The antipsychotic medication Abilify (generic: aripiprazole) has been linked to cases of compulsive gambling and other pathological behavior including excessive shopping, overeating and hypersexuality. These side effects are thought to be caused by Abilify’s influence on dopamine and serotonin receptors in the brain.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one experienced compulsive behaviors after taking Abilify, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer and our lawyers can help.
Update: First Trials in Abilify Gambling Litigation to Begin in June
April 23, 2018 – Lawsuits involving allegations of uncontrollable gambling addictions and other compulsive behavior disorders resulting from use of Abilify are scheduled to begin this summer in the U.S. District Court, District of Florida, where all such federal claims have been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) for pretrial handling. According to a recent order by U.S. District Judge Casey Rodgers, 3 bellwether trials have been chosen to kick off the proceedings, the first of which is slated to begin on August 6.
What is Abilify?
Abilify is an antipsychotic medication used to treat schizophrenia, manic depression, autism, and other serious psychological disorders. The drug works by changing the actions of neurotransmitters in the brain. Abilify is made by Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc., and was approved by the FDA in November 2002.
What’s the Problem?
Dozens of cases of compulsive gambling in patients treated with Abilify have been reported in the medical literature. In each case, the patients’ symptoms improved upon quitting the drug. Other pathological behaviors including binge eating, excessive shopping and hypersexuality have been reported in patients shortly after they started using or increased their dosage of Abilify.
Compulsive Gambling Symptoms
According to Mayo Clinic, the following symptoms indicate that a person may have a compulsive gambling problem:
- Gaining a thrill from taking big gambling risks
- Taking increasingly bigger gambling risks
- Preoccupation with gambling
- Reliving past gambling experiences
- Gambling as a way to escape problems or feelings of helplessness, guilt or depression
- Taking time from work or family life to gamble
- Concealing or lying about gambling
- Feeling guilt or remorse after gambling
- Borrowing money or stealing to gamble
- Failed efforts to cut back on gambling
Abilify Seriously Harms Your Impulse Control Center: Ring of Fire Video
Abilify Gambling Lawsuit Filed in Minnesota
October 18, 2016 – A Minnesota woman who allegedly racked up a large amount of debt as a result of compulsive gambling caused by Abilify has filed a products liability lawsuit against Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Plaintiff Denise Miley claims she began suffering uncontrollable urges to gamble shortly after she began taking Abilify in September 2014. Her need to gamble went away after quitting the drug in February 2015, but by that time she had already accumulated in excess of $75,000 in debt, according to the complaint.
Abilify Lawsuits Consolidated in Florida
October 6, 2016 – The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has consolidated all federal lawsuits alleging compulsive gambling side effects from Abilify in federal court in Florida. At least 22 complaints pending in 12 districts will be centralized before Chief Judge M. Casey Rodgers in the Northern District of Florida, according to the Transfer Order (PDF). The litigation is In Re: Abilify Compulsive Behavior Products Liability Litigation – MDL No. 2734.
Abilify Labels Updated to Include ‘Pathological Gambling and Compulsive Behaviors’ Warning
August 24, 2016 – The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has revised the labeling of Abilify to include a warning (PDF) for “pathological gambling and other compulsive behaviors.” The warning notes that patients may not recognize such behaviors as abnormal, counsels physicians to ask about such behaviors, and recommends discontinuation or dose reduction if these behaviors appear.
Abilify Gambling Lawsuit Filed in Massachusetts
July 28, 2016 – A Massachusetts woman who allegedly experienced uncontrollable compulsive behaviors after taking Abilify has filed a personal injury lawsuit against Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceutical. According to the complaint, Abilify caused Plaintiff Rikki Carlson of Fall River, Mass., to have compulsive behaviors including gambling, shopping and binge eating, which caused her significant financial, mental and physical damages. Plaintiff claims she began taking Abilify around Dec. 2010, and began compulsively gambling and shopping shortly thereafter; these behaviors ceased promptly after she discontinued treatment with the drug in March 2016, according to the suit.
Public Citizen Demands ‘Black Box Warning’ on Antipsychotic Meds
July 17, 2016 – The watchdog group Public Citizen sent a petition (PDF) last month to the FDA requesting ‘black box warnings’ to dopamine agonist antipsychotic drugs regarding an increased risk for compulsive behaviors such as gambling, sexual obsessions and shopping. According to the letter, more than 80 studies link these medications to compulsive behaviors. Although the petition did not focus specifically on Abilify, it did acknowledge data indicating that it was related to the same side effects.
Abilify Gambling Lawsuits May Be Consolidated into MDL
June 30, 2016 – More than 2 dozen lawsuits alleging that Abilify caused gambling addiction and other compulsive behaviors could soon be formed into a multidistrict litigation (MDL). In a Motion for Transfer order filed last week, plaintiffs and Abilify’s manufacturers agree that the formation of an MDL would benefit the litigation. The parties also agree that the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida, would be the best venue for the proposed MDL, according to Reuters.
Abilify Lawsuit Filed in California
June 9, 2016 – A products liability lawsuit (1:16-cv-00065-LJO-BAM) filed earlier this year against Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. LTD and Otsuka America Pharmaceutical Inc. accuses the companies of failing to warn about extreme compulsive behaviors with Abilify. The complaint was entered on behalf of Brenda Sears, who claims she was injured and developed compulsive behaviors as a direct result of her use of the drug.
Abilify Labeling Updated With New Impulse-Control Side Effects Warning
May 3, 2016 – FDA announced today that new warnings will be added to the labels of aripiprazole-containing antipsychotic medications (Abilify, Abilify Maintena, Aristada) regarding compulsive or uncontrollable urges to gamble, binge eat, shop and have sex. “These uncontrollable urges were reported to have stopped when the medicine was discontinued or the dose was reduced,” FDA says. “These impulse-control problems are rare, but they may result in harm to the patient and others if not recognized.”
Pathological Gambling, Hypersexuality, Compulsive Shopping Linked to Dopamine Receptor Agonists: JAMA Study
An October 2014 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) investigated severe impulse control disorders involving pathological gambling, hypersexuality and compulsive shopping linked to the use of dopamine receptor agonist drugs like Abilify. The study looked at FDA adverse drug event reports from 2003 to 2012, and identified at least 710 events indicating impulse control disorders from the U.S. and other countries.
“Our findings confirm and extend the evidence that dopamine receptor agonist drugs are associated with these specific impulse control disorders,” the researchers said. “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.”
Has the Drug Been Recalled?
Despite being linked to compulsive gambling / behavior, type 2 diabetes and other serious side effects, Abilify as not been recalled and continues to be prescribed to patients across the country. However, despite the lack of recall, injured parties may be able to pursue justice through the filing of a product liability lawsuit. If our lawyers determine that you have a valid claim, compensation may be awarded to you to assist with medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Abilify lawsuits accuse the manufacturers of:
- Failing to adequately warn the public and medical communities about the risk of compulsive gambling / behavior with Abilify
- Manufacturing and marketing a defective medication
- Misrepresenting the safety and effectiveness of Abilify
- Improper marketing
Do I have an Abilify Gambling Lawsuit?
The Pharmaceutical Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Abilify lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently investigating potential settlements in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one experienced financial loss, family problems or legal consequences as a result of compulsive gambling while taking Abilify, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a lawsuit and our lawyers can help.