Aripiprazole (By mouth)

Introduction

Aripiprazole (ar-i-PIP-ra-zole)

Treats mental illnesses, including schizophrenia and some symptoms of bipolar disorder (manic episodes). Also used together with other medicines to treat depression. Also used to treat irritability in children with autistic disorder.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Abilify, Abilify Discmelt

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you or your child have had an allergic reaction to aripiprazole.

How to Use This Medicine

Liquid, Tablet, Dissolving Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • You may take this medicine with or without food.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • If you are using the oral disintegrating tablet, make sure your hands are dry before you handle the tablet. Do not open the blister pack that contains the tablet until you are ready to take it. Remove the tablet from the blister pack by peeling back the foil, then taking the tablet out. Do not push the tablet through the foil. Place the tablet on your tongue. It should melt quickly. If possible, take the tablet without any liquid. If needed, you may take a sip of water. Do not split the tablet.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one. Your doctor might ask you to sign some forms to show that you understand this information.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Opened bottles of the oral liquid can be used for up to 6 months after opening, but not beyond the expiration date on the bottle.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using medicine to lower blood pressure, such as hydrochlorothiazide [HCTZ], lisinopril, metoprolol, quinapril, Accupril®, Cozaar®, Diovan®, Lotrel®, Norvasc®, Toprol®, or Zestril®.
  • Tell your doctor if you are also using carbamazepine (Tegretol®), fluoxetine (Prozac®), itraconazole (Sporanox®), ketoconazole (Nizoral®), paroxetine (Paxil®), or quinidine.
  • Tell your doctor if you are using any medicines that make you sleepy. These include sleeping pills, cold and allergy medicine, narcotic pain relievers, and sedatives.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant, or if you have diabetes, heart or blood vessel disease, heart failure, heart rhythm problems, or low blood pressure. Tell your doctor if you have a history of heart attack, stroke, seizures, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, or if you have ever experienced symptoms of neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) in the past.
  • For some children, teenagers, and young adults, this medicine can increase thoughts of suicide. Tell your doctor or your child's doctor right away if you or your child start to feel more depressed and have thoughts about hurting yourselves. Report any unusual thoughts or behaviors that trouble you or your child, especially if they are new or are getting worse quickly. Make sure the doctor knows if you or your child have trouble sleeping, get upset easily, have a big increase in energy, or start to act reckless. Also tell the doctor if you or your child have sudden or strong feelings, such as feeling nervous, angry, restless, violent, or scared. Let the doctor know if you, your child, or anyone in your family has bipolar disorder (manic episodes with depression) or has tried to commit suicide.
  • Do not breastfeed while you are using this medicine.
  • This medicine may raise your blood sugar. Tell your doctor if you or your child have diabetes. It may be necessary to measure your urine or blood sugar more often. The oral liquid form of this medicine also contains sugar.
  • Tardive dyskinesia (a movement disorder) may occur and may not go away after you stop using the medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have any of the following symptoms while taking this medicine: lip smacking or puckering, puffing of the cheeks, rapid or worm-like movements of the tongue, uncontrolled chewing movements, or uncontrolled movements of the arms and legs.
  • Check with your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms while using this medicine: convulsions (seizures), difficulty with breathing, a fast heartbeat, a high fever, high or low blood pressure, increased sweating, loss of bladder control, severe muscle stiffness, unusually pale skin, or tiredness. These could be symptoms of a serious condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS).
  • Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this medicine, including stroke. Make sure the doctor knows if the person who will be using this medicine has forgetfulness or confusion related to aging (such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia).
  • The oral disintegrating tablet form of this medicine contains phenylalanine. Make sure your doctor knows if you or your child have phenylketonuria (PKU).
  • This medicine may make you or your child dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert. You may also feel lightheaded when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position, so get up slowly.
  • This medicine lowers the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may bleed or get infections more easily. To help with these problems, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Wash your hands often. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.
  • You or your child may get overheated more easily while you are using this medicine. It might reduce how much you sweat. Your body could get too hot if you do not sweat enough. Be careful if you exercise often or are in high heat or humidity. If your body gets too hot, you might feel dizzy, weak, tired, or confused. You might vomit or have an upset stomach. Call your doctor if drinking cool water and moving away from the heat does not cool you down.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Anxiety, irritability, nervousness, restlessness, or trouble sleeping.
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate.
  • Chest pain, fast or slow heartbeat.
  • Confusion, unusual behavior, depressed mood, or thoughts of hurting yourself or others.
  • Excessive hunger or thirst, increased urination, and weakness.
  • Extreme sleepiness or weakness with nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • Fever, sweating, confusion, uneven heartbeat, or muscle stiffness.
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.
  • Problems with balance or walking.
  • Seizures or tremors.
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
  • Trouble swallowing.
  • Twitching or muscle movements you cannot control (often in your face, tongue, or jaw).
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Blurred vision.
  • Change in appetite.
  • Dry mouth or drooling.
  • Headache or flu symptoms.
  • Muscle or joint pain.
  • Nausea, vomiting, constipation, or upset stomach.
  • Runny or stuffy nose.
  • Tiredness.
  • Unexpected weight gain or loss.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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