Abilify Lawsuits: What We Know So Far

On May 3, 2016 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that the generic drug aripiprazole (Abilify, Abilify Maintena, Aristada, and generics) was found to be associated with impulsive behaviors and diminished impulse control. Following the FDA’s announcement, investigations into whether the manufacturers acted negligently began and Abilify lawsuits began being filed by the hundreds as people injured by the drug sought justice. These Abilify lawsuits involve a wide range of injuries and damages associated with the user’s diminished capacity to control their impulses.

According the FDA’s Abilify announcement, these behavior problems had the potential to “result in harm to the patient and others if not recognized.” For many though, these warnings were late as they or their loved one had already suffered because of the drug. Some of the behaviors associated with Abilify include dangerous or risky sex, compulsive eating, reckless shopping, and gambling addiction.

Abilify is known as an “atypical” antipsychotic medication used in treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, Tourette’s syndrome, general depression, and some behaviors associated with autism.

The drug was approved for use by the FDA in 2002. Since then, reports of issues related to impulse control have skyrocketed. The FDA expanded the scope of behaviors associated as side effects related with aripiprazole, in its announcement.

“…we have become aware of other compulsive behaviors associated with aripiprazole, such as compulsive eating, shopping, and sexual actions. These compulsive behaviors can affect anyone taking the medicine,” the FDA said.

While it wasn’t until the FDA forced the makers of Abilify to update their warning label in 2016 that they recognized the risk for compulsive behavior in the United States, agencies in Europe ordered an updated label in 2012. And then in 2015, the Canadian public health administration, Health Canada, confirmed the link between Abilify and compulsive behavior.

The label now reads, “Post-marketing case reports suggest that patients can experience intense urges, particularly for gambling, and the inability to control these urges… Because patients may not recognize these behaviors as abnormal, it is important for prescribers to ask patients or their caregivers specifically about the development of new or intense gambling urges while being treated with aripiprazole.”

Regrettably, for many these updated warnings come too late as they have already suffered as a result of the increased compulsive behaviors caused by Abilify. Abilify lawsuits filed against the manufacturers, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka, now number in the hundreds as increasing numbers of injured individuals come forward.

If you or a loved one has taken Abilify, Abilify Maintena or Aristada and suspect may have suffered an issue related to impulse control, please contact our attorneys to evaluate whether you should file an Abilify lawsuit.