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Abilify Good for Casinos and Credit Card Companies, but for Humans?

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Portland, ORThe anti-psychotic drug Abilify may be good for casinos and credit card companies, but it may not even benefit those people who have schizophrenia—a disorder it was originally approved to treat.

Pathological gambling is the most common impulse behavior connected to Abilify, according to the FDA. These compulsive behaviours can occur among “at least 10 percent of [Abilify] patients, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine (2013).

Abilify and Schizophrenia
More worrisome is a 2011 clinical study titled Aripiprazole vs placebo for schizophrenia, which aimed to evaluate the effects of aripiprazole (brand name Abilify) compared with placebo for people with schizophrenia and schizophrenia-like disorders. The researchers concluded that “Aripiprazole may be effective for the treatment of schizophrenia, but the data were of poor quality.”

Data from the clinical trials were analyzed and published by Cochrane Collaboration, an independent, international non-profit organization with 37,000 volunteers worldwide. It reported that many of the subjects dropped out of the trials before the studies were completed. Because the trials lasted just a month, data for the long-term effectiveness of Abilify is scant. “Cochrane’s authors determined that, “Ablify’s overall effectiveness over an extended period of time is inconclusive”. That was five years ago. The Abilify manufacturer, Otsuka, has not yet conducted clinical trials for an extended period of time.

Abilify and Compulsive Behavior
“I didn’t equate my compulsive gambling to Abilify until it was too late to make amends with my family and friends,” says Tony from Portland. “I started gambling at the casino weekends but the urge took over and it was out of control. I was there every day. When I had no money left I burned through my credit cards. I never once thought about, nor was I warned about this side effect. This has caused so many problems. My only recourse—and perhaps a way to repay the money I borrowed from friends and family—is to file an Abilify lawsuit.”

Gambling is not the only compulsive behavior associated with Abilify. Sharon (not her real name) from Detroit became obsessed with sex. “I had plans to meet all these men from online dating sites and, for the first time ever, had a lot of phone sex,” she says. “I even drove to another state and met a stranger in a motel. I can’t believe that I put myself in such a dangerous situation.” Sharon, who suffers from a bipolar disorder, says she also became hyperactive and could never relax. She developed a craving for sugar and gained over 40 lbs. “It wasn’t until I saw an ad on TV from a law firm that I associated Abilify with my new behaviors,” she says. “My doctor switched my meds and I no longer have these compulsions, but I have the memories.”

Abilify made by Otsuka and marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb, brought more than $6.4 billion in sales in 2013. Reuters reports that at least 42 lawsuits pending in 14 district courts nationwide All the lawsuits were filed by people who became addicted to gambling while using the med. One recent lawsuit was filed by a man from Tennessee who lost $375,000 in six months (Case No. 1:16-cv-00384) while using Abilify.

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
I thought there was a Michigan law (your 2nd example) that you couldn't sue a pharmaceutical company if you resided in Michigan. Did something change?

Posted by

on
Considering that the Cochrane Collaboration isn't all that "independent" but has a pro-Big Pharma bias which isn't widely known (yet) and drug studies are typically fabricated junk studies you can reasonably assume that Ablify’s overall ineffectiveness and its high risk profile over an extended period of time is conclusive.

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