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Explain the difference between antipsychotic medicines and abilify?

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Practicing since : 2004
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Is there a simple way to explain the difference in the way most antipsychotic medicines work versus abilify? I want to understand why respiridol and another one (can't remember) had such horrible side effects, but with abilify my daughter is living a pretty normal life. I think it has to do with brain receptors and serotonin and dopamine. Also, I heard that some people are actually cured with abilify. Is this true?
Posted Tue, 23 Oct 2012 in Medicines and Side Effects
Answered by Dr. Ashish Mittal 56 minutes later
Thanks for your query.
I appreciate your efforts for medical consultation in so much distress.

Rispeidol and other antipsychotics (second generation) tend to have action in form of SDA (Serotonin dopamine antagonist). They decrease activity of serotonin and dopamine receptors.

Aripiprazole (Abilify) is a partial dopamine agonist of the third generation class of antipsychotics. They decrease activity hyperactive dopamine receptors and increase activity of hypoactive dopamine receptors. It has minimal or no side effects in most of the patients.

Schizophrenia is a chronic illnesses like high BP. You stop the drug and BP rises. Medicines control illness by stabilizing dopamine levels in brain, but they do not cure illness. Always remember, recurrence of symptoms is more XXXXXXX compare to taking medicine regularly.

I hope this information has been both informative and helpful for you. In case of any doubt, I will be available for follow ups.

Wish you good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Explain the difference between antipsychotic medicines and abilify? 30 minutes later
Thank you so much! That is very helpful information. She has been stable for several months - working and going to university - but she lost almost 2 years of her life being so sick. Her initial diagnosis was major depression with psychotic features. There are so many different diagnoses in this area - schizoaffective disorder, etc. etc. Could you tell me a resource that simply explains the differences between these different diagnoses - symptoms and causes (although I understand that no one really knows for sure the causes). It was such a shock when my beautiful, intelligent daughter could no longer care for herself or tell the difference between reality and unreality. The psychosis seemed to come on gradually - now that we look back - but it really came out as a result of a very demanding and stressful class she was taking in high school.
Answered by Dr. Ashish Mittal 7 hours later
Hello again,
Thanks for follow up.

Psychiatric diagnosis rely mostly on history. To diagnose any illness detailed history and in-person mental status examination of patient on different occasion is necessary.

Psychiatric diagnosis can change over a period of time due to availability of more illness related information to clinician.

So, do not worry. She is receiving good treatment now.

Please accept my answer in case there are no further queries and recommend our services to your friends too if you have found it helpful.

Wish you good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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