Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Abilify

(Aripiprazole)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Injection
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Helps control your thoughts and mood.

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Our bottom line

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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Upsides

  • 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.
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Downsides

  • 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.

What to expect when you take Abilify (Aripiprazole) for Schizophrenia

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Side effect rates for Abilify (Aripiprazole)

From clinical trials of Abilify / Bipolar I disorder (mania)
  • Headache
  • Agitation
  • Sleep difficulty
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Restlessness
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Restlessness

Risks and Warnings for Abilify (Aripiprazole)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Elderly patients with dementia

    Older patients with dementia-related psychosis have a higher risk of death when treated with antipsychotic medications. Abilify (Aripiprazole) is not approved to treat dementia-related psychosis.

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Common concerns from people taking Abilify (Aripiprazole)

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Pregnancy
Alcohol
  • I found taking it in the late afternoon helps better than before bed. Also try your best to avoid alcohol, weed (or harder drugs) and cigarettes - from personal experience it all messes with your brain and make it less effective.
Sleep
  • Caused me excessive tiredness. But effective for controlling thoughts and mood. No appetite change, and no ortho static hypotension unlike Seroquel/Quetiapine, Risperdal/Risperidone
  • It made me sleepy during the day, I think, due to blood sugar fluctuations. I would recommend being aware of the amount of sugar/simple carbs you eat. Fiber is a good thing, too--high fiber foods can help.
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.
  • My brain felt great, but my body did not - experienced weight gain and severe constipation.
  • Came off Olanzapine due to long term issues with weight gain. I certainly didn't feel hungry on Aripiprazole but I felt manic, couldn't sleep properly and symptoms of anxiety and paranoia came back.
  • Rapid weight gain. So not worth it.