Abilify (known generically as aripiprazole) is in a class of drugs called atypical antipsychotics and is used to treat schizophrenia. Abilify side effects reportedly include an increased risk of diabetes and other blood sugar disorders, including hyperglycemia. A recent product liability and personal injury lawsuit filed against Abilify manufacturers claims that Abilify compulsive or pathological (uncontrollable) gambling is associated with the antipsychotic medication. Other aripiprazole side effects could include tremors and uncontrollable movements.
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Abilify is an atypical antipsychotic that is used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder and irritability associated with autistic disorder. Antipsychotic medications have reportedly been linked to serious side effects including an increased risk of diabetes and other blood sugar disorders. They are also linked to a risk of harm to newborns.
Abilify and Pregnancy
The US Food and Drug Administration issued a warning in February 2011 alerting patients to a risk of harm to a newborn when women who are pregnant or planning on becoming take medications such as Abilify. According to the warning, the medications could cause abnormal muscle movements and withdrawal symptoms when the infants were exposed to the medications during the third trimester.
Abilify Side Effects
Abilify Dementia Suicide Risk
According to the medication guide, elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis may be at an increased risk of death when taking Abilify. In 2008, the FDA requested that antipsychotic drugs, including Abilify, update their warnings to include the increased risk of death when Abilify is used to treat dementia in older patients. Furthermore, young patients with depression who take Abilify may be at an increased risk of suicidal thoughts or actions.
Abilify and Diabetes
Patients who take atypical antipsychotic medications may also be at an increased risk of developing hyperglycemia or diabetes. A 2009 study published in Psychopharmacology Bulletin found that patients taking an atypical antipsychotic medication were at a higher risk for developing diabetes. Researchers recommended that patients taking an antipsychotic medication be monitored for diabetes.
Abilify and Compulsive or Pathological Gambling
Abilify and similar antipsychotic medications affect dopamine receptors in the brain. Research indicates that Abilify can over-stimulate dopamine-- a receptor for chemicals that regulate mood and behavior--and may result in compulsive behavior such as gambling. Other side effects such as over-eating, compulsive shopping or sex addiction have also been reported.
The Abilify warning label differs significantly by country. In 2012, the European Medicines Agency required that the manufacturer warn patients and the medical community in Europe that Abilify use included the risk of pathological gambling. In 2015, Health Canada determined a link between the use of aripiprazole [Abilify] and a possible risk of pathological gambling or hypersexuality and found an increased risk of pathological gambling and hypersexuality with the use of Abilify.
Abilify Gambling and the FDA
From 2005 to 2013, an FDA report showed that Abilify accounted for at least 54 cases of compulsive or impulsive behavior problems, including 30 reports of compulsive gambling, 12 reports of impulsive behavior, nine reports of hypersexuality, and three reports of compulsive shopping, according to court documents. The FDA received 29 reports of Abilify gambling in 2014 alone.
Abilify Compulsive Gambling Lawsuits
Because compulsive or pathological gambling can result in severe financial harm, Abilify victims have filed lawsuits against manufacturers Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceuticals Co. Jonathan Yun filed a complaint in January, 2016 in Bergen County Court, alleging drugmakers did not properly warn him about a known side effect of their drug. Unlike Europe and Canada, the U.S. label does not warn that compulsive and/or pathological gambling has been reported in patients prescribed Abilify.
Nicholas Meyer filed an Abilify lawsuit (Case 1:16-cv-00191-SEB-MJD) in January 2016 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, claiming Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. knew that "the injurious impact of Abilify on the Plaintiffs brain constitutes a physical injury, and as a result of Abilify use, Plaintiff has suffered, and will continue to suffer, neuro-psychiatric and physical injury, emotional distress, harm, and economic loss as alleged herein.
Myer lost over $45,000 from compulsive gambling while Yun claims he lost about $75,000 to gambling before he stopped taking Abilify.
Over 400 similar lawsuits have been filed against the makers of Mirapex, which is prescribed for Parkinson's disease. A compulsive gambler who lost $260,000 won an $8.2 million judgment in 2008. Abilify's revenue in the U.S. alone was $417 million in the three months ending June 30, 2014, and worldwide revenue in that period was $555 million.
Abilify and Veterans
A study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that antipsychotic medications such as Abilify may be no more effective than placebos at treating severe post-traumatic stress symptoms and may come with serious side effects. According to an article in the New York Times (08/02/11), the study focused on Risperdal but the results could extend to other drugs in the same class, including Seroquel and Abilify.
