Aripiprazole (Abilify)

Aripiprazole is an antipsychotic medication. It is used to treat psychotic conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Condition for which this medication is usually prescribed


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Short description of this condition

Schizophrenia is a psychological disorder that is characterized by abnormal social and emotional behavior, and disturbed thinking processes. The disorder expresses itself as a reduced ability to distinguish reality from fantasy particularly with short episodes of hearing voices, suspicious delusions (paranoia) and unconnected thinking processes, or in other words psychosis.

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Effect of this medication

Aripiprazole is an atypical antipsychotic. It regulates the serotonin and dopamine in the brain that were unbalanced by psychosis. For as long as you take the medicine, the chance of psychosis recurring is reduced.

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Advice on this condition

Do not just stop taking this medicine. When stopping the course too early or reducing the use of this drug too quickly, there is a strong chance that the psychosis may return, alongside any withdrawal symptoms. You should not eat grapefruit, because it can worsen the side effects of aripiprazole.

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Common side effects

Insomnia, restlessness, unusual or uncontrollable movements, drowsiness, flatness in emotions.

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Advice with regard to these side effects

Most side effects reduce over time. Unusual or uncontrollable movements, such as not being able to sit still, facial muscle contractions or muscle stiffness will generally pass quickly. If you still suffer from these after a few days, discuss it with your doctor as it may be that the dose can be reduced or another medicine can be chosen. The feeling of flatness in your emotions will gradually subside; however, if you feel like you are suffering a lot because of this, tell your doctor and it might be possible to adjust your dose.

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Any other expert information?

Aripiprazole is also prescribed for other psychological disorders, in particular for anxiety, tics, mania and bipolar disorders.

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