Abilify vs Invega

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For patients diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, certain antipsychotic medications operate by modulating the levels of brain chemicals associated with psychotic symptoms and mood regulation. Abilify (aripiprazole) and Invega (paliperidone) are two such drugs frequently prescribed for these conditions. They impact different neurotransmitter pathways in the brain but both have similar benefits in managing symptoms of psychosis and mood instability. Abilify is classified as a partial dopamine agonist, meaning it fine-tunes the activity of dopamine receptors without overstimulation. On another hand, Invega - an active metabolite of risperidone - works primarily by blocking specific types of dopamine receptors while also impacting serotonin transmission to help stabilize and manage symptoms.

What is Abilify?

Aripiprazole (the generic name for Abilify) is an atypical antipsychotic and antidepressant drug that was the first of its kind to be approved by the FDA in 2002. Aripiprazole works by partially activating dopamine receptors, effectively providing a balance between too much and too little activity which can help alleviate symptoms of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression and certain other mental health conditions. Aripiprazole has a selective influence on dopamine with only minor influence on serotonin.

On the other hand, paliperidone (Invega) represents another generation of atypical antipsychotics aimed primarily at treating schizophrenia through influencing both dopamine and serotonin levels. Approved by FDA in 2006, Invega works differently from Abilify as it blocks specific dopamine and serotonin receptors instead of activating them partially like Aripiprazole does. This difference leads to different side effect profiles - while Invega may have more pronounced effects on movement disorders due to stronger influence on dopamine, Abilify could potentially cause fewer metabolic issues.

What conditions is Abilify approved to treat?

Abilify is approved for the treatment of several psychiatric conditions:

  • Schizophrenia in adults and adolescents aged 13 to 17 years
  • Acute manic and mixed episodes associated with bipolar disorder, both as monotherapy and as adjunctive therapy to either lithium or valproate
  • Adjunctive therapy to antidepressants for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD)
  • Irritability associated with autistic disorder in pediatric patients aged 6–17 years
  • Treatment of Tourette's Disorder in pediatric patients aged 6–18 years.

How does Abilify help with these illnesses?

Abilify assists in managing symptoms of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder by modulating the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. It achieves this through its unique mechanism, acting as a partial agonist at dopamine D2 receptors and serotonin 5-HT1A receptors, while also working as an antagonist at 5-HT2A receptors. This means that it both stimulates and inhibits activity at these different receptor sites to help balance neurotransmitter levels.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter playing critical roles in reward, motivation, memory, attention and even regulating body movements. Serotonin influences mood, social behavior, appetite and digestion, sleep, memory among others.

It's thought that people with psychiatric conditions often have imbalances in their dopamine or serotonin levels. Therefore Abilify can suffice for those imbalances hence aiding patients manage their condition more effectively.

What is Invega?

Invega, the brand name for paliperidone, is an atypical antipsychotic that works by modulating levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. It blocks their receptors to a certain degree, thus reducing their activity. Paliperidone was approved by the FDA in 2006. Unlike Abilify (aripiprazole), which acts as a partial agonist at dopamine D2 receptors and serotonin 5-HT1A receptors while antagonizing serotonin 5-HT2A receptors, Invega solely functions as an antagonist at these sites.

This difference means that side effects can vary between these two drugs; unlike Abilify, Invega does not generally cause restlessness or agitation but may have higher rates of extrapyramidal symptoms such as tremors or stiffness. The unique action on both dopamine and serotonin can be beneficial in treating conditions like schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder—especially for patients who do not respond well to traditional antipsychotics.

What conditions is Invega approved to treat?

Invega is an antipsychotic medication that has been approved for the treatment of:

  • Schizophrenia in adults and adolescents aged 12 to 17 years
  • Schizoaffective disorder, a chronic mental health condition characterized by symptoms of schizophrenia, such as hallucinations or delusions, and mood disorder symptoms like depression.

How does Invega help with these illnesses?

Dopamine, much like norepinephrine, is another essential neurotransmitter that plays significant roles in numerous bodily functions including mood regulation, attention focus and the reward system. In conditions such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder where there can be an imbalance of dopamine levels in the brain, medications like Invega are used. Invega works by balancing out dopamine (as well as serotonin) levels in the brain which can help alleviate symptoms observed in these disorders such as hallucinations or mania. This mechanism differs from Abilify which acts partially as a dopamine agonist rather than adjusting its overall level. Due to its specific action on dopamine and serotonin receptors, Invega may be chosen when a patient does not respond adequately to other antipsychotics including partial agonists like Abilify.

How effective are both Abilify and Invega?

