Abilify: When Seeing is Not Believing
Brand Name Abilify
Generic Name: Aripiprazole
What is Abilify and what is it used for?
Abilify is used in
the treatment of schizophrenia, a psychotic disorder that usually
results in hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that
are really not there), delusions (false beliefs) and very disorganized
thinking. Abilify is also sometimes used to help control the manic
phase associated with bipolar disorder, as well as the prevention of
future episodes. This medication is believed to work by modifying
sensitivity to serotonin and dopamine, which are two of the brainís
main chemical messengers.
Are there any special concerns about the use of Abilify?
Abilify may cause
an allergic reaction or may lead to some difficult side effects which
may prohibit its use or may cause your doctor to want to reduce the
dosage. Also, Abilify may lead to involuntary muscular movements in
the face and body, which is referred to as tardive dyskinesia. This
condition may be permanent and seems to be most prevalent among the
elderly and women. You should specifically ask your doctor about this
risk prior to taking Abilify.
Drugs like Abilify
may also increase the risk of death among elderly people with
dementia-related psychosis. Abilify has not been approved for use in
these types of cases.
Can you take Abilify if you are pregnant or
The effects of
Abilify among women who are pregnant have not been adequately
studied. This drug like all medications is only recommended if the
benefits outweigh the risks involved to both the mother and the baby.
If you're pregnant or planning to become pregnant in the very near
future you should notify your physician immediately. Also,
breast-feeding is not recommended while a woman is on Abilify.
What else should I consider before taking Abilify?
You need to tell
your doctor if you have had any allergic reactions to similar
medications, foods, preservatives or dyes. Also, you should not use
Abilify for children or the elderly, as studies have not adequately
been done on these age groups. Finally, you will need to check with
your doctor if you're on any other medicines or have any other medical
Information from The PDR
Pocket Guide to Prescription Drugs
Additional Information and
webpage by Paul Susic MA Licensed
Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate