POM: Prescription only medicine
This information is intended for use by health professionals
ABILIFY 7.5 mg/ml solution for injection
Each ml contains 7.5 mg of aripiprazole. Each vial contains 9.75 mg aripiprazole.
For the full list of excipients, see section 6.1.
Solution for injection
Clear, colourless, aqueous solution.
ABILIFY solution for injection is indicated for the rapid control of agitation and disturbed behaviours in adult patients with schizophrenia or with manic episodes in Bipolar I Disorder, when oral therapy is not appropriate.
Treatment with ABILIFY solution for injection should be discontinued as soon as clinically appropriate and the use of oral aripiprazole should be initiated.
The recommended initial dose for ABILIFY solution for injection is 9.75 mg (1.3 ml), administered as a single intramuscular injection. The effective dose range of ABILIFY solution for injection is 5.25-15 mg as a single injection. A lower dose of 5.25 mg (0.7 ml) may be given, on the basis of individual clinical status, which should also include consideration of medicinal products already administered either for maintenance or acute treatment (see section 4.5).
A second injection may be administered 2 hours after the first injection, on the basis of individual clinical status and no more than three injections should be given in any 24-hour period.
The maximum daily dose of aripiprazole is 30 mg (including all formulations of ABILIFY).
If continued treatment is indicated with oral aripiprazole, see the Summary of Product Characteristics for ABILIFY tablets, ABILIFY orodispersible tablets, or ABILIFY oral solution.
The safety and efficacy of ABILIFY solution for injection in children and adolescents aged 0-17 years have not been established. No data are available.
No dosage adjustment is required for patients with mild to moderate hepatic impairment. In patients with severe hepatic impairment, the data available are insufficient to establish recommendations. In these patients dosing should be managed cautiously. However, the maximum daily dose of 30 mg should be used with caution in patients with severe hepatic impairment (see section 5.2).
No dosage adjustment is required in patients with renal impairment.
The safety and efficacy of ABILIFY in the treatment of schizophrenia or manic episodes in Bipolar I Disorder in patients aged 65 years and older has not been established. Owing to the greater sensitivity of this population, a lower starting dose should be considered when clinical factors warrant (see section 4.4).
No dosage adjustment is required for female patients as compared to male patients (see section 5.2).
According to the metabolic pathway of aripiprazole no dosage adjustment is required for smokers (see section 4.5).
Dose adjustments due to interactions
When concomitant administration of strong CYP3A4 or CYP2D6 inhibitors with aripiprazole occurs, the aripiprazole dose should be reduced. When the CYP3A4 or CYP2D6 inhibitor is withdrawn from the combination therapy, aripiprazole dose should then be increased (see section 4.5).
When concomitant administration of strong CYP3A4 inducers with aripiprazole occurs, the aripiprazole dose should be increased. When the CYP3A4 inducer is withdrawn from the combination therapy, the aripiprazole dose should then be reduced to the recommended dose (see section 4.5).
Method of administration
ABILIFY solution for injection is for intramuscular use.
To enhance absorption and minimise variability, injection into the deltoid or deep within the gluteus maximus muscle, avoiding adipose regions, is recommended.
ABILIFY solution for injection should not be administered intravenously or subcutaneously.
It is ready to use and intended for short-term use only (see section 5.1).
Hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of the excipients listed in section 6.1.
The efficacy of ABILIFY solution for injection in patients with agitation and disturbed behaviours has not been established related to conditions other than schizophrenia and manic episodes in Bipolar I Disorder.
Simultaneous administration of injectable antipsychotics and parenteral benzodiazepine may be associated with excessive sedation and cardiorespiratory depression. If parenteral benzodiazepine therapy is deemed necessary in addition to aripiprazole solution for injection, patients should be monitored for excessive sedation and for orthostatic hypotension (see section 4.5).
Patients receiving ABILIFY solution for injection should be observed for orthostatic hypotension. Blood pressure, pulse, respiratory rate and level of consciousness should be monitored regularly.
The safety and efficacy of ABILIFY solution for injection has not been evaluated in patients with alcohol or medicinal product intoxication (either with prescribed or illicit medicinal products).
During antipsychotic treatment, improvement in the patient's clinical condition may take several days to some weeks. Patients should be closely monitored throughout this period.
The occurrence of suicidal behaviour is inherent in psychotic illnesses and mood disorders and in some cases has been reported early after initiation or switch of antipsychotic treatment, including treatment with aripiprazole (see section 4.8). Close supervision of high-risk patients should accompany antipsychotic treatment.
Aripiprazole should be used with caution in patients with known cardiovascular disease (history of myocardial infarction or ischaemic heart disease, heart failure, or conduction abnormalities), cerebrovascular disease, conditions which would predispose patients to hypotension (dehydration, hypovolemia, and treatment with antihypertensive medicinal products) or hypertension, including accelerated or malignant. Cases of venous thromboembolism (VTE) have been reported with antipsychotic medicinal products. Since patients treated with antipsychotics often present with acquired risk factors for VTE, all possible risk factors for VTE should be identified before and during treatment with aripiprazole and preventive measures undertaken (see section 4.8).