Researchers found that patients who were given Risperdal to treat post-traumatic stress had the same rate of recoveryapproximately five percentas those treated with a placebo. Between 10 and 20 percent of patients in both groups reported some improvement. The concern is that patients might not receive any benefit from taking the antipsychotic medications but are still being put at risk of serious side effects.
Abilify patients in California and across the US do not necessarily have to have suffered Abilify side effects to speak to a lawyer. If you used Abilify and it did not work for you, speak to a lawyer about your legal options.
Submit your Abilify Complaint
If you feel you may qualify for damages or remedies that might be awarded in a potential Abilify lawsuit please fill out the form below.
Bardstown, KY: Some people might find it hard to believe that Abilify, an anti-depressant medication, can cause an addiction to gambling. Tony’s former wife didn’t believe it and Eric’s wife is so angry they are talking about divorce [READ MORE]
Hackensack, NJ: Most consumers conversant with adverse reaction reports associated with pharmaceutical drugs are nonetheless surprised upon learning of a particular aspect of Abilify side effects that allegedly can leave an Abilify patient in financial ruin [READ MORE]
Washington, DC A new study suggests that drugs like Abilify may not be effective in dealing with severe stress. Furthermore because of the risk of Abilify side effects, these drugs may be more risky for patients than necessary. Concerns about Abilify side effects include problems with Abilify for children and concern about problems with Abilify and pregnancy [READ MORE]
After reading another comment from a parent, I see that we are not alone. Our son has been on Abilify and other medications for mood stabilizer, anxiety, depression all associated with ASD. He has become extremely obsessed with just about everything causing rages and harm to others in the home. One of the biggest obsessions is food. He would go into a terrible rage if we told him he could not eat. His weight has ballooned and no matter what we tried we could not stop his eating. He was recently hospitalized for harming a sibling, threatening suicide, and attempting suicide. While in the hospital we found out that he is border line diabetic with an elevated A1C and has high cholesterol. The next week is when we heard of all the issues associated with Abilify and it made since. We removed him immediately and replaced with something else. He has become a completely different kid.
Posted by Edward
Hello, we started my son on Abilify about 3 years ago. The doctors said it would help with his behaviors associated with ASD. The drug was amazing for about a year. Then it stopped working. They increased the dosage. Then more and more. Long story short, the child doesnt stop eating! Its terrible, he has gained so much weight that its unhealthy. The poor child is ony 7.
Posted by Angela Hayes
I was seeing things that were not there. This was the symptom I was having during the time I was on Abilify. Also I could not lose weight I was always eating. I took Abilify for a whole year.
Posted by Melinda hamwi
I never knew this about abilify. I've been taking it and gaining weight for a year. My memory is terrible. My hair is coarse and falling out. I'm also being treated for thyroid issues and pre diabetes testing. The overeating is terrible. I learned a lot reading these posts.
Posted by Tassie Bourlotos
Have taken Seroquel for a few years, and when a prescription was missed, I attempted to take my life. I zoned out for a few days and kept calling my roommate by different names. I vomited in bed, simply moved to another bed, and told no one of the mess I left behind. I took a bottle of 120 Ativan and told my roommate I did not want to live any more. After a 3 day stint at a psych center, went home and was prescribed Ativan again with no mention of my attempted suicide. I had taken Abilify before for a short term with good results, and was placed on Abilify again. My internist kept track of my blood sugar level and I am now prediabetic. I also present with slurred speech and short term memory. Can you help me??
Posted by laura
just been on this tablet for 8 weeks it has already slightly efffected my gallbladder and immune system
Posted by gay zarcone
I was taking Abilify (the generic one) for a short period of time. Close monitoring by my dr. and I developed unusual gasping episodes. I was taken off the meds but the gasping has not stopped. It is less often and less severe but still present. I am not comfortable speaking with anyone as I tend to gasp during the conversation and more than once. This started in 2015.
Posted by Jacqueline Duncan
Both of my sons were prescribed abilify. My youngest was taking it around 2097 to 2008 and he was experiencing hallucinations and tremors. They now have prescribed my middle child abilify and he's displaying hypersexual behaviors compulsive eating and gambling problems. I have asked the doctor to discontinue the use of it and he has not yet to this day! I need help. I have documentation from all the years they have both been in it and expressed my concerns without any resolutions...if anyone could please provide me with someone who can help me with this I would greatly appreciate it.
Posted by Gina johnson
I have been taking abilify for approximately 7 years. I have a severe shopping addiction, sex addiction and I pick at my scabs incessantly.
