Aripiprazole

Aripiprazole
(AR-i-PIP-ra-zole)

Abilify, Maintena

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Aripiprazole is used to treat certain mental/mood disorders (such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and irritability associated with autistic disorder). It may also be used in combination with other medication to treat depression. Aripiprazole is known as an antipsychotic drug (atypical type). It works by helping to restore the balance of certain natural chemicals in the brain (neurotransmitters).

This medication can decrease hallucinations and improve your concentration. It helps you to think more clearly and positively about yourself, feel less nervous, and take a more active part in everyday life. Aripiprazole can treat severe mood swings and decrease how often mood swings occur.

It may take several weeks before you get the full benefit of this drug. Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.

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A product that may interact with this drug is: metoclopramide.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products that cause drowsiness including alcohol, antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, and narcotic pain relievers (such as codeine).

Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.

Common side effects of Aripiprazole include:

  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Tiredness
  • Excess saliva/drooling
  • Blurred vision
  • Weight gain
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Trouble sleeping

If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: fainting, mental/mood changes (such as increased anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts), trouble swallowing, restlessness (especially in the legs), shaking (tremor), muscle spasm, mask-like expression of the face, seizures, signs of infection (such as fever, persistent sore throat).

This medication may infrequently make your blood sugar level rise, which can cause or worsen diabetes. Rarely, very serious conditions such as diabetic coma may occur. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms of high blood sugar, such as increased thirst and urination. If you already have diabetes, be sure to check your blood sugars regularly. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.

This medication may rarely cause a condition called tardive dyskinesia. In some cases, this condition may be permanent. Tell your doctor right away if you develop any unusual uncontrolled movements (especially of the face, mouth, tongue, arms, or legs).

This medication may rarely cause a very serious condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Get medical help right away if you have any of the following symptoms: fever, muscle stiffness/pain/tenderness/weakness, severe tiredness, severe confusion, sweating, fast/irregular heartbeat, dark urine, change in the amount of urine.

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Every human has four endowments- self-awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom... The power to choose, to respond, to change.

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