Top 7 Things to Know About Vraylar

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Vraylar is a prescription medication that is used to treat various mental health conditions, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression. In this ... read more...

  1. Vraylar is a brand (trade) name for cariprazine, which may be taken in to treat schizophrenia, bipolar I disorder, or major depressive disorder.

    The precise mechanism of action of Vraylar (cariprazine) is unknown; however, experts believe it is mediated by a mix of partial agonist activity at central dopamine D2 and serotonin 5-HT1A receptors and serotonin Type 2 (5HT2A) receptor antagonism. Cariprazine produces two main metabolites, both of which are active.

    Vraylar is an atypical antipsychotic, which is a type of medication. Atypical means an antipsychotic is less likely than other, typically older, antipsychotics to cause extrapyramidal symptoms and tardive dyskinesia.

    Photo by Anna Shvets  on Pexels
    Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels
    Photo by Anna Shvets  on Pexels
    Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels

  2. Your doctor will tell you how to take Vraylar. They'll also advise you on how much to take and how often. Make careful to follow your doctor's advice. Vraylar is provided as a capsule that is swallowed. The medication is available in four strengths: 1.5 milligrams (mg), 3 mg, 4.5 mg, and 6 mg. You'll take Vraylar at the same time every day. You may take your medication with or without food.

    Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have difficulty reading the label on your prescription. Certain pharmacies may give medication labels with large print, braille, and a code that may be scanned with a smartphone to convert the text to audio.

    If your current pharmacy does not provide these options, your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend one. Also, if you are having difficulty opening your pharmaceutical bottles, please notify your pharmacist. They might be able to place Vraylar in a container that is easy to open. Your pharmacist may also offer tools to make opening the drug's container easier.

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    Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels
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    Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels
  3. Vraylar may be used to treat adults having schizophrenia. It is licensed for the treatment of manic, mixed, or depressed episodes in individuals with bipolar I disorder. It can also be used in conjunction with antidepressants in people suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD).

    Vraylar is an atypical antipsychotic, which means it is less likely to elicit extrapyramidal symptoms and tardive dyskinesia than previous antipsychotics. Vraylar use has been linked to a decrease in substance abuse in patients with bipolar I disorder.

    Vraylar is less likely to produce blood sugar increases than other antipsychotics (such as Clozaril or Zyprexa). It is also less likely to cause blood cholesterol and lipid elevations than other atypical antipsychotics (such as Zyprexa or Seroquel).

    Vraylar is generally well tolerated, has a good effect, and is less sedating than other atypical antipsychotics like Clozaril, Zyprexa, or Seroquel. Sedation was noted in 7% of Vraylar-treated individuals compared to 6% of placebo-treated patients in clinical trials.

    It has a long half-life, which means that if a person misses a dose or takes it late, blood levels drop slowly. With a once-daily dosage, blood levels are also more stable. It hasn't been linked to as much weight gain as other antipsychotics.

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    Photo by ready made on Pexels
    Photo by  ready made on Pexels
    Photo by ready made on Pexels
  4. Seniors and children, those with certain medical conditions (such as liver or kidney issues, heart illness, diabetes, and seizures), or people who take other medications are more likely to experience a wider range of side effects of Vraylar.

    It is possible to experience dizziness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, nausea, weariness, increased saliva/drooling, blurred vision, weight gain, or constipation. Inform your doctor or pharmacist right once if any of these effects continue or worsen.

    If you experience any serious side effects, such as fainting, difficulty swallowing, restlessness (especially in the legs), shaking (tremor), muscle spasms, mask-like expression of the face, seizures, or signs of infection (such as persistent sore throat, fever, chills, cough), contact your doctor immediately.

    This medication may occasionally cause your blood sugar to rise, which can lead to or exacerbate diabetes. If you experience signs of high blood sugar, such as increased thirst or urine, contact your doctor right once.

    If you already have diabetes, check your blood sugar levels on a regular basis and report the results to your doctor. Your diabetes medication, exercise routine, or diet may need to be adjusted by your doctor.

    This medicine may rarely develop a condition known as tardive dyskinesia. This condition may be permanent in some situations. Tell your doctor right away if you experience any strange or uncontrollable movements (especially of the face, mouth, tongue, arms, or legs).

    Vraylar rarely triggers severe symptoms known as a neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). If you develop any of the following symptoms, get immediate medical care: fever, muscle stiffness/pain/tenderness/weakness, severe tiredness, severe confusion, sweating, fast/irregular heartbeat, dark urine, symptoms of kidney problems (such as a change in the amount of urine).

    It is uncommon for this medicine to cause a severe allergic reaction. However, if you detect any symptoms of a major allergic response, such as a rash, itching/swelling (particularly of the face/tongue/throat), extreme dizziness, or difficulty breathing, get medical attention immediately.

    This is not a complete list of potential negative effects. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you experience any other side effects not listed above.

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    Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels
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    Photo by SHVETS production on Pexels
  5. Drug interactions might change the way your treatments work or expose you to the potential for dangerous side effects. Maintain a list of all the products you use (including prescription and nonprescription medicines, as well as herbal remedies) and discuss it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or adjust the dosage of any medications without first consulting your doctor. Metoclopramide is a medicine that may interact with this one.

    Vraylar may interact with the following medications:

    • anti-anxiety medications such as diazepam and oxazepam
    • anticonvulsants, such as phenytoin
    • antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, imipramine, nortriptyline
    • antifungals, such as itraconazole or ketoconazole
    • antihistamines that cause sedation, such as diphenhydramine, baclofen, bosentan, bupropion, cannabis
    • diuretics such as bendroflumethiazide, duloxetine
    • heart medications such as atenolol, timolol, or nifedipine
    • HIV medications such as indinavir and ritonavir
    • monoamine oxidase inhibitors, such as isocarboxazid, or phenelzine
    • opioid analgesics such as codeine, oxycodone, and morphine, modafinil
    • muscle relaxants such as cyclobenzaprine, rifampin
    • serotonin modulators, such as nefazodone and trazodone
    • sleeping pills, such as zolpidem
    • some chemotherapy treatments
    • some heart medications, such as diltiazem, or verapamil
    • other medications used to treat mental illness, such as clozapine and thioridazine
    • any medication that inhibits (itraconazole, ketoconazole) or induces (rifampin, carbamazepine) CYP3A4.
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    Photo by ready made on Pexels
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    Photo by Pixabay on Pexels
  6. Vraylar is not advised to be taken during pregnancy because it has not been studied in pregnant women. Babies born to mothers who used similar drugs during the third trimester of pregnancy experienced uncontrolled muscle movement or withdrawal symptoms at birth, such as tremors, agitation, and feeding difficulties. It is recommended that you join the registry if you are presently pregnant and taking Vraylar (cariprazine). If you have any questions concerning treatment for schizophrenia or depression during pregnancy, contact your provider.

    It is unknown whether Vraylar is safe to use while breastfeeding. The drug's effects on breast milk and breastfed children have not been researched. Consult your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. They will assist you in determining the best treatment or feeding plan for you and your child.

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    Photo by Leah Kelley on Pexels
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    Photo by MART PRODUCTION on Pexels
  7. Take no more Vraylar than your doctor has prescribed. Taking more than this amount may result in serious side effects.

    Overdoes can produce symptoms such as sleepiness and orthostatic hypotension (a drop in blood pressure upon standing or sitting up).

    If you think you have taken too much Vraylar, contact your doctor. If you have severe symptoms, call 911 or your local emergency number right once, or go to the nearest emergency room.

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    Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels
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    Photo by Artem Podrez on Pexels

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