Did You Start Compulsive Gambling or Develop Other Impulse Disorders After Taking Abilify?
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Millions of patients depend on Abilify to treat their bipolar disorder, depression, or schizophrenia. However, some of these patients are allegedly developing severe side effects from the drug that include:
- Pathological and compulsive gambling, to the point of financial ruin and extreme debt
- Development of compulsive behaviors that may include shopping addictions and severe sex addiction
- Compulsive eating, binge eating, and eating addictions that you have no control of
If you have developed a serious gambling addiction, compulsive eating or shopping disorder, or hypersexuality, call us now.
Patients who are being treated with Abilify are complaining of unexpected behaviors and issues which they say are causing trouble in their lives. Many patients say they had no idea Abilify has these types of side effects and did not expect to suffer them.
Abilify, Aristada, and Abilify Maintena may cause compulsive and impulse behaviors like compulsive gambling, shopping and spending, and hypersexuality. If you or your loved one suffered these types of compulsive behaviors, contact us today. You may be entitled to significant compensation for your losses.
What is Abilify
Abilify, sold under the generic name aripiprazole, is a partial dopamine agonist and serotonin antagonist used in the treatment of Tourette’s disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and the irritability that is associated with autism. It is also used in with other medications in the treatment of depression.
Dopamine and serotonin are neurotransmitters in the brain. Dopamine helps carry signals between the cells of the brain and the pleasure and rewards centers and is connected with feelings like joy, pleasure, love, and motivation. Serotonin regulates your moods and helps you sleep and relax. If the levels of either of these chemicals are out of balance, you may experience issues with concentration, learning, memory, motor control and sleep.
It is believed that Abilify works by enhancing or inhibiting the levels of these neurotransmitters to bring them into balance. The drug typically improves the mood and behaviors of patients whose levels are out of whack.
Unfortunately, some patients who take Abilify are suffering serious compulsive behaviors such as eating, shopping, gambling, and hypersexuality and they say these serious side-effects have turned their lives upside-down and caused significant financial and emotional troubles for them and their families.
Abilify Side Effects and Complications
Abilify was approved by the FDA for sale in the United States in 2002, but it wasn’t until several years later that the FDA required the drug makers Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceuticals to update the drug’s warning label to include the association between Abilify and compulsive and impulse disorders. Then, in 2016, the government agency issued a Safety Announcement which acknowledged the warning label did not adequately reflect how strong the compulsion and impulse control risk can actually be.
Abilify Adverse Events
The FDA’s FAERS database shows that by December 2017, more than 40,000 Abilify adverse events were reported including over 20,000 serious cases and at least 1,812 deaths. Of all the adverse events reported to the FDA, more than 12,000 involved psychiatric disorders like:
- gambling disorders
- obsessive-compulsive disorder
- impulsive behaviors
- psychotic disorder
How Does Abilify Cause Gambling Addiction?
Patients who develop a gambling addiction or other compulsion after receiving Abilify say that the drug maker knew or should have known about the increased risk of developing compulsive behavior disorders prior to the FDA mandatory warning label updates. They want to know when the drug maker knew of these risks and why they were not warned about them.
The fact is, one of the first studies to discuss the connection between gambling and medicine was published in 2005 in the prestigious journal JAMA Neurology. Though the study involved patients with Parkinson’s disease, researchers examined the complications of pathological gambling with dopamine agonist drugs.
In 2007, researchers published a case report examining Abilify-induced obsessive-compulsive disorder in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology and then published a study the following year analyzing the use of Abilify and patients experiencing increased libido.
The British Journal of Psychiatry published a study in 2011 in which scientists analyzed the case reports of three patients with schizophrenia who developed gambling addictions even though they had no history of such behavior.
Current Drug Safety also published a report concerning patients who develop gambling addictions after starting aripiprazole but had no prior history of this addiction.
Addictive Behaviors published a study that examined eight case reports to determine risk factors for Abilify-induced pathological gambling. Researchers found that pathological gambling was possibly due to aripiprazole in seven of the eight cases.
Then in 2014, JAMA Internal Medicine published an investigation that confirmed and extended evidence that dopamine agonist drugs are associated with impulse control disorders. Study authors say more prominent warnings need to be issued.
