Uses of Aripiprazole Injection
Aripiprazole extended-release injection (Abilify Maintena, Aristada, Aristada Initio) is used alone or in combination with other aripiprazole preparations to treat schizophrenia (a mental illness that causes disturbed or unusual thinking, loss of interest in life, and strong or inappropriate emotions). Aripiprazole extended-release injection (Abilify Maintena) is also used for the ongoing treatment of people with bipolar I disorder (manic-depressive disorder; a disease that causes episodes of depression, episodes of mania, and other abnormal moods). Aripiprazole is in a class of medications called atypical antipsychotics. It works by changing the activity of certain natural substances in the brain.
Side Effects of Aripiprazole Injection
- pain, swelling, redness at the injection site
- weight gain
- increased appetite
- extreme tiredness
- stomach pain
- dry mouth
- back, muscle, or joint pain
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- dizziness, feeling unsteady or having trouble keeping your balance
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING or SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS sections, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, and/or lower legs
- difficulty swallowing or breathing
- muscle stiffness
- excessive sweating
- irregular heartbeat
- unusual movements of the face or body that you cannot control
- uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
- need to get up and move
- slow movements
- sore throat, fever, chills, or other signs of infection
Aripiprazole extended-release injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while you are receiving this medication.
Warnings & Precautions
Before receiving aripiprazole extended-release injection:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to aripiprazole, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in aripiprazole extended-release injection. Ask your pharmacist or check the Medication Guide for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epitol, Tegretol); clarithromycin (Biaxin, in Prevpac); fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem, Symbyax); itraconazole (Onmel, Sporanox); ketoconazole; lorazepam (Ativan); certain medications to control high blood pressure such as carvedilol (Coreg), lisinopril (Qbrelis, Zestril), prazosin (Minipress); quinidine (in Nuedexta); and rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, in Rifamate, in Rifater). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. Many other medications may also interact with aripiprazole, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list.
- tell your doctor if you have severe diarrhea or vomiting or you think you may be dehydrated. Also tell your doctor if you have or have ever had heart disease, heart failure, a heart attack, an irregular heartbeat, high or low blood pressure, a stroke, a ministroke, seizures, a low number of white blood cells, dyslipidemia (high cholesterol levels), trouble keeping your balance, or any condition that makes it difficult for you to swallow. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family use or have ever used street drugs or have overused prescription medication or alcohol or has or has ever had diabetes, obsessive-compulsive disorder, impulse-control disorder, bipolar disorder, or an impulsive personality. Also, tell your doctor if you have ever had to stop taking medication for mental illness because of severe side effects.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, especially if you are in the last few months of your pregnancy, if you plan to become pregnant, or if you are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant during your treatment with aripiprazole, call your doctor.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are being treated with aripiprazole.
- you should know that receiving aripiprazole extended-release injection may make you drowsy and may affect your ability to think clearly, make decisions, and react quickly. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
- you should know that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this medication. Do not drink alcohol during your treatment with aripiprazole.
- you should know that aripiprazole extended-release injection may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, fast or slow heartbeat, and fainting when you get up too quickly from a lying position, especially right after you receive your injection. If you feel dizzy or drowsy after you receive your injection, you will need to lie down until you feel better. During your treatment, you should get out of bed slowly, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up.
- you should know that you may experience hyperglycemia (increases in your blood sugar) while you are receiving this medication, even if you do not already have diabetes. If you have schizophrenia, you are more likely to develop diabetes than people who do not have schizophrenia, and receiving aripiprazole extended-release injection or similar medications may increase this risk. Tell your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms during your treatment: extreme thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, blurred vision, or weakness. It is very important to call your doctor as soon as you have any of these symptoms because high blood sugar can cause a serious condition called ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis may become life-threatening if it is not treated at an early stage. Symptoms of ketoacidosis include dry mouth, nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath, breath that smells fruity, and decreased consciousness.
- you should know that some people who used medications such as aripiprazole extended-release injection developed gambling problems or other intense urges or behaviors that were compulsive or unusual for them, such as increased sexual urges or behaviors, excessive shopping, and binge eating. Call your doctor if you have intense urges to shop, eat, have sex, or gamble, or if you are unable to control your behavior. Tell your family members about this risk so that they can call the doctor even if you do not realize that your gambling or any other intense urges or unusual behaviors have become a problem.
- you should know that aripiprazole extended-release injection may make it harder for your body to cool down when it gets very hot. Tell your doctor if you plan to do vigorous exercise or be exposed to extreme heat. Be sure to drink plenty of water and call your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms: feeling very hot, sweating heavily, not sweating even though it is hot, dry mouth, excessive thirst, or decreased urination.
Aripiprazole extended-release injection comes as a powder to be mixed with water (Abilify Maintena) and as a suspension (liquid) (Aristada, Aristada Initio) to be injected into a muscle by a healthcare provider.
Aripiprazole extended-release injection (Abilify Maintena) is usually given once every 4 weeks. If you have never received aripiprazole previously, your doctor will tell you to take aripiprazole tablets by mouth for up to 2 weeks before you receive your first injection. You will also need to take aripiprazole tablets or another antipsychotic medication by mouth for the first two weeks right after receiving your first injection of aripiprazole extended-release injection (Abilify Maintena).
Aripiprazole extended-release injection (Aristada) is usually given once every 4, 6 or 8 weeks. If you have never received aripiprazole previously, your doctor will tell you to take aripiprazole tablets by mouth for up to 2 weeks before you receive your first injection. You will also need to take aripiprazole tablets or another antipsychotic medication by mouth for the first two weeks right after receiving your first injection of aripiprazole extended-release injection (Aristada). Alternatively, you could receive one-time doses of aripiprazole extended-release injection (Aristada Initio) and one aripiprazole tablet by mouth when starting treatment with aripiprazole extended-release injection (Aristada).
Aripiprazole extended-release injection may help control your symptoms but will not cure your condition. Continue to keep appointments to receive aripiprazole extended-release injection even if you feel well. Talk to your doctor if you do not feel like you are getting better during your treatment with aripiprazole extended-release injection.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.