Abilify Side Effects
The drug Aripiprazole is a generic medication, usually referred to as Abilify. Abilify is part of the antipsychotic group of drugs. It is used for curing or treating certain specific conditions such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and pediatric autism, and also aggression or agitation. The brain chemicals called neurotransmitters can be stabilized by Abilify. These neurotransmitters are related to the signs associated with bipolar, psychotic, and other emotional conditions. Though the drug could prove to be quite beneficial for patients, there are some adverse or negative reactions associated with the drug, as well.
In several clinical trials, participants have reported multiple side effects relating to the drug, with the most frequent problem being a headache. Headache issues had occurred in more than 25 % of the total number of participants. Sedation was the next very frequent side effect, with close to 23 % participants complaining about the issue. Drowsiness, fatigue, tiredness, etc. were some of the other common effects. There were also some participants who reported sleeping issues, like not being able to wake up or fall asleep during nighttime, along with feelings of anxiousness. Some of the other adverse effects during the trial included an upset stomach, nausea, and vomiting. Restlessness and agitation feelings had also disturbed several participants. There were some very few participants who had experienced less frequent negative reactions like joint or stomach pain, indigestion or heartburn, constipation, nasal congestion and blurred vision.
EPS or Extrapyramidal Symptoms refer to a set of side effects that are caused by antipsychotic drugs like Abilify. These Abilify side effects are related to the actual dosage and can occur in more than 15 percent of the adult patients. Akathisia symptom and Parkinsons’ disease characteristics are some of the EPS examples. Well-known symptoms such as rigidity and tremors help characterize Parkinsons’ disease. As extrapyramidal symptoms and signs, tremors could approximately occur in 5 % of adults, and rigidity is usually found in close to 4 % of adults. Akathisia, another extrapyramidal symptom, is a disorder relating to movements and which consists of inner restlessness that produces constantly moving behavioral compulsion, even while being seated. For instance, Akathisia could be observed when one is not able to remain still and when there is constant rocking, fidgeting, and movement of the legs when sitting down. This symptom could occur in patients anywhere in the range of 7 to 14 %.
For most individuals, changes in weight could be a huge concern. Therefore, prior to getting started with Abilify, one should be aware that weight gain could be a possibility while on the drug. In clinical trials involving schizophrenic patients, weight gain was an issue in more than 30 % of the patients. Moreover, the weight gain problem was a bit more common in people who had more than 23 BMI or Body Mass Index. One should, therefore, discuss the dose adjustments with the patients well in advance, especially if one sees weight gain as a potential problem.
Energy and Sleep Problems
Several clinical trials have found that fatigue and somnolence are two of the most commonly detected side effects in kids taking Abilify. Somnolence means the state of drowsiness or one’s urge to sleep. The issue was prevalent in more than 20 % of the children who took the Abilify drug. Fatigue, on the other hand, is a sense of weakness. The person with problems of fatigue generally feels weak and tired, and he or she is usually very low on energy. According to reports, it happens in more than 10 percent of the kids taking Abilify. There are some kids who may also commonly experience sedation, insomnia, and other Abilify side effects relating to sleep. Medications that are used for regulating serotonin and neurotransmitters dopamine often result in Abilify side effects that disturb energy levels and sleep. Parents could help their kids bring down these adverse effects by providing a regular exercise routine and a consistently healthy diet.
Motor dysfunction is the second very common or reported side effect. Called extrapyramidal disorder in clinical terms, close to 20 % of adolescents and kids reported disturbances in their motor movements. Some of these include spine and neck displacement, walking and gait disorders, irregular facial and oral movements, uncontrollable limb and finger movements, irregular vocalizations, eye twitching, swallowing and breathing. These symptoms or effects are primarily dependent on the dosage and can, most of the times, become worse with time. It could eventually develop into Tardive Dyskinesia, a very severe and chronic version.
Increased Suicide Risks
According to the FDA, antidepressants have a black-box warning, which informs pediatric patients of increased risks relating to suicidal behavior and thinking. In addition, adolescent and child patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorders also have higher suicide temptations when compared to normal people. Fortunately, these suicidal thoughts and behavior calm down drastically as one crosses 24 years of age.