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.
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 and Pregnancy
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 Side Effects
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 Plaintiff’s 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.
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.
Abilify and Veterans
Researchers found that patients who were given Risperdal to treat post-traumatic stress had the same rate of recovery—approximately five percent—as 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 ComplaintIf you feel you may qualify for damages or remedies that might be awarded in a potential Abilify lawsuit please fill out the form below.
Last updated on Mar-29-16