Drug Class: Atypical Antipsychotic

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Abilify (aripiprazole) is an atypical antipsychotic medication that is commonly used to treat schizophrenia. Your doctor may prescribe this medicine for other conditions as well. Abilify is used to treat the symptoms of psychotic conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (manic depression). It is also used together with other medications (antidepressants) to treat major depressive disorders in adults.

In children who are at least 6 years old, Abilify is also commonly prescribed to treat symptoms of irritability, mood swings, overly aggressive behavior, temper tantrums, and self-injury related to autism spectrum disorder. It is not recommended for children under the age of 6 and should not be prescribed to any child younger than 6 years old.

Not every known side effect, adverse effect, or drug interaction is in this article. If you have questions about your medicines, talk to your health care provider.

Abilify appears to work by helping change certain chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. It is not yet well-understood why changing these neurochemicals results in symptom relief for the conditions for which this drug is prescribed.

How to Take Abilify

Follow the directions for using this medicine provided by your doctor. This medicine may be taken on an empty stomach or with food. Continue to take this medicine even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.

Side Effects

Side effects that may occur while taking this medicine include:

  • changes in weight, weight gain
  • drooling
  • blurred vision
  • drowsiness
  • lightheadedness
  • dizziness
  • sleep problems such as insomnia

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • uncontrolled muscle movements (especially of the face or tongue)
  • severe muscle stiffness
  • a restless feeling or agitation that doesn’t go away
  • seizure or convulsions
  • irregular or unusually fast heartbeat (especially with fever and increased sweating).
  • unusual thoughts of death, suicide or hurting yourself
  • symptoms of high blood sugar: such as increased thirst, increased urination, or vision changes. Keep all lab appointments.

Warnings & Precautions for Abilify

  • Do not increase your dose of this medicine without first talking to your doctor, even if you feel that the medicine is not working.
  • Do not abruptly stop this medicine without talking to your doctor.
  • This medicine may cause drowsiness, dizziness or lightheadedness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to this medicine.
  • Alcoholic beverages can increase the effects of this medicine and should be avoided.
  • This medicine may reduce sweating. Do not become overheated in hot weather, during exercise, or during other activities since risk of heatstroke may be increased. Drink plenty of fluids.
  • This medicine may increase your risk of getting diabetes or increase blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels can cause serious problems if left untreated. Your healthcare provider can give you more information on this.
  • For an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. For non-emergencies, contact your local or regional poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Drug Interactions

Before taking any new medicine, either prescription or over-the-counter, check with your doctor or pharmacist. This includes supplements and herbal products.

Dosage & Missed Dose

The starting oral dose for adults with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder is typically 10 milligrams (mg) to 15 mg daily. This dose can be increased to up to 30 mg a day.

If you skip a dose, take your next dose as soon as you remember. If it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not double doses or take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.


Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (preferably not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.


If you plan on becoming pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using this medicine during pregnancy. It is NOT known if this medicine is excreted in breast milk. It is recommended that you DO NOT breast-feed while taking this medicine unless your doctor or pediatrician has told you to.

More Information

For more information, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or health care provider, or you can visit this website, www.abilify.com for additional information from the manufacturer of this drug.