Patients Given Aripiprazole (Abilify) ‘Should Be Told of Gambling Addiction Risks’

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From The Guardian: “Patients who are prescribed a common antipsychotic used to ‘treat’ depression, bipolar disorder, psychosis and schizophrenia need to be told there is a risk they could develop a gambling addiction, an expert has warned.

The National Problem Gambling Clinic has observed growing numbers of patients who have developed a gambling addiction after starting to take aripiprazole. Some patients have lost huge sums of money as a result and seen their relationships fall apart.

Prof Henrietta Bowden-Jones, a leading psychiatrist who runs the clinic, said more awareness needed to be raised, as patients were not being warned by many GPs prescribing the drug, and mental health teams were failing to monitor whether people were developing addictions.

‘This is not just any side-effect – it can come with a risk of losing your own home. What we constantly see is that not enough people know about this. I gave a recent lecture to all the psychiatrists in my trust and a very large proportion had never heard about it,’ she said. ‘We constantly hear about mental health teams not being aware. More needs to be done to prevent people from being put on aripirazole without being warned and monitored.'”

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