Aripiprazole (Injection)


Aripiprazole (ar-i-PIP-ra-zole)

Treats schizophrenia, and agitation from schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

Brand Name(s)

Abilify, Abilify Maintena

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine


  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot into one of your muscles.
  • A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine.
  • Regular injection: Your doctor will give you a few doses until your condition improves, and then switch you to an oral medicine that works the same way. If you have any concerns about this, talk to your doctor.
  • Extended-release injection: At first, this medicine is given together with oral medicine. The second injection dose is given 1 month after the first, without oral medicine. The injections that follow are once a month instead of oral medicine.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
  • Missed dose: This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. Call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines and foods can affect how aripiprazole works. Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following:
    • Blood pressure medicine
    • Carbamazepine
    • Clarithromycin
    • Fluoxetine, paroxetine
    • Ketoconazole, itraconazole
    • Quinidine
  • Tell your doctor if you drink alcohol or if you are using any medicine that makes you sleepy, such as allergy medicine or narcotic pain medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have diabetes. Tell your doctor if you have a history of seizures, heart attack, stroke, heart failure, heart or blood vessel disease, heart rhythm problems, high or low blood pressure, or high cholesterol. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has tried to commit suicide.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Increased blood sugar level
    • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS)
    • Tardive dyskinesia, a movement disorder that may not go away even after you stop taking this medicine
    • Thoughts of suicide
  • If you have diabetes, you may need to check your blood sugar level more often while you are taking this medicine.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive or do anything that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you. Stand or sit up slowly if you feel lightheaded or dizzy.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.
  • You may get overheated more easily while you are taking this medicine. Be careful if you exercise often or are in high heat or humidity. Drink more water and stay out of the sun.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Anxiety, irritability, nervousness, restlessness, trouble sleeping
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate
  • Chest pain, fast or slow heartbeat
  • Confusion, unusual behavior, depressed mood, thoughts of hurting yourself or others
  • Excessive hunger or thirst, increased urination, and weakness
  • Extreme sleepiness or weakness with nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Fever, sweating, confusion, uneven heartbeat, muscle stiffness
  • Jerky muscle movements you cannot control (often in your face, tongue, or jaw)
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • Seizures or tremors
  • Severe drowsiness or sleepiness
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Redness, pain, swelling, itching, blistering, or rash where the shot was given
  • Unexpected weight gain or loss

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 8/4/2014

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