As the second highest selling pharmaceutical medication on the U.S. market, Abilify acquires 8.7 million prescriptions per year. In 2014, Abilify had sales reaching over five billion dollars. However, despite its immense popularity, Abilify has been linked to serious side effects ranging from thoughts of suicide to compulsive behaviors and urges. With these long-term effects being held into question, the public is left wondering, is Abilify safe?
What is Abilify?
Abilify is an aripiprazole developed by the Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Abilify in 2002. Otsuka aligned with Bristol-Myers Squibb in order to market the drug.
What is Abilify Used for?
For millions of Americans who suffer from depression, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder, Abilify can increase their quality of life. Abilify can manage symptoms of those who suffer from mental illnesses and help them live a more normal existence. However, since the market of those diagnosed with schizophrenia is smaller, Otsuka and Bristol Myers pushed the FDA to approve other uses for Abilify. Today, it is most commonly prescribed in addition to other medications that are used to treat major depression.
Abilify Side Effects
One of the most alarming side effects of Abilify is compulsive behavior including compulsive gambling or pathological gambling, and binge eating. Though it sounds far fetched, many Abilify users report the sense of urgency to take financial risks. Doctors believe it is due to the way the drug works with dopamine.
When an individual has a pathological symptom, an irregularity in the brain makes certain behaviors impossible to stop without interference. Compulsive gamblers have difficulty walking away from the blackjack table or betting on sports, even when they do not have the funds to make the bet. As a result, many drive themselves into serious debt.
The same goes with compulsive eating habits. Researchers studying the side effects of Abilify were told by a user that she, “seemed to lose all reason. I also could not say no to food, especially sweets and cakes.” Victims subsequently become overweight and obese, leading to other health problems.
Patients who have developed compulsive gambling addictions have never shown signs of this behavior before taking Abilify and the urges to gamble stopped after ceasing the medication.
Other Abilify side effects include thoughts of suicide, especially in adolescents and young adults. Older patients who suffered from dementia had an increased risk of stroke, some being fatal. Because of this, Abilify is not approved for patients with dementia, however patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease should use the medication with extreme caution.
After suffering from extreme financial hardship through no fault of their own, many victims of Abilify have turned to the legal system for help. The Abilify lawsuit accuses Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co, and Bristol-Myers Squibb of not properly warning doctors and patients of the pathological gambling dangers from taking Abilify. Pending claims include negligence of development of the drug and hiding evidence from the FDA and the public of the increased risk of acquiring compulsive urges. Court documents state that Otsuka and Bristol-Myers failed to test Abilify to the federal standards placed and further encouraged physicians to prescribe the medication for uses not approved by the FDA.
While these side effects and the lawsuits that have resulted may be alarming, it is crucial to remember to always consult your physician before stopping any prescribed medications, so you may discuss the possible risks that may result in doing so with a trained medical care provider.
If you or a loved one has suffered from severe side effects from using Abilify, and economic losses as a result of gambling, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. The side effects of Abilify can be confusing, let us help you make sense of it all. Contact experienced personal injury lawyers here in Central New York, Brindisi, Murad, Brindisi & Pearlman, for a free consultation today. The People’s Lawyer has the knowledge, experience, and compassion to fight for the community. Contact us to determine if you are eligible to join the Abilify lawsuit today.
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