Starting Aripiprazole 

I’ve just come off Quetiapine (Seroquel) and started on Aripiprazole (Abilify). Coming off Quetiapine was really tough and I am very proud of myself. I reduced my dosage slowly from 375mg to 25mg. It took a year to get down to a comfortable 175mg, which I stayed at for 6 months, and then reduced again over a month. The withdrawal was awful and my self-harm had escalated. I had been on it for four years. I put on three stonwhen I was on Quetiapine. It had come to a point where it was ruining my life and the bad symptoms didn’t outweigh the good. I had an unsatisfied hunger, sweated constantly, had bad dreams, and walked around off my face as a zombie. I was sleeping 12+ hours and had no life. The doctor started me on Aripiprazole as an alternative. Aripiprazole is for those who suffer bad side effects from Quetiapine and other antipsychotics. Perhaps it is too soon to have a reaction- but I am very sensitive to medication- and have seen a change in myself already. I have managed to keep the stone I lost off and have a lot more energy. My moods are more stable and I don’t feel groggy. I was tested badly yesterday and wanted to self-harm but I felt calm. I didn’t even take a Lorazepam! I’m really chuffed. The only bad symptom is insomnia. It is awful. I am sleeping about 4 hours at night. I feel exhausted when it comes to the afternoon and attempt to have a nap but fail miserably. I can’t seem to get the right balance on this medication! It is nice to have my life back, not sleeping as much means I can get things done! I will let you know how I get on after a month.

Amy Belle

14 thoughts on “Starting Aripiprazole 

  1. Heya, hope your well, pleased to hear your progress. I’m on quetiapine XR currently at 1000mg, above recommended amount, it’s starting to not work as well, I’m on the slow release one because the quetiapine had bad side effects, the XR one I find is so much better and less side effects. Xxx stay strong. Here for you. Xxx

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    1. Hi Rosie nice to hear from you. That is such a high dosage! How do you function you poor thing? How long have you been on it for? Thank you so much for your support- I feel so anxious and stressed cooking dinner but this comment really cheered me up x

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  2. Hope it balances out for you. Well done on being patient with coming off quetiapine. I stopped cold turkey because of being impatient once and I got so unwell it was awful. I hope it works out for you and you can have some more of your life back. X

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    1. Thank you for your comment M.J. that must have been very hard for you going cold turkey! Did your doctor advice you to? Yes I hope so too it is nice not to be sleeping all the time! Hope you are well, Amy Belle

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      1. No. I took it upon myself to do it for various reasons that don’t really make sense in a well frame of mind. I’m on it again now and it’s working really well, I just can’t manage my weight very easily but the sedation has worn off.

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      2. I am very familiar with doing things without thinking them through! I have made some silly decisions about myself when being unwell. I am glad the sedation has worn off- mine never did. I have done some research into why Serequol makes you gain weight. It isn’t actually down to what you eat but Seroquel slows down your mechanism breaking down food. I guess that you have to accept some symptoms which taking a medication like this. Do you want to try another medication now you seem more stable? All the best, Amy Belle

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  3. Urghhhhhh, quetiapine! Personally, like you I just didn’t get on with it for the reasons you describe 😦 3 stone I put on. Hard to wake for my children.

    I really hope the Aripiprazole works for you. It’s one of, and I think, the only active rather sedating antipsychotic. I couldn’t stay on it for longer than 2 weeks (maybe 10 days ish) as I got akathisia which is well known for it. However you say you’re sensitive to meds so as you haven’t experienced that so far, even though it’s been 2 days on, that’s a great sign. It was literally the first tablet for me. Apparently than can be avoided by using diazepam until it settles. Oh well. Perhaps that psych didn’t know that. Keep us updated!!! Good luck xxxx

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment, it means a lot that you read my blog. Quetiapine is a horrible drug and causes suffering as you described. Are you taking anything at the moment? Sorry to hear about your reaction to Aripiprazole. So far I have been a little up and down but a lot more level that normal. I am currently taking Lorazepam along side it too. (Along with plently of other medication!) Thank you so much, All the best to you, Amy Belle

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      1. You’re welcome! I try to keep up with social media as best I can at the moment. I’m on depakote, lamotrigine, and then if I need it I can take 2x 5mg per day of diazepam. I’ve just had duloxetine added because this damn depression won’t go away. But crisis team nurse seemed quite interested in Aripiprazole again if this doesn’t work along side some regular benzo whilst side effects settle. Feels like we’re guinea pigs? I do 🙄 xxxx

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      2. I am so sorry you are experiencing this. They seem pretty ignorant. Aripiprazole is still a new medication so they want to know how we get on. Quite a lot of those medications you are on are sedative. I am on duloextine and found it life changing. Are you in the US? Where I am in the Dorset, UK they don’t like to change your medication around. Infact they encourage you to come off it but they don’t give you many ways to cope without meds. I had to ask for all of my own medications specifically and the doctor agreed. All the best, Amy Belle

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