Abilify is a medication that can treat mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and more. It’s an antipsychotic medication that works by helping the chemicals in your brain work better. This blog post will give you all of the information you need to know about Abilify so that you can make an educated decision on whether or not this treatment option is right for you.
What Is Abilify?
Abilify (aripiprazole) is a prescription medication used to treat mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and depression. Abilify is also approved to treat irritability in children with autism spectrum disorders. It belongs to a class of drugs called atypical antipsychotics.
What Does Abilify Treat?
Abilify treats a number of mental illnesses. Some of these are:
Abilify treats depression by increasing the amount of serotonin, a chemical in the brain, at certain nerve endings.
Abilify is used to treat schizophrenia by helping to block certain receptors in the brain that may become overactive.
Abilify is used to help control manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder. It also helps to decrease the frequency of these episodes.
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Irritability is a common symptom in children with autism spectrum disorders. Abilify can treat this irritability.
Working of Abilify
The exact way that Abilify works is not known. It is thought to work by balancing certain chemicals in the brain that are involved in moods and thoughts. This helps improve symptoms of mental illness.
This medicine works by blocking certain receptors in the brain, which helps to restore the balance of these chemicals. This further helps the brain and body respond normally to these chemical changes.
It further helps in making sure that the dopamine levels are balanced. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control feelings of reward and pleasure.
In addition, this also works by blocking serotonin receptors from being activated by serotonin, another neurotransmitter involved with moods and thoughts. It further makes more serotonin available for use by the brain to help improve symptoms of mental illness.
Abilify Dosage Information
Doctors recommend starting off at a low dose before gradually increasing it over time if needed. The usual dose range is between 0.25 mg and 15 mg per day, taken once or twice a day.
You can take it with or without food.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular schedule. Do not take two doses at once.
Directions To Use Abilify
These are some of the directions to use Abilify:
- Abilify comes as a tablet to take by mouth.
- The usual dose range is between 0.25 mg and 15 mg per day, taken once or twice a day.
- You can take it with or without food.
- Take Abilify exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not change the dose unless your doctor tells you to do so.
- If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember and continue with your regular schedule. Do not take two doses at once.
Abilify Side Effects
Like all medications, this may cause side effects. Some common side effects include:
This medicine can cause dizziness, especially when you first start taking it.
You may feel drowsy or sleepy while taking Abilify. Avoid driving or operating heavy machinery until you know how this medicine affects you.
Nausea And Vomiting
Abilify can cause nausea and vomiting. If these symptoms occur, contact your doctor right away.
This medication can cause weight gain in some people. Talk to your doctor about ways to manage any weight gain.
This drug can cause tremors or shaking movements of the hands or feet in some people.
It can cause a change in sex drive or problems with being able to have an orgasm. If you experience these symptoms, contact your doctor right away.
How To Manage Abilify Side-Effects
These are some of the ways to manage Abilify Side-effects:
- If you feel dizzy or faint, it is best to sit down and then stand up slowly. Standing up too quickly can make you feel lightheaded or even cause fainting.
- You should drink plenty of fluids while taking Abilify to help prevent nausea and vomiting.
- You can take this medicine with food if this occurs. This will also help to reduce the chances of becoming nauseated or throwing it back up again.
- You should try to avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated while taking this medication. Drink plenty of fluids, especially if you are active and perspiring a lot.
- If you have tremors, shaking movements of the hands or feet, tell your doctor. There may be a need for a change in the dose of Abilify that you are taking.
Abilify is an antipsychotic medication that helps to regulate major mental health conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression. The FDA has ordered a label change on the drug because of its association with weight gain in children and adolescents who take Abilify for longer than 24 weeks. Patients taking this medication should know these risks before they begin treatment.
A Word From MantraCare
Your mental health — your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.
At Mantra Care, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can take our mental health test. You can also book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.