What is this medication?

CARIPRAZINE (car i PRA zeen) treats schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It works by balancing the levels of dopamine and serotonin in your brain, substances that help regulate mood, behaviors, and thoughts. It belongs to a group of medications called antipsychotics. Antipsychotic medications can be used to treat several kinds of mental health conditions.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): VRAYLAR

What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • Dementia
  • Diabetes
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Have trouble controlling your muscles
  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • History of breast cancer
  • History of stroke
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Low blood counts, like low white cell, platelet, or red cell counts
  • Low blood pressure
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Seizures
  • Suicidal thoughts, plans or attempt; a previous suicide attempt by you or a family member
  • An unusual or allergic reaction to cariprazine, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breast-feeding

How should I use this medication?

Take this medication by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You may take it with or without food. Take your medication at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your care team's advice.

A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.

Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medication?

Do not take this medication with any of the following:

  • Metoclopramide

This medication may also interact with the following:

  • Antihistamines for allergy, cough, and cold
  • Carbamazepine
  • Certain medications for anxiety or sleep
  • Certain medications for depression like amitriptyline, fluoxetine, sertraline
  • Certain medications for fungal infections like itraconazole, ketoconazole
  • General anesthetics like halothane, isoflurane, methoxyflurane, propofol
  • Levodopa or other medications for Parkinson's disease
  • Medications for blood pressure
  • Medications for seizures
  • Medications that relax muscles for surgery
  • Narcotic medications for pain
  • Phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine
  • Rifampin

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

What should I watch for while using this medication?

Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress. Tell your care team if symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse. Do not stop taking except on your care team's advice. You may develop a severe reaction. Your care team will tell you how much medication to take.

Patients and their families should watch out for new or worsening depression or thoughts of suicide. Also watch out for sudden changes in feelings such as feeling anxious, agitated, panicky, irritable, hostile, aggressive, impulsive, severely restless, overly excited and hyperactive, or not being able to sleep. If this happens, especially at the beginning of treatment or after a change in dose, call your care team.

You may get dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medication affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medication. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

This medication may cause dry eyes and blurred vision. If you wear contact lenses you may feel some discomfort. Lubricating drops may help. See your eye doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.

This medication may increase blood sugar. Ask your care team if changes in diet or medications are needed if you have diabetes.

This medication can cause problems with controlling your body temperature. It can lower the response of your body to cold temperatures. If possible, stay indoors during cold weather. If you must go outdoors, wear warm clothes. It can also lower the response of your body to heat. Do not overheat. Do not over-exercise. Stay out of the sun when possible. If you must be in the sun, wear cool clothing. Drink plenty of water. If you have trouble controlling your body temperature, call your care team right away.

Women should inform their care team if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. The effects of this medication on an unborn child are not known. A registry is available to monitor pregnancy outcomes in pregnant women exposed to this medication or similar medications. Talk to your care team or pharmacist for more information.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:

  • Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • High blood sugar (hyperglycemia)—increased thirst or amount of urine, unusual weakness or fatigue, blurry vision
  • High fever, stiff muscles, increased sweating, fast or irregular heartbeat, and confusion, which may be signs of neuroleptic malignant syndrome
  • Infection—fever, chills, cough, or sore throat
  • Low blood pressure—dizziness, feeling faint or lightheaded, blurry vision
  • Pain or trouble swallowing
  • Seizures
  • Stroke—sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, trouble speaking, confusion, trouble walking, loss of balance or coordination, dizziness, severe headache, change in vision
  • Thoughts of suicide or self-harm, worsening mood, feelings of depression
  • Uncontrolled and repetitive body movements, muscle stiffness or spasms, tremors or shaking, loss of balance or coordination, restlessness, shuffling walk, which may be signs of extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS)

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):

  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Protect from light. Throw away any unused medication after the expiration date.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

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