- Side effects
- Sex and fertility
- Pregnancy, post-natal and breastfeeding
- Driving and transport
- School and exams
- Friends and family
- Alcohol and street drugs
- Prescription medicines
- References and further reading
- This article provides detailed information on what aripiprazole lessen psychotic episodes and reduce relapses when compared to a placebo.
- Is Abilify Dangerous?
- Does Abilify cause weight gain?
- Abilify and weight gain
- Abilify side effects
In the first two or three weeks of taking aripiprazole, side effects (such as feeling agitated and restless, or feeling sick) may make you feel generally worse. They should wear off quite quickly but if they are a problem, speak to your doctor or care team.
The side effects that come with aripiprazole are different to those of many other antipsychotics, but they can be serious.
Do not stop taking the tablets until you talk to your doctor, or you may get withdrawal symptoms as well.
Young people aged 13 and over are more likely than adults to get the following side effects:
- extreme tiredness and sleepiness
- dry mouth
- strange movements and twitches of muscles
- increased appetite and weight gain
- pain in the abdomen (belly)
- fast heartbeat
Common side effects for both children and adults taking aripiprazole include:
- uncontrollable twitching or jerking movements
- feeling anxious or restless
- feeling or being sick
- discomfort or pain in the stomach
- constipation (difficulty pooing)
- trouble sleeping
- blurred eyesight
There are other side effects that you can get when taking this medicine – we have only included the most common ones here. Please look at the paper leaflet inside your medicine box, or ask a doctor or pharmacist, if you want to know if you are getting a side effect from your medicine.
If you do get a side effect, please think about reporting it to the Yellow Card scheme.
Aripiprazole has also been known to make people feel like gambling to extremes. If you have ever had problems with gambling in the past, you should talk to your doctor about this before you take it.
A side effect of aripiprazole can be both weight loss and weight gain, although it is less likely to cause weight gain than other antipsychotic medicines.
It is very difficult to know how it will affect each person who takes it.
Sometimes aripiprazole is given to people taking other antipsychotics to not only help their symptoms but also to reverse some of the weight gained.
Your doctor should measure your weight regularly when you are taking aripiprazole.
Young people will gain some weight each year as they grow, but anything more than that should be watched.
If you put on weight, there are other antipsychotic medicines you can try, or ways to try and lose it again. Talk to your doctor about this if it worries you.
Aripiprazole may make you feel very sleepy but may also make it hard to get to sleep.
Sleepiness has been shown to affect young people more than adults.
See how it affects you for the first few days of taking it.
Go back to your doctor if this causes a big problem for you.
Sex and fertility
Aripiprazole is unlikely to cause side effects that affect your sex life (and is also less likely to do so than other antipsychotic medications).
If it works for you, aripiprazole may have a positive effect on your sex life as your symptoms settle, and you can concentrate on your relationships.
If you have a penis, you can get an erection that is painful and lasts for a long time (priapism) when taking aripiprazole. If this happens, you must go to a doctor straight away.
There is no information to suggest aripiprazole has any effects on fertility.
You should use a good contraceptive while taking aripiprazole and talk to your doctor about options if you are trying to get pregnant.
Pregnancy, post-natal and breastfeeding
There is nothing to suggest aripiprazole will harm the developing baby during pregnancy.
If you decide to carry on taking aripiprazole through your pregnancy, you should talk to your doctor and midwife about it before the birth.
Your dose may need to increase later in your pregnancy as the body gets rid of aripiprazole more quickly. After delivery, your dose will go back to what it was before.
Aripiprazole can cause some symptoms in newborn babies – for instance, your baby might be born a little earlier than expected and may suffer from agitation, muscle spasm or weakness, shaking, drowsiness, feeding problems or breathing problems.
You will need help from the midwife and doctors, so it is better if they are looking out for these side effects. These usually are mild and go away in a few days without treatment.
