Abilify (aripiprazole) and Rexulti (brexpiprazole) are prescription drugs used to treat schizophrenia and depression. Both drugs come as tablets that you take once per day. Abilify is also available as a generic drug, but Rexulti is not.

This article explains the main ways that Abilify and Rexulti are alike and different. Note that Abilify comes in several forms, but this article compares only Abilify oral tablets with Rexulti. For more information about these drugs, including details about their uses, see the in-depth articles on Abilify and Rexulti.

You may wonder whether Abilify or Rexulti is available as a generic. To find out, see the list below.

A generic drug is an exact copy of the active ingredient in a brand-name medication. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.)

  • Abilify:
    • Available as a generic: yes
    • Active ingredient: aripiprazole
  • Rexulti:
    • Available as a generic: no
    • Active ingredient: brexpiprazole

If you’ve been prescribed Abilify and are interested in taking the generic version instead, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Abilify and Rexulti are used to treat certain mental health conditions.

See the chart below to check which conditions each drug treats.

Condition treatedAbilifyRexulti
Depression
Schizophrenia
Bipolar disorder
Irritability associated with autism spectrum disorder
Tourette syndrome
Agitation from dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease

To learn more about using Abilify or Rexulti to treat your condition, talk with your doctor.

Abilify or Rexulti and children

Abilify and Rexulti are used to treat schizophrenia in children ages 13 years and older. Abilify is also used to treat:

  • bipolar disorder in children ages 10 years and older
  • Tourette syndrome in children ages 6 years and older
  • irritability associated with autism spectrum disorder in children ages 6 years and older

Here’s an overview of the dosage and how you’ll take Abilify and Rexulti for the conditions they both treat. The strengths of each drug are listed in milligrams (mg).

Abilify and Rexulti have additional uses, but these aren’t addressed below. To learn more about the dosages for all conditions these drugs treat, see these articles on Abilify and Rexulti.

Dosage for depression

Abilify for depressionRexulti for depression
Formtablet that you swallowtablet that you swallow
Strengths• 2 mg
• 5 mg
• 10 mg
• 15 mg
• 0.25 mg
• 0.5 mg
• 1 mg
• 2 mg
• 3 mg
Dosedepends on your treatment plandepends on your treatment plan
How often to takeonce dailyonce daily

For treating depression, Abilify or Rexulti is taken with an antidepressant.

Dosage for schizophrenia

Abilify for schizophreniaRexulti for schizophrenia
Formtablet that you swallowtablet that you swallow
Strengths• 2 mg
• 5 mg
• 10 mg
• 15 mg
• 20 mg
• 30 mg
• 0.25 mg
• 0.5 mg
• 1 mg
• 2 mg
• 3 mg
• 4 mg
Dosedepends on your treatment plandepends on your treatment plan
How often to takeonce dailyonce daily

Abilify and Rexulti may cause mild side effects in some people. For more information about possible side effects, see the side effect articles on Abilify and Rexulti.

Mild side effects

The chart below lists examples of mild side effects that have been reported with these drugs.

AbilifyRexulti
Constipation
Weight gain
Tiredness
Restlessness
Insomnia (trouble sleeping)
Blurry vision
Headache
Anxiety
Urinary tract infection (UTI)
Urinary retention (bladder doesn’t empty completely)
Sexual side effects, such as erectile dysfunction

This chart may not include all mild side effects of these drugs. For more information on mild side effects of the two drugs, see the Abilify prescribing information and Rexulti prescribing information.

Serious side effects

In addition to the mild side effects described above, serious side effects may occur in people using Abilify or Rexulti. See the chart below for a list of side effects that have been reported with these drugs.

AbilifyRexulti
Low levels of white blood cells
Orthostatic hypotension (sudden drop in blood pressure when you stand), which may lead to fainting or falls
Increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behaviors in some children and young adults*
Increased risk of death in older adults with psychosis related to dementia*
Allergic reaction
Seizures
Trouble regulating body temperature
Tardive dyskinesia (a condition that causes uncontrolled body movements)
Neuroleptic malignant syndrome, which can cause high fever and muscle rigidity
Problems with metabolism, which may lead to high cholesterol, high blood sugar, or weight gain
Compulsive or uncontrollable behaviors, such as an urge to gamble or shop, increased sexual urges, or compulsive overeating
Trouble swallowing
Slowed thinking or reflexes, which may impact the ability to drive or operate heavy machinery
Increased risk of stroke

* Abilify and Rexulti have a boxed warning for this side effect. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). To learn more, see the “What are the warnings of Abilify and Rexulti?” section below.
† An allergic reaction is possible after using Abilify or Rexulti. But this side effect wasn’t reported in studies.

Help is out there

If you or someone you know is in crisis and considering suicide or self-harm, please seek support:

If you’re calling on behalf of someone else, stay with them until help arrives. You may remove weapons or substances that can cause harm if you can do so safely.

If you are not in the same household, stay on the phone with them until help arrives.

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Get answers to some frequently asked questions about Abilify and Rexulti.

Does either Abilify or Rexulti cause weight gain?

Yes, both Abilify and Rexulti can cause weight gain. This was a common side effect reported in studies of Abilify and Rexulti.

These drugs may cause weight gain because they can cause changes in your body’s metabolism. (Metabolism is a chemical process that helps your body convert nutrients from foods you eat into energy.)

Talk with your doctor if you have concerns about weight gain while taking Abilify or Rexulti. They can recommend ways to help you manage your weight while taking either of these medications.

Are there reasons why Abilify might be a better treatment option than Rexulti or vice versa?

