Compare Abilify vs. Risperdal

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Abilify
(Aripiprazole)

Risperdal
(Risperidone)

Helps control your thoughts and mood. Abilify (Aripiprazole) is good for treating psychosis and mania, and can help with depression. Less likely to cause side effects than any other antipsychotic, but has a risk of suicidal thoughts for people age 24 and younger.Helps control your thoughts and mood. Risperdal (Risperidone) is good for treating psychosis, mania, and irritability. Among newer antipsychotic medicines, more likely to cause side effects, especially weight gain and hormone problems.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.150943396226415Abilify
Reviews for Abilify (Aripiprazole)
42%
of people say Abilify (Aripiprazole) is worth it
38%
say it works well
35%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Risperdal (Risperidone)
48%
+6% vs. Abilify (Aripiprazole)
41%
+3% vs. Abilify (Aripiprazole)
48%
13% vs. Abilify (Aripiprazole)
Side effects
AbilifyRisperdal
  • Drowsiness 20%
  • Extrapyramidal disorder 17%
  • Relaxation or sleepiness 17%
  • Fatigue 15%
  • Restlessness 9%
  • Fever 8%
  • Vomiting 7%
  • Decreased appetite 5%
  • Excessive saliva 5%
  • Sleep difficulty 5%
More Abilify side effects »
  • Relaxation or sleepiness 48%
  • Increased appetite 29%
  • Fatigue 22%
  • Parkinsonism 17%
  • Constipation 11%
  • Dizziness 11%
  • Abdominal pain upper 11%
  • Common cold 10%
  • Nausea 9%
  • Indigestion 8%
More Risperdal side effects »
How it works
AbilifyRisperdal
Abilify (Aripiprazole) is an atypical antipsychotic. Researchers don't know exactly how it works. It seems to change dopamine and serotonin activity in your brain, which affects thoughts and mood.Risperdal (Risperidone) is an atypical antipsychotic. Researchers don't know exactly how it works. It seems to change dopamine and serotonin activity in your brain, which affects thoughts and mood.
Type of medication
AbilifyRisperdal
Antipsychotic
Atypical
Prescription only
Antipsychotic
Atypical
Prescription only
Available as
AbilifyRisperdal
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Injection
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Injection
Used for (click to learn more)
AbilifyRisperdal
How well it works for depression
The free Iodine Start program helps people track how well they are improving, and find the right antidepressant faster.
The free Iodine Start program (personal reports and coaching) is currently only for antidepressants. For now, you can read our pharmacist info about this medication.Learn more about Abilify (Aripiprazole)The free Iodine Start program (personal reports and coaching) is currently only for antidepressants. For now, you can read our pharmacist info about this medication.Learn more about Risperdal (Risperidone)
Risk factors for serious side effects
AbilifyRisperdal
  • Elderly patients with dementia
  • Age 24 years or younger
      • History of heart problems
      • Drug interactions
        • People with diabetes
        • People with high cholesterol
        • People with diabetes
        • Alcohol
        • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
          • Phenylketonuria (PKU)
          Detailed Abilify (Aripiprazole) risks & warnings »
          • Elderly patients with dementia
              • History of heart problems
              • Drug interactions
                • People with diabetes
                • People with high cholesterol
                • People with diabetes
                • Alcohol
                • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
                  Detailed Risperdal (Risperidone) risks & warnings »
                  Pregnancy category
                  AbilifyRisperdal
                  CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

                  Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

                  See the FDA package insert
                  CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

