New Member
Does anyone have any experience with Abilify? My difficult child is 8 and has been taken off risperdal due to excessive weight gain and is now on Abilify to assist with his mood disorder. Since this is a new drug for us, I was wondering what others have encountered and whether or not positive results are being seen.


trying to survive....
My younger difficult child has been on abilify for 1 1/2 years. He has responded very well to it. We, also stopped risperdal due to weight gain. For us, abilify was much more effective than the risperdal.

However, recently he's been having some trouble...I'm sure hoping that the abilify isn't losing its "magic touch". Many people say that atypical work for the short term....

Good luck with it.


trying to survive....
By the way...I see in your signature that your child is on zoloft. How much does he take? My older son has been on it for about 8 weeks and we just cut back to 25 mg because it was making him totally hyper and even more impulsive.


New Member
That is great to hear. Did you have any bumps between the switch from risperdal to Abilify? I would think that until the body got used to the Abilify, minus the risperdal, there might be issues. We've notices a few bumps, thus far, but we are still in the "adjustment" stage.

Good luck...I hope it continues for you!


New Member
As for the zoloft, he is on 25mg. He's taking it because he can't seem to let things go. He'll dwell on something over and over and over.


trying to survive....
I can't believe I'm starting to lose track of all the medicaion trials...however I believe that difficult child stopped the risperdal and we began trileptal. After many months with the trileptal we added the abilify.


New Member
We have follow up with psychiatrist this week and will see what happens. I'm hoping to have more consistent results with the Abilify. The risperdal was causing a subset of issues with the desire to eat/be hungry all the time. This was not only causing lower self-esteem, but a metldown because we were trying to "control" the food intake and he would get upset everytime it was mentioned.

Sara PA

New Member
Generally speaking, Abilify is less likely to cause weight gain than Risperdal. And if it does, it will likely cause less weight gain. Generally speaking.

That said, your son is taking two antidepressants -- Strattera and Zoloft. It might be what you think of as inconsistent results with the Risperdal is the result of mood problems caused by the two antidepressants. If a child is having mood swings, anger, aggression, etc from antidepressant use, it isn't likely that an antipsychotic will control it.



Here we go again!
My difficult child 2 was on Risperdal for about 2.5 years, then switched to Abilify with no problems. Both seemed to help his rollercoaster emotions. We never had eating issues, partly I think because he was also on a stimulant for his ADHD, so it seemed to balance everything out. I did notice that he had an easier time waking up on Abilify, whereas he was more groggy in the morning on Risperdal.

He dropped the Abilify last spring when a bunch of other symptoms cropped up.

Hope it does the trick for your difficult child :smile:

sameold sameold

New Member
My son has been on and off risperdal over the years due to the weight gain. We tried abilify for a period of time, it helped with helping him to be more interested in others, but it did not help at all with the aggressiveness. Hopefully you don't have those problems. Risperdal had been the only medication that has helped my son with any aggressive behaviors.


Mom? What's a difficult child?
K has been on Abilify for 6 months. We started very low and slow... we had Difficult Child'd Risperdal, because of increase in irritability, tardive dyskinesia, increased hyperactivity... plus the good old weight gain.

For us Abilify has kept her upper level rages somewhat under control... her auditory hallucinations pretty much gone, rages were gone and then came back....

She has continued to gain weight, a lot of kids gain weight on Abilify. She has worse movement issues... I have a hard time watching her because what she does with her fingers looks painful... I have read that sometimes it is permanant... which makes me mad when I keep asking to take her off of this!!! She has an eye twitch, and a tapping of her feet as well as cracking of her toes, she also sniffs things more... all have either started or increased since Abilify...

We are keeping her on it just to not cause more instability, right now. psychiatrist wants to gradually stop it.

I really wanted it to work but for us Risperdal and Abilify have not had enough positive effects to outweigh the negative, as a Mom speaking...
But for some... it is wonderful... I hope it is for your difficult child!!! Just keep track of his behaviors.

Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
My difficult child had a severe reaction to the Abilify and developed Tardive Dyskensia. I really think it was because our psychiatrist at the time had us increase it too quickly. This was just our difficult child and I know many others have had great successes with it.


Active Member
My 7 year old has been on it with no significant weight gain. However, it seemed like it just fizzled out on her after a few weeks. I want the psychiatrist to up the dose a litle and see if that helps.


Roll With It
My difficult child took 2 or 3 doses of it. He developed very severe side effects. The psychiatrist wanted my to keep him on it for 2-3 months AFTER the side effects kicked in. Side effects like seizures, muscle spasms, rash, bright red face, etc.. Not sure if any of these are classic side effects, but that is what he had.

We got a different medication and a different psychiatrist.

I know that strattera is used for ADHD, but it is an antidepressant primarily. That is just how it works on the brain.

Zoloft gave us great results for a short period of time, then after a few months on it my son became so much worse.

All the literature I have read says that you should work with the mood stabilizer first to get that taken care of. Often ADHD symptoms and other symptoms clear up if you get the moods stabilized. Then you add other medications. Stimulants and antidepressants can send anyone with a mood disorder into faster or more severe mood swings. These types of medications should be avoided or used sparingly AFTER teh moods are stabilized.

It might be worth a chat with your psychiatrist about that.




my 10 y/o ins on 10 mg he was up to 25 mg which totally hindered his motor skills. On 10 seems to be ok, but I question how much it helps, I know it does not address his obsessiveness at all and we will probably have to add another drug for that aspect. It does make difficult child II very tired I give it to him at night or he'll fall asleep in school.


New Member
Good morning. My daughter has been on Abilify for almost 8 weeks. She started at 2 mg, about 2-3 weeks later went to 4 mg, and then 2-3 weeks later went to 5 mg. Initial dose we had to give with Pepto (for 2 days, I think) because of tummy upset. She is more tired since being on it, but not in a bad way. She actually has fallen into a nice sleep pattern for the most part (about the same wake/sleep times) by now. The first few days she napped and slept a lot, but then went to where she would fall asleep in the car, or nap in the afternoon. Now she will only nap once in a while in the afternoon if we have been very busy.

We notice she is more sensitive to heat and sun exposure. Interestingly, now when we are in a crowded place or if we are outside where it is hot, she will kind of get blank, you can tell something is not right. I will ask her how she is feeling, if she needs a break or a change of environment. She will tell me yes. I think this is a fabulous change (the communication). Where the not so perfect environment would used to make her get way out of control, now by working together and communicating, we can simply change pace...outside in the heat we can just step in an air conditioned building. We were with friends somewhere the other day, she got hot and we went into a building. Inside there after a few minutes it was way too loud. So we sat in the car with the a/c on high for about 45 minutes. It worked well, she felt better. So, definitely since on Abilify she is more heat/sun sensitive, but we are able to work with it. Just a change of expectations in planning what we are doing...but hey, we were always having to change gears before Abilify - at least now it is for a workable reason! LOL

We did notice some constipation but have taken care of that with diet.

She has weighed about once a week and so far, no weight gain. She is also very athletic and participates in a sport about 8 hours a week, so we are hoping this will help offset weight gain somewhat. Now when the dosage is higher, I don't know what will happen.

I'm not saying it has been perfect, but Abilify, at this point (and we understand it can change), has made a big difference for her life and ours. As for the future when her dosage increases, we'll see what happens.

Good luck!


New Member
This is a great site!

We are four weeks into the Abilify, with noticible weight loss after stopping the risperdal. The only side effect we are seeing is a headache, and that only happened at the beginning. We are currently on 5 mg, given at night at dinner time He has slept better and the bedwetting has decreased, which was becoming a huge issue on multiple levels.

Still seeing some of the obessive behavior, but overall, seems to be working. The start of school for difficult child is often very stressful and phone calls come rolling in, however, this is the first year we have not had 1 phone call - no classroom or playground issues, no questioning the teacher,and we're 5 weeks into school.

Keeping my fingers crossed!