Aripiprazole is used to treat certain mental/mood disorders (such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, Tourette's syndrome, and irritability associated with autistic disorder). It may also be used in combination with other medication to treat depression. Aripiprazole is known as an antipsychotic drug (atypical type). It works by helping to restore the balance of certain natural chemicals in the brain (neurotransmitters). This medication can decrease hallucinations and improve your concentration. It helps you to think more clearly and positively about yourself, feel less nervous, and take a more active part in everyday life. Aripiprazole can treat severe mood swings and decrease how often mood swings occur.
Read the Medication Guide and, if available, the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start taking aripiprazole and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily. The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, age, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. The manufacturer directs to swallow this medication whole. However, many similar drugs (immediate-release tablets) can be split/crushed. Follow your doctor's direction on how to take this medication. If you are using the liquid form of this medication, carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/cup. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase. It may take several weeks before you get the full benefit of this drug. Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when this drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased. Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
See also Warning section. Dizziness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, tiredness, excess saliva/drooling, blurred vision, weight gain, constipation, headache, and trouble sleeping may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Dizziness and lightheadedness can increase the risk of falling. Get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position. Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: fainting, mental/mood changes (such as increased anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts), trouble swallowing, restlessness (especially in the legs), shaking (tremor), muscle spasm, mask-like expression of the face, seizures, trouble controlling certain urges (such as gambling, sex, eating or shopping), interrupted breathing during sleep. This medication may rarely make your blood sugar rise, which can cause or worsen diabetes. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased thirst/urination. If you already have diabetes, check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet. This medication may rarely cause a condition called tardive dyskinesia. In some cases, this condition may be permanent. Tell your doctor right away if you develop any unusual uncontrolled movements (especially of the face, mouth, tongue, arms, or legs). This medication may rarely cause a very serious condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Get medical help right away if you have any of the following symptoms: fever, muscle stiffness/pain/tenderness/weakness, severe tiredness, severe confusion, sweating, fast/irregular heartbeat, dark urine, signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine). A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: fever, swollen lymph nodes, rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Store the tablet and the oral liquid at room temperature away from light and moisture. Discard the oral solution 6 months after opening or after the expiration date, whichever comes first. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
NOTES: Do not share this medication with others. Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as blood sugar, weight, cholesterol/triglyceride levels) may be performed before you start treatment, periodically to monitor your progress, or to check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
MISSED DOSE: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.