Abilify is the name brand of the medication aripirazole. Aripirazole is the medicine used to treat mental disorders such as bipolar disorder, severe mental depression and schizophrenia. No evidence has been released that proves that the drug does not do what it is intended to do, but there are some unexpected side effects of taking this medication about which many patients have filed lawsuits. These unexpected side effects primarily include the development or exacerbation of compulsive behavior, according to the British Journal of Psychology, sometimes in patients in whom compulsive behavior had not bee observed prior to taking Abilify.
When the drug first hit the market, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made no warnings that the medicine could induce compulsive behavior. According to the FDA, possible side effects of Abilify included high blood sugar and neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). NMS can result in “high fever, stiff muscles, confusion, sweating, changes in pulse, heart rate, and blood pressure.” Because Abilify functions as an anti-depressant, the FDA also made note that the medicine could lead to increased thoughts of suicide during initial stages of being on the medication.
Yet in 2014, studies began to surface that revealed Abilify, or aripirazole, was linked to an increased risk of compulsive behavior, seen most prominently through proof of pathological gambling in patients who were regularly taking Abilify. Medical professionals thought this was because Abilify acts at the D3 receptor in the limbic system, it may over-stimulate the reward system of the brain. Stimulation of the reward system in your brain is what leads people to compulsive behavior such as pathological gambling.
The study, published in Science Direct, found a correlation between the increased risk of pathological gambling and previous proof of substance abuse in patients who were taking Abilify. In one case, the patient had no prior history of gambling at all, and developed a pathological gambling problem after just a few weeks of taking the drug.
If you or someone you know has developed a compulsive behavior as a result of taking Abilify, you may be eligible for compensation. Do not go through it alone. Contact an Arlington Heights defective medical product attorney today.