Abilify is one of the newer medications used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It was first discovered in the 1990s and was approved by the FDA in 2002. Five years later, the drug was approved to be used in the treatment of depression. This is when Abilify became a widely prescribed medication for mental illness.

Over time, the marketers of the drug applied for and got approval for many different uses. Some of the most important approvals involved the treatment of mental disorders in children. To date, millions of people have been prescribed the drug.

The drug is made by a company called Otsuka and Bristol Meyers Squibb. It was one of the best-selling medications in 2014 and there were over 1.6 million people prescribed the medication in 2015.

 

How Does it Work, and What Are The Side Effects of Abilify?

Abilify is an anti-psychotic. However, it’s not like other anti-psychotics. Most of these drugs are first generation medications. Abilify is considered a second-generation anti-psychotic. This means that it affects both the dopamine and serotonin receptors. First-generation anti-psychotics only impact the dopamine centers of the brain.

Dopamine is known to affect reward behavior in people. Serotonin, on the other hand, affects the entire body. It’s a mood stabilizer. It helps reduce depression, help with anxiety, and heal injuries.

The drug, however, doesn’t come without its side effects. Some of the side effects of Abilify are:

  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Upper respiratory illness and
  • Drowsiness

These side effects of Abilify are manageable and certainly don’t disqualify the drug as unsafe. In fact, a lot of people would gladly trade any of these side effects in order to ease their depression. However, there are some more significant side effects of Abilify as well, including:

  • Stroke in the elderly
  • Seizures
  • Low blood pressure
  • High blood sugar

Any of these can be quite serious. And, if a patient suffers any or all of these, they can file suit. However, these aren’t the reasons why people are filing suit against the manufacturers of Abilify.

 

Why Are People Suing the Makers of Abilify?

One of the biggest side effects of Abilify is compulsive behavior. Manufacturers have known that drug can cause compulsive behavior since the mid-2000s. However, it wasn’t until recently that they ever started warning consumers about this risk.

The biggest threat of Abilify is the threat of compulsive gambling. The first study to report this link came out in 2011. The study found that people who take Abilify start to develop compulsive gambling habits.

The people in the study had never before exhibited any compulsive tendencies. Yet after taking the drug, they started spending all the time and money on gambling. Other noted compulsive behaviors included sexual activity and shopping.

International regulatory agencies started ordering Squibb to put warnings on its labels as early as 2012. In 2012, Europe ordered the manufacturer to warn its consumers about the compulsive tendencies. Canada followed suit in 2015. It wasn’t until 2016 that the FDA in the United States issued the same warnings.

 

What’s Going on Now?

Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturer of Abilify. Most of them are still pending now. In 2016, they consolidated all of these cases into something called Multi-District Litigation in Florida.

They put these cases together because it’s easier for both the plaintiffs and defendants to handle these cases when they’re in one location.

The earliest trials started last summer. They called these cases bell weather cases. These cases allow the courts to see how the first round of cases work out. It also gives us an idea of what kind of money these cases may settle for.

Once the first round of cases is over, attorneys will have a better idea of what kind of damages to expect in the Abilify cases. So will the defense attorneys.

 

Contact an Experienced Mass Tort Lawyer Today

If you or your family member took Abilify and suffered dangerous compulsive behavior, you need help. You need to contact an experienced mass tort lawyer right away.

Call and schedule your free initial consultation now. There are strict deadlines for filing your Abilify lawsuit. You don’t want to miss this deadline and forfeit your right to compensation.

As we’ve already seen, Squibb fully intends to defense these cases. They’re willing to spend millions in legal fees to do so. You don’t want to go up against them alone. Call and talk to a mass tort lawyer today.

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