As noted by the drug’s manufacturer—Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.—itself, “an increased risk of stroke and ministroke have been reported in clinical studies of elderly people with dementia-related psychosis” who take the antipsychotic drug aripiprazole—sold under the brand name Abilify (and, less commonly, as Aripiprex). Otsuka also acknowledges that “Increases in blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) can happen in some people who take ABILIFY.”
The Rottenstein Law Group compassionately advocates for those who have suffered from side effects as a result of having taken dangerous drugs. If you’ve taken Abilify and believe it harmed you, contact RLG for a free, confidential legal consultation immediately.
What Is Abilify? When Is It Prescribed?
Abilify is a brand name for the drug aripiprazole. Developed by Otsuka Pharmaceutical in Japan and marketed jointly with Bristol-Myers Squibb in the United States, this prescription medication is used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, tic disorders, and irritability associated with autism. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it in 2002 for the treatment of schizophrenia, in 2004 for the treatment of bipolar disorder, and in 2007 for for the treatment of major depressive disorder.
As an “atypical” antipsychotic, Abilify blocks dopamine receptors in the brain. It differs pharmacologically from similar drugs, and it’s less likely than some antipsychotic drugs to cause involuntary body movements.
Controversies have reportedly eroded consumer confidence in Abilify, however. In 2007, Bristol-Myers Squibb settled an Abilify lawsuit brought by whistleblowers and the Department of Justice by paying approximately $515 million. To encourage them to prescribe Abilify, Bristol-Myers Squibb had been giving doctors kickbacks in the form of consulting fees and paid luxury vacations.
Abilify Might Cause Life-Threatening Side Effects
Otsuka acknowledges that elderly patients with dementia can suffer strokes (transient ischemic attacks) when taking Abilify. The FDA has not approved Abilify for the treatment of dementia in the elderly. There is a “black box” Abilify warning on the product’s label informing users that that the drug carries an increased risk of death in elderly users. Like many antidepressants, the drug also carries a black box suicide warning for users under the age of 24. And since 2011 the “pregnancy” section of Abilify’s label has informed doctors and women who might become pregnant that Abilify causes withdrawal symptoms in infants in the form of abnormal muscle movements—called extrapyramidal signs (EPS).
In addition, as with other atypical antipsychotic drugs, there is concern that aripiprazole causes metabolic disorders, particularly hyperglycemia (excess sugar) and diabetes. Atypical antipsychotics cause the body to metabolize fat instead of carbohydrates, leading to insulin resistance to the excess carbohydrates. At the same time, they promote fat accumulation.
RLG’s Lawyers Will Make Things Easier
The process of demanding compensation for the harm you’ve suffered can be complicated, even if it doesn’t seem fair that you should have to go through even more trouble to be made whole again. The lawyers at the Rottenstein Law Group believe that obtaining legal satisfaction from those who harmed you shouldn’t require more hardship. That’s why we do everything we can to streamline the process, and we will file an Abilify lawsuit on your behalf if appropriate.
If you have taken Abilify and believe it harmed you, contact RLG today.