Abilify, also known as aripiprazole, is a widely prescribed antipsychotic drug used to treat symptoms associated with 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 a Kansas Abilify lawsuit and pursue compensation for damages.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Kansas 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 and How Does It Work?
Abilify is an atypical antipsychotic used to treat the following conditions and disorders:
- Manic or mixed episodes of bipolar disorder
- Major depressive disorder (as an add-on with antidepressant medication)
- Irritability associated with autistic disorders
- Tourette’s syndrome
Conventional antipsychotics work by blocking dopamine receptors in the body, sometimes leading to severe movement disorders. Abilify, however, works by acting as a dopamine stabilizer, blocking both dopamine and serotonin levels and leading to an increase in dopamine levels when needed.
Abilify and Compulsive Gambling
Compulsive gambling, also known as gambling disorder, is a serious condition that can potentially destroy lives and affect the well-being of the gambler and their loved ones. Similar to the effect of alcohol or drugs, gambling can stimulate the brain’s reward system, sometimes leading to addiction.
In 2014, an article published in the journal Addictive Behaviors noted that the dopamine partial agonist mechanism of aripiprazole (Abilify) could explain the occurrence of pathological gambling. The results indicated that the probability that pathological gambling is due to aripiprazole is “possible” in 7 out of 8 patients treated with aripiprazole in the study.
Compulsive Gambling Lawsuits
Lawsuits in the United States allege that Abilify caused harmful compulsive behaviors including compulsive gambling, resulting in substantial financial, mental, and physical damages. Additionally, plaintiffs allege that the makers of Abilify, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., knew or should have known that Abilify causes and contributes to an increased risk of serious and dangerous side effects, including compulsive behaviors such as compulsive gambling.
Abilify Side Effects
Common side effects of Abilify include constipation, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, headache, tremor, blurred vision, anxiety, and fatigue.
Rare and/or serious side effects of Abilify include rash, increased appetite, dry mouth, agitation, seizure, and muscle stiffness or aches.
Other Abilify Risks
According to the FDA, Abilify has been linked to other serious conditions. Like many prescription drugs, patients should contact their doctor or health provider if serious conditions occur after taking Abilify.
Abilify is not approved to treat patients who suffer from dementia-related psychosis. Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic medications are at an increased risk of death.
Children, teens, and young adults who take Abilify may be at an increased risk for suicidal thoughts or actions. If symptoms such as depressed mood; anxious, restless, or irritable behavior; panic attacks; or unusual changes in behavior occur, patients are advised to talk to their doctor or health care provider at once.
A potentially fatal syndrome called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) may be linked to the use of Abilify. Symptoms of NMS include fever, muscle stiffness, confusion, abnormal thinking, fast or irregular heartbeat, and sweating.
Some patients who take Abilify may develop a potentially irreversible condition known at tardive dyskinesia (TD). This condition is more likely to occur in elderly patients, especially women. Patients are advised to contact their doctor if they experience uncontrollable muscle movements in their arms, legs, face, tongue, or mouth.
Abilify may raise blood sugar levels or increased the likelihood of developing diabetes in patients who use the medication to treat conditions such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. In addition, Abilify may cause weight gain in some patients.
How A Kansas 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 Kansas Abilify lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.
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