DESCRIPTION / DEFINITIONS: Abilify® (aripiprazole) is an atypical antipsychotic. It is a drug prescribed for the acute and maintenance treatment of Schizophrenia in adults and in adolescents 13 to 17 years of age and for acute and maintenance treatment of manic and mixed episodes associated with Bipolar I Disorder with or without psychotic features in adults and in pediatric patients 10 to 17 years of age.

ABUSE: Abilify is a drug prescribed for the treatment of depression.

ADDICTION / DEPENDENCE: Half life and metabolism, Black Box Warning.

SIDE EFFECTS: Stroke, transient ischemic attack, fatalities, worsening of their depression, suicidal ideation and behavior (see list below).

WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS: Anxiety, sleep disruption, mood swings (see list below).

TREATMENT: Medical detoxification.



Abilify is prescribed for acute and maintenance treatment of Schizophrenia in adults and in adolescents 13 to 17 years of age and for acute and maintenance treatment of manic and mixed episodes associated with Bipolar I Disorder with or without psychotic features in adults and in pediatric patients 10 to 17 years of age. According to its label, “Abilify activity is presumably primarily due to the parent drug, aripiprazole, and to a lesser extent, to its major metabolite, dehydro-aripiprazole.”



Abilify is a drug prescribed for the treatment of depression.





The biological half life of a substance is the time it takes for a drug to lose half of its pharmacologic activity. This is significant because it affects how soon withdrawal symptoms may appear.

The half life of Abilify is approximately 75 hours.

Abilify is mainly metabolized through the P450 pathway in the liver and the enzymes primarily handling the metabolism are CYP3A4 and CYP2D6.

The CYP enzymes are the major enzymes involved in drug metabolism, and since many drugs may increase or decrease the activity of various CYP isozymes, this is a major source of adverse drug interactions, since changes in CYP enzyme activity may affect the metabolism and clearance of various drugs. For example, if one drug inhibits the CYP-mediated metabolism of another drug, the second drug may accumulate within the body to toxic levels, possibly causing an overdose.



The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has decided that some drugs pose very serious risks and have required these drugs have what is called a black box warning. Abilify has a black box warning. Here is the warning.

WARNING: Increased Mortality in Elderly Patients With Dementia-Related Psychosis and Suicidality and Antidepressant DrugsElderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death. Analyses of seventeen placebo-controlled trials (modal duration of 10 weeks), largely in patients taking atypical antipsychotic drugs, revealed a risk of death in drug-treated patients of between 1.6 to 1.7 times the risk of death in placebo-treated patients. Over the course of a typical 10-week controlled trial, the rate of death in drug-treated patients was about 4.5%, compared to a rate of about 2.6% in the placebo group. Although the causes of death were varied, most of the deaths appeared to be either cardiovascular (e.g., heart failure, sudden death) or infectious (e.g., pneumonia) in nature. Observational studies suggest that, similar to atypical antipsychotic drugs, treatment with conventional antipsychotic drugs may increase mortality. The extent to which the findings of increased mortality in observational studies may be attributed to the antipsychotic drug as opposed to some characteristic(s) of the patients is not clear. ABILIFY (aripiprazole) is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS (5.1)].

Antidepressants increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term studies of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of adjunctive ABILIFY or any other antidepressant in a child, adolescent, or young adult must balance this risk with the clinical need. Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24; there was a reduction in risk with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults aged 65 and older. Depression and certain other psychiatric disorders are themselves associated with increases in the risk of suicide. Patients of all ages who are started on antidepressant therapy should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior. Families and caregivers should be advised of the need for close observation and communication with the prescriber. ABILIFY is not approved for use in pediatric patients with depression.



