• Welcome! It’s great to see you.

    If you'd like to talk with people who know what it's like

    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

Those of you who take Aripiprazole for bipolar, what dose are you on?



Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
London, UK
Hi forum hope you are all having a good day,

I've been taking Aripiprazole for the better part of a year now to control (hypo)mania and psychotic features associated with bipolar disorder. I was initially prescribed a low dose, 5mg and it worked remarkably effectively. Within 2-4 weeks, I was totally stable. However, after a few months, I started taking only half a pill (2.5mg) as I started to feel that it caused me to feel a bit flat and dull in my emotions (emotional blunting).

I told my psychiatrists about this and they were OK with it, as long as it works. I am medication compliant and fairly responsible with how I manage my condition; I always keep my doctor in the loop about any changes and we trust each other. However, since then I had two mild hypomanic episodes, one for a week in November 2020 and one just yesturday (which is resolving now). I'm now concerned that maybe 2.5mg doesn't offer enough protection and that I should go back up to 5mg.

I read that the minimum effective dose of Aripiprazole is between 10-15mg and upwards. I'm most likely go back up to 5mg, which is something I can do myself. However, I'm debating whether I should ask for 10mg . Pros and cons as followed:

Pros of going up to 10mg:
- Bring it in line with the proven recommended dosage.
- Minimises the chances of relapse, which is important for me since I have a lot of things going on in my life within the coming months and a lot of pressure, which an episode will compromise.

- More side effects: this includes things like dulling my emotions, cognitive and movement problems. I also found that on higher doses my balance and coordination goes a bit off.
- Tolerance: The more you use medication, the more tolerance you develop in the long run. If I jump the gun on the med increase now, I'll develop a greater tolerance. Perhaps it would be better to save 10mg for a rainy day.
- Middle ground: I can go for a middle ground and go from 2.5mg to 5mg. I can do this without the hassle of contacting my doctor as I have the full 5mg pills, I just choose to take half. Its worked pretty well in the past and I seem to be very responsive to medication.

Right now, I feel like going for the middle ground of 5mg is the reasonable choice, but of course one can never be sure with bipolar. I realise you are not proffesionals, but I would find it helpful if you can share your experiences. What dosage are you on? Does it work for you? Does anyone have experience with low doses of medication and how does that work for you?

Any input will be much appreaciated.

As always, all the best,


Well-known member
Sep 14, 2020
Hi H,
Glad to hear you are feeling a bit better today. I'm hardly an expert on meds but from what i see in one of my books on bipolar meds, the "typical" bipolar adult dose ranges from 15-30mg for aripiprazole (monotherapy). So 2.5mg seems like quite a nominal dose, even in conjunction with a mood stabilizer. It is great that you respond well to such a low dose but looks like right now you can use a bit of a boost. My wife's psychiatrist is typically cautious at ramping up dosage of meds so looks like 5mg right now is a good idea while you decide how further up to go. I guess you can make the call based on how to react to the 5mg. You likely also want to talk to your doc.

Good luck with everything


Well-known member
Jul 15, 2011
I thought that aripiprazole was 'activating' at 5mg and antipsychotic or mood stabilising at 10mg and above


Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
London, UK
I thought that aripiprazole was 'activating' at 5mg and antipsychotic or mood stabilising at 10mg and above
Thank you for your response.
That's the usual idea, but the truth is no one really knows how Aripiprazole works. Its one of the newest drugs that has been developed and works differently to other antipsychotics.

Even at 5mg, it occupies/blocks up around 50-55% of the D2 receptor. Its typically thought that antipsychotic effects happen at 65% and above, but I'm sure 55% will do something. Other drugs such Quetiapine/Seroquel only bind to a maxiumum level of 58-60% but still work. Most of the new atypical antipsychotics work in unorthadox ways. Sorry for the technical jargon.

Bottom line is, I feel like I'm very responsive to medication and if I go up from 2.5mg back to 5mg I should be fine. The original psychiatrist that prescribed me this med really knew his stuff and I respected his opinion, so I'll take and run with that for the time being. But in my next scheduled session, I'll let my doctor know about this episode and we can discuss my options moving forward. Hope you are doing good.

