Vraylar, also known by its generic name, cariprazine, is a medication primarily prescribed to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. It belongs to the class of drugs known as atypical antipsychotics. While Vraylar can be highly effective in managing the symptoms of these mental health conditions, like all medications, it comes with a list of potential side effects. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of Vraylar and explore both common and less common side effects associated with its use.
Common Side Effects:
Weight Gain:One of the most frequently reported side effects of Vraylar is weight gain. This can be concerning for individuals already struggling with their mental health, as weight changes can affect self-esteem and overall well-being. It’s important to monitor weight regularly and discuss any significant changes with your healthcare provider.
Dizziness and Drowsiness:Vraylar can cause dizziness and drowsiness, especially when you first start taking it or when the dosage is adjusted. It’s advisable to avoid activities that require alertness, such as driving, until you know how the medication affects you.
Nausea:Nausea is another common side effect of Vraylar. Taking the medication with food may help alleviate this symptom. If nausea persists or becomes severe, consult your healthcare provider.
Less Common Side Effects:
Restlessness (Akathisia):Some individuals may experience a sense of restlessness or an inability to sit still, known as akathisia, as a side effect of Vraylar. This can be distressing, but it’s important to discuss it with your doctor, as dosage adjustments or alternative medications may help manage this side effect.
Tremors:Hand tremors or shaky movements can occur in some Vraylar users. These tremors are typically mild, but if they become bothersome or interfere with daily activities, consult your healthcare provider for guidance.
Changes in Blood Pressure:Vraylar can lead to changes in blood pressure, both increases and decreases. Regular monitoring of blood pressure during treatment is crucial, as uncontrolled changes can pose health risks. Your healthcare provider can recommend appropriate management strategies.
Serious Side Effects (Rare):
Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS):Although rare, Vraylar can trigger a severe condition known as Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS). Symptoms include high fever, muscle rigidity, confusion, and irregular heart rate. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
Suicidal Thoughts:It’s essential to be aware that some individuals taking Vraylar may experience an increase in suicidal thoughts, especially when starting the medication. If you or someone you know is experiencing such thoughts, contact a healthcare professional immediately.
Vraylar is a valuable medication for individuals struggling with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. While it can effectively manage symptoms, it’s essential to be aware of potential side effects. Not everyone will experience these side effects, and for many, the benefits of the medication outweigh the risks. However, it’s crucial to maintain open communication with your healthcare provider throughout your treatment to monitor and address any side effects that may arise. Remember that every person’s response to medication is unique, and your doctor can help tailor your treatment plan to best suit your needs.