abilify - risk for tardive dyskinesia?

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/22/2010 9:31 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm a 23 year old female with no clear diagnosis yet! I suspect bipolar II, but a 1/2 hour session with a psychiatrist led him to consider borderline personality disorder (I'm getting more assessments soon).

He put me on abilify 5 mg. I've only taken two doses, but I've been getting some muscle cramps and stiffness in my hands and random hiccups. I am quite paranoid, which doesn't help. I read that tardive dyskinesia can come on slowly and then become permanent. Also, that early symptoms involving the muscles/movement can be an early indicator of developing it.

Has anyone experienced muscle cramps or stiffness on abilify and had it go away? Has anyone been told about the risk by their doctors?

I am seeing my doctor again in a couple of weeks, and I really want to stick it out to see if this medication works, but I can't shake this paranoia!


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 4/23/2010 5:35 AM (GMT -7)   

Relax.  Abilify does some weird stuff at first.  It also increases anxiety in a BIG way for some people.  Just watch out for muscle twitching, especially in the face.


Bipolar 2
Borderline Personality Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Panic Disorder

getting by
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41838
   Posted 4/23/2010 6:17 AM (GMT -7)   
I take abilify and yes my doctor warned me about the side effects that can become permanent.

Like was posted above, relax. It is a good medication, though it doesn't work for everyone. I hope that it works out for you.

Best wishes,

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

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1191
   Posted 4/23/2010 11:49 AM (GMT -7)   

I"ve been on this board for a long time and I am pretty sure that I am the only one who had a bad experience with abilify.

I don't like posting bad experiences on the board b/c I never want to cause panic in anyone, but that's not my intent. It's only for information. When I ask q's about meds, I want to know both good and bad....so....

When I started Abilify I was okay for maybe a week, but then I couldn't sit still at all and felt like I wanted to jump out of my body. It was the worst feeling I have ever had. Askathsia is listed as a possible side effect and there is a warning if you experience it to notify your doc immediatly. I called my pdoc right away and I was taken off of it instantly. (I was at a small dose)

But from what I have heard about this medication, it works wonders if you don't get the side effects.

Best advice, just be careful and if you notice anything, call your doctor. That is my rule for meds, period smilewinkgrin

Take Care,


Bipolar II, Anxiety/Panic Disorder
Clonazepam .5mg as needed, Methoprazine 6 mg/day, Lexapro 10 mg/day  & Lamictal 400 mg/day.

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/23/2010 7:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks so much for the calming words, guys! I think I usually get an increase in anxiety when starting a new drug, even if it's not caused by the drug. This is my first time taking any sort of antipsychotic, so that's probably why I was anxious. I feel fine now except for the stiffness in my left hand, but I'm not going to worry about it and I'll just tell the doctor (obviously it's not that bad since I can still type).

After doing some research I found out that muscle stiffness is a very common side effect, but TD is rare.

I'm sorry you experienced akathisia, it sounds like the most horrible thing. I haven't had much agitation, and the drowsiness has worn off. I'm starting to see some of the more activating effects.

I actually feel slightly elevated, but it could just be that the medication is working!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 4/24/2010 9:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Abilify starts working quickly! Enjoy! :)
Bipolar 2
Borderline Personality Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Panic Disorder

horse crazy
Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 199
   Posted 5/1/2010 10:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Right now I do think you are being a little paeanoid about the tardis dyskensia.  It is more comon in the older anti-psychotics like Haldol, melleril, geodon...and it takes a good long while to develope.  I have been on various anti=psychotics for about 20 years (abillify being one of them) and I have over the past 2-3 years developed mild symptoms of TD....mostly mouth and tongue movements.  I got
switched to seraquel which is very low risk and my symptoms have not gotten worse.  Talk to your doctor about your concerns
Horse Crazy
Bi-polarII; rapid cycler; Lithium 900 mg; Lamictal 200 mg; seraquel 450mg, klonopin 4mg

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/27/2012 11:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Be paranoid. I was treated with abilify for 4 months and developed a tardive dyskinesia with tic-like facial movements. Over time the dyskinesic movements have resolved. A tardive akathisia, a "movement disorder characterized by a feeling of inner restlessness and a compelling need to be in constant motion," has persisted for over 2 years.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 437
   Posted 3/28/2012 4:37 PM (GMT -7)   
I have been on Abilify sincee 2009 and I love it. However, I had the restlessness and couldn't stop moving it was aweful. My doc put me on congentin, a drug that counters the abilify's side effects. I'm on 1mg of congentin and 15mg Abilify. I still have some movement and my hand switches at times when i rest, i also have a small face twitch. I'm not concerned about it and neither is the doctor. I don't know what I would do without abilify it has taken all my bipolar and psychosis away....I haven't had a manic episode in 2 years...and I was rapid cycle before.

Good Luck and I'm sure u'll make the right decision for u.

Crohn's Disease Dx'ed in '02
Bipolar 1 Disorder w/Psychosis -Rapid Cycle
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Hyper Insulinenimia

Cimzia, Abilify, Congentin, Aciphex, Lisinopril, Allegra-D, B-12 injections, Topamax, Lipitor

Crohn's drugs I've tried: Remicade (put me into remission for 5 years), Entocort, Immuran, Prednisone & Questran powder.
Bowel Resection: 2002
Fistula surgery: 2

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/22/2014 4:11 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm sorry to tell you I used Abilify at a low dose, less than 5 MG for three years. I tapered off gradually over several months. Within one month after stopping, I started having mild symptoms of tardive kinesia.

I did get a helpful, positive affect from taking this drug. I was prescribed it for drug-resistant depression. However, I now have a tic in my upper lip, my tongue moves from side to side rapidly, and I smack my lips and swallow frequently and involuntarily.

I did not get symptoms until after I stopped taking this medication. It has been a few months now and the symptoms are still here. I hope they go away or at least don't get worse.

Only 4% of people develop this side effect from Abilify. I am one of those.

Today I am not depressed. I am in fact quite happy and I twitch quite a bit.

Good luck to you.


Forum Moderator

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 4405
   Posted 8/23/2014 7:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Elaine,

Welcome to the forum :-)!

I am happy to hear that you're doing better.

This thread you posted on is more than 2 years old and some of the members have not been active.
Please note that we always encourage new members to take the time to introduce yourself in a new thread. This is easily done. Simply click on the "New Topic" button and the program will open a box for you to post your intro. This will help members see your first post and extend a welcome to you.

I hope you continue posting. I look forward to learning more about you.

Take Care

Moderator - Bipolar

Depression, Borderline Personality Disorder.
Chronic Pain - Cervical Kyphosis, Cervical Spondylosis, Thoracic Scoliosis.
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