Both aripiprazole (Abilify) and paliperidone (Invega) have established histories of success in treating patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depressive disorders. Abilify was approved by the FDA in 2002, followed by Invega in 2006. They both work on dopamine and serotonin receptors but exhibit different mechanisms of action – Abilify is a partial agonist at certain dopamine and serotonin receptors while Invega acts as an antagonist.

The effectiveness of Abilify and Invega has been shown through various clinical studies demonstrating their efficacy in managing symptoms of psychosis along with acceptable safety profiles. For instance, a double-blind study conducted in 2017 indicated that both medications showed equivalent efficacy when it comes to symptom reduction.

A meta-analysis report from 2014 presented evidence that Aripiprazole effectively alleviates symptoms of schizophrenia within the first week of treatment. It also has fewer side effects compared to other antipsychotics particularly regarding metabolic syndrome (weight gain, diabetes), making it more favorable for long-term use.

Meanwhile, research suggests that Paliperidone may be slightly less effective than some other common antipsychotics such as risperidone or olanzapine when used alone. However, its extended-release formulation allows for once-daily dosing which improves medication adherence among patients with psychotic disorders where compliance can be challenging due to complex regimens or cognitive impairment associated with these conditions.

abstract image of a researcher studying a bottle of drug.

At what dose is Abilify typically prescribed?

Oral dosages of Abilify range from 2–30 mg/day, but research has shown that a typical starting dose for treating schizophrenia in adults is 10-15 mg/day. Pediatric patients aged 13-17 can start with a dosage of 2 mg per day. In both populations, the dosage may be increased after two weeks if there is no response. However, the maximum daily dose should never exceed 30 mg.

Invega dosages for oral consumption typically range between 3 and12 mg/day for adults suffering from schizophrenia. Adolescents aged between 12-17 years old are generally started on a dose of either 1.5 or3mg per day depending upon their tolerability and requirement; this could be raised to up to six milligrams over time if necessary under careful medical supervision.

Always remember these are general guidelines - individual variations might apply depending on the specific case and physician's advice should always be followed.

At what dose is Invega typically prescribed?

Invega treatment typically begins at a dosage of 3 mg/day. Based on the individual's response and tolerance level, the dose may then be increased to up to 6-12 mg/day, taken once daily in the morning. It is crucial not to exceed a maximum dose of 12 mg per day. If there isn't any significant improvement or response after several weeks of treatment at this dosage, it might be worth discussing other treatment options with your healthcare provider. As always, dosing should be personalized based on each patient's needs and responses while maintaining safety as a priority.

What are the most common side effects for Abilify?

Common side effects of Abilify and Invega could include:

  • Anxiety or restlessness,
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia) or excessive sleepiness (somnolence)
  • General weakness and fatigue
  • Unintentional trembling or shaking
  • Reduced appetite
  • Upset stomach, nausea, constipation, or diarrhea
  • Dizziness upon standing up due to a drop in blood pressure (orthostatic hypotension)
  • Dry mouth
  • Decreased sexual desire or performance issues
  • Skin rashes
  • Excessive sweating -Unusual dreams
    -Increased risk for upper respiratory tract infection which may lead to symptoms similar to flu syndrome.

Always consult with your healthcare provider when experiencing any new symptoms after starting a medication regimen.

abstract image of a patient experiencing side effect

Are there any potential serious side effects for Abilify?

While Abilify and Invega are both antipsychotic medications, they can produce different side effects. The use of Abilify may result in:

  • Thoughts about suicide or self-harm
  • Signs of an allergic reaction such as hives, difficulty breathing, swelling in your face or throat
  • Severe skin reactions like red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling
  • Visual changes such as blurred vision, eye pain/swelling, seeing halos around lights
  • Cardiac symptoms including fast/pounding heartbeats, fluttering chest sensations that could lead to shortness of breath and sudden dizziness
  • Neurological issues such as headache from low sodium levels leading to confusion and slurred speech coupled with severe weakness, vomiting resulting in loss of coordination making you feeling unsteady
  • More severe nervous system reactions which include very stiff muscles accompanied by high fever sweating confusion rapid heartbeats tremors feeling lightheaded enough to faint.

If you display any symptoms related to serotonin syndrome like agitation hallucinations fever sweating shivering fast heartbeat muscle stiffness twitching nausea vomiting diarrhea while on Abilify then reach out for immediate medical attention.

What are the most common side effects for Invega?

