Drugs Prescribed for Bipolar Disorder - Abilify (Aripiprazole)

Marcia Purse Health Guide
  • Abilify is an atypical antipsychotic (which simply means it is a newer antipsychotic than the original group) which may be used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other psychotic disorders. In addition, Abilify may be used as an add-on to other medications that treat depression with or without psychosis.


    Hallucinations and delusions are the psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia, bipolar I disorder, schizoaffective disorder and similar illnesses that Abilify was first used to treat.


    Although Abilify is approved for long-term use in the treatment of bipolar disorder, a recent review of the clinical literature has called this into question, saying the approval was based on a misleading study.

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    Use of Abilify may lead to weight gain and movement disorders called akathisia and tardive dyskinesia. Report any facial, tongue or finger tics, or uncontrolled arm/leg movements to your doctor right away, as these could be signs of tardive dyskinesia. Symptoms of akathisia also include restlessness and having trouble sitting still or standing still.


    Common side effects of Abilify include drowsiness, headache, nausea and anxiety. Weight gain, insomnia and constipation are also common.

Published On: May 21, 2011