Bipolar Jacket

Abilify (Aripiprazole)

Abilify (aripiprazole) is an atypical antipsychotic medication that is used to treat bipolar disorder. Abilify is primarily used to treat the manic and mixed episodes associated with this disorder, but can also be used as a maintenance treatment.

Abilify works by regulating the activity of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine and serotonin, which play a role in mood regulation. It helps to reduce the symptoms of mania, such as racing thoughts, excessive energy, and irritability, by stabilizing these neurotransmitters.

Abilify can be taken alone or in combination with other medications, such as mood stabilizers or antidepressants, depending on the individual’s specific symptoms and needs. The dosage of Abilify will vary depending on the severity of symptoms, age, and medical history of the individual.

Abilify Dosages

The typical doses of Abilify for bipolar disorder can vary depending on a number of factors such as the severity of symptoms, individual response to the medication, and other medical conditions. The dosage may also differ based on whether Abilify is being used as monotherapy or in combination with other medications.

In general, the recommended starting dose of Abilify for treating acute manic or mixed episodes in bipolar 1 disorder is 15 mg per day, taken once daily. The dose may be increased as needed, up to a maximum of 30 mg per day. For maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder, the recommended dosage range is 5-15 mg per day.

The recommended starting dose of Abilify for treating bipolar 2 disorder is 2 mg per day, taken once daily. The dose may be increased as needed, up to a maximum of 15 mg per day. In some cases, doses higher than 15 mg per day may be used, but this should be done under the close supervision of a healthcare provider.

It is important to note that the dosages mentioned above are general guidelines and should not be considered as a substitute for the advice of a healthcare provider. Dosage adjustments may be necessary based on individual factors, such as age, weight, and medical history.

Additionally, it is important to follow a healthcare provider’s guidance and recommendations when taking Abilify for bipolar disorder. Regular check-ins with a healthcare provider are important to monitor for any potential side effects or changes in symptoms.

Possible Side Effects

Abilify may cause side effects, and the severity and frequency of side effects can vary from person to person. Some common side effects of Abilify include:

  1. Drowsiness
  2. Dizziness
  3. Headache
  4. Insomnia
  5. Nausea
  6. Vomiting
  7. Constipation
  8. Weight gain
  9. Increased appetite
  10. Dry mouth
  11. Blurred vision
  12. Restlessness
  13. Anxiety
  14. Agitation
  15. Parkinsonism-like symptoms (tremors, stiffness, slow movement)

Less common but more serious side effects of Abilify include:

  1. Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), a rare but potentially life-threatening reaction to antipsychotic medications that can cause fever, muscle rigidity, and changes in mental status.
  2. Tardive dyskinesia, a potentially irreversible movement disorder that causes involuntary movements of the face and body.
  3. Metabolic changes, such as high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and weight gain, which can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
  4. Seizures, particularly in people with a history of seizures or epilepsy.

It is important to talk to a healthcare provider about any concerns or side effects experienced while taking Abilify. They can provide guidance on managing side effects and adjusting the dosage or medication as needed. In some cases, switching to a different medication or combination of medications may be necessary to manage bipolar disorder symptoms with fewer side effects.

Other Antipsychotics Used for Bipolar Disorder