When you visit with a mental health professional, you expect that the doctor has done his due diligence in determining which medications may be most appropriate for your condition. This includes a careful evaluation of all potential side effects and a review of your symptoms and conditions in order arrive at a final decision about the medication to be prescribed.
One of the most common drugs prescribed for mental health disorders like depression, schizophrenia, Tourette’s syndrome, irritability related to autism, and bipolar disorder is called Abilify. Some patients who have taken Abilify, however, report sudden and severe side effects, including the urge to gamble and shop. These aren’t the only compulsive behaviors found to be a side effect of the drug, either.
Discovering that a drug you thought would help with your symptoms has only caused you greater harm in the form of serious side effects can be devastating, but you may have an option for legal recourse. In order to learn whether or not you have been impacted by these negative side effects, read on. If you have lost significant money as a result of uncontrollable gambling urges or compulsive shopping, you may need to consult with a lawyer at the Goldwater Law Firm to have your case evaluated and determine if you’re eligible to file an Abilify lawsuit.
Abilify Connected To Compulsive Gambling
Unfortunately, Abilify has recently been linked to numerous forms of serious and compulsive behavior including compulsive gambling. Some patients have reported sudden and uncontrollable urges to gamble away their entire life savings to get into serious debt situations or to max out all of their credit cards.
Currently, lawsuits are being pursued against Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka. These companies may ultimately be held responsible for failing to warn patients about the potential issues associated with Abilify and compulsive gambling.
Abilify Linked To Compulsive Shopping
Abilify has also been linked to compulsive shopping. While compulsive shopping may seem like it’s harmless, it’s led some Abilify patients to ruin their relationships and their finances because they cannot resist the uncontrollable urge to shop.
Abilify and Compulsive Eating
Abilify is also linked to compulsive or binge eating. In 2010, a study in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychology highlighted the struggle of a woman with schizophrenia who took Abilify for her symptoms. She gained almost 20 pounds over a six month period because of compulsive eating. Binge eating wasn’t the only way that Abilify negatively impacted her life. She also compulsively gambled away thousands of dollars. The patient had no previous history of compulsive eating or gambling. After her doctor removed her from the medication, this behavior stopped. Yet, the damage to her finances was already done.
Abilify Associated with Other Serious Side Effects
While there are numerous compulsive behaviors associated with taking Abilify, they aren’t the only side effects. Abilify now has two black box warnings. A black box warning is the strongest warning given by the FDA. It’s given to medications that have a serious risk of death. The first black box warning directs patients, medical professionals, and pharmacists of the risks associated with giving Abilify to elderly patients with dementia. The second black box warning states that the medication should be stopped by any patient who experiences suicidal thoughts or patients who try to commit suicide.
Abilify is also known to cause neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). NMS is a life-threatening reaction that can occur when someone takes an anti-psychotic medication like Abilify. Symptoms of this condition include fever, a change in mental status, muscle rigidity, and dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. Your autonomic nervous system controls your automatic functions such as breathing, your pulse rate, and digestion. That’s not a complete list of your autonomic functions, but it does highlight the serious and deadly consequences of NMS. NMS can develop within hours of taking Abilify, but it doesn’t always set in so quickly. Some patients who have this reaction may not show symptoms for as long as 30 days. NMS can be treated, but it can also cause permanent problems with the kidneys and the heart.
Another serious and life-long side effect of Abilify is a condition known as tardive dyskinesia. Tardive dyskinesia (TD) causes uncontrollable body movements. The movements often display by involuntary movement of the mouth and tongue. TD is often diagnosed between six weeks and several years of taking Abilify. TD is permanent. Even when patients stop taking Abilify, the symptoms of TD continue. Common symptoms of TD include rapid blinking, tongue thrusting, constant finger movement, facial grimacing, and repetitive chewing. Patients may not show all of these symptoms.
Abilify is also linked to high blood sugar in patients with no history of diabetes. If you have diabetes, you should have your blood sugar tested before you begin taking Abilify. Symptoms of high blood sugar include feeling confused, sweet smelling breath, frequent urination, feeling unusually thirsty, and coma.
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Help! What Should I Do If I’ve Been Impacted?
If you believe that you may have been impacted, you need to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. Abilify is the top selling anti-psychotic drug in the United States. However, numerous medical studies have linked its use to compulsive eating and gambling.
Many patients don’t realize the serious impacts of a side effect like this until it’s far too late, but numerous medical research studies have linked Abilify to several different kinds of compulsive behavior including hypersexual activity, pathological gambling or binge eating. The urges to engage in this behavior have been significant even for patients who have expressed no interest in these behaviors prior to taking the medication.
Who May Be Able To Pursue A Claim?
People suffering in the form of crippling debt or other negative consequences as a result of taking Abilify may have grounds for a legal claim against the manufacturer. It is in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable attorney if this applies to your situation. When doctors or patients are not properly warned about detrimental side effects like compulsive behavior, the drug can be on the market for months or years before future patients have access to adequate warning labels. In the meantime, others may continue to suffer consequences that will impact their life long after they have stopped taking the medication.
Why Consulting With A Lawyer Is Essential
You can do your part to stop this kind of behavior by consulting with a knowledgeable attorney at the Goldwater Law Firm as soon possible. Although there is no way to turn back the clock and erase the compulsive behavior from which you have already suffered as a result of taking this medication, filing a Abilify lawsuit may help to hold these companies responsible and to demonstrate that these kinds of unacceptable marketing strategies will not be tolerated. You can help prevent other patients from suffering a similar fate and hold these companies liable in court.
If you believe that Abilify has caused you to suffer from compulsive gambling behavior or other serious side effects not mentioned on the warning label, you may be eligible to file an Abilify lawsuit. Reach out to the Abilify Attorneys at the Goldwater Law Firm to learn more about your rights if you believe that Abilify’s side effects have had a negative impact on your life. To schedule a consultation with one of our practicing attorneys, please give us a call at 1-800-210-9700 or complete our inquiry contact form.