Abilify (generic name: Aripiprazole) is an antipsychotic drug which is used to treat conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar or manic depression in adults and to treat irritability and mood swings which commonly occur in children suffering from autism. Aripiprazole is a derivative of Quinolinone. The mechanism of action of Abilify is by partially acting as an agonist for Dopamine (D2) and Serotonin (5 HT 1A) receptors. It exerts its action also by partially antagonizing 5 HT (2A) receptors. Abilify exerts its action by restoring the balance of the neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin in the brain thereby decreasing the hallucinations and increasing the concentration of the self.
Abilify Side Effects:
The common side effects of Abilify are headache, dizziness, anxiety, agitation, nausea and vomiting, constipation, blurred vision, insomnia, sleepiness, akathisia, and tremors. Other less common and serious side effects of Abilify are Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome(MAS) where the patient experiences fever, stiffness of the muscles, increased breath rate, and reduced consciousness. Some patients may have suicidal thoughts and tardive dyskinesia. When Abilify is given to elderly patients with dementia they may get stroke. If allergic symptoms like itching, rashes, swelling of the mouth etc are noted while taking Abilify; it should be discontinued immediately and should seek medical assistance at the earliest possible.
Abilify is available in the doses of 5, 10, 15, 20 and 30 mg. It is available as tablets and orally dispersible tablets. Abilify can be taken along with or without meals. However the maximum dose per dose should not be more than 30 mg. Abilify should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Abilify should be kept out of reach of children. Abilify can be taken either in the morning or evening but preferably in the morning.
Patients allergic to Aripiprazole should immediately stop taking Abilify once the symptoms of drug allergy starts. Abilify interacts with other anti psychiatric drugs like carbamezepine, fluoxetine etc. Hence it should be used with caution while co administering such drugs. Abilify is classified as Category C drug by the FDC. Hence it is not safe to use in pregnant women. Abilify is excreted in breast milk. Hence Abilify should not be administered to nursing mothers. Abilify contains nearly 15 gm of sugar in its liquid form. Hence it should be used with caution in patients with diabetes for the risk of hyperglycemia. There is no need for dose adjustment in patients suffering from kidney and liver diseases. But the dose of Abilify should be reduced in patients suffering from severe liver damage. Abilify contains around 2 mg of phenylalanine and hence requires caution while administering to patients suffering from phenylketonuria. Abilify should not be used in elderly patients suffering from dementia.
The dose of Abilify should be reduced when drugs like Fluoxetine, paroxetine which inhibit the hepatic enzymes like CYP2D6 (cytochrome P450 2D6) and CYP3A4 (cytochrome P450 3A4) are co administered. Similarly the dose of Abilify should be increased when drugs like Carbamazepine which induces CYP2D6 AND CYP3A4 is administered along with Abilify.
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