Abilify is a medicine used to treat schizophrenia. This medicine is also used alone or in combination with lithium or valproate to treat manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar disorder. In addition, Abilify is used in combination with other antidepressant medications to treat major depressive disorder. Abilify is also used to treat irritability associated with autism. Abilify is available as tablets, an oral solution, and orally disintegrating tablets called Abilify Discmelt.
Abilify can increase the risk of stroke in elderly patients. Abilify is not approved to treat psychosis in the elderly with dementia (an illness involving loss of memory, judgment, and confusion).
Abilify can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults. Your doctor will monitor you closely for clinical worsening, suicidal or unusual behavior after you start taking Abilify or a new dose of Abilify. Tell your doctor immediately if you experience anxiety, hostility, sleeplessness, restlessness, impulsive or dangerous behavior, or thoughts about suicide or dying; or if you have new symptoms or seem to be feeling worse.
Abilify can cause neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) (a life-threatening brain disorder). NMS is a medical emergency. Tell your doctor immediately if you experience high fever, muscle rigidity, confusion, fast or irregular heartbeat, changes in your blood pressure, or increased sweating.
Abilify can cause tardive dyskinesia (abnormal muscle movements, including tremor, shuffling and uncontrolled, involuntary movements). Tell your doctor if you experience uncontrollable muscle movements in your face, tongue, or other parts of your body.
Abilify can cause an increase in your blood sugar levels or diabetes. Tell your doctor if you experience excessive thirst, an increase in urination, an increase in appetite, weakness, confusion, feel sick to your stomach, or your breath smells fruity. If you have diabetes or are at risk for diabetes, monitor your blood sugar regularly, as determined by your doctor.
Abilify can cause a sudden decrease in your blood pressure with dizziness, rapid heartbeat, and faintness. Tell your doctor if you have or have had heart problems, brain disorders (such as stroke), or other conditions that can cause low blood pressure.
Abilify can lower the ability of your body to fight infections. Tell your doctor if you develop signs of an infection (such as a fever, sore throat, rash, or chills).
Abilify can cause seizures. Tell your doctor if you have a history of seizures.
Abilify can also cause difficulty when swallowing, which in turn can cause a type of pneumonia.
If you have a condition known as phenylketonuria (an inability to process phenylalanine, a protein in your body), be aware that Abilify Discmelt orally disintegrating tablets contain phenylalanine.