Abilify is a popular doctor-prescribed antipsychotic medication millions take every day to control the symptoms of Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, and Schizophrenia. Abilify works to alter the chemistry of the brain to help balance out the shifts that come with these major mental disorders. Abilify is often used in conjunction with other antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs to help balance out the chemistry of the brain of those that are affected. While the drug has helped thousands to control their symptoms, some users are not so lucky.
The popular antipsychotic drug has been linked to compulsive behavior in recent months. In a lawsuit that is currently underway, one user claims that Abilify led him to take part in compulsive gambling which led to a personal loss of over $75,000.
Uses of Abilify
Though Abilify is typically associated with depression and the treatment of depression, it has also proven to be effective in treating schizophrenia, aggression, mood swings, and more. The drug works by altering the chemistry of the user’s brain by producing more dopamine, the chemical produced by the reward centers in the human brain, therefore helping to alleviate mood swings and feelings of depression.
Abilify and Compulsive Gambling
The drug has been linked to an overstimulation of the dopamine producing areas of the brain, the area in which Abilify works to alter brain chemistry. In a recent study conducted by the British Journal of Psychology, findings suggest that Abilify can work to overstimulate the dopamine producing centers of the brain causing patients to gain too much reward for their behaviors pushing them to act impulsively.
Pathological gambling has been reported in several patients taking the popular drug which creates both personal and familial strife. Some of the side effects of pathological gambling are as follows:
- Personal debt above and beyond normal debt
- Emotional trauma
- Divorce as a result of debt or gambling
- Home foreclosure
- Damaged reputation
Failure to Warn Users
At the heart of the lawsuit is the claim that the drug maker knew of the potential for Abilify to cause overstimulation and compulsive behavior. The lawsuit claims the drug company knew Abilify had the potential to cause such behaviors as compulsive shopping, hypersexual activity, and gambling addiction.
The drug is a dopamine agonist which means that it increases the production of dopamine in the brain. When increased levels of dopamine are introduced into the brain it is far more likely that the user will continue with impulsive behaviors as their brain is giving them more reward for their behavior than they should be given.
Since the creation of the suit, the FDA has issued a drug safety communication warning users of the potential link between Abilify and impulsivity. The warning states that the drug has the potential to cause uncontrollable urges to gamble, binge eat, shop and have sex. These warnings will be added to the drug label.
Other Possible Side Effects of Abilify Use
Though impulsive behavior such as gambling and sex addiction are not overly common, there are some other serious side effects that users should be made aware of. They are as follows:
- Stomach Pain
- Increased Appetite
- Weight Gain
- Increased Salivation
- Pain in the arms, legs, or joints
- Chest Pain
- High Fever
- Changes in Vision
If you experience one or more of these symptoms it is in your best interest to contact your doctor immediately to determine the safest proper course of action.
Why Take Legal Action?
No one ever takes a drug expecting that it is going to change their entire life for the worse. Most users set out taking new drugs in the hopes their problems will begin to dissipate and they will be able to live a normal and happy life. Users of the drug Abilify were not properly warned of the potential dangerous side effects of this drug and as such, they should be compensated.
Those that have experienced side effects like compulsive gambling, sex addiction, shopping addiction and more should not have to suffer for the inability of a drug company to properly identify and label potential disastrous side effects of taking their drug.
Though the damage may already be done, the Abilify Lawyers at Childers, Schlueter & Smith, LLC can help you get the justice and the compensation that you deserve to help get your life back on track and start to rebuild what this dangerous drug has destroyed. We have the ability to adequately and accurately relate your own personal story so you might find justice for the gross error that the makers of Abilify made.
Let Us Fight for You
We are on your side and want to help you get your life back on track. Contact us today for more information and to start getting your life back.