Abilify is prescribed to patients who suffer from Schizophrenia. The technical name for Abilify is Aripiprazole. The drug is FDA approved for teenagers at least 13 years old and adults. Abilify only treats symptoms related to Schizophrenia and is not a cure. More recently Abilify has been approved to treat bipolar and manic-depressive disorder. The drug is often used in combination with antidepressant drugs to treat severe depression that does not respond to the use of antidepressants alone.
It is unclear how Abilify works. The current thought is it controls the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. Serotonin and dopamine are neurotransmitters, which transmit messages between cells in the brain. Mental illness is thought to be caused by disruption of neurotransmitter activities. Abilify appears to stabilize serotonin and dopamine activity.
While much is not known on how Abilify works, many patients have experienced relief from the debilitating symptoms of Schizophrenia and severe depression disorders. As with any drug, there are numerous side effects. Most side effects are mild such as nausea and feeling sleepy although some patients experienced an increase in suicidal tendencies. It is important for anyone that begins taking Abilify to report such tendencies to his or her physician immediately. If used properly, Abilify can be a safe and effective medication.
Abilify should not be used for elderly patients suffering from dementia or pregnant women. It is not known whether Abilify is passed through breast milk. However, some physicians may still prescribe Abilify if the benefits outweigh the possible risks.
Abilify is prescribed in tablets, orodispersible tablets and oral solution. The tablets contain lactose and should not be taken by anyone with hereditary galactose intolerance. The orodispersible tablets contain aspartame, which should not be taken by those with protein metabolism disorders. The oral solution contains fructose and sucrose and should be avoided by individuals who have fructose intolerance or any other illness in which these substances may cause further problems.
It is important to provide your physician a list of medications and vitamin supplements your are taking before obtaining a prescription for Abilify. The drug may adversely react with current medications. A physician will typically prescribe a low dose of Abilify and over time may increase the dose. It is crucial to disclose any side effects you experience to your physician. Follow your physician's treatment plan and if you experience any difficulty, contact your physician immediately.
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