A connection between the antipsychotic drug Abilify and compulsive behaviors has been discovered by researchers. These potentially harmful behaviors, such as compulsive shopping and pathological gambling, were not experienced by users prior to their taking the drug. Once the use of the drug was stopped the problems were also terminated.
Claims are being made against the drug makers, Bristol Meyers-Squibb and Otsuka America Pharmaceuticals, that there were no warnings about compulsive behavior such as compulsive gambling on the product labels. Such warnings could have saved the affected users astronomical amounts of money from gambling losses, debt and treatments. There were also no warnings about compulsive shopping or any other compulsive behavior. Separate studies have shown a distinct connection between Abilify and other compulsive behaviors such as hyper-sexuality and binge eating.
What is Abilify?
Abilify (aripiprazole) is an atypical antipsychotic drug prescribed as a treatment for several mental disorders including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Taken in conjunction with other medications it is also used to treat depression. In 2014 sales for Abilify reached nearly $8 billion, making it one of the best selling drugs in the U.S.
Abilify stimulates the dopamine and serotonin receptors in patients. This stimulation is suspected of being the cause of impulsive behaviors such as compulsive gambling and shopping. When the dopamine neurotransmitter is stimulated as a response to a particular activity, a feeling of pleasure will be experienced by the user. In normalcy, this reward system works to ensure that we continue the beneficial activity, such as eating, to survive. In cases surrounding mental disorders these systems may be either over or under stimulated. Researchers believe that Abilify may cause over stimulation of these reward receptors (dopamine 3 receptors or D3) triggering compulsive behavior. In other words, a particular activity produces a high which compels a person to seek the same pleasure incessantly.
No Warning About Compulsive Behavior
The addiction to gambling can become so severe that people continue, despite not being able to afford it. They use credit cards or borrow money to support their addiction. Some even feel that they need to gamble to continue living. Lives can be ruined from psychological distress.
Drug companies are obligated to inform the public regarding possible side effects of the products they create and market. While Abilify labels do warn about possible side effects such as suicidal thoughts or increased deaths by elderly patients with dementia, there is no mention of compulsive behavior, particularly gambling and shopping.
Filing an Abilify Lawsuit
Anyone who has accrued large gambling debts following compulsive gambling caused by Abilify, may have cause to file a lawsuit against Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company to seek compensatory damages.
Abilify is just one more drug on the market that is the subject of investigations and lawsuits. In similar litigation, drug companies allegedly failed to warn the public of serious side effects, knowingly sold a defective product, concealed health risks and improperly represented the safety and effectiveness of the drug.
Here to Help
If you or a loved one suffered due to a compulsive gambling problem caused by Abilify, you may be entitled to compensation including:
- Recovery of money lost to gambling
- Expenses for compulsive gambling treatment
- Emotional and psychological injuries
- Restoring the quality of life
- Punitive damages
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA is actively seeking individuals who have been harmed by the detrimental side effects of defective drugs including Abilify. If you or someone you care about has suffered due to an improperly marketed drug, reach out to the attorneys at Dolman Law today for a free, confidential evaluation of your case. Simply call (833) 606-DRUG  or fill out the east contact form on our website. Speak with a defective drug lawyer who is here to help.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
(833) 606-DRUG