Does Abilify-induced drowsiness go away? (+3 tips)

In this article, we will discuss whether Abilify-induced drowsiness goes away. We will also talk about how Abilify may cause drowsiness, evidence from research, and how to manage Abilify-induced drowsiness. 

Does Abilify-induced drowsiness go away?

Yes, Abilify-induced drowsiness goes away. Drowsiness refers to feeling sleepy and tired and may occur as a side effect of Abilify. This side effect of Abilify wears off over time and is likely to go away within a few weeks (1). 

Abilify is the brand name of aripiprazole which is an atypical antipsychotic primarily used to manage schizophrenia and acute treatment of manic episodes that patients may experience in bipolar disorder (2). 

Drowsiness is not a common side effect of Abilify. In fact, it commonly results in insomnia and sleep disturbances in individuals. However, somnolence or a state of drowsiness is also observed in some cases (2).

The side effect of drowsiness is likely to go away in a few weeks once your body adjusts to the medication. If you experience a persistent state of drowsiness while taking Abilify, contact your healthcare provider. 

How does Abilify cause drowsiness? 

The mechanism through which Abilify causes drowsiness is not entirely understood. it is associated with the alteration of brain chemistry that can make the individuals drowsy in the initial phase of treatment. 

Abilify interacts with dopamine, serotonin, histamine, and alpha-1 adrenergic receptors to produce its therapeutic effects. It has both agonist and antagonist activity at different receptors which allows it to be effective therapeutically (2). 

The interaction of Abilify with different neurotransmitters causes changes in sleep patterns because these neurotransmitters influence arousal, wakefulness, and alertness. Some changes may result in drowsiness in some individuals. 

What does research suggest? 

Several studies have explored the side effects of Abilify and demonstrated that it can result in drowsiness and make an individual tired. This side effect is likely to be resolved in a few weeks (1). 

Side effects like somnolence, sedation, fatigue, and dizziness are observed in individuals taking Abilify. During a 10-week study of Abilify in elderly patients, 8% of the participants experienced a state of drowsiness known as somnolence (2).

Similarly, incidences of somnolence are also observed in adults and pediatric patients (ages 6-17 years) taking Abilify (2). This indicates that Abilify may cause drowsiness in all age groups. 

The time required for Abilify-induced drowsiness to go away is not specified and depends on the individual response. However, it is likely to wear off within a few weeks once your body adjusts to the medication. 

What factors contribute to Abilify-induced drowsiness?

Different factors may contribute to Abilify-induced drowsiness and increase the risk of drowsiness in individuals. They include:

Timings of administration: 

Abilify is generally associated with sleep disturbances and is recommended to be taken in the morning. Individuals taking it at night may experience poor sleep quality and feel drowsy and tired in the morning. 

Irregular sleep schedule: 

A lack of sleep or poor sleep quality may also cause drowsiness while taking Abilify. Individuals who cannot get adequate sleep or experience disturbances while sleeping due to any reason may feel drowsy while taking Abilify. 

Health conditions:

Certain health conditions like insomnia, sleep apnea, or restless leg syndrome can impair sleep quality and result in daytime drowsiness. High stress, depression, and anxiety may also affect sleep and contribute to Abilify-induced drowsiness. 

Other medications: 

Different medications cause drowsiness as a side effect and using them while taking Abilify can increase this side effect. It is important to notify your healthcare provider about the medications you take before starting treatment with Abilify. 

Medications that can cause drowsiness include: 

class of drug medications
antihistamines diphenhydramine, hydroxyzine 
antidepressants amitriptyline, trazodone 
benzodiazepines alprazolam, clonazepam 
antihypertensives atenolol, propranolol 


A sedentary lifestyle and consumption of a diet high in fat and cholesterol can also contribute to drowsiness while taking Abilify. 

How to manage Abilify-induced drowsiness?

You can use the following tips to manage Abilify-induced drowsiness: 

Change the time of administration: 

If you take Abilify in the morning and experience drowsiness, you can start taking it at night. Abilify-induced drowsiness may help you sleep better and reduce daytime drowsiness. 

Avoid driving: 

If you experience daytime drowsiness while taking Abilify, you should avoid driving and operating heavy machinery. Abilify can result in cognitive and motor impairment therefore individuals should be cautious while driving (2). 

Lifestyle changes: 

To combat drowsiness, you can include morning exercises in your routine that will help you to remain alert throughout the day. Consume a healthy diet rich in nutrients and vitamins that provide you with the necessary energy boost. 

Contact your healthcare provider: 

Drowsiness from Abilify is likely to go away within a few weeks. If you experience persistent drowsiness while taking Abilify, contact your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider may consider dose adjustments or alternate options to manage drowsiness.

In my perspective, Abilify-induced drowsiness is likely to go away within a few weeks. Drowsiness is not a common side effect of Abilify and may occur in the initial phases of treatment. 

Drowsiness caused by Abilify is a result of its effect on different neurotransmitters and alteration of brain chemistry. Different factors may also contribute to drowsiness while taking Abilify. 

If drowsiness from Abilify does not resolve within a few weeks, you should contact your healthcare provider. 

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National Health Service. Side effects of aripiprazole. [Internet]. London: National Health Service (NHS). Available from:


ABILIFY® (aripiprazole) Tablets. Otsuka America Pharmaceuticals Inc. Reference ID: 03US20IBR0006 [Internet] [updated 2020 Jun; cited 2023 Dec 27]. Available from: