Does Vraylar (cariprazine) work?

I have schizoaffective (bipolar type) and I was recently hospitalized and put on Vraylar 3 mg. It seems to be working somewhat, but I still have been having episodes, though more mild for the most part except when I don’t get enough sleep, which happens a lot. The lack of sleep doesn’t seem to bother me. I go to bed very late and naturally wake up very early and have energy all day, and an increase of energy at night which is why I stay up so late. I even take sleeping pills, and that’s how I’m able to sleep at all, but I still wake up a few hours later and can’t fall back asleep. I never run out of fuel or get tired, which is good because I’m doing college and have a lot of work to do, but it seems to exacerbate the paranoia and delusions if I don’t get at least 8 hours of sleep a night.

I’d never heard of Vraylar before so I assume it’s a relatively new drug. They told me it should help with the delusions/paranoia and also with the mania/depression. So I was wondering if this drug even helps most people. I feel like it’s a placebo, but I do have this thing where I think every medication I take is a placebo and I’m unknowingly in an experiment. I’ve tried haldol, seroquel, abilify, zyprexa, geodon, none of them worked for me, some just made me sleep all the time, some did nothing, and one made me more psychotic.

Risperdal is the only one I’ve tried that has worked, and initially it made me manic, but eventually it made me tired all the time and not care about anything, plus it made me very hungry (like the munchies! god) so I gained weight despite exercising often, so I stopped taking it for several months, that’s why I ended up back in the hospital, and they decided to give me Vraylar instead of Risperdal, I assume that’s because doctors are paid to prescribe the newer medications over the older ones. Or maybe they’ve found it works better?

But anyway I’m ranting, my point was, does anyone take Vraylar and find it works for them? I’m still having delusions occasionally when something triggers them, and it’s very common for me to get paranoid, and I even heard voices today despite taking my meds last night. I’m just wondering if this drug even works for most people, if I need to give it more time (I’ve only been on it for about a week), if I need to have a higher dose, or if I should just go back on Risperdal and maybe also an antidepressant to help with the blahs. One thing I do like about Vraylar is that it doesn’t make me tired and unmotivated like most antipsychotics, but maybe that’s because it’s just not working.

I just want to find something that makes me not have to live in fear constantly, but also lets me be productive and live my life. Adderall/Vyvanse in small doses actually helps immensely with the paranoia (I do have ADHD as well) but because I have schizoaffective, the doctors don’t understand that it’s possible for it to help. They say it causes paranoia, but for me, it makes me think more logically and be able to reason through paranoia and delusions and realize they aren’t true. But no psychiatrist will accept that it’s possible for a stimulant to help someone like me.

But yeah, Vraylar- does it work?

Three years ago I switched from risperidone to Vraylar and became extremely psychotic.
I ended up going to the hospital for 5 weeks.
Involuntary commited.

Some medicines take up to 2 months to reach full effect, so I think you need to give it some time.
Also, doctors like to start people on low doses so they can get used to the drug before they increase the dose if it needs increasing, so if it helps somewhat but not enough, here’s always the possibility of having your dose raised.

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You should give it about 2 months to see what it’s like. A week is nothing. It’s still just building up in your system.

@everhopeful
Thanks guys, I had no idea it could take 2 months. Maybe that’s why I’m still having symptoms. The people at the hospital were acting like it should be taking effect immediately, and I wanted to get out, so I pretended it was good and decided to just make an appointment with my psychiatrist at some point.

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Yikes. That’s what happened when they made me switch from risperdal to geodon. Not fun!! Only I was already in the hospital, it just made me go batshit

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I saw the commercial for it. :fish::fish::fish:

I’m having a similar response from it. I’ve been taking it for many months now and I have tried different dosages. I’m feeling more comfortable with 3mg along with chlorpromazine.

I didn’t read your post, but vraylar is amazing for me. Took like 6 months to fully work.

I told my psychiatrist 3 mg wasn’t working and she said it should have been working by now but it could take up to 2 weeks. She went ahead and upped the dose to 4.5 and said we can scale back if it starts working. Might go back to Risperdal and just take a lot of caffeine pills if it doesn’t end up working. And while she found it odd that a stimulant would help with paranoia when for most people with those issues it makes it worse, she agreed to put me back on Vyvanse and see what happens. She’s the first psychiatrist who has ever actually listened to what I know about my own reactions to medications. I found a good one, finally.

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Hopefully it will work out for you. I’m glad you found a good doctor.