New Schizophrenia Drug
Abilify has fewer side effects
MONDAY, Nov. 18, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the Bristol-Meyers Squibb drug Abilify (aripiprazole) for the treatment of schizophrenia, the company says in a press release.
In clinical studies involving 1,238 schizophrenic patients, Abilify was found to cause minimal weight change and sleepiness, and fewer extrapyramidal symptoms -- characterized by involuntary muscle movement.
While older drugs to treat the disease had many side effects, Abilify -- among a new class of medications called atypical antipsychotics -- is said to cause fewer problems.
Schizophrenia affects more than 2 million Americans, interfering with a person's ability to think clearly, manage emotions, make decisions and relate to others. Other symptoms may include hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, and social withdrawal.
The once-daily oral tablet will be available in 10 mg., 15 mg. and 30 mg. strengths within two weeks, the company says. It did not mention an approximate cost.