Alec’s Dream

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Real people, real stories.

Alec’s Dream

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This is Alec’s story. He is living with bipolar I disorder and is currently taking VRAYLAR. His experience may not be representative of all patients.

VRAYLAR is approved for depressive, and acute manic or mixed episodes of bipolar I in adults.

Please see Important Safety Information, including Boxed Warnings, throughout this video.

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Husband and father

VRAYLAR patient. Results may vary.


Hi, my name is Alec. I was diagnosed with bipolar I 24 years ago and I take VRAYLAR.

I would love to be an advocate. I would love to speak for the people that have gone through the things that I’ve gone through and have illnesses similar to mine. A dream of mine would be to help others, not just people that suffer from illnesses like mine, but the supporters of people that have illnesses.

There were so many unanswered questions, and I wish that there had been more people to help my family understand what was happening to me, just as much as my doctors and physicians.

You can’t be afraid of treatment and you can’t be afraid of a diagnosis because of what you think your journey might be. With VRAYLAR, my bipolar I symptoms are improving.

I was really excited that I had found a medicine like VRAYLAR that reduces both my depressive and manic symptoms.

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VRAYLAR effectively treats bipolar I depression and short-term manic or mixed episodes that happen with bipolar I disorder in adults.


Getting started on VRAYLAR was pretty easy and straightforward. I take it once a day with or without food.

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VRAYLAR is not approved in elderly patients with dementia or for people under 18. Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis have an increased risk of death or stroke. Call your doctor about unusual changes in behavior or suicidal thoughts. Antidepressants can increase these in children and young adults.

Report fever, stiff muscles, or confusion, which may mean a life threatening reaction, or uncontrollable muscle movements which may be permanent.

Metabolic changes such as high cholesterol, high blood sugar, and weight gain, may occur. Extremely high blood sugar can lead to coma or death.


VRAYLAR has given me hope that my bipolar I symptoms can be managed and improved. Find something in your life that’ll motivate you to keep pushing forward, because you are greater than your bipolar I.

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You are greater than your bipolar I.
Ask about
(cariprazine) capsules
1.5mg ᐧ 3mg ᐧ 4.5mg ᐧ 6mg

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What is the most important information I should know about VRAYLAR?

Elderly people with dementia-related psychosis (having lost touch with reality due to confusion and memory loss) taking medicines like VRAYLAR are at an increased risk of death. VRAYLAR is not approved for treating patients with dementia-related psychosis.

Antidepressants may increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some children and young adults within the first few months of treatment and when the dose is changed. Depression and other serious mental illnesses are the most important causes of suicidal thoughts and actions. Patients on antidepressants and their families or caregivers should watch for new or worsening depression symptoms, especially sudden changes in mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings. This is very important when an antidepressant is started or when the dose is changed. Report any change in these symptoms immediately to the doctor.

VRAYLAR may cause serious side effects, including:

  • Stroke (cerebrovascular problems) in elderly people with dementia-related psychosis that can lead to death
  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS): Call your healthcare provider or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away if you have high fever, stiff muscles, confusion, increased sweating, or changes in breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure. These can be symptoms of a rare but potentially fatal side effect called NMS. VRAYLAR should be stopped if you have NMS
  • Uncontrolled body movements (tardive dyskinesia or TD): VRAYLAR may cause movements that you cannot control in your face, tongue, or other body parts. Tardive dyskinesia may not go away, even if you stop taking VRAYLAR. Tardive dyskinesia may also start after you stop taking VRAYLAR
  • Late-occurring side effects: VRAYLAR stays in your body for a long time. Some side effects may not happen right away and can start a few weeks after starting VRAYLAR, or if your dose increases. Your healthcare provider should monitor you for side effects for several weeks after starting or increasing dose of VRAYLAR
  • Problems with your metabolism, such as:
  • High blood sugar and diabetes: Increases in blood sugar can happen in some people who take VRAYLAR. Extremely high blood sugar can lead to coma or death. Your healthcare provider should check your blood sugar before or soon after starting VRAYLAR and regularly during treatment. Tell your healthcare provider if you have symptoms such as feeling very thirsty, very hungry, or sick to your stomach, urinating more than usual, feeling weak, tired, confused, or your breath smells fruity
  • Increased fat levels (cholesterol and triglycerides) in your blood: Your healthcare provider should check fat levels in your blood before or soon after starting VRAYLAR and during treatment
  • Weight gain: Weight gain has been reported with VRAYLAR. You and your healthcare provider should check your weight before and regularly during treatment
  • Low white blood cell count: Low white blood cell counts have been reported with antipsychotic drugs, including VRAYLAR. This may increase your risk of infection. Very low white blood cell counts, which can be fatal, have been reported with other antipsychotics. Your healthcare provider may do blood tests during the first few months of treatment with VRAYLAR
  • Decreased blood pressure (orthostatic hypotension): You may feel lightheaded or faint when you rise too quickly from a sitting or lying position
  • Falls: VRAYLAR may make you sleepy or dizzy, may cause a decrease in blood pressure when changing position (orthostatic hypotension), and can slow thinking and motor skills, which may lead to falls that can cause fractures or other injuries
  • Seizures (convulsions)
  • Impaired judgment, thinking, and motor skills: Do NOT drive, operate machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how VRAYLAR affects you. VRAYLAR may make you drowsy
  • Increased body temperature: Do not become too hot or dehydrated during VRAYLAR treatment. Do not exercise too much. In hot weather, stay inside in a cool place if possible. Stay out of the sun. Do not wear too much clothing or heavy clothing. Drink plenty of water
  • Difficulty swallowing that can cause food or liquid to get into your lungs

Who should not take VRAYLAR?

Do not take VRAYLAR if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Get emergency medical help if you are having an allergic reaction (eg, rash, itching, hives, swelling of the tongue, lip, face or throat).

What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking VRAYLAR?

Tell your healthcare provider about any medical conditions and if you:

  • have or have had heart problems or a stroke
  • have or have had low or high blood pressure
  • have or have had diabetes or high blood sugar in you or your family
  • have or have had high levels of total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, or triglycerides; or low levels of HDL-cholesterol
  • have or have had seizures (convulsions)
  • have or have had kidney or liver problems
  • have or have had low white blood cell count
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. VRAYLAR may harm your unborn baby. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risk to your unborn baby if you take VRAYLAR during pregnancy. If you become pregnant or think you are pregnant during treatment, talk to your healthcare provider about registering with the National Pregnancy Registry for Atypical Antipsychotics at 1-866-961-2388 or
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if VRAYLAR passes into breast milk. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby during treatment with VRAYLAR

Tell your healthcare provider about all medicines that you take, including prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and supplements. VRAYLAR may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how VRAYLAR works. Do not start or stop any medicines while taking VRAYLAR without talking to your healthcare provider.

What are the most common side effects of VRAYLAR?

  • The most common side effects were difficulty moving or slow movements, tremors, uncontrolled body movements, restlessness and feeling like you need to move around, sleepiness, nausea, vomiting, and indigestion.

These are not all possible side effects of VRAYLAR.


VRAYLAR is approved in adults to treat depressive episodes that happen with bipolar I disorder (bipolar depression) and for the short-term (acute) treatment of manic or mixed episodes that happen with bipolar I disorder.

Please see the full Prescribing Information, including Boxed Warnings, and Medication Guide.


…for more information. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA.


Visit, or, call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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