Schizophrenia Home > Abilify Maintena

Abilify Maintena is a medicine prescribed to treat people who have schizophrenia. It is used when the oral form of aripiprazole has been used previously and was well tolerated. This drug comes as a liquid that is given as an injection into a muscle once a month. Some possible side effects include headaches, insomnia, and nausea.

What Is Abilify Maintena?

Abilify Maintena™ (aripiprazole ER injection) is a long-acting prescription medication approved to treat schizophrenia. It is for people who have previously taken and are known to tolerate the oral form of aripiprazole (Abilify®).
(Click Abilify Maintena Uses for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes This Medication?

Abilify Maintena is manufactured by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

How Does Abilify Maintena Work?

Abilify Maintena belongs to a group of medicines known as atypical antipsychotics (also called second-generation antipsychotics). It is thought to work by blocking the action of dopamine, a neurotransmitter chemical in the brain that is believed to be elevated in people with schizophrenia.
Like other atypical antipsychotics, Abilify Maintena also blocks a type of serotonin receptor, which is believed to help control some of the symptoms of schizophrenia. (Serotonin is another type of chemical in the brain.)
Abilify Maintena is given as an injection into a muscle. After each dose, the medication is removed from the body slowly, allowing for once-a-month dosing.

When and How to Use It

Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with Abilify Maintena include the following:
  • This medication comes as a liquid that is given as an injection into a muscle (an intramuscular, or IM, injection) once a month.
  • The injection is given by a healthcare provider in an office or clinic.
  • The first two Abilify Maintena injections are given in the buttocks (gluteal muscle).
  • For this drug to work properly, it must be used as prescribed. Your symptoms may return if you stop using this medication or miss a dose.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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