Does popular antipsychotic drug Abilify cause ‘uncontrollable urges’ to gamble, eat and have sex?

clearwater abilify compulsive gambling
Image credit: Dolman Law

By the time she stopped taking aripiprazole — an antipsychotic sold under the brand name Abilify — [Denise Miley had] stayed in the casino long enough to lose more than $150,000. Miley, 41, filed a lawsuit in January 2016 against the drug makers Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka, alleging the drug — one of the best-selling in the world — caused compulsive behavior.

Hundreds more people have since sued the companies, claiming that the drug caused them to gamble, eat, or have sex compulsively. And the Food and Drug Administration signaled its own concern in a 2016 safety warning, saying that uncontrollable urges to gamble, binge eat, shop, and have sex had been reported with use of the antipsychotic.

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The lawsuits are the latest chapter in the roller-coaster history of Abilify. It was approved by the FDA for schizophrenia in 2002. It’s since been approved for treating bipolar disorder, irritability associated with autistic disorder, Tourette’s syndrome, and major depressive disorder.

The science on the potential link between Abilify and impulse control problems is far from settled.

Experts say the more critical question — and the bigger mystery — is why impulse-control problems might show up in just a small slice of the millions of patients who take Abilify each year.

Read full, original post: Did a blockbuster drug make hundreds gamble compulsively? A legal fight may decide what science can’t confirm

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