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Cariprazine

Generic Name: cariprazine (kar IP ra zeen)
Brand Name: Vraylar

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Dec 19, 2018 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is cariprazine?

Cariprazine is an antipsychotic medicine that is used to treat schizophrenia in adults.

Cariprazine is also used to treat manic or mixed episodes in adults with bipolar disorder type I.

Cariprazine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Cariprazine is not approved for use in older adults with dementia-related conditions.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use cariprazine if you are allergic to it.

Cariprazine is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

Cariprazine may increase the risk of death in older adults with dementia-related conditions and is not approved for this use.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • heart disease, high blood pressure;

  • a stroke or blood clot;

  • high cholesterol or triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood);

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • diabetes; or

  • if you are dehydrated.

Taking antipsychotic medicine in the last 3 months of pregnancy may cause withdrawal symptoms, breathing problems, feeding problems, fussiness, tremors, and limp or stiff muscles in the newborn. If you get pregnant, tell your doctor right away. Do not stop taking cariprazine without your doctor's advice.

If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry to track the effects of cariprazine on the baby.

It may not be safe to breast-feed while using cariprazine. Ask your doctor about any risk.

How should I take cariprazine?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

High doses or long-term use of cariprazine can cause a serious movement disorder that may not be reversible. The longer you use cariprazine, the more likely you are to develop this disorder, especially if you are an older adult. Symptoms of this disorder include tremors or other uncontrollable muscle movements.

You may take cariprazine with or without food.

It may take several weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve.

Tell your doctor if you have any changes in weight while taking this medicine.

Your blood pressure and heart rate will need to be checked often. You may also need frequent blood tests.

Store this medicine in its original packaging at room temperature, away from moisture, heat, and light.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking cariprazine?

Avoid drinking alcohol. Dangerous side effects could occur.

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how cariprazine will affect you. Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Dizziness or drowsiness can cause falls, accidents, or severe injuries.

While you are taking cariprazine, you may be more sensitive to temperature extremes such as very hot conditions. Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated. Drink plenty of fluids, especially in hot weather and during exercise.

Cariprazine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body);

  • problems with vision or speech,

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • severe distress or agitation;

  • a seizure;

  • uncontrolled muscle movements in your face (chewing, lip smacking, frowning, tongue movement, blinking or eye movement);

  • trouble swallowing, or accidentally inhaling food or drink;

  • low white blood cell counts--fever, chills, sore throat, mouth sores, skin sores, sore throat, cough, trouble breathing, feeling light-headed;

  • high blood sugar--increased thirst, increased urination, dry mouth, fruity breath odor; or

  • severe nervous system reaction--very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, feeling like you might pass out.

Cariprazine can have long lasting effects on your body. Some side effects could occur for several weeks after you stop using this medicine. You may also have new side effects whenever your dose is changed.

Common side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Cariprazine dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Schizophrenia:

Initial dose: 1.5 mg orally once a day
Titration regimen: The dose may be increased to 3 mg once a day on Day 2; further dose adjustments should be made in 1.5 to 3 mg increments based on efficacy and tolerability.
Maintenance dose: 1.5 to 6 mg orally once a day
Maximum dose: 6 mg/day

Comments:
-Due to the long half-life, changes in dose will not be fully reflected in plasma for several weeks; monitor for adverse reactions and treatment response several weeks after beginning therapy and after each dose adjustment.
-Doses above 6 mg once a day have not shown increased effectiveness sufficient to outweigh dose related adverse reactions.

Use: Treatment of schizophrenia

Usual Adult Dose for Bipolar Disorder:

Initial dose: 1.5 mg orally once a day
Titration regimen: The dose should be increased to 3 mg once a day on Day 2; further dose adjustments should be made in 1.5 to 3 mg increments based on efficacy and tolerability.
Maintenance dose: 3 to 6 mg orally once a day
Maximum dose: 6 mg/day

Comments:
-Due to the long half-life, changes in dose will not be fully reflected in plasma for several weeks; monitor for adverse reactions and treatment response several weeks after beginning therapy and after each dose adjustment.
-Doses above 6 mg once a day have not shown increased effectiveness sufficient to outweigh dose related adverse reactions.

Use: Acute treatment of manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder

What other drugs will affect cariprazine?

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.

Taking cariprazine with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous side effects or death. Ask your doctor before using opioid medication, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety or seizures.

Many drugs can affect cariprazine. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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