What is aripiprazole?

Aripiprazole is an antipsychotic medication. It works by changing the actions of chemicals in the brain.

Aripiprazole is used to treat the symptoms of psychotic conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (manic depression). It is also used together with other medications to treat major depressive disorder in adults.

Aripiprazole may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Precautions

Aripiprazole is not for use in psychotic conditions that are related to dementia. Aripiprazole may cause heart failure, sudden death, or pneumonia in older adults with dementia-related conditions.

Before taking aripiprazole, tell your doctor if you have:

  • liver or kidney disease;
  • heart disease, high blood pressure, heart rhythm problems;
  • a history of heart attack or stroke;
  • a history of breast cancer;
  • seizures or epilepsy;
  • a personal or family history of diabetes; or
  • trouble swallowing.

If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take this medication.

The liquid form (oral solution) of this medication may contain up to 15 grams of sugar per dose. Before taking aripiprazole oral solution, tell your doctor if you have diabetes.

The orally disintegrating tablet form of this medication may contain over 3 milligrams of phenylalanine per tablet. Before taking Abilify Discmelt, tell your doctor if you have phenylketonuria.

Aripiprazole may cause you to have high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). Talk to your doctor if you have any signs of hyperglycemia such as increased thirst or urination, excessive hunger, or weakness. If you are diabetic, check your blood sugar levels on a regular basis while you are taking aripiprazole.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether aripiprazole is harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Aripiprazole can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Aripiprazole can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.

Avoid drinking alcohol, which can increase some of the side effects of aripiprazole.

Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated. Drink plenty of fluids, especially in hot weather and during exercise. It is easier to become dangerously overheated and dehydrated while you are taking aripiprazole.

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Instructions

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. Overdose symptoms may include drowsiness, vomiting, agitation, aggression, confusion, tremors, fast or slow heart rate, seizure (convulsions), trouble breathing, feeling light-headed, or fainting.

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

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Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using aripiprazole and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • fever, stiff muscles, confusion, sweating, fast or uneven heartbeats;
  • jerky muscle movements you cannot control;
  • sudden numbness or weakness, headache, confusion, or problems with vision, speech, or balance;
  • increased thirst or urination, loss of appetite, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, nausea, and vomiting
  • seizure (convulsions);
  • thoughts of hurting yourself;
  • feeling like you might pass out;
  • jaundice (yellowing of your skin or eyes); or
  • urinating less than usual or not at all.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • choking or trouble swallowing;
  • dizziness, drowsiness, or weakness;
  • constipation, mild stomach upset;
  • headache, anxiety;
  • sleep problems (insomnia); or
  • weight gain.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Interactions

Before you take aripiprazole, tell your doctor if you regularly use other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression, or anxiety). They can add to sleepiness caused by aripiprazole.

Also tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:

  • a medication to treat high blood pressure or a heart condition;
  • carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton), or phenytoin (Dilantin);
  • rifabutin (Mycobutin) or rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, Rifater);
  • ketoconazole (Nizoral), itraconazole (Sporanox);
  • quinidine (Cardioquin, Quinaglute); or
  • fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine (Luvox), or paroxetine (Paxil).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with aripiprazole. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Other Names

Abilify, Abilify Discmelt, and aripiprazole

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Disclaimer

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04

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