Aripiprazole for Bipolar Disorder and Alcohol Use Disorders


The purpose of this study is to determine if aripiprazole is associated with greater reduction in alcohol use than placebo in outpatients with bipolar disorder (BPD) and alcohol-use disorder.

Biomarkers of alcohol use, alcohol craving, mood, and cognition will also be assessed.


A 12-week, randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled study of aripiprazole is proposed  in 132 persons with alcohol use disorder and bipolar I, II, or NOS disorder. The study is open to English- and Spanish- speaking outpatient men and women age 18-65 years old, who are currently on mood stabilizer therapy or are willing to start within 28 days prior to starting the study.

Participants must not have a severe or life-threatening medical condition (e.g., hepatic cirrhosis), have a high risk for suicide, or be considered part of a vulnerable population (e.g. pregnant, cognitively impaired, or incarcerated). We do, however, encourage all patients to call the researchers to be screened for the study criteria.


Our recent research findings have shown that aripiprazole could be a promising medication to treat alcohol dependence and improve negative mood symptoms and cognition.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What medication will I be given?

A: Enrolled participants will receive one of two medications: Aripiprazole or placebo (a pill that looks the same but has no active ingredients).

Q: What will my visits consist of?

A: Each visit will consist of structured assessments and laboratory tests administered by a research assistant and psychiatrist.

Q: Is compensation available for participation in the study?

A: Yes, patients will be compensated for their time and efforts contributed for the study.

Q: Is transportation available for the study appointments?

A: Yes. DART passes will be made available to study participants who need transportation assistance.