Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Abilify, an antipsychotic drug linked to gambling addiction and compulsive eating, shopping, or sex.
Need a Texas Abilify Lawyer? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one developed a gambling addiction, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Abilify® is the brand-name version of aripiprazole, an antipsychotic drug made by Bristol-Myers Squib. It was approved by the FDA in 2002.
Abilify is approved by the FDA to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, irritability associated with autism, and Tourette’s syndrome. The injection version is given to treat agitation associated with schizophrenia or bipolar mania.
Abilify works by balancing levels of chemicals in the brain. It stimulates dopamine and serotonin or inhibits them to keep a balance. Other drugs in this class are used to treat Parkinson’s disease.
Dopamine and serotonin are involved in the brain’s “reward system.” They are released during pleasurable activities to reinforce certain behaviors. Abilify amplifies these effects, resulting in addictive behaviors and uncontrollable urges. Patients may not realize the behaviors are abnormal.
- Uncontrollable gambling, shopping, eating, or sex
- Stroke in elderly patients with dementia
- Neuroleptic malignant syndrome
- Tardive dyskinesia
- Diabetes and weight-gain
- Low blood pressure
- Low white blood cell count (leukopenia)
- Cognitive and motor impairment
Abilify belongs to a class of drugs called dopamine agonists. In 2003, a study found that 1.5% of Parkinson’s disease patients on dopamine agonists developed compulsive gambling. In 2005, Mayo Clinic researchers reported 11 cases of gambling addiction, including one 68 year-old man with no history of gambling addiction who lost more than $200,000 in 6 months.
Yes. In May 2016, the FDA issued a Safety Communication about uncontrollable urges to gamble, shop, eat, and have sex after receiving 184 reports of impulse-control disorders.
Yes. The new label (PDF) asks doctors to specifically ask patients about any new or intense urges because patients may not realize their behaviors are unusual. The new warning states:
Post-marketing case reports suggest that patients can experience intense urges, particularly for gambling, and the inability to control these urges while taking [Abilify]. Other compulsive urges, reported less frequently include: sexual urges, shopping, eating or binge eating, and other impulsive or compulsive behaviors. Because patients may not recognize these behaviors as abnormal, it is important for prescribers to ask patients or their caregivers specifically about the development or new or intense gambling urges, compulsive sexual urges, compulsive shopping, binge or compulsive eating, or other urges while being treated with [Abilify]. It should be noted that impulse-control symptoms can be associated with the underlying disorder. In some cases, although not all, urges were reported to have stopped when the dose was reduced or the medication was discontinued. Compulsive behaviors may result in harm to the patient and others if not recognized. Consider dose reduction or stopping the medication if a patient develops such urges.
Out-of-control gambling problems can lead to devastating losses, both financially and personally. People who are addicted to gambling bet money and valuables on games of chance — lotto, sports, horse races, cards, slot machines, and more. Consequences may include:
- Financial debt
- Home foreclosure
- Loss of employment
- Guilt or emotional trauma
- Damaged reputation
In 2011, the British Journal of Psychiatry published the following case reports of gambling addiction in patients on Abilify:
- “[J] was pre-occupied with thoughts of gambling and his gambling activity became both impulsive and involved extensive planning in obtaining funds to gamble, including the use of crime.”
- “[K] described an escalation in his gambling to the extent of spending all of his money and it being ‘a reason to live’.”
- “[S] began experiencing strong urges to gamble in the form of a euphoric feeling when thinking about gambling. In the following 2 years he incurred debts of around £25,000 on internet betting sites.”
There were 26 lawsuits pending as of mid-2016, but hundreds of people experienced compulsive behavior and more lawsuits could be filed. Lawyers want the litigation centralized into one federal court.
The amount of time varies depending on the state where you live. It can be anywhere from 1 year to 6 years from the date of your injury. The time-limit is called a “statute of limitations” and only a lawyer can find out if you still have time.
There is no class action lawsuit for people who are seeking compensation for gambling losses. Each case must be handled individually because they are so different. In October 2016, judges centralized all federal Abilify lawsuits into Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2734) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida under Judge M. Casey Rodgers.
Our lawyers will review your case for free and let you know if you qualify to file a lawsuit. If you decide to join this litigation, we can help you seek compensation for your pain and suffering, financial losses, lost employment, and more.
Need an Abilify Lawyer in Texas?
Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $260 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact our Texas Abilify lawyers for a free lawsuit review.