1. Aripiprazole oral tablet is available as a brand-name drug and a generic drug. Brand names: Abilify, Abilify MyCite.
  2. Aripiprazole comes in four forms that you take by mouth: a tablet, an orally disintegrating tablet, a solution, and a tablet that contains a sensor (to let your doctor know if you’ve taken the drug). It also comes as an injectable solution given only by a healthcare provider.
  3. Aripiprazole oral tablet is an antipsychotic drug. It’s used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar I disorder, and major depressive disorder. It’s also used to treat Tourette syndrome and irritability caused by autistic disorder.

FDA warnings

  • This drug has black box warnings. These are the most serious warnings from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Black box warnings alert doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.
  • Increased risk of death in seniors with dementia warning: Use of this drug raises the risk of death in seniors (ages 65 years and older) with dementia-related psychosis.
  • Suicide risk in children warning: The use of antidepressants in children, adolescents, and young adults can increase thoughts of suicide and suicidal behavior. Talk with your doctor about whether this drug is safe for your child. The potential benefit must be greater than the risk of using this drug.
  • Abilify MyCite pediatric warning: This form of aripiprazole has not been established as safe or effective for use in children.

Other warnings

  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome warning: In rare cases, this drug can cause a serious reaction called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Symptoms can include low blood pressure, increased heart rate, muscle stiffness, confusion, or high body temperature. If you have some or all of these symptoms, call 911 right away.
  • Metabolic changes warning: This drug can cause changes in the way your body functions. These changes can lead to high blood sugar or diabetes, high cholesterol or triglyceride levels, or weight gain. Tell your doctor if you notice an increase in your weight or blood sugar level. Your diet or medication dosage may need to be changed.
  • Dysphagia warning: This drug can cause dysphagia (trouble swallowing). If you’re at risk of aspiration pneumonia, talk with your doctor about whether this drug is safe for you.

Aripiprazole is a prescription drug. It comes in four forms that you take by mouth: a tablet, an orally disintegrating tablet, a solution, and a tablet that contains a sensor (to let your doctor know if you’ve taken the drug). It also comes as an injectable solution given only by a healthcare provider.

Aripiprazole oral tablet is available as the brand-name drugs Abilify (oral tablet) and Abilify MyCite (oral tablet with sensor). The regular oral tablet and orally disintegrating tablet are also available as generic drugs. Generic drugs usually cost less than the brand-name version. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name drug.

Aripiprazole oral tablet may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications.

Why it's used

Aripiprazole oral tablet is used to treat:

How it works

Aripiprazole belongs to a class of drugs called antipsychotics. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

It’s not known exactly how aripiprazole works. However, it’s thought that it helps to regulate the amount of certain chemicals in your brain. These chemicals are dopamine and serotonin. Managing the levels of these chemicals may help to control your condition.

Aripiprazole oral tablet may cause drowsiness. You shouldn’t drive, use heavy machinery, or do any other dangerous activities until you know how this drug affects you.

Aripiprazole can also cause other side effects.

More common side effects

The more common side effects of aripiprazole can include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • constipation
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • feeling agitated or distressed
  • anxiety
  • trouble sleeping
  • restlessness
  • tiredness
  • stuffy nose
  • weight gain
  • increased appetite
  • uncontrolled movements, such as tremor
  • muscle stiffness

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Symptoms can include:
    • fever
    • stiff muscles
    • confusion
    • sweating
    • changes in heart rate
    • changes in blood pressure
  • High blood sugar
  • Weight gain
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Tardive dyskinesia. Symptoms can include:
    • not being able to control your face, tongue, or other body parts
  • Orthostatic hypotension. This is low blood pressure that occurs when you get up quickly after sitting or lying down. Symptoms can include:
    • feeling lightheaded
    • dizziness
    • fainting
  • Low white blood cell count
  • Seizures
  • Stroke. Symptoms can include:
    • numbness or weakness on one side of the body
    • confusion
    • slurred speech
  • Gambling and other compulsive behaviors

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we can not guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.

