Aug 29

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Can a Once-Monthly Drug Treatment Help Bipolar Disorder?

Can a Once-Monthly Drug Treatment Help Bipolar Disorder?

Can a Once-Monthly Drug Treatment Help Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is usually treated with medications that require you to take several pills a day. However, a new once-monthly drug treatment offers hope for patients who struggle to remember to take their pills. Aripiprazole is available as an injection, and you only need it once a month.

What is Aripiprazole?

Aripiprazole is a drug for bipolar disorder that is long lasting. A new study found that it can be given once a month and still provide lasting results for patients. You may see this drug under the brand name Abilify. It is considered an antipsychotic medication, and you must have a prescription for it.

How Can a Once-Monthly Drug Treatment Help?

The study included 266 people who suffered from bipolar disorder. They ranged in age from 18 to 65 and had suffered from mania. The double-blind, placebo study found that the patients who received aripiprazole had fewer mood problems and manic episodes. Compared to the placebo group, the once-monthly drug treatment had a significant positive impact on the patients.

The Problems with Nonadherence

Nonadherence refers to patients who do not take their medications and do not follow the guidelines set by their doctors or pharmacists. This is a common problem for those who suffer from bipolar disorder. Researchers pointed out that up 80 percent of patients with this medical condition do not take their medications.

This is why they believe that a once-monthly drug treatment for bipolar disorder will help improve adherence rates and reduce mood swings. It is important to note that this type of monthly treatment would require patients to schedule an appointment with their doctor to receive the injection. They cannot store the medication at home and give themselves the injection, so they would be forced to take their medicine in front of medical staff. Researchers think this is a clear benefit for patients and their families who struggle to take the recommended drugs.

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