How long does Abilify Maintena 400mg injection stay in your system?

There used to be the same topic active on the forum, but it is closed now, so I decided to create my own.
I’ve been given a single injection 2nd of March this year, I was misdiagnosed with schizopfrenia in a psychiatric hospital. At first I was experiencing a slight akathisia and anxiety, I thought those were just temporary side effects, so then I was discharged from the hospital and thought that everything will be just fine as time will pass. I was so wrong. It’s been getting worse and worse every day. Akathisia started to be so troublesome, to the point that I couldn’t stay still for more than two seconds, couldn’t even lie down. And there is one particular thing that made me really depressed. After the injection, I started little by little becoming more and more “dumb” and there is a huge problem with my speech and thinking. I can’t make longer expressions, I can say just stuff like “hi”, “yes”, “I think so” and so on. When I try to say something longer than a few words, I start to stutter badly. However, I can’t even think what I want to say, it’s like I have become really stupid. I can’t speak and can barely understand what people are saying to me, only short phrases. It’s like a huge stopor I can’t help. I have searched the Internet for informations and found out it might be aphasia linked to the antagonism of dopamine receptors. I went to my psychiatrist, she told me to discontinue taking Abilify and she prescribed me pridinol for akathisia. When I mentioned about my inability to speak and think, she acted like she didn’t hear anything, just sent me back home saying that “after so long you should not feel any side effects linked with that injection”. But I do. Months have passed and it’s getting even worse, now I am so anxious that I’m unable to even leave my home. I can’t talk to anyone, because of my problems with speech and thinking, can’t do pretty much anything, just lie on the sofa or sit in front of my computer.

119 days have passed since the injection and, according to the calculator, I have 68mg of Abilify Maintena in my body today, which divided by 30 (I think that’s how it’s distributed, since it’s a monthly shot) gives me aroung 2.26mg equivalency of oral aripiprazole.

The thing that I’m afraid of the most is that I might never get rid of this aphasia or inability to speak and that I’ll never get back my intelligence. I used to be a pretty talkative person, now I’m seriously damaged and unable to function in society. I’m almost 21, in two months I have to either go to the post-secondary school or find a job as my parents don’t want to keep a parasite with them. I’m so anxious I can’t even take out the trash, not mentioning finding a job while being so disabled…

So, I guess my question is how long till I can say that it’s completely left my body and when am I going to feel better. I’m so scared that the aphasia-thing and lower intelligence will be with me for life. My doc says it’s impossible, but I read on the Internet that antipsychotics often cause permanent damages, such as tardive dyskinesia, for example. I have dyskinesia too, sometimes it’s more, sometimes less visible. I really hope that everything, including my problems with speech and thinking, is reversible and will disappear as the drug will vanish.

I almost forgot, the Abilify Maintena’s half-life is 46.5 days. That’s why there’s still a problem with it, after so many months. Recently I started taking escitalopram and after one day of one dose of 5mg I experienced a huge akathisia (which previously mostly disappeared), so that may be the prove that Abilify is still effecting my receptors (escitalopram is a CYP2D6 inhibitor and probably has changed the metabolism of aripiprazole). The akathisia disappeared after a few days of not taking escitalopram.

And my second question is - is there anyone else that has discontinued Abilify Maintena because of side effects, and if so, how long did it take for you to recover?

I’m sorry for making this post so long and I’m sorry if it’s wrongly written, I’m not a native speaker and I’m not as much familiar with the language.

Have a nice day!

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Your lowered intelligence and inability to speak or listen is because of your schizophrenia. Psychotic episodes lower the intelligence of the average person. Schizophrenia makes you lose focus, concentration and attention. It is not because of the medications. It is because your medications are not helping you with your schizophrenia. You should continue to look for other medications.

