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Don’t Bet On It – Abilify Claimed To Cause Gambling Addiction

Abilify is a medication that is prescribed to patients who suffer from depression, bipolar disorder, irritability associated with autism, or schizophrenia. The drug was developed by the Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company and placed in the market in 2002 after approval from the Food and Drug Administration. The medication is supposed to target dopamine receptors in the brain while enhancing dopamine and serotonin levels or preventing them in order to keep an even balance. Essentially, the drug serves as a stabilizer inside the patient’s brain.

After being released to the public, Abilify’s sales boomed. The medication brought in $6.8 billion across the world between 2013 and 2014 and is prescribed over 8.7 million times each year. However, despite its popularity, Abilify has come under heavy scrutiny due to several claims of compulsive behavioral side effects.

The Food and Drug Administration issued a warning in 2016, stating that Abilify can lead to compulsive or uncontrollable urges to gamble, binge eat, shop and have sex. The same warning was issued in European countries in 2012.

In 2014 a study in the JAMA Internal Medicine found a substantial association between taking Abilify and developing a gambling addiction. Their findings confirmed and extended the evidence that dopamine receptor agonist drugs are associated with these specific impulse control disorders. The conductors of the study felt that the results warranted prominent warnings on the packaging of the medication.

Litigation surrounding Abilify is interesting because many of the claims do not concern physical damages as a result of taking the medication. Instead, many patients claim to have suffered from compulsive gambling which caused them to lose large amounts of money – a side effect they claim to be no fault of their own. A plaintiff has stated, “Eventually, I was asked to leave my parents’ house because I couldn’t stop gambling.” The plaintiff went on to say that she lost custody of her kids as well as possession of her own house as a result of her gambling addiction after being prescribed Abilify.

Over 115 lawsuits were consolidated in 2016 as part of a federal multidistrict litigation in the Northern District of Florida.

Medical malpractice can have devastating effects that last a lifetime. If you have been injured by a physician’s neglect, attorneys Charles Gilman and Briggs Bedigian will work to get you the full compensation to which you are entitled. Call 800-529-6162 today or contact them online for a free case evaluation. They handle cases in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.

About the Author

Briggs Bedigian
Briggs Bedigian

H. Briggs Bedigian (“Briggs”) is a founding partner of Gilman & Bedigian, LLC.  Prior to forming Gilman & Bedigian, LLC, Briggs was a partner at Wais, Vogelstein and Bedigian, LLC, where he was the head of the firm’s litigation practice.  Briggs’ legal practice is focused on representing clients involved in medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. 


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