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