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- Physical Symptoms of Depression Slideshow
- What is brexpiprazole, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for brexpiprazole?
- Is brexpiprazole available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for brexpiprazole?
- What are the side effects of brexpiprazole?
- What is the dosage for brexpiprazole?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with brexpiprazole?
- Is brexpiprazole safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about brexpiprazole?
What is brexpiprazole, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Brexpiprazole is an oral atypical antipsychotic used to treat schizophrenia. Other atypical antipsychotic drugs include olanzapine (Zyprexa), quetiapine (Seroquel), ziprasidone (Geodon), and aripiprazole (Abilify).
Atypical antipsychotics differ from typical antipsychotics because they cause a lesser degree of movement (extrapyramidal) side effects and constipation.
The exact mechanism of action of brexpiprazole is not known, but, like other anti-psychotics, it is believed that brexpiprazole affects the way the brain works by interfering with communication among the brain's nerves. Nerves communicate with each other by making and releasing chemicals called neurotransmitters. The neurotransmitters travel to other nearby nerves where they attach to receptors on the nerves. The attachment of the neurotransmitters either stimulates or inhibits the function of the nearby nerves. Brexpiprazole blocks several of the receptors on nerves including dopamine type 2, serotonin type 2, and alpha 2 adrenergic receptors. It is believed that many psychotic illnesses are caused by abnormal communication among nerves in the brain and that by altering communication through neurotransmitters, brexpiprazole can alter the psychotic state. The FDA approved Rexulti in December, 2006.
What brand names are available for brexpiprazole?
Is brexpiprazole available as a generic drug?
GENERIC AVAILABLE: No
Do I need a prescription for brexpiprazole?
What are the side effects of brexpiprazole?
The most common side effects include
- weight gain,
- upper respiratory tract infection,
- feeling restless or difficulty sitting still (akathisia), and
Brexpiprazole may increase blood levels of prolactin.
Less common but serious side effects include:
- Increased risk of stroke and death in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis.
- Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). NMS is a rare but serious side effect associated with the use of antipsychotics. NMS may result in death and must be treated in the hospital. Signs and symptoms of NMS may include
Extrapyramidal side effects (EPS) including:
- Dystonia: painful spasms of the oral, throat, or neck muscles that may cause problems with speech, swallowing, and stiff neck.
- Pseudoparkinsonism: drug induced Parkinson's symptoms.
- Tardive dyskinesia (TD). Tardive dyskinesia usually occurs after long-term use of antipsychotics and usually presents with abnormal uncontrollable movement problems affecting the tongue, lips, jaw, face, and extremities.
- Metabolic changes including high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), diabetes, increase in blood cholesterol, and weight gain.
- High blood levels of prolactin. Prolactin is a hormone that allows the production of breast milk. High levels of prolactin may cause menstrual abnormalities, leakage of milk from the breast, development of breasts in males (gynecomastia), and erection problems in men.
- Brexpiprazole may increase risk of seizures.
Quick GuideSchizophrenia: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatment
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