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Abilify - A Tranquilizer For Use With PTSD

Discussion in 'Medications & Substances' started by Pitt Bull, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. Pitt Bull

    Pitt Bull New Member

  2. goingonhope

    goingonhope Member Premium Member

    Is there possibly any other name for this medicine? bc I have never heard of it. Well, I guess this too answers your question. No, not yet! Have you been prescribed this? And for how long now? What are your reactions, if so? Or, are you considering allowing yourself to be put on it, and first want to hear others possible reactions to it? Tell us more if you can.
  3. anthony

    anthony MyPTSD Admin Staff Member Premium Member

    Its a tranquilizer hope, and a pretty nasty one at that. My question would be: why would you want to be put on a tranquilizer?
  4. batgirl

    batgirl New Member

    One of my cousins is on it because he has schizophrenia. It doesn't cause the weight gain of the other antipsychotics he used to be on, but it has some other really bad side effects. He has tardive dyskinesia because of it... meaning uncontrollable jerky movements of his body, almost like he has Parkinsons. But instead of taking him off Abilify, they've put him on another drug to counteract the effects of the TD. Bleah. He also needs to have his eyes checked regularly as it can cause macular degeneration (blindness).

    Personally I wouldn't want to go on it unless I was really psychotic and desperate and nothing else helped.
  5. porkyrees

    porkyrees New Member

    I am on one called "Seroquel" very small, packs a punch though, its a mood stabiliser also used for schizophrenia.Makes you a bit doggy in the morning does have a few side affects not serious depending on dosage.I take 75 mg per night I started on 25mg but I understand you can be prescribed upto 300mgs but I think you would be a walking Zombie on that dosage.Porky Rees
  6. Gradon

    Gradon New Member

    My ex is bipolar and was prescribed Abilify, but was switched to Seroquel before she actually took any. The fear of the twitching and other complications (with her luck, if there is a horrible side effect to a drug, more than likely she'll get it) convinced her psychiatrist to switch.

    One question: Why would a psychiatrist prescribe an anti-psychotic for PTSD?
  7. batgirl

    batgirl New Member

    Well I don't know about everyone, but my psychiatrist wanted me on an anti-psychotic because of the rages I get. He said those drugs act as mood stabilizers if you have certain symptoms very severely. However I never did go on it, and I'm glad.
  8. BassistKara

    BassistKara New Member

    I've been on nearly all the atypical anti psychotics for my bipolar, all with bad reactions...first off i was on Zyprexa, which caused me to go up 3 clothes sizes coz of weight gain, got oculogyric crisis(upwards movement of the eyes you cant control) and kicking and jerking of my arms and legs....
    Next i was put on Abilify which gave me horrible stomach pains and a really really high temperature....Then it was onto Risperdal, which brought back the oculogyric crisis even worse than before....And last off i was put on Seroquel which gave me a slight case of Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome....
    But then a week after coming off the Seroquel, i was talking to my psychiatrist and found out that my so called "hallucinations" werent actually psychosis, just flashbacks brought on by severe anxiety about the things from my past that caused my PTSD happening again....
    Im so glad to be off all those meds again, now i just have to deal with the twitching and tremors....and starting therapy twice a week for my PTSD!
  9. veiled

    veiled New Member

    Welcome to the forum, Kara.
  10. BassistKara

    BassistKara New Member

    thanks very much for the welcome veiled!
    And pittbull, i also forgot to mention that ive met several people at the mental health clinic i go to who have been on Abilify and it has worked wonders for them...but none of them had PTSD....
    I also dont really understand why they would prescribe such intense meds like anti psych's for something like this, just a guess but wouldnt a mood stabilizer or something be more suitable?
  11. cookie

    cookie New Member

    hey kara, welcome to the forum. i am looking forward to being off all my meds soon. should start weaning one of them in a couple weeks.
  12. Gradon

    Gradon New Member

    Everytime I've gone off of my medecine, things have gotten BAD. I would love to find a day when I can be without them.
  13. Pitt Bull

