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Abilify a Sophisticated Weapon Against Bipolar Depression

According to the official web site, Abilify is “a medicine to help you move forward”. However, this should not be understood literally, because Abilify does not work with human muscles or joints; it works with human brains, helping one to overcome bipolar depressive disorder and move forward to a healthy life without all those mood swings, when depression is frequently followed by euphoria and vice versa.

So, Abilify is a trade mark of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company, Japan. After receiving the FDA approval in November 2002, Abilify is marketed by Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company on the territory of the United States of America.

What Is What?

Abilify is a prescription psychotropic medication, indicated for the acute and maintenance treatment of bipolar  depression, adjunctive treatment of major depressive disorder and schizophrenia as well. The medication helps to stabilize mood and reduce the risk of manic relapse.

There are several forms of Abilify: oral tablets in 2 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, and 30 mg strengths; orally disintegrating tablets in 10 mg and 15 mg strengths; oral solution, and injections. The main working ingredient used in all types of Abilify is aripiprazole. This is the first and the only representative of the new class of antipsychotic medications, different from common SSRIs, MAOIs or tricycles.

How Does Abilify Work?

As with many antidepressants and antipsychotic medications, the exact mode of action of Abilify remains unknown. However, it is believed that the medication works with dopamine and serotonin receptors in human brains. It is interesting to note that Abilify can not only decrease the amounts of dopamine and serotonin (as most of antipsychotic medicines do), but it can also increase the levels of the said hormones, if it is necessary.

Abilify works in a very sophisticated way: it travels to the specific brain areas, where the levels of serotonin and dopamine are too high or too low, and it returns the amounts of the mentioned neurotransmitters into balance by either reducing or increasing their amount.

Known Benefits of Abilify
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First of all, it is the unique mode of action with sophisticated way of affecting neurotransmitters, which favorably distinguishes Abilify from other known antipsychotic medications and antidepressants.

According to some recent studies, Abilify has little effect on heart rhythm and does not interfere with blood sugar regulation. So, patients taking Abilify should not be very concerned about increased sugar levels; however, regular checks of blood sugar are still recommended.

Abilify was shown to have only slight impact on weight gain, which may be a serious concern when using other types of antidepressants. And, finally, it is considered that Abilify does not affect significantly the levels of prolactin – a hormone, which is said to be the cause of sexual adverse reaction in men and women, taking other types of antidepressants or antipsychotic medicines.


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