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Abilify: A drug that destroys personal finances

Is there a compulsive gambler in your family? Is he or she taking Abilify for anxiety or depression.  It causes uncontrollable urges to gamble that can bankrupt families.

Abilify is an anti-psychotic medication for patients with severe mental illness – schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder – not those with mild anxiety and depression. But demand for the drug skyrocketed in recent years for those patients, claiming more and more victims.

Television ads hyped off-label demand for the drug

In 2015, Abilify was the most popular anti-depressant on the market. Its manufacturer saturated airways with appealing TV commercials that downplayed its side effects.  While the narrator listed serious disorders it also caused, viewers saw happy actors that were unaffected.

Off label use of Abilify for minor depression and anxiety had mushroomed by 2015, even though there was little evidence it worked well in those cases as The New York Times reported three years earlier. Still, sales of Abilify hit $2 billion in 2015.

Abilify affects the brain, causing uncontrollable behavior

Abilify changes the way chemicals in the brain control behavior, reformulating them so they cause irresistible urges. “Pathological gambling” is the most common “impulse control problem” that Abilify causes, according to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 2016 drug safety warning.

A young woman in Colorado is a prime example of this drug induced mania, according to  a December 2016 article about compulsive gambling.   She padded her side of the bed so no one would know she was driving to all night casinos in the area.  She lied about needing baby formula, spent unemployment checks and sold her mechanic husband’s automotive tools – all to get money to gamble.

Lawsuits are being filed around the country targeting Abilify

The lawsuits charge Abilify’s manufacturer with failing to warn Americans that it could cause uncontrollable gambling and other obsessive, compulsive behaviors. The companies had warned Canada and countries in Europe.  In 2011, the European equivalent of the FDA issued a warning about Abilify’s dangerous side effects.  Canada followed two years later.

When companies fraudulently market drugs, Wayne Wright can help

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