                  Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

                  See the FDA package insert
                  Alcohol
                  No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
                  Food
                  • Abilify (Aripiprazole) can increase your blood sugar and cholesterol. However, Abilify (Aripiprazole) is the least likely to raise your blood sugar and cholesterol compared to other antipsychotic medications. Exercise and eat healthy food to lower your risk.
                  • Abilify (Aripiprazole) can cause you to gain weight. Abilify (Aripiprazole) is the least likely to cause weight gain compared to other antipsychotic medications. Exercise and eat healthy food to lower your risk.
                  • Risperdal (Risperidone) can increase your blood sugar and cholesterol. Exercise and eat healthy food to lower your risk.
                  • Risperdal (Risperidone) can cause you to gain weight. Exercise and eat healthy food to lower your risk.
                  Kidneys and liver
                  No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
                  Sex
                  No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
                  Sleep
                  • Makes you energized. Take in the morning to avoid difficulty sleeping.
                  • Can cause dizziness and drowsiness.
                  Weight
                  • Least likely antipsychotic to cause weight gain.
                  • Abilify (Aripiprazole) can cause you to gain weight. Abilify (Aripiprazole) is the least likely to cause weight gain compared to other antipsychotic medications. Exercise and eat healthy food to lower your risk.
                  • Moderate risk of weight gain and problems with cholesterol or blood sugar compared to other antipsychotics.
                  • May cause weight gain and worsen cholesterol or blood sugar.
                  • Risperdal (Risperidone) can cause you to gain weight. Exercise and eat healthy food to lower your risk.
                  Upsides and benefits
                  AbilifyRisperdal
                  • Effective at relieving psychotic symptoms and manic episodes. All antipsychotic medicines are about equally effective.
                  • More energizing than other antipsychotics.
                  • Fewer side effects than any other antipsychotics.
                  • Least likely antipsychotic to cause weight gain.
                  • Less likely to cause heart problems compared to some antipsychotics.
                  • Studies show that it can also be helpful for depression, especially in women, if your symptoms don't go away with an antidepressant alone.
                  • Available as a generic, which is cheaper.
                  • Effective at relieving psychotic symptoms, manic episodes, irritability, and aggressive behavior.
                  • Lowers relapse rates in people with schizophrenia and people with irritability associated with autism.
                  • Antipsychotic medicines are all about equally effective.
                  • Less likely to cause heart problems than some antipsychotics.
                  Downsides and risks
                  AbilifyRisperdal
                  • Mild risk of Extrapyramidal Symptoms (EPS): Movement disorders that include stiffness, tremor, restlessness, and slow, repetitive, or involuntary movements.
                  • Can cause higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people age 24 and younger.
                  • You might need routine blood tests to check how the medicine is affecting your body.
                  • All antipsychotics come with side effects that make them difficult to take. You might need to try a few different medicines until you find one that works for you and that you can tolerate.
                  • Mild to moderate risk of Extrapyramidal Symptoms (EPS): Movement disorders that include stiffness, tremor, restlessness, and slow, repetitive, or involuntary movements.
                  • Moderate risk of weight gain and problems with cholesterol or blood sugar compared to other antipsychotics.
                  • Compared to other antipsychotics, higher risk of hormone problems that cause nipples to leak and male breasts to grow abnormally large.
                  • You might need routine blood tests to check how the medicine is affecting your body.
                  • All antipsychotics come with side effects that make them difficult to take. You might need to try a few different medicines until you find one that works for you and that you can tolerate.
                  Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
                  AbilifyRisperdal
                  • Makes you energized. Take in the morning to avoid difficulty sleeping.
                  • May worsen cholesterol or blood sugar.
                  • Takes 4 to 6 weeks to see full effects on thoughts and mood.
                  • For the first week, avoid activities that require you to be alert.
                  • Report any unusual thoughts, inability to control muscle movements, or fever and excess sweating to your doctor.
                  • Elderly people with dementia shouldn't take it.
                  • Can cause dizziness and drowsiness.
                  • May cause weight gain and worsen cholesterol or blood sugar.
                  • Takes 4 to 6 weeks to see full effects on thoughts and mood.
                  • For the first week, avoid activities that require you to be alert.
                  • Report any unusual thoughts, inability to control muscle movements, or fever and excess sweating to your doctor.
                  • Elderly people with dementia shouldn't take it.
                  Learn more
                  More about AbilifySide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
                  More about RisperdalSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert