For patients who suffer from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, antipsychotic medications such as Abilify may be prescribed to treat their illness. Although Abilify is a widely prescribed antipsychotic, the drug has been linked to serious compulsive disorders, including compulsive gambling. Those patients who have been affected and their families may be eligible to file an Ohio Abilify lawsuit and seek compensation for their injuries.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Ohio 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 widely-prescribed antipsychotic regularly used to treat people who experience symptoms associated with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Abilify may also be used to treat major depressive disorder along with other antidepressants. Pediatric patients who experience irritability associated with autistic disorder may use the drug to treat their condition as well.
How Does Abilify Work?
Abilify belongs to a group of medications known as atypical antipsychotics. Traditional antipsychotics usually work by blocking dopamine receptors in the brain. Atypical antipsychotics not only block dopamine receptors, but also act on serotonin receptors, keeping chemical receptors in the brain balanced.
Abilify and Compulsive Gambling Warnings
Gambling disorder, a type of psychiatric disorder also known as compulsive gambling, occurs when a person is unable to resist the urge to gamble. Compulsive gambling can be financially, mentally, and physically detrimental to the gambler and their loved ones.
In 2012, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) warned that post-marketing reports of pathological gambling have been reported in patients who used Abilify to treat their mental disorders. Additionally, Health Canada released a safety review in 2015 indicating a possible link between Abilify and impulse behavior disorders, including compulsive gambling.
As a result, both agencies in Europe and Canada have requested that the makers of Abilify, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., include new product label warnings about the possible risk of compulsive gambling and the use of Abilify.
Abilify Compulsive Gambling Lawsuits
Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not made any requests of their own regarding the alleged risks of compulsive gambling linked to the use of Abilify, lawsuits submitted in California and Minnesota allege wrongdoing by the drug’s manufacturers.
The lawsuits allege that the drug makers knew or should have known and did not warn users about the potential dangers associated with Abilify, including compulsive behaviors such as compulsive gambling. Plaintiffs allege that, as a result of Abilify use, they suffered financial, physical, and mental losses.
The FDA has cautioned elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis who are treated with antipsychotic drugs such as Abilify of an increased risk of stroke-related death. Because elderly patients may have other medical conditions in addition to dementia or psychiatric illnesses that may require additional prescription medications, they are at an increased risk of experiencing severe side effects associated with the use of antipsychotics, including Abilify.
According to the FDA, patients who suffer from major depressive disorder (MDD) may experience worsening of their depression, thoughts of suicide, or unusual changes in behavior either with or without the use of antidepressant medications. All patients who are treated with Abilify should be monitored for clinical worsening, suicidality, and unusual changes in behavior, particularly during the first few months of drug therapy or dose changes.
Other Abilify Side Effects
Other serious side effects associated with Abilify include:
- Symptoms of Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) such as increased body temperature, confusion, sweating, muscle rigidity, and autonomic imbalance
- Signs of tardive dyskinesia, including involuntary movements such as grimacing and eye blinking
- Problems related to metabolic changes such as hyperglycemia and diabetes, increased fat levels (cholesterol and triglycerides) in the blood, and body weight gain
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting often associated with orthostatic hypotension or decreased blood pressure
How An Ohio 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 Ohio Abilify lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.
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