Whether Abilify or Rexulti is a better treatment option for you depends on several factors. These can include:

  • the condition you’re using the drug to treat
  • your age
  • side effects you may have from the medication

Reviews of studies comparing the use of Abilify and Rexulti for schizophrenia and depression have found that both drugs are similar in treating these conditions. To learn more, see the “How effective are Abilify and Rexulti?” section below.

Talk with your doctor if you have questions regarding the difference between Abilify and Rexulti. They’ll help you decide which medication is right for you.

How does Vraylar compare with Abilify and Rexulti?

Vraylar (cariprazine) is a drug similar to Abilify and Rexulti. All three medications belong to a group of drugs called atypical antipsychotics.

Here are a few ways Vraylar compares with Abilify and Rexulti:

  • Vraylar is available as a capsule that you swallow. Abilify and Rexulti are not available as capsules.
  • Vraylar, Abilify, and Rexulti are all approved to treat schizophrenia and depression.
  • Vraylar and Abilify are also used to treat bipolar disorder.
  • Abilify and Rexulti are approved to treat certain conditions in some children, but Vraylar is only used in adults.
  • Vraylar, Abilify, and Rexulti have similar side effects. But with Vraylar, side effects may not happen until you’ve been taking the medication for a few weeks.

Talk with your doctor to learn more about how Vraylar compares with Abilify and Rexulti.

You may wonder whether Abilify and Rexulti are effective at treating your condition. Keep reading to learn more about their effectiveness.

A review of studies found that Abilify and Rexulti are equally effective in treating episodes of schizophrenia. Another review found that Abilify and Rexulti are effective in treating depression.

It’s important to note that these results may not apply to your individual health condition. Talk with your doctor about whether one of these drugs is right for you.

If you’d like to learn more about how each drug performed in studies, see the prescribing information for Abilify and Rexulti.

Whether you have health insurance or not, cost may be a factor when you’re considering these drugs. Visit Optum Perks to get price estimates for Abilify and Rexulti when you use coupons from the site. It’s important to note that Optum Perks coupons cannot be used with any insurance copays or benefits.

Keep in mind that what you’ll pay for either drug will depend on your treatment plan, health insurance, and the pharmacy you use.

Abilify and Rexulti are both brand-name drugs. Abilify also comes in a generic version called aripiprazole, but there’s currently no generic version of Rexulti. You’ll usually pay more for brand-name drugs than for generics. If you’re interested in using the generic form of Abilify, talk with your doctor.

For other resources that might help you save on the price of these drugs, see the cost articles for Abilify and Rexulti.

Abilify and Rexulti may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. These may be referred to as warnings.

The two drugs share some of the same warnings, but they also have different ones. Some of these warnings are mentioned below. Before you start taking Abilify or Rexulti, be sure to talk with your doctor to see whether these warnings apply to you.

Boxed warnings

These drugs both have two boxed warnings, which are the most serious warnings from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A boxed warning alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Risk of death in certain older adults. Antipsychotic drugs, including Abilify and Rexulti, can increase the risk of death in older adults (ages 65 years and older) who have psychosis related to dementia. Psychosis is a mental health condition that may cause hallucinations. Dementia is a condition that involves memory loss.

Due to this risk, doctors will not prescribe Abilify or Rexulti for older adults with dementia-related psychosis. There is one exception: Doctors may prescribe Rexulti for older adults with this condition to treat agitation from dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease.

Risk of suicidal thoughts or behaviors. Medications used to treat depression, including Abilify and Rexulti, can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in children and young adults ages 24 years and younger. Due to this risk, doctors will monitor anyone taking Abilify or Rexulti for new or worsening depression and suicidal thoughts and behaviors. It’s also recommended that close family members and caregivers of anyone taking these drugs watch for any mood changes.

It’s important to note that Abilify and Rexulti are not approved to treat depression in children. But both drugs are approved to treat certain other conditions in some children.

Other warnings

In addition to boxed warnings, Abilify and Rexulti have other warnings.

Before using Abilify or Rexulti, talk with your doctor if any of the following conditions or health factors apply to you.

  • Additional warnings for Rexulti:
    • if you have liver or kidney problems

To learn more about these drugs, see the in-depth articles on Abilify and Rexulti.

You may be wondering whether it may be possible to switch between Abilify and Rexulti.

The short answer: It’s possible.

Details: It’s possible to switch from Abilify to Rexulti or vice versa. But if your doctor changes your treatment from Abilify to Rexulti, they may need to slowly decrease your Abilify dose before you start Rexulti. This is because stopping Abilify suddenly can cause withdrawal symptoms. (Withdrawal symptoms are side effects that can occur when you stop taking a drug that your body has become dependent on. With dependence, your body needs a drug to feel like it usually does.)

On the other hand, Rexulti is not known to cause withdrawal symptoms after you stop taking it. So if you switch from Rexulti to Abilify, you probably won’t need to slowly decrease your dose of Rexulti.

Keep in mind that the only conditions both Abilify and Rexulti treat are depression and schizophrenia. You most likely won’t be able to switch from Abilify to Rexulti or vice versa for other conditions these drugs are used to treat.

Reminder: You shouldn’t switch drugs or stop your current treatment unless your doctor recommends it. Talk with your doctor if you have questions about switching your medication.

If you have questions about Abilify or Rexulti, including how these drugs compare, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Examples of questions you may want to ask include:

  • If my insurance plan doesn’t cover the medication I’m prescribed, could I switch to the other one?
  • If I have side effects from Abilify or Rexulti, would it help to try the other medication?
  • Would Abilify or Rexulti interact with any of the medications I’m taking?

To learn more about Abilify, see these articles:

To learn more about Rexulti, see these articles:

To get information on different conditions and tips for improving your health, subscribe to any of Healthline’s newsletters. You may also want to check out the online communities at Bezzy. It’s a place where people with certain conditions can find support and connect with others.

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.