Why does aripiprazole (abilify) work?

I’m starting aripiprazole (abilify) soon and wondered if anyone knows the theory behind it’s antipsychotic properties since it’s not a dopamine antagonist.

It didn’t work for me. It only made me more aggressive. But it works for some.

Abilify doesn’t work for everyone.
I was a bit unstable on it, although I was never hospitalized while I was taking it.

it is a partial dopamine agonist.
I don’t know for sure wat that means

It means it binds to the dopamine receptors and causes an action potential in the neuron but doesn’t do this to the same extent that the natural dopamine does. Most antipsychotics work as dopamine antagonists which mean they bond to the dopamine receptors and DON’T cause an action potential. As aripiprazole isn’t an antagonist but a partial agonist it isn’t treating psychosis by the same mechanism as other antipsychotics.

1 Like

Ok so there are dopamine channels in your brain. They are like gateways that let dopamine in. Someone with psychosis has a ton of dopamine flooding in through those gates. A dopamine antagonist closes these gates. The issue is that we do need dopamine or we get things like movement disorders, worse negative symptoms, etc. A partial agonist, like abilify, still closes the gates, but not as much as a full antagonist would. The idea here is that because it does not completely block out dopamine it would be less likely to cause movement disorders and worsened negative symptoms. But since you are still greatly reducing the amount of dopamine, it should still help with positive symptoms.

1 Like

Allergic reaction first dose, couldn’t see for 3 days. I freaked out. But at least I know that’s not for me! Good luck and hope it does something for you.