In clinical trials of treatment with oral aripiprazole, the incidence of QT prolongation was comparable to placebo. Aripiprazole should be used with caution in patients with a family history of QT prolongation (see section 4.8).
In clinical trials of one year or less duration, there were uncommon reports of treatment emergent dyskinesia during treatment with aripiprazole. If signs and symptoms of tardive dyskinesia appear in a patient on aripiprazole, dose reduction or discontinuation should be considered (see section 4.8). These symptoms can temporally deteriorate or can even arise after discontinuation of treatment.
Other extrapyramidal symptoms
In paediatric clinical trials of aripiprazole akathisia and Parkinsonism were observed. If signs and symptoms of other EPS appear in a patient taking aripiprazole, dose reduction and close clinical monitoring should be considered.
Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS)
NMS is a potentially fatal symptom complex associated with antipsychotics. In clinical trials, rare cases of NMS were reported during treatment with aripiprazole. Clinical manifestations of NMS are hyperpyrexia, muscle rigidity, altered mental status and evidence of autonomic instability (irregular pulse or blood pressure, tachycardia, diaphoresis and cardiac dysrhythmia). Additional signs may include elevated creatine phosphokinase, myoglobinuria (rhabdomyolysis), and acute renal failure. However, elevated creatine phosphokinase and rhabdomyolysis, not necessarily in association with NMS, have also been reported. If a patient develops signs and symptoms indicative of NMS, or presents with unexplained high fever without additional clinical manifestations of NMS, all antipsychotics, including aripiprazole, must be discontinued.
In clinical trials, uncommon cases of seizure were reported during treatment with aripiprazole. Therefore, aripiprazole should be used with caution in patients who have a history of seizure disorder or have conditions associated with seizures (see section 4.8).
Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis
In three placebo-controlled trials (n = 938; mean age: 82.4 years; range: 56-99 years) of aripiprazole in elderly patients with psychosis associated with Alzheimer's disease, patients treated with aripiprazole were at increased risk of death compared to placebo. The rate of death in aripiprazole-treated patients was 3.5 % compared to 1.7 % in the placebo group. Although the causes of deaths were varied, most of the deaths appeared to be either cardiovascular (e.g. heart failure, sudden death) or infectious (e.g. pneumonia) in nature (see section 4.8).
Cerebrovascular adverse reactions
In the same trials, cerebrovascular adverse reactions (e.g. stroke, transient ischaemic attack), including fatalities, were reported in patients (mean age: 84 years; range: 78-88 years). Overall, 1.3 % of aripiprazole-treated patients reported cerebrovascular adverse reactions compared with 0.6 % of placebo-treated patients in these trials. This difference was not statistically significant. However, in one of these trials, a fixed-dose trial, there was a significant dose response relationship for cerebrovascular adverse reactions in patients treated with aripiprazole (see section 4.8).
Aripiprazole is not indicated for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis.
Hyperglycaemia and diabetes mellitus
Hyperglycaemia, in some cases extreme and associated with ketoacidosis or hyperosmolar coma or death, has been reported in patients treated with atypical antipsychotics, including aripiprazole. Risk factors that may predispose patients to severe complications include obesity and family history of diabetes. In clinical trials with aripiprazole, there were no significant differences in the incidence rates of hyperglycaemia-related adverse reactions (including diabetes) or in abnormal glycaemia laboratory values compared to placebo. Precise risk estimates for hyperglycaemia-related adverse reactions in patients treated with aripiprazole and with other atypical antipsychotics are not available to allow direct comparisons. Patients treated with any antipsychotics, including aripiprazole, should be observed for signs and symptoms of hyperglycaemia (such as polydipsia, polyuria, polyphagia and weakness) and patients with diabetes mellitus or with risk factors for diabetes mellitus should be monitored regularly for worsening of glucose control (see section 4.8).
Hypersensitivity reactions, characterised by allergic symptoms, may occur with aripiprazole (see section 4.8).
Weight gain is commonly seen in schizophrenic and bipolar mania patients due to co-morbidities, use of antipsychotics known to cause weight gain, poorly managed life-style, and might lead to severe complications. Weight gain has been reported post-marketing among patients prescribed oral aripiprazole. When seen, it is usually in those with significant risk factors such as history of diabetes, thyroid disorder or pituitary adenoma. In clinical trials aripiprazole has not been shown to induce clinically relevant weight gain in adults (see section 5.1). In clinical trials of adolescent patients with bipolar mania, aripiprazole has been shown to be associated with weight gain after 4 weeks of treatment. Weight gain should be monitored in adolescent patients with bipolar mania. If weight gain is clinically significant, dose reduction should be considered (see section 4.8).
