In previous clinical studies of Abilify for the treatment of schizophrenia, people taking the medication experienced improvements in their schizophrenia symptoms (including hallucinations and suspiciousness), compared to those not taking it. Longer studies also showed that the drug can help keep symptoms from returning.
Previous clinical studies have also shown Abilify to be effective for bipolar disorder treatment. In these studies, the drug was effective at treating episodes of mania or mixed episodes (involving both mania and depression). It also helped prevent bipolar disorder symptoms from returning.
Abilify has also been studied for treating major depression (when used along with antidepressants). These studies evaluated people who had not responded adequately to depression medications alone. Adding this medication significantly reduced depression symptoms, compared to adding a placebo (a "sugar pill" with no active ingredient).
Researchers have also studied Abilify for treating irritability associated with autism in children (age 6 through 17). In these studies, children taking Abilify showed improvement in their irritability symptoms (aggression towards others, deliberate self-injury, temper tantrums, and quickly changing moods), compared to children taking a placebo.
Some general considerations for when and how to take Abilify include the following:
- The medication comes in tablet form. It is usually taken by mouth once a day.
- You can take Abilify with or without food. If the medication bothers your stomach, try taking it with food.
- A liquid form is available for those who have difficulty swallowing tablets.
- Abilify is also available in tablets that are meant to dissolve rapidly in the mouth. These tablets are called Abilify Discmelt® tablets. They do not need to be taken with water. Carefully remove Abilify Discmelt tablets by peeling pack the foil (not pushing the tablet), as they are delicate and are easily broken. Do not cut or split these tablets.
- The medication should be taken at the same time each day to maintain an even level in your blood.
- For Abilify to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. The medication will not work if you stop taking it.