Allergan Announces U.S. Availability of VRAYLAR™ (cariprazine) for Treatment of Bipolar Mania and Schizophrenia in Adults

Mar 16, 2016, 08:00 ET from Allergan plc

DUBLIN, March 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN), a leading global pharmaceutical company, announced today that VRAYLAR (cariprazine), a once-daily oral atypical antipsychotic, is now available by prescription in pharmacies throughout the U.S. VRAYLAR was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in September 2015 for the treatment of acute manic or mixed episodes of bipolar I disorder and schizophrenia in adults.

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"We are excited that VRAYLAR is now available to the millions of people living with bipolar I disorder and schizophrenia," said David Nicholson, President and EVP, Global R&D at Allergan. "This launch reinforces Allergan's rich heritage in mental health and our ongoing commitment to developing treatment options that address unmet needs for people who are affected by these serious conditions."

Bipolar I disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, and schizophrenia are among the most challenging mental health disorders to manage, and together affect approximately 8.5 million adults in the United States. Treatment for both illnesses is often complicated by high rates of relapse and a high degree of variability in disease course and severity, as well as patient symptoms and response to treatment.

"The important differences in how patients with bipolar I disorder and schizophrenia respond to treatment underscore the need for more treatment options for these serious illnesses ," said Gary Sachs, MD, Founding Director of the Bipolar Clinic and Research Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical school. "The availability of VRAYLAR gives physicians access to a new treatment option that I think will be appealing to patients who are living with these often devastating conditions."

The safety and efficacy of VRAYLAR was studied in a clinical trial program which included more than 2,700 adult patients suffering from schizophrenia or bipolar mania. VRAYLAR will be commercially available in 30 count bottles in 1.5mg, 3mg, 4.5mg and 6mg and a 7 count mixed blister pack (one 1.5mg and six 3mg tablets). 

About VRAYLAR (cariprazine)

VRAYLAR is an oral, once daily atypical antipsychotic approved for the acute treatment of adult patients with manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder, with a recommended dose range of 3 to 6 mg/day and for the treatment of schizophrenia in adults, with a recommended dose range of 1.5 to 6 mg/day.

While the mechanism of action of VRAYLAR in schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder is unknown, the efficacy of VRAYLAR could be mediated through a combination of partial agonist activity at central dopamine D₂ and serotonin 5-HT1A receptors and antagonist activity at serotonin 5-HT2A receptors.

Pharmacodynamic studies with VRAYLAR have shown that it acts as a partial agonist at dopamine D3, dopamine D2, and serotonin 5-HT1A receptors with high binding affinity. VRAYLAR demonstrated up to ~8-fold greater in vitro affinity for dopamine D3 vs D2 receptors. VRAYLAR also acts as an antagonist at serotonin 5-HT2B and 5-HT2A receptors with high and moderate binding affinity, respectively as well as it binds to the histamine H1 receptors. VRAYLAR shows lower binding affinity to the serotonin 5-HT2C and α1A- adrenergic receptors and has no appreciable affinity for cholinergic muscarinic receptors. The clinical significance of these in vitro data is unknown.

VRAYLAR was discovered and co-developed by Gedeon Richter Plc and is licensed to Actavis, now Allergan, in the U.S. and Canada.

Cariprazine is also being investigated for the treatment of bipolar depression, the negative symptoms of schizophrenia, and as adjunctive treatment for major depressive disorder in adults.

Visit for more information on this once daily option for the acute treatment of manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder and for the treatment of schizophrenia in adults.



Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death. VRAYLAR is not approved for treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis.

Contraindication: VRAYLAR is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity. Reactions have included rash, pruritus, urticaria, and events suggestive of angioedema.

Cerebrovascular Adverse Reactions, Including Stroke: In clinical trials with antipsychotic drugs, elderly subjects with dementia had a higher incidence of cerebrovascular adverse reactions, including fatalities vs placebo. VRAYLAR is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis.

Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS): NMS, a potentially fatal symptom complex, has been reported with antipsychotics drugs. NMS may cause hyperpyrexia, muscle rigidity, delirium, and autonomic instability. Additional signs may include elevated creatine phosphokinase, myoglobinuria (rhabdomyolysis), and acute renal failure.  Manage with immediate discontinuation, intensive symptomatic treatment, and monitoring.

Tardive Dyskinesia (TD): Risk of developing TD (a syndrome of potentially irreversible, involuntary, dyskinetic movements) and the likelihood it will become irreversible may increase with the duration of treatment and the cumulative dose. The syndrome can develop after a relatively brief treatment period, even at low doses, or after treatment discontinuation. If signs and symptoms of TD appear, drug discontinuation should be considered.

Late-Occurring Adverse Reactions: Adverse events may first appear several weeks after initiation of VRAYLAR, probably because plasma levels of cariprazine and its major metabolites accumulate over time. As a result, the incidence of adverse reactions in short-term trials may not reflect the rates after longer term exposures. Monitor for adverse reactions, including extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS) or akathisia, and patient response for several weeks after starting VRAYLAR and after each dosage increase. Consider reducing the dose or discontinuing the drug.

