Answers to Common Questions About Abilify

In this article...
  • Abilify is a prescription drug used to treat mental health conditions including depression and schizophrenia. Learn how it works and possible side effects.

Abilify is the brand name for aripiprazole. This prescription drug, typically given as a 5 mg tablet, may be recommended by your doctor to treat a mental health disorder. It is also available in liquid form.

Why Do Doctors Prescribe Abilify?

Your doctor may prescribe Abilify if you have been diagnosed with Tourette's syndrome, schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, autism-associated irritability or bipolar disorder. 

How Does Abilify Work?

Abilify regulates chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. It balances the levels of serotonin and dopamine, natural substances that affect behavior, mood and thinking. Imbalances in these neurotransmitters can cause symptoms associated with depression and other mental health conditions.

Is Abilify an Antipsychotic or an Antidepressant?

The Food and Drug Administration categorizes Abilify as an antipsychotic medication for the treatment of schizophrenia. However, it can be used as an adjunctive (add-on) treatment for depression in conjunction with another antidepressant. 

Does Abilify Have Side Effects?

Some people who take Abilify experience headaches, anxiety, restlessness, weakness, fatigue, dizziness, cold symptoms, shakiness, sleep disturbances, constipation, stomach issues or unexplained weight gain.

The drug may also lead to suicidal thoughts or attempts at self-harm in young adults and children, especially those who have had similar symptoms in the past. Seek immediate attention if you or a family member has panic attacks, nervousness or mood changes while taking Abilify. The drug is not safe to use in older adults as some research shows it may increase risk of death by infection or heart disease.

Does Medicare Cover Abilify?

Most Medicare prescription drug plans, including Advantage and Part D, cover Abilify if your doctor says it is medically necessary. However, you may have to meet the deductible for your plan first, a maximum of $480 in 2022. Without coverage, a monthly supply of Abilify may cost between $3 and $93.

Read More
Woman gets help at pharmacy
Some of Medicare's Part D plans have been rated five stars. Learn how these ratings are determined ...
Pharmacist helps her patient in the pharmacy
Prolia (denosumab) is an osteoporosis medication that may help slow bone loss. Certain Medicare plans ...
A doctor smiles and speaks with her patient
If you're one of the millions of people on Medicare and have recently been prescribed TYMLOS, you ...