Comment from: Losing my mind 45-54 Transgender 5 to less than 10 years Caregiver Published: October 04

Abilify is cutting my life short. Even though I am schitzo-affective im in tune with my body and mind. This drug causes my legs to shake most times uncontrollably sometimes my fingers twitch and cramp for no reason. I move my toes constantly causing open sores and leather patches. They gave me another drug to counter act the restlessness in my legs but I refuse to take it.( no more meds). Its caused erectile disfunction in me, it's made me put on 30+ pounds in the 7 years Even though I eat and exercise regularly. Now I'm facing diabetes even though the doctors say I'm pre-diabetic and I can turn it around. I'm not believing them as I'm very active and watch what I eat and drink. I think because of my lifestyle this didn't occur sooner. I am court ordered to take my medication or the govt. Will lock me up. They've done it before. It makes me lethargic for 3 days after the injection and usually stops working at week 3. Or sooner depending on if I worked out in the sun to long or if I get sick as in the flu, cold, covid 19 etc. My doctor says that the benefits out weigh the negative effects. I have tried these Psyche meds to no avail: respidol, halidal, and lamictal. Between these three they caused bloating, weight gain (22lbs in 2weeks), throat constriction, breathing problems and anxiety. If someone knows of something that can help me let me know please. *** The last 2 months I have been losing my memory I fear it is causing me dementia at 49.

Related Reading: abilify | diabetes | flu

Comment from: Dolly 25-34 Transgender 2 to less than 5 years Caregiver Published: September 27

Essentially I was undiagnosed bipolar for many years. Once I finally got my diagnosis I was put on Abilify and I could see clearly again. It saved my life truly. Yes I have gained weight but I think it’s also from my own bad habits as well. I still have episodes sometimes but I don’t feel hopeless anymore and thats what matters. I feel level the majority of the time so I’ll take it.

Related Reading: abilify

Comment from: Dan H 35-44 Transgender 1 to less than 2 years Caregiver Published: August 22

Suffered two bouts of depression and anxiety in my life that debilitated me for months on end. Was put on 10 mg of lexapro and it did little to stop the waves of anxiety to come on. Doctor put me on 2mg of abilify and within a couple days already started feeling better. Weeks later felt completely normal again and felt like I had a security blanket. You must keep taking it though. Just because you feel normal does not mean to quit cold turkey. It's a long road and weaning off of it most be controlled.

Related Reading: depression | anxiety | lexapro

Comment from: melody 19-24 Transgender less than 1 month Caregiver Published: July 30

i was suffering with severe depression for a year. i've been taking zoloft 200mg, brintellix 20mg but my mood was not stable at all. my depression went up and down all the time and i had to deal with my suicidal thoughts when i'm low. When my depression hit low again, i told my doctor that i can not do this anymore. i was in pain all the time and i was frustrated. My doctor added abilify 1mg and in 4days i was able to come out of bed without pouring all my energy. Now, i've been on abilify for 2 weeks and i've never felt this brightness since i got depression. i hope this med can help other patients who are dealing with depression looks like deep endless tunnel. We can do this.

Related Reading: depression | zoloft | brintellix

Comment from: GrimmHubby1 19-24 Transgender 1 to 6 months Caregiver Published: June 27

Let me start this by saying I'm normally a really chilled person. I have a wonderful family, 2 boys and a wife. My doctor prescribed this medication for my Bipolar Disorder. In my 2 months on this medication my world has been flipped upside down. I have had spats of irritability, excess weight gain, constant hatefulness twords my wife and kids, and I almost ruined my marriage with my need to constantly have sex and wanting to masturbate 24/7. This medicine made me do things that weren't me, made me act ways that hurt my wife, and made me do things that almost ruined my marriage. I do not recommend this medication for anyone, no matter the age, gender, race, etc.

Related Reading: bipolar disorder

Comment from: nat 19-24 Transgender 2 to less than 5 years Caregiver Published: May 26

