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Aripiprazole is used to treat schizophrenia (a mental illness that causes disturbed or unusual thinking, loss of interest in life, and strong or inappropriate emotions) in adults and adolescents (aged 13 years to 17 years). It is also used in combination with other medications to treat episodes of manic, major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar disorder and also for acute treatment of agitation associated with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

How it works

Aripiprazole belongs to a group of medications called atypical antipsychotics. It works by changing the activity of certain natural substances (dopamine) in the brain.

Common side effects

Nervousness, Back pain, Joint pain, Pain in extremity, Constipation, Diarrhoea, Abdominal pain, Dizziness, Drowsiness, Headache, Heartburn, Increased saliva production, Increased appetite, Nausea, Vomiting, Weight gain


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Expert advice

  • Take special precaution while taking aripiprazole if you have high blood sugar or family history of diabetes ; seizure (fits), involuntary, irregular muscle movements, especially in the face; disease of heart or its blood vessels (cardiovascular diseases).
  • Do not use  aripiprazole if you feel you have gained weight, develop unusual movements, feel excessively sleepy so much that it interferes with your daily activities, or develop difficulty in swallowing, allergic reaction.
  • Avoid using aripiprazole if you are elderly patient and are suffering from dementia (loss of memory and other mental abilities), or if you have ever had stroke or “mini” stroke.
  • Do not take aripiprazole if you are having any thoughts or feelings about hurting yourself (suicidal thoughts and behaviors), as these have been reported when treated with aripiprazole.
  • Avoid using aripiprazole if you suffer from muscle stiffness or inflexibility with high fever, sweating, altered mental status, or very rapid or irregular heartbeat.
  • Do not drive or use any tools or machines if you feel drowsy after taking aripiprazole.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is aripiprazole addictive/narcotic/controlled substances?
No, aripiprazole is not an addictive, narcotic or controlled substances.
Q. Is aripiprazole generic for Abilify?
Yes, aripiprazole is generic name of Abilify, the trade name.
Q. Is aripiprazole a Benzodiazepine/ Benzo?
No, aripiprazole belongs to a group of medications called antipsychotic.
Q. Is aripiprazole an antipsychotic?
Yes, it belongs to a group of medications called atypical antipsychotic.

Content on this page was last updated on 10 October, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)