Aripiprazole, also known as Abilify, is primarily used to treat symptoms associated with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression. However, Abilify has been linked to serious compulsive disorders, including compulsive gambling. Affected patients and their families may be eligible to file a Texas Abilify lawsuit and pursue compensation for damages.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Texas 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 most commonly used to treat symptoms associated with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Abilify may also be used with an additional antidepressant as an add-on treatment for major depressive disorder. The medication may also be used to treat children who suffer from irritability associated with autistic disorders.
How Does Abilify Work?
Abilify belongs to a class of medications known as atypical antipsychotics. Unlike traditional antipsychotics that act as full agonists (dopamine receptor blockers), Abilify acts as both a partial and full agonist, blocking and stimulating dopamine receptors in the brain.
Abilify and Compulsive Gambling
According to the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), problem gambling, also known as gambling addiction or compulsive gambling, “includes all gambling behavior patterns that compromise, disrupt or damage personal, family or vocational pursuits.” Compulsive gambling is often characterized by an increased preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more frequently, inability to stop, “chasing” losses, and loss of control regardless of the financial, emotional, and physical effects of the gambler’s behavior.
Research has linked the use of Abilify and compulsive gambling. In July 2011, an article in the British Journal of Psychiatry noted three cases that suggest a connection between compulsive gambling and the treatment of psychosis using aripiprazole, or Abilify. Although all three patients reported a positive response to their psychotic symptoms after using the medication, they also noted strong urges to gamble following the initiation of aripiprazole (Abilify).
Abilify Compulsive Gambling Lawsuits
Although earlier warnings and precautions regarding the connection between Abilify and compulsive gambling have been issued by the European Medicines Agency and Health Canada, health organizations in the United States have not yet issued any similar warnings. However, lawsuits filed 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.
Abilify Side Effects
Although Abilify is less likely to induce movement disorders compared to other drugs in its class, there are a number of side effects associated with the drug. Possible side effects and allergic reactions of Abilify include:
- Itching or hives
- Swelling in the face or hands
- Tightness in the chest
- Trouble breathing
- Anxiety, irritability, restlessness, nervousness, or difficulty sleeping
- Excessive hunger or thirst
- Muscle stiffness
Common, less serious side effects of Abilify include:
Other Abilify Risks
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), other serious risks associated with Abilify include:
- Stroke: Drugs like Abilify have been linked to an increased risk of death (as a result of stroke) in elderly people who suffer from dementia-related psychosis.
- Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS): NMS is a potentially life-threatening neurological disorder characterized by very high fever, irregular pulse, accelerated heartbeat, increased rate of respiration, muscle rigidity, altered mental status, high or low blood pressure, and excessive sweating.
- Tardive Dyskinesia (TD): Tardive dyskinesia is a potentially irreversible condition marked by uncontrollable movements in the face, tongue, or other body parts.
- Metabolic Changes: Problems associated with metabolism, including hyperglycemia and diabetes, increased cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and weight gain.
- Orthostatic Hypotension (decreased blood pressure): Patients may experience lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting, especially when rising from a sitting or lying position.
- Seizures: In rare cases, aripiprazole (Abilify) has been indicated as a possible cause of seizures or convulsions.
How A Texas 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 Texas Abilify lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.
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