Our mental health influences the way we think, speak and act. A few mental illnesses can make us perceive and communicate in an unrealistic manner. Schizophrenia is one such condition which often makes you stay in a fearful state of mind. It can also result in making you stay aloof and away from people. Such illnesses are chronic in nature, and require continued caregiving. Also, mental conditions can vary from one individual to another; the reasons for such variations depend on a host of factors. Frequency of signs and symptoms of medical conditions can be inconsistent; some people lead a very normal life with rare episodes of psychosis. For some though, the symptoms can be more frequent, and each episode may last for a few weeks or even months. Vraylar is a medicine used in the case management of mental conditions like schizophrenia. Though prescribed widely by mental health specialists, it may trigger a few side effects.

Mental health conditions require needful attention and care. We live in highly stressful times. Stress is one of the basic causes for a slow but steady deterioration of our mental faculties. Among such mental health conditions, a few are more commonly observed; these include schizophrenia, mood shifts such as depression or manic spells of bipolar disorder. People with schizophrenia may often have delusional ideas and thoughts. Their thinking may be far from reality and may not be easily understood by others. Bipolar disorders may show up as change in moods; behavior may waver between being extremely depressed to highly active or manic.

Vraylar is a brand-name of a generic drug called cariprazine; this is used in the management of several mental ailments. This drug has the approval from food and drug administration (FDA) for treating adults with a few mental health problems. Use of vraylar is more common in the treatment of manic episodes of bipolar disorders. Such high moods may occur for a shorter span of time (in an acute form), and may also need hospitalization in a few extreme instances. This drug is also prescribed for treating depressive spells; wherein you are down with overwhelming thoughts. This condition is clinically referred as bipolar-depression. Vraylar is also administered to people living with hallucinations or unrealistic thoughts (commonly referred as schizophrenia by mental health specialists).

Use of vraylar

Vraylar belongs to a family of medications known as antipsychotic drugs. Its key function is to boost your moods, which shows up in the form of normal thoughts and action. Your doctor may recommend its intake as a single dose each day. Its typical dosage forms are 1.5 milligrams (mg) and 3 mg. In order to manage acute instances of mania or depression, doses of 4.5 mg or more are administered. However, such large dosages are taken only for a shorter span of time.

An important aspect that works for vraylar is – it does not belong to a controlled family of substances. This comes as a big relief to people who use vraylar. You need to note that controlled items may tend to make you addicted and are also habit-forming. Over a period of time, controlled chemicals may develop a dependence wherein your body will need such drugs for its normal functioning.

Side effects of vraylar

This drug is known to cause a few side effects. Some of them are minor while a few can be serious discomforts. Moderate side effects of vraylar include stiffening of muscles, involuntary twitching of muscles, difficulties to pass stools, sleepiness, abdominal problems such as nausea, indigestion or vomiting. Some people have also reported headaches, increase in body weight, being in a restless state of mind, lack of coordination of motor function, etc. Many of these discomforts or side effects are known to disappear once your body gets used to this drug. However, if any of these side effects persist for long, you are advised to talk to your treating doctor immediately. Also, note that the aforesaid reactions do not constitute a complete or full list of common side effects. It is possible to experience new signs or symptoms upon taking vraylar. In such instances, you are advised to contact the helpline number of food and drug administration (FDA) in the US.

A few serious reactions and side effects of vraylar

Vraylar is unlikely to cause any major or acute side effects. But, in some very rare instances, some people have experienced a few serious discomforts. Such signs include inability to keep your body temperature under control, drop in the number of white cells in your blood, decrease in blood pressure (hypotensive) – especially when you try to change postures, fits or convulsions, mood shifts including suicidal instincts. In some people, regular intake of vraylar has caused difficulties in swallowing foods, higher concentration of fats or triglycerides, increase in blood sugars, etc. In case of a high level of blood sugar, you are likely to experience blurring of eyesight, weakness, frequent urges to urinate, etc.

