Abilify (aripiprazole) is a medication prescribed to treat conditions like schizophrenia, major depressive disorder (MDD), and bipolar disorder. It’s in the class of drugs known as atypical antipsychotics, which work by regulating levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin in the brain. This antipsychotic medication can help with emotion regulation, disorganized thinking, anger, delusions, concentration, and impulsivity, among other things.

While Abilify works well for some people, this antipsychotic treatment might not benefit everyone. Maybe the antipsychotic drug doesn’t offer the outcome you’re looking for, you have concerns about Abilify’s side effects, or you’re like many people today who are looking for natural alternatives to Abilify. 

Whatever your scenario may be, there are several other possibilities to consider — including holistic approaches. If you’re thinking about making a change to your antipsychotic medication, keep reading to learn more about Abilify alternatives. Then, have a discussion with your doctor about these options for Abilify alternatives. 

Alternative Medications to Abilify

People might want to make changes to their medication or antipsychotic treatment plan for a variety of reasons. Fortunately, there are multiple alternatives to Abilify for depression, bipolar disorder, or other mental health conditions. 

1. Vraylar

While Vraylar (cariprazine) is another different medication in the same class of drugs as Abilify, this atypical antipsychotic drug appears to have less severe side effects in some people. Vraylar is prescribed to treat MDD, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. 

Although, studies show that Abilify generally isn’t linked to excess weight gain in most people who take it. So, if you aren’t too worried about putting on weight due to an adverse reaction to the antipsychotic drugs you’re on, Vraylar might be a good Abilify alternative.

2. Rexulti

Rexulti (brexpiprazole) is another atypical antipsychotic medicine. It can be a more potent prescription drug than Abilify, so typically, the dosage would be lower. That said, it works the same way Abilify and other antipsychotic drugs do by altering dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain. 

Rexulti is FDA-approved to treat schizophrenia and major depressive disorder (MDD). When used for MDD, it’s generally prescribed in combination with other antidepressants. It can also be prescribed to manage agitation linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and it’s sometimes used off-label for bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder (BPD).

3. Wellbutrin

Wellbutrin (bupropion) is an antidepressant in the class of drugs known as norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs). It’s generally much cheaper than Abilify, although some studies suggest that Abilify augmentation therapy might be more effective long-term when compared to Wellbutrin combination therapy for depression. That said, it’s important to keep in mind that drug interactions can work differently from person to person.  

4. Celexa

Celexa (citalopram) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Antidepressants in this class of drugs work by preventing the reuptake of serotonin in the brain, raising levels to improve mood and treat depression. 

Celexa can be used to treat stress and anxiety, depression, and postpartum depression in some people. It’s known to cause more side effects than some other SSRIs, so monitoring how you’re reacting to Celexa will be crucial if you decide to try it instead of Abilify. 



Class of Drugs

Conditions Can Treat

Common Side Effects



Atypical antipsychotic

Major depressive disorder (MDD) 
Bipolar disorder

Blurred vision



Atypical antipsychotic

Major depressive disorder (MDD) 
Short-term treatment of manic or mixed episodes in bipolar I

Difficulty moving
Slow movement



Atypical antipsychotic

Major depressive disorder (MDD)
Agitation linked to dementia in people with Alzheimer’s

Increased appetite
Weight gain



Antidepressant: norepinephrine-
dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI)

Smoking cessation

Dry mouth
Weight loss
Rapid heartbeat



Antidepressant: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)

Postpartum depression

Dry mouth
Increased sweating

Natural Alternatives to Abilify

Many people today looking for Abilify natural alternatives seek out holistic treatments that focus on restoring chemical balance in the brain and body. Vitamins, minerals, and supplements, combined with environmental and lifestyle changes, can significantly improve overall mental well-being in some people. 

One important note — it’s crucial that you don’t stop taking Abilify (or any prescription drug) without talking to your doctor first. Together, you’ll discuss your condition along with any other drugs or supplements you’re taking so you can decide on the best course of treatment for optimal outcomes. 

Dietary changes

When seeking any natural alternative to Abilify, don’t discount the power of making healthy choices and dietary changes. Simple modifications to your diet can enhance both physical and mental well-being. 

The first step is eliminating processed foods and artificial sweeteners and reducing sugar intake. Make an effort to eat whole foods, fresh vegetables and fruits, lean meats, and healthy fats — research suggests that a healthy diet might reduce the risk of depression. 


Probiotics have been linked to mental well-being and play a critical role in creating and maintaining a healthy gut. Some studies found that participants who take probiotics have lower stress levels and reduced anxiety and depression symptoms.  

Talk therapy

Talk therapy (also known as psychotherapy) can be a very effective alternative to Abilify in some cases. However, most research shows that results can be significantly improved when therapy is used in combination with medication to treat depression, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder. 

“Talk therapy is an effective treatment for mental health issues. Sometimes, there is a more serious mental illness such as depression, anxiety, psychotic disorders, or bipolar disorder. In those cases, medication is usually prescribed for therapy to be effective. Medication or therapy on its own does not help the individual get better. Usually, a combination of both is needed to treat their symptoms effectively.”

Talkspace therapist Bisma Anwar, LPC, LMHC

Considerations for Switching to an Abilify Alternative

Before you stop taking Abilify or change medications, consult with your doctor. Discussing your reasons for wanting to make a change will help you come up with alternatives to Abilify for bipolar, depression, or any other mental health condition that best suits your needs and treatment goals. Your doctor will also discuss Abilify withdrawal symptoms to be aware of and develop a taper plan so you can safely discontinue use. 

Find the Right Alternative with Talkspace 

Your path to mental wellness can be a long, arduous process if you’re trying to do it on your own. Talkspace’s online psychiatry services simplify solutions so you can find the best possible treatment plan and road to recovery. Talkspace offers direct access to licensed therapists and psychiatrists who can be your partner as you look for the best alternatives to Abilify. 

You shouldn’t try to find a new treatment plan on your own. Talkspace makes the experience easy, convenient, and affordable, with much-needed support and guidance to help you navigate any medication changes while adding holistic or lifestyle modifications that can enhance your health as much as possible. 

Reach out to Talkspace today to learn more about how you can meet your immediate and long-term mental health goals. 


Dayabandara M, Hanwella R, Ratnatunga S, Seneviratne S, Suraweera C, de Silva V. Antipsychotic-associated weight gain: Management strategies and impact on treatment adherence. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment. 2017;Volume 13:2231-2241. doi:10.2147/ndt.s113099. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5574691/. Accessed November 26, 2023.

Cheon E-J, Lee K-H, Park Y-W, et al. Comparison of the efficacy and safety of Aripiprazole versus bupropion augmentation in patients with major depressive disorder unresponsive to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology. 2017;37(2):193-199. doi:10.1097/jcp.0000000000000663. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28129308/. Accessed November 26, 2023. 

Firth J, Gangwisch JE, Borsini A, Wootton RE, Mayer EA. Food and mood: How do diet and nutrition affect mental wellbeing? BMJ. Published online 2020:m2382. doi:10.1136/bmj.m2382. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7322666/. Accessed November 26, 2023.

Madabushi JS, Khurana P, Gupta N, Gupta M. Gut biome and mental health: Do probiotics work? Cureus. Published online 2023. doi:10.7759/cureus.40293. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10337499/. Accessed November 26, 2023.

1. How do I choose between medication and therapy? American Psychological Association. 2017. Accessed November 26, 2023. https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/patients-and-families/medication-or-therapy

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