Latuda vs Abilify

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For those suffering from schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, certain medications that affect the levels of brain compounds linked to mood, known as neurotransmitters, can aid in managing symptoms and stabilizing mood swings. Latuda and Abilify are two such drugs often prescribed for these conditions. They each impact different neurotransmitters in the brain but both have demonstrated effectiveness in patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Latuda is classified as an atypical antipsychotic which works by affecting serotonin and dopamine receptors, thereby helping balance out imbalances of these neurotransmitters that trigger symptoms. Abilify also falls under atypical antipsychotics; it impacts dopamine (D2) receptors and serotonin (5HT1A) receptors primarily to bring stability to a patient's mental state.

What is Latuda?

Lurasidone (the generic name for Latuda) and Aripiprazole (the generic name for Abilify) are part of the second generation or atypical antipsychotics. These drugs marked a significant development over the first-generation antipsychotic medications due to their improved side-effect profiles. Lurasidone was approved by the FDA in 2010, while Aripiprazole received its approval earlier in 2002. Both medications are primarily used to treat psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but they work slightly differently within the brain: Lurasidone works by blocking specific neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin from binding to receptors in the brain, thereby reducing psychotic symptoms; on the other hand, Aripiprazole partially activates these same receptors rather than blocking them entirely – it keeps a baseline level of activity which helps control symptoms with fewer side effects compared to full blockade strategy followed by traditional antipsychotics.

What conditions is Latuda approved to treat?

Latuda is approved for the treatment of different forms of mental health disorders:

  • Schizophrenia in adults and adolescents aged 13 to 17 years old
  • Bipolar depression (as a standalone medication or in combination with lithium or valproate) in adults and children aged 10 to 17 years old

How does Latuda help with these illnesses?

Latuda manages symptoms of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia by affecting the amounts of serotonin and dopamine available in the synapses of the brain. It operates as an antagonist on these receptors, which means it blocks them from being stimulated excessively, maintaining a balanced level for optimal mental health. Both serotonin and dopamine are neurotransmitters that play vital roles in mood regulation, cognition, memory, sleep patterns, hunger among other functions. In individuals with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, there may be imbalances or irregularities in these neurotransmitter levels. By regulating serotonin and dopamine activity through receptor antagonism, Latuda can help to mitigate the symptoms of such conditions and stabilize patients' moods.

Abilify also manages symptoms of various psychiatric disorders including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia by impacting both serotonin and dopamine activity within brain synapses. However its mechanism is unique; it acts as a partial agonist at certain receptors while acting as an antagonist at others depending upon their state - this flexible interaction allows Abilify to either increase or decrease neurotransmitter activity based on what is needed for balance.

What is Abilify?

Abilify, also known by the generic name aripiprazole, is an atypical antipsychotic and a partial dopamine agonist. This means it stimulates certain dopamine receptors in the brain while blocking others. Notably, Abilify was first approved by the FDA in 2002. Unlike most other atypical antipsychotics, Abilify does not block serotonin to any great extent. Its unique action on dopamine receptors may lead to different side effects compared to other drugs in its class - for instance, weight gain and sedation are less common with Abilify than with some similar medications such as Latuda (lurasidone). The effects of aripiprazole's activity on dopamine can be beneficial for treating conditions like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, especially in patients who do not respond well to "typical" antipsychotic drugs.

What conditions is Abilify approved to treat?

Abilify, also known by its generic name Aripiprazole, is an FDA-approved drug used extensively for the treatment of:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness)
  • Major depressive disorder as an adjunctive therapy
  • Irritability associated with autistic disorders in pediatric patients 6 to 17 years old.

How does Abilify help with these illnesses?

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays essential roles in how we feel pleasure. It's also involved in thinking and planning, helping us to focus and find things interesting. Abilify works by improving the balance of dopamine and serotonin, two natural chemicals that occur in the brain, thereby improving mood, sleep, appetite as well as energy level. Its unique action on these neurotransmitters helps alleviate symptoms of depression in patients who may not respond optimally to typical SSRI antidepressants like Latuda or when used together with them. Furthermore, it can reduce hallucinations and improve concentration for those dealing with psychotic conditions such as schizophrenia.

How effective are both Latuda and Abilify?

Both lurasidone (Latuda) and aripiprazole (Abilify) have established histories of success in treating patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder. They were initially approved by the FDA within 8 years of each other and act on similar neurotransmitters, dopamine D2 receptors and serotonin 5-HT1A receptors to be exact, but exert their effects through different mechanisms. Lurasidone is an antagonist at these sites whereas aripiprazole acts as a partial agonist.

The efficacy of both Latuda and Abilify was directly studied in several double-blind clinical trials; they exhibited similar benefits in managing symptoms related to mood disorders. In one study comparing their use for bipolar depression specifically, no significant differences were noted between the two drugs when assessing improvement in illness severity or response rates.

Lurasidone has gained attention due to its favorable metabolic profile compared with many other antipsychotics - it is less likely than most others (including aripiprazole) to lead to weight gain or changes in glucose or lipid levels. This makes Latuda potentially more suitable for individuals already dealing with metabolic issues such as diabetes or dyslipidemia.

A review published recently highlighted that while aripiprazole seems slightly superior at reducing acute manic/mixed episodes symptoms than placebo, it appears similarly effective as lurasidone for depressive episodes associated with bipolar disorder. However, Aripiprazole's unique pharmacological action allows it to be used not only as monotherapy but also adjunctively with either traditional mood stabilizers like lithium/valproate or alongside antidepressants.

abstract image of a researcher studying a bottle of drug.

At what dose is Latuda typically prescribed?

Oral dosages of Latuda range from 20-120 mg/day, with studies suggesting that a dose of 40–80 mg/day is effective for treating bipolar depression in most individuals. Children and adolescents may be started on a lower dose. For either population, the dosage can be increased after several weeks if there's no response. The maximum daily dosage should not exceed 160 mg/day under any circumstances. On the other hand, Abilify ranges from 2-30mg per day depending upon the condition being treated and age of the patient; its usage needs to be carefully monitored by a healthcare provider due to possible serious side effects at higher doses.

At what dose is Abilify typically prescribed?

Abilify treatment usually begins with a dosage of 2–5 mg/day for adults. The dose can then be increased to 15 mg/day, taken once daily. Your doctor may adjust the dose if necessary, however, the maximum recommended dosage is typically 30 mg per day. This should not be exceeded unless your physician specifically advises you to do so based on your response to treatment at lower dosages after several weeks.

What are the most common side effects for Latuda?

Some of the most common side effects of Latuda include:

  • Drowsiness, dizziness
  • Restlessness or feeling jittery and anxious
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Unusual movements, such as tremors, shaking (tardive dyskinesia)
  • Nausea, vomiting and upset stomach
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased salivation
  • Weight gain

On the other hand, some common side effects associated with Abilify are:

  • Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Insomnia (difficulty sleeping)
  • Constipation
    -Dry mouth
    -Increased appetite leading to weight gain
    -Somnolence (sleepiness/drowsiness) -Tremor (unintentional trembling or shaking)

It's important that you contact your doctor if any of these symptoms persist or become severe.

abstract image of a patient experiencing side effect

Are there any potential serious side effects for Latuda?

While both Latuda and Abilify are generally safe, they can occasionally cause serious side effects. For Latuda these may include:

  • Increased thoughts about suicide or self-harm
  • Signs of allergic reaction such as hives, difficulty in breathing, swelling in your face or throat
  • Vision changes like blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling
  • Unusual heartbeats—fast or pounding heartbeats—and sudden dizziness
  • Low sodium levels resulting in headache, confusion, slurred speech, severe weakness and unsteady feeling.

Abilify on the other hand could potentially cause:

  • Severe nervous system reaction leading to very stiff muscles, high fever sweating and uneven fast heart beats.
  • Any symptoms of serotonin syndrome: agitation hallucinations, fever shivering fast heart rate muscle stiffness twitching nausea vomiting diarrhea.

Always consult with your healthcare provider if you experience any adverse reactions while taking either medication.

What are the most common side effects for Abilify?

Abilify, an alternative to Latuda, can cause a range of potential side effects. These may include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Anxiety and nervousness
  • Insomnia or trouble sleeping
  • Weight gain rather than loss
  • An increased risk of tremors and muscle stiffness -Sore throat, stuffy nose, dry mouth
    -A fast heartbeat which could lead to confusion or agitation in some cases. -Mild rash reactions on the skin, -Increased urination frequency, -Joint pain as well as other muscular discomforts.

It is essential to consult your healthcare provider if you experience any of these symptoms while taking Abilify.

