Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Gov't approves first-ever med with digital tracking system

Gov't approves first-ever med with digital tracking system

Forgetfulness and cloudy thinking can be symptoms of the mental health conditions that Abilify is approved to treat, and patients with mental illness are known to struggle to take medication consistently.

Abilify MyCite does outline some precautions when using it though stating that the smart pill should be not used to track drug ingestion in real-time or during an emergency as detection could be delayed.

The FDA said that being able to track ingestion of medicines prescribed for mental illness may be useful "for some patients", although the ability of the digital pill to improve patient compliance had not been proved.

This patch then transmits the information to a mobile app, so that a doctor and up to four caregivers, friends or family members can see the information through a web-based portal.

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And Otsuka is aware that Abilify MyCite is a more complicated product than the usual pill, and it'll be more hard to market, too.

Abilify MyCite was developed by Otsuka Pharmaceutical and is an updated version of the drug Abilify, which is used to treat schizophrenia, depression, and bipolar 1 disorder.

Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disorder.

Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsyhotic drugs, such as Abilify MyCite, are at an increased risk of death. Additionally, the medication has been associated with increased suicidal thoughts and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults taking antidepressants.

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Abilify MyCite's future isn't certain, however. The medication must also be dispensed with a patient Medication Guide with information about the drug's uses and risks.

In clinical trials establishing the efficacy of aripiprazole, the most common adverse events were nausea, vomiting, constipation, headache, dizziness, uncontrollable limb and body movements (akathisia), anxiety, insomnia, and restlessness.

Prior to initial patient use of the product, the patient's health care professional should facilitate use of the drug, patch, and app to ensure the patient is capable and willing to use the system. This first USA approval could bode well for other new products in the works, including sensor-embedded versions of generic blood pressure pill lisinopril and the standard diabetes drug metformin.

The FDA-approved pill, Abilify MyCite, consists of aripiprazole tablets, but with a sensor. Otsuka collaborated with Proteus Digital Health, the Silicon Valley company that designed the futuristic sensor technology.

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