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Tapering off Abilify after only 9 days on it
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cfrussll posted:
My Step daughter has requested I ask this question as she does not go on these forums. 9 days ago she went on 5 mg Abilify, which was increased to 7.5 a few days later, and then up to 10 for a couple of days. She had horrible side effects and her doctor wants her to go off of it. She wants to know if it's necessary to taper off gradually even though she has only taken it for 9 days. She went down to 2 for the last 3 days or so. Should she taper off or can she go off cold turkey? She has shortness of breath and chest pain mainly.
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Joseph F Goldberg, MD responded:
Dear cfrussll,

It's always best to pose specific treatment questions to one;s own doctor, so your step daughter should ask her doctor's advise on how he particularly wants her to stop. But, that said, in my own practice, 10 mg of Abilify is a pretty hefty dose for many people and the side effect of restlessness (akathisia) may be common, so I often will start patients who are not currently manic or psychotic on a much smaller dose (eg, 2.5-5 mg/day) for a while and not go up until they acclimate (if they even need to go higher). If her doctor though wants to abort the trial entirely, Abilify has a very long half-life (75 hours) which means it will automatically self-taper, and so there would not be a need to "taper" down the dose, since pharmacokinetically, there is no "cold turkey" in stopping it abruptly -- it stays in her system for a while once stopped.

Dr. G.


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