(BPT) - This article is sponsored by Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. and Lundbeck.
In the United States, an estimated 4.8 million adults are or will be diagnosed with Bipolar I Disorder, otherwise known as BP-I, at some point in their life. BP-I is a serious, chronic mental illness that generally requires lifelong treatment and is characterized by the occurrence of manic episodes; patients can also experience mixed episodes which consist of both manic and depressive symptoms.
A manic episode can manifest itself as either euphoria or feeling “high,” or as irritability. For example, people with BP-I may have an inflated self-image and have increased energy, with hyperactivity and a decreased need for sleep. Depressive episodes typically consist of symptoms like feeling very down or sad, trouble concentrating or making decisions, and feeling restless that last one to two weeks, or sometimes longer.
“People living with BP-I may benefit from consistency -- stressful situations or changes may put them at risk,” says Dr. Greg Mattingly, a psychiatrist from Saint Charles, Missouri. “This is why consistent condition management is imperative for helping patients remain stable.”
Dr. Mattingly explains that consistent treatment and maintaining a well-structured environment are two critical aspects of effectively managing BP-I. In fact, research suggests that it is important for patients with BP-I to keep up with regular medical and therapy appointments.
While patients should always speak to their healthcare team before making changes to their current care plan, Dr. Mattingly does remind us of guidance outlined by the Mayo Clinic to help those with BP-I continue to work on managing their mental health:
For patients with BP-I who are currently stable on their oral medication, a long-acting injection may be appropriate for them.
One option is ABILIFY MAINTENA® (aripiprazole), a once monthly long acting injectable, given by injection by a healthcare professional for the maintenance treatment of BP-I in adults. Patients should continue to take their current antipsychotic medicine for two weeks after their first treatment with ABILIFY MAINTENA.
ABILIFY MAINTENA may cause serious side effects, including an increased risk of death in elderly people with dementia-related psychosis. The most common side effects with
ABILIFY MAINTENA include weight gain, an inner sense of restlessness such as feeling like you need to move, injection site pain, and sleepiness. Please read the complete IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION below.
INDICATION and IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION for
ABILIFY MAINTENA® (aripiprazole)
ABILIFY MAINTENA is a prescription medicine given by injection by a healthcare professional for:
It is not known if ABILIFY MAINTENA is safe and effective in children under 18 years of age.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION:
Elderly people with dementia-related psychosis are at increased risk of death when treated with antipsychotic medicines including ABILIFY MAINTENA. ABILIFY MAINTENA is not for the treatment of people who have lost touch with reality (psychosis) due to confusion and memory loss (dementia).
Do not receive ABILIFY MAINTENA if you are allergic to aripiprazole or any of the ingredients in ABILIFY MAINTENA. Allergic reactions to aripiprazole have ranged from rash, hives and itching to anaphylaxis, which may include difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, and swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue.
ABILIFY MAINTENA may cause serious side effects including:
If you or your family members notice that you are having unusual urges or behaviors, talk to your healthcare provider.
Do not drive, operate machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how
ABILIFY MAINTENA affects you. ABILIFY MAINTENA may make you feel drowsy.
Do not drink alcohol while you receive ABILIFY MAINTENA.
Before receiving ABILIFY MAINTENA, tell your healthcare provider about all your medical conditions, including if you:
Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
ABILIFY MAINTENA and other medicines may affect each other causing possible serious side effects. Do not start or stop any medicines during treatment with ABILIFY MAINTENA without talking to your healthcare provider first.
The most common side effects of ABILIFY MAINTENA include: weight gain, inner sense of restlessness such as feeling like you need to move (akathisia), injection site pain, or sleepiness (sedation).
It is important to contact your healthcare provider if you experience prolonged, abnormal muscle spasms or contractions, which may be signs of a condition called dystonia.
These are not all the possible side effects of ABILIFY MAINTENA.
If you have any questions about your health or medicines, talk to your healthcare provider.
You are encouraged to report side effects of ABILIFY MAINTENA (aripiprazole).
Please contact Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. at 1-800-438-9927 or FDA at
Dr. Mattingly also advises patients to engage their health care team if they have any concerns or notice any changes in their mental health.
For more information about ABILIFY MAINTENA, visit www.abilifymaintena.com.