Oesophageal dysmotility and aspiration have been associated with the use of antipsychotics, including aripiprazole. Aripiprazole should be used cautiously in patients at risk for aspiration pneumonia.
Pathological gambling and other impulse control disorders
Patients can experience increased urges, particularly for gambling, and the inability to control these urges while taking aripiprazole. Other urges, reported, include: increased sexual urges, compulsive shopping, binge or compulsive eating, and other impulsive and compulsive behaviours. It is important for prescribers to ask patients or their caregivers specifically about the development of new or increased gambling urges, sexual urges, compulsive shopping, binge or compulsive eating, or other urges while being treated with aripiprazole. It should be noted that impulse-control symptoms can be associated with the underlying disorder; however, in some cases, urges were reported to have stopped when the dose was reduced or the medication was discontinued. Impulse control disorders may result in harm to the patient and others if not recognised. Consider dose reduction or stopping the medication if a patient develops such urges while taking aripiprazole (see section 4.8).
Patients with ADHD comorbidity
Despite the high comorbidity frequency of Bipolar I Disorder and ADHD, very limited safety data are available on concomitant use of aripiprazole and stimulants; therefore, extreme caution should be taken when these medicinal products are co-administered.
No specific interaction studies have been performed with ABILIFY solution for injection. The information below is obtained from studies with oral aripiprazole.
Due to its α1-adrenergic receptor antagonism, aripiprazole has the potential to enhance the effect of certain antihypertensive medicinal products.
Given the primary CNS effects of aripiprazole, caution should be used when aripiprazole is administered in combination with alcohol or other CNS medicinal products with overlapping adverse reactions such as sedation (see section 4.8).
If aripiprazole is administered concomitantly with medicinal products known to cause QT prolongation or electrolyte imbalance, caution should be used.
Potential for other medicinal products to affect ABILIFY solution for injection
The administration of lorazepam solution for injection had no effect on the pharmacokinetics of ABILIFY solution for injection when administered concomitantly. However, in a single-dose, intramuscular study of aripiprazole (dose 15 mg) in healthy subjects, administered simultaneously with intramuscular lorazepam (dose 2 mg), the intensity of sedation was greater with the combination as compared to that observed with aripiprazole alone.
A gastric acid blocker, the H2 antagonist famotidine, reduces aripiprazole rate of absorption but this effect is deemed not clinically relevant. Aripiprazole is metabolised by multiple pathways involving the CYP2D6 and CYP3A4 enzymes but not CYP1A enzymes. Thus, no dosage adjustment is required for smokers.
Quinidine and other CYP2D6 inhibitors
In a clinical trial of oral aripiprazole in healthy subjects, a strong inhibitor of CYP2D6 (quinidine) increased aripiprazole AUC by 107 %, while Cmax was unchanged. The AUC and Cmax of dehydro-aripiprazole, the active metabolite, decreased by 32 % and 47 %, respectively. Aripiprazole dose should be reduced to approximately one-half of its prescribed dose when concomitant administration of aripiprazole with quinidine occurs. Other strong inhibitors of CYP2D6, such as fluoxetine and paroxetine, may be expected to have similar effects and similar dose reductions should therefore be applied.
Ketoconazole and other CYP3A4 inhibitors
In a clinical trial of oral aripiprazole in healthy subjects, a strong inhibitor of CYP3A4 (ketoconazole) increased aripiprazole AUC and Cmax by 63 % and 37 %, respectively. The AUC and Cmax of dehydro-aripiprazole increased by 77 % and 43 %, respectively. In CYP2D6 poor metabolisers, concomitant use of strong inhibitors of CYP3A4 may result in higher plasma concentrations of aripiprazole compared to that in CYP2D6 extensive metabolizers. When considering concomitant administration of ketoconazole or other strong CYP3A4 inhibitors with aripiprazole, potential benefits should outweigh the potential risks to the patient. When concomitant administration of ketoconazole with aripiprazole occurs, aripiprazole dose should be reduced to approximately one-half of its prescribed dose. Other strong inhibitors of CYP3A4, such as itraconazole and HIV protease inhibitors may be expected to have similar effects and similar dose reductions should therefore be applied (see section 4.2). Upon discontinuation of the CYP2D6 or CYP3A4 inhibitor, the dosage of aripiprazole should be increased to the level prior to the initiation of the concomitant therapy. When weak inhibitors of CYP3A4 (e.g. diltiazem) or CYP2D6 (e.g. escitalopram) are used concomitantly with aripiprazole, modest increases in plasma aripiprazole concentrations may be expected.
