Is Abilify like Adderall? (3+ Differences)

In this article, we will discuss whether Abilify is like Adderall. We will talk about the differences between these medications and other relevant information. 

Is Abilify like Adderall? 

No, Abilify is not like Adderall and they both are different drugs. Abilify is the brand name for aripiprazole and it is an atypical antipsychotic (1). Adderall is a combination drug containing four salts of amphetamines as an active ingredient (2).

Abilify and Adderal differ in their mechanism of action, uses, dosage forms, and side effects. These medications are distinct in their purpose and effects and impact different neurotransmitters in the body. 

What are the differences between Abilify and Adderall?

Abilify is classified as an atypical quinolinone antipsychotic while Adderall is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant composed of amphetamine salts. Abilify differs from Adderall in the following ways: 

Mechanism of action: 

Abilify interacts with different neurotransmitters in the body through its agonist and antagonist activity. It serves as a partial agonist at two types of receptors namely dopamine (D2) and serotonin (5-HT1A) (1). 

Abilify serves as an antagonist of serotonin (5-HT2A) receptors. It also interacts with some other receptors of dopamine and serotonin, histamine (H1), and alpha-1 adrenergic receptors (1). 

Adderall contains amphetamine salts that increase the levels of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine (NE) by inhibiting the reuptake (2). Through this action, it produces CNS stimulant activity (2). 


Abilify is used therapeutically to manage the following conditions (1): 

  • schizophrenia
  • autistic disorder (to manage irritability) 
  • bipolar disorder (to manage manic and mixed episodes)
  • supportive treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD)
  • Tourette’s disorder 

Adderall is used therapeutically to manage the following conditions (2):

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • narcolepsy 

Side effects:

Side effects of Abilify include the following (1): 

  • akathisia
  • tiredness
  • somnolence
  • tremor 
  • nausea
  • blurry vision
  • excessive production of saliva
  • restlessness
  • sleep disturbances
  • constipation
  • cardiovascular problems 
  • hyperglycemia

Side effects of Adderall include (2): 

  • growth including height and weight may slow down in children
  • seizures
  • reduced appetite
  • blurry vision 
  • stomach ache
  • nervousness
  • insomnia
  • dry mouth
  • unpleasant taste
  • euphoria 

Dosage forms:

Abilify is available in different dosage forms like tablets, orally disintegrating tablets, oral solution (1mg/ml), and injections for intramuscular use (7.5mg/ml). The available strengths of Abilify in tablet form include (1): 

  • 2 mg
  • 5 mg
  • 15 mg
  • 20 mg
  • 30 mg

Adderall is supplied in the form of tablets, that come in the following strengths (2): 

  • 5 mg
  • 7.5 mg
  • 10 mg
  • 12.5 mg
  • 15 mg
  • 20 mg
  • 30 mg

Abuse potential: 

Abilify is not categorized as a controlled substance indicating that it does not generally lead to addiction. It may cause physical dependence as withdrawal symptoms were observed during animal studies (1). 

However, patients who have been involved in drug abuse previously should be monitored carefully while they are taking Abilify (1). 

On the other hand, Adderall is a controlled substance and is a Schedule II drug. Several cases of Adderall abuse have been reported and it can lead to euphoria, addiction, social disability, tolerance, and psychological dependence (2). 

Can you take Abilify with Adderall?

Abilify may be prescribed with Adderall under some conditions. Studies indicate that aripiprazole, the active ingredient in Abilify can improve cognitive functioning in patients with ADHD (3). 

Antipsychotic drugs like Abilify and stimulants like Adderall have been used together in ADHD and studies indicate that concomitant use significantly improves clinical outcomes (3). 

Thus Abilify may be prescribed with Adderall under some conditions. It is important to remember that Abilify and Adderall both are prescription drugs and should not be taken without a prescription. 

Similarly, do not take Abilify with Adderall unless prescribed by the healthcare provider. Adderall is a controlled substance and its inappropriate use with Abilify can lead to serious adverse effects. 

In my perspective, Abilify is not like Adderall, and they are different medications. Abilify is an atypical antipsychotic with the active ingredient, aripiprazole. Adderall is a CNS stimulant drug with four salts of amphetamines as an active ingredient. 

Abilify differs from Adderall in its classification, mechanism of action, uses, side effects, dosage forms, and abuse potential. Abilify and Adderall may be prescribed together under some conditions. 

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


Adderall® CII (Dextroamphetamine Saccharate, Amphetamine Aspartate, Dextroamphetamine Sulfate and Amphetamine Sulfate Tablets). U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Reference ID: 4036383 [Internet] [updated 2017 Jan; cited 2023 Dec 27]. Available


Yanofski J. The dopamine dilemma: using stimulants and antipsychotics concurrently. Psychiatry (Edgmont). 2010 Jun;7(6):18-23. PMID: 20622942; PMCID: PMC2898838.