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Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: Having Geodon Withdrawal


 momtotrvx3 - Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:43 pm

I was currently switched to Abilify and off of Geodon cold turkey. It has been two days and I have nausea and alot of jitteriness and uneasiness. Can I take a Geodon to calm the symptoms or just go back to Geodon period?
 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Sun Aug 01, 2010 4:13 pm

Hello momtotrvx3,

Abilify (aripiprazole) and Geodon (ziprasidone) have different types of chemical actions in the brain. Both are used in the treatment of Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia.

Abilify is designated as a "partial agonist", which means it binds to more dopamine receptors in the brain, and only partially to histamine and other receptors. Geodon is designated as an "antagonist", which means it has a high binding rate to receptors for dopamine, serotonin and alpha-adrenergic receptors (norepinephrine and epinephrine), and moderate binding ability to histamine receptors. Dopamine, histamine, serotonin, epinephrine and norepinephrine are all neurohormones that occur naturally in the brain. The drugs basically adjust the amounts of those neurohormones that are available for the brain to use. This information means that Abilify and Geodon have somewhat different chemical actions in the brain.

Side effects of Abilify can include headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, uncomfortable feeling in the stomach, dizziness, rapid heart rate, akathisia (an inner restlessness to the point that the person can't sit still or be motionless), tardive dyskinesia (involuntary movements), and allergic reactions. Side effects of Geodon include an increase in manic feelings, chest pains, sedation, inability to sleep, akathisia, tardive dyskinesia, orthostasis (staying in a standing position), or allergic reactions.

Just as the medications have different chemical actions, the rate of their actions are different. Abilify has a "half life" - or the amount of time it takes for about half of the drug to metabolize out of your body - of about 75 to 94 hours. It can take up to 4 weeks to establish a therapeutic blood level of the medication, so that you can feel the full effect that is intended. Geodon has a half life of about 2 to 5 hours. Abrupt discontinuation isn't recommended by the manufacturer.

All of this information adds up to the possibility that the Geodon is clearing from your body faster than the Abilify can begin to be therapeutic, or work in your body. It's not a good idea to alter your dosages without talking first with your doctor, plus you should report the symptoms that you're having so your doctor can assess if you are having an adverse reaction. Some people can transition from one medication to another with few effects; others have a more difficult time. Your doctor wouldn't want you to have a difficult time or have adverse effects, so please notify him or her right away of the difficulties that you're having.

Good luck to you.

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