I can’t agree completely with that. Sure, I have always had a minor problem with concentration and focus but it wasn’t so bad that I’d not be able to have a conversation. When I got to the hospital I was just a little tearful and anxious, but I easily talked to people, so there was no problem with speech before the injection at all. I could talk to someone for hours and had fun with it. Attention wasn’t as good, but it wasn’t so bad either. Before I was given the injection I was just a normal person, being able to communicate and function as if nothing happened. At first they gave me olanzapine and I was ok with it, it wasn’t bad for me, maybe except being more sleepy during day. Then they started to give me oral aripiprazole and shortly after the first pill I started to notice side effects. Doctors didn’t care at all, they just insisted to give me a shot and they did.


I can tell you the reason why they gave you meds and you are actually worse off, isn’t because of the meds. It is because your schizophrenia is getting worse over time and you start to take new meds. The meds aren’t helping, so your schizophrenia gets worse and worse. And here you are today, not being able to focus to speak or listen well. This is all because your schizophrenia isn’t being treated properly.

If doctors think you have schizo, chances are you have it. It takes multiple episodes of psychosis for them to diagnose you with schizophrenia. Injection are for non compliance cases

From what my psychiatrist told me, every time you relapse your iq drops. the meds help to prevent that

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Then ask for the olanzapine if you are ok with the side effects. It’s worse than abilify imo

I still refuse to admit that I have schizophrenia, this is ridiculous for me, simply because I have never had any episode, I have never heard voices, never had any thoughts that a schizophrenic has. Ever since I started going to a psychiatrist, I was diagnosed with OCD and depression, once an antidepressant worked for me but it has stopped a few months later, then none of the SSRIs later on worked on me. So me and my doc started with antipsychotics for some reason, just to see how I react on them. I’ve taken like five different antipsychotics and all they ever did to me was making me sleepy and nothing else.
So afterall I didn’t take any meds at all. One day my girlfriend wanted to commit suicide, so I said that if she does, then I’ll have to do the same (just to force her not to do anything). My mum heard what I said and called the ambulance, said that I’m suicidal, so they took me to the hospital. And I have literally no idea how they came up with a diagnosis saying that I’m schizophrenic. Maybe it was because I told the psychologist that I find myself better or smarter than other people. But still, why should such thing be a determinant of whether or not I’m schizophrenic. When I left the hospital, I told about everything my psychiatrist and she simply laughed at the diagnosis, saying that it makes no sense and that I have a depression problem, not schizophrenia. I know you might still call me schizophrenic even though there is no such proof that I am one. But the question asked was how long it takes for Abilify Maintena to clear out and if there are any people that went through the same thing as me that can share their experiences.

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Not with Abilify, but Invega is a stronger AP and took 6 months to fully leave my system.


For me, Abilify was horrible. It gave me very bad akathisia and slightly slurred speech.

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That’s rubbish, they can and do misdiagnose people, I didn’t even have psychosis attall when I was forced abilify. I had been fully functional until I was given abilify and was only given it because I apparantly have schizophrenia , anything that blocks dopamine can cause what OP is describing, much more likely than psychosis itself.

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Abilify has a half life of 46.5 days, it takes 5 half lifes to clear fully which is 232 days. Though you should feel better before full clearance as the amount starts to significantly decrease. It’s horrible and inhumane that we have to wait so long, treated worse than criminals.
Are you taking any supplements? Fish oil?

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So you have been or are on the Maintena yourself? How long did it take you to at least see some improvement? Or maybe you’re still on it, I don’t know, but I wish you well. In my case, after 120 days, I still feel terrible. In fact, I feel like my condition has gotten even worse over time when it comes to anxiety. A few months ago I didn’t have much problem with going out for a walk, now it’s a nightmare for me, scared that I’ll meet neighbors and will have to say “hello”, ridiculous. Recently I had like two weeks that I felt so bad I couldn’t get up and make myself a breakfast, I didn’t feel strong enough to even do such thing. But it has improved fortunately, I can take care of myself.

