Abilify, also known as aripiprazole, is a popular prescription antipsychotic drug used to treat symptoms associated with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression. However, Abilify has been linked to certain psychiatric disorders such as compulsive gambling in addition to other serious risks and side effects. Affected patients and their families may be eligible to file an Oklahoma Abilify lawsuit and pursue compensation for damages.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Oklahoma 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 used to treat the following mental illnesses and disorders:
- Manic or mixed episodes of bipolar disorder
- Maintenance treatment of bipolar I disorder
- Major depressive disorder (as adjunctive therapy to antidepressant)
- Irritability associated with autistic disorders
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Agitation associated with schizophrenia or bipolar mania
Traditional antipsychotics work by blocking dopamine receptors in the body, sometimes resulting in cases of severe movement disorders. Abilify, however, stabilizes neurotransmitters in the brain, blocking both dopamine and serotonin levels. This action leads to an increase in dopamine levels when needed.
Abilify Compulsive Gambling Study and Warnings
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, researchers noted that aripiprazole (Abilify) may act on dopamine receptors, over-stimulating the brain’s reward system. Results indicated that the probability of pathological gambling due to aripiprazole was possible in seven out of eight cases.
In 2012, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) alerted the public of post-marketing reports of pathological gambling in patients who used Abilify to treat their mental disorders. Likewise, Health Canada published a safety review in 2015 indicating a potential 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 warnings identifying the possible risk of compulsive gambling and the use of Abilify.
Compulsive Gambling Lawsuits
Lawsuits in the United States allege that Abilify may have caused harmful compulsive behaviors including compulsive gambling. Plaintiffs claim that those behaviors resulted in substantial financial, mental, and physical damages. Additionally, plaintiffs allege that the manufacturers of Abilify knew or should have known about the possible connection between Abilify and 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:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Problems sleeping
- Blurred vision
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 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
How An Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma Abilify lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.
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