Aripiprazole is passed to the baby in breast milk in small amounts. Breastfeeding may offset some of the symptoms. Talk to your doctor or midwife about your feeding options or ask to be referred to a lactation consultant.
Driving and transport
Do not drive a car or ride a bike just after you start taking aripiprazole.
Taking aripiprazole may make you feel very tired or dizzy and/or affect your eyesight when you start taking it.
This could affect you if you drive a car, ride a bike, or do anything else that needs a lot of focus. It might be best to stop doing these things for the first few days, until you know how it affects you.
Do not worry – most people drive as normal while taking aripiprazole.
School and exams
Try not to take aripiprazole for the first time just before your exams.
Aripiprazole could make you feel very tired and dizzy, make you feel restless and affect your eyesight.
You should talk to your doctor about any future exams if you are starting aripiprazole. You might decide together to delay starting it until you have completed them.
If they are more than a week away, however, you might find that it is better to start aripiprazole to improve your motivation to study.
Do not worry – most people take exams as normal while taking aripiprazole.
Friends and family
You may want to let your family and friends know you are taking aripiprazole so they can support you and help you look out for side effects.
For guidance on this, check out our page on getting support with your medication.
Aripiprazole is not a banned substance in sport.
Taking aripiprazole may make you feel tired and dizzy, and affect your eyesight.
This could be dangerous in some sports so it might be best not to take part in them for the first few days or weeks, until you know how it affects you.
Do not worry – most people do sports as normal while taking aripiprazole.
Alcohol and street drugs
You can drink alcohol while taking aripiprazole, but the two together could make you very sleepy.
During the first few days, it might be best to stop drinking alcohol until you see how the medicine affects you.
If you want to drink alcohol, plan how you will get home safely if you feel sleepy.
Be careful if you are also using street drugs,
Antipsychotics block the effect of dopamine, so this means the ‘high’ may not be as ‘high’ as before from any drug. You may be tempted to increase your dose of the drug to make up for it, but this could be dangerous.
Cannabis can make drowsiness worse with aripiprazole.
Cannabis and other drugs may have their own side effects on your mental health, like anxiety or psychosis. For more information, have a look at our drugs and alcohol page.
Methadone can make drowsiness worse with aripiprazole.
Aripiprazole could reduce your craving for cocaine and could reduce the level of happiness that you feel when taking cocaine.
Aripiprazole and stimulant drugs such as amphetamines can affect the heart, and this can be dangerous when taken together.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist before you take aripiprazole if you are prescribed any other medication, to check that the combination is safe.
Before you start taking aripiprazole, tell your doctor if you are taking any other medications including things you have bought over the counter for common illnesses like colds and flu or topical applications that you put on your skin.
You should have your weight, height, waist circumference and blood pressure checked regularly while you are taking aripiprazole.
Your doctor should also do blood tests to check your liver, blood sugar, and some hormones before and regularly during your treatment.
You may also have a heart test called an electrocardiogram (ECG) before you start treatment – and periodically while taking aripiprazole – if you are at risk of heart disease.
References and further reading
For more helpful links and information, have a look at our references and further reading page.
When you start the long-acting injection, you may also have some tablets until the What to do if you miss a dose of the tablets or liquid: It is hard to know – for each individual person – how long it will take for aripiprazole to start working for. I have been on abilify for two Weeks and I started feeling a difference after about a week. I’ve been taking Abilify 2mg for about two years. Was also taking Cymbalta to help with depression/anxiety.
Do not stop taking aripiprazole, even when you feel better. For aripiprazole to work properly, it should be taken every day as ordered by your healthcare provider. often starting in the mouth with tongue rolling or chewing movements. This is a common question asked by people who are on, or about to take Abilify. I did research over the last few weeks and found the following. If they’re going to work, the atypical antipsychotics do tend to work quickly. When Nichole started abilify the effect was noticable the first dose.
