Abilify: Link to Compulsive Gambling
January 10, 2017 | Pharmaceutical Litigation
Abilify is one of the top-selling antipsychotic drugs in the United States and is often used to treat bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and Tourette’s syndrome. However, the drug may be dangerous and lead to compulsive and risky behaviors. Compulsive behaviors linked to Abilify include excessive gambling, risky sexual behavior, and compulsive eating. Many people who have taken Abilify have filed suit against the drug’s makers, Otsuka and Bristol-Myers Squibb, alleging that compulsive behaviors have led to physical and monetary harm.
How Abilify can Cause Compulsive Gambling
Abilify works differently than many of the other drugs in its class. Other drugs block chemical receptors in the brain for serotonin or dopamine to control symptoms. Abilify (Aripiprazole) works by modifying dopamine and serotonin levels to keep a balance. Many doctors call it a stabilizer, which is why it is typically prescribed as a supplement to other drugs in an effort to enhance effectiveness.
This stabilizing effect is one reason doctors prescribe Abilify so often, even for off-label use. When a patient has too much dopamine, the reward signals in the brain become overstimulated. This can expose the user to suffer from compulsive behaviors. In Abilify users, this has led to self-destructive behaviors like compulsive gambling, overactive sex drive, excessive credit card use, and shopping.
Other Obsessive-Compulsive risk Behaviors
Abilify was approved for the market in 2002, but the FDA did not require the drug makers Otsuka Pharmaceutical and Bristol-Myers Squibb to update the warning label to include the link between Abilify and compulsive gambling, hypersexuality, compulsive shopping or other disorders. In 2016, the FDA issued a Safety Announcement acknowledging the agency’s earlier label requirement stating the side effect of compulsive gambling didn’t adequately reflect how strong the impulse control risk really is.
By December 2017, the FDA reported 40,882 reports of adverse event had been filed over Abilify. 20,304 were serious cases, including 1,812 reports of death. Of those adverse event reports, 12,372 were reports of psychiatric disorders such as:
- Abnormal behaviors
- Completed suicide
- Confusional state
- Gambling disorders
- Impulsive behaviors
- Intentional self-injury
- Nervousness and agitation
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Psychotic disorder
- Suicidal thoughts
- Suicide attempt
Your Right to File a Lawsuit
If you have taken Abilify and have become of a victim of Abilify’s compulsive side effects, leading to harm such as an STD, obesity or related disease, or serious gambling debts, you have the right to file a lawsuit. Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka failed to warn consumers of the risks of compulsive behaviors when it marketed the drug. By filing a lawsuit and holding the companies liable for harm, you may be able to recover the value of your losses.
Work with Napoli Shkolnik PLLC
Working with an experienced pharmaceutical litigation attorney when pursuing a claim is within your best interest. At Napoli Shkolnik PLLC, we are proud to say that Partner Jennifer Liakos was appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in In Re: Abilify (Aripirazole) Products Liability Litigation. Our law firm handles a variety of pharmaceutical litigation cases, and our partners are often appointed to leadership roles in the multidistrict litigation cases we participate in.
We have the experience, skill set, and resources you are looking for. If Abilify has caused you harm, economic or otherwise, please contact us today for your free case consultation to see if you qualify to file an Abilify lawsuit.
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