I am hoping that you can advise me on this lawsuit
Posted by Nancy Gordon
My husband and I were both given Abilify in addition to our antidepressant. We have ordinary endogenous depression. Shortly thereafter we began to make irrational decisions. We have gone from having our home paid off and a nice IRA to totally broke. Once we stopped taking the Abilify our normal decision making ability returned. We are 74 years old and in bad health. My husband had to return to working so we can pay our rent and other regular bills. I have no doubt that the Abilify created this disastrous thinking and our actions.
Posted by Ron Gerard
i fight against sucidail thoughts every day have high blood perrsure overweight ,insomnia stiff legs stiffness excessive saliva from the drug amblify
Posted by Anonymous
While taking Abilify for bipolar disorder, I have developed a compulsive shopping addition, tremors, muscle rigidity, hypotension, dizziness, loss of balance, trouble swallowing, tongue thrust, overactive bladder, hair loss and fatigue. I was recently diagnosed with Parkinson's secondary to Abilify.
Posted by Anonymous
Diagnosed with Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome, taking Abilify for more than 6 years and no MD suspected that is was caused by Abilify. Rigid muscles in arms and legs, irregular heartbeat (180+ ppm), sweating, loss coordination, fever. Alert... May 2014 review PDR states that side effects (each one) are progressive from 2 months up to 12 years of taking Abilify.
Posted by Anonymous
It all started a year ago when my dad, who had been prescribed Abilify by a hospital doctor on staff at Beaumont Hospital Royal Oak, Michigan while he was admitted for treatment of depression. He was NOT Bipolar, he was NOT Schizophrenic, and he was not suicidal, although, Beaumont requires that you say that you are suicidal in order to get admitted for treatment. What is wrong with this country!!!! Another psychiatrist had already prescribed Zoloft and Cymbalta, and his regular doctor doubled the Zoloft. He takes approximately 12 different medications. He seemed much better and the hospital released him advising to follow-up with his regular psychiatrist which he did and continued to supposedly be monitored by this doctor. Unfortunately, that was not the case because my dad who is 83 yrs old started these terrible jerking movements while he slept . Eventually, they became so severe that my mom took my dad to the emergency room at Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital two weeks ago! The ER doctor admitted him to the hospital to perform a myriad of tests. After three days, and my dad so increasingly worse (having uncontrollable muscle jerking and movements, struggling just to turn over in his slept, facial movements that looked like he had Cerebral Palsy, hallucinations seeing people that were not there) the nurse came in and said good news we are releasing you to go home. Mom spoke up and said I can’t take that man home in this condition and the doctors never even diagnosed my dad or provided any information to us. They were going to just release him as is and it would all be on us because of what a doctor did and did not do! Well, things changed again as they didn’t release him and one doctor from his heart doctor’s office advised that we will never be able to take him home and that he will have to stay in a nursing home the rest of his life. You can only imagine the shock and dismay that took over my mom and me. This all happened within 3 days!
Next, the case worker came in and talked right in front of my dad, mom and me that we will need to choose at least 3 different nursing homes with rehabilitation facilities. My 83 year old mom and I spent that entire Tuesday morning and afternoon touring 5 different nursing homes. We come back to visit my Dad after we were finished and were told that they were going to admit dad to a different floor at Beaumont Royal Oak for rehabilitation. Come to find out this was the Neurology section of the hospital. Not one doctor spoke to us about diagnosis or what the game plan was and all the time my dad was getting worse symptoms of the uncontrollable muscle movement, zoning out, and hallucinations, slurring speech and dad couldn’t even walk at this point.
They did move dad to the Neurocenter for rehab at Beaumont in a semi-private room and they told mom that they would put their heads together and find out what exactly is causing these symptoms and starting rehab. So, he endured hours of physical, speech and occupational therapies and never complained.
Apparently, the nurses had to alarm his bed because he kept getting out of it and was so confused at where he was and where he wanted to be and learned how to turn the alarm off. The jerking uncontrollable muscle movements became increasingly worse and he was showing signs of believing that his hallucinations were real and he was slurring his words and making statements that made no sense at all! Really scary and surreal for all this to start while he was in the hospital! It was a Wednesday night I came to see how my dad was by myself and to give my poor mom a break. He was in bad shape. He would not wake up to eat because he felt too sick. So, I sat there for a half hour watching this man that was so miserable and in pain and I honestly left the room crying profusely and no one came to my aid let alone my poor dad’s aid. Isn’t that what nurses do????? So, I started taking names and asking questions and requesting information.
Next day, I decided that I would take another day off work and spend it with dad and follow his day through his rehab schedules and took notes and asked more questions related to what he was doing in rehab to understand what our family needed to be prepared to do for dad, because we were taking him home no matter why any doctor or nurse said.
Dad was moved him to a private room and assigned a sitter with him because he knew how to turn the alarm to the bed off! You must understand that this is a very intelligent man who raised his family in the Air Force for 22 years and served his country through 2 wars but unfortunately that means nothing anymore. My dad is a veteran even though he is 83 years old he deserves the same resources that are advertised for all of the new veterans coming home.
A different case worker was assigned to dad’s case and said it might be a problem to get him into a nursing home for 20 days of rehab while he has an assigned sitter because nursing homes do NOT accept patients needing sitters. If he needed a sitter then he would have to be in the nursing home full time, baloney to that. I am sure that I am so distraught that I am missing some details of the whole nightmare our family had to go through. Then the case worker said he should have never had a sitter put on him. What? What are they telling us now. Nobody communicates there with the families, the nurses don’t know about the patient. Also, doctors and nurses are explaining things to my dad that he had no comprehension of, duh! Finally, got to speak with a doctor that knew what he was talking about. I directly asked him could Abilify cause the pseudo parkinsonism and extra pyramidal disorder and he advised it is possible, in fact, all the nurses and doctors we spoke to said the same thing. But the Indian doctor that originally prescribed Abilify for dad when asked by mom if it could be causing these symptoms said no it would not cause these symptoms, in fact, he told my mom that on two different occasions. All I can say is this is the third time this hospital and/or some of its doctors have honestly make serious life threatening errors .
Today, my dad is doing so well since his system is clear of the Abilify and his Zoloft has been reduced, however, we are watching him closely because we do not know if the symptoms will return and keep praying each day that it will never happen again. He is currently getting in home rehab for a short period, but was told that he must be homebound in order to receive them by a Beaumont Royal Oak Rehab therapist! That is nuts and I don’t trust what any doctor says anymore which is really sad how the quality of care has decreased so. And the left foot clearly doesn’t know what the right foot is doing, sad, sad, sad they should be ashamed of themselves!
Posted by Iowa
My 11 year old son has constinant tremors in his hands that cause him to have trouble with writing and holding on to things.
Posted by Indiana
tardive dyskinesia was the diagnoses from the neurologist as a result of this drug. Severe hand tremors and shoulder as a result of taking this drug for only 2 1/2 - 3 months
Posted by South Carolina
I have tremors very bad. Every doctor I see test me for parkinson's disease. I also have uncontrollable muscle movements and have to take meds to try to help them.
Posted by Georgia
uncontrollable movements in my legs (right and left legs) and my toes. Uncontrollable muscle movements in my face. Tremors at night, when I'm in bed. Hyperglycemia.
Posted by California
I was diagnosed with diabetes type 3 after a physician started me on abilify 30 mg for bipolar. I started gaining weight and having water retention in my body. I was healthy prior to taking abilify and now I am morbidly obese with edema and newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I have been taking abilify for several years.
Posted by New Mexico
My 13 old daughter has gained 20-25 pounds and has issues with her liver now and had her gallbladder removed in Oct. 2010. Some twitching not all the time. They said it would be a good idea to keeping checking to make sure she does not become diabetic. Problems sleeping at night. Leg pain at times and anxiety.
Posted by Michigan
I gained over 65 pounds and now have a goiter and an enlarged thyroid. I am being monitored to see if surgery is necessary.
Posted by Wisconsin
Hospitalized for 11 days with pancreatitis caused from Abilify, then at home on an IV drip with visiting nurses for an additional two weeks. Now I am diabetic and can never drink alcohol again. I am on a very strict no-fat and no sugar diet for the rest of my life. I now have to take subcutaneous insulin and cholesterol pills.
Posted by Kentucky
My wife was never diagnosed with diabetes until about 5 years after starting Zxprexa. She was switched to Abilify in 2005. Now she has periphial diabetic neuropathy. This has caused numerous ER visits with stroke like symptoms. Since she came off Abilify her sugar readings are greatly improving. She stopped the Abilify just recently. The Dr. put her on Trilifon for her antipsychotic. She is now taking Gabapentin for the nerve damage in her legs which has caused numbness, tingling and severe pain. I am not sure if she is diabetic, but even if she is the two antipsychotic drugs interferred with the treatment of diabetes.