What is Abilify Maintena Uses, warnings & interactions
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Abilify Maintena is an FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) approved medication manufactured by Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. Abilify Maintena contains aripiprazole, which is classed as an atypical antipsychotic medication. It is used for the treatment of schizophrenia, and the maintenance monotherapy treatment of bipolar I disorder in adult patients.
What is Abilify Maintena used for?
Abilify Maintena is a prescription medication used for the treatment of schizophrenia, and the maintenance monotherapy treatment of bipolar I disorder in adults.
How does Abilify Maintena work?
Aripiprazole’s exact mechanism of action is not fully understood. It is thought that aripiprazole improves the action of dopamine and serotonin receptors but also blocks 5HT2A receptors. Aripiprazole may also affect other receptors in your body resulting in orthostatic hypotension.
How long does it take for Abilify Maintena to work?
Injectable aripiprazole has a much longer half-life than oral aripiprazole, and Abilify Maintena should only be prescribed after you have reached an effective dosing regimen of oral aripiprazole. It may take two weeks to notice improvements in symptoms (this is when plasma concentrations reach a steady level in the body). This is also the reason dose adjustments are not made more than every two weeks. Your symptoms will continue to improve after a two-week period but it will still take a few months to reach the full benefit of taking Abilify Maintena.
Alternatives to Abilify Maintena
- Abilify (aripiprazole)
- Rexulti (brexpiprazole)
- Risperdal Consta (risperidone)
- Prozac (fluoxetine)
- Zyprexa (olanzapine)
How to take Abilify Maintena?
Abilify Maintena is available as an extended-release injectable suspension formulation, in the following doses: 300-mg and 400-mg strength lyophilized powder for reconstitution in single-use pre-filled, dual-chamber syringe, or single-dose vials.
You should use the correct aseptic techniques for reconstitution of Abilify Maintena at room temperature. If you do not use the injection immediately keep the vial at room temperature. Shake the vial for at least 60 seconds to re-suspend before use.
Abilify Maintena is given by intramuscular injection in the deltoid or gluteal muscle, by a healthcare professional only. If you are new to aripiprazole, your tolerability must be established with oral aripiprazole before starting treatment.
The recommended starting and maintenance dose is 400 mg monthly (no sooner than 26 days after the previous injection) as a single injection. If you have adverse reactions to Abilify Maintena, your dose can be reduced to a 300 mg dose. You must take 14 consecutive days of concurrent oral aripiprazole (10 mg to 20 mg) or current oral antipsychotic with your first injection. If you are known to be a CYP2D6 poor metabolizer your recommended starting and maintenance treatment dose will be 300 mg monthly as a single injection.
Abilify Maintena can make you become dehydrated, so make sure you drink plenty of water. Your recommended dose will depend on the condition you are being treated for, your age, weight, and your renal function.
Please see the full prescribing information, including the medication guide and boxed warning for full drug information, and always speak with your healthcare provider for medical advice about any changes to your dose so they can monitor and evaluate your condition. Dosage adjustments are required for missed doses.
Abilify Maintena and alcohol
Alcohol can increase the side effects of aripiprazole such as dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating. You may also experience impairment in thinking and judgment. Abilify Maintena with alcohol should be avoided.
Abilify Maintena side effects
If you take Abilify Maintena you may experience side effects.
Common side effects of Abilify Maintena in clinical trials compared to placebo include:
- Somnolence, sedation
- Injection site pain or reaction
- Weight gain
- Constipation, dry mouth, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort
The more serious side effects that Abilify Maintena can cause include:
- Risk of extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS) (eg, pseudoparkinsonism, acute dystonic reactions, akathisia, and tardive dyskinesia
- Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar)
- Anemia (low red blood cells)
- Serotonin syndrome especially in cases of concomitant use with other serotonergic medicinal products, such as SSRI/SNRI, or with medicinal products that are known to increase aripiprazole concentrations
- Elevated hepatic enzymes
- Cerebrovascular adverse reactions in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis. Increased incidence of stroke, transient ischemic attack, including fatalities
- Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS)
- High cholesterol
- High blood sugar
- High blood pressure
- Fast or slow heart rate
- Orthostatic hypotension
- Suicidal thoughts, or worsening of depression
- Leukopenia, neutropenia, and agranulocytosis – check blood counts in patients with a history of low white blood cell count (WBC)
- Cognitive and motor impairment
Your doctor will assess the benefits of using Abilify Maintena against your risk of adverse events. You are encouraged to report negative side effects or adverse reactions to the FDA, or visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Abilify Maintena withdrawal
Stopping treatment with Abilify Maintena suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms. Only stop taking Abilify under the medical advice of a healthcare professional.
