The drug Rexulti has been linked to some strange side effects, not the least of which is a sudden urge to gamble. Precisely because it is such an unexpected side effect, many people who take Rexulti fail to connect the dots between the drug and their new habit to compulsively gamble. Worse, they often rack up huge gambling debts before their close friends or loved ones convince them that the drug is the problem.
Recovering compensation for the significant financial damages caused by Rexulti can be the only way to get your life back on track after taking the drug and suffering from its side effects. The personal injury lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian can help.
Here, they answer some of the most frequently asked questions about Rexulti, its link to compulsive gambling, and how you can recover compensation if you have suffered from it.
How Does Rexulti Work?
Rexulti, the brand name for the drug brexpiprazole, is a second-generation antipsychotic drug that treats schizophrenia. The drug works by altering the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain.
Dopamine and serotonin, however, are two chemicals that play a huge role in your mood and how you experience pleasure and pain. Playing with the levels of dopamine and serotonin in your brain can, if not done properly, lead to serious repercussions.
Who Makes Rexulti?
The pharmaceutical company Otsuka Pharmaceutical is behind Rexulti. Otsuka is the same drug company that created the antipsychotic drug Abilify, which also had side effects that included compulsive behavior like gambling.
How are Rexulti and Abilify Related?
Rexulti is the drug that Otsuka Pharmaceutical released as an “update” from Abilify. The patent protection for Abilify expired in the U.S. in 2015, costing Otsuka billions of dollars. To fill the gap, Otsuka developed Rexulti, which is nearly identical to the older drug. The only differences between the two are:
- The dosage levels for Rexulti are lower than Abilify, meaning Rexulti is more potent than Abilify in the same amounts.
- Rexulti only comes in pill form, while Abilify can come in a pill, be injected, or taken as a dissolving tablet.
- Abilify has been approved to treat people under 18, as well as adults with other mental conditions like bipolar disorder, while Rexulti has not – though Otsuka's aggressive tactics to get Abilify approved by the FDA might lead to wider FDA approvals for Rexulti, as well.
Abilify has long been known to cause compulsive behavior, from gambling to compulsive eating or shopping. Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against Otsuka for the losses Abilify has caused.
Now, Otsuka claims both that Rexulti is nearly identical to Abilify in the treatment that it provides for people who suffer from schizophrenia, and also that Rexulti does not pose the same risks of compulsive behavior. However, numerous people taking Rexulti have struggled with a sudden urge to gamble, suggesting that the side effects of both drugs are much more similar than Otsuka is letting on.
How Can I Tell If I Am Suffering from Compulsive Gambling?
An especially cruel twist of fate regarding Rexulti's side effects and compulsive gambling is that the person suffering from a sudden urge to gamble is in the worst position to notice that something is wrong. Many people who begin to gamble compulsively after taking Rexulti think that they are acting normally or that it is just a new hobby.
The people who are in a far better position to tell whether you are suffering from a side effect of Rexulti are your close friends and loved ones. They are far more likely to be able to compare your current behavior to how you acted before you began taking Rexulti.
What Can I Do If I Have Developed a Compulsive Gambling Addiction?
If you think that you are gambling compulsively and that it is because of your Rexulti prescription, you should talk to your doctor about getting you off the medication and on to something else.
Once the dust has settled, it can be wise to explore your legal options. People who have suffered from a compulsive gambling habit have often lost thousands of dollars and the trust of other people, including their loved ones.
One of those legal options is to file a defective pharmaceutical drug lawsuit, claiming that Otsuka failed to warn people like you about the risks of taking Rexulti.
How Do Failure to Warn Lawsuits Work for Defective Drugs?
When pharmaceutical companies release drugs into the market, they have a legal duty to warn doctors and potential patients about the risks of taking their drugs. Patients rely on these disclosures to make an informed decision about their health, while doctors rely on them to make prescriptions that are in their patients' best interests.
However, drug companies recognize that disclosing all of the risks of their drugs can cut into the profits. They frequently avoid making these disclosures whenever they can, or actively downplay known side effects.
When it comes to Rexulti, Otsuka has yet to include the potential for developing a compulsive gambling behavior on the drug's warning label. It continually insists that not enough research has been done to suggest that compulsive gambling is a legitimate side effect of Rexulti, despite the experiences of many of the people who take the drug to treat their schizophrenia.
Defective Drug Lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian Can Help
If you have taken Rexulti and developed a sudden and insatiable urge to gamble – an urge that you never had before – you may be entitled to compensation for the losses you have sustained because of the drug's effects on your mind and behavior. Pursuing your rights to compensation can make a huge difference in your life, especially if the urge to gamble has been going on for awhile and you have amassed significant gambling debts or suffered other personal losses because of your compulsive gambling.
Pursuing your rights to compensation can also work to hold a large pharmaceutical company accountable for its actions in putting innocent people like you into harm's way, without warning.
Reach out to the personal injury and defective drug lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian by contacting them online.