilify is often used off-label for anxiety or GAD, but if you have questions or concerns about your medications do please talk to your doctor. It may be that you need to find another med that helps your anxiety now that your depression seems to be under control. If you're planning to switch medications it's important to make sure you come off your current regime responsibly. You can read more about that here.


Good luck to you! Come back and let us know how you're doing.

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We hope you find this general health information helpful. Please note however, that this Q&A is meant to support not replace the professional medical advice you receive from your doctor. No information in the Answers above is intended to diagnose or treat any condition. The views expressed in the Answers above belong to the individuals who posted them and do not necessarily reflect the views of Remedy Health Media. Remedy Health Media does not review or edit content posted by our community members, but reserves the right to remove any material it deems inappropriate.

By Kathy, Community Member— Last Modified: 09/10/14, First Published: 03/24/09