Abilify is an add-on medication used for the treatment of major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, manic and mixed episodes associated with bipolar disorder in adults and children and adolescents and also of irritability associated with autistic disorder in pediatric patients. The mechanism of action of Abilify is unknown. It shows partial agonism at the D2 receptor, it is also a partial agonist at the 5-HT1A receptor, and also displays an antagonist profile at the 5-HT2A receptor. It has moderate affinity for histamine and alpha adrenergic receptors, and no appreciable affinity for cholinergic muscarinic receptors.
Dosage and direction
Take Abilify once a day with or without food. The usual starting dose is 10 or 15 mg, later the dose may be increased to achieve the desired effect.
This medication was not approved for use in elderly people with psychosis related to dementia-related psychosis due to the risk of death. Antidepressants increase suicidal thoughts or behaviors in some adolescents especially if the dose is changed or during first period of treatment. Abilify was not approved for use in pediatric patients with depression. As Abilify is able to impair judgment, thinking, or motor skills do not use is during operating hazardous machinery, including automobiles if you are not sure that Abilify therapy does not affect you adversely. Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant or breastfeeding before taking this medication. Avoid drinking any alcoholic beverages during treatment. Avoid overheating and dehydration. Hyperglycemia, or elevated blood sugar, may occur when taking Abilify. If you have diabetes mellitus, monitor your blood sugar levels regularly.
Possible side effects
Most common adverse effects include nausea, vomiting, constipation, headache, dizziness, nervousness, sleeplessness, restlessness, tremors, cough, headache, insomnia, lightheadedness, rash, runny nose, weakness, and weight gain. More serious and rare adverse reactions such as an increased risk of stroke and ministroke; neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) which symptoms include fever, rigid muscles, confusion; tardive dyskinesia (TD) which symptoms include uncontrolled and abnormal movements of body parts.
Inform your doctor about all prescribed and over-the-counter medications and herbal products you are taking and especially if you use alcohol, blood pressure drugs, carbamazepine, fluoxetine, ketoconazole, paroxetine, and quinidine.
Carbamazepine (Tegretol) decreases the levels of Abilifyole in the body stimulating the liver enzymes such as CYP3A4. Similar influence on Abilify is shown by phenytoin (Dilantin), rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate), and phenobarbital. Blocking of CYP3A4 by Ketoconazole (Nizoral) increases the amount of Abilify in the body. Other drugs with similar action are: itraconazole (Sporanox), fluconazole (Diflucan), voriconazole (Vfend), cimetidine (Tagamet), verapamil (Calan, Isoptin), diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor), erythromycin, clarithromycin (Biaxin), nefazodone (Serzone), ritonavir (Norvir), saquinavir (Invirase), nelfinavir (Viracept), indinavir (Crixivan), and grapefruit juice. Their action is not well studied though.
Quinidine (Quinaglute, Quinidex) inhibits another liver enzyme known as CYP2D6 and also is able to increase the levels of Abilify. Other medicines with similar action are fluoxetine (Prozac) and paroxetine (Paxil). Abilify may dangerously increase blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes.
Abilify is taken once daily, so take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If the next dose is within 12 hours, do not take the missed dose and resume your normal dosing schedule. Never double the dose of this medication.
Common adverse reactions include vomiting, somnolence, and tremor. Other clinically important signs and symptoms observed are acidosis, aggression, aspartate aminotransferase increased, atrial fibrillation, bradycardia, coma, confusional state, convulsion, blood creatine phosphokinase increased, depressed level of consciousness, hypertension, hypokalemia, hypotension, lethargy, loss of consciousness, QRS complex prolonged, QT prolonged, pneumonia aspiration, respiratory arrest, status epilepticus, and tachycardia.
Store at room temperature in a tight dry container out of reach of children and pets. Do not use after expiration term.
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