Cariprazine is used to treat schizophrenia (a mental illness that causes disturbed or unusual thinking, loss of interest in life, and strong or inappropriate emotions). Cariprazine is also used to treat episodes of depression in people with bipolar I disorder (manic depressive disorder; a disease that causes episodes of mania, episodes of depression and other abnormal moods). It is also used as a short term treatment for episodes of mania or mixed episodes (symptoms of mania and depression that happen together) in people with bipolar I disorder. Cariprazine 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 Cariprazine
Cariprazine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- extreme tiredness
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- dizziness, feeling unsteady or having trouble keeping your balance
- increased appetite
- weight gain
- increased saliva or drooling
- blurred vision
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the WARNING or WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS section, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- unusual movements of your body or face that you cannot control
- slow movements or shuffling walk
- loss of ability to move
- fever, sweating, confusion, fast breathing, fast or irregular heartbeat, and severe muscle stiffness
- muscle weakness or aching
- blank facial expression
- difficulty swallowing or breathing
- tightness in the throat
- tongue that sticks out of the mouth
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, or eyes
- dark or cola-colored urine
- swelling in legs and feet
- decreased urination
Cariprazine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
Warnings & Precautions
Before taking cariprazine:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to cariprazine, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in cariprazine capsules. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: anticholinergics such as atropine (Atropen, Duodote, Enlon-Plus), benztropine (Cogentin), dicyclomine (Bentyl), glycopyrrolate (Robinul), hyoscyamine, propantheline (Pro-Banthine), and scopolamine (Transderm Scop); carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epitol, Equetro, Tegretol, Teril); itraconazole (Onmel, Sporanox); ketoconazole; medications for blood pressure; and rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, in Rifamate, 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 cariprazine, 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 what herbal products you are taking, especially St. John’s wort.
- tell your doctor if you have a low number of white blood cells, or if you have ever developed a low number of white blood cells as a side effect of a medication that you took. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had seizures; a stroke; a ministroke; a heart attack; heart failure; irregular heartbeat;; trouble keeping your balance; difficulty swallowing;or heart, liver, or kidney disease. Also tell your doctor if you have severe vomiting, diarrhea or signs of dehydration now, or if you develop these symptoms at any time during your treatment.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, especially if you are in the last few months of your pregnancy, or if you plan to become pregnant or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking cariprazine, call your doctor. Cariprazine may cause problems in newborns following delivery if it is taken during the last months of pregnancy.
- you should know that cariprazine 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 during your treatment with cariprazine until you know how this medication affects you.
- 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 cariprazine 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 cariprazine may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting when you get up too quickly from a lying position. This is more common when you first start taking cariprazine. To avoid this problem, get out of bed slowly, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up.
- you should know that cariprazine 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.
Cariprazine comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day with or without food. Take cariprazine at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take cariprazine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of cariprazine and gradually increase your dose depending on how well the medication works for you, and the side effects you experience.
Cariprazine may help control your symptoms but will not cure your condition. It may take several weeks or longer before you feel the full benefit of cariprazine. Continue to take cariprazine even if you feel well. Do not stop taking cariprazine without talking to your doctor. Talk to your doctor if you do not feel like you are getting better during your treatment with cariprazine.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your body’s response to cariprazine.
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.