    Pitt Bull New Member

    I have been on Abilify now for 4 - 5 months and have the stomach pains and some fidgityness. They are looking at increasing the dosage to take away the nightmares and psychotic episodes. I suffer from Complex PTSD from being sexually abused as a youth. I have had psychotic events of carrying a knife around the house and also been disassociative and found myself walking outside in the middle of the night with out realizing where I was. Until recently these things have ceased and I have thought the abilify has helped. Now I am under a lot of stress at work and I have started having flashbacks, nightmares, and woke up in the house holding a knife last night. I was on Seroquel and that did not seem to help this is the first drug that has helped but I did not know all the side effects that this could cause. Thank you to eveyone for their imput and I will talk to my therapist today about what are my options now.
  14. moki

    moki Guest

    I'm on Lamictal, which was used to stabilize my extreme anger I was feeling for my husband, which was also accompanied by terrible bouts of very frequent depression (like only a few days of feeling kinda ok, then back to the depression and anger). So far, with therapy and stuff like this forum and researching everything I can find out about PTSD, I haven't been very depressed for at least a month. I do take xanax a couple times a day - but am really resisting ssri's since in the past they made me gain 80 lbs.

    Being PTSD however, has caused major weight loss since I can't seem to eat much at all. Food makes me nauseous most of the time and I view it as medicine now and choke it down. Nothing sounds good to eat unless I get really really hungry, then it's usually something unhealthy anyway.

    I've lost 30 lbs, but would never, never want to do it this way if I had a choice. It has been a harsh, exhausting way to live in addition to everything else.
  15. hodge

    hodge New Member

    I thought it might be useful to bring this thread back up since some may find themselves considering these meds. I found this thread because my med nurse put me on Abilify nearly two weeks ago. I'm also on Lamictal (in addition to Remeron and Prozac daily, and clonazepam as needed). It's a lot of medication, but I feel I'm functioning better than I was before them. Well, maybe I'm not functioning a lot better, but I'm more accepting of my limitations, don't beat myself up as much, and am finding it easier to learn to better control my rages.

    In spite of my hard work on self-talk, getting myself motivated, and pushing myself (and working on learning when to push myself and when not to do that too much) - the Remeron and Prozac weren't doing much more than helping me get to sleep at night. I remained very depressed and frustrated even though I worked so hard at getting better and resolving my traumas.

    He then added Lamictal, which he described as an anti-convulsive that has been shown to be helpful in treating depression and mood stabilization - that's why it's sometimes prescribed for people with PTSD. My husband and I noticed an almost immediate improvement in my mood and I haven't noticed any side effects.

    After a couple months, though, the improvement from the Lamictal lessened considerably and he started wanting to put me on Abilify. My depression symptoms and rages began taking over my life again even though I was working on my issues in therapy. He described Abilify, as others have noted, as an anti-psychotic that also had been shown to help depression, hence why it's prescribed for PTSD. So I finally decided to give it a go. My primary reservation about Abilify is that it can increase your risk for diabetes, which I've been genetically at risk for all my life. So I have to get a prescription for test strips (which are wicked expensive) to keep better tabs on my blood sugar. After a lifetime of being borderline, I can usually tell when it's low or high and have kept it under pretty good control, but I don't want to take the chance of not being more aware. So far the only side effect I've noticed from the Abilify is a much decreased tolerance for heat/intense sunlight. I don't know if I'll stay on it. I'll probably give it another two weeks or so while keeping close, objective tabs on my blood sugar, then do another cost/benefit analysis with my nurse.
  16. hodge

    hodge New Member

    Hmm, the more I think about this, the more I think I'm going to call my med nurse on Monday and tell him I want off the Abilify. It will have been about three weeks, I don't see much improvement, and I am worried about the diabetes. Now I'm thinking it was pretty stupid to give it a go, even though he thought it was a good idea and I've usually been willing to try almost anything.
  17. nie

    nie Wishing for wings to fly. Premium Member

    I went off of Seroquel, and on Abilify. It is part of a plan for me to get off of Effexor as well, and then eventually off of all medication. I have had no noticeable side effects. I guess perhaps I have gotten too comfortable with my psychiatrist and trust her too much. I didn't know it was such a bad drug.
  18. hodge

    hodge New Member

    Nie, I didn't mean to imply that it's a bad drug. Every body is different. If you have no predisposition to diabetes, then there's probably not as much reason to watch out for that. Plus not everyone gets the side effects from any drug for that matter. Another thing on the patient info sheet about Abilify is that it could impair the body's ability to sweat, hence the sensitivity to heat. I got that side effect to some extent, but it wasn't extreme heat stroke or anything.

