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Schizophrenia Treatment With Approved Drug

Disease Overview

Schizophrenia is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States and the world at large. An individual suffering from this condition usually exhibits abnormal social behaviors. Additionally, such an individual will find it difficult to differentiate between reality and hallucination. As such, common symptoms of this condition include:

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  1. Unclear thinking.
  2. False beliefs
  3. Hearing of unreal voices
  4. Reduced social engagement
  5. Lack of emotion expression
  6. Lack of motivation

From practice, individuals who suffer from this condition also experience other mental conditions such as anxiety disorder, abuse of drugs and other substances, and depression. These symptoms usually manifest themselves in early adulthood and have a tendency of lasting for long periods of time, sometimes throughout the lifetime of the patient.

Despite the fact that a definite cause of schizophrenia has never been identified, it is believed that genetic and environmental factors play a significant role in its development in an individual. Raised in an urban setting, use of drugs and substances like cannabis, certain infections, and lack of proper nutrition during pregnancy are examples of possible environmental factors that can result in schizophrenia. However, it is always critical to accurately diagnose the condition before treatment can commence. In practice, diagnosis is conducted by a careful analysis of the behavior of the patient while considering factors such as his/her culture and background.

Treatment and control of schizophrenia is critical since patients stand as dangers to themselves and the society. There have been numerous incidents where schizophrenic patients have committed violent crimes. Therefore, to reduce such occurrences, different treatment and management therapies have been developed. Medication, using antipsychotic drugs has been the main mode of treating this condition. Additionally, counseling, job training, and various forms of rehabilitation can also be administered to the patient.

Vraylar

Vraylar is one of the recently approved medications by the FDA for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. This drug is supplied as a capsule to be administered orally once a day. The admission can be with or without food. In normal conditions, the dosage usually starts with the administration of 1.5mg of the drug daily. However, this dosage can be increased to 3.0mg depending on the clinical conditions of the patient. However, the maximum allowed dosage for this drug is 6.0mg on a daily basis. Administration beyond this level is considered an overdose and might have adverse impacts on the patient.

The main agent of Vraylar is cariprazine. This agent has a long half-life and metabolites. In this respect, any changes in dosage will not have an effect on the plasma levels for a period of several weeks. In this respect, it is recommended that prescribers should monitor the clinical conditions and responses of the patient to the drug for several weeks to determine whether there is any improvement or not. Abilify, on the other hand, is also a recommended medication for schizophrenia. Its main agent, aripiprazole, works as an antagonist. Therefore, it is critical for the drug to be taken in proper dosage since its interaction with other medications can induce or inhibit metabolic enzymes which in turn increase or reduce aripiprazole plasma levels. Approved in July 2015, Rexulti is also an antipsychotic drug that can be used to treat schizophrenia. Its main agent, brexpiprazole, works as an agonist with blocking and stimulating properties to the receptors that they bind themselves to. In this respect, correct dosage must be administered to avoid adverse clinical outcomes on the patient.

Potential Risks of Vraylar

Any drug administered to a patient usually has a side effect. Vraylar is not an exception and several side effects have been linked to its use. The most common side effect on patients who have been administered with Vraylar is extrapyramidal symptoms. These symptoms result in movement disorders. They can either be acute or tardive. Dystona, for instance, results in continuous spasms and muscle disorders. Parkisonism, on the other hand results in rigidity, bradykinesia, and tremor. Akanithia result in motor restlessness. Other symptoms of this drug include indigestion, vomiting, nausea, and slurred speech. It is always critical to monitor the reactions of a patient after Vralylar has been administered to determine whether or not a patient is exhibiting any side effects. In an event where the patient’s side effects are manageable, administration of the drug should continue. However, in an event where the side effects are acute, the dosage should be reduce or administration ceased to avoid putting the patient at risk.

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Prescription as a Schizophrenic Drug

Vraylar is a relatively new antipsychotic medication in the market. However, before the FDA approved it, several clinical tests were conducted to determine the effects that it has to its patients and its efficiency in treating schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Three different studies conducted over a period of six weeks were conducted using Vraylar and a control agent to determine the effects this drug had on schizophrenic patients. The dosage for the first study ranged from 1.5-4.5mg, 4.5-6.0mg for the second study, and 6.0-9.0 mg for the third study. The results of these studies indicated that the Vraylar agent was superior as compared to the control agent. From these results, I would administer this drug to a schizophrenic patient.

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