Abilify, Aripiprazole is an atypical antipsychotic medication often prescribed to treat mania and manic episodes in bipolar disorder. This drug is also used to treat schizophrenia. It has its positive and negative side effects.
If your doctor suggests that you take Abilify, you may have a few questions on the side effects —positive and negative— of taking Abilify for bipolar disorder.
Here’s a list of Abilify side effects:
Positives of Abilify
1. Relief of Manic symptoms. For many bipolar patients that take Abilify, the manic symptoms of bipolar disorder are improved within several days. The relief varies from person to person.
2. Reduces manic relapse. While Abilify is known to relief manic bipolar episodes, it also helps reduce the instance of manic relapse. The bipolar medication also stabilizes manic or mixed moods.
3. Won’t effect cholesterol or blood level. During a clinical trial of Abilify, both those receiving the bipolar medication and the placebo had the same experiences regarding cholesterol and blood level. Therefore it doesn’t play a factor in effecting either.
Negatives of Abilify
1. Sense of restlessness. Bipolar patients taking Abilify may feel an inner sense to move. This is known as akathisia. They can also experience involuntary body movements. This can also lead to the inability to stay asleep.
2. May make one feel sleepy and tired. This medication is known to make a small percentage of bipolar disorder patient feel sleepy. Wait until you know how this medication affects you before you drive or operate hazardous machinery.
3. Can cause weight gain. A very small percentage of people taking Abilify experience a minor gain in weight while on the bipolar medication.
Other Abilify side effects include headache, nausea, constipation and vomiting. Anyone experiencing these side effects as well as a decrease in mood should contact their doctor for analysis and a possible adjustment in dosage.