Abilify (aripiprazole) is a brand-name prescription medication. It comes in three forms: Abilify, Abilify Mycite, and Abilify Maintena. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Abilify to treat certain mental health conditions and mood disorders.
Abilify is approved to treat the following:
- major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults
- schizophrenia in adults and children ages 13 to 17 years
- Tourette syndrome in children ages 6 to 18 years
- irritability related to autism spectrum disorder in children ages 6 to 17 years
- mania and mixed episodes due to bipolar I disorder in adults and children ages 10 to 17 years*
Abilify Mycite and Abilify Maintena are approved to treat schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder* in adults.
Abilify Mycite is also approved to treat MDD in adults.
The active ingredient in Abilify is aripiprazole. It’s an antipsychotic drug.
Abilify comes in the following forms:
- oral tablet (Abilify)
- oral tablet with sensor (Abilify Mycite)
- extended-release intramuscular injection given by your doctor or another healthcare professional (Abilify Maintena)†
For information about the dosages of Abilify, including its strengths and how to use the drug, keep reading. For a comprehensive look at Abilify, see this article. For more information about the uses of Abilify Mycite and Abilify Maintena, talk with your doctor.
* For this use, Abilify is used alone or in combination with lithium or valproate.
† Extended release means the active drug releases in your body over a period of time. For more details about the dosage of Abilify Maintena, see the “Abilify Maintena dosing” section below.
This article describes typical dosages for Abilify provided by the drug’s manufacturer. When taking oral forms of the drug (Abilify and Abilify Mycite), always follow the dosage prescribed by your doctor. For Abilify Maintena, your doctor will prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.
You’ll find a summary of the dosages of Abilify and Abilify Mycite tablets below. For information on the typical dosing for Abilify Maintena, see the “Abilify Maintena dosing” section below.
Note: There is no “normal” or “average” dosage of Abilify. Your dosage is based on your condition and other individual factors. For more information about these, see the “Factors that affect your dosage” section below. Your doctor will prescribe the best dosage for you.
Abilify comes in several forms:
- oral tablet (Abilify)
- oral tablet with sensor (Abilify Mycite)
- extended-release intramuscular injection given by your doctor or another healthcare professional (Abilify Maintena)*
* Extended release means the active drug releases in your body over a period of time. For more details about the dosage of Abilify Maintena, see the “Abilify Maintena dosing” section below.
Abilify strengths (2 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg)
Abilify comes in the following strengths:
- Abilify: 2 milligrams (mg), 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, and 30 mg
- Abilify Mycite: 2 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, and 30 mg
- Abilify Maintena: 300 mg and 400 mg
Typically, your doctor will start you on a low dosage. Then they’ll adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.
The following information describes commonly used or recommended dosages for Abilify and Abilify Mycite. However, be sure to take the Abilify oral dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Abilify dosages for bipolar I disorder, schizophrenia, and depression in adults
The table below summarizes the typical dosages of Abilify based on the condition it’s being used to treat. Depending on how well you respond to treatment, your doctor may increase your starting dosage. They’ll determine the maintenance (long-term) dose based on your response to treatment.
|Condition||Starting dosage||Maintenance dosage||Maximum dosage|
|major depressive disorder||2 mg to 5 mg per day||5 mg to 10 mg per day||15 mg per day|
|schizophrenia||10 mg to 15 mg per day||10 mg to 15 mg per day||30 mg per day|
|bipolar I disorder||15 mg per day when used alone, or 10 mg to 15 mg per day when used with lithium or valproate||15 mg per day||30 mg per day|
If you have questions about your Abilify dosage, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Abilify is approved to treat certain conditions in children. Below are the typical dosages for Abilify in children. Your child’s doctor will determine the best dosage for your child’s condition. If you have questions about your child’s dosage, talk with their doctor or pharmacist.
Dosage for bipolar I disorder in children
Abilify is approved to treat bipolar I disorder in children ages 10 to 17 years. The starting dose of Abilify, when used alone or in combination with lithium or valproate, is 2 mg once per day.
After 2 days of treatment, your child’s doctor may increase their dosage to 5 mg once per day. After another 2 days, they may increase their dosage to 10 mg once per day. This would be their maintenance (long-term) dosage.
Your child’s doctor may increase their dosage by 5 mg per day to a maximum dosage of 30 mg per day.
Dosage for schizophrenia in children
Abilify is approved to treat schizophrenia in children ages 13 to 17 years. The typical starting dosage is 2 mg once per day.
Your child’s doctor may increase your child’s dosage to 5 mg once per day after 2 days of treatment. Then, 2 days later, they’ll typically increase it to 10 mg once per day. This will be the maintenance dosage.
Your child’s doctor may increase your child’s dosage by 5 mg per day. This may be to a maximum dosage of 30 mg per day.