Carbamazepine and other CYP3A4 inducers
Following concomitant administration of carbamazepine, a strong inducer of CYP3A4, and oral aripiprazole to patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, the geometric means of Cmax and AUC for aripiprazole were 68 % and 73 % lower, respectively, compared to when aripiprazole (30 mg) was administered alone. Similarly, for dehydro-aripiprazole the geometric means of Cmax and AUC after carbamazepine co-administration were 69 % and 71 % lower, respectively, than those following treatment with aripiprazole alone. Aripiprazole dose should be doubled when concomitant administration of aripiprazole occurs with carbamazepine. Concomitant administration of aripiprazole and other inducers of CYP3A4 (such as rifampicin, rifabutin, phenytoin, phenobarbital, primidone, efavirenz, nevirapine and St. John's Wort) may be expected to have similar effects and similar dose increases should therefore be applied. Upon discontinuation of strong CYP3A4 inducers, the dosage of aripiprazole should be reduced to the recommended dose.
Valproate and lithium
When either valproate or lithium was administered concomitantly with aripiprazole, there was no clinically significant change in aripiprazole concentrations and therefore no dose adjustment is necessary when either valproate or lithium is administered with aripiprazole.
Potential for aripiprazole to affect other medicinal products
The administration of ABILIFY solution for injection had no effect on the pharmacokinetics of lorazepam solution for injection when administered concomitantly. However, in a single-dose, intramuscular study of aripiprazole (dose 15 mg) in healthy subjects, administered simultaneously with intramuscular lorazepam (dose 2 mg), the orthostatic hypotension observed was greater with the combination as compared to that observed with lorazepam alone.
In clinical studies, oral doses of 10-30 mg/day of aripiprazole had no significant effect on the metabolism of substrates of CYP2D6 (dextromethorphan/3-methoxymorphinan ratio), CYP2C9 (warfarin), CYP2C19 (omeprazole), and CYP3A4 (dextromethorphan). Additionally, aripiprazole and dehydro-aripiprazole did not show potential for altering CYP1A2-mediated metabolism in vitro. Thus, aripiprazole is unlikely to cause clinically important medicinal product interactions mediated by these enzymes.
When aripiprazole was administered concomitantly with either valproate, lithium or lamotrigine, there was no clinically important change in valproate, lithium or lamotrigine concentrations.
Cases of serotonin syndrome have been reported in patients taking aripiprazole, and possible signs and symptoms for this condition can occur especially in cases of concomitant use with other serotonergic medicinal products, such as SSRI/SNRI, or with medicinal products that are known to increase aripiprazole concentrations (see section 4.8).
There are no adequate and well-controlled trials of aripiprazole in pregnant women. Congenital anomalies have been reported; however, causal relationship with aripiprazole could not be established. Animal studies could not exclude potential developmental toxicity (see section 5.3). Patients must be advised to notify their physician if they become pregnant or intend to become pregnant during treatment with aripiprazole. Due to insufficient safety information in humans and concerns raised by animal reproductive studies, this medicinal product should not be used in pregnancy unless the expected benefit clearly justifies the potential risk to the foetus.
Newborn infants exposed to antipsychotics (including aripiprazole) during the third trimester of pregnancy are at risk of adverse reactions including extrapyramidal and/or withdrawal symptoms that may vary in severity and duration following delivery. There have been reports of agitation, hypertonia, hypotonia, tremor, somnolence, respiratory distress, or feeding disorder. Consequently, newborn infants should be monitored carefully (see section 4.8).
Aripiprazole is excreted in human milk. A decision must be made whether to discontinue breast-feeding or to discontinue/abstain from aripiprazole therapy taking into account the benefit of breast-feeding for the child and the benefit of therapy for the woman.
Aripiprazole did not impair fertility based on data from reproductive toxicity studies.
Aripiprazole has minor to moderate influence on the ability to drive and use machines due to potential nervous system and visual effects, such as sedation, somnolence, syncope, vision blurred, diplopia (see section 4.8).
Summary of the safety profile
The most commonly reported adverse reactions in placebo-controlled trials were nausea, dizziness and somnolence each occurring in more than 3 % of patients treated with aripiprazole solution for injection.
Tabulated list of adverse reactions
The incidences of the Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) associated with aripiprazole therapy are tabulated below. The table is based on adverse events reported during clinical trials and/or post-marketing use.
All ADRs are listed by system organ class and frequency; very common (≥ 1/10), common (≥ 1/100 to < 1/10), uncommon (≥ 1/1,000 to < 1/100), rare (≥ 1/10,000 to < 1/1,000), very rare (< 1/10,000) and not known (cannot be estimated from the available data). Within each frequency grouping, adverse reactions are presented in order of decreasing seriousness.
The frequency of adverse reactions reported during post-marketing use cannot be determined as they are derived from spontaneous reports. Consequently, the frequency of these adverse events is qualified as "not known".
