A Washington Abilify lawsuit may be an option for patients who suffered from compulsive gambling or other complications after taking the medication. Abilify is a commonly prescribed antipsychotic drug used to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression. The drug, which also has a generic version called Aripiprazole, has been known to increase the occurrence of compulsive behaviors in certain patients. Many of these behaviors, such as gambling, can have a detrimental impact on a patient’s well-being and quality of life. Affected patients and their families may be eligible to file a Washington Abilify lawsuit and pursue compensation for damages.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Washington 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 sold by the American pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb. It can be consumed both in tablet and liquid form in dosages between one and 30 milligrams. According to the Nation Alliance on Mental Illness, Abilify has been known to treat the following issues:
- Major depressive disorder (when an antidepressant alone fails to provide adequate relief)
- Manic episodes associated with bipolar
- Psychosis and hallucinations caused by schizophrenia
Abilify belongs to a class of drugs known as atypical antipsychotics. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) statistics, in 2015, pharmacies dispensed prescriptions for the drug to 1.6 million people.
Mechanism of Action
According to the Stanford School of Medicine, the manic and psychotic episodes that characterize bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are commonly believed to be caused by an imbalance of the brain chemical dopamine. Abilify is classified as a partial dopamine agonist, meaning that it prevents the brain from producing excessive amounts of dopamine – this restores the chemical balance to a stable level. Major depressive disorder, which is also impacted by dopamine levels, is often treated with Abilify as well.
Abilify has been proven to be tremendously effective for many patients, but like any other drug, it has been known to cause a variety of side effects. Some of the most common side effects include:
- Gastrointestinal issues
These are not the only side effects observed in Abilify users, but they are some of the most prevalent. Occasionally, these side effects can become so severe that the use of the drug must be stopped.
The Development of Compulsive Behaviors
In recent years, Abilify has been linked to the deterioration of impulse control in some patients. The FDA recommends that physicians inform their patients about this potentially harmful side effect. Impulse-control issues, which were not originally included on the warning label, have been observed in both adults and minors. Due to these issues, the makers of Abilify are now required to include information about impulse-control issues on the warning label. Some of the compulsive behaviors documented by the FDA relate to:
- Sexual activity
Out of all of these behaviors, compulsive gambling was the most prevalent, with over 164 documented cases since 2002. There has been a total of over 184 documented cases of impulse-control disorders altogether. In order for a case to be documented, the patient must not have been previously diagnosed with a compulsive disorder.
Abilify Lawsuits Filed
In April 2016, a Pennsylvania man who had been prescribed Abilify in 2009 filed a complaint against the makers of the drug. He alleged that his use of Abilify led to the development of a compulsive gambling addiction, which was not listed as one of the side effects on the warning label at the time (this was not required until 2016). He and his wife also claimed that the addiction ceased after he stopped using Abilify, but by then, the couple had lost over $36,000 due to gambling. His representatives allege that Bristol-Myers Squibb knew of the link between Abilify and compulsive behaviors, but failed to issue a proper warning.
How a Washington Abilify Lawsuit Can Help
Drug makers have a duty to provide safe products. If there are risks of harm associated with their products, they also must provide adequate warnings. If a drug maker fails to fulfill this duty, it could be held liable in lawsuits for injuries that may result.
People injured by Abilify may be eligible to recover money for:
- Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
The families of those who have died may be eligible to recover money for funeral expenses and the pain that comes with losing a loved one.
The Time You Have to Pursue a Claim is Limited. Contact Us Today.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Washington. You can fill out the form on this page or contact us by phone or email.
After you contact us, an attorney will follow up to answer questions that you might have. There is no cost or obligation to speak with us, and any information you provide will be kept confidential.
Please note that the law limits the time you have to pursue a claim or file a lawsuit for an injury. If you think you have a case, you should not delay taking action.