Vraylar vs Abilify - Comparison of Uses & Side Effects

Vraylar

It is the generic name of a drug called cariprazine, that belongs to the class of drugs known as second-generation psychotics or atypical antipsychotics. These medications usually have fewer side effects than conventional antipsychotics.

Mechanism of Action

Its efficacy could be mediated through a combination of partial antagonist activity at serotonin 5-HT2A receptors and agonist activity at central serotonin 5-HT1A and dopamine D₂ receptors.

Uses

This atypical antipsychotic is used to treat manic or mixed episodes in patients with bipolar disorder type I (involves periods of severe mood episodes from mania to depression).

It is also used to treat schizophrenia, a brain disorder which affects the way a person thinks, behaves, and sees the world. The condition may result in some combination of delusions, hallucinations, and extremely disordered behavior and thinking which impairs daily functioning.

The precise causes of schizophrenia are unknown, but a combination of genetic, physical,  environmental, and psychological factors can make an individual more likely to develop schizophrenia.

Dosage

The usual recommended dose for manic episodes associated with bipolar I disorder is 3 mg to 6 mg once per day. The usual starting dose is 1.5 mg and should be increased to 3 mg on Day 2.

The usual recommended dose for schizophrenia is 1.5 mg to 6 mg once per day. The usual initial dose is 1.5 mg which is increased to 3 mg on Day 2.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • restlessness;
  • sleepiness;
  • indigestion;
  • vomiting;
  • muscle stiffness;
  • uncontrolled movements of the body and face.

Rare side effects may include:

  • a seizure (convulsions);
  • a feeling like you might pass out;
  • trouble swallowing;
  • severe distress or agitation;
  • pain in the ovaries;
  • sudden weakness or ill feeling;
  • blinking or eye movement;
  • increased urination;
  • very stiff (rigid) muscles;
  • trouble breathing;
  • tremors;
  • chills;
  • fever;
  • fast or uneven heartbeats;
  • a sore throat;
  • confusion;
  • mouth sores;
  • unexplained weight loss;
  • a cough;
  • blurred vision;
  • fruity breath odor;
  • trouble swallowing;
  • red or swollen gums.

To make sure that this atypical antipsychotic is safe for you, tell your healthcare provider if you have:

  • a history of stroke or blood clot;
  • high blood pressure;
  • kidney disease;
  • heart disease;
  • if you are dehydrated;
  • type 2 diabetes mellitus;
  • liver disease;
  • high triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood);
  • high LDL and total cholesterol.

Abilifydru

It is the brand name of aripiprazole, a psychotropic medication that alters brain chemical activity by blocking the receptors on nerves in the brain.

This medication was first approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2002 to treat schizophrenia in children ages 13 and older and adults.

Uses

It is commonly used for the treatment of:

  • Tourette’s disorder (a neurological disorder described by repetitive involuntary movements);
  • schizophrenia;
  • agitation associated with bipolar mania or schizophrenia;
  • mixed manic/depressive episodes and as adjunctive therapy for the major depressive disorder;
  • major depression in adults. It can also be used along with other medications used for the treatment of depression;
  • irritability associated with the autistic disorder;
  • bipolar disorder.

Important note – children under 18 years old shouldn’t take the medication to treat depression unless directed by a healthcare specialist.

Dosage

The usual recommended dose for patients with Tourette’s disorder is 5 to 20 mg once per day.

For schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, the usual recommended initial oral dose for the adult sufferer is 10 to 15 mg once per day. It may be increased over time up to 30 mg per day until the desired effect is achieved.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • anxiety;
  • weight gain;
  • tiredness;
  • nausea;
  • headaches;
  • vomiting;
  • mild stomach upset;
  • restlessness and feeling agitated;
  • increased appetite;
  • constipation;
  • trouble swallowing;
  • dizziness;
  • uncontrolled movements;
  • muscle stiffness;
  • drowsiness;
  • stuffy nose;
  • sleep problems (insomnia).

Rare side effects may include:

  • chest pain;
  • signs of infection;
  • seizures;
  • vision changes;
  • slow, fast, or irregular heartbeat;
  • confusion;
  • sweating;
  • difficulty breathing;
  • rash, hives, or itching;
  • suicidal thoughts;
  • tightening in the throat;
  • high fever;
  • shaking;
  • uncontrollable face or body movements;
  • muscle spasms;
  • swelling of the throat, eyes, face, mouth, lips, ankles, tongue, hands, feet, or legs;
  • muscle stiffness;
  • fainting;
  • mask-like expression of the face;
  • neuroleptic malignant syndrome (a severe idiosyncratic reaction to antipsychotic drugs).

Alcohol

The medication may make you drowsy, and consuming alcoholic beverages while taking it can make you even drowsier, therefore, avoid using alcohol while taking this medication.

To be sure that this psychotropic medication is safe for you, you should tell your healthcare provider if you have or ever had:

  • seizures;
  • an irregular heartbeat;
  • low white blood cell counts;
  • high LDL and total cholesterol levels;
  • a heart attack;
  • a stroke;
  • any condition which makes it difficult to swallow;
  • kidney disease;
  • heart failure;
  • liver disease;
  • breast cancer;
  • low or high blood pressure;
  • heart disease.

Drug Interactions

This psychotropic medication may interact with other drugs, especially:

  • bupropion (Wellbutrin);
  • antidepressants;
  • clarithromycin (Biaxin);
  • lidocaine;
  • high blood pressure medications;
  • carbamazepine (Tegretol);
  • irritable bowel syndrome medications;
  • ipratropium (Atrovent);
  • sinemet;
  • motion sickness medications;
  • nefazodone (Serzone);
  • Parkinson’s disease medications;
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem);
  • Quinidine;
  • medications for anxiety;
  • sedatives;
  • antifungals like – ketoconazole (Nizoral) and itraconazole (Sporanox);
  • sleeping pills;
  • antihistamines, like – diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton);
  • tranquilizers;
  • Telithromycin (Ketek);
  • Rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane);
  • Paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva);
  • HIV protease inhibitors, like – indinavir (Crixivan), atazanavir (Reyataz), saquinavir (Invirase), and nelfinavir (Viracept).

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

There are no well-done studies regarding the safe use of this atypical antipsychotic by pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Bottom Line – Vraylar vs Abilify             

Vraylar (active ingredient – cariprazine) is a medication known as an atypical antipsychotic that belongs to a group of medications called atypical antipsychotics. It works by changing the activity of certain natural substances in the brain and is used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Abilify (active ingredient – aripiprazole) is a drug that is used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It is classed as an atypical antipsychotic.

According to an analysis by the health informatics firm Advera Health Analytics Inc., Vraylar appears to have a similar risk profile to Abilify.

References

https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/InformationOnDrugs/ucm465821.htm
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25562205
http://www.vraylarhcp.com/bipolar-efficacy