Blood and lymphatic system disorders
Immune system disorders
Allergic reaction (e.g. anaphylactic reaction, angioedema including swollen tongue, tongue oedema, face oedema, pruritus, or urticaria)
Diabetic hyperosmolar coma
Metabolism and nutrition disorders
Suicide attempt, suicidal ideation and completed suicide (see section 4.4)
Nervous system disorders
Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS)
Grand mal convulsion
Sudden unexplained death
Torsades de pointes
Increased diastolic blood pressure
Venous thromboembolism (including pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis)
Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders
Increased Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT)
Increased Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST)
Increased Gamma Glutamyl Transferase (GGT)
Increased alkaline phosphatase
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders
Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders
Renal and urinary disorders
Pregnancy, puerperium and perinatal conditions
Drug withdrawal syndrome neonatal (see section 4.6)
Reproductive system and breast disorders
General disorders and administration site conditions
Temperature regulation disorder (e.g. hypothermia, pyrexia)
Blood glucose increased
Glycosylated haemoglobin increased
Blood glucose fluctuation
Increased creatine phosphokinase
Description of selected adverse reactions
Extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS)
Schizophrenia: in a long term 52-week controlled trial, aripiprazole-treated patients had an overall-lower incidence (25.8 %) of EPS including Parkinsonism, akathisia, dystonia and dyskinesia compared with those treated with haloperidol (57.3 %). In a long term 26-week placebo-controlled trial, the incidence of EPS was 19 % for aripiprazole-treated patients and 13.1 % for placebo-treated patients. In another long-term 26-week controlled trial, the incidence of EPS was 14.8 % for aripiprazole-treated patients and 15.1 % for olanzapine-treated patients.
Manic episodes in Bipolar I Disorder: in a 12-week controlled trial, the incidence of EPS was 23.5 % for aripiprazole-treated patients and 53.3 % for haloperidol-treated patients. In another 12-week trial, the incidence of EPS was 26.6 % for patients treated with aripiprazole and 17.6 % for those treated with lithium. In the long term 26-week maintenance phase of a placebo-controlled trial, the incidence of EPS was 18.2 % for aripiprazole-treated patients and 15.7 % for placebo-treated patients.
In placebo-controlled trials, the incidence of akathisia in bipolar patients was 12.1 % with aripiprazole and 3.2 % with placebo. In schizophrenia patients the incidence of akathisia was 6.2 % with aripiprazole and 3.0 % with placebo.
Class effect: Symptoms of dystonia, prolonged abnormal contractions of muscle groups, may occur in susceptible individuals during the first few days of treatment. Dystonic symptoms include: spasm of the neck muscles, sometimes progressing to tightness of the throat, swallowing difficulty, difficulty breathing, and/or protrusion of the tongue. While these symptoms can occur at low doses, they occur more frequently and with greater severity with high potency and at higher doses of first generation antipsychotic medicinal products. An elevated risk of acute dystonia is observed in males and younger age groups.
In clinical trials for the approved indications and post-marketing, both increase and decrease in serum prolactin as compared to baseline was observed with aripiprazole (section 5.1).
Comparisons between aripiprazole and placebo in the proportions of patients experiencing potentially clinically significant changes in routine laboratory and lipid parameters (see section 5.1) revealed no medically important differences. Elevations of CPK (Creatine Phosphokinase), generally transient and asymptomatic, were observed in 3.5 % of aripiprazole treated patients as compared to 2.0 % of patients who received placebo.
Pathological gambling and other impulse control disorders
Pathological gambling, hypersexuality, compulsive shopping and binge or compulsive eating can occur in patients treated with aripiprazole (see section 4.4).
Reporting of suspected adverse reactions
Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via Yellow Card Scheme, Website: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard.
No cases of overdose associated with adverse reactions were reported in clinical studies with ABILIFY solution for injection. Care must be taken to avoid inadvertent injection of this medicinal product into a blood vessel. Following any confirmed or suspected accidental overdose/inadvertent intravenous administration, close observation of the patient is needed and if any potentially medically serious sign or symptom develops, monitoring, which should include continuous electrocardiographic monitoring, is required. The medical supervision and monitoring should continue until the patient recovers.
Signs and symptoms
In clinical trials and post-marketing experience, accidental or intentional acute overdose of aripiprazole alone was identified in adult patients with reported estimated doses up to 1,260 mg with no fatalities. The potentially medically important signs and symptoms observed included lethargy, increased blood pressure, somnolence, tachycardia, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. In addition, reports of accidental overdose with aripiprazole alone (up to 195 mg) in children have been received with no fatalities. The potentially medically serious signs and symptoms reported included somnolence, transient loss of consciousness and extrapyramidal symptoms.
Management of overdose
Management of overdose should concentrate on supportive therapy, maintaining an adequate airway, oxygenation and ventilation, and management of symptoms. The possibility of multiple medicinal product involvement should be considered. Therefore cardiovascular monitoring should be started immediately and should include continuous electrocardiographic monitoring to detect possible arrhythmias. Following any confirmed or suspected overdose with aripiprazole, close medical supervision and monitoring should continue until the patient recovers.
