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Abilify Side Effects

Updated on June 25, 2010
Headache is a common Abilify side effect.
Headache is a common Abilify side effect.

Abilify medication is used to treat depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and irritability related to autism. For the treatment of depression and bipolar disorder, Abilify is added to antidepressant or mood-stabilizing medications. Like with most medications, Abilify can cause side effects for some people. Abilify side effects can range from mild to serious.

Common side effects of Abilify include dizziness, drowsiness, increased salivation, nervousness, pain in the joints, and headaches. Some Abilify adverse side effects are digestive and intestinal problems like constipation, heartburn, diarrhea, and stomach pain. Some people taking Abilify experience an increased appetite and weight gain.

People taking this medication who are experiencing dizziness or get lightheaded should rise from the seated or lying positions slowly to help prevent fainting. Side effects from Abilify often become less severe when the person gets adjusted to the medication. If the side effects persist, the person should notify the prescribing doctor. Some adverse side effects from Abilify can be signs of serious medical complications.

If the person experiences seizures, confusion, chest pain, high fever, changes in vision, rapid pulse, irregular heartbeat, or involuntary movements of the body or face, the person should contact the doctor immediately or seek emergency medical treatment. Rash, hives, itchiness, tightness of the throat, difficulty swallowing or breathing, or swelling of the eyes, face, tongue, or throat when taking Abilify require immediate medical attention. Muscle stiffness or tightening of the neck muscles can also be signs of serious adverse effects of Abilify that should be checked by a physician immediately.

This medication can cause increased blood sugar levels. Therefore, Abilify and diabetes may not be a good combination. If someone with diabetes is taking Abilify, the person should work closely with the doctor to make sure the blood sugar levels are not being adversely affected. Abilify can also increase the risk of diabetes. People should discuss this risk with their doctors especially if they have other risk factors for diabetes like being overweight and a family history of diabetes.

Abilify is not recommended for elderly patients for the treatment of dementia-related psychotic symptoms. Abilify is not used to treat depression in children.

For more information on Abilify for the treatment of depression, please see my article: Abilify for Depression.


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