Brand Names: US
Abilify; Abilify Discmelt; Abilify Maintena
Brand Names: Canada
Abilify; Abilify Maintena
- Children and teens who take this drug may be at a greater risk of having thoughts or actions of suicide. Adults may also be at risk. The risk may be greater in people who have had these thoughts or actions in the past. Watch people who take this drug closely. Call the doctor right away if signs like low mood (depression), nervousness, restlessness, grouchiness, panic attacks, or changes in mood or actions are new or worse. Call the doctor right away if any thoughts or actions of suicide occur.
- There is a higher chance of death in older adults who take this drug for mental problems caused by dementia. Most of the deaths were linked to heart disease or infection. This drug is not approved to treat mental problems caused by dementia.
What is this drug used for?
- It is used to treat schizophrenia.
- It is used to treat low mood (depression).
- It is used to treat bipolar problems.
- It is used to treat certain behavior problems in patients with autism.
- It is used to treat Tourette’s syndrome.
- It may be given to your child for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell the doctor BEFORE my child takes this drug?
This drug may interact with other drugs or health problems.
Tell the doctor and pharmacist about all of your child’s drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for your child to take this drug with all of their drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug your child takes without checking with the doctor.
- If your child has an allergy to this drug or any part of this drug.
- If your child is allergic to any drugs like this one or any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell the doctor about the allergy and what signs your child had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
What are some things I need to know or do while my child takes this drug?
- Tell dentists, surgeons, and other doctors that your child is using this drug.
- To lower the chance of feeling dizzy or passing out, have your child get up slowly over a few minutes when sitting or lying down. Have your child be extra careful climbing stairs.
- If your child has high blood sugar (diabetes), talk with the doctor. This drug can raise blood sugar.
- Have your child’s blood sugar checked as you have been told by your child’s doctor.
- Have your child’s blood work checked often. Talk with your child’s doctor.
- If your child drinks grapefruit juice or eats grapefruit often, talk with your child’s doctor.
- Have your child avoid tasks or actions that call for alertness until you see how this drug affects your child. These are things like riding a bike, playing sports, or using items such as scissors, lawnmowers, electric scooters, toy cars, or motorized vehicles.
- Alcohol may interact with this drug. Be sure your child does not drink alcohol.
- Talk with your doctor before you use other drugs and natural products that slow your actions.
- Have your child be careful in hot weather or while your child is being active. Have your child drink lots of fluids to stop fluid loss.
- Low white blood cell counts have happened with drugs like this one. This may lead to a higher chance of getting an infection. Deadly infections have rarely happened. Tell your doctor if you have ever had a low white blood cell count. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection like fever, chills, or sore throat. Talk with your doctor.
If your child is pregnant or breast-feeding a baby:
- Talk with the doctor if your child is pregnant, becomes pregnant, or is breast-feeding a baby. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug.
- If your child has PKU, talk with your child’s doctor. Some products have phenylalanine.
What are some side effects that I need to call my child’s doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your child’s doctor or get medical help right away if your child has any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of high blood sugar like confusion, feeling sleepy, more thirst, more hungry, passing urine more often, flushing, fast breathing, or breath that smells like fruit.
- Trouble controlling body movements, twitching, change in balance, trouble swallowing or speaking.
- If your child is planning to harm him/herself. If the want to harm him/herself gets worse.
- Very bad dizziness or passing out.
- Change in balance.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Blurred eyesight.
- A very bad and sometimes deadly health problem called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) may happen. Call your child’s doctor right away if your child has any fever, muscle cramps or stiffness, dizziness, very bad headache, confusion, change in thinking, fast heartbeat, heartbeat that does not feel normal, or is sweating a lot.
- Some people who take this drug may get a very bad muscle problem called tardive dyskinesia. The risk may be greater in older adults, mostly women. The chance that this will happen or that it will never go away is greater in people who take this drug in higher doses or for a long time. Muscle problems may also occur after short-term use with low doses. Call your child’s doctor right away if your child has trouble controlling body movements or if your child has muscle problems with his/her tongue, face, mouth, or jaw like tongue sticking out, puffing cheeks, mouth puckering, or chewing.
What are some other side effects of this drug?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your child’s doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother your child or do not go away:
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your child’s doctor. Call your child’s doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.
- Feeling sleepy.
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Weight gain.
- Hard stools (constipation).
- Not able to sleep.
- Feeling more or less hungry.
- Nose and throat irritation.
- Dry mouth.
- Stuffy nose.
How is this drug best given?
Give this drug as ordered by your child’s doctor. Read and follow the dosing on the label closely.
- Give as you have been told, even if your child feels well.
- To gain the most benefit, do not miss giving your child doses.
All oral products:
- Give this drug with or without food.
- Have your child swallow whole. Do not let your child chew, break, or crush.
- Measure liquid doses carefully. Use the measuring device that comes with this drug. If there is none, get an oral syringe, a dropper, a spoon, or a cup (only for older children) from your pharmacist.
- Do not push the tablet out of the foil when opening. Use dry hands to take it from the foil. Place on your child’s tongue and let it melt. Water is not needed. Do not let your child swallow it whole. Do not let your child chew, break, or crush it.
All shot products:
- It is given as a shot into a muscle.
What do I do if my child misses a dose?
All shot products:
- Call your child’s doctor to find out what to do.
All other products:
- Give a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your child’s next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your child’s normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
How do I store and/or throw out this drug?
All oral products:
- Store at room temperature.
- Protect from light.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Throw away any part not used after 6 months.
- Give oral-disintegrating tablet right after opening. Throw away any part of opened pouch that is not used.
All shot products:
- This drug will be given to your child in a hospital or doctor’s office. You will not store it at home.
- Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.
General drug facts
- If your child’s symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your child’s doctor.
- Do not share your child’s drug with others and do not give anyone else’s drug to your child.
- Keep a list of all your child’s drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your child’s doctor.
- Talk with your child’s doctor before giving your child any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your child’s doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
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