Abilify (aripiprazole) and Rexulti (brexpiprazole) are brand-name prescription medications. They’re approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat schizophrenia and major depressive disorder in certain situations.

This article gives an overview of the main similarities and differences between Abilify and Rexulti. If you’re thinking about taking one of these drugs, talk with your doctor to compare the details. This can help you decide if one of these treatments may be better for you than the other.

Note: For more comprehensive information about these two drugs, you can refer to our Abilify and Rexulti articles.

Key differences between Abilify and Rexulti

These are a few of the main differences between Abilify and Rexulti:

  • Form: Abilify and Rexulti come as oral tablets. Abilify also comes in other forms called Abilify Mycite and Abilify Maintena. (See “Dosages, forms, and administration” below.)
  • Conditions treated: Abilify and Rexulti are both used to treat schizophrenia and major depressive disorder, but Abilify is also used to treat other conditions. (See “Uses of Abilify vs. Rexulti” below.)

Below are answers to some common questions about Abilify and Rexulti.

Does weight gain with Abilify or Rexulti differ?

No, weight gain with Abilify or Rexulti doesn’t appear to differ.

Both Abilify and Rexulti may cause weight gain. One study found that Abilify and Rexulti had a similar effect on body weight after the medications were taken for 1 year.

To learn more about weight gain with these drugs, you can refer to the prescribing information for Abilify and Rexulti. Your doctor can also provide more details.

How do Abilify and Rexulti compare with Vraylar?

Below are a few ways Abilify and Rexulti compare with the drug Vraylar.

AbilifyRexultiVraylar
Active ingredientaripiprazolebrexpiprazolecariprazine
Drug classatypical antipsychoticatypical antipsychoticatypical antipsychotic
Usesschizophrenia
major depressive disorder (MDD)
bipolar I disorder
Tourette syndrome
• irritability related to autism spectrum disorder
• schizophrenia
• MDD
• schizophrenia
bipolar I disorder
FormAbilify: oral tablet
Abilify Mycite: oral tablet that contains a sensor to record when you’ve swallowed a dose
Abilify Maintena: intramuscular injection given by a healthcare professional
oral tabletoral capsule
Frequencyonce dailyonce dailyonce daily

To learn more about how Abilify and Rexulti compare with Vraylar, talk with your doctor.

Abilify and Rexulti have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat the following.

Abilify or Rexulti and children

Abilify and Rexulti have been approved by the FDA to treat the following conditions in children.

  • Both Abilify and Rexulti are FDA-approved to treat:
    • schizophrenia in children ages 13 years and older
  • Abilify is also FDA-approved to treat:
    • manic and mixed episodes in children ages 10 years and older with bipolar I disorder, either alone or with lithium or valproate

Note: Abilify is available in several forms: Abilify, Abilify Mycite, and Abilify Maintena.* Each form of Abilify may be used for different conditions. For more information about the drugs’ uses, see our articles about Abilify and Rexulti. You can also talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* For details, see “Dosages, forms, and administration” below.

Here’s information about the generic status for all forms of Abilify and Rexulti, as well as their active ingredients.

AbilifyRexulti
Generic availableAbilify: yes
• Abilify Mycite:* no
Abilify Maintena:* no
no
Active ingredientaripiprazolebrexpiprazole
Drug classatypical antipsychoticatypical antipsychotic

The generic version of Abilify is called aripiprazole.

* For details, see “Dosages, forms, and administration” below.

Here’s a quick look at the dosage and administration of Abilify and Rexulti for the conditions both drugs treat.

Note: Abilify is available in several forms: Abilify, Abilify Mycite, and Abilify Maintena. This section focuses on the Abilify and Abilify Mycite forms and the dosages for each. Abilify Maintena is an intramuscular injection given by a healthcare professional. To learn more about this form and its dosage, talk with your doctor.

Dosage for schizophrenia

Below are the dosages of Abilify, Abilify Mycite, and Rexulti for schizophrenia.

Abilify for schizophreniaRexulti for schizophrenia
FormAbilify: oral tablet
Abilify Mycite: oral tablet that contains a sensor to record when you’ve swallowed a dose
oral tablet
Strengths• 2 milligrams (mg)
• 5 mg
• 10 mg
• 15 mg
• 20 mg
• 30 mg
• 0.25 mg
• 0.5 mg
• 1 mg
• 2 mg
• 3 mg
• 4 mg
Dosestarting dose: 10 mg to 15 mg
maintenance dose: 10 mg to 15 mg
maximum dose: 30 mg
starting dose: 1 mg
maintenance dose: 2 mg to 4 mg
maximum dose: 4 mg
Frequencyonce dailyonce daily
Given byselfself

Dosage for major depressive disorder

Below are the dosages of Abilify, Abilify Mycite, and Rexulti for major depressive disorder (MDD).

