Abilify is an antipsychotic drug that works by changing the action of chemicals in the brain. It is usually used for the treatment of manic depression (bipolar disorder) and schizophrenia.
In case of severe depression (particularly in adults), the drug is taken in combination with other medicines. Moreover, Abilify can be used for the treatment of irritability, bouts of anger and self-harm caused by autism and mood swings.
How it acts?
The working mechanism of Abilify in the treatment of certain mental disorders is unknown. The medicine acts unlike the other antipsychotic medications and balances the unbalanced chemicals in the brain because of the disorder. Abilify mostly affects the imbalance of dopamine and serotonin levels, which lead to the manic depression.
While Abilify is mostly used for the treatment of manic depression and schizophrenia, it can also treat Tourette’s and mood swings in children suffering from autism. The medicines is also used in other medical conditions related to the mood disorders.
Some depressive disorders that don’t react to certain medicines can be treated with Abilify, as this drug is quite efficient.
Abilify is sold in the following dosages: 2 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg and 30 mg in the form of pills for the oral intake. You can also find the orally disintegrating pills in the dosage of 10 and 15 mg. Oral solution and injectable form of the drug are also used in certain patients. The medicine must be taken only according to the doctor’s prescriptions. Avoid changing the dosage, as it may cause adverse effects. Start the treatment with the lowest dosage, and then gradually increase it according to the reaction to the drug.
The medicine can cause both severe and mild adverse effects. Some people experience allergic responses, such as breathing problems, rash or edema. The most common symptoms are anxiety, vertigo and head pain. If you note any of these adverse effects, you should consult the doctor.
The most common adverse effects include:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Sudden weight loss
- Pain in the body
However, the most adverse effects go away with time. According to medical study, alcohol can aggravate or enhance the severity of adverse effects and therefore must be avoided.
As Abilify can impact your thinking and reactions, you should avoid driving during the treatment.
The medicine can cause sleepiness. Therefore, it is desirable not to walk too quickly, as it can make you unstable.
Don’t drink alcohol during the treatment, as it enhances the risk of adverse effects.
The medicines can cause dehydration. That’s why it is essential to drink a lot of liquid.
Don’t take the drug longer than necessary (which is usually 6 weeks).
Take the drug properly to achieve the desirable effects. Avoid exceeding the dosage, as it may lead to overdose. Usual symptoms of overdose are cramps, shaking, vomiting, and breathing difficulty. Patients with dementia and other related disorders must not take this medicine, as it can be life-threatening. Inform your doctor if you note such severe adverse effects as suicidal thoughts.