April 4th, 2016|
Mental disorders can be hard enough to deal with without the added stress of having to worry about the side effects of medicine. When Abilify users began reporting a series of troubling side effects including compulsive gambling, binge eating and hypersexuality, investigators noted a pattern suggesting the compulsive behaviors might be linked to the use of Abilify.
Prescribed to people with bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder (schizophrenia and mood disorder), and severe depression, Abilify was supposed to adjust the chemical balance in the brain so people could live a better, healthier life. Unfortunately, for many users, Abilify launched a new set of problems, compulsive behaviors that destroyed their relationships, finances and personal lives.
Pathological gambling has emerged as a commonly reported side effect. Pathological gambling is defined as being unable to resist the impulse to gamble. Researchers have stated that the way Abilify works is to stimulate the pleasure centers in the brain, which creates a chemical named dopamine. When the dopamine is produced, it gives the feeling of excessive happiness, euphoria, leaving people feeling a “high.” Naturally, the brain craves the same chemical release and users are left chasing the initial high, finding ways to re-create it.
People who began gambling and winning experienced this high; the more they won, the more the urge to gamble and win existed. Though everyone knows gambling is risky, these people couldn’t stop their impulse to continue trying, and continue losing. Abilify users have reported losing thousands of dollars, their jobs and, in some cases, their families as a result of their uncontrollable urge to gamble.
Several studies have shown that people began to experience the impulse to gamble once they began taking Abilify. In one study, seven out of eight Abilify users who developed gambling problems reported they were able to quit gambling once they stopped taking the drug.
The makers of Abilify, Bristol-Myers Squibb, failed to warn users of the link between the drug and the increased risk of developing compulsive behaviors. There is help available for Abilify users who have suffered as a result of taking the drug. The experienced drug injury lawyers at Cory Watson Attorneys are representing people injured by the drug Abilify and are available for a free consultation.