Abilify, also known as aripiprazole, is an antipsychotic medication that has been linked to serious side effects, including compulsive gambling. Affected patients and their families may be able to pursue compensation with the help of a Kentucky Abilify lawsuit attorney.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Kentucky 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 a prescription antipsychotic most commonly used to treat symptoms associated with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Abilify may also be used with an additional antidepressant as an add-on treatment for major depressive disorder. The medication may also be used to treat children who suffer from irritability associated with autistic disorders.
Abilify is known as an atypical antipsychotic. The way the drug works is not completely understood, however, it does work somewhat differently than other antipsychotic medications. Older classes of atypical antipsychotics work by blocking chemical receptors in the brain, while Abilify works by both blocking and stimulating those receptors. This action rebalances dopamine and serotonin levels, stabilizing those chemical levels in the brain.
Abilify and Compulsive Gambling
In 2012, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) requested that the product labeling information for Abilify be updated to include warnings about compulsive gambling. According to the agency’s summary, post-marketing reports of pathological gambling have been reported among patients who were prescribed Abilify. Prior history of pathological gambling in those patients was irrelevant.
In addition to the request made by the EMA, Health Canada issued an update for product labels of Abilify advising patients of an increased risk of compulsive behaviors, including pathological gambling. Based on three reports of pathological gambling in Canada and an additional eighteen reports internationally, the Canadian government agency published a safety review in November 2015 indicating that there was a connection between Abilify and certain pathological behaviors, including compulsive gambling.
Although warnings have been issued in Europe and Canada, product labeling in the United States does not mention that pathological gambling has been reported in patients who were prescribed Abilify. Abilify compulsive gambling lawsuits filed in California and Minnesota allege that the drug makers either knew or should have known about the increased risks of serious side effects, including compulsive gambling associated with Abilify.
Abilify Side Effects
Like many prescription medications, Abilify may cause some side effects when used as prescribed to treat symptoms associated with certain mental disorders. Common side effects of Abilify include:
- Blurred vision
- Constipation, indigestion, nausea, and vomiting
Rare side effects of Abilify include:
- Rapid heart rate
- High fever
- High or low blood pressure
- Increased sweating
- Muscles spasm or jerking
- Uncontrolled chewing movements
Other Abilify Risks
In placebo-controlled studies of aripiprazole (Abilify), elderly patients who suffered from dementia-related psychosis showed an increased risk of cerebrovascular side effects such as stroke and stroke-like events. Those risks also included the possibility of death.
Metabolic conditions, including diabetes, decreases in carbohydrate tolerance, impaired glucose tolerance, and glycosuria (excess sugar in the urine) were reported in some patients who used Abilify. Likewise, alterations in lipids (naturally occurring organic compounds that include fats, fat soluble vitamins, and triglycerides) have been observed in patients who used antipsychotic drugs such as Abilify to treat their mental conditions.
Symptoms of neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), a potentially life-threatening neurological disorder characterized by muscle rigidity, fever, and delirium, have been reported in patients who took Abilify.
Abilify has also been linked to a late-developing neuromuscular disorder known as tardive dyskinesia (TD). Symptoms of TD usually affect the mouth, tongue, facial muscles, and upper extremities.
How A Kentucky 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 Kentucky Abilify lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.
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