Abilify for MDDRexulti for MDD
FormAbilify: oral tablet
Abilify Mycite: oral tablet that contains a sensor to record when you’ve swallowed a dose
oral tablet
Strengths• 2 mg
• 5 mg
• 10 mg
• 15 mg
• 20 mg
• 30 mg
• 0.25 mg
• 0.5 mg
• 1 mg
• 2 mg
• 3 mg
• 4 mg
Dosestarting dose: 2 mg to 5 mg
maintenance dose: 5 mg to 10 mg
maximum dose: 15 mg
starting dose: 0.5 mg or 1 mg
maintenance dose: 2 mg
maximum dose: 3 mg
Frequencyonce dailyonce daily
Given byselfself

Note: For more information about dosage, see our dosage articles about Abilify and Rexulti.

Both Abilify and Rexulti belong to a class of drugs called atypical antipsychotics. These drugs can cause some of the same side effects, as well as some different ones. Some of the side effects reported in clinical trials of these drugs are mentioned below.

For more information about side effects of the two drugs, see our side effect articles about Abilify and Rexulti. You can also refer to the prescribing information for Abilify and Rexulti, which contains details about the drugs’ clinical trials.

Note: Abilify is available in several forms: Abilify, Abilify Mycite, and Abilify Maintena.* This section focuses on the side effects of Abilify. To learn about side effects of Abilify’s other forms, talk with your doctor. You can also refer to the prescribing information for Abilify Mycite and Abilify Maintena.

* For details, see “Dosages, forms, and administration” above.

Mild side effects

The following table lists some of the more commonly reported mild side effects of Abilify and Rexulti. The table may also include less common mild side effects that you might have concerns about in some cases.

Mild side effectsAbilifyRexulti
akathisia (feeling restless or an urge to move)
blurry vision
constipation
fatigue
headache
indigestion
sleep problems, such as insomnia and sleepiness
tremor
upper respiratory infection, such as the common cold
mild allergic reaction✓*

These side effects may be temporary, lasting a few days to weeks. If the side effects last longer than that, bother you, or become severe, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* An allergic reaction is possible after using Rexulti, but this side effect wasn’t reported in clinical trials.

Serious side effects

The following table lists the reported serious side effects of Abilify and Rexulti.

Serious side effectsAbilifyRexulti
increased risk of death in certain older adults✓*✓*
increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in certain younger people✓*✓*
changes in metabolism, which may lead to weight gain, high blood sugar levels, and high cholesterol and triglyceride levels
anxiety
neuroleptic malignant syndrome (a condition that causes confusion and rigid muscles)
extrapyramidal symptoms (involuntary movements), which occur with conditions such as tardive dyskinesia
uncontrollable urges to do certain activities, such as eating or shopping
orthostatic hypotension (sudden drop in blood pressure upon standing)
trouble regulating your body temperature
trouble swallowing
low level of white blood cells
seizure
trouble thinking or making decisions
severe allergic reaction✓†

If you have serious side effects while using Abilify or Rexulti, call your doctor immediately. If the side effects feel life threatening or you believe you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number right away.

* Abilify and Rexulti have a boxed warning for this side effect. A boxed warning is a serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). To learn more, see “Precautions for Abilify and Rexulti” below.
† An allergic reaction is possible after using Rexulti, but this side effect wasn’t reported in clinical trials.

Suicide prevention

If you know someone at immediate risk of self-harm, suicide, or hurting another person:

  • Ask the tough question: “Are you considering suicide?”
  • Listen to the person without judgment.
  • Call 911 or the local emergency number, or text TALK to 741741 to communicate with a trained crisis counselor.
  • Stay with the person until professional help arrives.
  • Try to remove any weapons, medications, or other potentially harmful objects.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, a prevention hotline can help. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 988. During a crisis, people who are hard of hearing can use their preferred relay service or dial 711 then 988.

Click here for more links and local resources.

Keep reading to learn about the effectiveness of Abilify and Rexulti.

Review of studies. Separate studies of Abilify and Rexulti were compared in a larger review of studies. This review found that Abilify and Rexulti were equally effective for treating episodes of schizophrenia.

