Bipolar Disorder Home > Abilify

Abilify is a common medication licensed for the treatment of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism, and major depression (when used with antidepressants). Although it is not a cure for these conditions, it can control symptoms and help keep them from returning. The tablets come in a number of strengths and are generally taken once a day. Possible side effects include nausea, insomnia, headaches, and anxiety.

What Is Abilify?

Abilify® (aripiprazole) 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, Abilify has also been approved for treating irritability associated with autism.

Who Makes Abilify?

Abilify is manufactured by Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.
(Click Abilify Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

How Does Abilify Work?

Abilify belongs to a group of medications called atypical (or second-generation) antipsychotic medications. It is not entirely clear how this medication works for the treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism, or major depression.
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).
Keep in mind that this medication is not a cure for these conditions -- it only helps to control symptoms (see Symptoms of Depression, Symptoms of Schizophrenia, Autism Symptoms, or Bipolar Disorder Symptoms).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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