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How Does Abilify Work In The Brain

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What Effects Does Abilify Have On The Brain

What is Abilify? Learn what Abilify does to the Brain & How Abilify Works – with Lyle Murphy

Its not known exactly how Abilify works inside your brain. However, its believed that the drug may work on receptors for certain brain chemicals. These brain chemicals include dopamine and serotonin.

Dopamine is important in regulating how you think and feel. And serotonin is important in controlling your mood and behavior.

Its believed that certain mental health conditions may cause you to have too much dopamine or serotonin in your brain. Examples of these mental health conditions include schizophrenia, mania, irritability related to autism, and Tourettes syndrome. And Abilify is approved to treat each of these conditions.

Abilify may work by balancing your dopamine and serotonin levels. This way, you dont have too much or too little of the brain chemicals, which makes your thoughts and behaviors easier to control.

Aripiprazole Significantly Changes Healthy Brain Networks

We found that aripiprazole has a dramatic effect on healthy individuals, with a large variation across individuals. We observe significantly reduced global efficiencies and an even greater increase in clustering . Sulpiride increased clustering in healthy networks , but had no significant effect on global efficiency . Almost all metrics examined are greatly altered in the healthy volunteers administered with aripiprazole, indicating considerable restructuring of functional connectivity . These results are consistent with observations in the brain networks of people with schizophrenia, the drug treatments reduce efficiency and increase clustering.

Can I Drive While Taking It

Do not drive a car or ride a bike just after you start taking aripiprazole.

Taking aripiprazole may make you feel very tired or dizzy and affect your eyesight when you start taking it.

This could affect you if you drive a car, ride a bike, or do anything else that needs a lot of focus. It might be best to stop doing these things for the first few days, until you know how it affects you.

Do not worry – most people drive as normal while taking aripiprazole.

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Withdrawal Symptoms Of Abilify

The withdrawal symptoms that may occur in people who suddenly stop taking Abilify arent known for sure. This is because there arent any human studies that show the withdrawal symptoms that may occur. Also, its not known how soon after stopping Abilify youll have withdrawal symptoms, or for how long theyll last.

However, in one case , after stopping Abilify cold turkey , a man had withdrawal symptoms. His symptoms included dizziness, nausea, anxiety, and muscle twitches. He also had insomnia .

This case points out that its important to avoid abruptly stopping Abilify. But keep in mind that this case only involved one person. So its not known how common withdrawal symptoms from Abilify might be in other people.

Additional withdrawal symptoms of Abilify may include:

Even though Abilify withdrawal hasnt been studied in humans, it has been seen in animal studies. However, animal studies dont always predict what will happen in humans.

Also, keep in mind that each persons body may react differently to medications. And depending on what other medications youre taking with Abilify, your withdrawal symptoms may be different than those listed above.

If you have questions about withdrawal symptoms from Abilify, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Aripiprazole May Cause Side Effects Tell Your Doctor If Any Of These Symptoms Are Severe Or Do Not Go Away:

Hanipsych, antipsychotics
  • headache
  • dizziness, feeling unsteady, or having trouble keeping your balance
  • heartburn
  • uncontrollable shaking of the face, tongue, or other body parts
  • fever stiff muscles sweating confusion sweating or fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
  • problems with coordination or increased falls
  • tightening of the neck muscles
  • throat tightness

Aripiprazole may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone .

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Is Latuda Or Abilify Better

Latuda and Abilify are both effective medications for schizophrenia and other mental health conditions. Latuda may be as effective as Abilify and other antipsychotic medications, and it may cause fewer side effects such as weight gain. Other factors should be considered when choosing Latuda or Abilify, such as cost. Consult a healthcare provider for the best treatment option for you.

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What Does Abilify Do To Your Brain How Does It Work And Whats Its Half

Abilifys mechanism of action isnt known for sure.

Abilify is thought to affect brain chemicals called dopamine and serotonin. High levels of these chemicals can help you manage behaviors and thoughts and improve your mood.

A drugs half-life is the amount of time it takes for half of its dose to leave your system. The half-life of Abilify is about 75 hours.

If you have more questions about how Abilify works or affects your body, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

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Side Effects And Risks

Because Abilify and Abilify Maintena both contain the same active drug, their mild and serious side effects are the same. One exception is that while Abilify may cause headaches, Abilify Maintena doesnt cause them.

Also, because Abilify Maintena is an injectable medication, you may have pain at your injection site after receiving a dose of the drug.

For more information on other side effects that Abilify may cause, see the section Abilify side effects above.

Cognitive Performance Of Healthy Individuals Is Impaired After Taking Aripiprazole

Most atypical treatment of schizophrenia: Abilify®

All subjects score consistently highly on the very easy 0-back task, but their performance deteriorates considerably with increasing difficulty of the task, with subjects experiencing profound difficulty with the 3-back version . In the healthy cohort, aripiprazole has a detrimental effect on performance, whereas the impact of sulpiride is negligiblesee Figure 2B. In the challenging 2-back version of the task, the disparity is most cleararipiprazole has a negative impact on cognitive performance, giving rise to an average hit rate of 0.65 ± 0.21 . Sulpiride, however, has no noticeable impact, with subjects achieving an average hit rate of 0.83 ± 0.18.

