What should I know before taking this drug
Aripiprazole is a prescription drug available from your pharmacy store only with the prescription of a qualified medical practitioner.
Aripiprazole is pronounced as: AR-i-PIP-ra-zole
Aripiprazole is an anti psychotic drug.
Aripiprazole is used in the treatment of psychotic disorders like Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder/ manic depression.
- Take aripiprazole exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If do not understand these instructions ask your pharmacist, nurse or doctor to explain them to you.
- Take aripiprazole at regular intervals as advised by your doctor for it to be effective.
- Avoid taking heavy/ fatty meals 2 hrs before taking aripiprazole medication as it decreases its absorption making it less effective.
- Do not take the medication in larger amounts or for longer duration than recommended by your doctor as it may lead to drug- dependence.
- Do not skip doses or stop taking aripiprazole without consulting your doctor.
- Always remember to inform your health expert if you are currently taking any OTC or prescription drugs like,
- Anti convulsants like phenytoin. Phenobarbitone, carbamazepine
- Antibiotics like erythromycin, Rifampicin
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Anti hypertensive’s or other heart medication
- Inform your doctor if you have following medical diseases , as Aripiprazole should be used cautiously in these conditions
- Cardio vascular diseases like heart failure, heart attack etc
- Alzheimer’s disease & dementias
- Seizure disorder
- History of alcoholism or drug abuse
- Psychiatric disorder
Do not use aripiprazole in older people to psychotic condition if they are suffering from brain disorder like dementia.
Old people: Caution is advised for usage in older people.
Pregnant woman: Aripiprazole belongs to FDA pregnancy category C. This means that aripiprazole may harm an unborn baby if used during pregnancy but potential benefit may warrant use of the drug in pregnant woman despite potential risks. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or are planning for conception.
Lactating women: It is not known whether aripiprazole passes into breast milk or if it could harm the baby. Do not take aripiprazole with out first talking to doctor if you are breast feeding a baby.
Aripiprazole may rarely cause a group of symptoms called as Neuroleptic Malignant syndrome characterised by difficulty in swallowing, Muscle stiffness, rapid heart rate, visual disturbances, etc, stop the drug immediately and consult your doctor.
Aripiprazole is available in the form of tablets.
Use as directed by your physician, your physician prescribes depending on the severity of disease.
Use the complete course of medication as prescribed by your physician even though you feel better after one or two days of usage of medication.
If it is almost the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at same time to cover up the missed dose.
In case of overdose contact your nearest poison control centre or emergency medical centre for immediate care by physician. The overdose symptoms of Aripiprazole include
- Fast/ slow irregular heartbeat
Aripiprazole may cause following side effects
- Difficulty falling asleep/ insomnia
- Giddiness when changing posture
Consult your doctor immediately if notice following symptoms.
- Allergic reaction like swollen lips, hives, difficulty in breathing, rashes. Peeling of skin etc
- Chest pain, rapid irregular heart rate
- Uncontrolled movements of the hands, legs, tongue, face
- Tremors. Jerking movements or stiffness
- Suicidal thoughts, depression
Store aripiprazole at room temp (15 – 30 degrees C). Avoid excessive heat, moisture or direct sunlight, never store in the bathroom.
Keep it out of reach of children. Make sure that any leftover portion is disposed off safely.
- Aripiprazole may cause dizziness when getting up from sitting or lying down position due to postural hypotension. Use precaution while changing posture to avoid falling down.
- Aripiprazole causes giddiness, drowsiness and visual disturbances as side effects. Therefore when affected do not drive, operate heavy machinery or perform unsafe tasks.
- Avoid getting dehydrated or extreme heat as aripiprazole may increase the risk of having heat stroke. Take plenty of oral fluids in hot weather and during exercise
- If you are a diabetic on this medication, keep a close watch on blood sugar levels.
- Avoid alcohol as it may increase side effects due to Aripiprazole.
- Aripiprazole should be used cautiously in elderly patients as they more prone for side effect
It is imp to read manufacturing packaging instruction carefully if available and always do not hesitate to consult pharmacist or physician for any information.
Written by: Healthplus24 team
Date last Updated: July 15, 2011