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Abilify MyCite

Aripiprazole tablets with sensor

Abilify Mycite digital pill


Class: Second-generation antipsychotic (SGA)

Year of release: 2018

Cost: $1,700 / mo

Available strengths: 2, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 mg

Abilify aripiprazole MyCite visual mnemonic Jason Cafer MD

FDA-approved for:

❖ Schizophrenia

❖ Bipolar I disorder

❖ Depression (adjunct)

Abilify MyCite, the first “digital pill”, is a drug-device combination of aripiprazole tablets embedded with an Ingestible Event Marker (IEM) sensor intended to track drug ingestion.

Abilify aripiprazole MyCite visual mnemonic Cafer's Psychopharmacology  Jason Cafer MD

The pills: Each Abilify MyCite tablet contains a 1-millimeter IEM sensor. Upon contact with gastric fluid, magnesium and cuprous chloride within the IEM react to power the tiny device. When activated, the IEM emits a radio wave.

The patch: The MyCite patch is a wearable sensor that detects radio waves from the IEM. The patch contains a pod within an adhesive strip. The pod communicates with the MyCite phone app via Bluetooth®. The patch is placed near the stomach, on the left side of the torso just above the lower edge of the rib cage. The patch is to be changed weekly and should not be placed on skin overlapping the area of the most recently removed patch. 12% of patients experienced skin rashes localized at the site of patch.

The smartphone app: Data can be viewed by the patient and shared with caregivers to view on a web-based portal. The MyCite app indicates whether the patch is functional and instructs when to replace it. The app also monitors the patient’s sleep, physical activity, and self-reported mood.

Although most ingestions will be detected within 30 minutes, it may take up to two hours. Occasionally ingestion may not be detected.

MyCite has not been proven to improve patient compliance. Digital pills may prove useful but it is disappointing that this technology is paired with a medication that is already available in long-acting injectable (LAI) formulation.

Another digital pill debuted in 2019 for the chemotherapy drug capecitabine (Xeloda). To bypass the FDA approval process, sensor capsules are packaged separately from the drug and assembled by the pharmacist.

Dosing: Same as for generic aripiprazole. Administer once daily without regard to meals. Obviously do not crush or chew. If ingestion of the tablet is not detected, do not repeat the dose.

For more info on aripiprazole (ABILIFY) check out Cafer's Psychopharmacology: Visualize to Memorize 270 Medication Mascots.

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