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Impulse Control Risk and Antipsychotic Drug Warning by FDA

May 5, 2016

Antipsychotic drugs, such as Abilify (aripiprazole), are prescription drugs used in the treatment of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, Tourette's disorder and certain manifestations of autistic disorder. The positive results are the restoration of the balance of certain natural chemicals in the brain, reports WebMD.

Side effects that have come to light may include obsessive behaviors such as compulsive gambling, shopping, eating, or sex. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that such behaviors can diminish or cease when the drug is either no longer taken, or the dosage is lessened, says Law360.

In light of this, the FDA has moved forward in promoting increasing warnings of these potential “uncontrollable urges” on drug labels as well as medication guides.

There have been 184 reports received since 2002 by the FDA of compulsive behavior from individuals who have taken Abilify. Of those, there were 164 reports of compulsive gambling, 9 reports of compulsive sexual activity, and 4 reports of compulsive shopping. The FDA says that in some cases, people did not previously experience obsessive behavior before taking Abilify, Abilify Maintena, Aristada, or generics, reports MedWatch.

There are now 20 federal lawsuits pending as well as 12 suits filed in New Jersey state court, Law360 reports.

A patient who used Abilify for 10 years developed a compulsive gambling problem and allegedly lost more than $50,000. In January, he filed a lawsuit against Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka, a Japanese pharmaceutical company, reports Law360.

Close monitoring may be suggested for patients with a personal or family history of obsessive-compulsive or impulse-control disorders, drug abuse, alcoholism, or other addictive behaviors, as they may be at an increased risk of the aripipirazole side effects, MedWatch says.

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