What medications should not be taken with Abilify? (5 dangerous meds) 

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In this blog post, we are going to answer the question, “What medications should not be taken with Abilify?”. Abilify is an atypical antipsychotic medication that can be used for a number of mental health-related problems. 

However, there are some meds that may not work too well along with Abilify and this is all we are going to cover in this blog. We will also talk about what Abilify actually is and how it works. 

What medications should not be taken with Abilify?

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The following medications should not be taken with Abilify:

  • Sibutramine
  • Opioids
  • Phenothiazines 
  • Cabergoline 
  • Some antidepressants 

Sibutramine 

The use of Abilify and Sibutramine is strictly contraindicated and is associated with a number of terrible side effects. Sibutramine is a drug which is basically used as an appetite suppressant. 

However, the drug is discontinued in some regions, including the USA, because of the dangerous side effects caused by the med. Both Abilify and Sibutramine can act on your central nervous system (CNS) and can cause a number of disturbing psychological side effects that even a normal and healthy person can not tolerate. 

Opioids

The concomitant use of Abilify and Opioids is also contraindicated. This is why some of the cold and cough medicines, which involve opioids or any nervous system stimulant like ephedrine should not be used with Abilify. 

This is because the concomitant use can increase the risk of slowing your CNS down and as a consequence, you may suffer from one of the following symptoms:

  • Sleepiness 
  • Dizziness 
  • Vomiting 
  • Confusion 
  • Forgetfulness 
  • Delirium 
  • Hallucinations 
  • Blackouts 
  • Coma

These symptoms can occur even in mild doses. Higher doses can become life-threatening and may cause death. This is why you should always consult your healthcare provider before using Abilify, especially if you’re using any other medication, even over-the-counter meds. Even cough syrups should be mentioned for your own safety. 

Phenothiazines 

The concomitant use of Abilify and Phenothiazines is contraindicated. Both of these meds are antipsychotics in nature and can be used for the management and treatment of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. 

However, these medications should never be used together because of the risk of additive effects on your CNS. If you have taken these two together accidentally, reach out to your healthcare provider as soon as you can. You may suffer from symptoms like:

  • Psychosis 
  • Dizziness 
  • Drowsiness 
  • Fatigue 
  • Confusion
  • Impairment of motor coordination 
  • Sensory disturbances 

These symptoms can worsen over time, especially if you poorly manage the overdose. If you have taken it, make sure you properly inform your doctor how much you have taken and when. This will help your doctor determine the best way to resolve your symptoms. 

Cabergoline 

The combined use of Abilify and Cabergoline is also contraindicated because of a number of reasons. Research suggests that these meds somehow cancel the effect of each other and can make each other therapeutically insignificant. 

This can result in therapeutic failure, which you can not afford, especially if you have a psychotic illness or some other mental health issue. This is why these two are not used together. 

Cabergoline itself is used for Parkinson’s disease and it actively resolves the symptoms associated with this condition. If Abilify decreases the effects of Cabergoline, the symptoms associated with your Parkinson’s may become much worse. 

Some antidepressants 

The use of some antidepressants along with Abilify should be limited. Antidepressants like Bupropion and Duloxetine may increase the level or concentration of Abilify in your body, especially when you consume the two meds together. 

Antidepressants do so by inhibiting the enzymes in your liver which are responsible for the breakdown of Abilify into its inactive metabolites. This delay the removal of Abilify from your body and the drug remains available for a longer period of time to bind to its respective active sites. 

The more the drug binds, the greater will be the side effects. That’s exactly what happens. All of the mild to moderate side effects of Abilify are enhanced and they start to affect your health negatively. If this continues, Abilify along with the repeated use of Bupropion or Duloxetine can mess up mental health significantly.

What is Abilify and how does it work? 

Abilify, brand name for Aripiprazole, is an atypical antipsychotic medication. It is primarily used for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The drug can be used for other conditions as well, including autism, irritability and major depressive disorders. 

Its exact mechanism of action is still unknown. However, experts believe that the drug acts as an agonist of some of the dopamine receptors including D2 receptors and some of the serotonin receptors including 5HT1A receptors. 

The experts have also added that Abilify can inhibit serotonin 5HT2A receptors actively. As Abilify is an atypical antipsychotic, it is considered safer than typical antipsychotics which possess a higher risk of causing extrapyramidal side effects. 

Abilify can also be used for the treatment and management of MDD along with antidepressants. Abilify and some other atypical antipsychotics are now used in clinical practices for the augmentation of antidepressants. 

This combination can work wonders for some people and can significantly help in the management and treatment of the major depressive disorder (MDD).

Several research studies have investigated the effects produced by the combined use of SSRIs and Abilify. A 2015 study investigated Abilify augmentation in the management of major depressive disorder (MDD). 