    Anyway, I hope it goes well for you.
  19. catjudo

    catjudo VIP Member Premium Member

    I personally can't take Abilify even at the smallest dose because I get uncontrollable tremors.

    My husband started taking it almost a year ago. He does have problems with his blood sugar and the Abilify definitely made that considerably worse. However, the benefits from the Abilify were so great (where other medications did not seem to help at all) that he decided to stay on the Abilify and just treat his blood sugar more aggressively.

    As has been said before, everyone is different and weighing the pros and cons of any medication is a very personal decision.
  20. nie

    nie Wishing for wings to fly. Premium Member

    I didn't mean to say people are saying things they aren't, I just wasn't aware that it is considered a tranquilizer.
  21. hodge

    hodge New Member

    I didn't realize it was a tranquilizer either, Nie. But on the bottle, it does say it may cause drowsiness, so I guess that goes along with a tranquilizing drug. I take it in the morning and it doesn't make me drowsy, so I'm glad for that.
  22. blue_eyed_angel

    blue_eyed_angel New Member

    My boyfriend is currently on Abilify. I am not quite sure how long he has been on it though. But he does complain somedays of getting cramps in his stomach. I didn't realize that it was a tranquilizer though. I wonder if this med could be the cause of this.... :rolleyes:
  23. Lionheart777

    Lionheart777 Lion-hearted Survivor Premium Member

    Abilify is a neuroleptic drug of the atypical psychotic medications. It is used to treaty schizophrenia, Bi-polar disorder, Major Depressive disorder and is sometimes used in conjunction with other medications to treat PTSD. Abilify can improve concentration, helping you to think more clearly and positively about yourself, feel less nervous, and take a more active part in everyday life. Abilify can treat severe mood swings and prevent or decrease how often mood swings occur. It has also been used to treat agitation and aggression when standard treatments have not been successful.

    Although there can be some serious side effects with high-dosages over a long period of time, it is still unlikely that these effects will occur. I am being treated for the aggression and agitation associated with PTSD and my dosage is a low 5 mg. The more common side effects with this dosage are; dizziness, nausea, excessive saliva, and drowsiness that usually go away after a couple of weeks. This medication is a fast-acting drug and I have experienced no unwanted side-effects at all.

    Disclaimer: I am a PTSD patient and I am not a licensed psychiatrist, so I highly suggest that you discuss any medication you are taking, or are considering, with a person who is.
    Heather and firehouse9south like this.
  24. Solara

    Solara VIP Member

    Why take an anti-psychotic for PTSD?

    I'm currently taking Geodon, a newer atypical anti-psychotic. One study showed that up to 90% of PTSD study participants were helped by Geodon.

    After trying dozens of medications, I was desperate to try anything. Within ONE dose, the medication worked for me. It removed those nasty 'fight or flight' chemicals from my bloodstream. Now I'm a much happier camper =)
  25. supergirl

    supergirl New Member

    The belief that Abilify is a tranqulizer is probably due to the fact that the medication is used to contol mania and mixed states in BiPolar patients and agitation in Schizophrenia patients. Lots of people with PTSD experience exreme irritatability, rage, uncontrolled anger, ect. These are common features of "mixed states" in BiPolar patients. The best advice I can give you is to ask your doctor LOTS of questions and also go to the Abilify website. Those are the two best and most reliable sources of information.

    Everyone's body is different. I personally tend to tolerate medications quite well. I've only had 2 experiences with medications that caused side effects and let me tell ya, they were doozies!

    Good luck to you!

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