Aripiprazole Gambling Complications
Patients on Abilify may suffer overwhelming urges to participate in activities like sports betting, casino gambling, dog and horse racing, and online poker. How the drug interacts with the rewards centers of the brain may fuel these powerful urges.
Sadly, patients say that these Abilify-induced addictions are causing terrible turmoil in their lives and the lives of their families. Beyond horrible guilt, fear, and distress, some of these patients have suffered:
- Loss of job
- Loss of valuable
Patients Continue to File Lawsuits
Lawsuits are being filed on behalf of patients and their families who have suffered financial loss from Abilify-induced compulsions including compulsive or pathological gambling. At least 800 Abilify lawsuits have been centralized in multidistrict litigation in U.S. District Court in Florida under U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers.
These lawsuits say that Abilify patients have suffered significant injury and loss due to the unknown side effects of Abilify. In these complaints, patients say the drug manufacturers did not warn that the drug could cause compulsive behaviors. By failing to warn of these side effects, the drug maker denied patients the opportunity to make informed healthcare decisions. These patients say that if they had known about the side effects and adverse events associated with the drug, they would have chosen another treatment plan with an alternative medication that does not have these complications. They say that if they had known about the increased risks for impulse control issues and pathological gambling compulsions, they could have avoided the economic, financial, and emotional problems they suffered due to the drug.
Bellwether Trial Dates Set
The bellwether trials for the Abilify MDL have been chosen with the first case scheduled to begin June 18, 2018. In Case No. 3:16-cv-00414, the plaintiff alleges they started taking Abilify in 2009 and started pathologically gambling soon thereafter. The plaintiff says that after discontinuing the drug in 2014, they stopped gambling. The plaintiff says she suffered losses greater than $75,000 and lost her financial, economic, physical, and mental stability as the direct result of Abilify.
Scheduled to begin on Aug. 6, 2018. Case No. 3:16-cv-00291 also alleges the plaintiff started to compulsively gamble as soon as they started taking the drug in 2012. The plaintiff says they have suffered financial losses in excess of $75,000 as well as other losses, including emotional distress, harm, neuropsychiatric injury, and will continue to suffer these damages.
Case No. 3:17-cv-0018, the third bellwether trial is scheduled to begin Aug 27, 2018. The plaintiff in this case alleges that while being treated with Abilify from 2003 to 2016 they developed a gambling compulsion that led to mental anguish, loss of earnings, economic losses, medical expenses, the loss of the ability to earn money, and the loss of the enjoyment of life as well as other losses and damages that are permanent and ongoing.
We Can Help
Patients who suffered psychiatric disorders after being treated with Abilify say the manufacturers should have properly warned physicians and patients about the compulsive behavior side effects so that patients and their caregivers could be alert for signs of compulsions and impulse disorders. Instead, the FDA had to warn patients and caregivers to be on the lookout for compulsive behaviors.
While the FDA does much to ensure the safety of prescription medications, the manufacturers of those drugs have a high duty to ensure their products are safe and to warn of any side effects, complications, and contraindications related to their products. When they fail to do this, they may be held responsible by law for injuries and losses their products cause. Patients who developed compulsions while being treated with Abilify may be entitled to hold the manufacturers liable for the financial, economic, and emotional harm they suffered due to the side effects of the medication.
If you or your loved one was treated with Abilify and developed a gambling addiction or started compulsive gambling, you may be entitled to relief for your gambling debt, emotional distress, neuropsychiatric injury, loss of financial stability, and other economic harms.
How We Can Help
Our attorneys are filing complaints on behalf of patients that have developed compulsive behavior disorders that may include :
- Gambling Addictions
- Shopping Addictions
- Eating Disorders
Take Action Now
Patients have rights, including the right to make informed healthcare decisions. If you were treated with Abilify and developed a gambling compulsion, you have rights. For decades, we have fought for the rights of patients injured by medications that were supposed to help, and we stand ready to fight for you now. Contact us today to learn more about your patient rights and to find out if you are eligible to seek significant financial compensation for your Abilify induced gambling compulsion.
If you are ready to let us help you get the compensation you deserve, fill out all fields of the form above. We’ll help you get justice. No fees unless damages are collected.