Metabolic Changes: Atypical antipsychotics have caused metabolic changes, such as:

  • Hyperglycemia and Diabetes Mellitus: Hyperglycemia, in some cases associated with ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar coma, or death, has been reported in patients treated with atypical antipsychotics. Assess fasting glucose before or soon after initiation of treatment, and monitor periodically during long-term treatment.
  • Dyslipidemia: Atypical antipsychotics cause adverse alterations in lipids. Before or soon after starting an antipsychotic, obtain baseline fasting lipid profile and monitor periodically during treatment.
  • Weight Gain: Weight gain has been observed with VRAYLAR. Monitor weight at baseline and frequently thereafter.

Leukopenia, Neutropenia, and Agranulocytosis: Leukopenia/neutropenia have been reported with antipsychotics, including VRAYLAR. Agranulocytosis (including fatal cases) has been reported with other antipsychotics. Monitor complete blood count in patients with pre-existing low white blood cell count (WBC)/absolute neutrophil count or history of drug-induced leukopenia/neutropenia. Discontinue VRAYLAR at the first sign of a clinically significant decline in WBC and in severely neutropenic patients.

Orthostatic Hypotension and Syncope: Atypical antipsychotics cause orthostatic hypotension and syncope, with the greatest risk during initial titration and with dose increases. Monitor orthostatic vital signs in patients predisposed to hypotension and in those with cardiovascular/cerebrovascular diseases.

Seizures: Use VRAYLAR with caution in patients with history of seizures or with conditions that lower the seizure threshold.

Potential for Cognitive and Motor Impairment: Somnolence was reported with VRAYLAR. Caution patients about performing activities requiring mental alertness (eg, operating hazardous machinery or a motor vehicle).

Body Temperature Dysregulation: Use VRAYLAR with caution in patients who may experience conditions that increase body temperature (eg, strenuous exercise, extreme heat, dehydration, or concomitant anticholinergics).

Dysphagia: Esophageal dysmotility and aspiration have been associated with antipsychotics. Antipsychotic drugs, including VRAYLAR, should be used cautiously in patients at risk for aspiration.

Drug Interactions: Strong CYP3A4 inhibitors increase VRAYLAR concentrations, so VRAYLAR dose reduction is recommended. Concomitant use with CYP3A4 inducers is not recommended.

Adverse Reactions: In clinical trials, the most common adverse reactions (≥5% and at least twice the rate of placebo) are listed below:

  • Schizophrenia: The incidences within the recommended dose range (VRAYLAR 1.5 – 3 mg/day and 4.5 – 6 mg/day vs placebo) were: EPS (15%, 19% vs 8%) and akathisia (9%, 13% vs 4%)
  • Bipolar mania: The incidences within the recommended dose range (VRAYLAR 3 – 6 mg/day vs placebo) were: EPS (26% vs 12%), akathisia (20% vs 5%), dyspepsia (7% vs 4%), vomiting (10% vs 4%), somnolence (7% vs 4%), and restlessness (7% vs 2%)

Please also see full Prescribing Information, including Boxed Warning.

About Allergan

Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN), headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, is a unique, global pharmaceutical company and a leader in a new industry model – Growth Pharma. Allergan is focused on developing, manufacturing and commercializing innovative branded pharmaceuticals, high-quality generic and over-the-counter medicines and biologic products for patients around the world.

Allergan markets a portfolio of best-in-class products that provide valuable treatments for the central nervous system, eye care, medical aesthetics, gastroenterology, women's health, urology, cardiovascular and anti-infective therapeutic categories, and operates the world's third-largest global generics business, providing patients around the globe with increased access to affordable, high-quality medicines. Allergan is an industry leader in research and development, with one of the broadest development pipelines in the pharmaceutical industry and a leading position in the submission of generic product applications globally.

With commercial operations in approximately 100 countries, Allergan is committed to working with physicians, healthcare providers and patients to deliver innovative and meaningful treatments that help people around the world live longer, healthier lives.

For more information, visit Allergan's website at

Forward-Looking Statement

Statements contained in this press release that refer to future events or other non-historical facts are forward-looking statements that reflect Allergan's current perspective of existing trends and information as of the date of this release. Except as expressly required by law, Allergan disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially from Allergan's current expectations depending upon a number of factors affecting Allergan's business. These factors include, among others, the difficulty of predicting the timing or outcome of FDA approvals or actions, if any; the impact of competitive products and pricing; market acceptance of and continued demand for Allergan's products; difficulties or delays in manufacturing; and other risks and uncertainties detailed in Allergan's periodic public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to Allergan's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015 (certain of such periodic public filings having been filed under the "Actavis plc" name). Except as expressly required by law, Allergan disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.


Lisa DeFrancesco 
(862) 261-7152

Mark Marmur 
(862) 261-7558


SOURCE Allergan plc