Abilify, also known as aripiprazole, is a medication used to treat various psychological conditions including major depressive disorder. It is an antipsychotic drug that can be used with a combination of other medications as well.
How it works
Abilify is an atypical antipsychotic drug that works by solving the chemical imbalances in the brain. It has been found that a common cause of depression and other mood disorders is due to the imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain. Thus, the medication works by increasing/decreasing the level of neurotransmitters depending on the condition.
Apart from treating depression, the medication is also used to treat a number of other mood disorders such as:
Bipolar disorder (manic episode)
Irritability associated with autism – especially amongst children
Abilify is extremely useful in treating mood disorders and general mood swings. It enables you to think more clearly and positively and thereby eliminates negative thinking from your life. This way, you will be able to be more active in your daily life.
The dosage will be based on your medical condition, response to the treatment and your current medications. So, make sure to be honest about your medical history with your physician. It is best to start the medication with a slow dosage and then increase it gradually since it can be helpful in reducing the risk of side effects. Do not increase the dosage without informing your physician since it can result in overdose. If you are taking this medication in liquid form, make sure to measure the dosage accurately.
During your treatment period, you might experience some side effects of this medication. Although the occurrence is not 100% guaranteed, it is best to keep an eye out for the following.
Severe agitation and restless feelings
Recurring thoughts about suicide
High blood sugar levels – dry mouth, increased thirst, increased urination, weight loss and drowsiness
Low blood cell counts – skin sores, swollen gums, troubled breathing and flu symptoms
If you do experience any of the above symptoms, contact your healthcare provider immediately to reverse the effects.
Abilify can impair your thinking and reaction. Therefore, do not drive after consuming this drug
Using this medication can make you feel drowsy. So, do not get up or walk fast since you can trip and hurt yourself
Do not consume alcohol during the treatment period since it increases the occurrence of side effects
This medication can influence dehydration. So, drink plenty of fluids and keep yourself hydrated at all times
Do not consume this medication for longer than six weeks unless your physician tells you otherwise
Stick to your dosage and timetable. If you are making any changes, make sure to get it approved by your healthcare provider first
Do not increase your dosage in an attempt to accelerate the healing process since it can result in overdose. Some of the common overdosing symptoms that you need to look out for are vomiting, tremors, seizures and trouble breathing.
If you have dementia or a related condition, do not use this medication. Using Abilify with dementia is a threat to your life and thus must be avoided at all costs.