Abilify is a medication that is used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia, depression, bipolar When did the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approve the medication? Starting dosages typically range from 10 to 15 mg daily for adults with schizophrenia and 2 mg What do I do if I miss a dose?. It’s OK. I take metformin for high blood sugar, I take a bcomplex to curb the increased appetite, and I take mg l-theanine to help me survive. Hi all, I was wondering how long it takes for Aripiprazole to start working? I started it just over a week ago and still waiting for improvements.
I do have a little bit of a problem staying asleep but nothing major. . i started taking abilify in my early teen years, went from mg to 30mg over a couple of for the first month but it passed, since then I’ve started working and loving life. CNS Drugs. ;22(5) Aripiprazole in the treatment of depressive and anxiety disorders: a review of current evidence. Pae CU(1), Serretti A, Patkar AA, . Users share their experience with Abilify (Aripiprazole): Psychotropic Drug, Side Effects, I had trouble getting out of bed and starting my day before, now I am up early and Been suffering for 4years after my original meds stopped working after . I do prefer the older drugs & I have tried them all or @ least most of them.
When to start aripiprazole therapy in patients with bipolar mania . However, coadministration of duloxetine and ARI does not seem to result in treatment of bipolar disorder: a critical review by an Italian working group.
Find patient medical information for Abilify Oral on WebMD including its uses, side To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Some conditions may become worse when this drug is suddenly stopped.
What Mental Health Conditions Does Abilify Treat? treatment protocols for your condition such as working with a therapist or counselor. These symptoms may be particularly apparent when you first start taking Abilify. Advice & Tips: I started back on Abilify after a month of trying Saphris instead. Also, mania has diminished to remaining at hypo level when it does occur. .. However, I do not think my new medication is working as well, but I do seem to think. So this leads people to think Abilify is an antidepressant when it is truly an antipsychotic that A drug that does absolutely nothing, yet is $ per prescription.
The FDA reported in that million Americans used Abilify or any These uncontrollable urges were reported to have stopped when the. Schizophrenia: the recommended starting dose for ABILIFY is 10 or 15 mg/day of this population, a lower starting dose should be considered when clinical factors This medicinal product does not require any special storage conditions. Other names for the medication: Abilify®. The medication may look like: Abilify comes in tablet form coloured How long does the medication take to work?.
much does abilify cost canada buy 20 mg abilify how much does abilify 10mg cost how long does it take for abilify to start working for depression abilify Aripiprazole is available as a generic drug and as the brand-name drugs Abilify and Abilify Your doctor may start you on a lower dosage or a different medication schedule. . What to do if you miss a dose: Take your dose as soon as you remember. How to tell if the drug is working: Your symptoms should get better. Aripiprazole is a medication that can be used to treat psychosis and at calming people down, has fewer adverse effects, and works quickly.
And when it comes to medications, like antipsychotics or antidepressants, . Increasingly, doctors may prescribe antipsychotic drugs such as aripiprazole ( Abilify) and encourages them to give the drugs some time to start working. ” You can usually find a medication that helps and does not cause side. However, patients can start at very low doses (for example, mg per day) and very slowly increase How Long Does it Take for These Medications to Work?. It’s important to take ABILIFY exactly as directed for as long as your doctor Know what to avoid while taking ABILIFY Know what to do if you miss a dose should check your blood sugar before you start ABILIFY and during your treatment.
When a child starts taking psychoactive medication, success depends on Do the problems he’s having respond to this kind of medication? One kid might quit taking the medication because it doesn’t seem to work, and . A group of medications called atypical, or second-generation antipsychotics (Risperdal, Abilify, etc.).
Last month, the news broke that the anti-psychotic Abilify, thanks in part to States and in Britain started to express concerns about these medications, in the long-term, some individuals with a history of psychosis may do better .. employment programs that use a “job coach” working with a clinical team. I’ve had mood swings since I was a child, I didn’t start taking meds for .. How do we know for sure which treatment is working when multiple. How well does aripiprazole work in children and adolescents? When will aripiprazole start working? This depends How long do I have to take aripiprazole?.
