GENERIC NAME: aripiprazole
BRAND NAME: Abilify
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Aripiprazole is an anti-psychotic drug for treating psychotic conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It is also used with other medications to treat major depression in adults. The exact mechanism of action of aripiprazole is unknown. Moreover, like other anti-psychotics, it blocks several receptors on the nerves of the brain for several neurotransmitters (chemicals that nerves use to communicate with each other). It is thought that its beneficial effect is due to its effects on dopamine and serotonin receptors. Its effects on these receptors are complex, involving stimulation of the receptors but to a lesser degree than the naturally-occurring neurotransmitters (a process called partial agonism). The FDA approved aripiprazole in November 2002.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Aripiprazole is used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar mania and mixed manic/depressive episodes (as sole or adjunctive therapy) and as adjunctive (add-on) therapy for major depressive disorder. It is also used for treating irritability associated with autistic disorder and agitation associated with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Aripiprazole may also be used in treatment of Tourette's disorder.
SIDE EFFECTS: Some of the most common side effects associated with aripiprazole are:
- blurred vision,
- runny nose,
- weakness, and
- weight gain.
Quick GuideDepression Hurts: Physical Symptoms of Depression
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