Aripiprazole is a medication commonly used for the treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism, and major depression. While the medicine cannot cure these conditions, it can help control symptoms by blocking or lessening the effects of certain brain chemicals. Aripiprazole, which is available by prescription, comes in tablet form and is generally taken once a day. Side effects can include headaches, nausea, and anxiety.

What Is Aripiprazole?

Aripiprazole (Abilify®) is a prescription medication that is used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It is also approved to be used along with antidepressants for the treatment of major depression (this is known as “augmentation”). Recently, aripiprazole was also approved to treat irritability associated with autism.

Who Makes It?

Aripiprazole is manufactured by Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc., and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.
(Click What Is Aripiprazole Used For? for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

How Does Aripiprazole Work?

Aripiprazole belongs to a group of medications called atypical (or second-generation) antipsychotic medications. It is not entirely clear how the medication works for the treatment of schizophrenia, major depression, autism, or bipolar disorder. However, it is known to block or lessen the effects of several chemicals in the brain. These chemicals, such as dopamine and serotonin, may be elevated in people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression).
The medication is not a cure for bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism, or major depression. It only helps to control symptoms (see Autism SymptomsSymptoms of Depression, Symptoms of Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder Symptoms).
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Aripiprazole (Abilify)

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