The study concluded that this has become a frequent practice in clinical settings and it provides promising results. This practice is more common in case of patients who do not respond properly to initial therapy with antidepressants. 

Even the strongest of antidepressants may not be adequate for the treatment of persistent depression and augmentation by Abilify can significantly help recover such patients. 

However, the study stated that more research is necessary to determine the exact and the most appropriate way of using Abilify and other atypical antipsychotics that can be used for the purpose of antidepressant augmentation. 

The study also revealed that the use of Abilify itself can be beneficial in the treatment and management of MDD as the drug does possess some antidepressant properties. 

One of the major benefits of using Abilify with antidepressants is the faster onset of action of this antidepressant. It is a known fact that antidepressants take time to work. No matter how severe your depression symptoms are, your antidepressant will take 4 to 6 weeks to kick in. 

After that, it starts to make changes in your system and help you recover from the symptoms. However, you may start to suffer from side effects, but the good part is bound to come in about a month and a half. With Abilify, this time period is reduced. 

What are the side effects associated with the use of Abilify? 

Abilify, like every other medication on this planet, is associated with some side effects of its own and the treatment with this atypical antidepressant may not work in the best possible way for every individual. Some of the side effects include:

  • Restlessness 
  • Nervousness 
  • Confusion 
  • Headache 
  • Dizziness 
  • Drowsiness 
  • Fatigue 
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Constipation 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Increased appetite
  • Excess salivation 
  • Body pain
  • Weight gain 

Abilify is associated with some serious side effects. These include:

  • Allergic reactions associated with symptoms like redness of skin, itching, burning sensation, blisters, blue-purple patches, tightness of chest, wheezing, difficulty in breathing, hoarseness etc.
  • Swelling or tenderness in different parts of the body.
  • Vision changes
  • Uncontrollable tremors 
  • Fever
  • Muscle pain, stiffness and rigidity 
  • Neck muscle spasm
  • Arrhythmia or irregular heart rate 
  • Convulsions 

Make sure you properly monitor your side effects and inform your healthcare provider if you exhibit any sign of an allergic reaction or any unusual side effect. It is also recommended to take Abilify properly. Improper dose administration can lead to a number of complications. 

Conclusion 

In this blog post, we have discussed medications which should never be paired with Abilify. Abilify is an atypical antipsychotic medication which can be paired with a lot of meds, but it can’t do well with some and that’s what we have discussed. 

Make sure you properly monitor your side effects and inform your healthcare provider if you exhibit any sign of an allergic reaction or any unusual side effect. It is also recommended to take Abilify properly. Improper dose administration can lead to a number of complications. 

FAQs: What medications should not be taken with Abilify 

When should Abilify not be used?

Abilify should only be used when it is prescribed by your healthcare provider and it should never be used otherwise. This medication can treat schizophrenia and some other psychological disorders. However, it should not be used in children or teenagers for the management and treatment of the major depressive disorder (MDD). It should also not be used with certain medications. 

Why should you not take Abilify?

Abilify is associated with a number of side effects and it may not work well for everyone. You should not take Abilify if you exhibit any sign of an allergic reaction or any unusual side effect. Immediately report to your healthcare provider if any such thing happens. If you’re a teenager or younger than that, Abilify is not the right choice of medication for you. 

What is the most common side effect of Abilify?

The most common side effects associated with the use of Abilify include:

  • Restlessness 
  • Nervousness 
  • Confusion 
  • Headache 
  • Dizziness 
  • Drowsiness 
  • Fatigue 
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Constipation 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Increased appetite
  • Excess salivation 
  • Body pain
  • Weight gain 

What medications should not be taken with Abilify?

  • Certain antibiotics, including macrolides. Examples are clarithromycin, azithromycin and erythromycin. 
  • Antidepressants including Bupropion and Duloxetine 
  • Some antifungal agents like ketoconazole, itraconazole, fluconazole etc. 
  • Certain antiarrhythmic medications like quinidine
  • Medications used to treat HIV, including ritonavir, indinavir etc.

Why is Abilify added to antidepressants?

Abilify is added for the augmentation of antidepressants. This practice is more common in case of patients who do not respond properly to initial therapy with antidepressants. Even the strongest of antidepressants may not be adequate for the treatment of persistent depression and augmentation by Abilify can significantly help recover such patients. However, more research is necessary to determine the best way to use them. 

What antidepressant goes well with Abilify?

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the common antidepressants which go well with Abilify and other atypical antipsychotics. The combination of these two is now quite frequently prescribed in clinical settings because of the added benefits. 

One of the major benefits of using Abilify with SSRIs is the faster onset of action of this antidepressant. The concomitant use can also be used in the management and treatment of the major depressive disorder (MDD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

References 

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