Mississippi Children on Abilify Have Triple the Risk of Diabetes


If you are the Mississippi parent of a child with psychiatric or behavioral issues, you already likely have a lot concerns on your plate. However, concerns about the increased risk of diabetes in connection with the atypical antipsychotic Abilify are worth investigating. Abilify was designed and approved by the FDA only for use in adults with schizophrenia, certain aspects of bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder. It is believed to improve the function of dopamine receptors in the brain.

Over the past decade, however, drug giant Bristol-Myers Squibb has promoted off-label uses for the antipsychotic drug Abilify. Among other things, this has resulted in increased antipsychotic use for children by 65%.

Many parents have put their children on the antipsychotic Abilify not for psychosis, but for off-label uses like mild depression and behavioral issues. However, for those that don’t actually need an antipsychotic, there can be severe and harmful impacts of using this drug. New studies show that those 19 and under face a sharply increased risk of Type 2 diabetes as a result of these drugs. Atypical antipsychotics like Abilify cause the body to metabolize fat instead of carbohydrates. This results in insulin resistance to the excess carbohydrates. They also promote fat accumulation.

A Vanderbilt study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that children who are prescribed Abilify (and other antipsychotic drugs like Risperdal or Seroquel) have three times the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The researchers studied more than 43,000 children taking antipsychotics and found that, in just one year of use, children taking Abilify could suffer significant weight gain and an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes.

The early onset of diabetes can turn into other complications as children age, including nerve damage, kidney failure, hearing and vision loss, hypertension and more. In addition to selling a harmful product without warning about its risks, Bristol-Myers Squibb may have also put children at risk by wrongfully marketing Abilify’s off-label uses to child psychiatrists and other pediatric specialists in order to increase its profits. It has made $2.8 billion from sales of Abilify alone. Why should a drug giant profit from increased drug sales that have caused countless numbers of children serious harms?

In 2007, Bristol-Myers Squibb settled an Abilify lawsuit for $515 million. It was discovered that the company paid doctors consulting fees and vacations in order to encourage them to prescribe Abilify.

Type 2 diabetes can give rise to the following symptoms in children: blurred vision, slow healing cuts frequent urination, numbness, unusual thirst, weight loss, and frequent infections. If your child has taken Abilify and experiences these symptoms, you should take him or her to a doctor as soon as possible.

In Mississippi, parents may bring a product liability suit on behalf of their child against a manufacturer for failure to warn about a product that has caused tangible harms to their child. If you recover in such a lawsuit, your child’s past, present and future medical expenses, pain and suffering and other losses may be recovered. The knowledgeable Mississippi product liability attorneys of Coxwell & Associates may be able to help if your child has been hurt by Abilify. We are in the early stage of investigating these claims.

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Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.

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