About supplements, I don’t take any. I was wondering if I should, so first of all I started to eat a lot of products containing tryptophan and tyrosine but it didn’t help at all, so I’m back to my standard diet. I was even thinking about buying a so called “N-acetyl Tyrosine”, but then I realised that no matter how good my diet would be or what supplements I’d take, it won’t work simply because of the antagonism of dopamine receptors caused by Abilify. Not even dopamine agonists would help, because an antagonist has a greater receptor affinity. I once read about some older woman’s case that she has been given quetiapine in a hospital and as a result she got a reversible aphasia. Shortly after stopping the drug, the aphasia has disappeared and they described it on a website that the reason must have been the antagonism of dopamine receptors. So I’m hoping that in my case it’s also reversible and it’ll disappear as the drug clears out. What makes me wonder is that aripiprazole is a partial agonist of D2 receptor and an antagonist of D3 receptor and generally for a lot of people the drug is good for cognitive functions, I wonder why for some it’s the opposite.

I’m just recently off and no longer have to take any medication, my last shot was early May. I felt absolutely terrible on it, detached and close to suicide, so in that respect there was an improvement. I wasn’t even able to watch tv at the time, now I am. Though i’m still far from myself and really fear not getting back to my normal self, I’m lacking any concentration and drive, broken reward system, still anxious though not as bad as before. Social anxiety, which they saw as a sign of psychosis and “fear of judgement” increased since the shot, I can’t go out to shop or anything like that and fear having to come across anyone I know. It’s the long wait which is so difficult, I don’t know how to pass the time when nothing is really interesting anymore. You don’t have too long to go and should get better. I was reading on another forum someone had around one year of abilify maintena and completely recovered 8 months out. Fish oil is supposed to be good for cognition, so may help, turmeric supplement and L tyrosine too. Do you see any improvement in other areas?

I’m sorry to read this. On the one hand it’s nice to know that there’s someone who’s going through the same thing and can share their experience, on the other it’s sad, I wouldn’t wish the worst enemy to feel such pain and suffering. I’m still pretty young, but trust me, I’ve gone through a lot in my life and this must be the worst thing I have ever experienced. I was close to suicide too, after I was given the drug, but somehow I have found the will to endure it. Most suicidal thoughts I had recently, when at some point I thought “it’s not even getting better after all this time, I should feel better by now, why is it even worse than at the beginning?”. So in my case it looks like this: at the very beginning I was dealing with a large akathisia, aphasia and anxiety, though I was able to leave home, go for a walk, go to the city by bus, but it wasn’t because I wanted to, it was because my akathisia caused me to be in constant motion. Same as you, I lost interest in doing literally anything. And everything tired me, I have lost contact with my online friends, because I didn’t have the strength to write with them. So afterall I was completely alone. Then I was prescribed pridinol, an anticholinergic drug and after starting it, not only akathisia disappeared, but somehow I started to enjoy listening to music and I regained hope that everything will be alright one day. It lasted for, I don’t know, three weeks maybe, then there was such a time, about 2-3 weeks that I started to feel terrible and was even thinking of going back to the hospital, but I knew that they’d feed me neuroleptics, so I decided not to do anything with it, just wait. And so now I feel a little bit better fortunately. Now it’s like one day of feeling relatively okay, I’m in a little better mood, enjoying music and stuff, but still anxious, then there’s two days of dying inside, not talking to anyone, not doing anything and it happens over and over again. After all I hope it’s just a process in which my mood and body condition changes every now and then until it’s stable, because the drug is being removed little by little. So what I can say is that fortunately I’m slowly getting back my interest in doing things and enjoying different stuff, mostly music. Today I even ordered new wireless headphones, because music gives me satisfaction again and that gives me hope of recovering to my old self. Sure, I too am afraid that I’ll never get my normal self, especially when it comes to aphasia and intelligence, I’m afraid that I’ll never be able to communicate with people like I used to and that I’ll never lose my anxiety. But I have noticed that recently I started to sometimes use a little more complex expressions and I feel that in the next few months there will be drastic changes for the better. I hope there will be. About the reward system, I don’t know if that’s a good example, but after the shot I have almost completely lost my libido, sex drive etc., but it has improved recently. So don’t worry, you have to survive a little more time and I’m sure you’ll get back your drive, you’ll get your reward system fixed. Oh, and my concentration has also improved a little, I’m surprised that I’m able to read and write all these posts. I should probably make mine shorter, haha.

