An Arizona Abilify lawsuit may be an option for patients who developed compulsive behaviors such as compulsive gambling after taking the medication. For millions of Americans who are living with a mental illness, prescription medications such as Abilify may help to reduce symptoms attributed to schizophrenia, depression or bipolar disorder. However, Abilify has been allegedly associated with compulsive behaviors, including compulsive gambling. Affected patients and their families may be able to pursue a claim and seek compensation for their injuries with the help of an Arizona Abilify lawsuit attorney.
For more information, contact the Attorney Group for Arizona 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 Arizona Abilify lawsuit attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
What Is Schizophrenia?
According to Mental Health America, schizophrenia is a mental health condition that can cause a patient to be unable to see a difference between reality and imagination. Those suffering from schizophrenia are often unable to respond normally to common situations, and they may act, feel and think differently than someone without the condition. Most people who have schizophrenia do not act out violently; however, they may display paranoia, hear voices or hallucinate, or show an inability to concentrate or sleep.
While the exact cause of schizophrenia is still unknown, there are some theories as to what may be at the root of the disorder, including an imbalance in the brain’s chemical makeup, heredity or infections caused by a virus or an immune disorder.
When Is Abilify Prescribed?
While there is no cure for schizophrenia, many patients turn to antipsychotic medications to help reduce the symptoms. Doctors may prescribe Abilify as a way to alter the way in which the neurotransmitters in the brain of someone with schizophrenia work. The drug is often used to treat schizophrenia as well as bipolar disorder in patients over 13 years of age, typically in tandem with other anti-depressant medications.
According to the Stanford School of Medicine, Abilify works by either stimulating dopamine or blocking its release in the brain. This is meant to help balance the brain’s receptor stimulation, returning a patient back to a more stable mental state.
Abilify and Compulsive Behaviors
There are numerous side effects associated with the use of Abilify, including:
- Increased risk of stroke
- Increased blood sugar levels
- Tardive dyskinesia
- Uncontrollable movements of parts of the body
- Thoughts of suicide, particularly in younger patients
In 2014, a study published in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine by the Institute of Safe Medication Practices, Harvard Medical School, and the University of Ottawa noted a link between uncontrollable compulsive behavior and Abilify use. Researchers found that behaviors such as compulsive shopping, gambling and sexual promiscuity may be increased when patients are prescribed Abilify to treat symptoms of schizophrenia.
The study looked at patients taking Abilify over the course of 10 years and recognized over 1,500 cases of compulsive behavior, with pathological gambling being the most common. The study noted that warning labels indicating the possibility of compulsive behavior as a side effect of the drug were not included on current U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved packaging, but called for the need to add more information about the possible risks and negative consequences.
Abilify Lawsuit Claims
In February 2016, a lawsuit was filed against the manufacturers of Abilify, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. and Bristol-Myers Squibb, alleging that the plaintiff lost over $45,000 to gambling after taking Abilify and being unable to control his compulsive behavior. The plaintiff claimed that his gambling habit did not begin until after he started taking the drug, and that as a result he has suffered from severe financial and personal fallout caused by his gambling problem. This lawsuit is just one of several Abilify lawsuits filed against the drug makers claiming negligence in the drug’s labeling and marketing.
How an Arizona Abilify Lawsuit Can Help
Drug makers have a duty to provide safe products. If there are risks of harm associated with their products, they also must provide adequate warnings. If a drug maker fails to fulfill this duty, it could be held liable in lawsuits for injuries that may result.
People injured by bad drugs may be eligible to recover money for:
- Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
The families of those who have died may be eligible to recover money for funeral expenses and the pain that comes with losing a loved one.
For more information, contact the Attorney Group for Arizona. You can fill out the form on this page or contact us by phone or email.
After you contact us, an attorney will follow up to 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.