Aripiprazole (By mouth)

Introduction

Aripiprazole (ar-i-PIP-ra-zole)

Treats schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression. Also treats irritability associated with autism.

Brand Name(s)

Abilify, Abilify Discmelt

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to aripiprazole.

How to Use This Medicine

Liquid, Tablet, Dissolving Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • Swallow the tablets whole. Do not break, crush, or chew them.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • If you are using the oral disintegrating tablet, make sure your hands are dry before you handle the tablet. Do not open the blister pack that contains the tablet until you are ready to take it. Remove the tablet from the blister pack by peeling back the foil, then taking the tablet out. Do not push the tablet through the foil. Place the tablet on your tongue. It should melt quickly. If possible, take the tablet without any liquid. If needed, you may take a sip of water. Do not split the tablet.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Opened bottles of the oral liquid can be used for up to 6 months after opening, but not beyond the expiration date on the bottle.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Tell your doctor if you are also using carbamazepine (Tegretol®), clarithromycin (Biaxin®), fluoxetine (Prozac®), itraconazole (Sporanox®), ketoconazole (Nizoral®), paroxetine (Paxil®), or quinidine.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, have a history of seizures, or have experienced symptoms of neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) in the past. Tell your doctor if you have history of heart attack, stroke, heart failure, heart or blood vessel disease, heart rhythm problems, or high or low blood pressure.
  • For some children, teens, and young adults, this medicine can increase thoughts of suicide. Tell your doctor right away if the person who takes this medicine becomes very depressed or has suicidal thoughts. Report any new, unusual, or worsening thoughts or behaviors, such as trouble sleeping, anxiety or panic attacks, sudden mood changes, or sudden bursts of energy. Also report violent behavior or dangerous impulses. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has bipolar disorder or has tried to commit suicide.
  • Tell your doctor if you have diabetes because this medicine may raise your blood sugar. You may need to check your blood sugar more often. The oral liquid form of this medicine contains sugar.
  • Check with your doctor right away if you have twitching or muscle movements you cannot control (often in your face, tongue, or jaw). These could be symptoms of a movement disorder called tardive dyskinesia. This disorder may not go away, even after you stop taking this medicine.
  • Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you have a high fever, sweating, confusion, uneven heartbeat, or muscle stiffness. These could be symptoms of a serious condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS).
  • This medicine should not be used to treat Alzheimer disease or dementia in elderly adults because of an increased risk for stroke and other side effects.
  • The oral disintegrating tablet form of this medicine contains phenylalanine. Make sure your doctor knows if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you. Stand or sit up slowly if you feel lightheaded or dizzy.
  • This medicine lowers the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may bleed or get infections more easily. To help with these problems, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Wash your hands often. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.
  • You may get overheated more easily while you use this medicine. Be careful if you exercise often or are in high heat or humidity. Drink plenty of water and stay out of the sun. If your body gets too hot, you might feel dizzy, weak, tired, or confused. You might vomit or have an upset stomach.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood or urine at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Anxiety, irritability, nervousness, restlessness, or trouble sleeping
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate
  • Chest pain, fast or slow heartbeat
  • Confusion, unusual behavior, depressed mood, or thoughts of hurting yourself or others
  • Excessive hunger or thirst, increased urination, and weakness
  • Extreme sleepiness or weakness with nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches
  • Fever, sweating, confusion, uneven heartbeat, or muscle stiffness
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • Problems with balance or walking
  • Seizures or tremors
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Twitching or muscle movements you cannot control (often in your face, tongue, or jaw)
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Blurred vision
  • Change in appetite
  • Drooling
  • Nausea, vomiting, constipation, heartburn, or upset stomach
  • Tiredness
  • Unexpected weight gain or loss

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: September 18, 2013

         
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