Aripiprazole, also known by the brand name Abilify, is primarily used to treat symptoms associated with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression. The drug is a popular form of treatment, however, it has been linked to serious impulse control disorders, including compulsive gambling. Affected patients and their families may be eligible to recover compensation for damages with the help of a North Carolina Abilify lawsuit attorney.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for North Carolina 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 a prescription antipsychotic used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, Tourette’s syndrome, and irritability associated with autistic disorders. Abilify may also be prescribed as an add-on treatment option for depression when antidepressant alone is not sufficient enough.
How Does Abilify Work?
Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002, Abilify belongs to a group of medications known as atypical antipsychotics. Unlike other medications in that class, Abilify works as a partial dopamine agonist, allowing the drug to either stimulate or reduce overstimulation of dopamine receptors when bonded to neurotransmitters in the brain.
Abilify and Compulsive Gambling Warnings
In a short report published by The British Journal of Psychiatry in July 2011, three case reports suggest that pathological gambling may have been adversely affected following treatment for psychosis with the antipsychotic aripiprazole, also known as Abilify. In the report, all three patients reported a positive response to their psychotic symptoms after using the medication, however, they also noted strong urges to gamble following the initiation of aripiprazole.
In addition to the British Journal of Psychiatry’s report, both the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and Health Canada 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.
Abilify Compulsive Gambling Lawsuits
In California and Minnesota, Abilify compulsive gambling lawsuits allege that the medication 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
The most common side effects associated with Abilify include:
- Uncontrolled movement, restlessness, tremor, and muscle stiffness
- Weight gain
- Increased or decreased appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased saliva or drooling
- Change in vision
Other Abilify Risks
In their medication guide, the FDA warns that elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis who are treated with antipsychotic drugs such as Abilify are at an increased risk of stroke-related death. Older patients may have other medical conditions in addition to dementia or psychiatric illnesses that may require prescription medications. Because of such conditions, they are at an increased risk of experiencing severe side effects associated with the use of antipsychotics, including Abilify.
Adult and pediatric patients who suffer from major depressive disorder (MDD) may experience worsening of their depression, thoughts of depression, or unusual changes in behavior either with or without the use of antidepressant medications.
According to the FDA, patients who use Abilify may be at risk of experiencing signs and symptoms associated with neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), including increased body temperature, confusion, sweating, muscle rigidity, and autonomic imbalance.
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.
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.
How A North Carolina 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 North Carolina Abilify lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.
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