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    Aripiprazole

    Information about Aripiprazole

    Aripiprazole uses

    Aripiprazole is used in the treatment of schizophrenia and mania.

    How aripiprazole works

    Aripiprazole is an atypical antipsychotic. It works by modulating the action of certain chemical messengers in the brain that affect thoughts.

    Common side effects of aripiprazole

    Headache, Fatigue, Nausea, Vomiting, Blurred vision, Sleepiness, Dyspepsia, Increased saliva production, Parkinsonism, Akathisia, Dystonia, Restlessness, Dizziness, Constipation, Tremor, Anxiety, Insomnia (difficulty in sleeping)
    Content Details
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    Written By
    Dr. Swati Mishra
    BDS
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    Reviewed By
    Dr. Shilpa Garcha
    MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
    Last updated on:
    10 Oct 2019 | 05:37 PM (IST)
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    Expert advice for Aripiprazole

    • You have been prescribed Aripiprazole for relieving psychotic symptoms and manic episodes.
    • It may take 4 to 6 weeks to see full effects on thoughts and mood. Keep taking it as prescribed.
    • Take it in the morning to avoid difficulty sleeping.
    • It may increase your blood sugar and cholesterol. Eat healthy, exercise regularly and monitor your blood levels regularly.
    • Aripiprazole may cause dizziness or sleepiness. Don't drive or do anything requiring concentration until you know how it affects you.
    • Avoid consuming alcohol when taking the Aripiprazole as it may cause excessive drowsiness. 
    • Talk to your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes, unusual movements or develop suicidal thoughts.

    Frequently asked questions for Aripiprazole

    Aripiprazole

    Q. Is Aripiprazole a mood stabilizer?

    Aripiprazole is effective in treating manic episodes and other mood symptoms of bipolar disorder but not for the depressive episodes. Therefore, it can be combined with mood stabilizers like valproate to treat bipolar disorders.

    Q. How long does Aripiprazole take to work?

    The benefit of Aripiprazole may appear after a few days or few weeks of starting Aripiprazole. It may take 4-6 weeks to see the full benefits of this medicine.

    Q. Does Aripiprazole affect you sexually?

    Yes, Aripiprazole may cause prolonged and painful erection (priapism) in some patients. It may also cause impulse control disorder wherein the patient may develop urges or cravings that are irresistible and unusual for that person. In this case, the patient may develop an abnormally high sex drive or may experience an increase in sexual thoughts or feelings. Consult your doctor who may modify your dose or may advise to stop Aripiprazole.

    Q. What is the most important thing that I should know about Aripiprazole?

    Aripiprazole is not approved in elderly patients with dementia as it may increase the risk of causing death. Dementia is a brain disorder that affects the ability to remember, think clearly, communicate, and perform daily activities. This may further cause changes in mood and personality. Furthermore, patients with depression should be closely monitored when being given Aripiprazole, as they can develop suicidal tendencies.

    Q. What should I avoid while using Aripiprazole?

    Aripiprazole may commonly cause sleepiness, sedation, dizziness, blurred vision, and double vision. Avoid driving and using heavy machinery if you experience these symptoms. You should also avoid over-exposure to heat or getting dehydrated by avoiding direct sunlight, staying indoors, drinking plenty of water and avoiding overexercise.

    Q. Can Aripiprazole be taken by diabetics?

    Aripiprazole may cause an increase in blood sugar levels. Extremely high levels of blood sugar may cause coma and death. Therefore, if you have diabetes, you should stay alert and check your blood sugar levels regularly.

    Q. Does Aripiprazole cause weight gain?

    Aripiprazole may cause weight gain in some patients. This medicine may also increase the cholesterol and fat levels in the blood. If you gain weight during treatment with Aripiprazole, consult your doctor for diet and exercise advice.

    Content on this page was last updated on 10 October, 2019, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)