Adding Abilify

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TeNNiSd0C09
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Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1303
   Posted 1/7/2010 11:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Fortunately, Im not referring to the commercial, which gets on my nerves because of how many times I see it! But, I saw my pdoc today and he had told my therapist he believes I have BP and would like to add a mood stabilizer. I am all for this. My ONLY concern is my weight. Unfortunately, when I was given meds to help me focus, they caused me to lose my appetite, and when it returned, so did my eating disorder. And since then it has been a huge struggle trying to deal with my weight, eating disorder, and appetite. I have my eating disorder under control. I changed what I eat and all of that stuff and began doing more exercising and such to counter-act what I do eat in order to control my weight.
 
Im worried I will gain weight taking this. I have lost a good 20-22 lbs and I dont want to gain ANY of it back. I want to continue losing. He said the abilify may make me hungry. So, I have to fight that. Also, I am taking Focalin and Wellbutrin which are supposed to cause loss of appetite/loss of weight.... so he is thinking this will balance out. However, I am still worried.
 
I really want this to work for me, but at the same time, I do NOT want to gain weight at all. It is my biggest fear. I havent even considered side-effects or anything, all I can think about is the possible weight gain. If I start gaining then I will be changed to something else, I am just so tired of not having meds that work.
 
My current combo is: Prozac, Wellbutrin, Focalin, Trazodone, Klonopin, and Abilify. Maybe adding abilify will help me. I believe he is planning on increasing my Wellbutrin and focalin also....
 
Any advice? I know you take it Karen and it helps you... I hope it can do the same for me. Side-effects? How much weight gain, if any? Does anyone take a similar combo of meds? I would appreciate anything at all because Im very worried about starting this as I have worked so hard and struggled so much with my weight AND my meds....
 
-Christi
Lyrica (15 months-quit Feb. 09), Paxil (10 months-quit 6-4-09), Cymbalta 6-6-09(horrible effects), Rozerem, Melatonin, Currently taking: Prozac 40mg (July 09), Trazadone 100mg (Sept 09), Focalin XR 5mg, Clonazepam 1mg, Wellburtin XL 150mg-Fibromyalgia, Depression, Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Eating Disorder, ADHD, Dysthymic Disorder, OCD
"Cracks in the concrete are just reminders that you fall apart no matter how strong you are"
"Sometimes it is best to forget what you feel and remember what you deserve"
   


THE HAPPY TURTLE
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 18753
   Posted 1/8/2010 12:41 AM (GMT -7)   
christi, i suppose it is different for each person, there metabolism, medication combo, gender and BMI. when i was on it i had minor s/e but they passed, as they eventually do, albeit no weight gain.your doc seems to be trying hard to balance it out to suit your situation, he/she sounds good, thus i would give it a go. may need some tweaking, albeit abilify is an excellent m/s and generally works well with a lot of different a/ds, so we should be thankful for that!! give it some time, all the best, with compassion, jamie.
YESTERDAY IS A BUTTERLY WITHOUT WINGS. (ME)
 
DX, MDD, SEVERE BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER.
 
REMEMBER TO LOVE YOU. BE YOU AND BE TRUE.


Linx
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 1/8/2010 6:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Greetings,
I'm currently on wellbutrin XL and Abilify along with a couple others for depression and I've done nothing but lose weight. I haven't had an interest in food since this medication was started and I am a big person. I also am bulimic and they just keep track of what's going on.
I think if you are concerned you should just let them know one of the reasons they put me on the abilify was because it dosen't increase weight. at least that's what they told me. I don't know if this helps or not but I thought I would give it a try......

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40579
   Posted 1/8/2010 8:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Christi,
 
I hope that the abilify works well for you.  It didn't seem to take long before I noticed the effects.  Bummer is that when I went to pick it up the other day, my co-payb went up to 40.00.  I have not gained any weight on it since I started it.  But I am not losing any.  I think that is due to my age.  It is harder to lose weight.  But for you, as long as you keep doing what you are doing, I think you will be fine.  Let us know how it works.  It is a wonderful mood stabilizer. 
 
Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


skeye
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 1/8/2010 3:35 PM (GMT -7)   
&Hi Christi,

Love the name (I'm a Christi as well, except I spell it Kristie). I've been on abilify (10 mg currently) for about a month & a half, in addition to zoloft & wellbutrin, both of which I have been on for a while. I haven't noticed any weight gain.

Actually I haven't noticed any side effects at all. In addition to using it as an adjunct to my antidepressants, we were also hoping that it will help me to sleep (I suffer from pretty severe chronic pain and it keeps me awake all night), since some people find it sedating (although apparently not me). Unfortunately, I haven't noticed much of a difference in terms of it's antidepressant effect either. But I will say that I tend to be very resistant to certain types of medications, antidepressants being one of them. I'm maxed out on both zoloft & wellbutrin & I only notice a minor change, yet it's the most difference I've ever felt from antidepressants, and I think I've been through them all over the years!