Aripiprazole oral tablet can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Examples of drugs that can cause interactions with aripiprazole are listed below.

Interactions that increase your risk of side effects

Taking aripiprazole with certain medications raises your risk of side effects from aripiprazole. This is because the amount of aripiprazole in your body may be increased. Examples of these drugs include:

  • Antifungal drugs, such as ketoconazole or itraconazole. Increased side effects can include nausea, constipation, dizziness, restlessness, or tiredness. They can also include tardive dyskinesia (movements you can’t control), or neuroleptic malignant syndrome (a rare but life-threatening condition). Your doctor may decrease your aripiprazole dosage.
  • Antidepressants, such as fluoxetine or paroxetine. Increased side effects can include nausea, constipation, dizziness, restlessness, or tiredness. They can also include tardive dyskinesia (movements you can’t control), or neuroleptic malignant syndrome (a rare but life-threatening condition). Your doctor may decrease your aripiprazole dose.
  • Quinidine. Increased side effects can include nausea, constipation, dizziness, restlessness, or tiredness. They can also include tardive dyskinesia (movements you can’t control), or neuroleptic malignant syndrome (a rare but life-threatening condition). Your doctor may decrease your aripiprazole dosage.

Interactions that can make your drugs less effective

When aripiprazole is used with certain drugs, it may not work as well to treat your condition. This is because the amount of aripiprazole in your body may be decreased. Examples of these drugs include:

  • Anti-seizure drugs, such as phenytoin or carbamazepine. Your doctor may switch you from aripiprazole to a different antipsychotic if needed, or increase your aripiprazole dosage.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we can not guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

This drug comes with several warnings.

Allergy warning

This drug can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

  • hives (itchy welts)
  • itching
  • swelling of your face, eyes, or tongue
  • trouble breathing
  • wheezing
  • chest tightness
  • fast and weak heart rate
  • nausea or vomiting

If you develop these symptoms, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

Alcohol interaction warning

Don’t drink alcohol while taking this drug. Aripiprazole causes drowsiness, and alcohol can worsen this side effect. It also raises your risk of liver damage.

Warnings for people with certain health conditions

For people with heart conditions: It hasn’t been established that this drug is safe and effective for use in people with certain heart conditions. These conditions include unstable heart disease or a recent history of stroke or heart attack. Tell your doctor if you have a heart condition before starting this drug.

For people with epilepsy: If you have a history of seizures, talk with your doctor about whether this drug is safe for you. Also talk to your doctor if you have conditions that raise your risk of seizures, such as Alzheimer’s dementia.

For people with a low white blood cell count: This drug can cause a low white blood cell count. Your doctor will monitor you for symptoms of this problem. They will also do regular blood tests. If you develop a low white blood cell count while taking this drug, your doctor will stop this treatment. Tell your doctor if you have a history of low white blood cell count before starting treatment with this drug.

Warnings for other groups

For pregnant women: This drug is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. This drug should be used only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk.

If you become pregnant while taking this drug, call your doctor right away.

If you use the oral tablet with sensor while pregnant, consider joining the National Pregnancy Registry for Atypical Antipsychotics. Your doctor can tell you more.

For women who are breastfeeding: This drug passes into breast milk and may cause side effects in a child who is breastfed. Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.

For seniors: Your kidneys and liver may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, a higher amount of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

For children: For children, this drug is only used to treat:

  • schizophrenia in children older than 13 years of age
  • manic or mixed episodes caused by bipolar I disorder in children ages 10 years or older
  • irritability caused by autistic disorder in children ages 6 years or older
  • Tourette syndrome in children ages 6 years or older

It hasn’t been established that this drug is safe and effective for use in children with certain conditions that this drug can treat in adults. These conditions include major depressive disorder.