It makes me so angry they can do this to people, in my case the psychitrist just didn’t like my personality and claimed I needed it for apparant negative symptoms even though the shot gave me negative symptoms itself, I stopped cooking, couldn’t even watch the tv after the shot. Antipsychotics have been proven to worsen and cause negative symptoms. I was close to calling the hospital too, what a hellish experience it was, the worst experience of my life. Theres a market in keeping people ill, so it all makes sense. I’m glad you are regaining interest, that’s hopeful.

did you have a delusion or something? what would cause the psych to give you an abilify shot. that seems pretty serious to warrant that.

So maybe something was going on that you were not aware of. When you first get an episode, usually your not aware that you are even having an episode. This is because we lack insight that anything is even wrong.

So you may need to dig a bit on that.

For me after each episode i had more negative symptoms. Lack motivation, avolition, flat affect.

Try drinking coffee, maybe it will help perk you up.
If your planning to go to college, then do a bit of prep by learning a bit each day.

That might kick your brain into a better gear, as doing nothing will make it worse. kind of the use it or lose it sorta thing.

@Cabra Psychiatrists don’t give antipsychotics for no reason. Refusing meds and treatment are proven parts of schizophrenia itself. Your positive symptoms will persist if they weren’t drug abuse induced. If it was drug induced, you stop the drugs and no more schizophrenia. About 8% of the cases are like that. All the other 92% requires lifetime antipsychotics. I nearly died and nearly killed someone because I stupidly stopped meds.
Please don’t tell ppl to stop meds and that psychiatrists prescribe antipsychotics to harm and punish you on a sz forum knowing it can make ppl kill others and commit suicide.

You sound too paranoid. Psychiatrists don’t prescribe you meds to harm and punish you or simply because they don’t like your personality, get real lol

Well, I think I have to respond to all of this, since I’m tired of people convincing others that “you must have schizophrenia if doctors say so”. First of all let’s consider this: psychiatrist are only people, like every other person and they can make mistakes, everyone does them. The privilege of writing prescriptions doesn’t make them gods. Telling someone that he or she “sounds too paranoid” only because the person explains that the psychiatrist didn’t like its personality is just hilarious and puts the person who blames in a really poor position. You know what’s paranoid? Paranoid is when someone accuses other person of being paranoid, because he thinks that everyone has to be paranoid only because the post was written on a forum dedicated for schizophrenia. It pisses people off. You wrote about something on a “schizophrenia forum”? You’re paranoid and delusional! You wrote about your symptoms on a forum about depression? You have a major depression, ask your doc for the highest dose of clomipramine. Or no, you know what? Let’s do a california rocket fuel and put you on venlafaxine mixed with mirtazapine! You wrote on a sports forum about your foot pain? Buy these shoes for only 300$ dollars, your Asics boots are just rubbish and they cause your foot to have plantar fasciitis.

But yeah, you can still try to convince people that it’s better off if they suffer on antipsychotics. It doesn’t matter it makes them suicidal, takes away joy and life, makes people so anxious they can’t even go out to buy food. You don’t think something’s not right when stuff like this happens? Well, let’s even say she has a schizophrenia. Do you still think it’s a good idea to suffer other than be happy even with having episodes or whatever you call it? If the drug doesn’t work properly, then it’s a poison for the person that takes it. I’m not trying to say Abilify Maintena is bad for everyone. But it’s bad for some people and it’s a normal thing that they want to get rid of it and truly live instead of staying home 24/7, trying to watch TV and understanding maybe half of what people are saying to you. Putting people on long-lasting injections without testing how they react to pills, is inhumane and should be punished.