Latest research on Aripiprazole

Aripiprazole is an atypical antipsychotic medication used for the treatment of schizophrenia. It has also recently received FDA approval for the treatment of acute manic and mixed episodes associated with bipolar disorder. Aripiprazole appears to mediate its antipsychotic effects primarily by partial agonism at the D2 receptor. In addition to partial agonist activity at the D2 receptor, aripiprazole is also a partial agonist at the 5-HT1A receptor, and like the other atypical antipsychotics, aripiprazole displays an antagonist profile at the 5-HT2A receptor. Aripiprazole has moderate affinity for histamine and alpha adrenergic receptors, and no appreciable affinity for cholinergic muscarinic receptors.

Aripiprazole and alcohol

These substances included Amphetamine (two cases), 3-methylmethcathinone (two cases), a metabolite of KETAMINE, alcohol, buprenorphine, and drugs such as benzodiazepines (Alprazolam, Diazepam, nordazepam, pyrazolam), Pregabalin, Gabapentin, Zopiclone, Mirtazapine, Paroxetine, Bupropion, and Aripiprazole. [source, 2015]
Acting on the dopaminergic/serotonergic systems, the efficacy of Aripiprazole in decreasing alcohol consumption, craving, and psychiatric symptom intensity has been shown. [source, 2015]
Voronin et al76 suggested that Aripiprazole improves impulse control by enhancing the function of frontal cortex in patients with alcohol dependence and suggest that Dopamine release induced by Aripiprazole might be associated with increased activation of anterior cingulate which may control cravings for alcohol and substances. [source, 2015]
In fact it has been shown that patients treated with Aripiprazole remained abstinent from any amount of alcohol for a longer time with respect to those treated with Naltrexone.77 [source, 2015]
Well-controlled clinical trials or naturalistic studies of the role of Aripiprazole augmentation for treating MDD patients with comorbid medical diseases are lacking, although some anecdotal data suggest that Aripiprazole may be beneficial in the treatment of eating disorders, nicotine/alcohol dependence, behavioral disturbances due to neuropsychiatric diseases (brain injury, epilepsy, etc), and neurological motor disease. [source, 2015]
Exclusion criteria included: i) inability to provide informed consent; ii) current substance abuse (including alcohol consumption); iii) other significant illnesses including severe cardiovascular, hepatic, or renal disease; iv) history of immunosuppression; v) current or recent radiation or chemotherapy treatment for cancer; vi) pregnancy or breastfeeding; vii) a history of serious adverse reactions to Aripiprazole or a history of tardive dyskinesia or neuroleptic malignant syndrome; viii) other conditions (e.g., Thyroid or gynecological diseases) that could affect serum prolactin levels. [source, 2015]
In the second open study, McRae-Clark et al. (2009) [14] investigated Aripiprazole as a treatment for patients that met the criteria for schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder and presented alcohol, Cocaine or marijuana abuse or dependence. [source, 2013]
For example, Aripiprazole (Semba et al., 1995; Burris et al., 2002; Shapiro et al., 2003) a partial DA agonist which in principle should antagonize DA when tone is high, whereas should increase DA transmission when basic tone is low, represents a proposed treatment for alcohol abuse disorders (Kenna et al., 2009). [source, 2011]
Human laboratory alcohol studies have shown that Aripiprazole reduces drinking (Kranzler et al., 2008), especially in the more impulsive alcoholic (Voronin et al., 2008). [source, 2011]
An fMRI study demonstrated that Aripiprazole significantly attenuates neural activity in the ventral striatum in response to alcohol cues (Myrick et al., 2010) thereby suggesting a therapeutic potential for cue-induced relapse. [source, 2011]