Activated charcoal (50 g), administered one hour after aripiprazole, decreased aripiprazole Cmax by about 41 % and AUC by about 51 %, suggesting that charcoal may be effective in the treatment of overdose.
Although there is no information on the effect of haemodialysis in treating an overdose with aripiprazole, haemodialysis is unlikely to be useful in overdose management since aripiprazole is highly bound to plasma proteins.
Pharmacotherapeutic group: Psycholeptics, other antipsychotics, ATC code: N05AX12
Mechanism of action
It has been proposed that aripiprazole's efficacy in schizophrenia and Bipolar I Disorder is mediated through a combination of partial agonism at dopamine D2 and serotonin 5-HT1A receptors and antagonism of serotonin 5-HT2A receptors. Aripiprazole exhibited antagonist properties in animal models of dopaminergic hyperactivity and agonist properties in animal models of dopaminergic hypoactivity. Aripiprazole exhibited high binding affinity in vitro for dopamine D2 and D3, serotonin 5-HT1A and 5-HT2A receptors and moderate affinity for dopamine D4, serotonin 5-HT2C and 5-HT7, alpha-1 adrenergic and histamine H1 receptors. Aripiprazole also exhibited moderate binding affinity for the serotonin reuptake site and no appreciable affinity for muscarinic receptors. Interaction with receptors other than dopamine and serotonin subtypes may explain some of the other clinical effects of aripiprazole.
Aripiprazole doses ranging from 0.5 to 30 mg administered once a day to healthy subjects for 2 weeks produced a dose-dependent reduction in the binding of 11C-raclopride, a D2/D3 receptor ligand, to the caudate and putamen detected by positron emission tomography.
Clinical efficacy and safety
Agitation in schizophrenia and Bipolar I Disorder with ABILIFY solution for injection
In two short- term (24-hour) placebo-controlled trials involving 554 schizophrenic adult patients presenting with agitation and disturbed behaviours, ABILIFYsolution for injection was associated with statistically significant greater improvements in agitation/behavioural symptoms compared to placebo and was similar to haloperidol.
In one short-term (24-hour) placebo-controlled trial involving 291 patients with bipolar disorder presenting with agitation and disturbed behaviours, ABILIFY solution for injection was associated with statistically significant greater improvements in agitation/behavioural symptoms compared to placebo and was similar to the reference arm lorazepam. The observed mean improvement from baseline on the PANSS Excitement Component score at the primary 2-hour endpoint was 5.8 for placebo, 9.6 for lorazepam, and 8.7 for ABILIFY solution for injection. In subpopulation analyses on patients with mixed episodes or on patients with severe agitation, a similar pattern of efficacy to the overall population was observed but statistical significance could not be established due to a reduced sample size.
Schizophrenia with oral aripiprazole
In three short-term (4 to 6 weeks) placebo-controlled trials involving 1,228 schizophrenic adult patients, presenting with positive or negative symptoms, oral aripiprazole was associated with statistically significantly greater improvements in psychotic symptoms compared to placebo.
Aripiprazole is effective in maintaining the clinical improvement during continuation therapy in adult patients who have shown an initial treatment response. In a haloperidol-controlled trial, the proportion of responder patients maintaining response to medicinal product at 52-weeks was similar in both groups (oral aripiprazole 77 % and haloperidol 73 %). The overall completion rate was significantly higher for patients on oral aripiprazole (43 %) than for oral haloperidol (30 %). Actual scores in rating scales used as secondary endpoints, including PANSS and the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale showed a significant improvement over haloperidol.
In a 26-week, placebo-controlled trial in adult stabilised patients with chronic schizophrenia, oral aripiprazole had significantly greater reduction in relapse rate, 34 % in oral aripiprazole group and 57 % in placebo.
In clinical trials oral aripiprazole has not been shown to induce clinically relevant weight gain. In a 26-week, olanzapine-controlled, double-blind, multi-national study of schizophrenia which included 314 adult patients and where the primary end-point was weight gain, significantly less patients had at least 7 % weight gain over baseline (i.e. a gain of at least 5.6 kg for a mean baseline weight of ~80.5 kg) on oral aripiprazole (n = 18, or 13 % of evaluable patients), compared to oral olanzapine (n = 45, or 33 % of evaluable patients).
In a pooled analysis on lipid parameters from placebo controlled clinical trials in adults, aripiprazole has not been shown to induce clinically relevant alterations in levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL and LDL.
Prolactin levels were evaluated in all trials of all doses of aripiprazole (n = 28,242). The incidence of hyperprolactinaemia or increased serum prolactin in patients treated with aripiprazole (0.3 %) was similar to that of placebo (0.2 %). For patients receiving aripiprazole, the median time to onset was 42 days and median duration was 34 days.
The incidence of hypoprolactinaemia or decreased serum prolactin in patients treated with aripiprazole was 0.4 %, compared with 0.02 % for patients treated with placebo. For patients receiving aripiprazole, the median time to onset was 30 days and median duration was 194 days.
