Abilify, also known as aripiprazole, is used to treat patients with serious mental disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, and bipolar disorder; however, lawsuits allege that the drug causes compulsive gambling, resulting in severe financial consequences. Affected individuals and their families may be eligible to file a Colorado Abilify lawsuit to recover compensation for damages.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Colorado 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 Colorado Abilify lawsuit attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
What is Abilify?
Manufactured and developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Abilify is an antipsychotic prescription medication used to treat patients who suffer from psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder. Abilify is also used to treat symptoms associated with Tourette’s syndrome and mood swings and temper tantrums associated with autistic disorder.
How Does Abilify Work?
Abilify works differently than other antipsychotics. Although the exact action of the drug is unknown, Abilify works by changing the actions of neurotransmitters in the brain. Most antipsychotics bind to dopamine receptors and block them. Instead, Abilify either enhances or inhibits dopamine or serotonin levels to keep them balanced.
Abilify Side Effects
Rare, yet serious side effects of Abilify include:
- Abnormally low blood pressure
- Chest pain
- Feeling of restlessness
- Acute infection of the nose, throat, or sinus
- Decreased blood platelets
Common, less serious side effects of Abilify include nausea, vomiting, constipation, restlessness, headache, dizziness, insomnia, and anxiety. Children who use Abilify may experience sleepiness, extrapyramidal disorder (uncontrolled movement disorders such as restlessness, tremors, and muscle stiffness), fatigue, increased appetite, stuffy nose, and weight gain.
Abilify and Compulsive Gambling
In addition to serious risks and side effects, reports have linked compulsive behavior disorders such as compulsive gambling with the use of Abilify to treat certain mental illnesses.
In 2012, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) requested an update to the product information label for prescription Abilify to include warnings about the alleged link between the medication and compulsive gambling. According to the EMA, post-marketing reports of pathological gambling have been noted among patients who were prescribed Abilify. This indication was evident although those patients had no prior history of compulsive gambling. Patients with a history of compulsive gambling were at an increased risk.
Also, Canadian regulators issued an update for product labels of Abilify warning patients of an increased risk of compulsive behaviors, including pathological gambling. Based on five reports of pathological gambling in Canada and an additional eighteen international reports, a Canadian Safety Review published in November 2015 indicated that there was a connection between Abilify and certain pathological behaviors such as compulsive gambling.
Other Abilify Risks
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), other serious risks associated with Abilify include:
- Stroke: Medicines like Abilify have been linked to an increased risk of death (as a result of stroke) in elderly people who suffer from dementia-related psychosis.
- Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS): NMS is a potentially life-threatening neurological disorder. Symptoms of NMS typically include very high fever, irregular pulse, accelerated heartbeat, increased rate of respiration, muscle rigidity, altered mental status, high or low blood pressure, and excessive sweating.
- Tardive Dyskinesia (TD): Tardive dyskinesia is a potentially irreversible condition marked by uncontrollable movements in the face, tongue, or other body parts. In some cases, TD may or may not go away once the patient has stopped using Abilify.
- Metabolic Changes: Problems associated with metabolism may develop in some people who use Abilify. These problems include hyperglycemia and diabetes, increased cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and weight gain.
- Orthostatic Hypotension (decreased blood pressure): Patients may experience lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting, especially when rising from a sitting or lying position.
- Seizures: In rare cases, aripiprazole (Abilify) has been indicated as a possible cause of seizures or convulsions.
How A Colorado 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 a Colorado Abilify lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Colorado. 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.