I’ve been on this for the better part of 3 years now! It’s not perfect, I take a really low dose (1 mg) because any higher gives me brain fog and side effects (low libido, go to bed too early), so I have to use adjuncts to maintain euthemic mood when breakthrough symptoms occur. I use matcha mostly because of its high L-Theanine and other teas for more caffeine if needed. I also take Dexedrine which helps adjust my sleep schedule to be later (otherwise I wake up before 6 AM and sleep at like 8 PM, I’m 24.... lol) and treats my ADHD and some of the breakthrough depression. I have ADHD, Bipolar 2 (was experiencing more manic symptoms when I started this), pretty bad daytime sleepiness, OCD. I’ve been on different dosages and you may need to start higher but if you feel fog or flat affect, adjust lower if you can. Maybe add adjuncts like me. If your doctor says “your emotions seem fine” but you disagree, be pushy. Some docs don’t listen and you know your needs! It’s important to be in therapy and practice self-care things like meditation. If needed, start with a higher dose to stabilize, get therapy and experiment with adjuncts like tea, and practice meditation, and then talk to doc about titrating down if necessary. This will ensure you are taking the lowest dose possible and therefore dealing with fewer side effects. But you need to be stable enough to get those habits down before titrating down on the Abilify. It really gives me bad brain fog any higher than 2 mg so this was necessary to me. My thoughts seemed to ‘evaporate’ when on too high of a dose! That was hard with existing ADHD brain fog and mental sluggishness already... my doc may start me on 75 mg lithium soon but now that I have my nice matcha (invest in the ceremonial quality if in the US, and the tea whisk and holder, for the best quality. it’s necessary, I justify it because it’s an important adjunct treatment for me!!) I’m honestly not even sure the lithium is necessary. I was dealing with a lot of those dull hollow chest aches before I started the regular matcha which is the beginning of depression for me, and now I don’t have em because of the L-Theanine in there. Side note, Google L-Theanine and schizophrenia if you have any psychotic symptoms because there’s studies done on how that helps as an adjunct. That’s why I tried it in the first place! So stabilizing for low grade/ breakthrough symptoms. Not enough tho- when I went off the Abilify the symptoms were too strong for matcha alone!!! Don’t go off your meds pls!! Also worth noting that it can help with my energy at very low doses..... with can help with my ADHD. But again, too high and there’s brain fog. It’s a balancing act for sure. Overall, Abilify DOES work and is seemingly necessary for me. The generic is cheap with my insurance and it does keep me stable. I keep my dose low by using other meds/ “natural” adjuncts. Has taken me a while to find out the best combo for me but it’s worth it. Helps with all my disorders (OCD, sleep issues, ADHD, bipolar) in different ways. Worth a try.... and be patient if you can because theres quite an adjustment period. A lot can change per dosage too. 0.5 mg for me can make a difference in the effects.

Related Reading: depression | abilify | treatment

Comment from: Nicole 35-44 Transgender 10 years or more Caregiver Published: May 20

I have been on Abilify 20mg for over 10 years. It has helped my brain. But I was advised to stay on it during pregnancy My baby was born with Cleft lip and palate. I have gained 60 kgs and am now obese. I do not recommend taking it for long term. I did research this evening and am really concerned that my life will probably end in my 60's. I have had other health issues while on it. And desperately trying to find something else.

Related Reading: abilify | pregnancy

Comment from: HumanPerson 45-54 Transgender less than 1 month Caregiver Published: April 29

This medication worked well for me

Comment from: Jamie Ramirez 25-34 Transgender 1 to 6 months Caregiver Published: April 06

I started taking Abilify 2mg by itself. I had really rough side effects the first week including: nausea, heart burn, belching, and really high fever. Although the side effects were bothersome after a week they went away, I took pepto for the nausea and heartburn and took Tylenol for the fevers because I was really hopeful Abilify would work for me. If you get these side effects don’t stop taking Abilify because it could be so worth it. It is also important to keep increasing the doses at least every week because Abilify does stop working which happened to me. I’m now taking 5mg and I feel loads better than taking the 2mg. I am able to wake up in the morning feeling motivated and ready to take on the day. I’m not so agitated or get upset easily anymore. I am able to be happy without it being forced like putting on a mask everyday. I’m really happy I gave Abilify a chance it’s working really well for me.

Related Reading: abilify | heartburn | tylenol

Comment from: Shawn 19-24 Transgender less than 1 month Caregiver Published: April 06

I had horrible akathisia and wanted to crawl out of my own skin. I became extremely agitated and extremely panicky for no reason, shifting between crying and wanting to yell at everyone. I eventually ended up in the hospital where they took me off it and I was fine again in a couple of days with new medications. Thinking back, while I was very depressed and anxious before starting Abilify, this definitely made it 10 times worse within a few days and led to a very traumatic experience for me. Though I have not experienced anything as severe in the year and a half since, I now live with a constant fear that it will happen again.

Related Reading: abilify

Comment from: Aripiprazole 45-54 Transgender less than 1 month Caregiver Published: March 27

Abilify was added to already existing bipolar meds (citalopram, carbamazepine) and it has been a miracle for me. It brought me out of the fog of depression I was under.

