Aristada: New Schizophrenia Treatment Approved

Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
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Aristada (aripiprazole lauroxil) was approved by the FDA for the treatment of schizophrenia on October 5, 2015, and should be available soon.

What should I know about schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a treatable mental illness, however, it can be disabling and interfere with daily life. It affects around 1% of the population in the United States and more than 21 million people worldwide, according to the Who Health Organization (WHO).

Symptoms can vary, but may include hearing voices, being suspicious or withdrawn, and believing that other people are controlling thoughts or reading minds.

What type of medication is Aristada?
Aristada is considered an injectable long-acting atypical antipsychotic. It contains another form of the same active ingredient in Abilify (aripiprazole).

Other long-acting injectable atypical antipsychotics that you may already be aware of include:

Is there anything unique about Aristada?

Yes. Aristada is the first long-acting atypical antipsychotic injectable to have two dosing options: once-monthly or every 6 weeks.

Long-acting treatments for serious brain disorders like schizophrenia may be better than taking your medication orally (as in a pill), because they can be used monthly or weekly rather than daily or even several times a day. Long-acting injectables improve the likelihood that you’ll be able to take your medication as prescribed, and can help with some of the challenges associated with conditions like schizophrenia.

How is Aristada used?
Aristada is injected intramuscularly in the arm or buttocks by a healthcare professional once monthly OR every 6 weeks depending on the dose.

What dosage form and strengths will Aristada be available in?
Aristada will be available in an extended-release injectable suspension as a single-use prefilled syringe in 441 mg, 662 mg, and 882 mg strengths.

However, the precise dose of Aristada you receive is individualized and will need to be determined by your doctor.

When will Aristada be available?

According to this press release from the manufacturer, Aristada is being prepared to launch as soon as possible.

Again though, you will need to get Aristada injections from your doctor or another healh care provider.

What side effects are associated with Aristada?

The most common side effect of Aristada is an urge to move (an inner sense of restlessness).

Where can I find more information?

You can also find the press announcement from the FDA regarding Aristada here.

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