The following information is taken from the Abilify label:

  • a syndrome of potentially irreversible, involuntary, dyskinetic movements
  • abdominal discomfort
  • aggression
  • aggressiveness
  • agitation
  • akathisia (psychomotor
  • restlessness)
  • akinesia
  • alopecia
  • amenorrhea
  • anger
  • angina pectoris
  • angioedema
  • anorexia
  • anorgasmia
  • anxiety
  • arthralgia
  • aspiration
  • asthenia
  • atrial fibrillation
  • atrial flutter
  • atrioventricular block
  • blood bilirubin increased
  • blood creatinine increased
  • blood glucose increased
  • blood insulin increased
  • blood insulin increased
  • blood lactate dehydrogenase increased
  • blood prolactin increased
  • blood urea increased
  • blurred vision
  • bradycardia
  • bradykinesia
  • breast pain
  • carbohydrate tolerance decreased
  • cardiopulmonary failure
  • cardio-respiratory arrest
  • catatonia
  • cerebrovascular accident
  • chest pain
  • choreoathetosis
  • cogwheel rigidity
  • completed suicide
  • constipation
  • coordination abnormal
  • cough
  • creatine phosphokinase increased
  • death
  • decreased appetite
  • delirium
  • diabetes mellitus
  • diabetes mellitus non-insulin-dependent
  • diabetic ketoacidosis
  • diplopia
  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • dyspepsia
  • dyspnea
  • dystonia
  • electrocardiogram qt prolonged
  • erectile dysfunction
  • esophageal dysmotility
  • esophagitis
  • extrapyramidal disorder
  • extrasystoles
  • eyelid edema
  • face edema
  • fatalities
  • fatigue
  • feeling jittery
  • gamma-glutamyl transferase
  • increased
  • gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • glucose tolerance impaired
  • glucose urine present
  • glycosuria
  • glycosylated hemoglobin increased
  • grand mal convulsion
  • gynaecomastia
  • headache
  • heat stroke
  • hepatic enzyme increased
  • hepatitis
  • hirsutism
  • homicidal ideation
  • hostility
  • hyperglycemia
  • hyperhydrosis
  • hyperlipidemia
  • hyperosmolar coma
  • hypersensitivity
  • hypertension
  • hypertonia
  • hypoglycemia
  • hypokalemia
  • hypokinesia
  • hypomania
  • hyponatremia
  • hypotension
  • hypothermia
  • hypotonia
  • impulsivity
  • increased appetite
  • insomnia
  • intentional self injury
  • irritability
  • jaundice
  • ketoacidosis
  • leukopenia
  • libido increased
  • loss of libido
  • mania
  • memory impairment
  • menstruation irregular
  • mobility decreased
  • muscle rigidity
  • muscle spasms
  • muscle tightness
  • muscular weakness
  • musculoskeletal stiffness
  • myalgia
  • myocardial infarction
  • myocardial ischemia
  • myoclonus
  • nasal congestion
  • nasopharyngitis
  • nausea
  • Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS)
  • neutropenia
  • nocturia
  • orthostatic hypotension
  • pain
  • pain in extremity
  • palpitations
  • pancreatitis
  • panic attacks
  • parkinsonism
  • peripheral edema
  • pharyngolaryngeal pain
  • photophobia
  • photopsia
  • photosensitivity reaction
  • pneumonia aspiration
  • polydipsia
  • polyuria
  • priapism
  • pruritus
  • pyrexia
  • rash
  • restlessness
  • rhabdomyolysis
  • salivary hypersecretion
  • sedation
  • seizures/convulsions
  • self mutilation
  • sinus tachycardia
  • sleep talking
  • sleep walking
  • somnolence
  • speech disorder
  • stomach discomfort
  • stroke
  • suicidal ideation and behavior
  • suicide attempt
  • supraventricular tachycardia
  • swollen tongue
  • tachycardia
  • tardive dyskinesia
  • thirst
  • thrombocytopenia
  • tic
  • tongue dry
  • tongue spasm
  • toothache
  • transient ischemic attack
  • tremor
  • unusual changes in behavior
  • upper respiratory tract infection
  • urinary retention
  • urticaria
  • ventricular tachycardia
  • vomiting
  • weight decreased
  • weight increased
  • worsening of their depression



Abilify can be a very difficult drug to stop taking. Here are some of the Abilify withdrawal symptoms:

  • anxiety
  • attention deficit hyperactivity
  • autism
  • mood swings
  • post-partum depression
  • sleep disruption



Withdrawal from Abilify should only be done under the care of a health practitioner. The safest way is to withdraw at an inpatient medical detox facility with a protocol that includes hydration, vitamins and supplements for biological balancing. Call us to talk to a Novus Detox Advisor.