Abilify is a medication that is used to treat various mental health conditions, such as depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. It contains an active ingredient called Aripiprazole. Aripiprazole belongs to the antipsychotic medical class. Antipsychotic medication works by affecting certain chemicals in the brain that can become unbalanced and lead to mental health issues.
Aripiprazole is primarily used to treat the symptoms of psychotic conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and is also used as an add-on treatment for adults with Major Depressive Disorder when an antidepressant alone is not enough. Abilify has been used for over a decade by healthcare professionals around the world as a means of helping individuals manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. Abilify is available by prescription only and should be taken as directed by a healthcare provider.
Uses and Dosage
Abilify comes in the form of tablets that are taken by mouth with or without food, usually once daily. The dosage is based on several factors such as your medical condition, response to treatment, age, and other medications you may be taking. To minimize the risk of side effects, your doctor may advise you to start taking Abilify at a low dose and increase it gradually as required. Disclose all the products you use, including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products, to your doctor and pharmacist. Additionally, follow your doctor’s instructions carefully when taking Abilify.
The recommended dosages of Aripiprazole can vary based on the medical condition being treated, age, response to treatment, and other medications being taken. However, here are some general dosage guidelines for Aripiprazole:
- For adults with schizophrenia, the recommended starting dose of Aripiprazole is 10 to 15 mg per day, with the target dose being 10 to 30 mg per day. Clinical trials have not found doses exceeding 10 or 15 mg to be more effective.
- For adolescents aged 13 to 17 with schizophrenia, the recommended target dose of Aripiprazole is 10 mg per day.
- For adults with major depressive disorder, the recommended starting dose of Aripiprazole as an add-on treatment to an antidepressant is 2 to 5 mg per day, with the target dose being 5 to 15 mg per day.
Common Side Effects of Abilify (Aripiprazole):
- Excess saliva
- Insomnia or trouble sleeping
- Nausea or tiredness
- Stomach upset
- Weight gain
Serious Side Effects of Abilify (Aripiprazole):
- Infection symptoms (fever, chills, persistent sore throat)
- Mask-like expression of the face
- Mental or mood changes
- Muscle spasm
- Shaking or tremors
- Tardive dyskinesia or involuntary, repetitive movements
- Trouble swallowing
Form and Strength
Abilify (Aripiprazole) is available in the following forms and strengths:
- 2 mg
- 5 mg
- 10 mg
- 15 mg
- 20 mg
- 30 mg
- 2 mg
- 5 mg
- 10 mg
- 15 mg
- 20 mg
- 30 mg
- Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis who are treated with antipsychotic medications, such as Aripiprazole, have a higher risk of mortality than those who receive a placebo. ABILIFY is not cleared for the treatment of people with dementia-related psychosis.
- If you are allergic to aripiprazole or any of the ingredients present in Aripiprazole, do not consume it. Allergic reactions to aripiprazole can vary from rashes, hives, and itching to anaphylaxis, which exhibits symptoms such as breathing difficulty, chest tightness, and swelling of the lips, tongue, face, or mouth.
- If you miss a dose of Abilify, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is close to the time for your next dose. In that case, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule.
- Abilify may increase the risk of stroke in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis.
- Aripiprazole may cause high blood sugar or worsen diabetes, so monitor blood sugar levels regularly.
- Abilify may cause a drop in blood pressure upon standing, which can lead to dizziness or fainting.
- Aripiprazole may cause movement disorders such as tardive dyskinesia, which can be irreversible and potentially lead to disability.
- Abilify may cause suicidal thoughts or behaviors, particularly in children, adolescents, and young adults.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can Abilify be taken during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
Abilify should only be taken during pregnancy or while breastfeeding if the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks to the fetus or nursing infant. However, discuss any concerns about taking Abilify during pregnancy or while breastfeeding with your doctor.
What are the possible drug interactions with Abilify?
Abilify may interact with other medications, including certain antidepressants, antifungal medications, and blood pressure medications. Tell your doctor about all medications you are taking before starting Abilify.
How is Abilify typically taken?
Abilify is usually taken once daily, either with or without food. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions regarding dosing and administration.
How long does it take for Abilify to start working?
It may take several weeks for Abilify to start working to alleviate symptoms of mental health conditions. Continue taking the medication as directed by your doctor even if you do not feel immediate improvement.
Can Abilify be addictive?
Abilify is not considered to be addictive, but it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions regarding dosing and to not suddenly stop taking the medication without discussing it with your doctor.