Related Reading: abilify | depression

Comment from: #ItsKarly,YO! 25-34 Transgender 1 to 6 months Caregiver Published: February 21

Hey y'all i jus wanna say this medicine has worked wonders for me i am on the 10 mg dose n i take it alone. Yes i have gained some weight which i needed jus got to watch what u eat n fight the cravings. It had always helped me get off the hard drugs...FINALLY!!! I never thought i would have the chance to say this.

Comment from: yelah 25-34 Transgender 2 to less than 5 years Caregiver Published: January 14

Works very well at controlling mania, haven't had a true manic episode since being on it. I was on too high of a dose (20 mg per day) and was dealing with disassociation and blunted emotions. Dropped down to 10 mg, then 5 mg. At 5 mg I still deal with blunted emotions but I am no longer disassociated. However... I crave carbs/sweets and I am constantly hungry since lowering my dose. I've gained 35 lbs in 8 months. My psych doesn't want to try a different med... I'm not exactly thrilled with the weight gain and my GP is running labs to see if I am pre-diabetic.

Comment from: fedupschizophrenic 35-44 Transgender 10 years or more Caregiver Published: January 11

Abilify caused me to gain over 70lbs. develop type 2 diabetes a terrible rash over my entire body & has made me feel suicidal for years. In addition to these side effects it has made me have more episodes at night with my sleep apnea, restless legs and terrible leg cramps. I have been on this drug for 10-15 years still experience sensation hallucinations and intense nightmares, some night feeling like I was going to die. Stay off this drug trust this guinea pig it will ruin your life!

Related Reading: abilify | diabetes | sleep apnea


Schizophrenia is the most disabling mental illness. See Answer
Comment from: Kali E 19-24 Transgender 1 to less than 2 years Caregiver Published: January 08

I was on Abilify for a year. It kept my ups and downs stable, for the most part. I wish the doctors would’ve warned me about the possible weight gain. I started putting on weight pretty quickly after taking it, i’d say within the first few months. Eventually I had put on 20-30 pounds just like that. That is not good for someone suffering with bipolar/depression. I ended up getting off of it somewhere around my year mark and now i’m the most stable i’ve ever been on this other medication. Overall, Abilify is absolutely not worth it to me.

Related Reading: abilify | depression

Comment from: Dave 35-44 Transgender 10 years or more Caregiver Published: January 07

I have been on ability for 10 + years I’ve worked full time 7 to present. It’s a miracle for me accompanied with therapy. But what has not worked is the generic no matter the dose it’s not the same. I live independently and I thank the medication for this.

Comment from: Norman 45-54 Transgender 10 years or more Caregiver Published: December 28

I suffered severe depression and anxiety for 20 years despite treatment with multiple medications. I started taking Abilify 2.5mg and it COMPLETELY changed my life. A miracle drug for me.

Related Reading: depression | anxiety | treatment

Comment from: Finally Free 35-44 Transgender 2 to less than 5 years Caregiver Published: December 14

This is a very, very serious medication. I was put on 2mg to augment with 50 mg of Zoloft and 300 mg of Wellbutrin, then was increased to 5mg. After one month, I gained 30, yes 30 lbs and was extremely swollen. Over time the weight increased and by the time I tapered off I went from 120 to 190 lbs. my personality completely changed and I could barely hold conversations. I was constantly exhausted and would wake up in the middle of the night. I was now scared to go out in public and would become very anxious. I also craved sweets and carbs constantly because of the Abilify and was constantly hungry. I couldn’t lose weight for the life of me no matter how much I worked out or how little I ate. so I began tapering off and it took me 2 years to do it safely. I still had to function in life, I couldn’t lay in bed for 6 months. The last 8 months tapering were torture. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. I’m still dealing with trying to lose weight and my hormones, etc getting back to pre-Abilify, it has been a long road. This medicine can do wonders for those who actually need it. It can also do a lot of damage. Every person is different, just listen to your body and pay attention if you do decide to take this medication.

Related Reading: zoloft | wellbutrin | abilify

Comment from: pinkymuldoun 55-64 Female 6 months to less than 1 year Patient Published: December 10

After adding Abilify to my depression meds, I gained so much weight. They helped my mood, but the added weight gain is unacceptable. I stopped taking it several weeks ago, and it's taking forever to lose the weight I gained.....25-30 lbs! How long does it take to return to normal weight?

Related Reading: abilify | depression

Comment from: Shaynay_14 25-34 Female 2 to less than 5 years Caregiver Published: December 04

I love this medication and its always helped greatly! I take 20mg Ablify,0.5 Kolopin and 250mg Effexor once daily which I perfer night time cause they make me tired. Im bummed that ive gained up to 40lbs on ablify its a major side effect. Other than that this drug is a miracle drug and definitely helps with depression.

Related Reading: effexor | depression


Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors