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What is the difference between Abilify and Abilify Maintena?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Oct 12, 2020.

Official Answer

by Drugs.com

Key Points

  • The main difference between Abilify and Abilify Maintena is how they are supplied and administered, their FDA-approved uses and their costs.
  • They both contain the active ingredient aripiprazole, an atypical antipsychotic, and are approved for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Abilify is approved for other uses, too.
  • Abilify comes as an oral medication taken daily, while Abilify Maintena is a long-acting injection given every 4 weeks.

Abilify (aripiprazole) comes as an oral tablet, orally-disintegrating tablet, or oral solution. The Abilify intramuscular injection 9.75mg/1.3 mL (for short-term use in agitation associated with schizophrenia or bipolar mania) has been discontinued by the manufacturer. Only the oral tablet is still available as a brand name product for Abilify.

Other brands of Abilify are on the market, such as:

  • Abilify Maintena is available as a long-acting intramuscular injection given every 4 weeks by a health care provider.
  • Abilify MyCite is a tablet formulation embedded with the ingestible Proteus sensor that allows patients, and, if given access, doctors and caregivers, to track ingestion of the medication on a smartphone or web-based portal.

Do Abilify and Abilify Maintena treat the same conditions?

Abilify and Abilify Maintena are classified as an atypical antipsychotic medication and are both approved to treat the mental health conditions schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (also known as manic-depression). These medicines work by changing the actions of neurotransmitter chemicals in the brain to help stabilize your thoughts, actions and moods.

Abilify is approved for the treatment of schizophrenia in adults and adolescent patients (13 to 17 years of age) and for the treatment of bipolar I disorder (acute manic and mixed episodes) in adult and pediatric patients (10 to 17 years).

Abilify is also used to treat:

  • Tourette's disorder in children 6 years or older
  • symptoms of autistic disorder in children 6 years or older
  • major depressive disorder in adults as an add-on treatment
  • agitation associated with schizophrenia or bipolar mania in adults (the injectable form only, product now discontinued in the US).

Abilify Maintena is FDA-approved to treat schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder in adults.
For the treatment of bipolar disorder, Abilify Maintena is used as a single agent (monotherapy).

How do Abilify and Abilify Maintena come?

Abilify comes in several different dosage forms, such as:

  • an oral tablet (brand and generic)
  • orally disintegrating tablet (generic only)
  • oral solution (generic only)

The Abilify injection brand name product (short-acting product) has been discontinued by the manufacturer.

Abilify Maintena long-acting injection is only administered by a healthcare professional. It comes as an extended-release, intramuscular depot suspension injection in a prefilled syringe. You will receive this medication at your doctor’s office or hospital.

How do the costs differ between Abilify and Abilify Maintena?

Oral forms of Abilify are available as a generic (aripiprazole). The oral tablet is the least expensive form and quite affordable compared to other options. The oral solution and orally-disintegrating tablets are much more expensive even though they are available generically, but these prices may decrease over time.

  • For example, a 10 mg oral tablet of aripiprazole costs $31.58 for a month’s supply (30 tablets) using a free, online discount card.
  • The generic 1 mg/mL oral solution costs roughly $228 for a 150 mL bottle, also using a discount.
  • The generic orally-disintegrating tablet can range from $400 to $700 for a month’s supply.

Abilify Maintena is an expensive medicine. It is not yet available as a generic product. The average cost is roughly $1790.00 to $2384.00 for one syringe depending upon dose. These costs can vary because there may be additional fees for administration of the injection.

Prices listed are cash-based and will vary based on your pharmacy, location and discounts. If you have insurance, your prices will be different and may be higher than some generic options for aripiprazole so it may be worthwhile to compare prices.

Bottom Line

  • Abilify and Abilify Maintena differ in how they are supplied, how they are administered, their FDA-approved uses and their costs, among other factors.
  • Abilify is available in a generic form for the oral formulations, but the long-acting Abilify Maintena injection is not yet available as a generic.
  • They both contain the active ingredient aripiprazole, an atypical antipsychotic, and are approved for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder. Oral aripiprazole is also approved for other uses, including major depressive disorder in adults and for Tourette's disorder in children 6 years or older.

This is not all the information you need to know about Abilify and Abilify Maintena for safe and effective use. Review the full product information, and discuss this information with your doctor or other health care provider.

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