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ABILIFY LAWSUIT - COMPULSIVE GAMBLING & OTHER ADDICTIVE BEHAVIORS

The Claim:

A class action lawsuit differs from criminal proceedings. In a class action, someone must file a complaint. This complaint generally involves the negligence of the opposing party. In a class action, the defendant must reply to the complaint within a certain amount of time, otherwise, the court may step in and enter a default judgement against the defendant. The defendant, in this case, is Otsuka Pharmaceutical and Bristol-Myers Squibb, the manufacturers of Abilify, who must address the complaint, and identify how much, if any, part of the complaint is true. This usually occurs within 3 weeks of the filing of the complaint. In the case of the lawsuit involving Abilify, the claim states that the manufacturers of Abilify were negligent in warning that the drug possibly could cause compulsive behavior. Most that have come forward, have had issues with compulsive behaviors regarding: Gambling, Shopping, Sex, and Eating. By not warning doctors, hospitals, and patients of this potential side effect, the manufacturers were negligent (Thomson Reuters, 2017)

The litigation with Abilify states that not only were Otsuka Pharmaceutical and Bristol-Myers Squibb negligent in the design of the medication Abilify, but it also claims that the manufacturers hid evidence from the government and the public for approval from the Food and Drug Administration. Abilify increases these compulsive behaviors, in addition, Abilify increases the risk of developing compulsive urges even if the behavior was not present before.

 

Within the claim, documents state that the manufacturers of Abilify failed to run proper tests and studies before marketing the product to the public. The claim also states that the manufacturers of Abilify exaggerated the benefits of the drug, and in the marketing campaign, they used advertising to mislead the public. The manufacturers also paid doctors to promote the drug, and even encouraged doctors to prescribe the drug for purposes that were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

 

If doctors had known of the true side effects, alternative medications would have been prescribed to treat patients’ symptoms. When patients complained of obsessive or compulsive behaviors and urges, doctors could have halted the use of Abilify if they had known of the link to Abilify.

What is the Purpose of Abilify

Abilify is used to treat psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia, Tourette’s syndrome, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, and Autism. This anti-psychotic medication is intended to decrease hallucinations, lessen mood swings, and disorganized thinking, allowing patients to have a more even keel in their behaviors. It is prescribed to patients in relation to decrease depressive thoughts and lessen severe tics. Abilify was approved by the FDA initially in 2002, and is sold under the names Abilify, Aristada, Abilify Discmelt, and is the drug Aripiprazole (Otsuka Pharmaceutical, Inc., 2014).

What Are the Side Effects of Abilify?

When Abilify is used in conjunction with antidepressants, Abilify is used as an add-on versus on its own. The manufacturers claim that Abilify should not be used on its own for depression, yet used in addition to other antidepressants when the patient is still suffering from symptoms of depression even after taking other medications. The following are common side effects for those that have been taking Abilify in addition to other antidepressants:

 

  • Akathisia- Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors in young adults or children with MDD, Major Depressive Disorders (Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc., 2017).

 

Common Side Effects in patients using Abilify not in combination with antidepressants being treated for MDD are as follows:

 

MOST COMMON SIDE EFFECTS

Anxiety

Blurred vision

Constipation

Dizziness

Drooling

Drowsiness

Headaches

Lethargy

Lightheadedness

Nausea

Restlessness

Fatigue

Insomnia

Vomiting

Weight Gain (Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc., 2017).

 

More Serious and Threatening Side Effects

Abilify has currently been linked to the following obsessive and compulsive pathological behaviors:

Compulsive Sex Addiction

Compulsive Gambling

Excessive/Pathological Shopping

Compulsive Eating

 

Each of these behaviors are normal on their own, however, compulsive pathological action of any of these behaviors can wreak havoc on one’s life. These addictive behaviors have been found to start once a patient is on Abilify, and cease once the patient stops taking the medication, or has switched to a different medication. These types of obsessive behaviors can lead to bankruptcy, divorce, financial devastation, personal and social detriment, and can have lasting desolation on families, leaving a trail of wreckage for individuals.  These types of compulsive behaviors can have lasting effects of unemployment and criminal implications.

O'Mara Law Group

O’Mara Law Group is the private law practice of Mark O’Mara. Mark O’Mara has been practicing law in Central Florida since 1983. He served as a prosecutor before becoming a defense attorney. Mark O’Mara is Board Certified in Criminal Trial Law and Marital and Family Law. After gaining national recognition for leading the defense in the Zimmerman case, Mark O’Mara became a legal analyst for CNN and founder of Justice Outreach.  Have a skilled Orlando defense attorney on your side is crucial in an Orlando criminal court system.

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