Medication Monday: Vraylar

It is Monday once again, which means it is time for another installment of Medication Mondays, the series that offers readers a brief, informative introduction to various mental health medications. This series is not meant as a substitute for medical advice, however. Finding the right mental health medication should be done by a medical professional, as it often involves some trial and error with different medications and different doses. However, this series will hopefully help you be a little more educated about the choices currently on the market. And in today’s installment, we are talking about Vraylar (Cariprazine).

Vraylar is used primarily for bipolar disorder, though it can also be used in the treatment of schizophrenia. It is a member of the class of drugs known as atypical antipsychotics. And like other mental health medications, Vraylar works by acting on neurotransmitters in the brain.

Vraylar is also like other mental health medications in that it has certain side effects. These include dizziness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, nausea, tiredness, excess drooling, blurred vision, weight gain, and constipation. Because of the risk of dizziness or lightheadedness, users should get up slowly when sitting or laying down, to reduce the risk of falling. Alcohol or marijuana use may also increase the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness developing. Taking this medication longer than is recommended by your doctor may increase the risk of these side effects occurring.

This medication also reduces your amount of sweating, meaning that users may also be at a higher risk of heatstroke, particularly while engaged in vigorous activity.

Users should only use this medication if it is clearly needed when they are pregnant. Babies born to mothers who have used this medication in their last month rarely develop symptoms such as stiffness, shaking, drowsiness, and difficulty breathing.

While you should inform your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms or if they get worse, the fact is your doctor will have prescribed this medication for a reason. Untreated mental illnesses can be dangerous, and while the side effects above may sound scary, there is no guarantee you will get all of them or even any of them. Furthermore, this medication has been shown to stabilize one’s mood and decrease hallucinations.

While I am not on Vraylar, I do use medication, and I can assure you that while side effects aren’t awesome, feeling more stable is. I let side effects dissuade me from using medication for a long time, and I know now that was a mistake.

Ultimately, the right mental health medication for you will be a choice made between you and your doctor. Nevertheless, I hope these brief introductions help inform you about the options that are out there.

And as always, thanks for reading.

Source: WebMD – Vraylar

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