Abilify (aripiprazole) is still considered an antipsychotic in Europe (or in Switzerland, at least) but by changing continents with my recent move to the US, I find that Abilify has grown in stature, no longer a drug used by a small percentage of the population, but more like a drug superhero that watches over a lot more people with its magic protective powers. The drug superhero is paid handsomely for services rendered.
We all know that several years ago pharmaceutical companies began to market Abilify as an add-on treatment for major depressive disorder, downplaying its original role as an antipsychotic. Then, $uddenly, our $uperhero $aw a chance to help more people, $o pre$to chango, our $uperhero is now primarily an antidepre$$ant.
I don’t normally read the folded up drug information that comes inside the box. This time the Aripiprazole Oral Solution information was printed on two front and back pages of letter size paper stapled to the receipt, so it was hard not to be curious about the contents.
Let’s assume that a person who is being treated for depression, but is otherwise quite functional in his or her day to day life, decides to actually read the Aripiprazolerole literature, like I just did. She will see that the first page through to the very top of page two emphasizes Aripiprazolerole’s role as an antidepressant. Three quarters of the first page is given over to linking depression to risk of suicide (Call a health care provider right away if you or your family member has any of the following symptoms, especially if they are new, worse, or worry you.) The last quarter of the page provides a bulleted list to answer the question: What else do I need to know about antidepressant medicines? Bullet point two sneaks in the following: Antidepressants are medications used to treat depression and other illnesses. (A lot of people at this point will probably not even register the words “other illnesses”.)
Thus, Abilify establishes its credentials on page one and at the very top of page two as an antidepressant. If you are the type of person who reads product literature past the first page, you’ll get to the question: What is aripiprazole oral solution? on the top of page two.
Only there will you find out that aripiprazole oral solution is used to treat schizophrenia, manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder, major depressive disorder, and Tourette’s syndrome. Well that doesn’t really say what aripiprazole oral solution is, does it? It says what it’s used for. Wiki has a different explanation of what it is: “Aripiprazole, sold under the brand name Abilify among others, is an atypical antipsychotic. It is recommended and primarily used in the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.[5
Obviously Wiki’s Aripiprazole page hasn’t been reviewed lately by the drug company. If you’ve done your homework to this point, you’re now face to face with the terrifying realization that you’ve been placed on an antipychotic, and you’re probably back poring over the four pages taped to your antipychotic. But the word “antipsychotic” is nowhere to be found.
Good thing that most people trust their doctor and don’t concern themselves with the fine print!