Abilify is an antipsychotic medication that functions by changing the chemical actions precisely on the brain. It mainly treats psychotic conditions symptoms such as manic Depression (bipolar disorder) and schizophrenia.
In cases of major depression, especially in adults, the drug is used jointly with other medications. As a secondary medical use, Abilify is used in the treatment of irritability or symptoms of temper tantrums, aggression, self-injury occurring as a result of the autistic disorder, and mood swings.
How it works?
The exact mechanism of Abilify in treating certain psychotic disorders is unknown. The drug works differently from other antipsychotic medications and brings about balance to the unbalanced chemicals in the brain due to the disorder. The drug chiefly affects the imbalance of dopamine and serotonin levels that cause the depressive disorder.
While Abilify is primarily used in the treatment of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, it has other uses as well. The other conditions treated with this drug are Tourette’s disorder and mood disorders in autistic children. The drug is also used in other health conditions that are accompanied with mood disorders as it can effectively be stabilized.
Some depressive conditions that do not respond to certain drugs can be instead treated with Abilify as it is quite effective.
Abilify is available for use in the dosage strengths of 2 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg and 30 mg in the form of orally administered tablets. One can also avail the orally disintegrating tablets in dosage strengths of 10 mg and 15 mg. Oral solution and injectable form of the drug are also used in certain groups of people. The drug should be taken only as directed by the healthcare provider. Modifying the dose in any way like increasing or decreasing it can adversely affect the condition being treated. The patient will typically be administered with the lowest dosage initially and then increased according to the response to the treatment.
The drug is associated with both severe and less worrying side effects. Some patients experience allergic reactions due to consumption of the medicine. These allergic reactions are in the form of breathing difficulties, hives or swellings. The popular symptoms are – anxiety, dizziness, and headaches. However, irrespective of the severity of side effects, expert advice is recommended.
The side effects include:
- Uneven heartbeat
- Weight Loss
- Body aches
However, abilify side effects usually subside with time. According to medical research, alcohol is believed to worsen or increase the severity of the side effects and should be avoided.
- Abilify can affect your thinking and reactions, hence it is recommended not to drive after taking this drug.
- The drug can also cause a feeling of drowsiness, which is why it is advised not to stand up or walk too fast as it can make you unstable and trip.
- Avoid alcohol while taking this drug as it increases the risk of side effects.
- The drug can also make you feel dehydrated and this why it is important to drink a lot of fluids.
- Avoid taking the drug for longer than recommended, and typically not more than six weeks unless asked to do so by the doctor.
Taking the drug in the right way is the best way to improve health. Increasing the dosage thinking that the condition can be treated faster will only result in drug overdose. Indications that the patient has overdosed on Abilify are seizures, tremors, vomiting, and breathing trouble. Persons with Dementia and other associated conditions should not take this drug as it can be life-threatening. Stay alert if there are any major side effects or suicidal thoughts and consult with the doctor immediately.