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

Dosage for schizophrenia

Generic: Aripiprazole

  • Form: oral tablet
  • Strengths: 2 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg
  • Form: orally disintegrating tablet
  • Strengths: 10 mg, 15 mg

Brand: Abilify

  • Form: oral tablet
  • Strengths: 2 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg

Brand: Abilify MyCite

  • Form: oral tablet with sensor
  • Strengths: 2 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg

Adult dosage (ages 18 to 64 years)

  • Typical starting dosage: 10 to 15 mg once per day.
  • Typical maintenance dosage: 10 to 15 mg once per day.
  • Maximum dosage: 30 mg once per day.

Child dosage (ages 13 to 17 years)

Oral tablet or orally disintegrating tablet:

  • Typical starting dosage: 2 mg once daily for two days, then 5 mg once daily for two days. Then take 10 mg once daily.
  • Dosage increases: If needed, your doctor may increase your dosage by 5 mg/day at a time.

Child dosage (ages 0 to 12 years)

  • It hasn’t been established that this drug is safe and effective to treat this condition in children of this age group.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys and liver of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, a higher amount of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This increases your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lower dosage or a different medication schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Dosage for bipolar I disorder (manic or mixed episodes, or maintenance treatment)

Generic: Aripiprazole

  • Form: oral tablet
  • Strengths: 2 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg
  • Form: orally disintegrating tablet
  • Strengths: 10 mg, 15 mg

Brand: Abilify

  • Form: oral tablet
  • Strengths: 2 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg

Brand: Abilify MyCite

  • Form: oral tablet with sensor
  • Strengths: 2 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg

Adult dosage (ages 18 to 64 years)

All three tablets, when used alone:

  • Typical starting dosage: 15 mg once per day.
  • Typical maintenance dosage: 15 mg once per day.
  • Maximum dosage: 30 mg once per day.

All three tablets, when used with lithium or valproate:

  • Typical starting dosage: 10 to 15 mg once per day.
  • Typical maintenance dosage: 15 mg once per day.
  • Maximum dosage: 30 mg once daily.

Child dosage (ages 10 to 17 years)

Oral tablet or orally disintegrating tablet:

  • Typical starting dosage: 2 mg once daily for two days, then 5 mg once per day for two days. Then take 10 mg once per day.
  • Dosage increases: If needed, your doctor may increase your dosage by 5 mg/day at a time.

Child dosage (ages 0 to 9 years)

  • It hasn’t been established that this drug is safe and effective to treat this condition in children of this age group.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys and liver of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, a higher amount of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This increases your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lower dosage or a different medication schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Dosage for major depression in people already taking an antidepressant

Generic: Aripiprazole

  • Form: oral tablet
  • Strengths: 2 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg
  • Form: orally disintegrating tablet
  • Strengths: 10 mg, 15 mg

Brand: Abilify

  • Form: oral tablet
  • Strengths: 2 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg

Brand: Abilify MyCite

  • Form: oral tablet with sensor
  • Strengths: 2 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg

Adult dosage (ages 18 to 64 years)

Oral tablet and orally disintegrating tablet:

  • Typical starting dosage: 2 to 5 mg once per day.
  • Typical dosage: 2 to 15 mg once per day.
  • Dosage increases: If needed, your doctor may slowly increase your dosage, up to 5 mg at a time. Your dosage should not be increased more than once per week.

Oral tablet with sensor:

  • Typical starting dosage: 2 to 5 mg once per day.
  • Typical dosage: 2 to 15 mg once per day.
  • Maximum dosage: 15 mg once per day.

Child dosage (ages 0 to 17 years)

This drug is not prescribed to treat this condition in children.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys and liver of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, a higher amount of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This increases your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lower dosage or a different medication schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Dosage for irritability caused by autistic disorder

Generic: Aripiprazole

  • Form: oral tablet
  • Strengths: 2 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg
  • Form: orally disintegrating tablet
  • Strengths: 10 mg, 15 mg

Brand: Abilify

  • Form: oral tablet
  • Strengths: 2 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg

Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

This drug is not prescribed to treat this condition in adults.

