Aripiprazole, known by the brand name Abilify, is often used to treat symptoms associated with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression. Although Abilify is a popular prescription medication, it has been linked to serious impulse control disorders, including compulsive gambling. Affected patients and their families may be eligible to recover compensation for their injuries with the help of a New York Abilify lawsuit attorney.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for New York 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 is used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It may also be used with other medications to treat major depressive disorder. Children who experience irritability associated with autistic disorder and adults who suffer from Tourette’s syndrome may also use the drug to treat those conditions as well.
How Does Abilify Work?
The exact mechanism of Abilify is unknown. Abilify is part of a newer class of medications known as atypical antipsychotics. Unlike traditional antipsychotics, Abilify’s effect on chemical receptors is complex. In an effort to keep dopamine and serotonin levels balanced, Abilify works by blocking and stimulating neurotransmitters in the brain.
Abilify and Compulsive Gambling Warnings
In 2012, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) requested that the product information for Abilify be updated to include warnings about compulsive gambling. According to the EMA, post-marketing reports of pathological gambling have been reported in patients who were prescribed Abilify, regardless of their prior history with gambling. Likewise, patients with a prior history of compulsive gambling may be at an increased risk.
In addition to the request made by the EMA, Canadian regulators issued an update for product labels of Abilify advising patients of an increased risk of impulsive behaviors, including pathological gambling and hypersexuality. Based on five reports of pathological gambling in Canada and an additional eighteen international reports, a Canadian Safety Review published in November 2015 concluded that there was a connection between Abilify and certain pathological behaviors such as compulsive gambling and hypersexuality.
Abilify Compulsive Gambling Lawsuits
Lawsuits submitted in California and Minnesota allege wrongful conduct in connection with the development, design, testing, labeling, packaging, promoting, advertising, marketing, distribution, and selling of the prescription drug Abilify.
The lawsuits claim that the drug’s manufacturers, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceutical, knew or should have known that Abilify, when taken as prescribed, causes and contributes to an increased risk of serious and dangerous side effects, including compulsive behaviors such as compulsive gambling.
Abilify compulsive gambling lawsuits allege that the drug makers had a duty to provide adequate warnings and instructions regarding the potential risks associated with compulsive disorders.
Abilify Side Effects
Serious side effects of Abilify include:
- Fever, chills, body aches, and other flu symptoms
- Stiff muscles
- Sores in the mouth and throat
- Increased thirst or urination
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin)
- Loss of appetite
Other side effects associated with the use of Abilify include:
- Choking or difficulty swallowing
- Dizziness, drowsiness, or weakness
- Weight gain
- Constipation and upset stomach
- Nausea and vomiting
Other Abilify Risks
Other serious risks associated with Abilify may include:
- Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS): NMS is a potentially life-threatening neurological disorder often associated with the use of antipsychotic drugs, including Abilify. Manifestations of NMS include high body temperature, muscle rigidity, altered mental status, and evidence of irregular blood pressure or cardiac dysrhythmia.
- Tardive Dyskinesia: Tardive dyskinesia is a condition that affects the nervous system, often caused by long-term use of some psychiatric drugs. Prevalence of the syndrome is highest among elderly women.
- Metabolic Changes: Although the relationship between atypical antipsychotic drug use and hyperglycemia is not completely understood, atypical antipsychotic medications have been associated with metabolic changes, including hyperglycemia/diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, and body weight gain.
How A New York 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 New York Abilify lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.
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