Invega, an antipsychotic medication, carries a range of possible side effects:

  • Dry mouth and nasal congestion
  • Indigestion or stomach discomfort
  • Weight gain rather than weight loss
  • Sleep disturbances such as insomnia or excessive sleepiness
  • Tachycardia (fast heartbeat)
  • Headache and dizziness
  • Extrapyramidal symptoms including tremors, stiffness, restlessness and slow movements
  • Increased urination or urinary incontinence
  • Vision problems like blurred vision are less common but may occur Rash is rarely reported with Invega use. As always, it's important to monitor for any changes when starting a new medication and report them promptly to your healthcare provider.

Are there any potential serious side effects for Invega?

Invega, much like any other medication, can have potential side effects. In certain cases, the drug may cause severe reactions that require immediate medical attention. These include:

  • Signs of allergic reaction: itching or hives; difficulty breathing; swelling in your face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Increased thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself
  • Seizures (convulsions)
  • Confusion and unusual changes in mood or behavior
  • Blurred vision and other eye-related issues such as pain or swelling in eyes
  • Rapid heartbeat or irregular heart rhythm
  • Symptoms of a manic episode including racing thoughts, heightened energy levels leading to reckless behavior, extreme happiness followed by irritability and excessive talking beyond normal habits along with significant sleep disorders.

If you experience any of these symptoms while on Invega treatment seek medical help immediately.

Contraindications for Abilify and Invega?

Both Abilify and Invega, along with most other antipsychotic medications, may worsen symptoms of depression in some individuals. If you notice your depression worsening, or an increase in suicidal ideation, thoughts or behavior while taking these medications, please seek immediate medical attention.

Neither Abilify nor Invega should be taken if you are currently on medication that interferes with the metabolism of these drugs such as strong CYP3A4 inhibitors or inducers. Always inform your physician about all the medications and supplements you are taking; certain ones like CYP3A4 inhibitors will require a period to clear from the system to prevent dangerous interactions with Abilify and Invega.

How much do Abilify and Invega cost?

For the brand name versions of these drugs:

  • The price of 30 tablets of Abilify (5 mg) averages around $800, which works out to approximately $26–53/day, depending on your dose.
  • The price for 30 tablets of Invega (3 mg), is about $1,200. This translates to roughly $40/day.

Thus, if you are in the higher dosage range for Abilify (i.e., 10 mg/day or higher), then brand-name Invega is less expensive on a per-day treatment basis. Please note that cost should not be a primary consideration in determining which of these drugs is right for you.

For the generic versions of both Abilify and Invega:

  • Aripiprazole (generic form of Abilify) costs significantly less than its branded counterpart. It's offered in packs ranging from 30 to 90 tablets with approximate costs starting as low as $0.60 up to about $2 per day at dosages between 5mg and 15mg daily.

  • Paliperidone is the generic version of Invega and it also offers substantial savings compared with its brand-name equivalent. Costs vary widely based on your specific dosing needs but typically range from about $.70 up to around $4 per day for doses between 3mg and even up to12mg each day.

Popularity of Abilify and Invega

Aripiprazole, available in generic form and under the brand name Abilify, was estimated to have been prescribed to about 7.5 million people in the US in 2020. Aripiprazole accounted for just over 15% of prescriptions for atypical antipsychotics in the US. It has a broader range of approved uses than most other atypical antipsychotics, including treatment-resistant depression and irritability associated with autistic disorder.

Paliperidone, also known as Invega, was prescribed to approximately 1 million people in the USA during that same year. Paliperidone accounts for just under 3% of all atypical antipsychotic prescriptions. Despite its lower numbers compared to Aripiprazole, it remains an important medication used primarily for schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder treatments. The prevalence of both medications has been generally increasing since their introduction due to their versatility in treating various psychiatric conditions.


Both Abilify (aripiprazole) and Invega (paliperidone) are commonly used in the management of disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and as adjunct treatment for major depressive disorder. They have been proven effective in numerous clinical trials compared to placebo treatments. While both drugs can be used individually, they may also be combined under careful consideration by a healthcare professional due to potential interactions.

Abilify primarily works by balancing dopamine and serotonin levels while Invega acts on dopamine receptors, so they might be prescribed under different circumstances based on patient-specific factors. Both medications are available in generic forms which offers cost savings particularly for patients who pay out-of-pocket.

It's important to note that both Abilify and Invega might require an adjustment period before noticeable effects occur. The side effect profile is somewhat similar between the two drugs, with common side effects including weight gain and movement disorders among others. However, Abilify tends to have fewer metabolic side-effects than Invega.

For both medications, it's crucial that patients closely monitor their mental state especially at the initiation of therapy or dose adjustments; medical help should be sought immediately if symptoms worsen or suicidal thoughts emerge.