Compare Lithium vs. Abilify

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

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Lithobid (Lithium)

Prescription only

Abilify (aripiprazole)

Prescription only
Stabilizes mood.

Lithobid (Lithium) is the most effective long-term treatment for bipolar disorder, but it comes with a lot of side effects, so it can be difficult to take.

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.

3.2/ 5 average rating with 252 reviewsforAbilify
Upsides
  • A first-line, long-term treatment for bipolar disorder. Effective at stabilizing mood and preventing relapse.
  • For manic episodes (acute mania), more effective when taken together with an antipsychotic medicine.
  • The only drug proven (so far) to lower the risk of suicide, possibly because it lowers aggressiveness and impulsivity.
  • 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
  • Has many short- and long-term side effects.
  • The dose for it to work well is very close to the amount that causes overdose, so you have to be careful, watch out for symptoms, and get help immediately if you accidentally take too much.
  • Probably not safe if you have kidney problems.
  • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
  • Requires routine blood tests to see how the medicine is affecting your body.
  • 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.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Injection
Price
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Reviews
Not enough review data.Leave a review
252 reviews so far
44%
saidit'sworth it
40%
saiditworked well
34%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Abilify (aripiprazole)?

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Side effects
The Lithobid (Lithium) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
4possible side effects
  • Restlessness
    13%
  • Sedation
    8%
  • Tremor
    6%
  • Difficulty controlling movements
    5%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Overdose
    • Low sodium
    • Dehydration
    • Drug interactions (diuretics, ACE inhibitors, NSAIDs like ibuprofen)
  • Pregnancy
  • Driving impairment
    • Alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Reduced kidney function
    • Long-term use
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Increased risk of death
    • Elderly patients with dementia
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • Age 24 years or younger
    • Use of antidepressant medications
  • Shaking and restlessness
  • Increased blood sugar and cholesterol, and weight gain
    • People with diabetes
    • People with high cholesterol
  • Driving impairment
    • Alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Low blood pressure
See more detailed risks and warnings