You are now leaving

You are now leaving Lundbeck Ireland's website ( for an external website. External links are provided as a resource to the viewer. Lundbeck Ireland are not responsible for the external website and its content.

Leave site now


Abilify Maintena®

Treatment with Abilify Maintena

What is Abilify Maintena? 

Abilify Maintena is a slow-release antipsychotic medicine. It is for the maintenance treatment of schizophrenia in adults and may help to keep the symptoms of schizophrenia under control.

How is it given? 

Abilify Maintena is given by injection into the muscle. The medicine is slowly released into the body which means that each injection last for a month (and after the first treatment period) daily treatment with tablets will no longer be required.


If you and your doctor agree to start Abilify Maintena your doctor will have advised you on the dose and the first treatment that is right for you. In order to obtain enough medicine in your body, the first treatment will involve either one injection and continued treatment with aripiprazole tablets by mouth for 14 days, or two injections (in different muscles) and one tablet of aripiprazole on the first day of treatment. 


Abilify Maintena will then be given to you as a single injection, once a month, by a member of your treatment team. This will either be given into the buttock or shoulder and the injection site will alternate between your right and left side. 

Will it be painful? 

You may feel a little pain at the injection site, either in your arm or buttock during your injection but this is normal and should pass quickly. However not everyone will find it painful.

What do I need to know when starting treatment? 

If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, planning to have a baby or think that you may be pregnant, ask your doctor for advice before taking this medicine.


Do not drive or use any tools or machines until you know how Abilify Maintena affects you as dizziness, sedation and sleepiness have been reported as potential side effects of this medicine. 


If at any time you have feelings, thoughts or impulses of self-harm or of harming others while taking Abilify Maintena, contact your doctor or go to a hospital straight away. Your doctor may need to adjust your medicine.


Alcohol should be avoided whilst taking Abilify Maintena. Check the Other medicines and Abilify Maintena section of the Patient Information Leaflet and talk to your doctor or nurse about any other medicine you are taking or have taken recently, including medicines obtained without a prescription.

How could Abilify Maintena help me?


Abilify Maintena may help to reduce the symptoms associated with schizophrenia and therefore reduce your chances of experiencing confused thoughts, delusions and hallucinations. It may also help you feel more like yourself and may make you feel more able to meet up with friends again or carry on with activities you enjoy. 

Because everyone is different, each person may respond differently to treatment and it is best that you talk to your treatment team about your expectations for feeling better.


Contact your doctor if you don’t feel that the medicine is working well for you, or if you are concerned about side effects. Your doctor may recommend that you try a different medicine which may suit you better.

What if I miss an injection? 

If you miss an injection, the level of the medicine in your body will start to reduce which may increase the risk of you becoming unwell again. You should be given an injection every month, but not before 26 days have passed from the last injection. If you miss a dose it is important that you contact your treatment team or doctor as soon as you can, so that they can reschedule your injection appointment.

Remember, the reason you are getting this monthly injection is to help control the symptoms associated with schizophrenia and the best way to do this is to make sure that you don’t miss a dose.

What is the usual length of treatment?


Many people need to take medicine in the long term even if they feel well. This is in order to decrease the risk of symptoms coming back (even when you are taking the medicine they sometimes do come back). Your doctor will advise.


If you want to stop taking your medicine you should always talk to your doctor or treatment team first. They will help you decide if stopping is the best thing for you and if so, how you should stop. 

What side effects have been reported with Abilify Maintena?


Like all medicines, Abilify Maintena may cause side effects, although not everybody experiences them. There is often a trade off between easing symptoms and having to put up with some side effects from your medicine. Your treatment team will monitor you for side effects. Speak to your treatment team if you are bothered by side effects. Your doctor may recommend that you try a different medicine which may suit you better. 


Tell your doctor immediately if you have any of the following serious side effects:

  • a combination of any of these symptoms: excessive sleepiness, dizziness, confusion, disorientation, difficulty talking, difficulty walking, muscle stiffness or shaking, fever, weakness, irritability, aggression, anxiety, increase in blood pressure, or seizures that can lead to unconsciousness.
  • unusual movement mainly of the face or tongue, since your doctor may want to lower your dose.
  • if you have symptoms such as swelling, pain, and redness in the leg, because this may mean you have a blood clot, which may travel through blood vessels to the lungs causing chest pain and difficulty in breathing. If you notice any of these symptoms seek medical advice immediately.
  • a combination of fever, faster breathing, sweating, muscle stiffness and drowsiness or sleepiness since this may be a sign of a condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS).
  • thirstiness more than usual, need to urinate more than usual, feel very hungry, feel weak or tired, feel sick, feel confused or your breath smells fruity, since this may be a sign of diabetes.


Common side effects (may affect up to 1 in 10 people):

  • weight gain
  • diabetes mellitus
  • weight loss
  • feeling restless
  • feeling anxious
  • unable to keep still, difficulty sitting still
  • difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • jerky resistance to passive movement as muscles tense and relax, abnormally increased muscle tone, slow body movement
  • akathisia (an uncomfortable feeling of inner restlessness and a compelling need to move constantly)
  • shaking or trembling
  • uncontrollable twitching, jerking or writhing movements
  • changes in your level of alertness, drowsiness
  • sleepiness
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • dry mouth
  • muscle stiffness
  • inability to have or maintain an erection during sexual intercourse
  • pain at the injection site, hardening of the skin at the injection site
  • weakness, loss of strength or extreme tiredness
  • during blood tests your doctor may find higher amounts of creatine phosphokinase in your blood (enzyme important for muscle function)


The Patient Information Leaflet, which you will find in your pack of Abilify Maintena, is also a useful source of information and lists side effects that may occur. Please ask your doctor or nurse for a leaflet. 

Reporting of side effects

If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in the package leaflet. You can report side effects directly to the HPRA (Health Products Regulatory Authority) at 
By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.

Can I take other medicines with Abilify Maintena?


Please tell your doctor or nurse about any other medicines you are taking and they will advise you. You can also check the Other medicines and Abilify Maintena section of the Patient Information Leaflet.



Establishing a healthy treatment routine
Abilify Maintena patient information

Date of Preparation: July 2022