Abilify Side Effects Caused Tardive Dyskinesia In Girl, Treated With Akineton: Case Report

A recent case reports details how the side effects of Abilify, a popular antipsychotic, caused a 13 year old girl to develop a rare, involuntary movement disorder, known as tardive dyskinesia. 

The report was published in this month’s issue of Clinical Psychopharmacology and Neuroscience, by Italian doctors and researchers. According to the case study, the girl’s involuntary movements were successfully treated with biperiden, often sold under the brand name Akineton.

Abilify (ariprazole) is one of the top-selling brand name medications on the market 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.

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Tardive dyskinesia is a disorder that causes repetitive and involuntary movement, usually involving the lower face and limbs. Symptoms can include grimacing, chewing, smacking of lips, rapid eye movements and impaired finger movements. There is no known effective treatment of the disorder, and the abnormal movements can become permanent, persisting even after use of the drug has stopped.

The case report indicates that the 13-year-old girl developed the movement disorder after three weeks of treatment with Abilify after four years of other forms of treatment with no such side effects. While tardive dyskinesia is usually considered to have no effective treatment, her symptoms disappeared after three weeks of treatment with Akineton.

The authors recommended other doctors give biperiden a closer look as a potential treatment.

Abilify Compulsive Behavior

The case study comes amid increasing concerns in recent years about the potential impulse control side effects of Abilify, which have been linked to reports of compulsive gambling, sexual addiction and uncontrollable urges to shop.

A growing number of Abilify lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturer of the drug this year, each raising similar allegations that inadequate warnings were provided for consumers and the medical community about the importance of monitoring for signs of compulsive behavior while taking the medication.

The litigation emerged after the FDA required new warning information about the link between Abilify and impulse control problems in May 2016, urging doctors, patients and caregivers to be on the lookout for symptoms of uncontrollable urges to gamble, binge eat, shop or engage in reckless sexual activity while using the medication.

Although information about the risk of Abilify impulse control disorders was added to the label in Europe as early as 2012, plaintiffs allege that the important information was withheld in the United States, causing users to suffer severe gambling losses and damage to their financial stability or family relationships due to the failure to warn.

Since October 2016, cases filed against Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceuticals throughout the federal court system have been consolidated as part of a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL), which is centralized before U.S. District Judge Casey Rodgers in the Northern District of Florida for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings.


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