Abilify, an antipsychotic medication used to treat certain mental disorders including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, has 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 Iowa Abilify lawsuit to recover compensation for damages.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Iowa 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?
Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in November 2002, Abilify is an antipsychotic prescription medication used to treat symptoms of certain metal disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, Tourette’s syndrome, and irritability associated with autistic disorders. When used with other medications or treatments, Abilify can be prescribed to treat major depressive disorder as well.
How Does Abilify Work?
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Abilify is known as a second generation antipsychotic (SGA) or atypical antipsychotic. Abilify works by rebalancing dopamine and serotonin (chemical receptors in the brain) to improve thinking, mood, and behavior.
Abilify and Compulsive Gambling
Public health agencies and organizations in Europe and Canada have warned about the possible link between Abilify and impulse-behavior disorders, specifically compulsive gambling.
In a summary of product characteristics updated in March 2016 by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the agency warned that post-marketing reports of pathological gambling have been reported among patients who were prescribed aripiprazole (Abilify), regardless of whether those patients had a previous history of compulsive gambling.
Likewise, a safety review published by Health Canada in November 2015 indicated a possible link between the antipsychotic Abilify and impulse control behaviors, including compulsive gambling. Based on their findings, Health Canada concluded that there is a link between the use of aripiprazole (Abilify) and a potential risk of pathological gambling. As a result, the agency has updated product information to include a warning statement about the risks of compulsive gambling possibly associated with the use of Abilify.
Compulsive Gambling Lawsuits
Although government health organizations in Europe and Canada have requested and issued new warnings regarding a possible link between the use of Abilify and compulsive gambling, no such warning exists on the drug’s labels in the United States. However, lawsuits 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 and did not.
Abilify Side Effects
Side effects most commonly associated with the use of Abilify to treat symptoms of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression include:
- Drowsiness, dizziness, or weakness
- Problems sleeping
- Weight gain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Constipation or upset stomach
Serious side effects include:
- Fever, muscle stiffness, confusion, and sweating
- Fast or rapid heartbeat
- Uncontrollable jerky muscle movements
- Problems with vision, speech, or balance
- Flu symptoms
Other Abilify Risks
In rare cases, Abilify has been linked to a neurological condition known as neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Symptoms of NMS include fever; stiffness, pain, tenderness, or weakness of the muscles; tiredness; confusion; sweating; fast or irregular heartbeat; and changes in urine color.
Some patients who use Abilify may be at risk of developing a muscle-related condition called tardive dyskinesia (TD) while taking the medication. Symptoms of TD include uncontrollable, jerky movements, especially in the face, mouth, tongue, arms, or legs.
Abilify may cause blood sugar levels to rise, resulting in hyperglycemia or diabetes. Although rare, diabetic coma may occur.
Atypical antipsychotics such as Abilify have been linked to an increased risk of death, strokes, and transient ischemic attacks (brief stroke-like events) in elderly people who suffer from psychosis associated with dementia.
Additionally, suicidal thoughts have been known to occur in some patients, particularly children, teens, and young adults.
How An Iowa 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 Iowa Abilify lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.
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