ABILIFY prescription and dosage sizes information for physicians and healthcare professionals. Adjust dose to normal range when these drugs are withdrawn. Risk of hypotension, aspiration pneumonia, seizures, or diabetes (do baseline.
long-acting injection (Abilify Maintena®, see How long will aripiprazole take to work? This happens much more at the start of treatment but does wear. Aripiprazole, sold under the brand name Abilify among others, is an atypical antipsychotic. The latter group recommends switching to aripiprazole when excessive for obsessive-compulsive disorder that does not improve with SSRIs alone. are started on atypical antipsychotics along with other medications that affect. But once you find the right combo, you’ll start to feel a difference. DO NOT feel discouraged when this happens! . When I was 18, I was also diagnosed with bipolar II disorder and prescribed Abilify to help combat my mood.
It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist. Abilify Maintena is a long-acting medicine that is used to treat schizophrenia and . as directed by your doctor, because the first injection will not start to work straight away. Aripiprazole does not undergo direct glucuronidation. Patients were started on depot aripiprazole, mg monthly, and continued to take 10 to 20 mg/d of oral. Buy abilify 2mg abilify 10 mg kullananlar how much does abilify injection cost 5 mg abilify tablets 10mg, how long does it take for abilify 5mg to start working.
This article provides detailed information on what aripiprazole lessen psychotic episodes and reduce relapses when compared to a placebo.
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Is Abilify Dangerous?
Abilify (aripiprazole), an antipsychotic medication used in treating a number of mental conditions, has come under fire in recent months. Several class action lawsuits have been filed against Bristol-Myers Squibb, the company marketing Abilify. These lawsuits allege that Abilify causes damaging compulsive behaviors, which the drug maker did not warn the plaintiffs of.
What is Abilify Used to Treat?
Abilify is used to treat a variety of mental health conditions that respond to antipsychotic medications, including:
- Bipolar disorder
- Tourette’s syndrome
It is prescribed to manage the symptoms of these conditions and help individuals who are taking the medication to function more comfortably. It reduces visual and auditory hallucinations, mood swings, depression, suicidal thoughts, and other symptoms.
The Side Effects of Abilify
As with nearly any medication, there are potential side effects. Some of these can be much more harmful than others, and can lead to a decreased quality of life, injury, and even death. Abilify’s side effects include:
- Suicidal tendencies
- Blurred vision
- Weight gain
- High blood sugar
- Pregnancy complications
Why is Abilify Considered a Dangerous Drug?
Abilify has been the cause of several lawsuits because it has been alleged to cause compulsive behaviors in users, as well as deadly side effects. There are several common compulsive behaviors associated with the use of Abilify, such as:
- Excessive shopping
- Binge eating
- Sexual activity
Prior to taking Abilify, the plaintiffs allege that they never struggled with these compulsions, and that the urges are uncontrollable. They also have claimed that the compulsions ended as soon as they stopped taking the medication. Unfortunately, many plaintiffs suffered damages as a result of these compulsive behaviors, and are seeking compensation.
Why Are Drug Companies Liable for Abilify?
Drug companies are obligated to inform consumers of all the side effects of a medication once they are discovered. This is a federal regulation in place to protect consumers from dangerous drugs. The makers of Abilify didn’t inform consumers of the hazards of the drug until many patients had already been affected.
When taking on Bristol-Myers Squibb, the maker of Abilify, it will be necessary to determine whether the company was aware of the risk of compulsive behavior without warning consumers of the risks. Our Abilify attorneys are prepared to fully evaluate the evidence and uncover whether or not Bristol-Myers Squibb can be held liable for the damages sustained by patients like you.
If you were prescribed Abilify and experienced compulsive behaviors, we’re ready to fight for you. Our experienced Kansas City product liability attorneys have the knowledge to help you prevail in your defective drug case. Discuss your case with our team at Bertram & Graf, L.L.C. when you schedule a free consultation today.
