Rexulti: New Schizophrenia and Depression Treatment Coming Soon

Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
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While the effectiveness of any mental health medication varies from person to person, newly approved Rexulti is now available as another option—both for the treatment of schizophrenia, and as an additional tool to work with antidepressants.

Rexulti was approved by the FDA on July 13, 2015, and according to the manufacturer, it should be available in pharmacies by early August 2015.

What is Rexulti used for?
Rexulti is used to treat schizophrenia, and can be used as an add-on treatment to antidepressants for major depressive disorder.

What is schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe disabling brain disorder that affects around 1% of the population in the US, and more than 21 million people worldwide according to the Who Health Organization (WHO). However, it is treatable.

Some symptoms people with schizophrenia may experience include hearing voices, being suspicious or withdrawn, and a belief that other people are reading their minds or controlling their thoughts.

What is major depressive disorder?

Major depressive disorder (MDD), one of the most common mental disorders in the United States, causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Many people commonly refer to major depressive disorder as “depression.”

The symptoms of MDD can be different in each individual, and can range from mild to severe. Some examples include loss of interest in usual activities, a significant change in weight or appetite, the inability to sleep or excessive sleeping, restlessness, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, slowed thinking or impaired concentration, or suicidal thoughts.

In what dosage forms and strengths will Rexulti be available?
Rexulti will be available as a tablet in 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 2 mg, 3 mg, and 4 mg strengths.

How is Rexulti to be taken?

The dose of Rexulti is individualized and will need to be be determined by your doctor. Regardless of your dose though, you’ll take Rexulti once daily with or without food.

What are the most common side effects associated with Rexulti?

Side effects of Rexulti may include weight gain and an urge to move (a sense of restlessness).

What type of medication is Rexulti?
Rexulti is considered an atypical antipsychotic. Some other atypical antipsychotics that you may have heard of include:

Is there anything unique about Rexulti?

Not really. Although Rexulti doesn’t have any especially unique attributes that might make it more stand out when compared to the other atypical antipsychotics, it can help have multiple options for patients with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and MDD.

The effectiveness of a drug can vary from person to person, and finding the best medication for you, personally, may take some trial and error. Rexulti will offer you and your doctor another tool to try.

Is there any reason not to take Rexulti?

Cost. If any of the other atypical antipsychotics work for you, you may want to stick with a different option. All of the other drugs listed above have generics available, including Abilify. Rexulti is a new, brand-name only drug, and you’ll pay less through your insurance or out of pocket with a generic.

Compare one month of generic Seroquel (quetiapine) or Abilify (aripiprazole) with Rexulti.

30 tablets of generic Seroquel (quetiapine)*
Pharmacy Cash Price GoodRx Price
Kroger $67 $13
Kmart $225 $13
Safeway $104 $13
Target $126 $13

 

*Prices as of September 22, 2015.Will the manufacturer offer a prescription savings card to offset the cost?Yes. For more information on the Rexulti Savings Card and to pre-register, go to the Rexulti website here.Want more information?See the announcement from the FDA about Rexultihere.

30 tablets of generic Abilify (aripiprazole)*
Pharmacy Cash Price GoodRx Price
Walgreens $943 $371
Rite-Aid $900 $393
Walmart $637 $440
Kroger $876 $604
30 tablets of Rexulti*
Pharmacy Cash Price GoodRx Price
Kroger $1114 $886
CVS $1022 $891
Kmart N/A $891
Target N/A $894

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