It’s important to remember that these results may not apply to your individual health situation. Be sure to discuss with your doctor whether Abilify or Rexulti may be right for you.

Prescribing information. For information about how these drugs performed in clinical trials, see the prescribing information for Abilify and Rexulti. Keep in mind that trial results may not apply to your individual health situation.

Treatment guidelines. Another way to see whether a drug is considered effective is to look at treatment guidelines.

When an organization includes certain drugs in treatment guidelines, this means that research has shown the drug to be safe and effective.

Antipsychotic drugs are recommended as treatment options for people with schizophrenia in guidelines from the American Psychiatric Association. (Both Abilify and Rexulti are antipsychotic drugs.)

How much Abilify or Rexulti costs depends on the treatment plan your doctor prescribes, your insurance plan, and your pharmacy. For Abilify Maintena, it will also depend on the cost of the visit to a healthcare professional to receive doses of the drug. You can visit Optum Perks for price estimates of Abilify and Rexulti.

Both Abilify and Rexulti are brand-name drugs. Abilify also comes in a generic form. Brand-name medications are often more expensive than generics. To learn about the generic form of either drug, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

For more cost information about these two drugs, see our Abilify and Rexulti articles.

Abilify and Rexulti may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. The two drugs share some of the same precautions, but they also have different ones. Some of these precautions are mentioned below.

Boxed warnings

Abilify and Rexulti have boxed warnings. These are serious warnings from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A boxed warning alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Increased risk of death in certain older adults. Antipsychotic drugs may increase the risk of death in adults ages 65 years and older with psychosis related to dementia. (Psychosis is a mental health condition that causes hallucinations or delusions.) Abilify and Rexulti are antipsychotic drugs.

Antipsychotics may also increase the risk of stroke in older adults with psychosis related to dementia. This could, in some cases, lead to death. Symptoms of stroke can include:

  • headache
  • confusion
  • weakness in your face, arm, or leg (usually on one side of the body)

If you have stroke symptoms while taking Abilify or Rexulti, 911 or your local emergency number should be called right away.

Due to these risks, doctors typically will not prescribe Abilify or Rexulti for older adults with psychosis related to dementia. If you’re an older adult with these conditions, your doctor can recommend the treatment option that’s right for you.

Increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in certain younger people. Medications used to treat depression can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in younger people. This risk applies to children and adults ages 24 years and younger. Abilify and Rexulti are used to treat major depressive disorder (also called depression) in adults. However, these medications are not approved to treat depression in children.

While you’re taking Abilify or Rexulti, you, your friends, and family should watch for new or worsening suicidal thoughts or behaviors. Symptoms can include mood changes, such as agitation, hostility, anger, and irritability. If you have these symptoms while taking Abilify or Rexulti, tell your doctor right away.

If you have thoughts of harming yourself while taking Abilify or Rexulti, call 911 or your local emergency number right away.

Precautions

In addition to boxed warnings, Abilify and Rexulti have other warnings.

If any of the following medical conditions or other health factors are relevant to you, talk with your doctor before using Abilify or Rexulti.

PrecautionAbilifyRexulti
if you’ve had an allergic reaction to either drug or any of its ingredients
if you’re pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant
if you’re breastfeeding or thinking about breastfeeding
if you have seizures
if you have diabetes
if you have blood pressure, cholesterol, or heart problems such as heart failure
if you have a low level of white blood cells
if you have a liver or kidney problem

Note: For more comprehensive information about these two drugs, you can refer to our Abilify and Rexulti articles. You can also see our article about Abilify interactions.

Switching between Abilify and Rexulti might be possible.

If you’d like to know more about switching between Abilify and Rexulti, talk with your doctor. They can give you additional details and help determine the best course of action for your personal situation. Even if two drugs treat the same condition or are in the same drug class, your body can still respond differently. It’s important that you do not stop, start, or switch any of your drug treatments without your doctor’s recommendation.

Some key points to remember when comparing Abilify and Rexulti include:

  • Abilify and Rexulti are used to treat major depressive disorder and schizophrenia in certain situations. Abilify is also approved to treat bipolar I disorder as well as other conditions in children.
  • Abilify is available only as an oral tablet. Rexulti is available as an oral tablet and other forms.

If you’d like to learn more about Abilify or Rexulti, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can help answer any questions you have about similarities and differences between the drugs. They can also help determine whether one drug or the other might work well for you.

Note: For more information about conditions related to Abilify and Rexulti, see our depression and mental health hubs.

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.