Abilify Complications & Lawsuits

Abilify (generic name aripiprazole) is an antipsychotic drug first approved for use in the United States in 2002 to treat schizophrenia, but its uses have grown and a lot of doctors also prescribe it for off-label uses.

However, the medication is associated with many side effects, some of them serious.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires boxed warnings of increased risk of mortality for older patients with dementia, as well as a risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors among children and young men and women.  Some individuals taking Abilify additionally report compulsive urges to gamble, causing some to financial hardship.

Abilify Uses

The medication is manufactured by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., which markets the drug with Bristol-Myers Squibb in the United States. It has several recorded and approved applications:

  • Add-on for adults with depression already taking an antidepressant.
  • Bipolar I disorder for manic or mixed episodes
  • Schizophrenia
  • Children with autistic disorder who suffer from irritability
  • Agitation related to schizophrenia or bipolar I disorder
  • Children with Tourette’s disorder

However, doctors are free to prescribe Abilify for off-label uses as well, and many do so. For example, doctors may prescribe the drug to treat patients with anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Doctors may prescribe the injection form of the medication to deal with agitation associated with schizophrenia or bipolar I disorder.

Complications Associated with Abilify

Abilify is linked with several troubling side effects and even includes a couple boxed warnings – the most significant warning required by the FDA.

Abilify Interactions and Warnings

Some medication may interact with Abilify, and physicians should evaluate different drugs, nutritional supplements, and vitamins patients are taking to prevent adverse reactions.  Some patients may need to stop taking or reduce their dose of different drugs while taking Abilify.

The FDA classifies Abilify as a Category C drug for pregnant women. It might cause complications to the fetus, and doctors should assess the risk to the fetus versus the benefits of the medication to the mother.  Similarly, doctors should evaluate how the drug benefits the mother compared to the potential risk to the nursing infant.

Abilify, Gambling and Other Compulsive Disorders

Patients have reported unusual increases in compulsive behavior such as gambling. Inducing some patients taking Abilify to reduce huge amounts of cash or collect substantial debt.  Some individuals report that once they decrease the intake of Abilify, their impulse to bet ceased.  Other odd urges or behaviors include improved sexual desires, excessive or spontaneous shopping, and binge eating.

Along with other compulsive behavior.   Lawsuits filed from Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. and Bristol-Myers Squibb assert they didn’t warn physicians and patients taking the medication of the adverse reaction.

Boxed Warning: Abilify and Risk of Death for Dementia Patients

Studies have found a connection between Abilify usage in elderly adults with the medication might increase the chance of stroke, mini-stroke, or other serious side effects in those patients.

The FDA hasn’t approved Abilify to be used in adults with psychological illnesses whose physicians also have diagnosed with dementia.  Patients taking Abilify may be more likely to consider suicide than patients who did not take antidepressants to treat their mental illness.

Boxed Warning: Abilify and Suicide

Infants with depression who developed suicidal thoughts or tendencies following therapy with antidepressants.  Patients taking Abilify might be more likely to

think about suicide than individuals who didn’t take antidepressants to deal with their

mental illness.  Patients of any age can experience sudden mental health changes

When they begin taking Abilify.  The next may be signs of increased danger

of suicide:

  • New or worsening depression
  • Planning, thinking about, or attempting self-harm or suicide
  • Extreme worry
  • Unprovoked agitation
  • Panic attacks
  • Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Irritability
  • Impulsivity
  • Severe restlessness
  • Abnormal excitement or frenzy

Other Abilify Side Effects

Abilify has several other listed side effects of which the manufacturer must warn patients, ranging from mild to severe. The mild side effects associated with the drug may include:

·         Constipation ·         Diarrhea ·         Dizziness
·         Drowsiness ·         Headache ·         Heartburn
·         Increased appetite ·         Increased salivation ·         Nervousness
·         Pain in arms, legs, joints ·         Stomach pain ·         Weight gain

Patients should monitor these symptoms and talk to their doctor if they persist or become severe. Severe side effects may include:

·         Vision changes ·         Chest pain ·         Confusion ·         Sweating
·         High fever ·         Hives ·         Itching ·         Muscle stiffness
·         Rash ·         Seizures ·         Swelling ·         Throat tightness
·         Trouble breathing or swallowing ·         Tightening of the neck muscles ·         Fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat ·         Uncontrollable movements

Many of these side effects can be life-threatening, and patients should contact their doctor immediately if any of these symptoms develop.

Abilify Lawsuits

Abilify has been the topic of several lawsuits by individuals harmed by the medication.  You might have a legal situation in case you or a loved one experienced any of these adverse reactions while taking Abilify:

  • Sudden death
  • Stroke or mini-stroke
  • Suicide
  • Damages related to compulsive gambling
  • Severe complications from side-e ffects

These ailments can result in severe damages to your patient’s health, financing, and wellbeing.

Lawsuits against the maker, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., or Bristol-Myers Squibb, that helped promote the medication, allege improper caution and other neglect. Your health care provider or the pharmaceutical business may be responsible for your damages.

Compensable damages might include medical expenses and other fiscal deficits, pain and distress, and much more.  To learn more about filing a lawsuit if you’re mistreated by Abilify or to help locating an attorney in your town, call (914) 200-0013.