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Abilify Side Effects Link To Fatal Heart-Rhythm Lawsuits
Abilify | Lawsuits, Lawyers | Side Effects: Diabetes, Fatal Heart-Rhythm Irregularity, Torsade De Pointes, Nausea, Diarrhea
On April 13, 2004, the FDA instructed Bristol-Myers Squibb to notify health care professionals of a revision to the warnings section of labeling for Abilify (aripiprazole), describing the potential increased risk of hyperglycemia and diabetes in patients taking the drug. In a recent study, atypical antipsychotics similar to Abilify were found to cause diabetes 50 percent more often than older drugs.
Abilify is used to treat schizophrenia and is part of a class of drugs known as atypical antipsychotics. It is in the same class as Zyprexa, Risperdal and Seroquel. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Abilify for the treatment of schizophrenia on November 15, 2002.
The FDA has become concerned about the possibility that Ziprasidone, a drug similar to Abilify, and a number of other drugs might increase the possibility of a specific, and potentially fatal heart-rhythm irregularity called torsade de pointes.
Additional Abilify side effects include: being unusually tired, nausea, constipation, dizziness, restlessness, diarrhea, rash, cough, runny nose, abnormal muscle movements, tremors, and uncontrollable movements.
Abilify and Pathological Gambling
Research suggests that the use of Abilify could induce or worsen pathological gambling. This type of addictive behavior could potentially lead to severe financial loss, relationship issues, and legal problems. Abilify is believed to regulate mood and behavior in patients with psychosis by affecting levels of dopamine and serotonin. Researchers believe that Abilify may influence compulsive behavior by over-stimulating dopamine receptions in the brain, intensifying the reward system.
In April 2011, the British Journal of Psychiatry published a paper citing three case studies in which patients taking Abilify noted an increase in gambling behavior once treatment began. In one case, one patient had a 12-year history of gambling behavior. After starting Abilify he reported an increase in gambling behavior and "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," the paper stated. After being switched to a different medication, the patient said he no longer had ongoing thoughts or plans to gamble; this was maintained at the 6-month follow-up. Another patient taking Abilify to treat schizoaffective disorder said gambling became "a reason to live" after taking the medication for 3 months. Prior to treatment, he had been spending about half his money on gambling. Upon taking Abilify, he started spending all of his money. He was changed to a different medication following a recommendation from his psychiatrist; this had a "massive impact" on his gambling. At the 3-month follow-up, after Abilify was stopped, he reported no compulsion to gamble and only played once per week. A third patient had no history of gambling before treatment with Abilify. About one year after being treated with Abilify, he reported "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." The patient was taken off the medication and had no urge to gamble 1 month later. This abstinence from gambling persisted at both the 3- and 6-month follow-ups.
Pathological gambling was also reported among Abilify patients in a paper published in Addictive Behaviors in 2013. The authors stated that dopamine replacement therapy is one of the risk factors influencing pathological gambling because it may act on the dopamine receptor in the limbic system (D3) and over-stimulate the reward system.
In December 2014, JAMA Internal Medicine published a study showing that dopamine receptor agonist drugs, such as Abilify, are associated with pathological gambling, hypersexuality and compulsive shopping and discussed the drug approval and warnings involving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). "Our findings confirm and extend the evidence that dopamine receptor agonist drugs are associated with these specific impulse control disorders. At present, none of the dopamine receptor agonist drugs approved by the FDA have boxed warnings as part of their prescribing information. Our data, and data from prior studies, show the need for more prominent warnings," the authors wrote.
Legal Help For Victims Affected By Abilify
If you or a loved one took Abilify and suffered side effects, please fill out the form at the right for a free case evaluation by a qualified drug side effects attorney or call us at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).