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This information is not a replacement of full discussions of risks and benefits with your doctor

Other Names: Abilify

Principal uses: Aripiprazole is an ĎAtypical Antipsychoticí. It has a chemical structure that differs from other older antipsychotic agents.
It is used to treat schizophrenia including for maintenance treatment.
It is also used to treat episodes of mania or mixed episodes in patients with bipolar disorder but is not yet approved by Pharmac for this use, in NZ.

Cost: Doctor will need to make Special Authority application for subsidy.

Dose: The recommended starting dose is 10 or 15mg administered once-a-day schedule. Dose may then be adjusted depending on the response and is usually within the range of 10-30mg daily..

How it works: The therapeutic effect is thought to occur through a combination of partial agonist (partial assistance) activity at Dopamine D2 and Serotonin 5HT1A receptors and antagonist (blocking effect) activity at Serotonin 5HT2A receptors.

Possible Side Effects: Upset stomach, decreased appetite, nausea, dry mouth or the opposite, headache, dizziness, agitation, tremor, sleep disturbances, restlessness, and rarely movement disorders and neuroleptic malignant syndrome. It can cause muscle pain, changes in heart rhythm, nasal congestion, tiredness and allergic reactions.

Use in Pregnancy: Category B3,
This category refers to drugs which have been taken by only a limited number of pregnant women and women of childbearing age, without an increase in the frequency of malformation or other direct or indirect harmful effects on the human fetus having been observed.

There are no adequate studies of Aripiprazole in pregnant women. Therefore if you are taking this medication you should use contraception and if you want to become pregnant or do become pregnant while taking it let your doctor know but donít suddenly stop your medication.

Use in Lactation: Category L3,
There are no really good scientific studies in breastfeeding women; however, the risk of untoward effects to a breastfed infant is possible.
Drugs should be given only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the infant.
It is best to err on the side of caution and not to breast feed while taking this medication

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