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
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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.
  • Whilst taking aripiprazole some people may 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 might cause unpleasant withdrawal 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, there is nothing to suggest it will harm 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 a second generation antipsychotic and sometimes described as an atypical antipsychotic. 

An antipsychotic medicine helps to adjust the levels of dopamine and other chemicals available in your brain to help with the symptoms. Aripiprazole regulates dopamine in the brain, reducing its activity where it is too high and increasing 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 long-acting monthly injection 

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

  • The aripiprazole tablets 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 sucralose. This should not affect your blood sugars if you are diabetic.

Reference sources

Search www.medicines.org.uk to find patient information leaflets and prescribing information on aripiprazole. Tablets, liquid. Oral solution and injection products are listed by brand. The SmPC lists all the inactive ingredients in the product so you can check against any allergies. If you are still unsure about this then speak to your pharmacist.

  • British National Formulary (BNF) and British National Formulary for children. Download the BNF/BNFC app (blue background) on to your mobile device. No longer available for public access via the web 
  • Taylor D, Barnes T, Young A. Maudsley Prescribing Guidelines in Psychiatry, 13th edition. Oxford: John Wiley & Sons, May 2018. ISBN: 978-1-119-44260-8
  • Royal Pharmaceutical Society. Medicines Ethics and Practice (42nd edition). London: RPS, 2018. Standards for pharmacists to work to. It is not a free publication
  • World Anti Doping Agency WADA Prohibited List https://www.wada-ama.org/en/resources/science-medicine/prohibited-list-documents 
  • Choiceandmedication; an independent source of information on many mental health conditions and their medicines with easy to read fact sheets www.choiceandmedication.org Personal subscriptions to download the app available for £1 per month (with proportionate discounts for longer periods) but your local mental health Trust may subscribe and provide information sheets for free.
  • Best Use of Medicines in Pregnancy (BUMPS). Information sheets on drugs in pregnancy http://www.medicinesinpregnancy.org/ 
  • Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed). Information on drugs in breastfeeding https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/newtoxnet/lactmed.htm