Abilify Gambling Side Effects Constitutes Physical Injury, Lawsuit Claims

The makers of Abilfy face a new product liability lawsuit, which alleges that compulsive gambling side effects associated with the popular antipsychotic medication constitute a physical injury, due to the severe financial harm and overall ruin they can cause to an individuals family and life.

In a complaint (PDF) filed against Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana late last month, Nicholas T. Meyer indicates that he suffered gambling losses in excess of $45,000 after starting to use Abilify, leading to loss of financial stability and other damages.

Meyer indicates that he began using the medication in November 2010, and developed a compulsive gambling habit. Once he stopped taking the medication, Meyer indicates that the compulsive gambling problems stopped, but he has been left with continuing damages as a consequence of the side effects of Abilify.

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“The injurious impact of Abilify on the Plaintiff’s brain constitutes a physical injury,” the lawsuit states. “As a result of Abilify use, Plaintiff has suffered, and will continue to suffer, neuropsychiatric and physical injury, emotional distress, harm, and economic loss as alleged herein.”

The lawsuit pursues claims against the manufacturers for designing a defective drug, breach of warranty, negligence, negligent misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment, and violating Indiana consumer protection laws, seeking both compensatory and punitive damages.

Abilify Gambling Problems

Abilify (ariprazole) is one of the most widely used brand name medications in the United States, generating sales in excess of $6 billion per year. It was introduced in 2002 for treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other major depressive disorders, but is also widely used to treat irritability, aggression, mood swings and other behavior issues.

Meyer’s case comes amid a growing number of Abilify gambling lawsuits filed in courts throughout the United States, alleging that the drug makers knew or should have known that users face an increased risk of engaging in uncontrollable gambling or other compulsive behaviors, yet withheld important warnings from consumers and the medical community that may have allowed individuals to identify the problems before they suffered permanent damages to their financial stability and life.

A study published in October 2014 in JAMA Internal Medicine found that a class of drugs known as dopamine receptor agonists, often used to treat Parkinson’s disease, were linked to impulse control problems. However, the researchers in that study also saw the same behavioral problems associated with the use of Abilify.

Addictive gambling on Abilify can have a severe impact on users, causing severe financial losses and behavior that can destroy families, reputations and cause irreparable damage to an individuals quality of life. Plaintiffs allege that if warnings had been provided about the risk of impulsive behaviors, they may have avoided devastating consequences by recognizing the potential side effects associated with the medication and stopping use of the drug.


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