Abilify and Compulsive Behaviors
Kershaw, Cook & Talley is investigating the prescription, antipsychotic drug Abilify (generically known as Aripiprazole). It is used to treat schizophrenia, depression and bipolar disorder (manic depression). The drug is administered as a tablet, oral solution and injection. Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. are the manufacturers of Abilify. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in November 2002 as a treatment for schizophrenia. It is important to note the drug is not indicated to treat depression in Europe.
Recently, Abilify is linked to compulsive behaviors including compulsive gambling and gambling-related behaviors, resulting in mental, physical and financial damages. In Europe and Canada, the drug label warns of the risk of “pathological gambling”. In the United States, there is no warning on the label about the risk of compulsive behaviors for users and prescribers. Many patients taking Abilify state the excessive gambling behavior came on suddenly and was out of character for them, as they had gambled only occasionally or never at all. In addition, the compulsive gambling stopped when they discontinued use of the drug.
Compulsive behaviors result from an irresistible urge, especially actions against one’s conscious wishes. The compulsive behaviors when taking the drug has wreaked havoc on the lives of patients and their families. Many users have suffered from loss of employment, destruction of relationships, reputation damage, financial ruin, physical injuries, emotional distress, and mental and neuropsychiatric injuries, to name a few. Abilify has destroyed the lives of many individuals, which could have been avoided had they known the risks.
How Abilify Causes Compulsive Gambling
Abilify is a dopamine partial agonist and a seratonin antagonist, meaning it activates the pleasure and reward centers in the brain. Researchers believe this increase in dopamine levels alters the brain in a way that makes risks and rewards more appealing and rash decisions more difficult to resist. A National Geographic article states, “Dopamine is released in times of enjoyment and might serve to reinforce compulsive behavior such as gambling.” In Scientific American, according to Timothy Fong, a psychiatrist and addiction expert at the University of California, Los Angeles, “It makes sense that some highly rewarding behaviors, like gambling, can cause dramatic [physical changes], too.”
Abilify Gambling Lawyers
The lawyers at Kershaw, Cook & Talley are investigating claims on behalf of individuals, and their families, who experienced injuries from gambling problems as a result of taking Abilify.
If you took Abilify and suffered from compulsive gambling, contact our attorneys for a free case consultation at 888-997-5170. We can help you and your family determine your legal options and protect your rights.
Are you or a loved one suffering from gambling problems? Call 1-800-Gambler, or visit Problem and Pathological Gambling Treatment at http://problemgambling.ca.gov/ccpgwebsite/default.aspx