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Articles Posted in Abilify

Abilify is an antipsychotic prescription drug used to treat emotional disorders, including bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, and some symptoms of autism. Although Ability can be quite effective at treating these disorders, it is also linked to serious medical complications and uncontrollable behaviors, such as binge eating and compulsive gambling.

How Does it Work?

Abilify controls certain disorders by stabilizing levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. In addition to multiple behavioral problems, Ability may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes in children. A 2013 study by Vanderbilt University, Columbia University and the Mayo Clinic, found that children being treated with Abilify and similar antipsychotic drugs have three times the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.

The study compared children between the ages of six and 24 who used antipsychotics between 1996 and 2007 with children who were prescribed other drugs during the same period. Those who used antipsychotics had three times the risk of developing diabetes within one year. The risk increased as the dosages increased. As a result, the study’s authors are urging doctors to consider alternatives before prescribing Abilify or other antipsychotics:

“This is particularly important for high-risk children, for example, those with elevated weight. Children should be monitored carefully for metabolic effects predisposing them to diabetes, and use of the drug should be at the lowest possible dose for the shortest possible time,” said one of the study’s senior authors, Wayne A. Ray, Ph.D. A MA drug injury lawyer can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured by Abilify or a similar drug.

Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

If you are concerned that your child has developed type 2 diabetes after taking Abilify, consult with your physician immediately.The following symptoms may be cause for concern:

  • Extreme thirst or hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Fatigue
  • Vision problems
  • Frequent infections
  • Slow healing
  • Sores
  • Dark spots on skin

Abilify may also cause

  • Balance problems
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Restlessness
  • Muscle stiffness or trembling
  • Trouble walking
  • Uncontrollable body movements
  • Compulsive behaviors

The Link to Compulsive Behaviors

According to multiple studies, Abilify may impact an individual’s ability to control certain impulses, especially gambling, addictions, hyper-sexuality, and binge eating. Dating back to 2009, research linked dopamine receptor drugs such as Abilify to problems with impulse control. In 2014, the journal JAMA Internal Medicine found even more links between antipsychotics and abnormal behaviors, including weight gain in pediatric patients.

“Weight gain was pervasive even in medications usually considered to be weight neutral in adults,” said a lead author of the study, Dr. Christoph Correll. “The worry is that weight gain sustained over long periods of time can cause adverse outcomes like diabetes and heart attacks and strokes.” Continue reading

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

Abilify is a prescription medication used to treat multiple mental and emotional disorders, including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and depression. In some cases, it’s even prescribed for less-serious issues, such as insomnia and anxiety. Unfortunately, the drug is also linked to several compulsive behaviors, including hyper-sexuality, gambling, and even eating and shopping. Despite the fact that these side effects have been known since at least 2010, warning labels weren’t updated until 2016, following a tidal wave of adverse event reports cited by the FDA. Canada and Europe added such warning labels several years prior to the U.S.

In October 2016, a total of 22 federal Abilify lawsuits were consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida. MDL cases are often formed in response to a significant number of federal lawsuits that share similar characteristics. As of March 2017, the number of pending MDL cases had grown to 60. A Boston dangerous drug lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured by Abilify.

The MDL panel stated the following in its transfer order:

“Plaintiffs in these actions each allege that they experienced compulsive gambling behaviors as a result of taking Abilify. All the actions involve factual questions relating to whether Abilify was defectively designed or manufactured, whether defendants knew or should have known of the alleged propensity of Abilify to cause compulsive gambling behaviors in users, and whether defendants provided adequate instructions and warnings with this product.”

Although all forms of compulsive behavior associated with Abilify may have resulted in financial complications, compulsive gambling has produced the most devastating losses. Many of the individuals who report uncontrollable gambling claim to have never had a problem before taking Abilify. For many, their compulsive gambling caused severe financial loss, personal harm, and relationship problems. Some racked up credit card debit, ended up in jail, and even engaged in prostitution to fund their new habit

How Does Abilify Cause Compulsive Behaviors?