Are there any potential serious side effects for Abilify?

While Abilify is generally safe and effective, it can possibly cause severe side effects in some instances. If you experience any of the following symptoms while taking Abilify, seek immediate medical attention:

  • Signs of allergic reactions: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue or throat
  • High blood sugar - increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth
  • Low white blood cell counts - sudden weakness or ill feeling, fever, chills
  • Severe nervous system reaction - very stiff (rigid) muscles with high fever sweating confusion or uneven heartbeats
  • Tardive dyskinesia (uncontrolled movements in your face such as chewing motions)
  • Unusual changes in mood or behavior including depression and suicidal thoughts
    Remember that this list does not cover all potential side effects. It's crucial to have open discussions with your healthcare provider about any concerns you might have regarding medication use.

Contraindications for Latuda and Abilify?

Both Latuda and Abilify, like many other antipsychotic medications, may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior in some people. If you notice your depression worsening or an increase in suicidal ideation, thoughts, or behavior while taking either medication, please seek immediate medical attention.

Neither Latuda nor Abilify should be taken if you are currently using, or have recently used within the last two weeks any monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors. Always inform your healthcare provider about all medications you are taking; MAOIs require a period of approximately 2 weeks to clear from your system to avoid potentially dangerous interactions with Latuda and Abilify.

How much do Latuda and Abilify cost?

For the brand name versions of these drugs:

  • The price for 30 tablets of Latuda (40 mg) averages around $1,280, which equates to about $43 per day.
  • The price for 30 tablets of Abilify (10mg) is approximately $940, averaging out to roughly $31 per day.

Therefore, if you are prescribed a higher dosage range for Latuda (i.e., 80 mg/day or higher), then brand-name Abilify may prove less expensive on a daily treatment basis. However, cost should not be the primary consideration in determining which medication is right for you.

Regarding generic versions: as it stands now, there's no generic version available for Latuda. On the other hand,

  • Aripiprazole (generic form of Abilify) can be purchased in packs starting from 30 tablets and above. Costs vary widely depending on insurance coverage and pharmacy used but can start at around $0.50 per tablet or between $15-$20/month for typical dosages ranging from 5 to 30 mg/day.

As always prices will fluctuate based on location and specific pharmacy rates but generally speaking generic options tend offer significant savings over their branded counterparts when available.

Popularity of Latuda and Abilify

Lurasidone, available under the brand name Latuda, was prescribed to an estimated 1.3 million people in the United States in 2020. This antipsychotic medication is primarily used for treating schizophrenia and bipolar depression. Lurasidone accounted for approximately 4% of atypical antipsychotic prescriptions within that year.

Aripiprazole, marketed as Abilify among others, was prescribed to almost 8.5 million people in the USA during the same period. Aripiprazole has a broader therapeutic use compared to lurasidone; it's approved not only for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder but also as an add-on treatment for major depressive disorder and certain types of irritability associated with autism in pediatric patients. In terms of overall antipsychotic prescriptions, aripiprazole represents around 30%. The usage of both medications has been generally increasing over recent years due to greater recognition and treatment of mental health disorders.


Both Latuda (lurasidone) and Abilify (aripiprazole) are atypical antipsychotics with well-established usage in the management of psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. They are supported by extensive clinical studies, which indicate that they have a higher efficacy than placebo treatments. Both drugs can be used independently or combined with other medications, but this should always be under careful medical supervision due to potential drug interactions.

As for their mechanisms of action, Latuda primarily acts on dopamine D2 receptors and serotonin 5-HT7 receptors while Abilify is unique in its function as a partial agonist at dopamine D2 and serotonin 5-HT1A receptors, and an antagonist at serotonin 5-HT2A receptors. These differences mean that they may be prescribed under different circumstances depending on individual patient needs.

Latuda is generally reserved for patients who specifically need weight-neutral medication considering its minimal effect on body weight compared to other antipsychotics like Abilify. However, both drugs carry the risk of side effects including restlessness, drowsiness, constipation among others.

Both medicines also come in generic forms allowing significant cost savings especially for out-of-pocket payers. An adjustment period might be needed after initiating either drug during which noticeable effects may not appear immediately.

Patient's mental health should closely be monitored when starting treatment particularly any worsening symptoms or emergence of suicidal thoughts; immediate medical help should then be sought.