Aripiprazole is a type of medication called an atypical anti-psychotic. It is sold under a variety of brand names including Abilify and Aripiprex.
Aripiprazole is primarily used to treat some of the symptoms of schizophrenia and depression.
Aripiprazole is believed to work by changing the behaviour and characteristics of key neurotransmitters in the brain, in particular serotonin and dopamine.
Aripiprazole is sometimes used to help children and adolescents with autistic disorder control irritable behaviour such as aggression, temper tantrums, and frequent mood changes.
There is very strong research evidence to suggest that aripiprazole may be beneficial for the treatment of hyperactivity, irritability and repetitive behaviours in some children and young people on the autism spectrum, when other treatments and therapies have not worked.
There is almost no research evidence to suggest that aripiprazole may be beneficial for the treatment of these behaviours in adults on the autism spectrum.
There is no research evidence to suggest that aripiprazole has any significant effects on the core features of autism.
There is very strong research evidence of significant side effects of aripiprazole in some children and young people on the autism spectrum. Those side effects may include weight gain, sedation, fatigue, vomiting, somnolence, and tremor. Those side effects may also include increased hyperactivity in some individuals.
Please read our Disclaimer on Autism Interventions