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Aripiprazole

Apo-Aripiprazole

Apo-Aripiprazole is a medication used to treat bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, Tourette’s syndrome, and irritability associated with autism. It is available in various forms and strengths, with dosages adjusted based on the condition being treated. Safety guidelines include warnings about potential side effects, precautions for use, and contraindications. The boxed warning highlights the increased risk of death in seniors with dementia-related psychosis and the risk of suicidal thoughts in children and young adults. Always consult a healthcare provider for proper use and dosage.

Product Overview

Apo-Aripiprazole contains the active ingredient Aripiprazole, an antipsychotic used to treat psychiatric conditions like bipolar disorder, Tourette’s syndrome, schizophrenia, and irritability associated with autistic disorder. It is also used in combination with other medications to treat depression. Aripiprazole works by balancing neurotransmitters in the brain, particularly dopamine and serotonin, to stabilize mood and behavior.

Available in tablet form (2mg, 5mg, 10mg, 15mg, 20mg, 30mg), orally disintegrating tablets (10mg, 15mg), and oral solution (1mg/mL), Apo-Aripiprazole is typically taken once daily. Dosage varies based on the condition being treated and the patient’s response to the medication. Patients need to follow their doctor’s instructions regarding dosage and administration.

Common side effects include difficulty speaking, drooling, loss of balance, muscle trembling, restlessness, and uncontrolled movements. More serious side effects can occur, such as high fever, seizures, and severe muscle stiffness. Patients should be aware of the medication’s boxed warnings, which highlight an increased risk of death in seniors with dementia-related psychosis and an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults. 

Uses of Apo-Aripiprazole

Apo-Aripiprazole is used to treat:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Irritability associated with autistic disorder. 
  • It may also be used in combination with other medications to treat depression.

How to Use Apo-Aripiprazole?

Dosage

Strengths and Forms

Tablet

  • 2mg
  • 5mg
  • 10mg
  • 15mg
  • 20mg
  • 30mg

Tablet, orally disintegrating

  • 10mg
  • 15mg

Oral solution

  • 1mg/mL

Recommended Dosage for Different Patients 

For Bipolar Disorder:

  • Abilify and Abilify Discmelt:
    • Adults: Start with 15 mg once daily. With lithium or valproate, start with 10-15 mg once daily. The dose can be adjusted but usually doesn’t exceed 30 mg per day.
    • Children (10 years and older): Start with 2 mg once daily, gradually increasing to 10 mg once daily. The dose can be adjusted but usually doesn’t exceed 30 mg per day.
    • Children (younger than 10 years): Dose to be determined by the doctor.
  • Abilify Mycite:
    • Adults: Start with 15 mg once daily. With lithium or valproate, start with 10-15 mg once daily. The dose can be adjusted but usually doesn’t exceed 30 mg per day.
    • Children: Dose to be determined by the doctor.

For Depression:

  • Adults: Start with 2-5 mg once daily. The dosage can be adjusted but should not be taken more than 15 mg per day.
  • Children: Dose to be determined by the doctor.

For Irritability in Children with Autistic Disorder:

  • Children (6 to 17 years): Start with 2 mg once daily. The dose can be adjusted but usually doesn’t exceed 15 mg per day.
  • Children (younger than 6 years): Dose to be determined by the doctor.

For Schizophrenia:

  • Abilify and Abilify Discmelt:
    • Adults: Start with 10-15 mg once daily. The dose can be adjusted but usually doesn’t exceed 30 mg per day.
    • Children (13 to 17 years): Start with 2 mg once daily, gradually increasing to 10 mg once daily. The dose can be adjusted but usually is at most 30 mg per day.
    • Children (younger than 13 years): Dose to be determined by the doctor.
  • Abilify Mycite:
    • Adults: Start with 10-15 mg once daily. The dose can be adjusted but usually is at most 30 mg per day.
    • Children: Dose to be determined by the doctor.

[Note: Remember, these recommendations may vary from person to person. Discuss it with your doctor, and they’ll customize your dosage accordingly.]

How to Take It?

