Abilify, also known as aripiprazole, is an antipsychotic medication that has been linked to serious impulse control disorders, including compulsive gambling. Additionally, Abilify has been associated with potentially life-threatening side effects and risks, including those affecting the nervous system. Affected patients and their families may be eligible to pursue compensation for damages with the help of a Pennsylvania Abilify lawsuit attorney.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Pennsylvania 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 recommended for the treatment of certain mental conditions, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and Tourette’s syndrome. People who suffer from major depressive disorder may also use Abilify as an adjunct treatment to other medications.
How Does Abilify Work?
Abilify is known as a partial dopamine agonist. Unlike antipsychotics that work to block dopamine receptors, Abilify works by either blocking or stimulating dopamine receptors, depending on the surrounding levels of naturally occurring neurotransmitter.
Abilify and Compulsive Gambling Warnings
According to a product summary released by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), “post-marketing reports of pathological gambling have been reported among patients prescribed aripiprazole, regardless of whether these patients had a prior history of gambling.” Additionally, the summary states that patients with a prior history of pathological gambling may be at greater risk of further developing the disorder when taking Abilify to treat certain mental disorders.
A safety review issued by Health Canada in November 2015 concluded that there is a link between the use of aripiprazole (Abilify) and the possible risk of impulse control disorders, including pathological or compulsive gambling. Because Abilify is used by many patients in Canada to treat their mental conditions, Health Canada has updated prescribing information for the drug to include a warning statement about the risk of pathological gambling as a reported side effect.
Abilify Compulsive Gambling Lawsuits
Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., manufacturers of Abilify, are not required to warn patients in the United States about the potential risk for compulsive gambling associated with Abilify. However, lawsuits in California and Minnesota allege wrongdoing by the drug makers. In those complaints, plaintiffs allege that the drug makers knew or should have known about the possible risks between the use of Abilify and compulsive gambling.
Abilify Side Effects
Although Abilify is less likely to induce movement disorders compared to other antipsychotics, there are a number of side effects associated with the drug. Most commonly, side effects of Abilify include:
- Increased hunger
Other Abilify Risks
In addition to common side effects associated with the use of Abilify for the treatment of certain mental illnesses, the medication has been potentially linked to serious, sometimes life-threatening health risks.
Elderly patients who have dementia-related psychosis or experience confusion and memory loss due to psychosis and dementia are at a greater risk of developing cerebrovascular problems such as stroke, possibly leading to death when Abilify is used to treat their symptoms. As a result, Abilify should not be prescribed to treat those patients.
Symptoms associated with neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), including high fever; stiff muscles; confusion; sweating; and changes in pulse, heart rate, and blood pressure may develop in patients who use Abilify.
Abilify may increase the likelihood of patients developing uncontrolled movements in the face, tongue, or other body parts. This condition, known as tardive dyskinesia, may or may not go away once treatment with Abilify has stopped.
Other serious risks such as diabetes, increased cholesterol and triglyceride levels, body weight gain, decreased blood pressure, low white blood cell count, seizures, body temperature control, and difficulty swallowing may also develop in patients who use Abilify to treat certain mental disorders.
How A Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania Abilify lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.
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