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. It's less likely to cause side effects than other antipsychotics.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.53Risperdal
Reviews for Risperdal
42%
of people (All ages) say Risperdal 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
44%
-2% worse vs. Risperdal
40%
+7% better vs. Risperdal
34%
-15% worse vs. Risperdal
252 reviews
Have you used Abilify (aripiprazole)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
RisperdalAbilify
  • Parkinsonism 16%
  • Sedation 7%
  • Akathisia 6%
  • Tremor 3%
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Nausea 3%
  • Dystonia 4%
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Salivary hypersecretion 2%
  • Vision blurred 1%
More Risperdal 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
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. It stabilizes dopamine and serotonin levels in your brain to help control your thoughts and affect mood.
Type of medication
RisperdalAbilify
Prescription onlyPrescription 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
Detailed Risperdal (risperidone) 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

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.
No food related info.
Sleep
RisperdalAbilify
  • Can cause dizziness and drowsiness.
No sleep related info.
Weight
RisperdalAbilify
  • Risperdal (Risperidone) can cause you to gain weight. Exercise and eat healthy food to lower your risk.
  • May cause weight gain and worsen cholesterol or blood sugar.
  • Moderate risk of weight gain and problems with cholesterol or blood sugar compared to other antipsychotics.
  • 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
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.
  • 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
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), 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
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 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 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