  • Unless a medical professional gives you directions to use this medication in a different way, you should take APO-Aripiprazole only once a day.
  • APO-Aripiprazole tablets should be swallowed whole and washed down with a glass of water.
  • APO-Aripiprazole helps to control your condition but does not cure it. Therefore, you must take APO-Aripiprazole every day. Improvement in symptoms may take several days to some weeks to occur. Even if you feel better after a couple of doses, do not stop taking APO-Aripiprazole unless your doctor tells you to.

[Note: Your doctor will decide the right amount for you based on your condition, following guidelines and studies on the drug. They’ll adjust it as needed over time.]

How Does Apo-Aripiprazole Work?

Apo-Aripiprazole is a medication that works by balancing certain chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters, specifically dopamine and serotonin. It acts as a partial agonist, meaning it can both stimulate and block these receptors depending on the situation. This helps to reduce symptoms of conditions like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder by stabilizing mood and behavior. It’s also used as an add-on treatment for major depressive disorder to enhance the effects of other antidepressants.

Important Safety Information

Side Effects

Common side effects may include:

  • Drooling
  • Restlessness
  • Shuffling walk
  • Stiffness of the limbs
  • Difficulty in speaking
  • Loss of balance control
  • Muscle trembling, jerking, or stiffness
  • Twisting movements of the body
  • Uncontrolled movements, especially of the face, neck, and back

Mild side effects may include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nervousness
  • Blurred vision
  • Inability to move the eyes
  • Pounding in the ears
  • Slow or fast heartbeat
  • Sticking out the tongue
  • Unusual facial expressions
  • Increased blinking or spasms of the eyelid
  • Trouble with breathing or swallowing

Adverse/Serious side effects may include:

  • High fever
  • Seizures
  • Tiredness
  • Increased sweating
  • Unusually pale skin
  • Loss of bladder control
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Puffing of the cheeks
  • Smacking or puckering of lips
  • Worm-like tongue movements
  • Severe muscle stiffness
  • Sudden loss of consciousness
  • Uncontrolled chewing movements
  • Muscle spasm or jerking of all extremities
  • Uncontrolled movements of the arms and legs

[Note: Remember, this list may not cover all possible side effects. Always consult with your healthcare giver for medical advice about side effects.]

Warnings

  • If using Aripiprazole in combination with other medications for treating depression, thoroughly review the drug information for each medication.
  • Older adults with dementia may face a slightly higher risk of severe side effects, including stroke, heart failure, fast heartbeat, and pneumonia, when using Aripiprazole.
  • Aripiprazole is not approved for treating behavior problems related to dementia.
  • Discuss the risks and benefits of using Aripiprazole with your doctor, as well as alternative treatments for dementia-related behavior problems that may be safer and more effective.

Boxed Warning

  • Risk of Death in Seniors with Dementia: There is an increased risk of death for seniors (ages 65 years and older) with dementia-related psychosis when using this medication.
  • Suicide Risk in Children: The use of antidepressants, including this medication, in children, adolescents, and young adults may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor to determine if this medication is safe for your child.
  • Abilify MyCite Pediatric Warning: The safety and effectiveness of the Abilify MyCite form of Aripiprazole have not been established for use in children.

Precautions

  • Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have any allergies, especially to Aripiprazole or its inactive ingredients like propylene glycol.
  • Discuss your medical history with your healthcare provider, particularly if you have had cerebrovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, heart issues, nervous system problems, obesity, low white blood cell count, swallowing problems, or sleep apnea.
  • Be cautious, as this medication can cause dizziness, drowsiness, or blurred vision. Avoid driving or using machinery until you are sure you can do so safely.
  • Alcohol and marijuana can increase dizziness and feeling of drowsiness. Limit or avoid their use while on this medication.
  • Aripiprazole may reduce sweating, increasing the risk of heatstroke. Stay hydrated, dress lightly, and seek cool places when it’s hot.
  • If you have diabetes, be aware that liquid forms of this medication may contain sugar. Consult your healthcare provider for safe use.
  • Older adults may be more prone to specific side effects like seizures, dizziness, confusion, and swallowing problems.
  • Before any surgery, inform your healthcare providers about all the medications you are taking.
  • Use this medication during pregnancy only if clearly needed. Babies born to mothers who used Aripiprazole in the last trimester may experience symptoms like muscle stiffness, shakiness, drowsiness, feeding/breathing difficulties, or constant crying.
  • Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor, especially if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
  • Aripiprazole passes into breast milk. Discuss the risks and benefits of breastfeeding with your doctor while on this medication.

Contraindications

Aripiprazole should not be used by patients who have had an allergic reaction to Aripiprazole in the past. These reactions can vary from itching and hives to a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis.

Missed Dose

  • If you miss a dose of Apo-Aripiprazole, take it as soon as you remember. 
  • If it is close to the time for your next dosage of medication, leave the missed dose and resume your regular schedule. 
  • Do not take a double dose to make up for the missed one.

[Note: If you have missed a dose of your medication and are unsure about when to take the next one, immediately consult your doctor or pharmacist.]

Overdose 

An overdose of Aripiprazole can be severe and requires immediate medical attention. If you suspect an overdose of Aripiprazole or encounter someone who may have overdosed, it is critical to seek immediate medical attention.

 

[Note: If you consumed more than the recommended dose, get medical help right away or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.]

Storage

  • Store the medication in a closed container at room temperature.
  • Keep the medicine away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Prevent the medicine from freezing.
  • Ensure the medicine is kept out of the reach of children.
  • Refrain from retaining outdated or unneeded medication.
  • Consult your healthcare professional for proper disposal of unused medicine.

[Note: Discuss with your healthcare professional about the proper disposal of any unused medicine and any questions you may have regarding its storage.]

Apo-Aripiprazole Interactions

  • Bepridil
  • Bromopride
  • Cisapride
  • Dronedarone
  • Fluconazole
  • Ketoconazole
  • Levoketoconazole
  • Mesoridazine
  • Metoclopramide
  • Pimozide
  • Piperaquine
  • Posaconazole
  • Saquinavir
  • Sparfloxacin
  • Terfenadine
  • Thioridazine
  • Ziprasidone

[Note: This isn’t a complete list, and there could be other drugs that interact with Apo-Aripiprazole. Make sure to tell your doctor about any prescription, over-the-counter medicines, and herbal products you’re taking.]

Apo-Aripiprazole Alternatives

[Note: Your doctor will choose what’s best for you. Don’t use any of these alternative medications without consulting your healthcare provider. Taking them by yourself may cause serious side effects.] 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can children use Aripiprazole?

It is safe to use Aripiprazole in children. Generally speaking, doctors prescribe it to treat mental health issues to kids who are 13 years old or older and have a condition called schizophrenia. Kids who are six years old or older can use it if they have Tourette’s disorder or specific symptoms of autism. Also, kids who are ten years old or older can use it for bipolar I disorder.

Is it safe to use Aripiprazole during pregnancy?

It is possible to use Aripiprazole during pregnancy if the benefits to the mother outweigh any potential risks to the baby. In some cases, babies may experience withdrawal symptoms after birth if their mothers regularly take Aripiprazole before delivery. The symptoms include nervousness, breathing troubles, trembling, drowsiness, eating difficulties, stiff muscles, or low muscle tone. The best way to get accurate information is to consult a healthcare provider.

Does Aripiprazole treat OCD? 

Yes, it is possible to treat Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) with Aripiprazole. OCD is often treated with other medicines, such as SSRIs, which are often the first line of treatment. If SSRIs alone do not improve OCD symptoms, adding Aripiprazole might provide relief. Aripiprazole is an effective antipsychotic when combined with other medications.

Why is it recommended to take Aripiprazole in the morning?

Aripiprazole can cause varying effects on sleep, leading to sleepiness in some individuals and insomnia in others. It is generally advised to take Aripiprazole in the morning, particularly if it disrupts your sleep at night. However, the most crucial aspect is ensuring that you take your medication regularly. If Aripiprazole makes you drowsy or if you are more likely to remember to take it in the evening, then it may be taken at night.

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