Abilify, also known as aripiprazole, is an antipsychotic medication. Lawsuits allege that the drug causes compulsive gambling, resulting in severe financial consequences. Affected patients and their families may be eligible to pursue compensation with the help of an Alabama Abilify lawsuit attorney.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Alabama today. Our consultations are free, confidential and without any obligation on your part. We can help answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a claim we can connect you with an affiliated attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
What is Abilify?
Abilify is a prescription antipsychotic medication used to treat symptoms of psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. In some cases, Abilify may be used as an add-on medication to treat major depressive disorder in adults. Abilify may also be used to treat symptoms of autistic disorder, including aggression, mood swings, temper tantrums, and self-injury.
How Does Abilify Work?
Abilify belongs to a class of drugs known as atypical antipsychotics. Most atypical antipsychotics work by blocking dopamine and serotonin receptors, however, Abilify works somewhat differently. Instead of blocking chemical receptors, Abilify works by stimulating or inhibiting dopamine receptors to help keep them balanced.
Abilify Side Effects
Common side effects of Abilify include:
- Difficulty speaking
- Loss of balance
- Muscle stiffness
- Uncontrollable movements of the body
In rare cases, the following side effects may develop in patients who use Abilify as prescribed to treat their condition:
- Rapid heartbeat
- High fever
- High or low blood pressure
- Increased sweating
- Severe muscle stiffness
Abilify and Compulsive Gambling
In 2012, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) requested that the product information for prescription Abilify be updated to include warnings about compulsive gambling. According to the EMA, post-marketing reports of pathological gambling have been reported among patients who were prescribed Abilify, regardless of any prior history of compulsive gambling and those patients.
In addition to the request made by the EMA, Canadian regulators issued an update for product labels of Abilify advising patients of an increased risk of compulsive behaviors, including pathological gambling and hypersexuality. Based on reports of pathological gambling in Canada and an additional eighteen international reports, a Canadian Safety Review published in November 2015 concluded that there was a connection between Abilify and certain pathological behaviors, including compulsive gambling.
Although warnings have been issued in Europe and Canada, product labeling in the United States does not mention that pathological gambling has been reported in patients who were prescribed Abilify. Abilify compulsive gambling lawsuits filed in California and Minnesota allege that the drug makers had a duty to provide adequate warnings and instructions regarding the potential risks associated with compulsive disorders.
Other Abilify Risks
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), antipsychotic drugs such as Abilify have been associated with several severe, sometimes life-threatening conditions. Prescription information issued by the FDA notes the following warnings and precautions:
- Elderly patients who suffer from dementia-related psychosis are at an increased risk of death when treated with antipsychotic drugs such as Abilify
- In clinical studies of dementia-related psychosis, there was an increased risk of cerebrovascular adverse events, including stroke and brief, stroke-like events
- Children and adults with major depressive disorder may experience worsening of their depression and should be monitored for unusual changes in behavior
- A potentially fatal neurological disorder known as Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) may occur with the administration of antipsychotic drugs, including Abilify
- Patients treated with antipsychotic medications may develop tardive dyskinesia, a potentially irreversible condition that affects the nervous system
- Atypical antipsychotic drugs—including Abilify—have been associated with metabolic changes that include hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, and body weight gain.
Other risks possibly associated with the use of Abilify include orthostatic hypotension (low blood pressure); leukopenia, neutropenia, and agranulocytosis (lowered white blood count); seizures; motor impairment; elevation in core body temperature; suicide; and dysphagia (difficulty swallowing).
How An Alabama Abilify Lawsuit Can Help
Drug manufacturers have a duty to ensure their products are accompanied by full and accurate instructions and warnings to guide prescribing doctors and other health care providers in making treatment decisions. If a drug maker fails to fulfill this duty, it could be held liable in lawsuits for injuries and damages that may result.
When patients suffer from severe side effects from a dangerous or defective drug, they may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and damages. The types of losses that can be recovered include:
- Economic Losses
- Medical and other treatment expenses
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish
- Loss of income or ability to work
If the conduct of a drug company in manufacturing and selling drug is found to be highly reckless, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the company and deter similar conduct in the future.
Patients who have suffered loss as a result of compulsive gambling or other compulsive behaviors are encouraged to speak with an Alabama Abilify lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Alabama.
When you contact us, an attorney will follow up with you to speak with you about your case or answer questions that you might have. There is no cost or obligation to speak with us, and any information you provide will be kept confidential.
Please note that the law limits the time you have to pursue a claim or file a lawsuit for an injury. If you think you have a case, you should not delay taking action.