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Abilify for Depression

Updated on June 25, 2010
Abilify (aripiprazole) 10 mg.
Abilify (aripiprazole) 10 mg.

Many antidepressant medications are used for depression treatment. Despite taking the antidepressant as prescribed, people may still suffer from some symptoms of depression. Doctors may prescribe Abilify for depression when an antidepressant alone isn't providing complete relief of the depression symptoms.

The Abilify generic form is called aripiprazole. Abilify is not designed to treat depression alone. It works in combination with popular antidepressants like Paxil, Lexapro, Effexor XR, Prozac, and Zoloft. Abilify medication affects the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. Abnormal levels of dopamine and serotonin levels are thought to contribute to the development of depression symptoms.

Unfortunately, there are no medical tests to determine what brain chemicals are causing the depression, so much of the treatment of depression is done through trial and error of trying different medications. These trials of different medications for depression can be difficult on the patient.

The antidepressants that work with Abilify often take up to six weeks to help alleviate the symptoms of clinical depression. If the person continues to experience these symptoms after trying the antidepressant for over six weeks, the physician may decide to add Abilify for depression treatment. The physician may recommend cognitive behavioral therapy or another type of therapy as part of the treatment plan for depression.

In addition to using Abilify for major depressive disorder (MDD), Abilify may be prescribed to treat bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or autism. Instead of being used with an antidepressant for treating depression, Abilify for bipolar disorder may be prescribed with Depakote or Lithium.

Abilify comes in tablets, dissolving tablets, liquid, and injectable forms. Abilify dose measurements of the tablets are 2 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, and 30 mg. The Abilify dosage prescribed by a physician usually starts at a low dose and is gradually increased as needed. If the person forgets a dose of Abilify, the person should take the missed dose as soon as possible unless it is soon time for the next dose.

Some people experience bothersome side effects of Abilify as is common with most medications. For more information about the side effects, please see my article: Abilify Side Effects.

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