Contact our team by calling (888) 398-2277. We’re standing by to assist you!
What is Abilify?
Abilify is a medication that is used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia in adults and children ages 13 and older. The medication comes in tablet, solution, and disintegrating tablet form. Abilify is also sometimes prescribed to treat symptoms of depression, bipolar disorder, autistic disorder, and Tourette’s disorder.
When did the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approve the medication?
Abilify was first approved by the FDA to treat schizophrenia in 2002.
Is there a generic version of Abilify?
Yes, the generic name for the medication is aripiprazole and is available for purchase in the United States.
Are there any major differences between Abilify and other antipsychotics used to treat Abilify?
Abilify belongs to the class of medications known as atypical antipsychotics or second generation psychotics. Atypical antipsychotics generally have fewer side effects than conventional antipsychotics. Talk to your doctor about what might work best for you and the costs and benefits of taking the medication. Some people may need to try several different antipsychotics before they find the most effective with the fewest side effects.
Can children take Abilify?
Abilify should not be given to child younger than 13 years old for treatment of schizophrenia. Talk to your child’s doctor about the risks of using the medication. Adolescents are at higher risk for suicidal thoughts when taking the medication.
Are there potential interaction issues for people taking Abilify and any other drugs?
There are hundreds of drugs which are known to interact with Abilify in major, moderate, or mild ways, so let your doctor know what other medications you are taking before you begin taking the medication. Some of these medications include antidepressants, antifungals, antihistamines, HIV protease inhibitors, medications for anxiety, high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, mental illness, motion sickness, Parkinson’s disease, seizures, ulcers, or urinary problems, sedatives, sleeping pills, and tranquilizers.
Are there any other medical conditions that would make someone ineligible for Abilify therapy?
Talk to your doctor about other medical conditions before you take Abilify, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, low white blood cell count, tardive dyskinesia, dementia, seizures, neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), or a history of suicidal thoughts.
What is the typical dose that would be prescribed to someone taking Abilify?
Starting dosages typically range from 10 to 15 mg daily for adults with schizophrenia and 2 mg daily for adolescents with schizophrenia. A daily dosage above 30 mg is not recommended.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
Take the dose of Abilify when you remember, but skip the missed dose if it it’s almost time for your next dose. You should never take extra doses of the medication to make up for missed doses.
What side effects can Abilify cause?
The side effects of Abilify can include:
- Increased appetite
- Weight gain
- Stomach pain
- Excess saliva
- Pain in arms or legs
It also is recommended that you wait to drive or operate machinery until you know how the medication affects you. Report major side effects to your doctor immediately, which can include seizures, chest pain, fever, uncontrollable body movements, changes in vision, irregular or changes in heartbeat, hives, sweating, confusion, muscle stiffness, itching, swelling, difficulty breathing or swallowing, or tightening of neck muscles. Adolescents taking the medication may be at high risker for developing suicidal thoughts. You can also report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or online.
What are the potential long-term effects of taking Abilify?
Your doctor should monitor for progression of potential long-term side effects, which can include tardive dyskinesia (TD). All antipsychotics are associated with increased risk of cardiac death due to irregular heartbeat, so your doctor may recommend an EKG.
Is it safe for a woman who is pregnant, about to become pregnant, or nursing to take Abilify?
There have been no controlled human pregnancy studies on the effects of Abilify, but it may cause medical problems in infants if taken during the last few months of pregnancy. It is not known whether the drug can be transferred via breast milk and harm a baby. Therefore, talk to your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are nursing before you take Abilify.
Can symptoms occur if Abilify is discontinued?
It’s important not to discontinue use of the drug if you feel better. Maintain contact with your doctor and seek medical attention if necessary when discontinuing the drug. Withdrawal symptoms of Abilify can include nausea, diaphoresis, tachycardia, lightheadedness, headaches, tremors, flu-like symptoms, and anxiety.
What should I do if I overdose on Abilify?
