Abilify or Aripiprazole was developed by Japan’s Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2002 for the treatment of depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and irritability associated with autism. In the U.S., the drug is manufactured and marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Doctors know that Abilify works differently than other medications, but even the makers of Abilify aren’t sure how the drug works. The “How Abilify is Thought to Work” section of the company website explains that Abilify is believed to affect the activity of the brain chemicals Serotonin and Dopamine. These neurotransmitters affect mood and impulse control.
Abilify’s interaction with Serotonin and Dopamine helps control the symptoms of depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism, but it can also create serious side-effects. Both chemicals are linked to impulse control, addiction and compulsive behavior. Patients taking Abilify have exhibited out-of-the-ordinary compulsive behaviors including overeating, shopping addiction, hypersexuality and compulsive gambling. Medical studies have shown that when patients stop taking Abilify, the compulsive behavior stops.
Sacks, Weston, Diamond & Millstein LLC, is investigating claims of compulsive behavior in Abilify patients. The law firm’s pharmaceutical injury attorneys are interviewing Abilify users who have experienced compulsive gambling, hypersexuality, shopping addiction and overeating to determine if they qualify to take part in an Abilify lawsuit case (read more about pharma lawsuits here). This is not the first time that Sacks, Weston, Diamond & Millstein has been involved in a pharmaceutical injury lawsuit involving compulsive gambling. The law firm referred approximately 60 clients to a successful class action suit against the maker of Mirapex, a drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease. Like Abilify, the drug is linked to unusual compulsive behaviors, including gambling addiction.