Dosage for Tourette syndrome in children
Abilify is approved to treat Tourette syndrome in children ages 6 to 18 years. For this use, the dosage is based on your child’s weight in kilograms (kg). (One kg is about 2.2 pounds [lb].)
The typical starting dosage for children weighing less than 50 kg (about 110 lb) is 2 mg once per day. After 2 days of treatment, your child’s doctor will typically increase the dosage to 5 mg once per day.
If your child is still having symptoms after 1 week of treatment, their doctor may increase their dosage to 10 mg once per day. Your child’s doctor will typically adjust your child’s dosage slowly once per week until their symptoms are managed. The maximum dosage for this use is 10 mg once per day.
For children who weigh 50 kg (about 110 lb) or more, the starting dosage is 2 mg once per day. Then their doctor will increase their dose by 5 mg every day for 5 days. The target is to reach 10 mg once per day by day 8 of treatment.
If your child is still experiencing symptoms, their doctor may increase the dosage to a maximum of 20 mg once per day. They’ll do this by slowly increasing the daily dose by 5 mg once per week.
Dosage for irritability related to autism in children
After 1 week, your child’s doctor may increase your child’s dosage to 5 mg once per day. If your child is still having symptoms, their doctor may increase their dosage to a maximum of 15 mg per day. They’ll do this by slowly increasing your child’s daily dose by 5 mg once per week.
Abilify is meant to be used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Abilify is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term. Your doctor will also monitor you during your treatment to determine whether you should still take the drug.
Low dose Abilify may be used off-label to treat certain other conditions. Low dose Abilify refers to taking a smaller dose of Abilify than typically prescribed. Off-label drug use is when a drug that’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is used for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.
For example, your doctor may prescribe low dose Abilify for anxiety disorder or chronic fatigue syndrome. However, these are not approved uses for this drug. So, there are no recommended dosages of Abilify for treating these conditions. Your doctor can help determine whether low dose Abilify treatment is right for you.
Low dose aripiprazole (the active ingredient in Abilify) improved symptoms in a
If you have questions about low dose Abilify, talk with your doctor. They can give you more information about its uses and the dosage that’s best for you.
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about Abilify and its dosages.
Is there a maximum dose of Abilify?
Yes. The maximum dose or the highest dose of Abilify depends on several factors, including:
- the condition the drug is being used to treat
- your response to treatment
- your age
- drug form
- whether you have any other medical conditions that affect how Abilify is broken down in your body
For more information about the maximum dosage of Abilify and Abilify Mycite, see the “Abilify dosage” section above. For more details about the dosage of Abilify Maintena, see the “Abilify Maintena dosing” section below.
Your doctor will prescribe the dosage that’s best to manage your condition while lowering your risk of side effects. If you have questions about your dosage, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
How do the dosages of Abilify and Aristada compare?
Abilify comes in both oral and injection forms. However, Aristada and Aristada Initio only come as injections given by your doctor or another healthcare professional. Aristada Initio is a form of Aristada that’s given as a starting dose when you first start Aristada treatment. Abilify also has a starting dose.*
Below is a table summarizing the dosage differences between Abilify and Aristada for treating schizophrenia:
|Typical maintenance (long-term) dosages for schizophrenia treatment|
|• 10 mg to 15 mg tablet once per day||• 400 mg injection once per month, which your doctor may lower to 300 mg per month depending on your response to treatment||• 441mg once per month |
• 662 mg once per month
• 882 mg once per month or every 6 weeks
• 1,064 mg once every 2 months
For more details about Aristada’s dosages and how it compares with Abilify, see this article. Your doctor can also provide more information about the differences and similarities between Abilify and Aristada dosing.
* For more details about Abilify’s dosages, see the “Abilify dosage” section above and the “Abilify Maintena dosing” section below.
Abilify Maintena injection dosing is once per month. The typical starting dosage and maintenance (long-term) dosage is 400 milligrams (mg) once per month. Your doctor may lower the dose to 300 mg based on how you respond to treatment. Dosages above 400 mg every month have not been evaluated in clinical trials.
You may be able to switch from Abilify Maintena to Abilify with your doctor’s recommendation. Typically, Abilify Maintena 400 mg is equivalent to an oral dose of 20 mg of Abilify. And Abilify Maintena 300 mg is equivalent to an oral dose of 15 mg of Abilify.
If you’re interested in taking Abilify tablets instead of Abilify Maintena injections, talk with your doctor. They can tell you more about the dosing differences between the drugs.
If you forget to take your usual dose of Abilify or Abilify Mycite tablets, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s too close to your next regularly scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your usual schedule for Abilify. Do not take two doses of Abilify at once. This can increase your risk of side effects. (To learn more about the side effects of Abilify, see this article.)
