Abilify (aripiprazole) is an atypical antipsychotic developed by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. In 1999, Otsuka partnered with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) to complete development, obtain approvals, and market aripiprazole in the U.S. In November 2002, it was approved by the FDA for the treatment of schizophrenia in adults. In October 2007, the FDA approved Abilify for the treatment of schizophrenia in adolescents aged 13-17 years. In 2004, it was approved to treat symptoms related to Bipolar I Disorder in adults. Later in 2008, it was approved to treat patients 10 to 17 years old. This was followed by an approval for the treatment of unipolar depression as an adjunct with an antidepressant medication in November 2007. In 2009, it was approved to treat irritability associated with an autistic disorder for patients 6 to 17 years old. Abilify is not approved for the treatment of dementia-related psychosis. Elderly patients treated with antipsychotic drugs for dementia-related psychosis are at an increased risk of death.
Aripiprazole is used predominantly for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder but can also be used as an add-on treatment for major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), tic disorders, and irritability associated with autism.
Abilify is known to decrease hallucinations and improve concentration. When there is a hormonal imbalance, Abilify either increases or decreases the levels of dopamine or serotonin in the brain. The drug arbitrates its action by either blocking receptors or by binding to them and inducing an opposite response to the receptor's normal role. A large number of patients treated with Abilify were reported to develop the habit of compulsive gambling and got racked up with large amounts of debts. Other pathological behaviors like excessive eating, excessive shopping, and Hypersexuality are also noted who started using or increased dosage of Abilify.
Young patients with depression and elderly patients with dementia consuming Abilify are found to be at a high risk of suicidal thoughts or actions. It also increases the risk of developing diabetes.
In 2013, the marketing rights were returned to Otsuka by BMS; however, BMS kept manufacturing the drug.
In November 2017, the FDA approved Abilify MyCite, a digital pill containing a sensor intended to record when its consumer takes their medication.
Some Facts As Stated By The FDA:
- Aripiprazole is available under the brand names Abilify, Abilify Maintena, Aristada, and also as generics.
- Common side effects of aripiprazole include dizziness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, excess saliva/drooling, blurred vision, weight gain, constipation, feeling the urge to move constantly, and trouble sleeping.
- In 2015, approximately 7.7 million prescriptions for oral aripiprazole were dispensed and approximately 1.6 million patients received a dispensed prescription for oral aripiprazole from U.S. outpatient retail pharmacies.