On Fire

Well-known member
Sep 21, 2011
As you said, save 10mg for a rainy day. Go with 5mg.


May 20, 2020
Yes think I'd go with trying 5mg for now. Seems like you have good insight and are making wise decisions so you can hopefully reassess after some days on the 5mg and see where you're at


Well-known member
Jan 5, 2011
Hiya. I'm on 15 mg and it does blunt me a lot. I'm not sure that I have got used to the drug and not sure I have a tolerance build up. If you feel 5mg does it for you then stick with that. The less meds we need the better in my opinion.
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
manicmonday One of those days... Bipolar Forum 11
Pink I do not feel I have Bipolar at all Bipolar Forum 24
T My view on whether Bipolar Disorder can be cured Bipolar Forum 8
C Bipolar type ll and moving on. Bipolar Forum 2
M Advice: Medications for Bipolar Depression Bipolar Forum 12
G My parent is bipolar and I show a lot of syptoms but the doctor knows best. Bipolar Forum 4
G I can't bear bipolar any more Bipolar Forum 9
M My on/off partner has shown all signs of bipolar, and I need help & advice please Bipolar Forum 4
HLon99 Sweating the small stuff; staying organised with bipolar Bipolar Forum 3
G Stress and bipolar episodes Bipolar Forum 16
Pink How often do you experience psychosis (question for people with Bipolar)? Bipolar Forum 7
Q Is overspending an actual symptom of bipolar? Bipolar Forum 7
J Bipolar help Bipolar Forum 19
G bipolar arguments? Bipolar Forum 2
Q I'm bipolar and I'm always afraid Bipolar Forum 12
T Bipolar with histrionic features? Bipolar Forum 3
M Nervous about Husband with Bipolar Disorder coming home for a visit after episode Bipolar Forum 16
Someone_alone I think I might have Bipolar Disorder Bipolar Forum 10
H Manic depressive/ bipolar Bipolar Forum 6
G How many years before being diagnosed with bipolar? Bipolar Forum 7
E (pseudo)tourette and bipolar Bipolar Forum 8
128762 Commiting to things with bipolar? Bipolar Forum 2
J Bipolar effecting my relationship Bipolar Forum 22
P "No one cares." - invalidation and realizing I may have bipolar disorder Bipolar Forum 13
G person with bipolar saying hurtful things? Bipolar Forum 5
dubblemonkey bipolar medication is extremely sensitive Bipolar Forum 2
G best friend with bipolar disorder abruptly dumped me, help! Bipolar Forum 17
J Recently diagnosed with bipolar 2 Bipolar Forum 6
Wishbone Social Anxiety & Bipolar Bipolar Forum 10
OmniscientNihilist sad precursor to bipolar? Bipolar Forum 2
N Over religiosity and bipolar Bipolar Forum 1
M Bipolar- Psychosis. Shamed and remorseful Bipolar Forum 14
T Bipolar mom with 3 bipolar daughters who are bipolar too. Bipolar Forum 3
J Recent Bipolar diagnosis - girlfriend split up with me Bipolar Forum 24
T Has rationialism hurt Bipolar understanding? Bipolar Forum 8
H Choline bad for Bipolar folk? Bipolar Forum 5
HLon99 Advice on rebuilding life post bipolar. Bipolar Forum 14
Zana Morality and Bipolar Bipolar Forum 3
dubblemonkey beyond bipolar Bipolar Forum 4
A Pregnancy and Bipolar.. Bipolar Forum 1
A I have bipolar 2 he has bipolar 1 Bipolar Forum 2
M How to calm bipolar husband who is manic? Bipolar Forum 40
N where to start with asking for help and getting an assessment for bipolar. Bipolar Forum 10
H Lamotrigine and supplement treatment for Bipolar Bipolar Forum 2
M Zoloft and bipolar? Bipolar Forum 2
B Has anyone noticed reduced fitness since taking bipolar med? Bipolar Forum 4
A What are the tell tale signs of Bipolar? Bipolar Forum 8
starfoxxy90 Bipolar type 1 questions.. Bipolar Forum 1
M Dating someone with bipolar 1. Bipolar Forum 3
T Question about the causes of bipolar Bipolar Forum 8

Similar threads