Does Abilify make you angry?

This article will discuss the effects of Abilify, an antipsychotic, on human behaviour and mood. We will also discuss how this medication may make some people angry and affect their treatment and will also shed some light on what one should do if they experience severe mood changes on this medication. 

Does Abilify make you angry?

Abilify (Aripiprazole) may make some people angry. This antipsychotic medication, although it can reverse psychosis-induced anger and agitation, can trigger mood and behavioural changes in some individuals (1). 

This is because Abilify and other medications that can affect the chemical composition of the brain can sometimes affect people differently. Some individuals may experience side effects while taking Abilify and feeling angry could be one of them. 

However, it’s essential to remember that not everyone will have the same reaction. Some people may have no side effects at all, while others might experience different ones.

If you notice any changes in your emotions or behaviours while taking Abilify, it’s essential to talk to your healthcare provider. They can help determine if the medication is the cause of your feelings of anger and work with you to find the best solution for your mental health.

What does research suggest?

There is limited research on Abilify-induced anger and agitation. However, some studies have linked the two. 

A 2007 research study included 3 patients suffering from schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder who were switched to Aripiprazole – the active drug in Abilify. After starting the new medication, they experienced worsened symptoms like psychosis, agitation, anxiety, or aggression (2). 

The exact reason for this worsening was not entirely clear, but it could be linked to their long-term use of other antipsychotics that block dopamine in the brain, causing changes in dopamine receptors (2).  

According to some experts, Aripiprazole interacts with dopamine in a unique way, which may lead to increased dopaminergic activity and worsened symptoms in some cases (3). 

However, some research studies indicate that Abilify can actively manage psychosis-induced anger and agitation in majority of the cases. 

A 2011 open-label trial indicated that Aripiprazole was effective in reducing aggressive behaviour in adolescent boys with conduct disorder (4). 

Researchers observed improvements in aggression, with reductions in physical aggression and verbal aggression, as well as aggression towards objects and animals (4).

Another 2018 research review indicated that intramuscular injection of Aripiprazole can control anger or violence episodes in people with schizophrenia – as it manages the levels of dopamine in the brain (5). 

This Abilify-induced effects on brain chemistry can help some people feel better or make them able to manage their anger outbursts, and can trigger anger episodes in some individuals.

It can help some people deal with their life more positively, whereas it can cause excessive tiredness or laziness in some individuals. It depends on the kind of symptoms one has, and how the body reacts to the medication or to the change in dopamine levels.

What to do if Abilify makes you angry?

If you’re experiencing increased anger or agitation while taking Abilify, it’s crucial to communicate these concerns with your doctor immediately. Doctors understand that each individual responds differently to medications, and they will carefully assess the situation. 

Depending on the severity of the symptoms, your doctor may decide to adjust the dosage of Abilify or even consider switching to a different medication that may be better suited for you. 

Your doctor may also evaluate other factors that could be contributing to the anger or agitation, and will also address other concerns. 

It’s important to note that you should not make any changes to the medication without professional guidance, as abruptly stopping or altering the dosage of Abilify can have adverse effects. 

If Abilify is not the right choice of medication for you, your doctor will safely taper it off and will switch you to another medication. This safe withdrawal is crucial to protect you from disturbing symptoms and ensuring a safe transition to another antipsychotic is essential for your mental well-being. 


This brief article discussed Abilify-induced anger and agitation. We have also discussed the effects of Abilify as described by researchers and have discussed what one should do if Abilify makes them angry or agitated. 

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA). HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION. ABILIFY (Aripiprazolee). Available from:,021713s030,021729s022,021866s023lbl.pdf


Lea JW, Stoner SC, Lafollette J. Agitation associated with aripiprazole initiation. Pharmacotherapy. 2007 Sep;27(9):1339-42. doi: 10.1592/phco.27.9.1339. PMID: 17723088. Available from:


Gettu N, Saadabadi A. Aripiprazole. 2023 May 16. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 31613519.


Kuperman S, Calarge C, Kolar A, Holman T, Barnett M, Perry P. An open-label trial of aripiprazole in the treatment of aggression in male adolescents diagnosed with conduct disorder. Ann Clin Psychiatry. 2011 Nov;23(4):270-6. PMID: 22073384. Available from:


Ostinelli EG, Jajawi S, Spyridi S, Sayal K, Jayaram MB. Aripiprazole (intramuscular) for psychosis-induced aggression or agitation (rapid tranquillisation). Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018 Jan 8;1(1):CD008074. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD008074.pub2. PMID: 29308601; PMCID: PMC6491326. Available from: