Abilify

Abilify is currently used to treat psychotic mental health conditions, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and agitation in children with autism. The Food and Drug Administration approved Abilify for the treatment of schizophrenia in 2002, for the treatment of bipolar disorder in 2004, and for the treatment of major depressive disorder in 2007. Abilify is considered part of a major class of medication called atypical antipsychotics.

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Abilify

What is Abilify?

Aripiprazole, which is marketed under the name of Abilify by Otsuka and Bristol-Myers Squibb, is currently prescribed for conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and is used in conjunction with other medications as an adjunctive treatment for major depression in adults. Other patients may be prescribed Abilify to treat irritability associated with autistic disorder. Although the medical process is complicated, like other anti-psychotic medications, Abilify works to block nerve receptors in the brain for several neurotransmitters which affect dopamine and serotonin receptors, two crucial chemicals in the brain.

Other Uses

Abilify (aripiprazole) is prescribed for several conditions including medical treatment for patient’s irritability associated with autistic disorder, specifically for pediatric patients ages six to seventeen. It can also be used for the treatment of adults and adolescents with schizophrenia, specifically adolescents aged 13 to 17 years. Abilify is also used to treat mixed episodes or manic episodes for adults with Bipolar I Disorder and as an add-on treatment for adults with depression when an antidepressant is insufficient.

Abilify Usage and Statistics

Abilify (aripiprazole) is one of the most prescribed medications with sales close to $5,000,000,000. Abilify is very popular and publicized with well-directed television and print ads. Unfortunately, as with many medications, Abilify does have the potential to cause minor to severe side-effects. Recently the companies responsible for marketing and selling this top-selling antipsychotic in the United States have been sued by users who have accumulated heavy gambling debts. These users claim Otsuka and Bristol-Myers Squibb failed to properly warn of the dangers of taking Abilify.

How Abilify Works

Abilify can be taken in tablet, liquid, injection or orally disintegrating tablets. It is a second generation antipsychotic (SGA), atypical antipsychotic medication. Abilify works to rebalance the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the body thus improving a patient’s thinking, mood, and behavior. Abilify, if it works correctly, can help alleviate schizophrenic symptoms, including hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thinking and lack of motivation. Abilify is considered a second era antipsychotics (Sgas), contrasted to Thorazine and Haldol, which are considered original antipsychotics and can cause more serious neurologic reactions because they target just dopamine receptors. Abilify, however, affects both dopamine and serotonin.

For example, Aripiprazole (Abilify) can improve or repress either dopamine or serotonin levels. For this reason Abilify is often referred to as a stabilizer. If a patient is prescribed Abilify they are given low dose tablets one time per day, which can be increased over a period of several weeks. Patients should talk to their medical doctor for more information about the correct dosage.

Do you have any signs or symptoms after taking Abilify?

  • Stiff muscles
  • Confusion
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Chills
  • Flu-like Symptoms
  • Confusion
  • Vision Problems
  • Panic Attacks
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Agitation
  • Mania
  • Body Aches
  • Sweating
  • Irregular Heartbeats
  • Lack of Balance
  • Headaches
  • Sores in the mouth
  • Speech Problems
  • Worry
  • Aggression
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Restlessness

Unfortunately, although Abilify can be helpful for many patients suffering from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, in some cases certain patients, such as adolescents and children, may have an increased risk of depression and risk of suicidal thinking. Anyone taking or considering taking aripiprazole or any other antidepressant in a child or adolescent should understand the risks and determine if it should be taken. Medical experts also warn that all patients who experience suicidal thoughts or any unusual changes in behavior should consult with their doctors immediately. Medical studies have indicated that there may be a potential risk for an increase in stroke for elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis. Other patients reported difficulty swallowing and weight gain. Abilify should also not be used if you are operating hazardous machinery because it can negatively affect judgment, motor skills, and thinking.





Abilify Black Box Warnings

  • Abilify can cause a variety of serious side-effects including heart failure, sudden death, and pneumonia. Patients are also warned about taking Abilify if they have other serious medical conditions such as:
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Breast cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Seizures
  • History of strokes
  • Low or high blood pressure
  • Irregular heart beat
  • High cholesterol or triglycerides
  • Low white blood cells
  • Risk of heart Attack
  • History of breast cancer
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • High blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Abnormal thinking
  • Jerking
  • Stiffness
  • Impulsiveness
  • Irritability
  • Hostility
  • Loss of control over urination
  • loss of coordination
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Other patients taking Abilify should also notify their doctor if they have thoughts of suicide, mood swings, or diabetes. Patients should also be under the regular care of their doctor and discuss problems such as those listed above. Your doctor should also be notified if you are pregnant or expect to become pregnant while taking this medications.

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