Although the exact cause is unknown, many compulsive behaviors, such as gambling and shopping, may be related to a dopamine disorder. Dopamine is naturally released in the body and regulates mood, emotions, and the feeling of pleasure. Unfortunately, too much dopamine can result in compulsive behaviors, whereas not enough dopamine can lead to depression and suicidal tendencies. When dopamine is manipulated with chemicals, such as those found in Abilify, patients may seek out intensely-rewarding behaviors, such as gambling and sex.

The FDA released the following safety announcement in response to nearly 200 reports of compulsive behavior:

Although pathological gambling is listed as a reported side effect in the current aripiprazole drug labels, this description does not entirely reflect the nature of the impulse-control risk that we identified. In addition, we have become aware of other compulsive behaviors associated with aripiprazole, such as compulsive eating, shopping, and sexual actions.

In each of these cases, the compulsive behaviors disappeared when the drug was stopped, or the dose was reduced. A MA injury lawyer can help if you’ve been harmed by the negligence of a pharmaceutical company or healthcare provider.

Allegations Against Abilify Manufacturers, Otsuka and Bristol-Myers Squibb

  • Uncontrollable gambling caused by Abilify resulted in financial, physical, and psychological damages.
  • Abilify’s manufacturers were aware – or should have been aware – that the drug could cause compulsive behaviors.
  • Otsuka and Bristol-Myers Squibb failed to conduct adequate safety testing.
  • At least $10.6 million was paid to physicians to promote Abilify.
  • Otsuka and Bristol-Myers Squibb promoted Abilify for unapproved uses.
  • Abilify caused economic loss, physical and neuropsychiatric injury, emotional trauma and distress, and the loss of a spouse’s consortium.

Continue reading

People suffering from depression and bipolar disorder may be prescribed Abilify, an antipsychotic drug meant to help reduce the negative symptoms of these emotional disorders. Unfortunately, the side effects of Abilify may be significantly worse than the symptoms it’s intended to treat. From hyper-sexuality to compulsive gambling, Abilify has been linked to multiple compulsive behaviors, many of which can ruin a person’s life.

One woman lost her home and custody of her children after developing a gambling habit while on Abilify. The mother of two claims she had never had a gambling problem before being prescribed the drug. Her compulsion to gamble while on Abilify was so strong that she missed multiple flights because she couldn’t pull herself away from the casino. “I had to reschedule the first flight I missed and then I went back to the machine waiting for the second flight and I ended up missing that as well,” said the woman, who estimates that she lost  up to $2 million due to her gambling habit, in less than five years. A Boston drug injury lawyer can help you determine whether to file a lawsuit if you’ve experienced similar side effects while on Abilify.

Abilify affects the brain’s dopamine production to reduce negative symptoms of conditions such as depression and bipolar disorder, but it may create an overabundance of dopamine in some patients. Dopamine receptors crave pleasure, which is why Abilify may lead people to gambling, compulsive shopping, hyper-sexuality, and overeating. “I gained about 70 pounds and then lost it subsequently after stopping Abilify,” said the woman, who admits to becoming involved in prostitution as well. “Something I’m ashamed of and embarrassed by.” She claims that following a 2012 move to Colorado, her new doctor refused to prescribe Abilify, and the compulsive behaviors stopped. It was then that she made the connection between the prescription medication and her compulsivity.

FDA Warning Came Too Late For Some

In response to these claims, the FDA finally issued an announcement in May 2016 warning that, “compulsive or uncontrollable urges to gamble, binge eat, shop, and have sex have been reported with the use of the antipsychotic drug aripiprazole (Abilify, Abilify Maintena, Aristada, and generics). These uncontrollable urges were reported to have stopped when the medicine was discontinued or the dose was reduced.”

Although the warning was issued, it was far too late for some. European patients learned about the link between Abilify and compulsive behaviors back in 2012, when Europe issued a public warning. American patients weren’t clued in for another four years. For patients like the woman above, Abilify may have ruined their lives. If you suffered harmful side effects while taking Abilify or any other prescription drug, contact a MA drug injury lawyer today.

According to the FDA, about 1.6 million Americans were prescribed Abilify in 2015. The drug is still on the shelves, but with the new warning, patients can now decide if they are willing to take the risk. If you are currently taking Abilify or any other form of the drug aripiprazole, you may want to speak with your doctor about the potential side effects. Continue reading

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