An overdose of Abilify could be fatal, so seek immediately help or call the Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222 if you overdose. Overdose symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, weakness, widening of pupils, confusion, involuntary movements, changes in heartbeat, seizures, and loss of consciousness.
Is Abilify habit-forming?
Abilify has no habit-forming potential, but it is not recommended that you discontinue use of the drug before talking with your doctor, as withdrawal symptoms can occur.
How much does Abilify cost?
According to goodrx.com, 30 capsules of 5mg of Abilify cost approximately $1000.
Are there any disadvantages to Abilify?
The biggest disadvantages of Abilify are the potential long-term side effects, which include tardive dyskinesia. In 2016, the FDA also released a statement that compulsive behaviors are also associated with the use of the medication.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained herein should NOT be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately qualified and licensed physician or other health care provider. This article mentions drugs that were FDA-approved and available at the time of publication and may not include all possible drug interactions or all FDA warnings or alerts. The author of this page explicitly does not endorse this drug or any specific treatment method. If you have health questions or concerns about interactions, please check with your physician or go to the FDA site for a comprehensive list of warnings.
Article Sources Last Updated: Feb 21, 2018
Does Abilify cause weight gain?
Does Abilify cause weight gain?
With significant weight gain a side effect of almost every medication used to treat bipolar symptoms, weight related Abilify side effects are of great interest.
This is especially so as Abilify was originally considered to be weight gain neutral, or even to possibly assist weight loss.
However, more recently there have been claims that Abilify DOES lead to weight GAIN, causing much confusion and concern to consumers.
So let’s consider the evidence . . .
First, some background on Abilify.
This is a medication produced by Bristol-Myers Squibb and is classified as an atypical anti-psychotic (meaning is one of a new generation of drugs used to treat symptoms of psychosis, for example in schizophrenia.
It is also effective in treating bipolar symptoms.
Abilify is also known by its generic name of aripiprazole.
It is an effective antidepressant which also has anti-manic properties. This has made it attractive as a treatment for bipolar disorder for treating both mixed and manic episodes.
But does Abilify cause weight gain?
Abilify and weight gain
One reason for all the confusion about Abilify and weight and weight gain is that credible sources provide conflicting information.
The official Abilify website’s patient information sheet does indicate weight gain as opposed to weight loss as amongst the Abilify side effects.
The Mayo Clinic 1 includes weight gain as a “more common” Abilify side effect, but BOTH weight loss AND weight gain as a “less common” side effect. The Mayo Clinic also point out:
“The likelihood that a certain medication will cause weight gain or other side effects varies from person to person.”
Consumer Reports DOES NOT list either weight gain or weight loss amongst Abilify side effects. In fact, Consumer Reports does not comment on Abilify and weight gain at all, but they also state they have yet to make a detailed examination of all the Abilify evidence.
In Davis’s Drug Guide for Nurses, 11th edition, 2009, weight loss is listed, NOT weight gain.
The PDR Drug Guide for Mental Health Professionals, 3rd edition, 2007 is silent on the issue. It does not comment on whether Abilify causes weight gain or weight loss.
Abilify does cause weight gain in some patients.
The Nursing 2009 Drug Handbook, 29th edition, 2009, also list BOTH weight gain AND weight loss as potential side effects.
(And please remember the word “POTENTIAL”! Everyone has their own personal,
individual reaction – many will experience NO side effects at all!)
A research study on Abilify and weight gain, called A comparison of weight change during treatment with olanzapine or aripiprazole: results from a randomized, double-blind study compared weight related side effects of Abilify versus Zyprexa found
that patients gained much less weight on Abilify than they did on Zyprexa, and some patients lost weight on Abilify.
Another study, which was looking to specifically answer the question “Does Abilify cause weight gain?”, entitled A systematic review of quality of life and weight gain-related issues in patients treated for severe and persistent mental disorders: focus on aripiprazole, concluded:
“Data from studies indicate that the prevalence rate of clinically relevant weight gain during therapy with Abilify is similar to that occurring during treatments with other antipsychotic agents, either typical or atypical.”
