Abilify (Aripiprazole) Withdrawal: Signs, Symptoms, Prevention, and Treatment

Abilify withdrawal symptoms and treatment

Abilify is the name brand for a medication known as aripiprazole. This medication is used to treat the symptoms of mental health conditions like bipolar, schizophrenia, Tourette’s, and irritability associated with autism disorder. People who take Abilify may also take anti-depressant medication. 

Aripiprazole is an anti-typical antipsychotic drug that helps restore the balance of neurotransmitters in a person’s brain. This medication is known to decrease hallucinations, improve concentration, decrease mood swings, and lessen feelings of nervousness. Additionally, Abilify can help people think more positively about themselves and take a more active part in their everyday life.

Because Abilify is a psychiatric medication, it is never recommended for someone to stop taking it cold turkey. Quitting this medication abruptly could result in the development of withdrawal symptoms. The Abilify withdrawal timeline and symptoms can range greatly from one person to the next depending on how long they have been taking the medication and personal health factors.

What are the Side Effects of Abilify (Aripiprazole)?

Like every medication, Abilify may cause individuals to experience side effects. This medication’s commonly reported side effects typically resolve after a short time. However, if someone experiences side effects for a prolonged period, they should consult with their doctor, as this could signal an inability to tolerate the medication. 

The commonly reported side effects associated with Abilify include:

  • Impaired driving 
  • Agitation 
  • Low blood pressure 
  • Low white blood cell count 
  • Heatstroke 
  • Weight gain 
  • Symptoms of high blood sugar 
  • Dry mouth 
  • Indigestion
  • Irritability 
  • Heartburn
  • Lightheadedness 
  • Rash 
  • Restlessness
  • Tremors 
  • Fatigue 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Cold-like symptoms 
  • Dizziness 
  • Shakiness 
  • Stomach pain 
  • Hyperventilation
  • Sore throat 
  • Anxiety 
  • Headaches 
  • Blurred vision 

Oftentimes, people who experience some of the side effects of aripiprazole decide to stop taking the drug altogether. Unless a person’s doctor recommended quitting cold turkey, doing so could be dangerous. Individuals who quit this drug abruptly could experience Abilify discontinuation syndrome, otherwise known as withdrawal. 

Does Abilify Cause Withdrawal?

In addition to side effects, if the use of Abilify (Aripiprazole) is suddenly stopped individuals may experience withdrawal syndrome. It is recommended that people refrain from quitting aripiprazole cold turkey, and instead allow their doctor to taper them off of the drug safely. 

The symptoms of Abilify withdrawal include:[1]

  • Akathisia (inability to sit still)
  • Tardive dyskinesia and other involuntary movement disorders 
  • Psychosis, delusional thoughts, and paranoia 
  • Nausea 
  • Lightheadedness 
  • Tachycardia 
  • Anxiety 
  • Diaphoresis (excessive sweating of the whole body)
  • Insomnia 
  • Headaches 
  • Tremors and shakiness 
  • Flu-like symptoms 
  • Decreased concentration 
  • Irritability and agitation 
  • Sleep disturbances like insomnia 
  • Depression 

According to a study by the School of Psychology University of East London, 72% of individuals who were taking antipsychotics experienced withdrawal symptoms when abruptly stopping the medication.[2] With that being said, anyone who suddenly stops taking aripiprazole will likely experience some or all of the symptoms of withdrawal listed above.

Factors that Influence How Long Abilify Withdrawal Lasts 

As with any drug withdrawal, some factors influence the abilify withdrawal timeline. For starters, the amount of time a person was taking the medication will play a role in how long and how severe the withdrawal process is. Someone who was taking the medication for a while will experience worse symptoms for a longer time than a person who just began taking the drug. 

The dosage a person was taking will also play a role in the length of withdrawal. A person may take somewhere between 2 to 30 mg depending on their needs. Someone who was taking 2mg will have a shorter period of withdrawal than a person who was taking 30mg. 

Additionally, everyone’s body is different. Each person has a unique nervous system and physiological response to medication. This means that while one person may experience mild withdrawal symptoms, others may deal with overwhelming symptoms that are long-lasting. 

Lastly, the method of detoxification matters. If someone were to quit using aripiprazole cold turkey, they would experience longer and more severe symptoms of withdrawal. However, someone who followed a tapering process should receive lesser symptoms and have a shorter withdrawal process.

How to Prevent Abilify Withdrawal Symptoms 

Some people find it easy to come off of antipsychotic medications like Abilify, while others find it extremely difficult. There is no way to tell who will experience withdrawal symptoms. Anyone who is considering stopping their aripiprazole should consult with a doctor to avoid experiencing symptoms of withdrawal. 

