Coming off medication: Hello again... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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Coming off medication


Hello again, after a difficult Christmas I was wondering if anyone has any experience of coming of meds sooner than advised and how this went. Advice is for me to be on aripiprozole for one year, but it's dulling me down I am sure, I am thinking about weening off (obviously under community psyc supervision). But equally I don't want to end up back in hospital, looking for peoples experiences good and bad. Thanks in advance. Anna

12 Replies

I think it’s said that each person has a different experience on meds.... I personally did not do well on that drug, it made me super duper fidgety and didn’t help with what was bothering me. You mentioned that you had a difficult Christmas (sorry, holidays are always more stressful for the moms who have more work to do during that time!) so maybe wait until you start feeling better to wean off? Or if it’s draining your energy terribly, you could try a slow dosage drop as suggested by a psychiatrist or ask for a different medication. I was out of Zoloft and was too busy to stop by the pharmacy what with kids and work and a long commute... but going from my dose to zero made me nauseous and I ended up crying more than reasonable about all the bills that were due. No recurrence of the postpartum problems just overly emotional. It didn’t help that I had been up all night because one of my kids couldn’t sleep due to nap time being thrown off. I’ve missed dosages on vacation and been fine, but there were no stressors then. If you are lowering a dose, make sure it’s at a good time in your life. Good luck and hope you feel better :)

Dear Anna, good plan to get off any drug that does not help or suit you under supervision . In my experience as a nurse ( and a patient with Ppp !) , it’s very important to take med changes gradually unless and in exceptional circs of course as severe allergic reactions . Another suggestion is to check with your pharmacy if you’re on other meds whether the aripiprazole fits in together as some meds are not brilliantly compatible . It’s odd how the same drug can have such wide ranging effects on different people .

You can also write and formally request medication review which is taken formally and I found beneficial .

With very best wishes from Auckland where I’m attending my eldest sons wedding ( ppp when he was born!) and am now holidaying up north of NZ with my second son ( had severe post natal depression 2 yrs after with his birth!)

Take care and keep in touch !

Xx Denise

in reply to Denizt

Hi Denizt,

wishing you happy holidays with your son. I've been twice in NZ. Such a beautiful place. I was so blessed to tour with my partner North and South Island, before my son was born nine yrs. ago. Wishing you well, your advise is always so much appreciated, especially with the combination of PPP sufferer, but also being a health professional.

Sending you well wishes and a happy new year!


in reply to Pikorua

Hi Pikorua, so nice to get your message while waiting for the ferry from Pahia to RUSSELL where we are staying . I’m sending you warm wishes and the best of Aroha in your family .

I guess you’ve been to Waitangi ??

xx Denise

Hi AnnaLou,

I came off quiatpene and depakote due to feeling that it was the side effects that were preventing me getting back to normality rather than bipolar or psychosis. My psychiatrist was not supportive at all at first but eventually agreed to transfer my care to another doctor who although advised me against it still, did support me to reduce and come off a year before NICE guidelines recommend. That was 7 years ago and I've been absolutely fine since. No wobbles no relapses. Best decision I ever made. But as others have said this journey is different for everyone so make sure you are sure and do your research on self care.

Thank you for all of your replies.


Hello AnnaLou

I just wanted to add my experience to the other good replies here. I had PP twice and during my second recovery I did relapse as I tried to reduce my medication without supervision. Like you, I felt the medication was making me very slow but didn't realise how much it had been keeping me stable. I went back almost to square one and vowed to the Psychiatrist that I would never do such a thing again!

Sorry to relate my bad experience ..... the good news is that I did eventually fully recover :) I think if you talk to your community team they will be able to guide and support you. Take care.

Thank you x


I had PPP in 2016. I started reducing my medications one year post PPP and then at 18 months I stopped the sertraline. I was still taking a low dose of quetiapine but unfortunately I relapsed. Not psychosis but severe depression again. It was hard to relapse as I was back working and I was doing well.

I am now back taking both medications and in April this year I will have been well for 2 years.

I just wanted to make you aware of my story in case you are not able to reduce/ stop your medications. I have accepted that the medications keep me stable and well which enables me to be a mum and work despite the side effects.

Good luck


in reply to LA88

Thank you xXXxX


Hello Anna,

yes, I did recover from PPP in 2011...I was extremely poorly and on very traditional meds during acute symptoms in a Psychiatric unit in 2010. A place from hell as my partner and I suffered with PTS afterwards.

However, the after care was much better and there had been a support network of a Psychiatrist, my GP and care coordinator and of course my marvellous partner, who saved me from continuous ill treatment and negligence when I was sectioned in the beginning.

I weaned off completely from Haloperidol, Lorazepam, and Risperidone amongst some other nasty drugs, meaning they have had horrendous side affects, but at the time the only solution to beat PPP.

We are all so unique and react differently to drugs. Life choices are not always simple. It is realy important to be able to trust health professionals, who can help and support the weaning off process. At the time I could not have done it without my partner and the psychiatrist. My gratitude is immense!.

Wishing you well x

I think you know yourself and your body best, have never taken that drug so couldn't comment, I've been trying to completely ween off venleflaxine (antidepressant) and finding it extremely difficult and have had to be put back up recently (mostly from pressure from family who are finding me difficult to deal with), but obv it's important to be alert when you have a young baby, I suppose the 1 year timeframe is a guideline for doctors to use so if you feel ready to come down I think you should suggest it to your doctor

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