The relationship between Abilify and weight gain appears to depend on the patient. There is no conclusive answer to the question of does Abilify cause weight gain as everyone is different. It seems sometimes it causes weight gain and sometimes weight loss, but weight gain is more common, although not as serious as some other
Abilify side effects
The common, well documented and agreed Abilify side effects include:
1. Abnormal or uncontrollable movements of face, tongue, or other parts of body. These may be signs of a serious condition called tardive dyskinesia (TD), which could become permanent.
2. If you have diabetes, or risk factors for diabetes (for example, obesity, family history of diabetes), or unexpected increases in thirst, urination, or hunger, your blood sugar should be monitored. Increases in blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia), in some cases serious and associated with coma or death, have been reported in patients taking ABILIFY and medicines like it.
3. Lightheadedness or faintness caused by a sudden change in heart rate and blood pressure when rising quickly from a sitting or lying position (orthostatic hypotension).
4. Decreases in white blood cells.
5. Impaired judgment, thinking, or motor skills.
6. Overheating and dehydration.
7. Swallowing problems (dysphagia).
AGAIN – PLEASE REMEMBER – every person is different. Some folks will not experience any side effects at all and may reap substantial benefits!
What Is the Medication Abilify?
Abilify (generic name: aripiprazole) is an anti-psychotic medication primarily used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia in patients over age 13, bipolar disorder in patients over age 10, depression in adults, irritability associated with autism in children over age six, and Tourette’s Syndrome in children over age six. Studies suggest that aripiprazole may have a dopamine-stabilizing effect on patients with ADHD1; some clinicians include it in ADHD treatment plans for both adults and children, particularly those who do not respond to stimulants2.
The safety and effectiveness of taking Abilify to treat depression or the agitation associated with schizophrenia or bipolar mania in children has not been established. Abilify can be dangerous for elderly people with dementia.
How to Use the Medication Abilify
Before starting or refilling an Abilify prescription, read the medication guide included with your pills, as it may be updated with new information.
This guide should not replace a conversation with your doctor, who has a holistic view of your medical history, other diagnoses, and other prescriptions. If you have questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist before you begin taking the medication.
Dosage for Abilify
As with all medications, follow your Abilify prescription instructions exactly. The optimal dosage varies by age and condition treated. Abilify is available in several formulations:
- Abilify Tablets are available in 2mg, 5mg, 10mg, 15mg, 20mg, and 30mg dosages. Tablets should be swallowed whole with water or another liquid.
- Abilify DISCMELT (Orally Disintegrating Tablets): To keep it from dissolving before you place the tablet in your mouth, leave it contained in its blister package until you are ready to take it. When opening the medication, make sure your hands are clean and dry so as not to accidentally trigger dissolution. Peel back the blister package backing to take out the tablet, instead of pushing it through the foil. Place the tablet on your tongue to dissolve. Do not crush or chew the tablet. Orally disintegrating tablets are available in 10mg and 15 mg dosages. It is recommended they are taken without liquid.
- Abilify Oral Solution: Colorless, orange-flavored liquid. The liquid should be measured with the included device and swallowed entirely with water or another liquid. The oral solution is available in a concentration of 1mg/mL.
- Abilify Injection: The intramuscular injection is available in 9.75mg/1.3mL single dose vials.
The oral formulations are taken once daily, with our without food. Oral formulations are indicated for every condition except the agitation associated with schizophrenia or bipolar mania.
The injection should be taken no more than once every two hours, with a maximum daily dosage of 30mg. The injection is only indicated to treat the agitation associated with schizophrenia or bipolar mania.
If you miss a dose, you should take it as soon as possible, unless it is already time for your next dose. You should not take two doses of Abilify at the same time. Contact your doctor if you have questions about skipped pills.
When discontinuing treatment, or decreasing dosage, patients should work with a doctor to gradually taper the level of medication. Stopping Abilify suddenly can create new, serious symptoms.
