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Taking Abilify for Anxiety and Depression: What You Should Know First

Are you one of the 40 million people suffering from anxiety? Or one of the 6.7% of Americans who live with depression?

You don’t have to deal with this alone. There are medications, therapies, and professionals that can act as a light in your perceived darkness.

One of those medications is known as Abilify. Should you take Abilify for anxiety or depression? Will it work for you?

Read on (and consult your doctor!) to find out.

What is Abilify?

Abilify is a drug mainly used for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. While these are the main indications for the drug, Abilify can also be helpful to treat anxiety and depression. Abilify for anxiety can offer the relief you need.

Second Generation Antipsychotics

Abilify is a second-generation antipsychotic and it’s known as an atypical antipsychotic. This drug came on the market in 2015 and since has been one of the top choices of prescriptions for those with schizophrenia or bipolar disorders.

A typical dose of Abilify depends on what you’re taking it for.

How to Take it

Your doctor will prescribe the beginning dosage for your disorder. For bipolar and schizophrenic patients, that will be 10-15 mg/day. For those with major depressive disorder, it is a starting dose of 2-5 mg/day.

You should start feeling the impact of Abilify for anxiety immediately, but it can take weeks to months for it to take full effect. Most mental health professionals will test out Abilify over a span of 2-4 weeks and then assess the influence it has had.

Some people do have adverse reactions, so it is important to follow up with your doctor.

It is really important to take Abilify for anxiety at the same time every day. If you miss a dose, wait until your next dose. Do not double up.

Other Names

The generic version of Abilify for anxiety is aripiprazole. Abilify tablets come in 2 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, and 30 mg.

There are also extended-release injectable options that range from 200-882mg.

Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression

If you have anxiety and depression, Abilify may be able to help you.

Not sure if you have anxiety or depression? A mental health professional is your best reference, but we’ve covered the basics here.


Those who experience anxiety may have cognitive, behavioral, and physical symptoms.

You may have a lack of concentration, excessive worry, unwanted and racing thoughts, irritability, restlessness, and hypervigilance. You may be nauseous, experience palpitations, insomnia, and tremble.

While these things aren’t abnormal, they’re not fun or necessary to deal with. If you have any symptoms of anxiety, contact your primary care or mental health provider.


Depression has a lot of faces and can show itself in many ways. It can present as anxious and irritable. You may have mood swings or experience perpetual and immense sadness. Concentrating may be difficult, and you may find it hard to go do the things you once were able to do.

Loss of interest in activities, social isolation, and fatigue are telltale signs of depression.

Those experiencing depression may be slow with their motions and speech and get agitated easily.

If you think you may be depressed, or are experiencing any or all of these symptoms, contact your doctor as soon as you’re able.


The indications of a medicine are what they are used for. Abilify is mainly prescribed for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but can also be used for depression, anxiety, autism, dementia, and more.

Abilify for Anxiety and Depression

Abilify is an approved medication for Major Depressive Disorder.

Abilify for anxiety is to be taken in adjunct with an already prescribed antidepressant. This means that Abilify is to be used with an antidepressant, and likely indicates that an antidepressant alone was not sufficient at reducing symptoms for that patient.

It is recommended to start at 2-5 mg/day of Abilify, with the average being 5-10 mg/day, and the maximum dose for depression is 15 mg/day.

There are FDA approved indications and then there are off-label uses.

Anxiety is an off-label indication of Abilify. It simply means there aren’t trials completed or the FDA hasn’t gotten around to approving that usage yet, but that there have been positive impacts of the medicine on the illness.

According to Katzman, “although there have been no randomized controlled trials, Abilify has been found to be effective in treating anxiety disorders in 2 open-label trials.”

Side Effects

As with most medications, there are possible side effects that can present when taking Abilify. Make sure to take the medicine in a controlled environment (like home) the first time you take it to see how you react.

Side effects of Abilify include headache, heartburn, diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, constipation, weight gain, nervousness, pain in extremities, increased appetite, and stomach pain.

There are some serious but rare side effects that may occur during the usage of Abilify. If you experience seizures or muscle aches and spasms, seek medical attention.

Possible Drug Interactions

As always, there are possible drug interactions you should look out for.

These include antifungals, some SSRI antidepressants, quinidine, clarithromycin, and HIV medications.


Tardive dyskinesia is a serious side effect that can occur after long-continued use of second-generation antipsychotics. This is characterized by repetitive muscle spasms or jerking movements.

Talk to the Doc

Are you interested in taking Abilify for anxiety or depression?

Before taking Abilify for anxiety , make sure to have an important conversation with your doctor about your lifestyle and habits. Make sure to talk to your doctor about any alcohol or drugs you consume, or any other risky behaviors or consumption.

Also, talk about any past medication and total patient history you’ve had before they prescribe you Abilify. Abilify has worked for hundreds of thousands of people, and if cost isn’t an obstacle, it may just be the right medication for your anxiety and depression.

Did you know Abilify for anxiety could cost $1,000 per month? The Canadian Drugstore is here to help you get the medicine you need, at an affordable rate.

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