This is my medication and the leaflet in the box lists these possible side effects:

Common side effects (affects 1-10 users in 100) uncontrollable twitching or jerking movements, headache, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, an uncomfortable feeling in the stomach, constipation, increased production of saliva, light-headedness, trouble sleeping, restlessness, feeling anxious, sleepiness, shaking and blurred vision.

Uncommon side effects ( affects 1-10 users in 1,000) some people may feel dizzy, especially when getting up from a lying or sitting position, or may experience a fast heart rate.

The following side effects have been reported since the marketing of ABILIFY (sic) but the frequency for them to occur is not known:

Changes in the levels of some blood cells;

unusual heart beat, sudden unexplained death, heart attack;

allergic reaction (e.g. swelling in the mouth, tongue, face and throat, itching, rash);

high blood sugar, onset or worsening of diabetes, ketoacidosis (ketones in the blood and urine) or coma, low sodium level in the blood;

weight gain, weight loss, anorexia;

nervousness, agitation, feeling anxious;

thoughts of suicide, suicide attempt and suicide;

speech disorder, seizure, combination of fever, muscle stiffness, faster breathing, sweating, reduced consciousness and sudden changes in blood pressure and heart rate;

fainting, high blood pressure, blood clots in the veins especially in the legs (symptoms include swelling, pain and redness in the leg), which may travel through blood vessels to the lungs causing chest pain and difficulty in breathing (if you notice any of these symptoms, seek medical advice immediately);

spasm of the muscles around the voice box, accidental inhalation of food with risk of pneumonia, difficulty in swallowing;

inflammation of the pancreas, inflammation of the liver, yellowing of the skin and white part of eyes, reports of abnormal liver test values, abdominal and stomach discomfort, diarrhoea;

skin rash and sensitivity to light, unusual hair loss or thinning, excessive sweating; stiffness or cramps, muscle pain, weakness;

involuntary loss of urine, difficulty in passing urine;

prolonged and/or painful erection;

difficulty controlling core body temperature or overheating, chest pain, and swelling of hands, ankles or feet.

Adolescents 15 years and older experienced side effects that were similar in frequency and type to those in adults except that sleepiness and uncontrollable twitching or jerking movements were very common (greater than 1 in 10 patients) and dry mouth, increased appetite, and feeling dizzy, especially when getting up from a lying or sitting position, were common.

In elderly patients with dementia, more fatal cases have been reported while taking aripiprazole.  in addition, cases of  stroke or “mini” stroke have been reported.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~//~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If the symptoms listed are really seen as possible side effects I don’t like the fact that such chances are being taken with my physical health and even my life, no matter how slight the possibilities.  Twitching and jerking are symptoms of tardive dyskinesia, which in the case of Jenelle (see the last link on my Essential Links page) has put her in a wheelchair and is thought by doctors to be irreversible.

It is almost as if listing them in this way makes it OK to take the chances.  But as someone on this drug (and others act like it) I think it is dishonest and the worst kind of bullying to be told that this will improve my quality of life while these side effects, some of them resulting in death or incapacity, are possible.  Most of the time they can’t be bothered with us and they are not interested in how we feel or what we have to say.  That is the truth.  Psychologically and relationally they, among others, have abandoned us even while they have a duty of care.  They force these drugs on us while ignoring our requests and assertions that other things are the problem and there are better and different and less harmful and more effective answers and therapies.

Advertisements