One other downside to abilify is that it is VERY expensive. It's fine if you have a copay & your insurance covers it, but if you're like me and have an HSA plan, where you pay for everything in full until you meet you deductible, it cost me nearly $500 for a month supply of the 2 mg tablets. I nearly fainted at the price! Fortunately I told my doc & he gave me a ton of samples, so I didn't have to get a script filled at the pharmacy.

Hope the abilify works for you!

Skeye

TeNNiSd0C09
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1303
   Posted 1/9/2010 6:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Linx, that helps a lot actually. I am also bulimic and my therapist keeps a close eye on my eating habits and such. I lost interest in food for a while and then I think my therapist was finally able to get through to me some and I finally started allowing myself to eat some.. I just fear weight gain from new meds. So, my pdoc is doing his best to counteract any weight gain. Hopefully, I will just loss weight! That would be ideal!

I havent gotten it yet... I have to wait to get my school money because I dont have any to get it with.. I also have some refills and changes that I have to get so.. Probably wont be until Monday when I get my school money then I will ask how much it is before I get it. I dont know if we have a copay. We usually do, but with meds it depends. All my generic is 5 dollars... but the actual stuff differs in price. When I took Lyrica is was like 30-something.. Luckily, my mom is a state employ and recieves good insurance...otherwise I would be up a creek.

I would it is pricey given it is fairly new. I will try to brace myself before going to the pharmacy, thanks for the heads up! lol

I have been off my wellbutrin for a week now. Because I missed it a few days and then ran out and havent picked up the refill yet. I didnt really have withdrawals... but I am supposed to be taking it and so I will have to start taking it again...

Other than the fact it is out of my system by now, is it going to cause any harm that I stopped and am now going to start taking it again?

Thanks for all of the input and I will keep you all posted once I start it and everything. Thanks and take care!
Lyrica (15 months-quit Feb. 09), Paxil (10 months-quit 6-4-09), Cymbalta 6-6-09(horrible effects), Rozerem, Melatonin, Currently taking: Prozac 40mg (July 09), Trazadone 100mg (Sept 09), Focalin XR 5mg, Clonazepam 1mg, Wellburtin XL 150mg-Fibromyalgia, Depression, Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Eating Disorder, ADHD, Dysthymic Disorder, OCD
"Cracks in the concrete are just reminders that you fall apart no matter how strong you are"
"Sometimes it is best to forget what you feel and remember what you deserve"
   


Sophie07
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/10/2010 5:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, This thread is like reading my own journal. I just joined HealingWell today to find out more about peoples experiences with abilify and also to find some support with my most recent round of depression. I too have a history of eating disorders, though it's been mostly under control for the past few years. I was super concerned with gaining weight on abilify, or any drug for that matter. My experiences have been similar/exactly the same as so many of you--reduced appetite. My doc prescribed it to help with my cycling thoughts and it did just that--though I switched from effexor to celexa at the same time as adding abilify so it's hard to know which is more responsible. I have a really hard time with cycling thoughts.

I am afraid of the cost, we're trying to appeal my health insurance company on their decision NOT to cover it. sigh, no way I can afford 500 bucks a month!

on the wellburtin--I had no side effects when I stopped taking it (it did nothing but make me dizzy and not improve my depression at all).
best,
Sophie

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40579
   Posted 1/10/2010 8:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sophie,

Welcome to the forum. I am glad that abilify works for you. And I am glad that you are fighting the Ins. Co. to get them to pay for it. I think it is a good medication, and my ins co doubled my co--pay. I was really disappointed. So hopefully things will work out for you. There is also a drug called risperdol, but I experienced weight gain on it. Though not everybody does. It might be worth looking into for you if your ins co doesn't pay for the abilify.

Best wishes to you for a wonderful day.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


bikerchic
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 1/12/2010 1:52 PM (GMT -7)   
I have been taking Abilify in additional to Effexor XR for a week now. The first couple of nights I kept waking up but that has since passed. I do feel hungry more often and urinate more, but it already seems to be helping me mentally. I had a relapse around Thanksgiving and was back to the point of not wanting to get out of bed again and not showering all weekend and skipping my workout classes. I get up easier in the morning and am going back to spinning and kickboxing classes, and personal training again. I am also concerned about weight gain, but I haven't gained any as of yet. I'll increase my exercise if needed and start journaling my food if Abilify keeps helping. It'll be worth it I think.
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