Abilify Side Effects

by on December 24, 2011


The list of side effects of Abilify ranges from very common to extremely rare. Some of the most common side effects are headache, weight gain and drowsiness. Severe but rare side effects include jaundice, tremors, convulsions and fainting.

Common Abilify Side Effects

There are some side effects that are reported among users more often than others, but they are not serious and are usually not bothersome enough for patients to stop taking the medication. These include:

  • Mild upset stomach
  • Weight gain
  • Headache
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Drowsiness, Fatigue, Weakness, or Feelings of Sedation
  • Insomnia or the inability to fall asleep
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Dry Mouth

These side effects are not considered medical emergencies, but they can present problems to patients taking Abilify if they are left unchecked. Most of these side effects resolve on their own during treatment, but patients are encouraged to see their doctors if they persist or become especially uncomfortable.

Serious Abilify Side Effects

Very rarely, patients report some of the following serious side effects. Although these occur infrequently, they are a very real possibility and require patients to seek immediate medical attention. They include:

  • Tremors
  • Uncontrollable muscle movements
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Convulsions
  • Fainting
  • New or worsening mental or mood problems
  • One-sided weakness
  • Swelling of the hands or feet
  • Loss of coordination
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Sore throat
  • Joint pain

Patients who experience any of these side effects or signs of an allergic reaction should stop taking Abilify and seek immediate medical care. Doctors should monitor patients closely to determine whether or not the severity of these Abilify side effects outweighs the benefits of the treatment.

Abilify Use with Existing Medical Conditions

Abilify should not be taken by anyone who is allergic to aripiprazole or any of the ingredients in the medication. Also, Abilify has been shown to cause significant increases in blood sugar; diabetics should weigh the benefits and risks of the drug and be closely monitored while being treated with aripiprazole.

Since Abilify can cause serious drops in blood pressure, especially when rising from a sitting or standing position, people with certain heart problems or risk factors for strokes should not take Abilify unless the benefits clearly outweigh the risks for these conditions. Finally, people suffering from epilepsy or other seizure disorders may see an increase in seizures during treatment with aripiprazole.

Abilify in Children

Abilify has been approved for the treatment of children as young as six years of age who display aggressive tendencies or irritability with autism. Abilify has been clinically shown to reduce this irritability and improve autistic children’s quality of life.

Aripiprazole has also been approved to treat children aged 10 to 17 with bipolar disorder to reduce the severity of manic episodes, and  children aged 13 to 17 with schizophrenia often improve as well. In each case, physicians will very carefully adjust the dosage of the medication to ensure that the lowest dose that controls symptoms is used for the shortest amount of time possible. This helps reduce the risk of adverse Abilify side effects in children.

Abilify has been proven to help people dealing with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and autism. Patients taking Abilify and their caregivers are urged to fully read about and understand all of the possible side effects of aripiprazole and Abilify in order to achieve a better quality of life—both physically and mentally.