Compare Risperdal vs. Abilify

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

Risperdal
(Risperidone)

Abilify
(Aripiprazole)

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.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.
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Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.53Risperdal
Reviews for Risperdal (Risperidone)
42%
of people (All ages) say Risperdal (Risperidone) is worth it
47%
say it works well
49%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Risperdal (Risperidone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Abilify (Aripiprazole)
44%
+2% better vs. Risperdal (Risperidone)
40%
-7% worse vs. Risperdal (Risperidone)
34%
+15% better vs. Risperdal (Risperidone)
252 reviews
Have you used Abilify (Aripiprazole)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
RisperdalAbilify
  • Parkinsonism 16%
  • Relaxation or sleepiness 7%
  • Restlessness 6%
  • Tremor 3%
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Nausea 3%
  • Muscle twitching 4%
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Excessive saliva 2%
  • Vision blurred 1%
More Risperdal side effects »
  • Headache 4%
  • Agitation 2%
  • Sleep difficulty 5%
  • Anxiety 4%
  • Nausea 4%
  • Restlessness 9%
  • Constipation 4%
  • Vomiting 5%
  • Dizziness 3%
  • Indigestion 2%
More Abilify side effects »
How it works
RisperdalAbilify
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.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.
Type of medication
RisperdalAbilify
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
RisperdalAbilify
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Injection
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Injection
Used for
RisperdalAbilify
Risk factors for serious side effects
RisperdalAbilify
  • 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 »
          • 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 »
                  Pregnancy

                  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.

                  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.

                  Food
                  RisperdalAbilify
                  • 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.
                  No food related info.
                  Sleep
                  RisperdalAbilify
                  • Can cause dizziness and drowsiness.
                  No sleep related info.
                  Weight
                  RisperdalAbilify
                  • 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.
                  • 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.
                  Upsides and benefits
                  RisperdalAbilify
                  • 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.
                  • 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.
                  Downsides and risks
                  RisperdalAbilify
                  • 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.
                  • 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.
                  Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
                  RisperdalAbilify
                  • Takes 4 to 6 weeks to see full effects on thoughts and mood.
                  • Can cause dizziness and drowsiness.
                  • For the first week, avoid activities that require you to be alert.
                  • May cause weight gain and worsen cholesterol or blood sugar.
                  • 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.
                  • 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 worsen cholesterol or blood sugar.
                  • 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 RisperdalSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
                  Have you used Risperdal (Risperidone)?
                  Worth itNot sureNot worth it
                  More about AbilifySide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
                  Have you used Abilify (Aripiprazole)?
                  Worth itNot sureNot worth it