Child dosage (ages 6 to 17 years)

  • Typical starting dosage: 2 mg per day.
  • Ongoing dosage range: 5 to 15 mg once per day.
  • Dosage increases: If needed, your child’s doctor may increase their dosage as needed.

Child dosage (ages 0 to 5 years)

  • It hasn’t been established that this drug is safe and effective to treat this condition in children of this age group.

Dosage for Tourette syndrome

Generic: Aripiprazole

  • Form: oral tablet
  • Strengths: 2 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg
  • Form: orally disintegrating tablet
  • Strengths: 10 mg, 15 mg

Brand: Abilify

  • Form: oral tablet
  • Strengths: 2 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg

Adult dosage (ages 19 years and older)

This drug is not prescribed to treat this condition in adults.

Child dosage (ages 6 to 18 years)

  • Typical starting dosage (for children weighing <110 lbs [50 kg]): 2 mg once per day.
  • Target dosage: 5 to 10 mg once per day.
  • Typical starting dosage (for children weighing ≥110 lbs [50 kg]): 2 mg once per day.
  • Target dosage: 10 to 20 mg once per day.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we can not guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.

Aripiprazole oral tablet is used for long-term treatment. It comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug suddenly or don’t take it at all: You should not suddenly stop taking this drug or change your dosage without talking to your doctor. Stopping this drug suddenly can cause unwanted side effects. These can include symptoms such as facial tics or uncontrolled speech. They can also include uncontrolled shaking like the shaking caused by Parkinson’s disease.

If you don’t take this drug at all, your symptoms may not improve.

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule: Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.

If you take too much: You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. Symptoms of an overdose of this drug can include:

  • vomiting
  • tremor
  • sleepiness

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

What to do if you miss a dose: Take your dose as soon as you remember. But if you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working: Your symptoms should get better. Your doctor will examine you to see if your symptoms are improving.

Keep these considerations in mind if your doctor prescribes aripiprazole for you.

General

  • Take this drug with or without food.
  • Take this drug at the time(s) recommended by your doctor.
  • You can cut or crush the oral tablet or orally disintegrating tablet. But don’t cut, crush, or chew the oral tablet with sensor.
  • Avoid getting overheated or dehydrated (low fluid levels) while taking this drug. Aripiprazole can make it harder for your body to maintain a normal temperature. This can make your temperature rise too high.

Storage

For all tablets and the Mycite patch:

  • Don’t store these items in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

For the oral tablet and orally disintegrating tablet:

  • Store these tablets at room temperature between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C).

For the oral tablet with sensor:

  • Store the tablet at a temperature between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C). You can store it for short periods at temperatures between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C).

For the Mycite patch:

  • Store the patch at room temperature between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C).

Refills

A prescription for this medication is refillable. You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Self-management

When using the oral tablet with sensor:

  • Your doctor will explain how to use this tablet.
  • You’ll need to download an application on your smartphone that will track your medication usage.
  • The tablet comes with a patch that you’ll need to wear on your skin. The phone application will tell you when and where to apply the patch.
  • Don’t apply the patch to skin that is scraped, cracked, or irritated. You can keep the patch on when bathing, swimming, or exercising.
  • You’ll need to change the patch each week, or sooner as needed.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t harm your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled container with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Clinical monitoring

During your treatment with this drug, your doctor will monitor you for side effects. They will also monitor your symptoms, and do regular blood tests to check your:

  • blood sugar
  • cholesterol levels
  • kidney function
  • liver function
  • blood cell count
  • thyroid function

Availability

Not every pharmacy stocks this drug. When filling your prescription, be sure to call ahead to make sure your pharmacy carries it.

Hidden costs

You may need blood tests during your treatment with this drug. The cost of these tests will depend on your insurance coverage.

Prior authorization

Many insurance companies require a prior authorization for this drug. This means your doctor will need to get approval from your insurance company before your insurance company will pay for the prescription.

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained here in is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.