In past decades, there has been a culture of silence about some of the most common medical disorders: mental health disorders. Thankfully, due to research and advocacy, Americans are not only learning more about what causes these conditions and how to treat them but also have begun to understand that ignoring that existence of these conditions won’t make them disappear. Unfortunately, the drugs that are being used to treat patients, such as Abilify, aren’t always safe.
Mental Health In America
One in four adult Americans suffers from a mental health disorder every year. This includes:
- anxiety and panic disorders
- bipolar disorder
- cyclothymic disorders
Each of these disorders has symptoms that can impact how a patient lives from day to day, including fatigue, suicidal thoughts, panic attacks, lack of appetite or overeating, hallucinations, and more.
Today there are numerous drugs that are available via prescription to help patients get through these tough times. One of the most popular is Abilify.
Facts About Abilify
This drug, classified as an antipsychotic, was first released onto the U.S. market in 2002 and quickly became a favorite among doctors. It is used to treat major depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia in adults and adolescents. Recently, however, national attention has been brought to the potential side effects caused by the drug.
There are numerous side effects that can be caused by Abilify. These include:
- Pain in the joints
- Weight gain
- Increased salivation
The most disturbing side effect, however, is the possibility that the patient will develop compulsivity.
What Can Compulsivity Do?
When a patient taking Abilify exhibits this behavior, they are acting impulsively with little or no forethought about the action and having no care for the consequences of that action. They continue to perform this action regardless of the outcome – meaning that there doesn’t need to be a reward in order to have them repeat the action.
Compulsive behaviors can include gambling, shopping, sex, skin picking, eating, counting, checking, or even cleaning.
In lawsuits against the manufacturers of Abilify, Otsuka and Bristol-Myers Squibb, plaintiffs are claiming that the drug caused them to develop compulsive behaviors.
The majority of the defective drug lawsuits filed allege that after a patient took Abilify, the plaintiff developed compulsive gambling, eating, or sex behaviors, despite the fact that they had never displayed a history of these conditions before they were prescribed the drug. One plaintiff said that the urge was so strong that it became “a reason to live.”
They also allege that the manufacturers:
- Failed to warn the medical community and public about the serious side effects.
- Concealed serious health risks.
- Negligently advertised their product.
By pursuing legal action, they hope to recover compensation for the losses they sustained during gambling, emotional injury, and some are seeking punitive damages.
A History Of Legal Issues
This isn’t the first time that the manufacturers of the antipsychotic have been faced with legal issues regarding the drug. In 2007, a settlement was reached with the federal government, who had filed charges alleging that the drug was illegally marketed to patients in nursing homes, despite the fact that the drug had not been approved to treat seniors with dementia by the FDA. The agreement forced Bristol-Myers Squibb to pay $515 million in damages, although the company still maintains there was no wrongdoing on their part.
How Do I Know If I’m Eligible For An Abilify Lawsuit?
If you or a loved one developed compulsive behaviors after taking Abilify, contact our defective drug lawyers today. Our first consultation is free, during which we will review your case and answer any questions about the legal process that you may have.
Our firm has years of experience in handling defective drug lawsuits and we believe that the best way to stop manufacturers from putting profit ahead of the welfare of patients is to hold them liable for their actions. We pride ourselves on making sure that our clients are comfortable and well informed every step of the way.
Keep in mind that in every personal injury case there is a statute of limitations, which is the amount of time that a plaintiff has to file. Don’t hesitate to contact us as soon as possible, before time runs out.
How Much Will It Cost?
We understand that you are likely already suffering from severe financial loss. This is why we work on what is known as a contingency fee. That means that our fees come directly out of the compensation that we obtain for you. If we don’t win, we don’t get paid. This way, you have nothing to fear.