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White, GA
A 25-year-old female asked:

I take abilify (aripiprazole) for my bipolar disorder because nothing else works for me. i love it, but i have to take cogentin daily to prevent td spasms. can td become permanent?

4 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
TD: Abilify (aripiprazole) can help to prevent akathesia and tardive dystonia (which are not permanent). Tardive dykinesia can be permanent. My patients are very happy with ablify too.
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 42 years experience
Dystonia: Dystonic reactions (the "spasms" you mention) are more acute than tardive dyskinesia, a chronic disorder which can become permanent. Cogentin can relieve dystonia, and perhaps combat td but not as well. Adjusting antipsychotic medicines to the smallest effective dose that controls psychotic symptoms can be challenging. Abilify (aripiprazole) seems to present less movement issues than other antipsychotics.
Dr. Jeffrey Satinover
Psychiatry 39 years experience
Yes: Almost all the dystonias caused by medications are reversible, but "tardive dystonia" is the unusual exception. See the movement disorder center discussion at the university of florida. http://mdc.mbi.ufl.edu/dystonia/tardive-dystonia. As good as Abilify (aripiprazole) is, and better than earlier medications like it, this is a concern that you and your psychiatrist should discuss frankly.
Dr. Alan Ali
Dr. Alan Alianswered
Psychiatry 32 years experience
TD: Although rare, especially with newer generation antipsychotics such as abilify, (aripiprazole) td is irreversible.

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Last updated Oct 4, 2016

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