aripiprazole (generic name)
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What is this medicine?ARIPIPRAZOLE (ay ri PIP ray zole) is an atypical antipsychotic. It is used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depression, and to treat some symptoms of autism. This medicine may also be used in combination with antidepressants to treat major depressive disorder.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- heart disease
- history of stroke
- low blood counts, like low white cell, platelet, or red cell counts
- Parkinson's disease
- suicidal thoughts, plans, or attempt; a previous suicide attempt by you or a family member
- an unusual or allergic reaction to aripiprazole, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?Take this medicine by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. The tablets should stay in the unopened blister package until immediately before you take your dose. Do not cut or split the tablets in half. Place the tablet in the mouth and allow it to dissolve, and then swallow. This medicine should not be taken with liquid unless it is necessary to do so. If this medicine upsets your stomach, you can take it with food. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on the advice of your doctor or health care professional.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 10 years of age for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
What if I miss a dose?If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medicine?
- certain medicines for fungal infections like ketoconazole and itraconazole
- grapefruit juice
- medicines for blood pressure
- valproic acid
What should I watch for while using this medicine?Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. It may be several weeks before you see the full effects of this medicine. Do not suddenly stop taking this medicine. You may need to gradually reduce the dose.
Patients and their families should watch out for worsening depression or thoughts of suicide. Also watch out for sudden changes in feelings such as feeling anxious, agitated, panicky, irritable, hostile, aggressive, impulsive, severely restless, overly excited and hyperactive, or not being able to sleep. If this happens, especially at the beginning of antidepressant treatment or after a change in dose, call your health care professional.
You may get dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol can increase dizziness and drowsiness. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
This medicine can reduce the response of your body to heat or cold. Dress warm in cold weather and stay hydrated in hot weather. If possible, avoid extreme temperatures like saunas, hot tubs, very hot or cold showers, or activities that can cause dehydration such as vigorous exercise.
This medicine may cause dry eyes and blurred vision. If you wear contact lenses you may feel some discomfort. Lubricating drops may help. See your eye doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.
If you notice an increased hunger or thirst, different from your normal hunger or thirst, or if you find that you have to urinate more frequently, you should contact your health care provider as soon as possible. You may need to have your blood sugar monitored. This medicine may cause changes in your blood sugar levels. You should monitor you blood sugar frequently if you have diabetes.