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Long-acting injectables (LAIs) are Injectable medications used for individuals living with mental illness.1, 2 LAIs are usually the same medication that is taken in pill form but when injected they allow for the slow release of medication into the blood over a longer period of time.1,2 LAIAs include: Abilify Maintena®, Aristada®,fluphenazine decanoate, Haldol decanoate®, Invega Sustenna®, Invega Trinza®, Invega Hafyera®, Risperdal Consta®, Perseris®, and Zyprexa Relprevv®. The LAI can last anywhere from 2-24 weeks with just one dose, which helps to control symptoms of mental illness.
LAIs are usually given to treat psychosis (hallucinations or delusions) in individuals living with schizophrenia.1-3 Some LAIs may be used as mood stabilizers in individuals living with bipolar disorder.5
LAIs can help individuals stay on track with a medication plan.1-4 If someone is having trouble sticking to a plan, many things may happen. One problem could be needing to stay in a hospital until the illness is better.1-4 Other problems may include trouble with family and friends or other relationships.
When comparing LAIs to pill medications, LAIs may lower the chances of someone going to the hospital.1-3 LAIs allow for a steady level of medication in the blood.2-3 These steady levels help lower the chance of side effects.2-3 The LAIs may also help improve quality of life and satisfaction with medication.3
LAIs are given as an injection in the muscles of the arm or bottom.1,4 When starting a LAI for the first time, individuals may also have to take pill medication for a few weeks.1,3 The pill allows the injection to have time to start working.3
If interested in a LAI, talk to a doctor. A LAI may not be right for every person living with mental illness. The main side effect of a LAI is pain at the injection site.1-3
When talking to a doctor, here are some questions to ask:4
Reasons individuals have trouble taking pill medications as directed:2
Advantages of LAIs:1-4
Kayla Johnson, PharmD, BCPP, January 2018
To view the references for this resource, please visit https://aapp.org/resource/patients/lai.
©2022 The American Association of Psychiatric Pharmacists (AAPP). AAPP makes this document available under the Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivatives 4.0 International License. Last Updated: January 2016.
This information is being provided as a community outreach effort of the American Association of Psychiatric Pharmacists. This information is for educational and informational purposes only and is not medical advice. This information contains a summary of important points and is not an exhaustive review of information about the topic. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified medical professional with any questions you may have regarding medications or medical conditions. Never delay seeking professional medical advice or disregard medical professional advice as a result of any information provided herein. The American Association of Psychiatric Pharmacists disclaims any and all liability alleged as a result of the information provided herein.