A drug commonly used to treat mental illness has a frightening side effect, the Food and Drug Administration announced recently. The agency says the drug, Abilify ( aka aripiprazole ) can cause compulsive behavior, including overeating, gambling and an uncontrollable desire for sex, TIME reports.
Abilify is an antipsychotic used as a mood stabilizer and reduces hallucinations. Doctors prescribe it to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, Tourrette's syndrome and autism.
The FDA was already aware that aripiprazole can cause compulsive gambling, in a new statement the agency warned that it appears to cause other extreme behaviors in some people. Specifically, some people taking the drug suddenly increase their sex, binge eating and shopping habits. These compulsions stopped after the affected patients went off aripiprazole, convincing the FDA of a connection.
Prescription medications often carry side effects, but it appears this drug has a possible side effect that actively puts users' finances and health at risk.
Finding an effective treatment for a mental illness can be difficult, but it's never acceptable for the complication of the cure to be potentially more severe than the underlying disease or illness itself. Taking a drug that produces compulsive behavior, alters personality and causes patients to engage in risky behavior is not reasonable
Patients trust that the medications their doctors prescribe and the drugs they buy over the counter are safe. They must rely on drug companies and government regulators to ensure product safety and effectiveness, because the average consumer has no way to know otherwise -- until they are sickened by a defective drug.
If this happens to you, your personal injury attorney can help hold the responsible parties financially liable. The Walkup law firm is actively involved in the evaluation and prosecution of Abilify lawsuits.