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Abilify is used to manage symptoms of psychotic conditions

Last Modified: 21 May 2024

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What is Abilify? 

Abilify, known chemically as aripiprazole, is an atypical antipsychotic medication used to treat several mental health conditions. It works by altering the activity of certain natural substances in the brain. Abilify comprises the active ingredient aripiprazole and inactive components that vary by the form of the medication (tablet, solution, or injectable). 

The drug is synthesised through a complex chemical process that involves the creation of its unique molecular structure, designed to target specific neurotransmitter receptors. 

Global Name

Generic Name and Brand Names 

  • Generic name: Aripiprazole 
  • Brand names: Abilify, Abilify Maintena, Aristada 


What is Abilify used for?

Abilify is used to manage symptoms of psychotic conditions: 

  • Schizophrenia 
  • Bipolar I Disorder (previously known as manic depression) 
  • Major Depressive Disorder (as an adjunctive treatment) 
  • Autism spectrum disorders (to treat irritability) 
  • Tourette's disorder 

How do you use Abilify?


  • Oral tablets 
  • Orally disintegrating tablets 
  • Oral solution 
  • Injection (both as a regular injection and a long-acting depot injection) 

Dosage information (Note: Always consult with a healthcare provider for personalised dosage instructions): 

  • Children (6-17 years): As prescribed, based on condition and weight 
  • Adults: Standard dosing, adjusted by the healthcare provider 
  • Elderlies: May require lower doses, monitoring for side effects 


  • Children: Approved for certain conditions 
  • Adults: Yes 
  • Elderlies: With caution 
  • Pregnancy and Lactation (Breastfeeding/Nursing mothers):
    • Pregnancy – use with caution under medical supervision (US FDA Category C - Risk cannot be ruled out. There are no satisfactory studies in pregnant women, but animal studies demonstrated a risk to the fetus; the potential benefits of the drug may outweigh the risks.
    • Lactation – use with caution under medical supervision (Hale’s Lactation Risk Category: L3 – moderately safe) 

Who can't take Abilify?

  • Individuals with known hypersensitivity to aripiprazole 
  • Patients with dementia-related psychosis (increased risk of death in the elderly) 

Allergies and unsuitability: 

  • Those allergic to any component of Abilify 

Warnings and precautions: 

  • Monitor for worsening depression or suicidal thoughts 
  • Take as directed, with or without meals 

Interactions and contraindications: 

  • Avoid to use with alcohol 
  • Caution when used with other central nervous system depressants 
  • Inform your doctor about all medications you are taking to avoid interactions 

Conditions where the drug should not be used: 

  • Known hypersensitivity to aripiprazole 
  • Patients with a higher risk of stroke or death when used for dementia-related psychosis 

Side Effects

Common side effects include headache, anxiety, insomnia, and nausea. Severe side effects may include neuroleptic malignant syndrome, tardive dyskinesia, and suicidal thoughts. 

Short, one-liner: While Abilify is effective for many, it's important to be aware of potential side effects. 

Pharmacist Tips

  • Storage information: 

    • Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. 

    Handling instructions: 

    • Do not touch the tablet with wet hands and consume immediately once the package is opened. 


Where is Abilify available in Hong Kong?

 Abilify is a prescription medication that can be prescribed by healthcare providers.


Can Abilify be taken during pregnancy? 

Abilify should only be used during pregnancy if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Consult your healthcare provider.

How long does it take for Abilify to work? 

Some symptoms may improve within a week, but it can take several weeks to feel the full effect.

Can Abilify cause weight gain?

Weight gain is a possible side effect, and patients should monitor their weight regularly.

Is Abilify available for purchase over the counter?

No, Abilify is a strictly prescription-only medication. 

This website provides content related to drug use and medicine for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Do not use the information on this website to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare provider. The website's owners and contributors are not liable for any repercussions, adverse effects, or consequences resulting from the use of any medication or information provided herein.

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