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Aripiprazole (By mouth)

Treats schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression. Also treats irritability associated with autism.

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Aripiprazole is used to treat nervous, emotional, and mental conditions (e.g., schizophrenia). It may be used alone or together with other medicines (e.g., lithium or valproate) for the acute or maintenance treatment of bipolar I disorder (manic-depressive illness). Additionally, it may be used together with other medicines for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults. It is… Read more
Brand names include
Abilify, Abilify Discmelt
Other forms
Drug classes About this

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Aripiprazole in children and adolescents with schizophrenia.

Bibliographic details: Argyriou E, Petroggona M, Charitaki S, Belivanaki M, Giannakopoulos G, Kolaitis G.  Aripiprazole in children and adolescents with schizophrenia. Current Psychopharmacology 2012; 1(2): 117-121 Available from: http://www.eurekaselect.com/96203/article

Treatment of psychotic symptoms in bipolar disorder with aripiprazole monotherapy: a meta-analysis

The authors concluded that aripiprazole was useful for the treatment of psychotic symptoms during the acute manic/mixed and maintenance phases of bipolar illness. Given the high drop-out rates from trials, uncertainty over the quality of the included trials and potential for bias in the review, the authors? conclusions should be interpreted with caution.

Switching to aripiprazole as a strategy for weight reduction: a meta-analysis in patients suffering from schizophrenia

Weight gain is one of the major drawbacks associated with the pharmacological treatment of schizophrenia. Existing strategies for the prevention and treatment of obesity amongst these patients are disappointing. Switching the current antipsychotic to another that may favorably affect weight is not yet fully established in the psychiatric literature. This meta-analysis focused on switching to aripiprazole as it has a pharmacological and clinical profile that may result in an improved weight control. Nine publications from seven countries worldwide were analyzed. These encompassed 784 schizophrenia and schizoaffective patients, 473 (60%) men and 311 (40%) women, mean age 39.4 ± 7.0 years. The major significant finding was a mean weight reduction by -2.55 ± 1.5 kgs following the switch to aripiprazole (P < .001). Switching to an antipsychotic with a lower propensity to induce weight gain needs be explored as a strategy. Our analysis suggests aripiprazole as a candidate for such a treatment strategy.

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Summaries for consumers

Aripiprazole for autism spectrum disorders (ASD)

Aripirazole is an antipsychotic medication that has been used to treat behavioral problems in individuals with autism spectrum disorders. The results of this review and its meta‐analysis of two randomized controlled trials suggest that short‐term treatment may be effective in treating irritability, hyperactivity, and repetitive movements in children and youths with autism spectrum disorders, though both weight gain and neurological side effects can occur. Due to the small number of studies performed, there are implications for research to investigate real‐world safety and effectiveness, as well as long‐term safety and tolerability of the drug.

Aripiprazole for schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a serious, chronic and relapsing mental illness with a worldwide lifetime prevalence of about one percent.

Aripiprazole versus placebo for schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is one of the major psychiatric disorders; it affects individuals' thinking, perception, affect and behaviour. It can occur in around 1% of the population. Aripiprazole is one of the newer antipsychotic medications introduced for the treatment of schizophrenia. When compared with placebo, people taking aripiprazole had fewer relapses, smaller numbers of participants left study early, and needed less additional antipsychotic medications. Insomnia and headache were the most commonly reported side effects, but were not much difference to placebo. Side effects such as akathisia, nausea and weight gain occurred more in the aripripazole group as compared to placebo. There has been a worry with newer antipsychotic medications and their effect on conductance problems in the heart, impaired glucose levels and excessive production of prolactin (which can cause unpleasant breast pain and secretion). On the limited evidence available (due to participants leaving early and fewer studies) aripiprazole appears to have a similar effect to that of placebo. The overall finding on its efficacy in treating schizophrenia is unchanged from those found in the original review.

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