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Let's Talk about Long-Acting Injections

Did I take my medicine this morning?? This is a familiar question that many of us ask ourselves daily. Or maybe you find yourself frequently asking a loved one if they have remembered their medication? All of us struggle at one time or another in our busy lives to remember such a tiny task.

What if it is a medication for a severe mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar? The stabilizing and treatment efficacy decreases with every missed dose and can lead to relapse or crisis.

But there has been a breakthrough for many of those with a severe mental illness taking antipsychotics! Many common formulations of antipsychotics such as Haldol, Invega, Zyprexa, Risperdal, and Abilify have now developed their medications into a long-acting injection!

Instead of taking a dose of medication daily, these are injections given by your providers that can remain effective anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months! Here is a summary of the options, their parent drug, and their length of time between injections:

• Haloperidol decanoate (haloperidol) – 3 to 4 weeks

• Abilify Maintenna (aripiprazole) – 4 weeks

• Aristada (aripiprazole lauroxil) – 4-8 weeks

• Zyprexa Relprevv (olanzapine) – 2 to 4 weeks

• Invega Sustenna (paliperidone) – 4 weeks

• Invega Trinza (paliperidone) – 3 months

• Risperdal Consta (risperidone) – 2 weeks

If one of the parent medications (such as: haldol, aripiprazole, or risperidone) have been beneficial to you or your loved one, ask your provider about trying the long-acting injection formulation! These options can help reduce the daily stress of medication compliance while treating the signs and symptoms of severe mental illness!

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