Abilify and Compulsive Behaviors

On May 3, 2016 the FDA announced that it will update the Abilify label to reflect stronger warnings of impulse control problems linked to the antipsychotic medication. The FDA issued this statement after receiving reports of compulsive urges to gamble, have sex, shop and eat in patients using Abilify (or aripiprazole).

Abilify is an antipsychotic drug used to treat conditions including:

  • Parkinsons Disease
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Tourette’s Syndrome
  • Depression

Abilify is a dopamine agonist, meaning it is a medication that mimics dopamine in the brain. Dopamine affects movement, pain processing and the reward and pleasure centers of the brain.

The British Journal of Psychology, The Journal of American Medicine and the Mayo Clinic all have studies that have shown evidence that dopamine agonist medications like Abilify can stimulate excessive gambling, sexual obsessions, compulsive shopping and binge eating. In June, Public Citizen, a consumer watchdog has petitioned the FDA to demand a black box warning on Abilify after citing studies that show that 17% of patients using dopamine agonist medications can experience compulsive behaviors as compared to just over 1% of the general population.

Kentucky patients who have experienced significant impulse control problems since treating with Abilify may want to consider their legal options. Compulsive behaviors can lead to financial ruin and health complications, not to mention the impact on family and relationships. Currently there are a number of lawyers exploring lawsuits against Otsuka Pharmaceutical, the maker of Abilify, alleging that the pharmaceutical company did not adequately warn users of the risks associated with compulsive behaviors. A lawyer can help you to determine if your case warrants investigation.

Please contact Brett H. Oppenheimer, a Kentucky attorney, who can review your case. Call him at (502) 242-8877 for a free consultation.

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