ABILIFY is an antipsychotic medication used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (manic depression). It works by changing the actions of chemicals in the brain and decreases abnormal excitement in the brain. ABILIFY is also used to treat irritability and symptoms of aggression, mood swings, temper tantrums, and self-injury related to autistic disorder in children who are at least six years old. It may also be used in combination with other medications to treat major depressive disorder in adults.
Take ABILIFY as exactly prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor may adjust your dose to achieve optimal results. It is recommended not to take ABILIFY for longer than six weeks, unless your doctor advised you to. Use ABILIFY regularly to get the most benefit.
Keep the tablet in its packaging until you are ready to take it. ABILIFY can be taken with or without food. Do not swallow the tablet whole; allow it to dissolve in your mouth without chewing. If desired, patients may drink liquid to help swallow the dissolved tablet.
Some medical conditions may interact with ABILIFY. Speak to your doctor if you have any of the following medical conditions:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant
- if you are breast-feeding or planning on breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have a history of heart problems (eg, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, heart attack), low blood pressure, blood vessel problems, or stroke
- if you have a history of low white blood cell levels, including low white blood cell levels caused by any medicine
- if you have a history of seizures, dementia, Alzheimer disease, depression or other mental or mood disorders, or suicidal thoughts or attempts
- if you have trouble swallowing or a history of neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS)
- if you are dehydrated, have low blood volume, or are taking medicine for high blood pressure
- if you or a family member has a history of diabetes or you are very overweight
Some medications may interact with ABILIFY. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines. Elderly people with psychosis related to dementia, treated with antipsychotic medicines including ABILIFY, are at an increased risk of death. ABILIFY is not approved for the treatment of people with dementia-related psychosis.ABILIFY may increase suicidal thoughts or behaviors in some children, teenagers, and young adults, especially within the first few months of treatment or when the dose is changed. Patients on ABILIFY and their caregivers should watch for new or worsening depression symptoms, unusual changes in behavior, or thoughts of suicide. Such symptoms should be reported to the patient’s healthcare professional right away, especially if they are severe or occur suddenly. ABILIFY is not approved for use in pediatric patients with depression.
Patients should not use ABILIFY if they are allergic to aripiprazole or any of the ingredients in contained in this medication. Allergic reactions may range from rash, hives to itching, including difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, and swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue.
Serious side effects may include:
- increased risk of stroke and mini-stroke of elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis
- severe fever
- rigid muscles or shaking
- increased heart rate and/or blood pressure
- uncontrollable movements of face, tongue, or other parts of body
- light-headedness or faintness
- decreases in white blood cells
ABILIFY can affect a patient’s judgment, cognitive functioning and/or motor skills. Avoid driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how ABILIFY affects you. This medication can also impact your body’s ability to reduce body temperature – avoid overheating and dehydration.