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aripiprazole

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Antipsychotics abilify Adult

aripiprazole - What is it for

Aripiprazole belongs to a class of medicines known as the second generation antipsychotics.

It is used to treat conditions such as:

  • Schizophrenia, including but not limited to symptoms of hallucinations, altered thought and emotional states
  • Bipolar disorder (alternating mood)
  • Depression/ low mood in combination with other drugs

 

It may be given to you for other reasons. Do check with your doctor what you are taking this for.

aripiprazole - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can aripiprazole cause?

Potential side effects

All medicines may cause side effects. However, many people do not experience them.

Most of the side effects listed here will improve with time. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist if they persist, become bothersome or worsen.

Side effectsWhat to do about it
Poor appetite, nausea, vomitingTake this medicine after meals. Eat small but frequent meals to minimize bloating after a meal. Avoid food that is too rich, spicy or has strong smells.
Constipation

Increase your intake of fluids and include more fibre (vegetables and fruits) in your diet. Incorporate some exercise in your daily routine.

Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you require any laxatives.

HeadacheConsult your doctor or pharmacist if you need any painkillers.
Drowsiness

Do not drive or operate any machinery.

Discuss with your doctor if you can take this medicine at a different time of day. 

Insomnia

Avoid daytime naps. Limit caffeine intake. Keep a regular sleeping schedule. Instead of looking at electronic screens before bedtime, choose other relaxing activities such as reading a book or listening to calm music.

Discuss with your doctor if you can take your medicine at a different time of the day. 

Feeling restless and being unable to keep stillTry and relax by taking deep breaths. Consult your doctor if you are worried or if symptoms persist.

Serious side effects

If you experience signs of allergy such as rashes, swelling of lips/face/throat and difficulty breathing, stop this medicine immediately and seek medical attention.

If you develop new or worsening thoughts of self-harm and/or altered behavior immediately seek medical attention.

Aripiprazole may cause unusual movements involving the face or tongue, muscle stiffness, shakiness and unsteadiness on your feet. Please notify your doctor if this happens after taking this medicine.

A condition known as Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome may occur rarely. Symptoms include but are not limited to fever, muscle rigidity, altered mental state/ consciousness and/or irregular blood pressure, heart rhythm. If you develop any of these symptoms, other unexplained symptoms while taking this medicine or require further information consult your doctor.

Take note that the side effects listed here are not exhaustive. Do seek medical attention if you have other or unusual symptoms while taking this medicine.

 

Before taking aripiprazole, what precautions must I follow?

​What do I need to tell my doctor before I take this medicine?

  • Drug allergies
  • Pre-existing medical conditions such as prior stroke, heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, seizures, blocked intestines, liver diseases, blood disorders, and prostate problems
  • Whether you are taking any other medicines, supplements or traditional medicines. Some of them may affect how this medicine works.
  • For women: Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breast-feeding or have plans to become pregnant. If you are pregnant and/or breastfeeding, your doctor would have discussed the potential benefits and side-effects of continuing this medicine with you but should you have further questions or concerns, do consult your doctor.

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take aripiprazole?

​This medicine may interact with a number of medicines. Inform your doctor if you are taking or intend to start taking other medicines or supplements.

 

 

aripiprazole - Dosage and How to Use

How should aripiprazole be used?

​Take this medicine exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the instructions on the medicine label or as advised by the pharmacist.

Aripiprazole can be taken with or without food.

This medicine may not have an effect immediately. It may take up to a few weeks before this medicine can exert its full effects. Continue taking it regularly to benefit from it.

Do not stop taking this medicine even after you feel better. Your symptoms may return if this medicine is stopped too early. Check with your doctor on the duration of treatment that is suitable for you.

Do not stop taking this medicine abruptly or change the dose without consulting your doctor. You may experience unpleasant side effects if this medicine is stopped suddenly.

Avoid taking alcohol while you are on this medicine.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

​Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one at your usual timing.

Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

 

What should I do if I overdose?

​If you take more than the dose prescribed to you by your doctor, consult your doctor or health care professional immediately.

 

 

aripiprazole - Handling

How should I handle aripiprazole safely?

aripiprazole - Storage

How should I store aripiprazole?

Keep away from children;#Keep in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight;#Store at room temperature;#

How should I dispose of aripiprazole safely?

​Throw away any unused or expired medicines. Consult your medical professional if  you are unsure with respect to how to safely dispose of any excess medicines/expired medicines.

 

aripiprazole - Additional Information

​What are the things I need to know or look out for while on this medicine?

  • Avoid driving or any other activities that requires concentration until you see how this drug affects you.
  • Be careful in hot weather or while being active. Drink lots of fluids to stop fluid loss.
  • Inform your other healthcare professionals that you are taking this medicine as well.
  • Discuss with your doctor or pharmacist before you take any other medicine or natural products.
  • Do not share your medicines with others.
  • Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about your medicines.

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