Abilify Gambling Addiction Constitutes Physical Brain Injury, Lawsuit Claims

According to allegations raised in a product liability lawsuit filed this week against Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., side effects of Abilify caused a severe gambling addiction that resulted in losses in excess of $75,000, indicating that the problems linked to the antipsychotic medication constitute a physical brain injury. 

The complaint (PDF) was filed this week in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida by David Viechec, and his wife Cassie, claiming that the drug makers knew or should have known that Abilify may cause compulsive behaviors like gambling addiction, hypersexual activity and compulsive shopping, yet failed to warn consumers and the medical community.

Veichec indicates that he was prescribed Abilify in 2012, and a short time later developed a gambling addiction that he claims was caused by the neurological effects Abilify has on the brain. However, the lawsuit notes that Veichec did not discovery the link between Abilify and gambling problems until January of this year.

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“Abilify is a partial and full dopamine agonist. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the bran’s reward and pleasure centers,” the lawsuit explains. “Scientific literature has identified dopamine as a potential cause of pathological gambling for years.”

The case is one of the latest in a growing number of Abilify gambling addiction lawsuits filed by individuals throughout the United States in recent months, each involving similar claims that the damages caused impulsive behaviors while using the drug demonstrate a physical brain injury.

Abilify (ariprazole) is one of the top selling drugs in the United States, approved for treatment of schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder and other major depressive disorders. However, the drug is also widely prescribed to treat irritability, aggression, mood swings and other psychological conditions.

Last month, the FDA issued a drug safety communication warning about the link between Abilify and impulsivity, indicating that new warnings will be added to the drug to make sure that doctors and patients are aware that side effects may include “uncontrollable urges to gamble, binge eat, shop and have sex.”

Viechec indicates that he had no way of knowing before a January 2016 warning label change that his use of Abilify was causing his gambling habit, alleging that the drug maker profited unjustly by withholding information. The complaint points out that in Europe there have been pathological gambling labels on Abilify since 2012. However, no such warning was given to the U.S. medical community. In fact, the word gambling did not even show up on the label until 2016, and the public was not informed of the problem until the FDA issued a warning on May 3, the lawsuit states.

As more and more individuals throughout the United States learn that Abilify caused gambling addiction that have had a devastating impact on their financial stability, family and reputation, it is expected that hundreds, and potentially thousands, of additional lawsuits will be filed in courts throughout the United States in the coming months.


  • ElsaJuly 14, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    This explains alot

  • NikkiJuly 10, 2016 at 12:53 am

    It's not just this drug they should have more. I started prozac and it made me what they say manic even though I never had before. I traded a new car I loved and bought a car for 30k. And then some. These drugs trigger something to cause impulsive uncontrollable behavior.

  • katherynJune 27, 2016 at 1:39 am

    Yes I did not know this that's I'm buying lottery every time I get money and I'm still taking a bililify

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