Abilify Maintena contraindications
Abilify Maintena isn’t suitable for everyone. You shouldn’t take Abilify Maintena if you:
- Have a known hypersensitivity to the active ingredient aripiprazole
- Have an allergy to any of the other ingredients in Abilify Maintena
- Are an older adult with dementia-related psychosis
- Are under 18 years of age
It is important to talk to your physician before taking Abilify Maintena if you have other risk factors such as:
- Heart disease, heart attack, or stroke
- High or low blood pressure
- Diabetes or a family history of diabetes
- Low white blood cell counts
- If you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed
Abilify Maintena boxed warning
Clinical studies show that elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis being treated with antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death. Abilify Maintena is not FDA-approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis.
Abilify Maintena drug interactions
Drug interactions can change how Abilify Maintena and other medications work. It can even increase the likelihood and severity of some side effects. Medications that are known or thought to interact with Abilify Maintena include:
- Strong CYP3A4 inhibitors – ketoconazole
- CYP3A4 inducers – carbamazepine
- Strong CYP2D6 inhibitors – quinidine, paroxetine, fluoxetine
- Opioid painkillers – alfentanil, buprenorphine, codeine, morphine, tramadol
- Other treatments for schizophrenia – clozapine
- Anesthetics – ketamine
- Antiemetics to prevent sickness – metoclopramide
Tell your prescribing physician about all drugs you’re taking, including over-the-counter medication, vitamins, and dietary supplements.
Abilify Maintena FAQs
How does Abilify Maintena make you feel?
Abilify Maintena can cause common side effects such as sedation, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal discomfort. Speak to your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about using Abilify Maintena.
Does Abilify Maintena cause weight gain?
Weight gain is a common side effect of using Abilify Maintena. Speak to your doctor if this is a concern.
How long does it take for Abilify Maintena to work?
It may take two weeks to notice improvements in symptoms, but your symptoms will continue to improve after the two-week period and it will still take a few months to reach the full benefit of taking Abilify Maintena.
What should I avoid while taking Abilify Maintena?
Abilify Maintena will interact with certain other medications and may increase the likelihood and severity of some side effects. Medications that are known or thought to interact with Abilify Maintena include strong CYP3A4 inhibitors (ketoconazole), CYP3A4 inducers (carbamazepine), strong CYP2D6 inhibitors (paroxetine, fluoxetine), opioid painkillers, and other treatments for schizophrenia. Make sure you tell your prescribing physician about all drugs you’re taking, including over-the-counter medication, vitamins, and dietary supplements.
Is it safe to take Abilify Maintena during pregnancy or when breastfeeding?
Abilify Maintena can pass into your breast milk during lactation and may harm your baby. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby if you use Abilify Maintena.
How much does Abilify Maintena cost?
Without insurance, prices for Abilify Maintena will vary depending on where you buy it and how much you buy. As a guide, Abilify Maintena intramuscular powder for injection, extended-release 300 mg will cost around $2,000 for 1 powder for injection.
Abilify Maintena may be covered by your healthcare plan, but you may have to make co-payments. With Nice Rx you may be able to get Abilify Maintena for a flat fee of only $49 per month. See how we can help you access affordable Abilify Maintena medication.
The content on this website is intended for information purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice. The information on this website should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always speak to your doctor regarding the risks and benefits of any treatment.