aripiprazole, Abilify

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.

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GENERIC NAME: aripiprazole

BRAND NAME: Abilify

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Aripiprazole is an anti-psychotic drug for treating psychotic conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It is also used with other medications to treat major depression in adults. The exact mechanism of action of aripiprazole is unknown. Moreover, like other anti-psychotics, it blocks several receptors on the nerves of the brain for several neurotransmitters (chemicals that nerves use to communicate with each other). It is thought that its beneficial effect is due to its effects on dopamine and serotonin receptors. Its effects on these receptors are complex, involving stimulation of the receptors but to a lesser degree than the naturally-occurring neurotransmitters (a process called partial agonism). The FDA approved aripiprazole in November 2002.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Aripiprazole is used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar mania and mixed manic/depressive episodes (as sole or adjunctive therapy) and as adjunctive (add-on) therapy for major depressive disorder. It is also used for treating irritability associated with autistic disorder and agitation associated with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Aripiprazole may also be used in treatment of Tourette's disorder.

SIDE EFFECTS: Some of the most common side effects associated with aripiprazole are:

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/13/2015

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Depression Hurts: Physical Symptoms of Depression
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