Common Brands Abilify
Drug Class
Atypical antipsychotic
Controlled Substance Classification
Not a controlled medication
Generic Status
Lower-cost generic available
Prescription only
Daisy Chau, PharmD
Daisy Chau, PharmD
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Medically reviewed by Daisy Chau, PharmD last update on 27/01/2024


Abilify, known generically as aripiprazole, is a distinctive antipsychotic medication that stands out for its broad application in psychiatric care. Introduced in the early 2000s, Abilify marked a significant development in the treatment of various mental health disorders. Its primary function is as a modulator of dopamine and serotonin receptors, which are key neurotransmitters involved in mood, behavior, and cognition.

Aripiprazole’s unique mechanism of action lies in its ability to act as a partial agonist at dopamine and serotonin receptors. This means it can enhance neurotransmitter activity in situations of deficiency and reduce it when there’s excess activity, thereby maintaining a more balanced neurological state. 

This versatility makes it particularly effective not just as an antipsychotic but also as an adjunctive treatment for major depressive disorder, where it’s used alongside traditional antidepressants to enhance their efficacy.



Prescription only

Pregnancy & Lactation