What is this medication for?
Aripiprazole belongs to the family of medications known as antipsychotics. It is used to treat:
- schizophrenia in adolescents and adults
- bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression) in children and adults
- agitation associated with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder in adults
- irritability associated with autistic disorder in children
As well, aripiprazole is used in combination with antidepressant medication to treat major depressive disorder (MDD, also known as depression) in adults.
Aripiprazole works by affecting the actions of certain chemical messengers in the brain.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Abilify® is available as:
- 2 mg
- 5 mg
- 10 mg
- 15 mg
- 20 mg
- 30 mg
- orally disintegrating tablets
- oral solution
Some medications may have other generic brands available. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safety of switching between brands of the same medication.
How should I use this medication?
The usual adult recommended dose ranges from 10 mg to 30 mg used once a day. The oral (taken by mouth) forms of aripiprazole may be taken with or without food. The injectable form of aripiprazole is given into a muscle by a health care professional.
Children with bipolar disorder or autism, adolescents with schizophrenia, and adults with depression generally start treatment with aripiprazole at a lower dose taken once daily, and their dose is slowly increased to the usual recommended range.
If you are taking the orally disintegrating tablets, do not take the tablet out of the blister pack or even open the blister until you are ready to take the tablet. To get the tablet out of its blister, peel back the blister cover rather than pushing out the tablet. Pushing out the tablet could damage it. With dry hands, place the tablet on your tongue. It will dissolve quickly on your tongue and can then be swallowed. Do not try to split the tablet.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children. The oral solution can be used for up to 6 months after opening or until the expiration date on the package, whichever is sooner.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take this medication if you are allergic to aripiprazole or any of the ingredients of the medication.