Find the Right Therapist

Find the Right Therapist

Advanced Search | Don't show me this again.


Abilify (Aripiprazole)

Abilify (aripiprazole) is part of a class of medications called atypical antipsychotics. Abilify is used to control the symptoms that accompany schizophrenia in adults and teens, for adults and teens with bipolar, or for treating depression by augmenting other medications. Abilify will not cure schizophrenia or bipolar, but it will help control the behavior that accompanies these conditions. Abilify is also used to control outbursts, anger, and other emotional issues in children with autism.


Abilify comes in tablet, liquid, or quick-dissolve tablet form and is usually taken once per day. It may take up to two weeks to feel the full effect of this medication, and it is important to continue taking this medication even if feeling well.

Important Information Before Use

Abilify is not recommended for use by older adults with dementia. If you have or have ever had heart disease, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, stroke, or seizures you should talk to your doctor about these conditions before you take this medication. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family currently has or has ever had diabetes.


Tell your doctor if you have or have had any problems with addictive drugs, including street drugs and medication. You should also mention any serious reactions you have had to other similar medications. Abilify may interact with other medications or supplements, including antihistamines, antidepressants, antifungals, sleeping pills, HIV medications, high blood pressure medications, and more. If you are taking other prescription drugs or supplements, you should check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking Abilify.

Important Information During Use

  • If you are pregnant or become pregnant while taking Abilify, you should talk to your doctor about alternative treatments for your condition. Abilify can cause problems in newborns if taken during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
  • Abilify can make you extremely drowsy; using alcohol with Abilify can worsen this side effect.
  • Your surgeon or anesthesiologist needs to know that you are taking Abilify if you are having any type of surgery, including oral or dental surgery.
  • Abilify may cause an increase in blood sugar, particularly when you first start taking this medication.
  • People taking Abilify may overheat more easily and have trouble cooling down after activity.
  • Abilify overdose can be deadly, and symptoms include aggression, vomiting, confusion, seizures, irregular heartbeat, pneumonia, breathing difficulties, or problems with blood pressure.
  • If you experience serious or severe side effects from Abilify, you should call your doctor.
  • Avoid drinking grapefruit juice when taking this medication.

Side Effects

Serious side effects of this drug may include:

  • Confusion
  • Chest pain
  • Irregular or fast heartbeat; slowed heartbeat
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing, tightness in the throat or neck
  • Severe rash, itching, or hives
  • Seizures
  • Swelling of face, eyes, or extremities
  • Swollen tongue, odd tongue movements, or tongue that protrudes from the mouth
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Fever or sweating
  • Unusual, uncontrollable facial or body movements
  • Vision changes

Less serious side effects of this medication may include:

  • Drowsiness, dizziness, or tiredness
  • Feeling of nervousness or anxiety
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased appetite or weight gain
  • Restlessness or agitation
  • Stomach upset, heartburn, diarrhea, or constipation
  • Headache
  • Pain in the joints, arms, or legs


You can reduce Abilify withdrawal symptoms by slowly tapering off of this medication. Do not stop taking this medication abruptly; see your doctor before reducing or discontinuing this medication. Possible symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Insomnia
  • Psychotic symptoms like delusions or hallucinations
  • Bipolar symptoms


  1. Aripiprazole (Abilify). (2014, June). Retrieved from http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=About_Medications&template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=8133

Page content reviewed by James Pendelton, ND


Last Update: 12-22-2014


Find the Right Therapist

Advanced Search | Browse Locations

Psychotropic Medications
Search by Drug Name