Abilify

By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Generic Name: Abilify Brand Name(s): Abilify.

Uses

What is Abilify® (aripiprazole) used for?

Abilify® is commonly used to treat the symptoms of psychotic conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder (manic depression). However, the use of Abilify® to treat children younger than 13 with schizophrenia, or children younger than 10 with bipolar disorder is unknown.

Abilify® is also used together with other medicines to treat major depressive disorder in adults.

Abilify® is also used in children 6 years or older who have Tourette’s disorder, or symptoms of autistic disorder.

How should I take Abilify® (aripiprazole)?

Do not take Abilify® for longer than 6 weeks unless your doctor has told you to.

Abilify® is taken by mouth with or without food usually once a week.

When taking the orally disintegrating tablet, you should:

  • Keep the tablet in its blister pack until you are ready to take it. Open the package and peel back the foil. Do not push a tablet through the foil or you may damage the tablet.
  • Use dry hands to remove the tablet and place it in your mouth.
  • Do not swallow the tablet whole. Allow it to dissolve in your mouth without chewing. If desired, you may drink liquid to help swallow the dissolved tablet.

Use Abilify® regularly to get the most benefit.

You should not stop using Abilify® suddenly. Stopping suddenly may make your condition worse.

How do I store Abilify® (aripiprazole)?

Abilify® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Abilify® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Abilify® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Abilify® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Abilify® (aripiprazole)?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Abilify® or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

Some young people have thoughts about suicide when taking medicine for a major depressive disorder and other psychiatric disorders. Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.

The liquid form (oral solution) of this medication may contain up to 15 grams of sugar per dose. Before taking Abilify® oral solution, tell your doctor if you have diabetes.

Abilify® may cause you to have high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). If you are diabetic, check your blood sugar levels on a regular basis while you are taking this medicine.

The orally disintegrating tablet form of this medication may contain over 3 milligrams of phenylalanine per tablet. Before taking Abilify®, tell your doctor if you have phenylketonuria.

Taking antipsychotic medicine in the last 3 months of pregnancy may cause problems in the newborn, such as withdrawal symptoms, breathing problems, feeding problems, fussiness, tremors, and limp or stiff muscles. However, you may have withdrawal symptoms or other problems if you stop taking your medicine during pregnancy. If you become pregnant, do not stop taking Abilify® without your doctor’s advice.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication. This medication is pregnancy risk category C, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Abilify® (aripiprazole)?

Common side effects may include:

  • Weight gain
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Changes in appetite
  • Constipation
  • Drooling
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Feeling tired
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling restless
  • Sleep problems (insomnia)
  • Cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • Severe agitation, distress, or restless feeling
  • Twitching or uncontrollable movements of your eyes, lips, tongue, face, arms, or legs
  • Mask-like appearance of the face, trouble swallowing, problems with speech
  • Seizure (convulsions)
  • Thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself
  • Severe nervous system reaction – very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, feeling like you might pass out
  • Low blood cell counts – sudden weakness or ill feeling, fever, chills, sore throat, swollen gums, painful mouth sores, red or swollen gums, skin sores, cold or flu symptoms, cough, trouble breathing
  • High blood sugar – increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, weight loss

You may have increased sexual urges, unusual urges to gamble, or other intense urges while taking this medicine. Talk with your doctor if this occurs.

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Abilify®: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Abilify® (aripiprazole)?

Abilify® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

A product that may interact with this drug is metoclopramide.

Does food or alcohol interact with Abilify® (aripiprazole)?

Abilify® may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Abilify® (aripiprazole)?

Abilify® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Health conditions that may interact with this drug are:

  • Dementia
  • Acute Alcohol Intoxication
  • CNS Depression
  • NMS
  • Tardive Dyskinesia
  • Depression
  • Aspiration
  • Seizure
  • Hematologic Abnormalities
  • Hyperglycemia/Diabetes
  • Hypotension
  • Lipid Alterations
  • Weight Gain
  • Anticholinergic Effects
  • Hyperprolactinemia
  • Liver Disease
  • Parkinsonism
  • Seizure Disorders

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication.

What is the dose of Abilify® (aripiprazole) for an adult?

Schizophrenia

The recommended starting and target dose for Abilify® is 10 or 15 mg/day administered on a once-a-day schedule without regard to meals.

Bipolar I Disorder

The recommended starting dose in adults is 15 mg given once daily as monotherapy and 10 mg to 15 mg given once daily as adjunctive therapy with lithium or valproate and can be given without regard to meals.

Adjunctive Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder

The recommended starting dose for Abilify® as adjunctive treatment for patients already taking an antidepressant is 2 to 5 mg/day. The recommended dosage range is 2 to 15 mg/day.

What is the dose of Abilify® (aripiprazole) for a child?

Bipolar I Disorder

This dosage is recommended for pediatric patients from 10 to 17 years:

Starting dose in pediatric patients as monotherapy is 2 mg/day, with titration to 5 mg/day after 2 days, and a target dose of 10 mg/day after 2 additional days.

Irritability Associated with Autistic Disorder

For pediatric patients from 6 to 17 years: the recommended dosage range for the treatment of pediatric patients with irritability associated with autistic disorder is 5 to 15 mg/day.

Tourette’s Disorder

For pediatric patients from 6 to 18 years: The recommended dosage range for Tourette’s Disorder is 5 to 20 mg/day.

How is Abilify® (aripiprazole) available?

Abilify® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Tablet/oral solution/injection/orally disintegrating tablet: aripiprazole 2mg 

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Abilify®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: July 12, 2017 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019

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