Abilify lawsuits involve claims against the drug’s manufacturers, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company and Bristol-Myers Squibb for negligence in creating a drug that was defectively designed and manufactured. The drug makers are accused of knowing about Abilify’s side effects and failing to provide adequate instructions and warnings.
The lawsuits claim these unwanted side-effects include compulsive behaviors, such as binge-eating, hypersexual behavior, and uncontrollable spending and gambling.
According to these claims, Abilify can cause compulsive behavior in persons with no prior history of such problems. The suits contend that had adequate warnings been provided, patients taking the drug could and would have been more closely monitored by their psychiatrists, physicians, and family, and therefore the unwanted side-effects of the drug could have been better managed or prevented. Presently, over 800 lawsuits involving excessive gambling claims are pending in a federal court in Florida and over 100 cases are pending in various state courts.
Abilify is also known by its chemical name aripiprazole. It was first approved in 2002 by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a type of antipsychotic medication. Today, Abilify is commonly prescribed for the treatment of depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, Tourette syndrome, and even autism.
On May 3, 2016, the FDA released a new safety report warning doctors and patients that Abilify may cause uncontrollable urges to gamble and binge-eat.
No other FDA-approved anti-psychotic medication acts on the dopamine system (the body’s reward center) in the manner that Abilify does. Because of Abilify’s unique effect on the dopamine system, users can develop strong, irresistible urges, such as urges to constantly gamble, shop, or have sex. The compulsive urges can become so strong that users will destroy their entire lives in order to fulfill the urge. Upon fulfilling the compulsive urge, such as gambling, many users will experience euphoria, which results in repetitive compulsive behavior.