Prescription Drug Information: Aripiprazole (Page 5 of 8)

8.5 Geriatric Use

No dosage adjustment is recommended for elderly patients [see Boxed Warning, Warnings and Precautions (5.1), and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

Of the 13,543 patients treated with oral aripiprazole in clinical trials, 1073 (8%) were ≥65 years old and 799 (6%) were ≥75 years old. Placebo-controlled studies of oral aripiprazole in schizophrenia, or other indications did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects.

Aripiprazole is not approved for the treatment of patients with psychosis associated with Alzheimer’s disease [see Boxed Warning and Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

8.6 CYP2D6 Poor Metabolizers

Dosage adjustment is recommended in known CYP2D6 poor metabolizers due to high aripiprazole concentrations. Approximately 8% of Caucasians and 3 to 8% of Black/African Americans cannot metabolize CYP2D6 substrates and are classified as poor metabolizers (PM) [see Dosage and Administration (2.7) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

8.7 Hepatic and Renal Impairment

No dosage adjustment for aripiprazole is required on the basis of a patient’s hepatic function (mild to severe hepatic impairment, Child-Pugh score between 5 and 15), or renal function (mild to severe renal impairment, glomerular filtration rate between 15 and 90 mL/minute) [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

8.8 Other Specific Populations

No dosage adjustment for aripiprazole is required on the basis of a patient’s sex, race, or smoking status [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].


9.1 Controlled Substance

Aripiprazole is not a controlled substance.

9.2 Abuse

Aripiprazole has not been systematically studied in humans for its potential for abuse, tolerance, or physical dependence. Consequently, patients should be evaluated carefully for a history of drug abuse, and such patients should be observed closely for signs of aripiprazole misuse or abuse (e.g., development of tolerance, increases in dose, drug-seeking behavior).

9.3 Dependence

In physical dependence studies in monkeys, withdrawal symptoms were observed upon abrupt cessation of dosing. While the clinical trials did not reveal any tendency for any drug-seeking behavior, these observations were not systematic and it is not possible to predict on the basis of this limited experience the extent to which a CNS-active drug will be misused, diverted, and/or abused once marketed.


MedDRA terminology has been used to classify the adverse reactions.

10.1 Human Experience

In clinical trials and in postmarketing experience, adverse reactions of deliberate or accidental overdosage with oral aripiprazole have been reported worldwide. These include overdoses with oral aripiprazole alone and in combination with other substances. No fatality was reported with aripiprazole alone. The largest known dose with a known outcome involved acute ingestion of 1260 mg of oral aripiprazole (42 times the maximum recommended daily dose) by a patient who fully recovered. Deliberate or accidental overdosage was also reported in children (age 12 and younger) involving oral aripiprazole ingestions up to 195 mg with no fatalities.

Common adverse reactions (reported in at least 5% of all overdose cases) reported with oral aripiprazole overdosage (alone or in combination with other substances) include vomiting, somnolence, and tremor. Other clinically important signs and symptoms observed in one or more patients with aripiprazole overdoses (alone or with other substances) include acidosis, aggression, aspartate aminotransferase increased, atrial fibrillation, bradycardia, coma, confusional state, convulsion, blood creatine phosphokinase increased, depressed level of consciousness, hypertension, hypokalemia, hypotension, lethargy, loss of consciousness, QRS complex prolonged, QT prolonged, pneumonia aspiration, respiratory arrest, status epilepticus, and tachycardia.

10.2 Management of Overdosage

No specific information is available on the treatment of overdose with aripiprazole. An electrocardiogram should be obtained in case of overdosage and if QT interval prolongation is present, cardiac monitoring should be instituted. Otherwise, management of overdose should concentrate on supportive therapy, maintaining an adequate airway, oxygenation and ventilation, and management of symptoms. Close medical supervision and monitoring should continue until the patient recovers.

Charcoal: In the event of an overdose of aripiprazole, an early charcoal administration may be useful in partially preventing the absorption of aripiprazole. Administration of 50 g of activated charcoal, one hour after a single 15 mg oral dose of aripiprazole, decreased the mean AUC and Cmax of aripiprazole by 50%.

Hemodialysis: Although there is no information on the effect of hemodialysis in treating an overdose with aripiprazole, hemodialysis is unlikely to be useful in overdose management since aripiprazole is highly bound to plasma proteins.


Aripiprazole is a psychotropic drug that is available as aripiprazole tablets USP. Aripiprazole is 7-[4-[4-(2,3-dichlorophenyl)-1-­piperazinyl]butoxy]-3,4-dihydrocarbostyril. The molecular formula is C23 H27 Cl2 N3 O2 and its molecular weight is 448.38. The chemical structure is:

Aripiprazole Structure
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Aripiprazole tablets are available in 2 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, and 30 mg strengths. Inactive ingredients include colloidal silicon dioxide, corn starch, hydroxypropyl cellulose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, and microcrystalline cellulose. In addition the 2 mg strength contains FD&C Blue No. 2 and ferric oxide (sicovit yellow 10) and 5 mg contains FD&C Blue No. 2.


12.1 Mechanism of Action

The mechanism of action of aripiprazole in schizophrenia is unclear. However, the efficacy of aripiprazole in the listed indications could be mediated through a combination of partial agonist activity at D2 and 5-HT1A receptors and antagonist activity at 5-HT2A receptors.

