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Springfield, MO
A 25-year-old male asked:

I have m. depression & gad. sluggish and no motivation every day. is abilify (aripiprazole) something that would help? heard about it & thinking of asking psych 4 it

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 42 years experience
Abilify (aripiprazole) not first: Your psychiatrist should do a thorough evaluation before any medication at all. But if you're depressed and do need medication, most would start with an actual antidepressant. Abilify (aripiprazole) is an antipsychotic, prescribed when symptoms like hallucinations and delusions are prominent. Off-label, it can also augment antidepressant activity in treatment resistance. Tell your doc about your symptoms 1st.
Dr. Steven Reidbord
Psychiatry 36 years experience
Actually, prescribing Abilify to augment an antidepressant is on-label (FDA approved). However, I agree very much with Dr. Pappas' main point: Asking for any specific treatment is counter-productive. You're paying your doctor for expert advice, why not let him/her provide it without pressure? Consumer ads to "ask your doctor about x" can lead you astray... they're trying to sell you their product, which may not be best for you.
May 20, 2013
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 42 years experience
Provided original answer
Thanks for the clarification, Dr. Reidbord. I guess I'm just not comfortable prescribing antipsychotics as freely as consumer advertising wants me to, FDA approved or not. ;-)
May 20, 2013
Dr. Jonathan Shedler
Clinical Psychology 14 years experience
Maybe: It might or might not help; it is definitely not a first-line treatment. Instead of asking for a specific drug, talk to a psychiatrist about your symptoms and see what s/he thinks. Depression and anxiety can both be treated by psychotherapy. I'd personally try talk therapy before taking a drug like abilify (aripiprazole). Despite what the television commercials say, medication is not necessarily the answer.

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Last updated Apr 17, 2016

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