Generic name: brexpiprazole (brex-PIP-ra-zole)
Drug class: Atypical antipsychotics
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Aug 25, 2021.
Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death. Brexpiprazole is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis. Increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior was found in children, adolescents, and young adults taking antidepressants. Monitor for worsening and emergence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors .
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antipsychotic
Uses for brexpiprazole
Brexpiprazole is used to treat mental conditions, such as depression and schizophrenia. It works in the brain to change how certain chemicals affect patients. It is an antipsychotic agent.
Brexpiprazole is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before using brexpiprazole
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For brexpiprazole, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to brexpiprazole or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of brexpiprazole in children. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of brexpiprazole in elderly patients. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related liver, kidney, or heart problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving brexpiprazole. Brexpiprazole should not be used to treat behavioral problems in elderly patients who have dementia.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking brexpiprazole, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using brexpiprazole with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using brexpiprazole with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- St John's Wort
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using brexpiprazole with any of the following is usually not recommended, but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use brexpiprazole, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.
- Grapefruit Juice
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of brexpiprazole. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Blood vessel disease or
- Dehydration or
- Heart attack, history of or
- Heart disease or
- Heart failure, history of or
- Heart rhythm problems, history of or
- Hypotension (low blood pressure) or
- Hypovolemia (decrease in blood volume) or
- Ischemic heart disease, history of or
- Stroke, history of or
- Trouble swallowing—Use with caution. May cause side effects to become worse.
- Diabetes, or family history of or
- Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar)—Brexpiprazole may raise your blood sugar levels.
- Dyslipidemia (high cholesterol or triglyceride levels) or
- Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), history of or
- Seizures, history of—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Kidney disease, moderate to severe or
- Liver disease, moderate to severe—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.
Proper use of brexpiprazole
Take brexpiprazole exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of side effects.
Brexpiprazole should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow the instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
You may take brexpiprazole with or without food.
The dose of brexpiprazole will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of brexpiprazole. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For oral dosage form (tablets):
- For depression:
- Adults—At first, 0.5 or 1 milligram (mg) once a day. Your doctor may increase your dose as needed and tolerated. However, the dose is usually not more than 3 mg per day.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For schizophrenia
- Adults—At first, 1 milligram (mg) once a day on Days 1 to 4. Your doctor may increase your dose to 2 mg on Days 5 to 7, and then to 4 mg on Day 8 as tolerated. However, the dose is usually not more than 4 mg per day.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For depression:
If you miss a dose of brexpiprazole, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Precautions while using brexpiprazole
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to allow for changes in your dose and to make sure brexpiprazole is working properly. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for any unwanted effects.
For some patients, brexpiprazole can increase thoughts of suicide. Tell your doctor right away if you start to feel more depressed and have thoughts about hurting yourself. Report any unusual thoughts or behaviors that trouble you, especially if they are new or are getting worse quickly. Make sure the doctor knows if you have trouble sleeping, get upset easily, have a big increase in energy, or start to act reckless. Also tell the doctor if you have sudden or strong feelings, such as feeling nervous, angry, restless, violent, or scared. Let the doctor know if you or anyone in your family has bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness) or has tried to commit suicide.
Check with your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms while using brexpiprazole: convulsions (seizures), difficulty with breathing, a fast heartbeat, a high fever, high or low blood pressure, increased sweating, loss of bladder control, severe muscle stiffness, unusually pale skin, or tiredness. These could be symptoms of a serious condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS).
Brexpiprazole may cause tardive dyskinesia (a movement disorder) especially in elderly women. Check with your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms while taking brexpiprazole: lip smacking or puckering, puffing of the cheeks, rapid or worm-like movements of the tongue, uncontrolled chewing movements, or uncontrolled movements of the arms and legs.
Brexpiprazole may increase the amount of sugar in your blood. Check with your doctor right away if you have increased thirst or increased urination. If you have diabetes, you may notice a change in the results of your urine or blood sugar tests. If you have any questions, check with your doctor.
Brexpiprazole may increase your weight. Your doctor may need to check your weight on a regular basis while you are using brexpiprazole.
Some people who have used brexpiprazole had unusual changes in their behavior. Talk with your doctor right away if you start having unusual urges, such as gambling urges, binge or compulsive eating, compulsive shopping, or sexual urges while using brexpiprazole.
Brexpiprazole can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing the chance of getting an infection. If you can, avoid people with infections. Check with your doctor immediately if you think you are getting an infection or if you get a fever or chills, cough or hoarseness, lower back or side pain, or painful or difficult urination.
Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting may occur, especially when you get up from a lying or sitting position. Getting up slowly may help. If this problem continues or gets worse, check with your doctor.
Brexpiprazole may make it more difficult for your body to cool down. It might also reduce how much you sweat. Your body could get too hot if you do not sweat enough. If your body gets too hot, you might feel dizzy, weak, tired, or confused. You might have an upset stomach or vomit. Call your doctor if drinking cool water and moving away from the heat does not cool you down.
Brexpiprazole may cause drowsiness, dizziness, trouble with thinking, or trouble with controlling movements, which may lead to falls, fractures, or other injuries. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how brexpiprazole affects you. Stand or sit up slowly if you feel lightheaded or dizzy.
Do not change the dose or stop using brexpiprazole without checking first with your doctor.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines) and herbal (eg, St. John's wort) or vitamin supplements.
Brexpiprazole side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- cold sweats
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position
Incidence not known
- Black, tarry stools
- changes in behavior
- chest pain
- difficulty breathing
- fast heartbeat
- fever with or without chills
- general feeling of tiredness or weakness
- high fever
- inability to move the eyes
- increased blinking or spasms of the eyelid
- increased sweating
- lip smacking or puckering
- loss of bladder control
- lower back or side pain
- painful or difficult urination
- puffing of the cheeks
- rapid or worm-like movements of the tongue
- severe muscle stiffness
- sore throat
- sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
- sticking out of the tongue
- swollen glands
- thoughts of killing oneself
- trouble breathing, speaking, or swallowing
- uncontrolled chewing movements
- uncontrolled movements of the arms and legs
- uncontrolled twisting movements of the neck, trunk, arms, or legs
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual facial expressions
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- unusually pale skin
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- inability to sit still
- muscle aches
- need to keep moving
- sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
- stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
- stuffy or runny nose
- weight gain
- Bloated or full feeling
- bloody or cloudy urine
- blurred vision
- difficulty having a bowel movement
- difficulty with moving
- dry mouth
- excess air or gas in the stomach or bowels
- fear or nervousness
- frequent urge to urinate
- increased appetite
- increased sweating
- joint pain
- muscle ache, cramp, pain, or stiffness
- passing gas
- shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
- swollen joints
- trouble sleeping
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Frequently asked questions
More about brexpiprazole
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- En Español
- 353 Reviews
- Drug class: atypical antipsychotics
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