Thousands of patients have experienced uncontrollable gambling, sexual behavior, eating and shopping habits while prescribed to Abilify. This type of compulsive behavior often causes great emotional distress as well as alienation from family and friends. For this reason, patients across America have begun to file lawsuits against the drug’s manufacturer, claiming they were not properly warned of Abilify’s devastating side effects.
What Is Abilify?
Abilify (Aripiprazole) is an atypical antipsychotic generally used in the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder; though it is also used to treat depression and autism spectrum disorders. The drug has undergone multiple approval processes by The FDA for treating these mental illnesses, including:
- Schizophrenia on 11/15/2002
- Acute manic and mixed episodes associated with bipolar disorder on 10/1/ 2004
- Adjunct for major depressive disorder on 11/20/2007
- Irritability in children with autism on 11/20/2009
Since 2002, Abilify has become the most prescribed antipsychotic drug in America, with yearly sales topping $7 Billion USD. However, it didn’t take long for doctors to notice a disturbing trend with the blockbuster antipsychotic; it was killing elderly patients with dementia. This prompted the FDA to issue an immediate black box warning on the drug, which is the federal agency’s most severe warning type.
Abilify Side Effects
Abilify has numerous known side effects, which are clearly detailed on the product’s packaging and marketing materials. These include:
COMMON ABILIFY SIDE EFFECTS:
- Weight gain
- Blurred vision
- Nausea and / or vomiting
- Changes in appetite
- Feeling tired
- Anxiety or restlessness
- Cold symptoms including congestion, sneezing and sore throat.
SEVERE ABILIFY SIDE EFFECTS:
- Severe agitation
- Twitching or uncontrollable movements of your eyes, lips, tongue, face, arms, or legs
- Mask-like appearance of the face
- Trouble swallowing
- Speech problems
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
- Nervous system reactions, including: muscle rigidity, fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, lightheadedness
- Low blood cell count, causing sudden weakness or sick feeling, swollen gums, mouth sores, swollen gums, skin sores, constant cold or flu symptoms and trouble breathing
- Increased blood sugar, which may cause increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, weight loss and tired feeling.
If you or a loved one has experienced two or more of Abilify’s “common side effects” or any of the drug’s “severe side effects”, contact your your doctor immediately.
Abilify Compulsive Behavior
Abilify, like all other antipsychotics, has a variety of side effects. These are clearly listed in materials accompanying the pills themselves, and are generally disclosed to a patient by their doctor or pharmacist.
In recent years, thousands of patients have reported symptoms of compulsive gambling, sexual behavior, overeating as well as compulsive shopping while taking the drug.
These conditions were not listed as known side effects of Abilify until 2016 when the FDA warned, “compulsive or uncontrollable urges to gamble, binge eat, shop, and have sex have been reported with the use of the antipsychotic drug aripiprazole (Abilify, Abilify Maintena, Aristada, and generics). These uncontrollable urges were reported to have stopped when the medicine was discontinued or the dose was reduced.”
Abilify Black Box Warnings
In just over 10 years the federal agency handed down two separate black box warnings against the drug. These warnings (the most serious type of FDA warning) require drug companies to boldly list newly found, dangerous side effects clearly on drug packaging. These warnings include:
- A 4.5% rate of mortality associated with the drug, compared to a 2.6% risk in placebo trial groups.
- An increased risk in suicidal thoughts in children and teens taking Abilify and / or drugs like it.
Abilify Compulsive Sex & Gambling
In addition to detailed warnings issued by the Food and Drug Administration, Abilify’s link to dangerous compulsive behaviors has been well covered in the American media.
Time Magazine recently reported on compulsive sexual behaviors and uncontrollable gambling caused by the drug. The story mentioned that while …
Abilify’s manufacturer had admitted that the drug may cause gambling addiction, it was slow to warn of other compulsive side effects such as compulsive sex, binge eating and shopping.
The Daily Beast covered a story about a woman, “Lucy”, who “burned through unemployment checks, pawned her mechanic husband’s automotive tools, and lied about needing money to buy baby formula”. Lucy blamed Abilify for the uncontrollable gambling, stating she felt she was living a “life that was hazy, kind of disconnected.” Lucy experienced a life that felt beyond her control, doing things she never thought she would do.
Unfortunately Lucy was not alone in her suffering, thousands of patients have described their experiences with Abilify in agonizing detail, saying the drug left them in a “hypnotic state” while others described it as “mentally crippling.”
This compulsive behavior has left many patients feeling a sense of complete emptiness and unmanageability, all due to a medication prescribed to them by their trusted doctors. The problem is, doctors themselves weren’t even aware of the destructive side effects associated with the drug. That responsibility rested firmly in the hands of Abilify’s manufacturer, Bristol Myers-Squibb.
Abilify Lawsuit In Review
Abilify (Aripiprazole) was approved by The FDA in 2002 for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Since then it has been approved to treat major depressive disorder, behavior issues associated with autism, and tourettes disorder.
Since it’s approval, Abilify has been linked to increased death risk for elderly patients with dementia, an increased risk in suicidal thoughts in children and teens, as well as uncontrollable urges to gamble, shop, eat and engage in risky sexual behaviors.
None of the aforementioned conditions were originally listed as side effects of the drug, leaving thousands with ruined lives with no way of knowing the medication was causing their suffering. For this reason, men and women across America have begun to file lawsuits against drug giant Bristol Myers-Squibb, who manufactures Abilify.
Despite the years of FDA warnings, and the countless lives destroyed by their drug’s devastating side effects, Bristol Myers-Squibb continues to sell Abilify. Bristol-Myers Squibb is currently valued at over $88 Billion Dollars and is ranked #234 on Forbes “World’s Biggest Companies” list. Lawsuits have been filed across America, in an attempt to hold this mega-corp accountable for their actions.
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- Aripiprazole. (2017). En.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 11 December 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aripiprazole
- Aripiprazole Indications: FDA-Approved and Off-Label Uses – Psychopharmacology Institute. (2017). Psychopharmacologyinstitute.com. Retrieved 11 December 2017, from https://psychopharmacologyinstitute.com/antipsychotics/aripiprazole/aripiprazole-indications-fda-approved-off-label-uses/