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Abilify Lawsuits and Compulsive Behaviors: Are You a Victim?

October 21, 2016 Drug Injuries

The Indianapolis drug injury lawyers at Wilson Kehoe Winingham are currently accepting Abilify injury cases. Contact us at 317.920.6400 or fill out an online form to have a drug injury attorney contact you.

What is Abilify?

Abilify (Aripiprazole) is an atypical antipsychotic medication first approved for distribution in 2002. It’s jointly marketed in the U.S. by Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and the drug’s Japanese creators, Otsuka Pharmaceuticals.

Abilify is prescribed to treat schizophrenia, mania, depression, and bipolar disorders. It may also be prescribed to treat irritability related to autism, and can either be taken orally as a tablet, a dissolving tablet, or as an injection.

How Does Abilify Work?

Abilify influences two neurotransmitters in the brain: dopamine and serotonin. Depending on the patient’s chemical imbalance, it either increases or decreases dopamine or serotonin.

Dopamine most notably effects:

  • Feelings of pleasure and reward
  • Behavior and cognition
  • Motivation and problem solving
  • Obsession and memory

Further, serotonin impacts:

  • Cognition and impulse
  • Sexual desire
  • Mood and social behavior

Side Effects of Abilify

Common Abilify side effects are relatively minor: dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, and fatigue—all of which are considered an acceptable trade-off when the drug was effective in treating targeted illnesses. An informed patient and her doctor can take these known risks into account when deciding to use Abilify.

Abilify Linked to Compulsive Gambling and Impulsive Behavior

The risk for developing new behavioral disorders while taking Abilify had been confirmed in 2005—with the most commonly reported compulsive behavior being pathological gambling.

However, growing evidence has linked Abilify to even more addictive and impulsive behaviors, such as:

  • Excessive shopping or spending
  • Binge eating and/or excessive weight gain
  • Hyper sexuality

Patients who experienced these behavioral changes had no history of compulsive gambling or other related behaviors. Impulsive behavior subsided once affected patients either lowered their dosage or stopped taking Abilify–but this doesn’t mean the battle is over.

Abilify Manufacturers Warned for Misleading Marketing Tactics

In April 2015, Otsuka Pharmaceuticals was warned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that some of the claims in Abilify’s marketing material about both mechanisms and effectiveness were misleading and needed correction.

In May 2016, the FDA officially concluded that the Abilify warning label was not representative of the risks for impulse-control. They issued a safety communication warning to doctors and patients of the risks for developing uncontrollable, addictive behavior while taking Abilify. Since their statement, a stronger warning for compulsive behavior has been added to Abilify labels and marketing material.

Current Abilify Lawsuits

An updated label doesn’t mean the battle is over for those affected by adverse side effects from Abilify. The physical, financial, or emotional losses will forever be losses, and their mental anguish not-so-easily relieved.

More and more people are filing Abilify lawsuits against Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceutical for allegedly withholding information regarding the increased risks for developing addicting behavior. Others are filing Abilify lawsuits claiming that, by improperly marketing the serious risks and side effects, sellers had been unjustly profiting from Abilify sales. Most recently, Abilify has proven to be a wildly successful product for manufacturers, recently delivering more than $6 billion in annual sales.

Past Abilify Drug Injury Lawsuits

In 2007, BMS agreed to pay $515 million to settle numerous allegations around the way it priced and marketed Abilify and other drugs. Part of that settlement included an agreement that the company would end its aggressive off-label marketing of Abilify for pediatric use, for which the drug had never been approved or even tested.

Do I Have an Abilify Lawsuit?

If you have experienced any of the following compulsive behaviors while taking Abilify, compensation may be available:

  • Hypersexuality
  • Excessive shopping or spending
  • Pathological gambling
  • Binge eating and/or excessive weight gain

Experienced Indianapolis Abilify Attorneys

If you or a loved one have taken Abilify and suffered from compulsive gambling or any compulsive behaviors, consult with our Indianapolis drug injury lawyers at Wilson Kehoe Winingham. We’re more than happy to explain any legal options available to you, and give a breakdown of what to expect moving forward with an Abilify lawsuit. Every case evaluation is always free. Give our Indianapolis office a call at 317.920.6400. You can also reach out online to have one of our drug injury attorneys get in touch at your convenience.

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