Abilify and Compulsive Gambling

Clinical research and post-market case reports have shown as direct connection between Abilify and compulsive gambling. As more evidence came to light about this troublesome side effect, Bristol-Myers Squibb was ordered to update Abilify’s package labeling in 2016, alerting consumers that the drug can lead to a host of compulsive and potentially destructive behaviors.

The label now cautions that patients taking aripiprazole are at increased risk for experiencing intense, often addictive urges that usually stop when the dosage is lowered or the medication discontinued altogether.

Individuals who have suffered the negative consequences of Abilify compulsive gambling or other damaging behaviors may have a valid claim for compensation under theories of strict product liability and negligent misrepresentation. Explore your options for filing a lawsuit by calling The Bonsignore Trial Lawyers, who remain on the forefront of national dangerous drug litigation.

Abilify gambling problems

Numerous post-marketing reports of compulsive gambling have been recounted by patients who were prescribed Abilify– an atypical antipsychotic used to treat mood disorders and autism-related irritability. Patients claim that they were not properly warned about pathological gambling risks, which have been studied along with other impulse control problems.

In a study entitled “Aripiprazole: a new risk factor for pathological gambling?” French researchers analyzed a cohort of schizophrenic or bipolar patients, most of whom were young with a history of addictive disorders. They found that pathological gambling was probably caused by Abilify (aripiprazole) in 7 out of 8 patients who were taking the medication at the time.

A separate and perhaps more telling case study on patients with no history of addictive behaviors, was performed in 2011. Published in the journal Current Drug Safety, the authors found three patients whose “pathological gambling was induced by aripiprazole, in patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.” The researchers determined there was a direct relationship between Abilify and gambling addiction because the compulsive behavior disappeared immediately once the drug was discontinued.

Compulsive gambling behavior has the ability to undermine one’s life, leading to overwhelming debt, unemployment, foreclosure on homes, divorce, and damage to one’s reputation. Some patients who suffered incredible financial and emotional harm have brought lawsuits against Otsuka Pharmaceuticals and Bristol-Myers Squibb, alleging the U.S. drug label does not sufficiently warn that compulsive gambling has been noted in patients taking Abilify. One plaintiff claims he lost more than $75,000 during an uncontrollable gambling spree while he was taking the antidepressant.

Abilify compulsive gambling lawsuits

Otsuka and Bristol-Myers Squibb are facing increasing numbers of Abilify lawsuits over addictive gambling behaviors that plaintiffs argue were not warned about. Prior to the FDA-mandated label update in 2016, the Abilify label included general warnings about dementia risks in the elderly and increased suicidal tendencies in younger patients.  And while gambling addiction warnings were added to Abilify packages in Europe and Canada years ago, U.S. patients were not privy to this side effect until 2015.

Drug manufacturers have a legal obligation to provide adequate warnings about all potential side effects; when this duty is breached, litigation may be warranted. Individuals who took Abilify and had no history of gambling addiction who experienced substantial financial losses due to gambling compulsions have the right to sue for compensation.

Abilify gambling lawsuits were coordinated before Judge Brian Martinotti in New Jersey state court (Bergen County), where the cases will share in pretrial motions and discovery. In March of 2016, at least nine complaints were filed, but dozens more are expected in the coming months. While the actions have been consolidated as a mass tort, they are not bound by a common verdict and each claimant retains their right to an individual jury trial and settlement negotiations.

In early October 2016, federal lawsuits involving Abilify compulsive gambling were centralized under the Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2734, in Florida district court before the Honorable M. Casey Rodgers. Multidistrict litigation serves to prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings; eliminate duplicative discovery and conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel and the courts. The Abilify MDL promotes efficiency in handling large numbers of claims arising from drug injuries, and may serve to facilitate settlement negotiations.

Abilify and other compulsive behavior

When the FDA warns Abilify can cause impulsive gambling in a May 2016 safety communication, health regulators also caution about other obsessive behaviors including eating, shopping, and sexual actions. The agency states that these impulse control problems can affect any patient taking Abilify and that close monitoring is necessary to recognize “new or increasing urges.”

Patients who have a family history of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), impulsive personality, alcohol or drug addiction or other addictive behaviors are at higher risk for experiencing:

  • Abilify compulsive shopping
  • Abilify and compulsive eating
  • Or, Abilify-related hypersexuality

Bonsignore Trial Lawyers are pleased to offer free consultations to anyone who suffered Abilify complications & side effects such as pathological gambling, compulsive spending or binge eating. Rest assured that we operate on a contingent fee basis and recover fees only after a recovery.

Abilify gambling addiction resources