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Abilify Linked to Compulsive Behaviors and Gambling Lawsuit

Sep 26, 2016

Drug manufacturers Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceuticals are facing a lawsuit from a woman alleging that the prescription drug Abilify caused her to develop a gambling addiction. The plaintiff claims that Abilify caused her to "develop compulsive gambling behaviors."

The complaint alleges that, as a result of taking Abilify, the plaintiff has "suffered and will continue to suffer neuropsychiatric and physical injury, emotional stress, harm, and economic loss." The case is pending in U.S. District Court in New Jersey.

The plaintiff began taking Abilify in September 2003, and her compulsive gambling began shortly after beginning the medication. When she stopped taking Ability in April 2014, her gambling addiction behaviors also stopped, according to the lawsuit.

Since 2002, Abilify (aripiprazole) has been prescribed to treat mental health disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression. On occasion, doctors prescribe Abilify, along with an antidepressant, for more serous depressive disorders.

Canadian regulators concluded in November 2015 that there is "a link between the use of aripiprazole and a possible risk of pathological gambling" with the use of Abilify. This knowledge led to a warning statement for the risk of compulsive gambling being added to the prescribing information for Abilify in both Canada and Europe.

In spite of the warning in Europe and Canada, the labeling for Abilify in the United States did not sufficiently warn about the compulsive gambling risk and contained no mention that pathological gambling has been reported in patients prescribed Abilify, the lawsuit claims. The plaintiff maintains the labeling for Abilify in the United States did not contain mention of the word "gambling" until January 2016.

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