Antipsychotic medications, including the prescription drug Abilify, are often prescribed to treat symptoms associated with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression. However, those drugs have been linked to compulsive disorders such as compulsive gambling as well as other serious side effects. Affected patients and their families may be eligible to file an Illinois Abilify lawsuit and pursue compensation for damages.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Illinois 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, also known as aripiprazole, is used to treat certain mental disorders such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, Tourette’s disorder, and irritability associated with autistic disorder. When used with other medications, Abilify may also be used to treat major depressive disorder.
How Does Abilify Work?
Abilify works by acting on the neurotransmitters in the brain, specifically dopamine and serotonin. Unlike other antipsychotic drugs that primarily work by blocking dopamine receptors, Abilify either stimulates or inhibits dopamine levels, working to keep those levels balanced.
Abilify and Compulsive Gambling
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, pathological gambling often involves repetitive behaviors, and people who suffer from gambling problems have a difficult time resisting or controlling the urge to gamble.
Common signs of gambling addiction include:
- The need to be secretive about gambling
- Difficulty controlling gambling habits
- Desperately attempting to recoup losses
- Family and friends may become worried and concerned
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) and Health Canada have requested that product information be updated and issued an update to include a potential link between the antipsychotic drug Abilify and compulsive behaviors, including compulsive gambling.
Compulsive Gambling Lawsuits
Lawsuits in the United States allege that Abilify may have led to substantial financial, mental, and physical damages in patients who used the drug as prescribed. Patients claim that drug manufacturers knew or should have known about the increased risk of serious side effects, including uncontrollable compulsive behaviors such as compulsive gambling.
Abilify Side Effects
Common side effects of Abilify include:
- Excess saliva and/or drooling
- Blurred vision
- Weight gain
Serious side effects include:
- Mental and/or mood changes such as anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts
- Trouble swallowing
- Shaking or tremors
- Muscle spasms
- Signs of infection such as fever and persistent sore throat
Other Abilify Risks
In addition to side effects linked to the use of Abilify to treat certain mental illnesses, the drug may be linked to some serious, sometimes life-threatening health risks.
Elderly patients who suffer from dementia-related psychosis are at a greater risk of death when Abilify is used to treat those symptoms. Likewise, elderly patients who experience confusion and memory loss due to psychosis and dementia are at an increased risk of developing cerebrovascular problems such as stroke when those patients use Abilify.
Symptoms associated with Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) such as high fever; muscle stiffness; confusion; sweating; and changes in pulse, heart rate, and blood pressure may develop in patients who use Abilify. Although the condition is rare, symptoms of NMS can be very serious and may lead to death.
Abilify may increase the chances of patients developing uncontrolled movements in the face, tongue, or other body parts. This condition, known as tardive dyskinesia, may or may not go away once treatment with Abilify has stopped.
Other serious risks such as diabetes, increased cholesterol and triglyceride levels, weight gain, decreased blood pressure, low white blood cell count, seizures, body temperature control, and difficulty swallowing may also appear in patients who use Abilify to treat certain mental disorders. Like most prescription medications, patients are encouraged to speak with their doctor or health care provider if symptoms of any of these conditions begin to appear.
How An Illinois 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 Illinois Abilify lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Illinois. You can fill out the form on this page, call us at the number listed at the top of the page, or email us at [email protected].
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.
See our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information, and contact Attorney Group for Illinois today.