Cariprazine (Vraylar) is a new antipsychotic medication that FDA approved in January 2017. It may be used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder when other medications have been ineffective or caused intolerable side effects. The drug works on dopamine receptors which are responsible for controlling mental functions such as moods and movement. In clinical trials, cariprazine was shown to help with symptoms of psychosis more effectively than traditional antipsychotics while also reducing involuntary movements associated with Parkinson’s disease after 12 weeks of treatment. While there can never be guaranteed that any particular therapy will work for all patients, this approval represents a significant advancement in psychiatric medicine that could provide relief from some difficult-to-treat psychiatric conditions.
- 1 What is Cariprazine (Vraylar)?
- 1.1 How does Cariprazine (Vraylar) work?
- 1.2 Dosage of Cariprazine (Vraylar)
- 1.3 Directions Of Use
- 1.4 Side effects of Cariprazine (Vraylar)
- 1.5 When should I expect to see improvement in my symptoms?
- 1.6 Precautions To Take
- 1.7 Can I take this medication with other medications?
- 1.8 Withdrawal Of Cariprazine (Vraylar)
- 1.9 Is Cariprazine (Vraylar) Addictive?
- 2 Conclusion
- 3 A Word From Mantra Care
What is Cariprazine (Vraylar)?
Cariprazine (Vraylar) is a new drug that has been approved by the FDA to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression. It is an atypical antipsychotic medication that works by regulating the brain’s neurotransmitters. This drug is taken orally, once daily. People with schizophrenia have a hard time staying calm. They take this medicine and it helps them stay calm.
How does Cariprazine (Vraylar) work?
Cariprazine is a Dopamine Partial Agonist, meaning it binds to the dopamine receptors but doesn’t activate them as much as a full agonist would. This partial agonism results in stabilizing effects on the dopamine system. Cariprazine also has a high affinity for serotonin (five-hydroxy tryptamine; serotonin) receptors, which may account for some of its therapeutic effects.
Dosage of Cariprazine (Vraylar)
The recommended dosage of Cariprazine (Vraylar) for adults is either one and a half milligrams or three milligrams per day, depending on the severity of symptoms. The medication should be taken in two doses, with the first dose taken in the morning and the second dose taken six to eight hours later. If you are unable to take the medication in two doses, it can be taken as a single dose at bedtime. Cariprazine (Vraylar) should not be taken with food.
Directions Of Use
The medication comes as a tablet. You should swallow it whole and never crush or chew. The tablets can be taken with food if needed, but taking them on an empty stomach is preferred to avoid nausea that may result from the medication interacting with certain foods. If you notice any changes in your thoughts or behavior, contact your doctor right away.
Side effects of Cariprazine (Vraylar)
The most common side effects of Cariprazine (Vraylar) are:
- Dry mouth
If any of these side effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor promptly. Serious side effects include:
- Mania or hypomania
- Uncontrolled muscle movements, such as tremors and spasms.
Since Cariprazine (Vraylar) is a new medication, we do not know if it will affect an unborn baby or cause birth defects in the future. The FDA pregnancy category for this drug is C. This means that the researchers do not know whether Cariprazine (Vraylar) will harm an unborn baby, but it can cause side effects in a pregnant woman or her unborn baby.
Cariprazine has a potential for abuse and may result in severe psychological or physical dependence if taken continuously for more than 14 days.
When should I expect to see improvement in my symptoms?
You may begin to feel better as soon as one week after starting Cariprazine (Vraylar), but you must continue taking the medication even if this does not happen right away. You should tell your doctor if any of your symptoms do not improve or get worse while on Cariprazine (Vraylar).
Precautions To Take
- Cariprazine is a new medication and we do not know if it will affect an unborn baby or cause birth defects in the future. We also do not know whether this medicine transfers to breast milk and harm your baby, so tell your doctor immediately if you are breastfeeding or plan to start.
- Do not stop taking Cariprazine (Vraylar) without talking to your doctor first, as this may result in severe withdrawal symptoms.
- People with a history of seizures should use caution when taking Cariprazine (Vraylar), as it increases the risk of seizures.
- This medication can also cause mania or hypomania in people with a history of bipolar disorder.
- People with schizophrenia have a hard time staying calm. They take this medicine and it helps them stay calm.
Can I take this medication with other medications?
Cariprazine can interact with several other medications, so you should let your doctor know all the medications that you take before starting this treatment.
The following drugs may increase the risk for seizures when taken in combination with Cariprazine (Vraylar):
- Antidepressant or antipsychotic medication; examples include: amitriptyline, bupropion, citalopram, clomipramine, desvenlafaxine, doxepin, escitalopram, fluoxetine, haloperidol, imipramine, nortriptyline
- Herbal supplements: St. John’s Wort
- Medications for anxiety, migraines, or other disorders: buspirone
- Antipsychotics used to treat schizophrenia and other mental health conditions
- Cariprazine (Vraylar) can also interact with atorvastatin calcium, clopidogrel bisulfate, repaglinide, warfarin sodium, and simvastatin, potentially increasing the risk for side effects.
Withdrawal Of Cariprazine (Vraylar)
If you stop taking Cariprazine (Vraylar) suddenly, your body will experience withdrawal symptoms. The following may occur:
- Heart palpitations or racing heart rate
- Insomnia or drowsiness upon waking up in the morning
If any of these are severe, contact your doctor immediately.
Is Cariprazine (Vraylar) Addictive?
When you take Cariprazine after proper prescription, it is not addictive. However, if you have a history of addiction or drug abuse, speak with your doctor about the risks involved before starting treatment.
Cariprazine (Vraylar) is an antipsychotic medication. It is more effective than other treatments, such as risperidone and quetiapine. The most common side effects include dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, headache, and weight gain. These are treatable with over-the-counter remedies or prescription drugs if they become severe enough. Cariprazine may also cause tardive dyskinesia in some patients who take it for long periods; this condition causes uncontrollable movements that can worsen the longer the patient takes cariprazine without stopping its use. Patients who experience these symptoms should stop taking cariprazine immediately and contact their doctor.
A Word From Mantra Care
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.