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Find out why Abilify is prescribed, side effects of Abilify, Abilify warnings, effects of Abilify during pregnancy, more - in plain English.

ABILIFY® Medication Guide and Patient Counseling Information

Full Abilify prescribing information

Generic name: aripiprazole

Antidepressant Medicines, Depression and other Serious Mental Illnesses, and Suicidal Thoughts or Actions

Read the Medication Guide that comes with your or your family member's antidepressant medicine. This Medication Guide is only about the risk of suicidal thoughts and actions with antidepressant medicines. Talk to your, or your family member's, healthcare provider about:

  • all risks and benefits of treatment with antidepressant medicines
  • all treatment choices for depression or other serious mental illness

What is the most important information I should know about antidepressant medicines, depression and other serious mental illnesses, and suicidal thoughts or actions?

  1. Antidepressant medicines may increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some children, teenagers, and young adults within the first few months of treatment.
  2. Depression and other serious mental illnesses are the most important causes of suicidal thoughts and actions. Some people may have a particularly high risk of having suicidal thoughts or actions. These include people who have (or have a family history of) bipolar illness (also called manic-depressive illness) or suicidal thoughts or actions.
  3. How can I watch for and try to prevent suicidal thoughts and actions in myself or a family member?
    • Pay close attention to any changes, especially sudden changes, in mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings. This is very important when an antidepressant medicine is started or when the dose is changed.
    • Call the healthcare provider right away to report new or sudden changes in mood, behavior, thoughts, or feelings.
    • Keep all follow-up visits with the healthcare provider as scheduled. Call the healthcare provider between visits as needed, especially if you have concerns about symptoms.

Call a healthcare provider right away if you or your family member has any of the following symptoms, especially if they are new, worse, or worry you:

  • thoughts about suicide or dying
  • attempts to commit suicide
  • new or worse depression
  • new or worse anxiety
  • feeling very agitated or restless
  • panic attacks
  • trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • new or worse irritability
  • acting aggressive,being angry,or violent
  • acting on dangerous impulses
  • an extreme increase in activity and talking (mania)
  • other unusual changes in behavior or mood

  • continue story below
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What else do I need to know about antidepressant medicines?

  • Never stop an antidepressant medicine without first talking to a healthcare provider. Stopping an antidepressant medicine suddenly can cause other symptoms.
  • Antidepressants are medicines used to treat depression and other illnesses. It is important to discuss all the risks of treating depression and also the risks of not treating it.
    Patients and their families or other caregivers should discuss all treatment choices with the healthcare provider, not just the use of antidepressants.
  • Antidepressant medicines have other side effects. Talk to the healthcare provider about the side effects of the medicine prescribed for you or your family member.
  • Antidepressant medicines can interact with other medicines. Know all of the medicines that you or your family member takes.Keep a list of all medicines to show the healthcare provider. Do not start new medicines without first checking with your healthcare provider.
  • Not all antidepressant medicines prescribed for children are FDA approved for use in children. Talk to your child's healthcare provider for more information.

This Medication Guide has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for all antidepressants.

It should be noted that ABILIFY (aripiprazole) is approved to be added to an antidepressant when the response from the antidepressant alone is not adequate.ABILIFY is not approved for pediatric patients with depression. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. ABILIFY is a trademark of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company.

Patient Counseling Information

Information for Patients

Physicians are advised to discuss the following issues with patients for whom they prescribe ABILIFY:

Increased Mortality in Elderly Patients with Dementia-Related Psychosis

Patients and caregivers should be advised that elderly patients with dementia-related psychoses treated with atypical antipsychotic drugs are at increased risk of death compared with placebo. ABILIFY is not approved for elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS (5.1)] .

Clinical Worsening of Depression and Suicide Risk

Patients, their families, and their caregivers should be encouraged to be alert to the emergence of anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, mania, other unusual changes in behavior, worsening of depression, and suicidal ideation, especially early during antidepressant treatment and when the dose is adjusted up or down. Families and caregivers of patients should be advised to look for the emergence of such symptoms on a day-to-day basis, since changes may be abrupt. Such symptoms should be reported to the patient's prescriber or health professional, especially if they are severe, abrupt in onset, or were not part of the patient's presenting symptoms. Symptoms such as these may be associated with an increased risk for suicidal thinking and behavior and indicate a need for very close monitoring and possibly changes in the medication [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS (5.2) ].

Prescribers or other health professionals should inform patients, their families, and their caregivers about the benefits and risks associated with treatment with ABILIFY and should counsel them in its appropriate use. A patient Medication Guide about "Antidepressant Medicines, Depression and other Serious Mental Illness, and Suicidal Thoughts or Actions" is available for ABILIFY. The prescriber or health professional should instruct patients, their families, and their caregivers to read the Medication Guide and should assist them in understanding its contents. Patients should be given the opportunity to discuss the contents of the Medication Guide and to obtain answers to any questions they may have.It should be noted that ABILIFY is not approved as a single agent for treatment of depression and has not been evaluated in pediatric Major Depressive Disorder.

Use of Orally Disintegrating Tablet

Do not open the blister until ready to administer. For single tablet removal, open the package and peel back the foil on the blister to expose the tablet. Do not push the tablet through the foil because this could damage the tablet. Immediately upon opening the blister, using dry hands, remove the tablet and place the entire ABILIFY DISCMELT Orally Disintegrating Tablet on the tongue. Tablet disintegration occurs rapidly in saliva. It is recommended that ABILIFY DISCMELT be taken without liquid. However, if needed, it can be taken with liquid. Do not attempt to split the tablet.

Interference with Cognitive and Motor Performance

Because aripiprazole may have the potential to impair judgment, thinking, or motor skills, patients should be cautioned about operating hazardous machinery, including automobiles, until they are reasonably certain that aripiprazole therapy does not affect them adversely [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS (5.8)].

Pregnancy

Patients should be advised to notify their physician if they become pregnant or intend to become pregnant during therapy with ABILIFY (aripiprazole) [see Use In Specific Populations (8.1)].

Nursing

Patients should be advised not to breast-feed an infant if they are taking ABILIFY [see Use In Specific Populations (8.3)] .

Concomitant Medication

Patients should be advised to inform their physicians if they are taking, or plan to take, any prescription or over-the-counter drugs, since there is a potential for interactions [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].

Alcohol

Patients should be advised to avoid alcohol while taking ABILIFY [see DRUG INTERACTIONS (7.2)].

Heat Exposure and Dehydration

Patients should be advised regarding appropriate care in avoiding overheating and dehydration [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS (5.9)] .

Sugar Content

Patients should be advised that each mL of ABILIFY Oral Solution contains 400 mg of sucrose and 200 mg of fructose.

Phenylketonurics HTML clipboard

Phenylalanine is a component of aspartame. Each ABILIFY DISCMELT Orally Disintegrating Tablet contains the following amounts: 10 mg - 1.12 mg phenylalanine and 15 mg - 1.68 mg phenylalanine.

Tablets manufactured by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co, Ltd, Tokyo, 101-8535 Japan or Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Princeton, NJ 08543 USA

Orally Disintegrating Tablets, Oral Solution, and Injection manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Princeton, NJ 08543 USA

Distributed and marketed by Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc, Rockville, MD 20850 USA

Marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Princeton, NJ 08543 USA

US Patent Nos: 5,006,528; 6,977,257; and 7,115,587

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Last Updated - 06/01/2008

Full Abilify prescribing information

Detailed Info on Signs, Symptoms, Causes, Treatments of Bipolar Disorder

Extensive Information on Suicide Thoughts and Actions

back to: Psychiatric Medication Patient Information Index

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