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Dr. G: Abilify question
monkeybee posted:
Hi Dr. G.

I read a post you commented on last week that mentioned low vs high doses of Abilify. I am currently taking 20 mg of Abilify daily and don't think my doctor intends to change that. I am also pregnant. Is the dosage ok? How about for long term maintenance? Should I ask him more detailed questions about how I am taking this medicine or is it fine the way it is?

Thank you,
Joseph F Goldberg, MD responded:
Dear Sarah, Abilify is usually dosed based on symptom types and severity. As an add-on to antidepressants, 5-10 mg seems optimal. In bipolar mania, 15-30 mg/day is customary. Restlessness (akathisia) is dose-related, so, 20 mg/day may be entirely appropriate if no side effects (or if side effects are present, they're manageable). In pregnancy, one tries to minimize the number of drugs to which a fetus is being exposed and to use the lowest effective dose, without skimping on efficacy. It would be important to discuss with your doctor how your dose was chosen and have him answer any questions you might have about long- term projections (eg, risk for tardive dyskinesia), whether he envisions using a traditional mood stabilizer instead of an antipsychotic for long-term relapse prevention, etc. Dr. G.
monkeybee replied to Joseph F Goldberg, MD's response:
Thank you Dr. G.