Allergies and hypersensitivity associated with vraylar

The reasons behind why some people turn allergic to antipsychotic drugs – such as vraylar – remains largely unknown. But, the heartening fact is – such allergies occur very remotely as stray incidents. Signs of a likely allergy include discoloration of skin, increase in body temperature, consistent spells of itchiness as well as development of rashes. A few acute allergic reactions may also show up. These include inflammation of face or mouth, respiratory troubles, puffing of eyelids or swelling of limbs. Some of these signs may also lead to near-fatal conditions. Hence, you are advised to take medical help on an urgent basis. You need to quickly call 911 or a local poison control center if you are a resident of US. If you are living in any of the provinces of Canada, you must reach out immediately to Health Canada or contact a poison control center located close to where you live.

Other side effects of vraylar

You need to remember that vraylar can make you dizzy. Medical studies have observed an increased level of drowsiness in as high as 7% of people who consumed vraylar. Owing to this, you are advised not to engage in activities needing excessive levels of focus as well as mental agility. Such activities include driving, working or operating a heavy machine, etc.

Dyskinesia (tardive) as well as akathisia may occur when you consume vraylar. Dyskinesia (tardive) is the occurrence of repeated movements of your body part in an involuntary manner. This can affect your jaws, facial or oral organs such as your tongue, lips, etc. In some cases, it may affect limbs as well as other body parts.

Physicians have observed dyskinesia among people who have discontinued taking vraylar suddenly as well as in people who took the drug for a long span of time. Some signs of this condition are twisting of tongue, smacking your lips often, making faces or grimaces, kneejerk movements of your torso, hands or legs. Upon sensing any of these signs, it is strongly recommended to talk to your treating doctor. Your doctor may either reduce the strength of vraylar or may prescribe another safer option to treat your mental condition.

Similar to dyskinesia, people who took vraylar may also witness akathisia; this has occurred in more than 11% of people who consumed this drug. This condition may make you restless and have you move around. Your legs – for instance – may turn extremely active and restless. You may start tapping your feet, uncrossing or crossing the legs, stay in an anxious or tensed frame of mind. Your physician may treat this side effect by reducing the strength of your drug, or by prescribing another safer substitute.

Possibility of fatal outcomes among people living with dementia

In general, elderly people who are living with fear-psychosis or loss of touch with real things around them are at higher risk. Psychosis is a likely sign of dementia. Administration of vraylar to elders with dementia can be near-fatal or even fatal, at times. Medical research has evidenced fatal outcomes (i.e., death) among demented elders who took vraylar. Hence, elderly people (especially those with age-related conditions like dementia) need to either avoid intake of antipsychotic drugs or talk to the physician for a safer alternative. It is equally important to know that the food and drug administration (FDA) is yet to approve the use of antipsychotics (such as vraylar) on elderly people living with dementia or other similar mental conditions.

Suicidal instincts or self-harming thoughts

Antidepressants may make younger adults or children to nurse thoughts about committing suicide or harming themselves. Though vraylar is not an antidepressant, it functions in an almost-similar manner. Hence, you are advised to closely watch-over younger people if they are administered with a dose of vraylar. It is strongly recommended to talk to your physician if you witness quick shifts in moods or behavior, longer periods of depression, attempts made to harm one-self, etc. Owing to these reasons, vraylar is not prescribed to younger adults – especially those aged 18 years or less.

Always remember that a safe dosage of vraylar depends on multiple factors – namely, nature of your mental condition, age, treatment plans currently pursued as well as medications presently taken. It is very important to tell your doctor about prior ailments as well as your family’s medical history.

In general, an initial level of dosage is 1.5 mg, taken over a shorter span of time. Based on how well your body responds, the treating our doctor may increase the dosage levels. For example, people living with schizophrenia are administered a dose in the range of 3 mg to 4.5 mg per day. But, if your mental health shows little improvement, a maximum dosage level of 6 mg is prescribed. Such doses are not administered for a longer span; however, for acute stages of schizophrenia, your doctor may advise you to take vraylar for a longer period.

In sum, vraylar is an antipsychotic drug whose main action is to boost your mood. It may trigger some side effects such as constipation, feeling sleepy, nausea, indigestion or vomiting, stiffening of muscles and involuntary twitching. It can also result in lapses in motor function, headaches, increase in body weight, restlessness, etc. Many of the aforesaid side effects may disappear once your system gets used to this drug. But, if these discomforts do not disappear, it is strongly recommended to consult your treating physician quickly. If you observe new symptoms after consuming vraylar, call the emergency helpline numbers of the food and drug administration (FDA) on an emergency basis.

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