ABILIFY MAINTENA® (aripiprazole)

ABILIFY MAINTENA® (aripiprazole)

ABILIFY MAINTENA® (aripiprazole)

Aripiprazole is an atypical antipsychotic which is present in ABILIFY MAINTENA as its monohydrate polymorphic form. Aripiprazole monohydrate is 7-[4-[4-(2,3-dichlorophenyl)-1-piperazinyl] butoxy]-3,4 dihydrocarbostyril monohydrate. The empirical formula is C23H27Cl2N3O2•H2O and its molecular weight is 466.40.

ABILIFY MAINTENA (aripiprazole) is an extended-release injectable suspension available in 400-mg or 300-mg strength pre-filled dual chamber syringes and 400-mg or 300-mg strength vials. The labeled strengths are calculated based on the anhydrous form (aripiprazole). Inactive ingredients (per administered dose) for 400-mg and 300-mg strength products, respectively, include carboxymethyl cellulose sodium (16.64 mg and 12.48 mg), mannitol (83.2 mg and 62.4 mg), sodium phosphate monobasic monohydrate (1.48 mg and 1.11 mg) and sodium hydroxide (pH adjuster).

Indications and usage

ABILIFY MAINTENA is an atypical antipsychotic indicated for:

  • Treatment of schizophrenia in adults
  • Maintenance monotherapy treatment of bipolar I disorder in adults

Mechanism of Action

The mechanism of action of aripiprazole in the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder is unknown.

The efficacy of aripiprazole could be mediated through a combination of partial agonist activity at dopamine D2 and serotonin 5-HT1A receptors and antagonist activity at 5-HT2A receptors.

Dosage and administration

ABILIFY MAINTENA is only to be administered by intramuscular injection by a healthcare professional. The recommended starting and maintenance dose of ABILIFY MAINTENA is 400 mg monthly (no sooner than 26 days after the previous injection).

For patients who have never taken aripiprazole, establish tolerability with oral aripiprazole prior to initiating treatment with ABILIFY MAINTENA. Due to the half-life of oral aripiprazole, it may take up to 2 weeks to fully assess tolerability.

After the first ABILIFY MAINTENA injection, administer oral aripiprazole (10 mg to 20 mg) for 14 consecutive days to achieve therapeutic aripiprazole concentrations during initiation of therapy. For patients already stable on another oral antipsychotic (and known to tolerate aripiprazole), after the first ABILIFY MAINTENA injection, continue treatment with the antipsychotic for 14 consecutive days to maintain therapeutic antipsychotic concentrations during initiation of therapy.

If there are adverse reactions with the 400-mg dosage, consider reducing the dosage to 300 mg once monthly.

Dosage Adjustments for Missed Doses

If the second or third doses are missed:

  • If more than 4 weeks and less than 5 weeks have elapsed since the last injection, administer the injection as soon as possible.
  • If more than 5 weeks have elapsed since the last injection, restart concomitant oral aripiprazole for 14 days with the next administered injection.

If the fourth or subsequent doses are missed:

  • If more than 4 weeks and less than 6 weeks have elapsed since the last injection, administer the injection as soon as possible.
  • If more than 6 weeks have elapsed since the last injection, restart concomitant oral aripiprazole for 14 days with the next administered injection.


ABILIFY MAINTENA is contraindicated in patients with a known hypersensitivity to aripiprazole. Hypersensitivity reactions ranging from pruritus/urticaria to anaphylaxis have been reported in patients receiving aripiprazole

Adverse reactions

Most commonly observed adverse reactions with ABILIFY MAINTENA in patients with schizophrenia (incidence ≥5% and at least twice that for placebo) were increased weight, akathisia, injection site pain, and sedation

Warnings and precautions

Increased Mortality in Elderly Patients with Dementia- Related Psychosis: Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death. Analyses of 17 placebo-controlled trials (modal duration of 10 weeks), largely in patients taking atypical antipsychotic drugs, revealed a risk of death in drug-treated patients of between 1.6 to 1.7 times the risk of death in placebo-treated patients.

Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome: A potentially fatal symptom complex sometimes referred to as Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) may occur with administration of antipsychotic drugs, including ABILIFY MAINTENA. Rare cases of NMS occurred during aripiprazole treatment in the worldwide clinical database.

Tardive Dyskinesia: A syndrome of potentially irreversible, involuntary, dyskinetic movements may develop in patients treated with antipsychotic drugs. Although the prevalence of the syndrome appears to be highest among the elderly, especially elderly women, it is impossible to rely upon prevalence estimates to predict, at the inception of antipsychotic treatment, which patients are likely to develop the syndrome. Whether antipsychotic drug products differ in their potential to cause tardive dyskinesia is unknown.

Metabolic Changes: Atypical antipsychotic drugs have been associated with metabolic changes that include hyperglycemia/diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, and weight gain. While all drugs in the class have been shown to produce some metabolic changes, each drug has its own specific risk profile.

Pathological Gambling and Other Compulsive Behaviors: Post-marketing case reports suggest that patients can experience intense urges, particularly for gambling, and the inability to control these urges while taking aripiprazole. Other compulsive urges, reported less frequently, include: sexual urges, shopping, eating or binge eating, and other impulsive or compulsive behaviors

Falls: Antipsychotics, including ABILIFY MAINTENA, may cause somnolence, postural hypotension, motor and sensory instability, which may lead to falls and, consequently, fractures or other injuries. For patients with diseases, conditions, or medications that could exacerbate these effects, complete fall risk assessments when initiating antipsychotic treatment and recurrently for patients on longterm antipsychotic therapy.

Leukopenia, Neutropenia, and Agranulocytosis: In clinical trials and post-marketing experience, leukopenia and neutropenia have been reported temporally related to antipsychotic agents, including ABILIFY MAINTENA. Agranulocytosis has also been reported

Seizures: As with other antipsychotic drugs, use ABILIFY MAINTENA cautiously in patients with a history of seizures or with conditions that lower the seizure threshold. Conditions that lower the seizure threshold may be more prevalent in a population of 65 years or older.

Potential for Cognitive and Motor Impairment: ABILIFY MAINTENA, like other antipsychotics, may impair judgment, thinking, or motor skills. Instruct patients to avoid operating hazardous machinery, including automobiles, until they are reasonably certain that therapy with ABILIFY MAINTENA does not affect them adversely.

Body Temperature Regulation: Disruption of the body’s ability to reduce core body temperature has been attributed to antipsychotic agents. Appropriate care is advised when prescribing ABILIFY MAINTENA for patients who will be experiencing conditions which may contribute to an elevation in core body temperature, (e.g., exercising strenuously, exposure to extreme heat, receiving concomitant medication with anticholinergic activity, or being subject to dehydration).

Dysphagia: Esophageal dysmotility and aspiration have been associated with antipsychotic drug use, including ABILIFY MAINTENA. ABILIFY MAINTENA and other antipsychotic drugs should be used cautiously in patients at risk for aspiration pneumonia

Use in specific populations

Pregnancy: Neonates exposed to antipsychotic drugs, including ABILIFY MAINTENA, during the third trimester of pregnancy are at risk for extrapyramidal and/or withdrawal symptoms. There are insufficient data with ABILIFY MAINTENA use in pregnant women to inform a drug-associated risk.

Extrapyramidal and/or withdrawal symptoms, including agitation, hypertonia, hypotonia, tremor, somnolence, respiratory distress and feeding disorder have been reported in neonates who were exposed to antipsychotic drugs (including oral aripiprazole) during the third trimester of pregnancy. These symptoms have varied in severity. Some neonates recovered within hours or days without specific treatment; others required prolonged hospitalization. Monitor neonates exhibiting extrapyramidal and/or withdrawal symptoms and manage symptoms appropriately.

Lactation: Aripiprazole is present in human breast milk; however, there are insufficient data to assess the amount in human milk, the effects on the breastfed infant, or the effects on milk production. The development and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for ABILIFY MAINTENA and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from ABILIFY MAINTENA or from the underlying maternal condition.

Pediatric Use: ABILIFY MAINTENA has not been studied in children 18 years of age or younger.

CYP2D6 Poor Metabolizers: Dosage adjustment is recommended in known CYP2D6 poor metabolizers due to high aripiprazole concentrations. Approximately 8% of Caucasians and 3 to 8% of Black/African Americans cannot metabolize CYP2D6 substrates and are classified as poor metabolizers (PM)

Hepatic and Renal Impairment: No dosage adjustment for ABILIFY MAINTENA is required on the basis of a patient’s hepatic function (mild to severe hepatic impairment, Child-Pugh score between 5 and 15), or renal function (mild to severe renal impairment, glomerular filtration rate between 15 and 90 mL/minute)


The largest known case of acute ingestion with a known outcome involved 1260 mg of oral aripiprazole (42 times the maximum recommended daily dose) in a patient who fully recovered.

Common adverse reactions (reported in at least 5% of all overdose cases) reported with oral aripiprazole overdosage (alone or in combination with other substances) include vomiting, somnolence, and tremor. Other clinically important signs and symptoms observed in one or more patients with aripiprazole overdoses (alone or with other substances) include acidosis, aggression, aspartate aminotransferase increased, atrial fibrillation, bradycardia, coma, confusional state, convulsion, blood creatine phosphokinase increased, depressed level of consciousness, hypertension, hypokalemia, hypotension, lethargy, loss of consciousness, QRS complex prolonged, QT prolonged, pneumonia aspiration, respiratory arrest, status epilepticus, and tachycardia.

Management of Overdosage

In case of overdosage, call the Poison Control Center immediately at 1-800-222-1222.


Pre-filled dual chamber syringe: Store below 30°C [86°F]. Do not freeze. Protect the syringe from light by storing in the original package until time of use.

Vial: Store at 25°C (77°F), excursions permitted between 15°C and 30°C (59°F to 86°F) [see USP Controlled Room Temperature].

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