This Common Prescription Drug Could Make People Gamble, Binge Eat, and Have Sex

May 6th 2016

Danielle DeCourcey

A new announcement from the FDA reveals that a common antipsychotic drug could make some people's lives feel like a scene from "The Hangover."

According to the FDA, the antipsychotic drug aripiprazole — which is contained in some very popular brand-name prescription drugs — could lead to incredibly poor impulse control.

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Abilify, Abilify Maintena, Aristada and some generics all contain aripiprazole.

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The FDA says the impulse-control problems are rare, but can be serious.

Those impulses could include the type of uncontrollable urges that could harm both the person suffering from the side effects and the people near them.

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning that compulsive or uncontrollable urges to gamble, binge eat, shop, and have sex have been reported with the use of the antipsychotic drug aripiprazole (Abilify, Abilify Maintena, Aristada, and generics). These uncontrollable urges were reported to have stopped when the medicine was discontinued or the dose was reduced. These impulse-control problems are rare, but they may result in harm to the patient and others if not recognized."

The effects go away after patients stop taking or reduce the dosage of a prescription with aripiprazole, but The FDA warns that patients should talk to their doctor before they stop using the drug.

ATTN: received this statement from Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc., the makers of Abilify.

"Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. agrees with and supports the U.S. FDA’s decision to include a warning for a rare risk of impulse-control problems in the label for aripiprazole, such as pathological gambling, compulsive eating, shopping, and sexual behaviors. Pathological gambling was already part of the US Package Insert as a Post-Marketing Adverse Reaction. The decision to treat with aripiprazole should be made after a thorough diagnostic evaluation and a discussion between a patient and their physician of both the benefits and risks of treatment with aripiprazole."

ATTN: also reached out to the makers of Aristada. We will update the story when we receive a comment.

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