Abilify® (aripiprazole) is an "atypical antipsychotic" often prescribed to treat bipolar disorder, autism, and schizophrenia. It can also be used along with antidepressants for the treatment of depression.
Abilify for Schizophrenia
Although psychotherapy may be helpful for schizophrenia, medication is often essential to schizophrenia treatment. Abilify medicine 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 for Bipolar Disorder
Abilify is 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.
Abilify for Depression
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.
Abilify for Autism
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.
(Click Abilify Uses to learn more about the effects of Abilify, for information about possible off-label uses for the drug, and to find out if the medication is approved for use in children.)