If you or somebody you love has taken Abilify and experienced adverse affects such as compulsive gambling or compulsive spending, you could be eligible to join a class action lawsuit against the drug’s manufacturers, or initiate a lawsuit of your own.
Abilify is an antipsychotic medication developed by Otsuka Pharmaceutical and Bristol-Myers Squibb that was intended to treat symptoms from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, Tourette’s syndrome, autism and depression. Specifically, the medication is meant to decrease hallucinations, increase the ability for organized thinking, decrease frequency and severity of mood swings and help with depressive thoughts.
The most common side effects to taking Abilify include anxiety, blurred vision, constipation, dizziness, drooling, drowsiness, headaches, nausea, restlessness, lightheadedness, trouble sleeping and weight gain.
However, it has been revealed that Abilify causes serious other side effects, most notable an increase in compulsive behavior that can lead to excessive shopping, eating, sex and, most notably, gambling.
Although the FDA did not update Abilify’s side effect warning to include these compulsive behaviors until 2016, scientific research into the drug showed that the drug had been linked to such strange behaviors since at least 2010. It is maintained by attorneys and experts involved in class action suits that the drug’s manufacturers knowingly misled patients by refusing to warn them about these potential side effects.
The side effects are so prevalent that they have been observed happening in patients with absolutely no history of compulsive behavior prior to taking the drug. The exact cause of compulsive gambling, specifically, is unknown, but has been linked to the brain’s production and release of dopamine, a chemical produced by the body that regulates emotions and the pleasure/risk/reward relationship.
It is still unclear how Abilify so drastically alters this mechanism, but it is apparent that the drug impacts the dopamine “pathway” in the brain significantly, causing these uncontrollable urges to engage in potentially dangerous and harmful activities as a result.
The FDA released its updated warning based on about 200 reported cases of Abilify causing compulsive behavior issues in its users. The warning extends to “other compulsive behaviors…such as compulsive eating, shopping and sexual actions.”
These behaviors can ruin lives
While shopping, sexual activity, eating and even (in careful moderation) gambling can be a part of any normal person’s life, these actions can become severely and negatively impactful to anybody’s life if they become compulsive; meaning the person becomes unhappy or physically or mentally pained if they are not engaging in these actions.
Gambling addicts can blow through life savings, college funds for their kids and spend money that they need for other areas of their life (healthcare, food, rent or mortgage payments) to satisfy their inherent need to continue the risk/reward/pleasure cycle of gambling.
Similarly, overeating and over-engagement in sexual activity can have crippling physical and mental consequences as well, and can lead to additional, costly treatment in hospitals and other medicinal and therapeutic care. Continue reading