Abilify (Aripiprazole) and Depression
When used in treatment for depression, Abilify is prescribed as an adjunct (in addition) to an antidepressant already in use by the patient. Abilify is not prescribed as a sole or standalone medication to treat depression.
When Abilify for depression is prescribed as an adjunct, it is only for adult use. Abilify is not recommended for treatment of depression in children or adolescents.
Typically, if a patient is not seeing the desired results from their prescribed antidepressant, a doctor may add Abilify.
However, it’s important to note that although Abilify has shown to be effective as an addition to anti-depressants, the exact method as to how Abilify helps alleviate depression is not yet fully understood.
Doctors may prescribe antidepressants to treat depression. The two most common types of depressants are:
1) Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s)
2) Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s)
Serotonin and norepinephrine are both hormones. Hormones are essentially chemicals produced by the human body that regulate and control certain types of activities in organs and at the cellular level. Hormones are an extremely important in all aspects of life, including but not limited to growth, mood control, digestion and reproduction.
Dopamine is another hormone that helps regulate the brain’s pleasure and reward centers. Dopamine can also help control emotional responses and movement. Dopamine helps us see reward and also enables us to take action to seek rewards. Dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine are also known as neurotransmitters.
Neurotransmitters are really chemical substances that essentially transmit nerve impulses across the spaces (synapses) between nerve cells (neurons.)
So in the simple terms, if there is a lack of chemicals (serotonin, norepinephrine and/or dopamine) in the brain, then nerve signals cannot be transmitted properly from one nerve to another. This affects a variety of functions in the body, including mood, behaviour, sleep, appetite, memory and a lot more.
SSRI’s work by helping raise levels of serotonin in the brain and help restore the function of nerve transmission.
SNRI’s work by helping raise levels of both serotonin and norepinephrine and thereby restoring nerve transmissions.
Abilify is thought to help restore the production and balance of both dopamine and serotonin.
AboutAbilify.com will try to answer some of the more common questions regarding depression on this page and also how Abilify can often help.
Taking the time to understand depression and educate oneself, can be of great help in overcoming depression, whether for yourself or family and friends.
Please click on the links below for more information on a variety of depression related topics found on this page.
Do Men and Women Experience Depression the Same?
How Do the Elderly and Young Experience Depression?
How is Depression Diagnosed?
How is Depression Treated?
Is Depression Medication Safe to Use?
How Should I Take My Depression Medication?
What is Psychotherapy?
What is Electroconvulsive or Shock Therapy?
What Can I do If I’m Depressed?
What Can I do if Someone I know is Depressed?