Avoiding Abilify Withdrawal
Abilify is a medication that is used to treat schizophrenia, depression, autism, and bipolar disorder. Like many drugs that treat mental illness, you should avoid suddenly stopping Abilify, particularly without getting the approval of your healthcare provider. While Abilify is not at all addictive and therefore not very likely to be abused, it is very possible that your brain might need some time to adjust to not being on Abilify anymore. Most physicians will recommend that you slowly wean yourself off of it at their prescribed rate, as each person is different when it comes to the drug.
Put quite simply, the best way to avoid having withdrawal symptoms is to not stop taking it unless directed by your doctor. You may believe that the drug is not working or is not working to the level at which it needs to, but this ineffectiveness may indeed be a result of you not taking it at the regularity that your doctor recommended for you. For drugs like Abilify, even more than many others, you absolutely must do what your doctor tells you to, and if you ignore them, your new symptoms will be a terrible roadblock.
So what might you experience if you decide to suddenly stop taking Abilify, without consulting your doctor? You would likely experience serious withdrawal symptoms, which include but are not limited to symptoms commonly associated with schizophrenia, like hallucinations or delusions, symptoms associated with bipolar disorder, like mania or depression, and insomnia.
While these symptoms may improve with time if they are truly symptoms, they could also be the disorder the medicine was treating resurfacing now that it is no longer being actively suppressed. This represents a much larger problem, and you should consult with your doctor immediately, who will likely recommend that you get back on the medication.
The reason you need to meet with your doctor is that only he will know what steps you need to take to get yourself off of Abilify. These steps are different for each person, and while some people can stop suddenly, many will need to slowly let themselves off of the medication over a long period, slowly scaling down their dosage at a rate prescribed by their doctor.
Many doctors will actually suggest that you withdraw from Abilify at an impatient detox facility, which will allow them to quickly end the medicine regimen, while doing it on an outpatient basis will take four times as long. At a medical facility, doctors can manage your vitamins, hydration, and supplement intake. This can increase the rate of withdrawal because there is a very strong relationship between the levels of these chemicals in your body and the rapidity at which you can stop taking Abliify.