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Aripiprazole

Last updated on July 16, 2019.

Overview   |   Dosage   |   Side Effects   |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Aripiprazole

CHINESE NAME: 阿立哌唑

COMMON BRANDS IN HONG KONG: Abilify 安立復, Abilify Maintena (long-acting injection)

What is Aripiprazole for?

Aripiprazole belongs to the class of medications called second generation antipsychotics. It blocks the actions of dopamine and serotonin which are responsible for our moods. Aripiprazole is commonly used for treating bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia.

How to use it?

In Hong Kong, Aripiprazole is available in conventional tablets (Abilify), orally disintegrating tablets (Abilify Discmelt), and rapid-acting and long-acting injections (Abilify Maintena). Orally disintegrating tablets are used as an alternative for people who have trouble swallowing the regular tablets. After removing the orally disintegrating tablet from its package, it should be placed on the tongue. Alternately, it can be dissolved and taken in a small amount of liquid.

The suggested doses for different uses and routes of administration in adults are listed as follows:

For bipolar I disorder

As a single treatment, Aripiprazole is initially started at 15 mg once daily. Your doctor may increase the dose up to 30 mg once daily if needed.

When used as combination therapy with Lithium or valproate, Aripiprazole is initially started at 10-15 mg once daily. Your doctor may increase the dose up to 30 mg once daily if needed.

For schizophrenia

Oral: Initial doses start at 10-15 mg once daily. Your doctor may increase the dose after 2 weeks to 30 mg once daily.

Long-acting injection (Abilify Maintena): Once you are on a stable dose of oral aripiprazole, your doctor may transition you to the long-acting injection. The injection is given into your muscle and the dose is usually 400 mg  every four weeks. 

For major depressive disorder

Oral: Aripiprazole is used as an adjunctive treatment with antidepressants. The initial dose is  2-5 mg once daily Your doctor may adjust the dose to 2-15 mg daily if needed.

What are the side effects of Aripiprazole? 

Aripiprazole (Abilify) can cause side effects such as weight gain, increased cholesterol, sedation, constipation, movement disorders, and increased blood sugar.

Report to your doctor or pharmacist any symptoms of worsening depression, suicidal thoughts or unusual changes in behaviour.

If you are diabetic, you should regularly check your blood glucose levels since Aripiprazole can increase your blood sugar.

Where to buy Aripiprazole in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Aripiprazole is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at http://www.drugoffice.gov.hk

For detailed information about the use of Aripiprazole in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.

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