Abilify is a widely prescribed antipsychotic drug used to treat symptoms associated with schizophrenia and episodes of bipolar disorder. However, lawsuits claim that the drug makers knew or should have known about the potential risks of compulsive gambling allegedly associated with the drug. Affected patients and their families may be eligible to file a Tennessee Abilify lawsuit and pursue compensation for damages.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Tennessee 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?
Manufactured and developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Abilify is a prescription antipsychotic used to treat patients who suffer from psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder. Abilify is also used to treat symptoms associated with Tourette’s syndrome and mood swings and temper tantrums associated with autistic disorder.
Unlike other antipsychotics in its class that block chemical receptors in the brain, Abilify works by helping to restore the balance of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. Known as a partial dopamine agonist, Abilify can stimulate dopamine receptor levels when those levels are low and inhibit them when they are high.
Abilify and Compulsive Gambling Studies
Pathological gambling, or gambling disorder, is considered to be a major psychiatric disorder. For many people who gamble, the activity does not negatively impact their lives, however, pathological gamblers are unable to control the impulse to gamble, often leading to negative effects on the personal and social lives of the gambler and their loved ones.
A number of case reports in medical literature, including one published in The British Journal of Psychiatry in 2011, have linked the use of Abilify with compulsive behaviors such as compulsive gambling. Although the patients in this particular study reported a positive reaction to the medication when used to treat their conditions, they also indicated adverse changes in their approach to gambling and experiences that seemed different from other gamblers.
Abilify Compulsive Gambling Lawsuits
Lawsuits in California and Minnesota allege that the makers of Abilify knew or should have had knowledge that the medication could potentially cause compulsive gambling and other compulsive behaviors. Despite warnings issued in Europe and Canada, lawsuits allege that the drug makers failed to fully and adequately test or research Abilify and its association with compulsive gambling.
Abilify Side Effects
Like many prescription medications, Abilify is known to have a number of side effects when used as prescribed. Common side effects of the medication include:
- Choking or difficulty swallowing
- Excess saliva or drooling
- Upset stomach
- Nausea and vomiting
Other Abilify Risks
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), other significant and sometimes deadly side effects have been connected to Abilify. Elderly patients who have dementia-related psychosis are at an increased risk of stroke and possibly death when treated with antipsychotic drugs such as Abilify. The drug is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis.
In some cases, Abilify has been linked to a neurological condition known as neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Symptoms of NMS include fever; stiffness, pain, tenderness, or weakness of the muscles; tiredness; confusion; sweating; fast or irregular heart rate; and changes in urine color.
Abilify has also been linked to a late-developing neuromuscular disorder known as tardive dyskinesia (TD). Symptoms of TD usually affect the mouth, tongue, facial muscles, and upper extremities.
Metabolic conditions, including diabetes, decreases in carbohydrate tolerance, impaired glucose tolerance, and glycosuria (excess sugar in the urine) were reported in some patients who used Abilify. Likewise, alterations in lipids (naturally occurring organic compounds that include fats, fat soluble vitamins, and triglycerides) have been observed in patients who used antipsychotic drugs, including Abilify to treat their mental disorders.
How A Tennessee 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 Tennessee Abilify lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.
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