Antipsychotic medications such as Abilify have been linked to serious psychiatric disorders, including compulsive gambling. Other side effects affecting the nervous system and elderly patients have been noted as well. Affected patients and their families may be eligible to file a South Carolina Abilify lawsuit and pursue compensation for damages.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for South 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?
Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002, Abilify is a commonly prescribed antipsychotic used treat schizophrenia, manic or mixed episodes of bipolar disorder, and Tourette’s syndrome. Together with other medications, including antidepressants, Abilify can be used to treat major depressive disorder as well.
How Does Abilify Work?
First developed in the 1950s, conventional antipsychotics work by blocking dopamine receptors in the body, sometimes leading to severe movement disorders. Abilify belongs to a newer class of drugs called atypical antipsychotics. Unlike conventional antipsychotics, Abilify works by stabilizing both dopamine and serotonin levels, leading to an increase or decrease in dopamine levels when needed.
Abilify and Compulsive Gambling Warnings
Despite requests and reviews issued by the European Medicines Agency and Health Canada advising drug makers to place package warnings on Abilify to note the alleged connection to pathological gambling, product labeling in the United States does not mention that pathological gambling has been reported in patients who were prescribed Abilify.
Abilify Compulsive Gambling Lawsuits
Abilify compulsive gambling lawsuits filed in California and Minnesota allege that the drug makers, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., were obligated to provide product warnings and instructions regarding the possible risks associated with compulsive disorders and the use of Abilify to treat certain mental illnesses. However, the drug makers failed to do so.
Although the drug makers knew or should have known about the risks associated with Abilify, plaintiffs claim that the drug makers did not warn, advise, educate, or otherwise inform Abilify users or prescribers in the United States about the risk of compulsive gambling or other compulsive behaviors. As a result of using Abilify, plaintiffs also claim monetary losses; loss of financial stability; other mental, physical, and economic losses.
Abilify Side Effects
Common side effects of Abilify include:
- Difficulty speaking
- Loss of balance
- Muscle stiffness
- Uncontrollable movements of the body
In rare cases, the following side effects may develop in patients who use Abilify as prescribed to treat their condition:
- Rapid heartbeat
- High fever
- High or low blood pressure
- Increased sweating
- Severe muscle stiffness
Other Abilify Risks
According to the FDA, antipsychotic drugs such as Abilify have been associated with several severe, sometimes life-threatening conditions. Prescription information issued by the FDA notes the following warnings and precautions:
- Elderly patients who suffer from dementia-related psychosis are at an increased risk of death and stroke-related death when treated with antipsychotic drugs such as Abilify
- Clinical studies of dementia-related psychosis noted an increased risk of cerebrovascular adverse events, including stroke and brief, stroke-like events known as transient ischemic attack
- Patients with major depressive disorder may experience worsening of their depression and should be observed for unusual changes in behavior
- A potentially fatal neurological condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) may occur with the administration of antipsychotic drugs, including Abilify
- Patients treated with antipsychotic medications may develop tardive dyskinesia, a potentially irreversible condition that affects the nervous system
- Atypical antipsychotic drugs—including Abilify—have been associated with metabolic changes such as hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, and body weight gain.
Other risks potentially related to the use of Abilify include orthostatic hypotension (low blood pressure); leukopenia, neutropenia, and agranulocytosis (decreased white blood count); convulsions; motor impairment; heightened core body temperature; thoughts of suicide; and dysphagia (difficulty swallowing).
How A South 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 South Carolina Abilify lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.
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