Aripiprazole is indicated for the treatment of schizophrenia, a severe mental disorder characterised by unpredictable thoughts and behaviour and a withdrawal from reality, and is also used in the treatment and prevention of further episodes of the manic phase or bipolar depression.
This medication does not cure any of these conditions, but merely keeps them under control. For it to be effective, you need to take it regularly and not skip a dose.
In some persons aripiprazole may cause an increase in blood sugar. Diabetics are especially at risk and should undergo regular testing. Aripiprazole may also cause an abrupt drop in blood pressure in some. Be careful when suddenly getting up, as this medication may leave you light-headed or even cause you to faint. Be extra careful if you are taking medication for high blood pressure.
This medication may also cause your body to overheat. Be cautious in hot weather or when doing exercise, and ensure you take plenty of fluids.
How does aripiprazole work?
Aripiprazole is thought to work by changing the activity of serotonin and dopamine, chemical messengers in the brain. It reduces conditions under which a person might lose touch with reality.
Drug schedule: Schedule 5
Available as: tablets
What does it do? Aripiprazole treats schizophrenia and manic episodes
Overdose risk: Medium
Dependence risk: Low
Available as a generic ? No
Available on prescription only? Yes
Dietary advice: Aripiprazole can be taken with or without food.
Stopping this medicine: Do not discontinue this drug without consulting your doctor. Symptoms may recur with premature discontinuation.
Prolonged use: Long-term use is associated with tardive dyskinesea, a condition marked by involuntary movement of the face and body, which may be permanent.
Consult your doctor before using this drug if:
- you are diabetic,
- you have a heart or circulatory problem,
- you are being treated for high blood pressure,
- you have epilepsy,
- you have liver disease, or
- you are taking any other medication.
Pregnancy: Avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before using this drug, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.
Breastfeeding: Avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before use.
Porphyria: Avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your condition. Consult your doctor before use.
Infants and children: Safety and efficacy of this medication has not been established for children under the age of 18.
Elderly: Caution is advised in the elderly, especially in those patients with dementia.
Driving and hazardous work : Caution is advised as use of this medication may lead to dizziness, light-headedness and/or sedation. Avoid such activities until you know how it affects you.
Alcohol: Avoid concomitant use of alcohol with this medication.
Source reference – Health24.com