Manic episodes in Bipolar I Disorder with oral aripiprazole
In two 3-week, flexible-dose, placebo-controlled monotherapy trials involving patients with a manic or mixed episode of Bipolar I Disorder, aripiprazole demonstrated superior efficacy to placebo in reduction of manic symptoms over 3 weeks. These trials included patients with or without psychotic features and with or without a rapid-cycling course.
In one 3-week, fixed-dose, placebo-controlled monotherapy trial involving patients with a manic or mixed episode of Bipolar I Disorder, aripiprazole failed to demonstrate superior efficacy to placebo.
In two 12-week, placebo- and active-controlled monotherapy trials in patients with a manic or mixed episode of Bipolar I Disorder, with or without psychotic features, aripiprazole demonstrated superior efficacy to placebo at week 3 and a maintenance of effect comparable to lithium or haloperidol at week 12. Aripiprazole also demonstrated a comparable proportion of patients in symptomatic remission from mania as lithium or haloperidol at week 12.
In a 6-week, placebo-controlled trial involving patients with a manic or mixed episode of Bipolar I Disorder, with or without psychotic features, who were partially non-responsive to lithium or valproate monotherapy for 2 weeks at therapeutic serum levels, the addition of aripiprazole as adjunctive therapy resulted in superior efficacy in reduction of manic symptoms than lithium or valproate monotherapy.
In a 26-week, placebo-controlled trial, followed by a 74-week extension, in manic patients who achieved remission on aripiprazole during a stabilization phase prior to randomisation, aripiprazole demonstrated superiority over placebo in preventing bipolar recurrence, primarily in preventing recurrence into mania but failed to demonstrate superiority over placebo in preventing recurrence into depression.
In a 52-week, placebo-controlled trial, in patients with a current manic or mixed episode of Bipolar I Disorder who achieved sustained remission (Y-MRS and MADRS total scores ≤ 12) on aripiprazole (10 mg/day to 30 mg/day) adjunctive to lithium or valproate for 12 consecutive weeks, adjunctive aripiprazole demonstrated superiority over placebo with a 46 % decreased risk (hazard ratio of 0.54) in preventing bipolar recurrence and a 65 % decreased risk (hazard ratio of 0.35) in preventing recurrence into mania over adjunctive placebo but failed to demonstrate superiority over placebo in preventing recurrence into depression. Adjunctive aripiprazole demonstrated superiority over placebo on the secondary outcome measure, CGI-BP Severity of Illness score (mania). In this trial, patients were assigned by investigators with either open-label lithium or valproate monotherapy to determine partial non-response. Patients were stabilised for at least 12 consecutive weeks with the combination of aripiprazole and the same mood stabilizer. Stabilized patients were then randomised to continue the same mood stabilizer with double-blind aripiprazole or placebo. Four mood stabilizer subgroups were assessed in the randomised phase: aripiprazole + lithium; aripiprazole + valproate; placebo + lithium; placebo + valproate. The Kaplan-Meier rates for recurrence to any mood episode for the adjunctive treatment arm were 16 % in aripiprazole + lithium and 18 % in aripiprazole + valproate compared to 45 % in placebo + lithium and 19 % in placebo + valproate.
The European Medicines Agency has deferred the obligation to submit the results of studies with ABILIFY in one or more subsets of the paediatric population in the treatment of schizophrenia and in the treatment of bipolar affective disorder (see section 4.2 for information on paediatric use).
Aripiprazole administered intramuscularly as a single-dose to healthy subjects is well absorbed and has an absolute bioavailability of 100 %. The aripiprazole AUC in the first 2 hours after an intramuscular injection was 90 % greater than the AUC after the same dose as a tablet; systemic exposure was generally similar between the 2 formulations. In 2 studies in healthy subjects the median times to the peak plasma concentrations were 1 and 3 hours after dosing.
Based on results from trials with oral administration of aripiprazole, aripiprazole is widely distributed throughout the body with an apparent volume of distribution of 4.9 l/kg, indicating extensive extravascular distribution. At therapeutic concentrations, aripiprazole and dehydro-aripiprazole are greater than 99 % bound to serum proteins, binding primarily to albumin.
Aripiprazole is extensively metabolised by the liver primarily by three biotransformation pathways: dehydrogenation, hydroxylation, and N-dealkylation. Based on in vitro studies, CYP3A4 and CYP2D6 enzymes are responsible for dehydrogenation and hydroxylation of aripiprazole, and N-dealkylation is catalysed by CYP3A4. Aripiprazole is the predominant medicinal product moiety in systemic circulation. At steady state, dehydro-aripiprazole, the active metabolite, represents about 40 % of aripiprazole AUC in plasma.
The mean elimination half-lives for aripiprazole are approximately 75 hours in extensive metabolisers of CYP2D6 and approximately 146 hours in poor metabolisers of CYP2D6.
The total body clearance of aripiprazole is 0.7 ml/min/kg, which is primarily hepatic.
Following a single oral dose of [14C]-labelled aripiprazole, approximately 27 % of the administered radioactivity was recovered in the urine and approximately 60 % in the faeces. Less than 1 % of unchanged aripiprazole was excreted in the urine and approximately 18 % was recovered unchanged in the faeces.
Pharmacokinetics in special patient groups
There are no differences in the pharmacokinetics of aripiprazole between healthy elderly and younger adult subjects, nor is there any detectable effect of age in a population pharmacokinetic analysis in schizophrenic patients.
There are no differences in the pharmacokinetics of aripiprazole between healthy male and female subjects nor is there any detectable effect of gender in a population pharmacokinetic analysis in schizophrenic patients.
Population pharmacokinetic evaluation of oral aripiprazole has revealed no evidence of clinically relevant effects from smoking on the pharmacokinetics of aripiprazole.
Population pharmacokinetic evaluation showed no evidence of race-related differences on the pharmacokinetics of aripiprazole.
The pharmacokinetic characteristics of aripiprazole and dehydro-aripiprazole were found to be similar in patients with severe renal disease compared to young healthy subjects.
A single-dose study in subjects with varying degrees of liver cirrhosis (Child-Pugh Classes A, B, and C) did not reveal a significant effect of hepatic impairment on the pharmacokinetics of aripiprazole and dehydro-aripiprazole, but the study included only 3 patients with Class C liver cirrhosis, which is insufficient to draw conclusions on their metabolic capacity.
Administration of ABILIFY solution for injection was well tolerated and produced no direct target organ toxicity in rats or monkeys after repeated dosing at systemic exposures (AUC) that were 15 and 5 times, respectively, human exposure at the maximum recommended human dose of 30 mg intramuscular. In intravenous reproductive toxicity studies, no new safety concerns were observed at maternal exposures up to 15 (rat) and 29 (rabbit) times human exposure at 30 mg.
Non-clinical data reveal no special hazard for humans based on conventional oral aripiprazole studies of safety pharmacology, repeated dose toxicity, genotoxicity, carcinogenic potential, toxicity to reproduction and development.
Toxicologically significant effects were observed only at doses or exposures that were sufficiently in excess of the maximum human dose or exposure, indicating that these effects were limited or of no relevance to clinical use. These included: dose-dependent adrenocortical toxicity (lipofuscin pigment accumulation and/or parenchymal cell loss) in rats after 104 weeks at 20 to 60 mg/kg/day (3 to 10 times the mean steady-state AUC at the maximum recommended human dose) and increased adrenocortical carcinomas and combined adrenocortical adenomas/carcinomas in female rats at 60 mg/kg/day (10 times the mean steady-state AUC at the maximum recommended human dose). The highest nontumorigenic exposure in female rats was 7 times the human exposure at the recommended dose.
An additional finding was cholelithiasis as a consequence of precipitation of sulphate conjugates of hydroxy metabolites of aripiprazole in the bile of monkeys after repeated oral dosing at 25 to 125 mg/kg/day (1 to 3 times the mean steady-state AUC at the maximum recommended clinical dose or 16 to 81 times the maximum recommended human dose based on mg/m2). However, the concentrations of the sulphate conjugates of hydroxy aripiprazole in human bile at the highest dose proposed, 30 mg per day, were no more than 6 % of the bile concentrations found in the monkeys in the 39-week study and are well below (6 %) their limits of in vitro solubility.
In repeat-dose studies in juvenile rats and dogs, the toxicity profile of aripiprazole was comparable to that observed in adult animals, and there was no evidence of neurotoxicity or adverse reactions on development.
Based on results of a full range of standard genotoxicity tests, aripiprazole was considered non-genotoxic. Aripiprazole did not impair fertility in reproductive toxicity studies. Developmental toxicity, including dose-dependent delayed foetal ossification and possible teratogenic effects, were observed in rats at doses resulting in subtherapeutic exposures (based on AUC) and in rabbits at doses resulting in exposures 3 and 11 times the mean steady-state AUC at the maximum recommended clinical dose. Maternal toxicity occurred at doses similar to those eliciting developmental toxicity.
Sulfobutylether β-cyclodextrin (SBECD)
Water for injections
After opening: use product immediately.
Keep the vial in the outer carton in order to protect from light.
For storage conditions after first opening of the medicinal product, see section 6.3.
Each carton contains one single-use type I glass vial with a rubber butyl stopper and a "tear-off" aluminium seal.
Any unused medicinal product or waste material should be disposed of in accordance with local requirements.
Otsuka Pharmaceutical Netherlands B.V.
1101 CT, Amsterdam
Date of first authorisation: 04 June 2004
Date of latest renewal: 04 June 2009
Detailed information on this medicinal product is available on the website of the European Medicines Agency http://www.ema.europa.eu.