Compare chlorpromazine vs. Abilify

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

Thorazine
(chlorpromazine)

Abilify
(aripiprazole)

Stabilizes your mood. Thorazine (chlorpromazine) has more side effects than other medicines like it. It is most useful during psychotic episodes because it slows you down quickly.Helps control your thoughts and mood. Abilify (aripiprazole) is good for treating psychosis and mania, and can help with depression. It's less likely to cause side effects than other antipsychotics.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Thorazine (chlorpromazine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Abilify
44%
-44% worse vs. chlorpromazine
40%
-40% worse vs. chlorpromazine
34%
+34% better vs. chlorpromazine
252 reviews
Have you used Abilify (aripiprazole)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
chlorpromazineAbilify

The chlorpromazine FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about chlorpromazine side effects »
  • Sleepiness 20%
  • Difficulty controlling movements 17%
  • Fatigue 7%
  • Nausea 7%
  • Restlessness 8%
  • Blurred vision 8%
  • Excess drooling 6%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Extreme restlessness 21%
  • Insomnia 6%
More Abilify side effects »
How it works
chlorpromazineAbilify
Thorazine (chlorpromazine) is a derivative of phenothiazine, which regulates dopamine levels in your brain to improve your mood.Abilify (aripiprazole) is an atypical antipsychotic. It stabilizes dopamine and serotonin levels in your brain to help control your thoughts and affect mood.
Type of medication
chlorpromazineAbilify
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
chlorpromazineAbilify
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Injection
Used for
chlorpromazineAbilify
Risk factors for serious side effects
chlorpromazineAbilify
  • People over 65 with dementia and psychosis
  • Taking antipsychotic medications
  • Asthma
  • COPD
  • Acute respiratory infections
Detailed Thorazine (chlorpromazine) risks & warnings »
  • Elderly patients with dementia
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Use of antidepressant medications
  • People with diabetes
  • People with high cholesterol
Detailed Abilify (aripiprazole) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

Alcohol
chlorpromazineAbilify
  • Don't combine with alcohol or narcotics because it can cause you to stop breathing.
No alcohol related info.
Sleep
chlorpromazineAbilify
  • Can make you very sleepy so don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how it affects you.
No sleep related info.
Weight
chlorpromazineAbilify
No weight related info.
  • Abilify (aripiprazole) can make you gain weight, which can also increase your blood sugar and cholesterol. If you're at risk for diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholestetrol, talk to your doctor how to lower your risk.
Upsides and benefits
chlorpromazineAbilify
  • Acts fast to slow you down during a psychotic episode.
  • Can also be used for nausea or migraines.
  • Safe for use in children as young as 6 months.
  • Comes in a sugar-coated pill for easy administration.
  • Effective at relieving psychotic symptoms and manic episodes.
  • More energizing than other antipsychotics.
  • Fewer side effects than other 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.
Downsides and risks
chlorpromazineAbilify
  • Has more side effects than other medicines like it.
  • Can affect how your other medicines work.
  • Makes you more sensitive to the sun.
  • Can make you dizzy or lightheaded, especially when injected.
  • Cannot be stopped right away.
  • Mild risk of extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS), a movement disorder that includes stiffness, tremor, restlessness, and slow, repetitive, or involuntary movements.
  • 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 the one that works for you and that you can tolerate.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
chlorpromazineAbilify
  • Can make you very sleepy so don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how it affects you.
  • Can cause involuntary muscle movements just like other medicines for your mood.
  • Can dry you out and make you more sensitive to the sun.
  • Don't combine with alcohol or narcotics because it can cause you to stop breathing.
  • Cannot be stopped suddenly.
  • Takes 4 to 6 weeks to see full effects on thoughts and mood.
  • Makes you energized. Take in the morning to avoid difficulty sleeping.
  • For the first week, avoid activities that require you to be alert.
  • May increase cholesterol or blood sugar.
  • Report any unusual thoughts, inability to control muscle movements, or fever and excess sweating to your doctor.
  • Available in pills that you take daily, and as a monthly injection.
Learn more
More about chlorpromazineSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Thorazine (chlorpromazine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about AbilifySide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Abilify (aripiprazole)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it