Table 3 Summary statistics for a three-way ANOVA with two repeated measures on the hit rates during a working memory task with four levels of difficulty of patients and healthy controls treated with placebo, aripiprazole, and sulpiride. Individuals for which data were available for all drug treatments were used, equating to n = 15 for healthy controls and n = 10 for patients. We see a significant effect of cognitive difficulty and a significant drug effect highlighted in red.

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What Type Of Compensation Could I Qualify For

The value of each lawsuit depends on the circumstances of the plaintiff and their specific injuries. Nonetheless, a person, along with their family, who was injured by Abilify may qualify to receive compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Does Abilify Work Can Abilify Cure Depression

In 2007, Bristol-Myers Squibb announced that the FDA had approved Abilify as an add-on treatment for major depressive disorder, meaning that it could be taken with an anti-depressant, based on two studies.4

These two studies were done by Bristol-Myers Squibb. The two studies included two groups of patients: one which took Abilify with an anti-depressant and one group which took a placebo with an anti-depressant.5

In these studies, researchers used three methods to determine effectiveness of Abilify compared to the placebo, including patients’ “self reports.” Patients in both studies reported that adding Abilify wasnt any better than the placebo. The authors of the reports chose to ignore the patient self reports and chose another of the three methods to report that Abilify was effective. Both studies also reported that Abilify was well tolerated by the patients when, in fact, a large number of patients experienced side effects during the study and a bit under half of those patients did not recover by the end of the study.6

Recent research has revealed that anti-depressants are not much more effective than a placebo,7 so it wouldnt be surprising to find that a large number of patients and their doctors might conclude that anti-depressants werent working for them. What about anti-psychotics, such as Abilify?

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Are There Any Other Precautions Or Warnings For This Medication

Before you begin taking a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should take this medication.

Abnormal heart rhythms: This medication can cause an abnormal heart rhythm problem called QT prolongation. If you have a history of QT prolongation, slow or irregular heartbeat, irregular heart rhythm, heart failure, heart attack, heart disease, are taking other medications known to cause QT prolongation, or have a family history of sudden cardiac death at less than 50 years of age, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, or how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication. Your doctor will perform tests at regular intervals to monitor for any changes in your heart rhythm.

Alcohol and other medications that cause drowsiness: Do not combine this medication with alcohol or other medications that cause drowsiness since additional drowsiness can occur and be dangerous.

If you experience symptoms such as sharp pain and swelling in the leg, difficulty breathing, chest pain, blurred vision or difficulty speaking, contact your doctor immediately.

Take care to avoid overheating during strenuous exercise or in hot temperatures, and avoid becoming dehydrated by drinking enough fluids.

Treatment Options For An Overdosewill Vary


If the overdose was recent, a healthcare provider may give certain medicines or place a tube into the stomach to pump the stomach.

However, once Abilify has been absorbed into the body, there is no treatment that can remove it quickly.?

In these cases, treatment must revolve around supportive care in addressing the symptoms that occur as a result of the overdose.

For example, supportive treatment options may include:

  • Fluids through an intravenous line
  • Seizure medications?or medications for other complications
  • Other treatments based on complications that occur.

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How Long Does It Take To Work

Abilify begins working within a few hours of when youve taken a dose of Abilify.

However, Abilify works best when theres a consistent amount of drug in your body. And Abilify reaches this point after youve taken a daily dose for about 14 days.

So you may have some symptom relief in the first day or so after your first dose of Abilify. But youll see the most benefit from the drug about 14 days after youve started taking it.

What If I Miss A Dose

If you miss a dose of Abilify, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. But if its almost time for your next dose, just skip the missed dose. Then take your next dose at the usual time. Never take two doses at once to make up for a missed dose.

If you have any questions about when to take your next dose of Abilify after a missed dose, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. And to help make sure that you dont miss a dose of the drug, try setting a reminder on your phone. A medication timer may be useful, too.

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Experts Question Benefits Of Combination Treatment

Critics say the initial studies that won FDA approval for the combination treatment were too short or had too few participants. The FDA approval was based on studies that lasted just six weeks.

Dr. Steven Woloshin, a professor at Dartmouth Medical School, told Consumer Reports in 2010 that the trials failed to shed any light on the long-term effects of the combination treatment. Consumer Reports found aripiprazole is just as likely to induce a bad side effect as it is to help rid depression.

It reported that in one of the trials, the combination successfully treated depression in 25 percent of patients compared with 15 percent who had been given a placebo. But 26 percent of the Abilify group experienced a movement disorder called akathisia. Just 4 percent of those taking the placebo developed the same side effect.

How Safe Is Abilify In Treating Mental Disorders

Abilify Side Effects

The usage of abilify drug is safe but there are side effects caused by this drug. The common symptoms that can occur are headache, insomnia, anxiety, nausea, tremor, agitation and feeling of restlessness. Hence if you are the within the age group of 18 and 60, taking no other medication during the dosage of Abilify is recommended.

Some of the other possible experiences that the patient might have while consuming Abilify are:

Abilify which is used to treat mental disorders such as schizophrenia and other, mental disorders has lesser side effects and does not cause weight gain which is usually done by the other anti-psychotic medicines.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc.This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimerLast Modified On: August 24, 2018

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How Does Abilify Work

The product works by introducing an ingredient known as Aripiprazole. This is going to interact with your neurons and your brain cells and make sure that they are calmed and relaxed. The product also brings anti-inflammatory properties. Through a range of inactive ingredients, it guarantees a safe and sound process which is quite beneficial for your body. This is quite important. The ingredients are not addictive and they are generally safe to use. Furthermore, the product is used as per a medication guide which has been approved by the FDA.

How Does It Work

Abilify tablets, orodispersible tablets, oral solution and injection all contain the active ingredient aripiprazole, which is a type of medicine known as an atypical antipsychotic.

The way in which aripiprazole works is not fully understood, however, it does work in a slightly different way to other antipsychotic medicines.

Aripiprazole works by acting on various receptors in the brain, particularly dopamine receptors and serotonin receptors. Dopamine and serotonin are natural compounds called neurotransmitters, and are involved in transmitting messages between brain cells. Psychotic illness is considered to be caused by disturbances in the activity of neurotransmitters in the brain. Aripiprazole is thought to work mainly by stabilising the dopamine activity in the brain.

People with schizophrenia may experience ‘positive symptoms’ and/or ‘negative symptoms’ .

The positive symptoms are thought to be due to overactivity of dopamine in certain areas of the brain. Aripiprazole blocks the dopamine receptors in these areas and so prevents the overactivity. This helps control the positive symptoms of the disease.

Aripiprazole is also used to treat moderate to severe episodes of mania in people with bipolar affective disorder . In people whose manic episode is controlled with aripiprazole, the medicine may also be used long-term as a mood stabiliser to prevent further manic episodes.

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Abilify Withdrawal And Dependence

Its possible that your body may become dependent on Abilify. But keep in mind that Abilify isnt a controlled substance.

With dependence, your body needs the drug in order to feel normal. Abilify may cause dependence because it affects hormones inside your brain. And once your body adjusts to the changes caused by Abilify, you may become dependent on the drug.

Because Abilify may cause dependence, its possible that youll have withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking the drug.

However, keep in mind that dependence of Abilify has not been studied in humans. So its not known for sure if everyone who takes the drug will become dependent on it.

Its important to talk with your doctor about Abilify withdrawal and dependence if you have a history of drug misuse. Because this medication may cause dependence and withdrawal symptoms, your doctor may recommend a different medication for you that has a lower risk of these complications.

Your Doctor Should Know

  • You need to talk to your doctor or pharmacist before starting treatment with aripiprazole if any of the following apply to you:

  • you have high blood sugar or if you have a family history of diabetes
  • you have ever had seizures
  • you have had strange muscle movements that you could not control, especially in the face
  • you have heart problems, or you have a family history of heart problems
  • you have had a stroke or “mini” stroke
  • you have high or low blood pressure
  • you have had blood clots, or you have a family history of blood clots
  • you have ever been addicted to gambling

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Can I Take It With Other Medications

Tell your doctor or pharmacist before you take aripiprazole if you are prescribed any other medication, to check that the combination is safe.

Before you start taking aripiprazole, tell your doctor if you are taking any other medications including things you have bought over the counter and topical applications that you put on your skin.

What To Ask Your Doctor

If you have a certain mood disorder or other mental health condition, your doctor may prescribe Abilify for you.

If you have questions about taking Abilify, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can tell you about other treatment options for your condition. You can also view this article to learn about other treatment options for depression, which Abilify is used to treat.

Additionally, you can learn more about depression and its treatment options by subscribing to Healthlines depression newsletter.

Some questions to ask your doctor about Abilify may include:

  • Should I take Abilify along with other drugs such as quetiapine and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors ?
  • Do I have a high risk of certain side effects with Abilify, such as having an uncontrollable urge to do certain activities like gambling?
  • Does Abilify interact with any medications Im taking?

Medically reviewed by, Russell Braun RPH

Rexulti and Abilify are both prescription medications that belong to a class of drugs called atypical antipsychotics. Also, both are approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat symptoms of schizophrenia or additive treatments in Major Depressive Disorder .

Rexulti also known by the generic name brexiprazole was first approved by the FDA n 2015. Abilify was first approved by the FDA in 2002. Consequently, the patent has since expired and it is sold generically as aripiprazole. Aripiprazole was the first drug of its kind used to treat schizophrenia.

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