Abilify (aripiprazole) is an antipsychotic medication. It works by changing the actions of chemicals in the brain.
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 to treat major depressive disorder in adults.
Abilify is also used to treat irritability and symptoms of aggression, mood swings, temper tantrums, and self-injury related to autistic disorder in children who are at least 6 years old.
Abilify is not for use in psychotic conditions that are related to dementia. Abilify may cause heart failure, sudden death, or pneumonia in older adults with dementia-related conditions. You should not take this medicine if you are allergic to aripiprazole.
To make sure you can safely take Abilify, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
- liver or kidney disease;
- heart disease, high blood pressure, heart rhythm problems;
- a history of low white blood cell (WBC) counts;
- a history of heart attack or stroke;
- a history of breast cancer;
- seizures or epilepsy;
- a personal or family history of diabetes; or
- trouble swallowing.
The liquid form (oral solution) of Abilify may contain up to 15 grams of sugar per dose. Before taking Abilify oral solution, tell your doctor if you have diabetes. The orally disintegrating tablet form of this medicine may contain over 3 milligrams of phenylalanine per tablet. Before taking Abilify Discmelt, tell your doctor if you have phenylketonuria.
Abilify may cause you to have high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). Talk to your doctor if you have any signs of hyperglycemia such as increased thirst or urination, excessive hunger, or weakness. If you are diabetic, check your blood sugar levels on a regular basis while you are taking Abilify.
Taking antipsychotic medication during 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 while taking Abilify, do not stop taking it without your doctor’s advice.
FDA pregnancy category C. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Aripiprazole can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use Abilify without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Abilify: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using Abilify and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- fever, stiff muscles, confusion, sweating, fast or uneven heartbeats;
- jerky muscle movements you cannot control;
- sudden numbness or weakness, headache, confusion, or problems with vision, speech, or balance;
- fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat;
- increased thirst or urination, loss of appetite, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, nausea, and vomiting;
- seizure (convulsions);
- thoughts of hurting yourself;
- feeling like you might pass out;
- jaundice (yellowing of your skin or eyes); or
- urinating less than usual or not at all.
Less serious Abilify side effects may include:
- choking or trouble swallowing;
- dizziness, drowsiness, or weakness;
- constipation, mild stomach upset;
- headache, anxiety;
- sleep problems (insomnia); or
- weight gain.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.