Aripiprazole for Delusional Infestation: Uses, Dosages, and Side Effects

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Delusional infestation, also called delusional parasitosis, is a mental disorder in which a person thinks their body is full of parasites when it is not.

The condition can be very painful and cause a lot of stress for the person who has it.

Even though the FDA hasn’t approved a specific drug to treat delusional infestation, antipsychotic drugs like aripiprazole have been found to help manage the symptoms of the condition.

In this article, we’ll talk about how aripiprazole is used to treat delusional infestation, including doses, side effects, and other important things to think about.

Key takeaways

  • Aripiprazole is an antipsychotic medication that can be used off-label to treat delusional infestation (delusional parasitosis), a condition where patients believe they are infested with parasites despite no evidence of infestation.
  • Dosing of aripiprazole for delusional infestation is based on expert opinion, with an initial dose of 2 mg once daily that may be increased gradually up to 12 mg/day or even higher in some cases.
  • Patients should be monitored for response and tolerability, with doses increased at intervals of at least 2 weeks.
  • After achieving an adequate response, aripiprazole should be maintained for at least 1 to 3 months before attempting to taper and discontinue.
  • Aripiprazole has been shown to be effective in treating delusional infestation in some patients, but more research is needed to determine its long-term safety and efficacy for this off-label use. Patients should discuss the risks and benefits of aripiprazole treatment with their healthcare provider before starting therapy.

What is Aripiprazole?

Aripiprazole is an atypical antipsychotic medication that is used to treat a range of mental illnesses, including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and depression.

It works by blocking certain neurotransmitters in the brain, which can help alleviate symptoms of these conditions.

Aripiprazole is available in various forms, including tablets, oral solutions, and injectable solutions.

How does Aripiprazole help with delusional infestation?

Even though aripiprazole is not officially approved to treat delusional infestation, it has been shown to help with the symptoms of the condition.

In particular, aripiprazole can help people with delusional infestation have less intense and less frequent delusions and hallucinations.

Dosages of Aripiprazole for delusional infestation

The doses of aripiprazole used to treat delusional infestation are based on the advice of experts and may change depending on how the person responds and how well they can handle it.

Usually, the first dose is 2 mg once a day. This dose can be slowly increased by 2 mg every two weeks. The highest dose of delusional infestation is 12 mg per day, but some people may need up to 30 mg per day to get the best results.

After getting a good response, it’s best to keep the same dose for at least 1 to 3 months before trying to lower it or stop taking it altogether.

Side effects of Aripiprazole

As with any medication, aripiprazole can cause side effects. Some of the most common side effects of aripiprazole include:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Agitation

In rare cases, aripiprazole can cause more serious side effects, such as:

  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), which is a potentially life-threatening reaction to antipsychotic medication
  • Tardive dyskinesia, which is a movement disorder that can occur after long-term use of antipsychotic medication
  • Stroke in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis

It is important to speak with a healthcare provider about any potential side effects of aripiprazole before starting treatment.

Other considerations for Aripiprazole use

In addition to the dosages and side effects, there are other important considerations to keep in mind when using aripiprazole for the treatment of delusional infestation.

For example, aripiprazole may interact with other medications, including over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements.

Before starting treatment with aripiprazole, it is important to tell a doctor or nurse about all other medications and supplements that are being taken.

Additionally, aripiprazole should not be stopped suddenly, as this can cause withdrawal symptoms.

Instead, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider about tapering the medication slowly to reduce the risk of withdrawal symptoms.

Potential side effects of Aripiprazole

Like all medications, aripiprazole carries the risk of side effects. Most people have nausea, dizziness, trouble sleeping, and akathisia, which is a feeling of restlessness or an inability to sit still.

But more serious side effects can happen, such as tardive dyskinesia (uncontrollable movements), neuroleptic malignant syndrome (a reaction to antipsychotic drugs that can be life-threatening), and metabolic changes that can make diabetes and heart disease more likely.

Conclusion

Delusional infestation can be a debilitating illness that has a big effect on the quality of life of a patient. Even though there aren’t many ways to treat this disorder, there is evidence that aripiprazole may be helpful for some people.

If you or a loved one is struggling with delusional infestation, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider about potential treatment options, including aripiprazole.

Remember to talk to your doctor before starting or stopping any medication, and if you have any side effects that worry you, tell your doctor right away.

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Morgan
Author: Morgan

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