Abilify® (aripiprazole) is a prescription drug often used for the treatment of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism, and depression (when used along with antidepressants).
Although psychotherapy may be helpful for schizophrenia, medication is often essential to schizophrenia treatment. Abilify can help improve the symptoms of schizophrenia. It also helps to prevent schizophrenia relapses (worsening of schizophrenia). However, the drug is not a cure for schizophrenia.
Abilify is also approved to treat acute episodes of mania or mixed episodes (which involve symptoms of both mania and depression). The medicine is also approved for continued use once the acute episode has improved.
For most people, antidepressants can work wonders for depression treatment. However, some people do not respond adequately to antidepressants, even if different antidepressants are tried. In such situations, medications may be given to boost the effects of the antidepressant. This is known as augmentation. Abilify is approved for augmentation treatment (along with antidepressants) for the treatment of major depression.
In some children with severe behavioral problems due to autism, antipsychotic medications like Abilify may be necessary. Abilify certainly will not cure autism, but it can help calm irritable behaviors such as aggression toward other people, deliberate self-harm, temper tantrums, and abruptly changing moods.
Healthcare providers may also occasionally recommend this medication "off-label" for other uses. Off-label Abilify indications may include:
- Treatment of behavior problems in elderly people with dementia
- Treatment of other behavior problems.
(Click Abilify Uses to learn more about Abilify indications and for information about the use of this medication in children and adolescents.)