If you miss a dose of Abilify Maintena, call your doctor’s office to reschedule your dose as soon as you remember. Depending on how long it’s been since your last dose, your doctor will determine whether you need a new dosing schedule.
To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or using a timer. You could also download a reminder app on your phone.
The Abilify dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:
- the type and severity of the condition Abilify is used to treat
- the form of Abilify you use
- your age
- other medications you may be taking
- other medical conditions you have that may affect how Abilify works in your body
- how you respond to treatment
In some cases, your doctor may adjust your Abilify dosage if you take certain medications. These include CYP3A4 inhibitors and inducers, and CYP2D6 inhibitors.* Taking these drugs may affect the level of Abilify in your body. They could decrease Abilify’s effectiveness or increase your risk of side effects from the drug.†
Tell your doctor about all medications you take. They’ll prescribe the Abilify dosage that’s best for you based on other drugs you may be taking.
Below is information about how Abilify is administered:
How to take Abilify and Abilify Mycite
Abilify and Abilify Mycite come as tablets that you’ll swallow.
Abilify Mycite contains a special sensor on the tablet. To take the tablet, you’ll also use a pod, Mycite patch strips, and the Abilify Mycite app. You’ll place the pod and patch strips on yourself and download the app on your phone. The app helps keep track of when you swallow the tablet. This helps you and your doctor track your treatment plan.
Do not crush, chew, or split Abilify or Abilify Mycite tablets. Be sure to swallow them whole. You can take Abilify or Abilify Mycite with or without food.
Abilify tablets are typically taken once per day. However, the drug’s manufacturer doesn’t recommend a specific time to take the drug. It may be helpful to take Abilify around the same time of day. This helps maintain a steady level of the drug in your body so Abilify can work effectively. You can also talk with your doctor or pharmacist about when to take Abilify tablets.
If your doctor prescribes Abilify tablets, and you have trouble swallowing them, see this article for tips on how to take this form of medication.
How Abilify Maintena is given
Abilify Maintena is injected into your muscle. It’s given by your doctor or another healthcare professional at a doctor’s office, clinic, or hospital. Abilify Maintena is injected into your deltoid (shoulder) or gluteal (buttock) muscle. Your doctor will help schedule your doses of Abilify Maintena.
If you have questions about what to expect during your Abilify Maintena injection appointment, talk with your doctor.
Abilify is not known to cause misuse and isn’t considered a controlled substance. With misuse, a drug is taken in a way or for a purpose that it’s not prescribed for. Controlled substances are substances that have an increased risk for physical dependence. With physical dependence, you need to take a certain substance for your body to feel as usual.
The different forms of Abilify have not been studied* in humans for their ability to cause tolerance (reduced response to a drug), physical dependence, or misuse. However, animal studies of the drug have shown it may cause physical dependence in animals.
If you have a history of substance misuse or addiction, your doctor may suggest a different medication. If they recommend Abilify treatment as the best option for you, they’ll monitor you more closely.
If you have questions about Abilify and misuse, talk with your doctor. For details about withdrawal and dependence, see the “Abilify and withdrawal and dependence” section below.
If you take more Abilify or Abilify Mycite tablets than your doctor prescribes, you may develop serious side effects. It’s important that you do not take more Abilify than your doctor advises.
Symptoms of an overdose
Overdose symptoms of Abilify can include:
If you take more than the recommended amount of Abilify
Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve taken too much Abilify. Another option is to call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. If you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room.
It’s not known for sure if Abilify causes physical dependence in humans. With physical dependence, you need to take a certain substance for your body to feel as usual.
However, suddenly stopping Abilify may lead to withdrawal. With withdrawal, you experience uncomfortable side effects after you stop taking a certain substance. Symptoms of withdrawal may include nausea, headache, and increased heart rate. Withdrawal effects were seen in animal studies when Abilify treatment was suddenly stopped.
If you’d like to stop Abilify treatment, talk with your doctor first. This is because it’s possible to experience withdrawal effects if you suddenly stop taking Abilify. Your doctor will advise gradually reducing your dosage in stages to lower the risk of withdrawal symptoms.
The dosages in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Abilify for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes. As with any drug, never change your dosage of Abilify without your doctor’s recommendation. If your doctor prescribes Abilify Maintena, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.
If you have questions about the dosage of Abilify that’s best for you, talk with your doctor.
Besides learning about dosage, you may want other information about Abilify. These additional articles might be helpful:
- More about Abilify. For information about other aspects of Abilify, refer to this article.
- Side effects. To learn about the side effects of Abilify, see this article. You can also look at the Abilify prescribing information for Abilify and Abilify Mycite.
- Drug comparison. Find out how Abilify compares with Abilify Maintena, Rexulti, and Latuda.
- Interactions. For details about what Abilify interacts with, see this article.
- Details about your condition. For details about your condition, see our:
Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.