Aripiprazole (Abilify)


Overview: Aripiprazole, known by the brand name Abilify, is an antipsychotic of the Atypical class – the most frequently used class of antipsychotics. Aripiprazole is used to treat Psychosis – including Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder among others. Aripiprazole has helped many people control their symptoms. Aripiprazole is only available on prescription.


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Key Facts: It will take around four to six weeks for a patient to feel the full benefits of Aripiprazole. However, anxiety should lessen rapidly upon consumption of the drug. There are some side effects to Aripiprazole, as mentioned below. Aripiprazole should be used without interruption – you shouldn’t suddenly stop taking the medicine. The medicine should help control your symptoms.


How do they work?: Antipsychotics cannot help cure mental health conditions, but they are usually effective in reducing and controlling some of the symptoms associated with these conditions. These symptoms can include delusions and hallucinations, disturbed thoughts, agitation, mania and violence. The medication works by blocking the action of dopamine. It is believed psychotic episodes are caused by the brain producing too much of the chemical dopamine. The medication also regulates levels of other chemicals that are responsible for regulating mood – such as noradrenaline and serotonin. It is recommended that Aripiprazole is used in conjunction with therapy.


Dosage: The normal dose of Aripiprazole in adults is 15mg per day. The tablet can be taken in one go, and it doesn’t upset the stomach – so you can take it with or without food. It is recommended to swallow the tablets with some water. The maximum dose of Aripiprazole is 30mg a day. There is no set duration of treatment for Aripiprazole, with the course differing from patient to patient, dependent on circumstance and symptoms.


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Side Effects

With each box of Aripiprazole, there will be an information leaflet enclosed. This will provide an exhaustive list of side effects. Side effects from Aripiprazole can last any length of time from just a few days to permanent changes. It is natural to experience some side effects as your body gets used to the medication.


Common side effects of Aripiprazole include increased appetite, weight gain, needing to urinate more often, confusion, tiredness, trembling, movement disorders and worsening of diabetes.


Serious side effects include suicidal thinking, chest pain, movement disorders, seizures, jaundice, swelling and muscle stiffness. An overdose should be avoided. You should contact your doctor if any of these serious side effects take place.




You should always read the information leaflet that comes with your medication as it will include important information there. You should tell your doctor if you are taking any other medication. You shouldn’t use any other antipsychotic medication with Aripiprazole. Do not use Aripiprazole with any Antidepressant. Don’t take Aripiprazole with any blood pressure-lowering medicines, heart medicines, antifungal medicines, anticonvulsants and herbal remedies among others – always ask your doctor for their advice.


Do not use Aripiprazole if you suffer from diabetes, regular convulsions or movement disorders.


Alcohol acts as a sedative, therefore it is recommended that anyone taking an antipsychotic doesn’t consume alcohol. Combining Aripiprazole with recreational drugs is also not recommended.


Aripiprazole is not recommended in pregnancy or the breastfeeding stage. It is believed that Aripiprazole can cause withdrawal symptoms in breastfed babies.


Other Atypical Antipsychotics: