HeadMeds gives young people in the United Kingdom general information about medication. HeadMeds does not give you medical advice. Please talk to your Doctor or anyone else who is supporting you about your own situation because everyone is different. Please read more important details about our site.

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Aripiprazole

Return to Aripiprazole overview
  1. Use and Action
  2. Warnings and side effects
  3. Sex, drink, weight and everything else
Katie louise listing
Treating bipolar, depression and anxiety
If I could go back in time to before I started taking meds, I would tell myself to persevere as things will get better, even if it doesn’t feel that way.

Aripiprazole can be used to treat the following conditions

Headmeds fills the medicines information gaps for young people - things you might want to know about meds like will it affect my sex life? Can I still study?  Can I drink?
Headmeds does not give medical advice so this is just general information.
Each medicine has a balance of good and bad effects, and each person gets their own individual effects.
You might want to know just one thing about your medicine, but on each page we have given you the ‘safety headlines’. Please read them as they are important.
We have included lots of information about each medicine - but if you want all the details, please look at the patient information leaflet - which is inside every pack. These leaflets are also at www.medicines.org.uk - where there will be the most up-to-date information.

Safety headlines

  • If you have taken more aripiprazole than it said on the label, you must see a doctor quickly – even if you do not feel any different.
  • Aripiprazole can make some people think about hurting themselves or committing suicide. You must go straight to hospital with your tablets if you have any of these thoughts.
  • Aripiprazole can also cause other serious side-effects: allergic reactions (difficulty breathing, swelling of your face or throat, itching skin lumps), and other serious symptoms that you can find here. Go to a hospital if you get any of these symptoms, with your medicine.
  • Stopping aripiprazole suddenly can cause serious side-effects – go to your doctor if you want to stop, or if you are having these effects.
  • You might feel sleepy or dizzy in the first few days after taking aripiprazole – do not drive a car, ride a bike or operate machines until you see how this affects you.
  • If you take aripiprazole while you are pregnant, we do not know if it can affect the developing baby. Use good contraception while you are taking aripiprazole. It can also cause symptoms in newborn babies if you take it at the end of pregnancy. Talk to your doctor or midwife about this and get their help.

Basic details

Aripiprazole is an atypical antipsychotic medicine, also called a second generation antipsychotic

An antipsychotic medicine helps to adjust the levels of dopamine and other chemicals available in your brain to help with the symptoms. Aripiprazole blocks dopamine in the brain where it is too high and increases its activity where it is too low.

Aripiprazole can be used to treat schizophrenia, mania, and to help with agitation in schizophrenia

You can take aripiprazole as tablets, orodispersible tablets liquid, a short acting injection. or a new long-acting monthly injection 

The tablets contain lactose, the orodispersible (melt) tablets contain aspartame, and the liquid contains sugar

  • The aripiprazole tablets that you swallow may not be suitable for you if you have problems eating some sugars or dairy (milk-based) foods, as they contain lactose.
  • The aripiprazole orodispersible (‘melt in your mouth’) tablets contain aspartame, which can be a problem for people who have a condition called phenylketonuria.
  • The oral solution (liquid) contains some sugars.

Reference sources

  • Taylor D, Paton C, Kapur S. Maudsley Prescribing Guidelines in Psychiatry, 11th edition, 2012. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • British National Formulary (BNF) 66th edition, 2013. London: BMJ Group / Pharmaceutical Press.
  • British National Formulary for Children (BNFc) 2013-2014. London: BMJ Group / Pharmaceutical Press.
  • NICE – Clinical Guideline CG38. Bipolar disorder: The management of bipolar disorder in adults, children and adolescents, in primary and secondary care. July 2006. Available at http://guidance.nice.org.uk/CG38 (Accessed 28th February 2014)
  • MHRA. Antiepileptics: Changing Products 25/11/13, www.mhra.gov.uk (Accessed 28th February 2014)
  • Poisons Index – Carbamazepine www.toxbase.org
  • Neal MC. Medical Pharmacology at a Glance (7th Edition). Oxford: John Wiley & Sons, 2012.
  • Taylor D, Paton C, Kapur S. Maudsley Prescribing Guidelines in Psychiatry, 11th edition. Oxford: John Wiley & Sons, 2012.
  • British National Formulary (BNF) 66th edition. London: BMJ Group / Pharmaceutical Press, 2013.
  • British National Formulary for Children (BNFc) 2013-2014. London: BMJ Group / Pharmaceutical Press, 2013.
  • WADA Prohibited List 2014. Available at http://www.wada-ama.org/Documents/World_Anti-Doping_Program/WADP-Prohibited-list/2014/WADA-prohibited-list-2014-EN.pdf (Accessed 31st January 2014)
  • Neal MC. Medical Pharmacology at a Glance (7th Edition). Oxford: John Wiley & Sons, 2012.
  • Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. Medicines Ethics and Practice (37th edition). London: RPS, 2013.