Aripiprazole - intramuscular


Patient Medicine Information
Why do I need this medicine?
Aripiprazole is used to treat schizophrenia (a long-term mental disorder that causes changes in thoughts, feelings, and behaviour) in individuals who are sufficiently stabilised with oral therapy.

This medicine also helps to quickly control agitation and other disturbing behaviours associated with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (mood changes between feeling very high and very low).

Aripiprazole may be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
How do I use this medicine?
Aripiprazole injection is to be injected deeply into the muscles, usually into the buttocks or shoulder muscles.

Your doctor or nurse will administer the injection for you.

The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the course of treatment depending on your condition.

Aripiprazole injection is given when you are not able to swallow tablets, as an additional treatment, or if you need urgent treatment for your condition. Your doctor will advise you when you can switch from the injection to the oral tablets.
What should I do if I have forgotten to use this medicine?
Ensure that you keep all appointments with your doctor so that you do not miss any doses. Your doctor also needs to regularly monitor your response to Aripiprazole.

If you miss an appointment or miss an injection, alert your doctor or nurse. A replacement appointment or injection should be given as soon as possible.
What should I take note of while using this medicine?
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
  • heart disease e.g. history of heart attack, heart failure, heart rhythm disorders
  • high blood pressure
  • risk factors for low blood pressure e.g. dehydration, low blood volume in the body
  • with or a history of epilepsy (fits or seizures)
  • diabetes
  • bleeding disorders or a low white blood cell count
  • history of impulse control issues e.g. excessive gambling
  • Parkinson's disease (a disorder that affects the movement of a person, causing symptoms such as tremors, muscle stiffness, slowed movement and impaired balance or walking)
  • Alzheimer's disease (a progressive disease which destroys memory and other important mental functions)
  • severe liver disease
This medicine is not intended for the treatment of individuals with dementia-related psychosis.

Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Do not switch between different brands of this medicine unless advised by your doctor.

A certain enzyme called CYP2D6 is involved in the breakdown of this medicine in the body. Individuals who are poor metabolisers of CYP2D6 may have a higher risk of experiencing enhanced side effects of Aripiprazole. Your doctor may advise you to undergo genetic testing to check if it is suitable for you. If you know you have this gene type, inform your doctor.

Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?

Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
  • Routine tests (e.g. heart function, blood test, cholesterol/sugar/electrolyte levels, eye examination) may be done while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you will need to have these tests.
  • Your blood pressure may fall to unsafe levels without you noticing it. Monitor your blood pressure regularly during treatment.
  • Regular monitoring for signs of suicidal thoughts or unusual changes in behaviour and involuntary movements may also be needed.
What lifestyle changes should I make?

Aripiprazole may affect the ability of your body to adjust to temperature changes in the environment. Avoid exposure to very cold or very hot environments. Avoid strenuous exercise and activities like going to the sauna. Drink more water to prevent dehydration.
What side effects could I experience?
Aripiprazole may cause drowsiness, dizziness or blurred vision. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert or need to see clearly.

This medicine may cause your blood pressure to fall suddenly when you get up from a sitting or lying down position and you may feel giddy. To minimise this problem, stand up slowly.

Other side effects include any of the following: headache, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, dry mouth, constipation, hiccups, excessive salivation, tiredness, anxiety, restlessness, difficulty sleeping, weight gain, and pain at the injection site.

Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
  • having thoughts of self-harm
  • unusual changes in mood or behaviour (being aggressive, agitated, or having compulsive and impulsive behaviour, or uncontrollable urges)
  • chest pain, fast or irregular heartbeat
  • very high fever, muscle cramps or stiffness, severe headache, excessive sweating
  • uncontrolled muscle movements of your body or face, such as sticking out of the tongue, smacking of the lips
  • swelling, pain and redness or warmth in the leg
  • frequent and persistent sore throat with fever
  • trouble swallowing
  • increased thirst and hunger, frequent passing of urine, fruity breath odour
  • rashes, breathlessness, swelling of the face, eyes or mouth
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Can I use this with other medicines?
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
  • medicines to treat depression e.g. paroxetine, fluoxetine
  • medicines to treat fungal infections e.g. ketoconazole, itraconazole
  • medicines for epilepsy (fits or seizures) e.g. carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital, primidone
  • medicines for HIV infection e.g. nevirapine, efavirenz
  • medicines to treat TB (infection known as tuberculosis) e.g. rifampicin, rifabutin
  • lorazepam (medicine for anxiety)
  • clarithromycin (certain antibiotic)
  • quinidine (medicine for irregular heartbeat)
  • St. John's wort (herbal medicine)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Aripiprazole.

Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicine, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Avoid alcohol. Alcohol intake may worsen the dizziness and drowsiness caused by Aripiprazole.
How should I store this medicine?
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children. Protect from light.

Do not freeze Aripiprazole otherwise it will no longer be effective and should not be used.

Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
This information is independently developed by MIMS based on aripiprazole - intramuscular and is provided for your reference only. It is not a replacement for and should only be used in conjunction with full consultation with a licensed healthcare professional, the information provided by your pharmacist and/or the manufacturer of the medication. It may not contain all the available information you require and cannot substitute professional medical care, nor does it take into account all individual circumstances. Although great effort has been made to ensure content accuracy, we shall not be held responsible or liable for any claims or damages arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein, its contents or omissions, or otherwise. Copyright © 2020 MIMS. All rights reserved. Powered by MIMS.com
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