The best ways to prevent withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Coming off of Abilify slowly and gradually (tapering)
  • Avoid stopping the medication suddenly, if possible
  • Getting support from trusted people

The best way to prevent withdrawal symptoms from occurring when quitting Abilify is to follow the tapering process. It is important to note that this should only be done under the direction and supervision of the medical professional that prescribed the medication. When tapering off of Abilify, the process could take weeks to months depending on the individual’s dosage. 

Finding Help for Addiction 

If you or a loved one suffer from addiction, it’s time to seek professional help. Addiction is a serious condition that can cause an array of issues, including fatal overdoses. As a result, it is of the utmost importance that you receive prompt and effective substance abuse treatment. 

Moving Mountains Recovery has close relationships with trusted detox facilities in New Jersey and across the country. When medical detoxification is recommended, we can help you get admitted to the best facility for your needs. Following the completion of detox, we can also help make the transition to our outpatient treatment programs simple and easy.

Call now to get started.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3719459/
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352853222000165

Related Posts

How Do I Find an Alcohol Detox and Treatment Center in New Jersey?

Making the decision to get help for a drinking problem is a major accomplishment, but admitting that you have a problem and that you need help is only the beginning. Next, you have to make some important decisions regarding your treatment and recovery. If you’ve never...

Complications That Can Happen During Alcohol Withdrawal and How a Detox Center Can Help

Alcohol slows down brain function and changes the way your nerves send messages back and forth. When you drink alcohol frequently for a long period, your central nervous system adjusts to having the substance in its system. This causes your body to work hard to keep...

Lucemyra (Lofexidine): A New, Non-Opioid Medication for Opioid Withdrawal Treatment

If you struggle with opioid addiction, you may know just how difficult it is to cope with the symptoms of withdrawal that appear when you suddenly stop taking an opioid. These flu-like symptoms can be so painful and uncomfortable that many people would rather continue...

Heroin Withdrawal Timeline, Symptoms, and Treatment

Heroin is a powerful, illicit opiate drug that has been a major contributor to the United States opioid crisis. In 2020, about 691,000 people had a heroin use disorder and more than 13,165 people died as a result of a drug overdose involving heroin.[1] Despite how...

Fentanyl Withdrawal Timeline, Symptoms, and Treatment

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid pain medication that is used to treat severe cases of pain. While the substance is similar to morphine, it is about 50 to 100 times stronger, making it much more dangerous and deadly than other opioids.  Unfortunately, fentanyl is...

How Long Does Klonopin Stay in Your System?

Klonopin is a brand-name medication containing clonazepam, a benzodiazepine prescription drug that is used to manage anxiety, panic attacks, and certain types of seizure disorders.[1] Like many other benzodiazepines, it is also a popular drug of abuse. Compared to...

Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline

Alcohol, like all addictive substances, creates a physical and mental dependency in those vulnerable to addiction. With frequency and degree of use, a tolerance will build, and you will need more alcohol more often to achieve the desired effects. As your tolerance...

How Long Does Xanax (Alprazolam) Stay in Your System?

Xanax (alprazolam) is the most widely abused benzodiazepine medication. It is available in many different doses, however, all are equally addictive when they are misused. Xanax works by calming the nervous system and promoting feelings of relaxation. In high doses, it...

What to Expect During Heroin Detox in New Jersey

Detoxing from heroin is never easy. In fact, many people who struggle with heroin addiction continue using the drug simply to avoid going into withdrawal. If you are addicted to heroin, it’s important to know that you don’t have to detox alone--there is help...

How to Choose a Drug Detox Center in New Jersey

Drug addiction is a common, but terrible condition that causes damage to all areas of an individual’s life. Deciding to quit using drugs is one of the most important decisions an individual will make in their life. However, there are many aspects to drug addiction...

Take The First Step to a New Life

Transform daydreams into realities

Moving Mountains takes a whole-person approach to recovery by offering a continuum of care, clinically proven treatments, and holistic healing. We work closely with you to identify your unique needs, facilitate individualized treatments, and help you establish a foundation upon which your recovery--and the rest of your life--can grow. Our compassionate, friendly staff is available 24-hours a day to take your call and help you begin your recovery journey.

 

Combatting the ever-growing drug epidemic that this country faces begins with you. Make the most of our vast knowledge of addiction treatment and our proven ability to change lives. Let's Move Mountains together.  Take the first step towards a new, better life by giving us a call today.

Begin RecoveryVerify Insurance

Get Addiction Help Now
(973) 315-6121
Representatives available now.