Side Effects Associated with Abilify
The most common side effects of Abilify are as follows:
Children and Adolescents (ages 10 to 17): sleepiness, headache, vomiting, fatigue, changes in appetite, increased saliva, insomnia, nausea, stuffy nose, weight gain, uncontrolled movement, and muscle stiffness.
Adults: nausea, vomiting, constipation, headache, blurred vision, upper respiratory illness, dizziness, anxiety, insomnia, and restlessness.
Elderly people with dementia-related psychosis are at increased risk of death from stroke when treated with Abilify.
Medications like Abilify can increase risk of suicide and suicidal thoughts, especially at the start of treatment. Report to your healthcare provider any sudden changes in mood, including depression, anxiety, restlessness, panic, irritability, impulsivity, or aggression.
Other serious side effects include low white blood cell count, seizures, dyslipidemia, problems regulating body temperature, and pathological gambling or other compulsive behaviors.
Taking Abilify may impair your ability to drive, operate machinery, or perform other potentially dangerous tasks. This side effect usually wears off with time. If side effects are bothersome, or do not go away, talk to your doctor.
Most people taking this medication do not experience any of these side effects.
Abilify can increase a patient’s risk of neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). This is a rare, but serious condition that can cause a stroke resulting in death. If you experience high fever, sweating, rigid muscles, confusion, or changes in breathing or heartbeat, these could be warning signs of NMS and you should seek medical help at a hospital immediately.
Tell your doctor if you have diabetes or difficulty managing your blood sugar. Taking Abilify can increase blood sugar which, when untreated, can cause ketoacidosis, coma, or death. Warning signs of hyperglycemia include: excessive thirst, frequent urination, feeling very hungry, weak, tired or nauseous, fruit-scented breath, and nausea. If you experience these, contact your healthcare provider.
Some people experience tardive dyskinesia, a condition which causes uncontrollable movements in the face, tongue, or other body parts. This may not go away, even if you stop taking Abilify.
While taking Abilify, your doctor should regularly monitor the fat levels in your blood (cholesterol and triglycerides), weight, and blood pressure. Abilify can increase blood fat levels, cause weight gain, and create sudden changes in blood pressure, especially in children and teenagers.
The above is not a complete list of potential side effects. If you notice any health changes not listed above, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.
Precautions Associated with Abilify
Store Abilify in a secure place out of the reach of children, and at room temperature. Do not share your Abilify prescription with anyone, even another person with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Sharing prescription medication is illegal, and can cause harm.
You should not take Abilify if you have an allergy to aripiprazole or any of the ingredients in Abilify. Before taking Abilify, tell your doctor if you have a personal or family history of diabetes, abnormal blood pressure, low white blood cell count, or heart problems.
Do not become overheated or dehydrated while taking Abilify. This includes avoiding extremely strenuous exercise, spending time in the sun, or wearing too-heavy clothing.
If you’re thinking of becoming pregnant, discuss the use of Abilify with your doctor. Especially when taken in the last three months of pregnancy, it is suspected to cause fetal harm. It is recommended that mothers do not nurse while taking Abilify, as it is unsafe for infants, and Abilify passes into breastmilk.
Interactions Associated with Abilify
Before taking Abilify, discuss all other active prescription medications with your doctor.
Medications that inhibit or induce CYP2D6 or CYP3A4, enzymes that metabolize certain drugs, can increase or decrease how the body absorbs Abilify. Physicians may need to increase or decrease Abilify dosage when taken with prescriptions like itraconazole, fluoxetine, carbamazepine, rifampin, and lorazepam.
Share a list of all vitamin or herbal supplements, prescription, and non-prescription medications you take with the pharmacist when you fill your prescription, especially any drugs that cause drowsiness. Let all doctors and physicians know you are taking Abilify before having any surgery or laboratory tests.
The above is not a complete list of all possible drug interactions.