What is Abilify?Abilify is an antipsychotic drug used to treat a number of conditions, including schizophrenia; bipolar I disorder; major depressive disorder (in combination with other antidepressants) in adults who did not have an adequate response to antidepressant therapy; agitation associated with schizophrenia or bipolar mania; and irritability associated with autistic disorder.
What is the most important information I should know about Abilify?Antidepressant medicines may increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some children, teenagers, and young adults within the first few months of treatment.
Depression and other serious mental illnesses are the most important causes of suicidal thoughts and actions. Pay close attention to any changes, especially sudden changes in mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings. This is very important when an antidepressant medicine is started or when the dose is changed. Keep all follow-up visits with your doctor.
Call your doctor right away if you or your family member has any of the following symptoms, especially if they are new, worse, or worry you: thoughts about suicide or dying, attempts to commit suicide, new or worse depression, new or worse anxiety, feeling very agitated or restless, panic attacks, trouble sleeping (insomnia), new or worse irritability, acting aggressive, being angry or violent, acting on dangerous impulses, an extreme increase in activity and talking (mania), or other unusual changes in behavior or mood.
Abilify may cause neuroleptic malignant syndrome, a serious and potentially fatal reaction to the drug. Call your doctor immediately if you develop muscle stiffness, confusion, irregular or rapid heartbeat, increased blood pressure, excessive sweating, shaking, and high fever.
Abilify may cause tardive dyskinesia, a potentially irreversible condition characterized by uncontrollable muscle spasms and twitches in the face and body. Older adults, especially women, appear to be at greater risk.
Elevated blood sugar, may occur when taking Abilify. If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar levels carefully.
If you have kidney and/or liver disease, you should be monitored closely while taking Abilify.
Abilify Discmelt Orally Disintegrating Tablets contain phenylalanine and should be avoided in patients with phenylketonuria.
Abilify Oral Solution has sucrose and fructose that may increase your blood sugar.
Who should not take Abilify?Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis should not receive Abilify. Do not take Abilify if you are allergic to this medication or any of its ingredients.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Abilify?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Abilify. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have any history of confusion and memory loss (dementia), cerebrovascular events (for example, stroke), suicidal thoughts or actions, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, abnormal or uncontrollable movements of the face, tongue, or other parts of body, diabetes or risk factors for diabetes (for example, obesity, family history of diabetes), high blood pressure, heart disease, or are recovering from a heart attack, taking high blood pressure medicines, have a low white blood cell count, infection, or are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Adults: The starting dose is 15 milligrams (mg) daily, which can be increased to 30 mg daily if needed. Treatment may be as long as 6 weeks.
Children and adolescents 10-17 years: The recommended dose is 10 mg daily taken alone or with lithium or valproate. The starting dose is usually 2 mg daily, which may be increased to 10 mg daily over a period of 4 days.
Major Depressive Disorder
Adults: The recommended starting dose for people already taking an antidepressant is 2-5 mg daily. The dose may be increased up to 15 mg daily if necessary.
Irritability Associated with Autistic Disorder
Children and adolescents 6-17 years: The recommended starting dose is 2 mg daily. The dose may be gradually increased to 10-15 mg daily if needed.
Adults: The recommended starting dose is 10-15 mg daily. Dosage increases, if necessary, can be made 2 weeks after therapy has started.
Adolescents 13-17 years: The recommended dose is 10 mg daily.
Agitation Associated with Schizophrenia or Bipolar Mania
Adults: The recommended dose is 9.75 mg given as an injection into the muscle.
How should I take Abilify?Abilify tablets should be taken as one dose, with or without food, as directed. For the Abilify Discmelt Orally Disintegrating tablets, do not open the blister until you are ready to take the medicine. Do not push the tablet through the foil because this could damage the tablet. Peel back the foil on the blister to expose the tablet. Upon peeling the foil, use dry hands to remove the tablet right away, and place the entire tablet on your tongue. Tablet dissolves rapidly in saliva. Although it is recommended to take the disintegrating tablet without liquid, you may do so if needed. Do not attempt to split the tablets.
What should I avoid while taking Abilify?Avoid stopping Abilify without first talking to your doctor. Stopping an antidepressant medicine suddenly can cause symptoms.
Because Abilify can impair judgment, thinking, or motor skills, you should not drive or operate hazardous machinery until you know how Abilify affects you.
Avoid drinking alcohol during treatment with Abilify.
Avoid rapid movements, such as quickly rising from a seated or lying position. Side effects such as dizziness and fainting have been reported with Abilify due to a sudden change in heart rate or blood pressure when changing positions quickly.
Avoid getting overheated or dehydrated. Stay out of the sun.and drink plenty of water.
Avoid excessive sugar intake if you have diabetes, since Abilify may increase your blood sugar levels.
Avoid becoming pregnant and breastfeeding while on Abilify.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Abilify?If Abilify is used with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Abilify with the following: alcohol, blood pressure medicine, carbamazepine, fluoxetine, itraconazole, ketoconazole, paroxetine, or quinidine.
What are the possible side effects of Abilify?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects may include: stroke, worsening of depression and suicidal thoughts or actions, akathisia (prolonged, abnormal muscle spasms or contractions or a sense of restlessness or need to move), increased blood sugar or diabetes, low blood pressure, low white blood cell count, seizures, sensitivity to extreme temperatures, difficulty swallowing, nausea, vomiting, constipation, headache, dizziness, anxiety, nervousness, sleeplessness, restlessness, tremors, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, tardive dyskinesia.
Can I receive Abilify if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?The effects of Abilify during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, are breastfeeding, or plan to breastfeed.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Abilify?Since Abilify is taken once daily, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If the next dose is within 12 hours, skip the missed dose and continue with your normal dosing schedule. Never take two doses at once.
How should I store Abilify?Store at room temperature.
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