What is Abilify (aripiprazole)?
Abilify (aripiprazole) is a medication used to treat symptoms of mental health and mood disorders.
Abilify belongs to the drug class, atypical antipsychotics, or second-generation psychotics (SGA). Abilify works by stabilizing dopamine and serotonin in the brain to improve mood and behavior.
Abilify is not recommended:
- If you are allergic or have had an allergic reaction to Abilify (aripiprazole) or ingredients in Abilify
- For the treatment of dementia-related psychosis
- For patients under 13 years of age with schizophrenia
- For patients under 10 years of age with bipolar I disorder
- For patients under 6 years of age with irritability associated with autistic disorder
- For patients under 6 years of age with Tourette’s disorder
What are the Indications for Abilify?
Abilify in oral form is indicated for the treatment of
- Manic and mixed episodes associated with bipolar
- Major depressive disorder
- Irritability associated with autistic disorder
- Tourette’s disorder
Abilify in injection form is indicated for the treatment of agitation associated with schizophrenia or bipolar mania. Abilify may be prescribed for other indications not listed.
How is Abilify Used?
Abilify should be stored in the original container between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C). Abilify oral solution that has been opened can be used for up to 6 months unless it expires as indicated on the bottle.
Keep out of reach of children.
Take Abilify as directed, depending on the dosage form. If you miss a dose and it is not close to your next dose, take the missed dose as soon as possible. If it is close to your next dose, take your next dose only. Do not double the dose.
Do not change your dosage and take more than what is prescribed, or stop using Abilify without consulting with your doctor. If you took more than prescribed, contact your doctor or seek emergency medical care.
For tablet and solution form, take Abilify by mouth with or without food. Do not chew or break the tablet.
For orally disintegrating tablets (ODT), peel the foil on the blister pack to expose one tablet. Use dry hands to take the tablet out and immediately place it on your tongue. Do not split or break the ODT before placing it on your tongue. The ODT should dissolve quickly with saliva but can be taken with liquid if needed.
Before using Abilify, inspect the medication for any floating matters or discoloration. When ready, inject Abilify slowly into the muscle. Abilify should not be injected subcutaneously or intravenously.
Your doctor will determine your dosage based on your condition and the severity of your condition. Dosage for pediatric patients may be determined based on weight.
Abilify is available in different dosage forms and strengths:
- Tablet – 2 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, and 30 mg
- Orally disintegrating tablets (ODT) – 10 mg and 15 mg
- Oral solution – 1 mg/mL
- Injection – 9.75 mg/ 1.3 mL single-dose vial
It’s important to understand that although Abilify is FDA approved, it comes with side effects that may or may not affect you.
Before starting Abilify, you should discuss possible side effects with your doctor or pharmacist.
Common Side Effects
Not all side effects require medical attention. As your body adjusts to Abilify, side effects may go away. Tell your doctor if you experience the following symptoms, and they become severe or do not go away on their own.
Common side effects in adults
- Blurred vision
- Upper respiratory illness
- Restlessness/need to move (akathisia)
Common side effects in children
- Feeling sleepy
- Stuffy nose
- Weight gain
- Increased or decreased appetite
- Uncontrolled movement such as restlessness,
- Increased saliva or drooling
- Muscle stiffness
Serious Side Effects
Severe adverse reactions while taking Abilify may occur. Seek emergency medical care or call 911 if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Severe allergic reaction: severe rash or itching, swelling in the face, lips, tongue, or throat, rapid heartbeat, fainting or dizziness, or problems breathing or swallowing.
- Seizure (convulsions)
- High blood sugar: increased need to urinate, increased thirst, dry mouth, confusion, increased hunger, stomach pain, feeling weak or tired.
- Uncontrolled body movements or twitching
- Severe distress, agitation, or restlessness
- Low blood cell counts: weakness, chills, fever, easily bruised, sore throat, or spots under your skin.
- Unusual urges or changes in behavior
The information above does not list all possible side effects. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you experience any side effects not listed. You or your doctor may report side effects to the FDA by calling 1-800-FDA-1088.
Warnings & Precautions
Before using Abilify, tell your doctor or pharmacist:
- If you are allergic to Abilify (aripiprazole)
- If you have or have had diabetes or high blood sugar
- If you have or have had seizures (convulsions)
- If you have or have had low or high blood pressure
- If you have or have had heart problems or stroke
- If you have or have had low white blood cell counts
- If you have or have had phenylketonuria
- If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
- If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed
Elderly Patients with Dementia-Related Psychosis
Levitra is not approved for treating dementia-related psychosis. Taking an antipsychotic such as Abilify may increase the risk of death in these patients.
Cerebrovascular Adverse Events, Stroke
There is insufficient data to determine if taking Abilify may harm your unborn baby. Consult with your doctor to determine treatment and to register with the National Pregnancy Registry for Atypical Antipsychotics. Registration can be completed by calling 1- 866-961-2388 or online through http://womensmentalhealth.org/clinical-and-researchprograms/pregnancyregistry/.
Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome
Taking Abilify can lead to Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome, a rare condition. Symptoms include changes in heart rate, pulse, and blood pressure, high fever, confusion, stiff muscles, and sweating. Contact your doctor right away if you experience any of these symptoms.
Uncontrolled Body Movements (Tardive Dyskinesia)
Taking Abilify may cause uncontrolled movements in your body, including your face and tongue. This condition may start even after you stop taking Abilify and may not go away even if you discontinue use.
Changes with your Metabolism
Taking Abilify may increase cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood and cause weight gain. Abilify may also increase blood sugar levels. Your doctor will monitor your blood sugar level if you are at risk for diabetes or have diabetes.
High blood sugar symptoms include increased hunger, stomach pain, feeling weak or tired, confusion, increased thirst, or need to urinate more.
Unusual Urges and Compulsive Behaviors
Taking Abilify may result in unusual urges such as compulsive shopping, sexual desires, and gambling. Contact your doctor right away if you have any unusual changes.
Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors
Children, teenagers, and young adults taking Abilify may have increased suicidal thoughts or actions. Contact your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Thoughts of suicide or dying
- Attempts to commit suicide
- New or worsening irritability, depression, or anxiety
- Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
- Other usual changes in behavior or mood
Pregnant or Planning to Become Pregnant
There is insufficient data to determine if taking Abilify may harm your unborn baby. Consult with your doctor to determine treatment and register with the National Pregnancy Registry for Atypical Antipsychotics. Registration can be completed by calling 1- 866-961-2388 or online through http://womensmentalhealth.org/clinical-and-researchprograms/pregnancyregistry/.
Breastfeeding or Planning to Breastfeed
Studies show Abilify will pass through your breast milk. Consult with your doctor to determine treatment and how to feed your baby while on Abilify.
Interactions & Contraindications
Before using Abilify, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you take any medications, herbal supplements, or vitamins.
Frequently Asked Questions