12.2 Pharmacodynamics

Aripiprazole exhibits high affinity for dopamine D2 and D3 , serotonin 5-HT1A and 5-HT2A receptors (Ki values of 0.34 nM, 0.8 nM, 1.7 nM, and 3.4 nM, respectively), moderate affinity for dopamine D4 , serotonin 5-HT2C and 5-HT7 , alpha1 -adrenergic and histamine H1 receptors (Ki values of 44 nM, 15 nM, 39 nM, 57 nM, and 61 nM, respectively), and moderate affinity for the serotonin reuptake site (Ki =98 nM). Aripiprazole has no appreciable affinity for cholinergic muscarinic receptors (IC50 >1000 nM).

12.3 Pharmacokinetics

Aripiprazole activity is presumably primarily due to the parent drug, aripiprazole, and to a lesser extent, to its major metabolite, dehydro-aripiprazole, which has been shown to have affinities for D2 receptors similar to the parent drug and represents 40% of the parent drug exposure in plasma. The mean elimination half-lives are about 75 hours and 94 hours for aripiprazole and dehydro-aripiprazole, respectively. Steady-state concentrations are attained within 14 days of dosing for both active moieties. Aripiprazole accumulation is predictable from single-dose pharmacokinetics. At steady-state, the pharmacokinetics of aripiprazole is dose-proportional. Elimination of aripiprazole is mainly through hepatic metabolism involving two P450 isozymes, CYP2D6 and CYP3A4. For CYP2D6 poor metabolizers, the mean elimination half-life for aripiprazole is about 146 hours.



Tablets: Aripiprazole is well absorbed after administration of the tablet, with peak plasma concentrations occurring within 3 hours to 5 hours; the absolute oral bioavailability of the tablet formulation is 87%. Aripiprazole tablets can be administered with or without food. Administration of a 15 mg aripiprazole tablet with a standard high-fat meal did not significantly affect the Cmax or AUC of aripiprazole or its active metabolite, dehydro­-aripiprazole, but delayed Tmax by 3 hours for aripiprazole and 12 hours for dehydro-­aripiprazole.
Oral Solution: Aripiprazole is well absorbed when administered orally as the solution. At equivalent doses, the plasma concentrations of aripiprazole from the solution were higher than that from the tablet formulation. In a relative bioavailability study comparing the pharmacokinetics of 30 mg aripiprazole as the oral solution to 30 mg aripiprazole tablets in healthy subjects, the solution to tablet ratios of geometric mean Cmax and AUC values were 122% and 114%, respectively [see Dosage and Administration (2.8)]. The single-dose pharmacokinetics of aripiprazole were linear and dose-proportional between the doses of 5 mg to 30 mg.

The steady-state volume of distribution of aripiprazole following intravenous administration is high (404 L or 4.9 L/kg), indicating extensive extravascular distribution. At therapeutic concentrations, aripiprazole and its major metabolite are greater than 99% bound to serum proteins, primarily to albumin. In healthy human volunteers administered 0.5 to 30 mg/day aripiprazole for 14 days, there was dose-dependent D2 receptor occupancy indicating brain penetration of aripiprazole in humans.

Metabolism and Elimination

Aripiprazole is metabolized primarily by three biotransformation pathways: dehydrogenation, hydroxylation, and N-dealkylation. Based on in vitro studies, CYP3A4 and CYP2D6 enzymes are responsible for dehydrogenation and hydroxylation of aripiprazole, and N-dealkylation is catalyzed by CYP3A4. Aripiprazole is the predominant drug moiety in the systemic circulation. At steady-state, dehydro-­aripiprazole, the active metabolite, represents about 40% of aripiprazole AUC in plasma.

Following a single oral dose of [14 C]-labeled aripiprazole, approximately 25% and 55% of the administered radioactivity was recovered in the urine and feces, respectively. Less than 1% of unchanged aripiprazole was excreted in the urine and approximately 18% of the oral dose was recovered unchanged in the feces.

Drug Interaction Studies

Effects of other drugs on the exposures of aripiprazole and dehydro-aripiprazole are summarized in Figure 1 and Figure 2, respectively. Based on simulation, a 4.5-fold increase in mean Cmax and AUC values at steady-state is expected when extensive metabolizers of CYP2D6 are administered with both strong CYP2D6 and CYP3A4 inhibitors. A 3-fold increase in mean Cmax and AUC values at steady-state is expected in poor metabolizers of CYP2D6 administered with strong CYP3A4 inhibitors.

Figure 1: The effects of other drugs on aripiprazole pharmacokinetics
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Figure 2: The effects of other drugs on dehydro-aripiprazole pharmacokinetics
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The effects of aripiprazole on the exposures of other drugs are summarized in Figure 3.
Figure 3: The effects of aripiprazole on pharmacokinetics of other drugs
Figure3: The effects of aripiprazole on pharmacokinetics of other drugs
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Studies in Specific Populations

Exposures of aripiprazole and dehydro-aripiprazole in specific populations are summarized in Figure 4 and Figure 5, respectively. In addition, in pediatric patients (10 to 17 years of age) administered with aripiprazole (20 mg to 30 mg), the body weight corrected aripiprazole clearance was similar to the adults.

Figure 4: Effects of intrinsic factors on aripiprazole pharmacokinetics

Figure4: Effects of intrinsic factors on aripiprazole pharmacokinetics
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Figure 5: Effects of intrinsic factors on dehydro-aripiprazole pharmacokinetics
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