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Abilify: When Seeing is Not Believing 

ABILIFY 5 MG TABLETBrand 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 breast-feeding? 

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 conditions.

Information from The PDR Pocket Guide to Prescription Drugs 

Additional Information and webpage by Paul Susic MA Licensed Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate                                      

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