Brexpiprazole, developed by Otsuka Pharmaceuticals and marketed as Rexulti, is a “serotonin–dopamine activity modulator” (SDAM) used to treat schizophrenia and as an adjunct for major depressive disorder (MDD).
This drug has also been linked to serious changes in behavior, which can cause patients to develop uncontrollable urges to eat, shop, gamble or engage in dangerous sexual acts.
Unfortunately these compulsive gambling behaviors may be hard for a patient to identify until they have permanently, and negatively, impacted the lives of themselves and those around them.
Lawyers have begun to investigate the filing of lawsuits against Otsuka Pharmaceuticals for Rexulti side effects.
What Does Rexulti Treat?
Rexulti (brexpiprazole) is used in the treatment of the following conditions:
- Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
In addition to these “on label” uses, Rexulti is often prescribed “off label” to treat:
- attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder/attention deficit disorder (ADHD),
- behavioral disturbances of dementia and severe geriatric agitation,
- eating disorders,
- obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD),
- personality disorder,
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),
- substance use and dependence disorders,
- Tourette’s syndrome
Rexulti Side Effects
Like all antipsychotics, Rexulti comes with a long list of potential side effects. These range from common symptoms like mild agitation to adverse reactions like seizures and suicidal thoughts and behaviors in adolescents and young adults (for which the drug received a Black Box Warning from The FDA).
If you or a loved on has experienced any of the following symptoms while taking Rexulti, contact your healthcare provider immediately:
Common Rexulti Side Effects
- Weight gain
- Changes in nose mucus production
- Increased appetite
Severe Rexulti Side Effects
- Increased Mortality in Elderly Patients with Dementia-Related Psychosis
- Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors in Adolescents and Young Adults
- Cerebrovascular Adverse Reactions Including Stroke in Elderly Patients with
- Dementia-Related Psychosis
- Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS)
- Tardive Dyskinesia
- Metabolic Changes
- Leukopenia, Neutropenia, and Agranulocytosis
- Orthostatic Hypotension and Syncope
- Body Temperature Dysregulation
- Cognitive and Motor Impairment
Rexulti FDA Black Box Warnings
The FDA has issued its most severe type of warning for Rexulti two times, for two separate conditions caused by the drug. Known as a “Black Box Warning”, these cautions are reserved for drugs that have been linked to hazardous side effects or conditions.
Rexulti Black Box Warnings include:
Dementia-Related Psychosis: “not approved for dementia-related psychosis; incr. mortality risk in elderly dementia pts on conventional or atypical antipsychotics; most deaths due to cardiovascular or infectious events; extent to which incr. mortality attributed to antipsychotic vs. some pt characteristic(s) not clear.”
Suicidality: “incr. suicidality risk in children, adolescents, and young adults w/ major depressive or other psychiatric disorders; weigh risk vs. benefit; in short-term studies of antidepressants vs. placebo, suicidality risk not incr. in pts >24 yo, and risk decr. in pts 65 yo and older; depression and certain other psychiatric disorders themselves assoc. w/ incr. suicide risk; observe all pts for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual behavior changes; advise families and caregivers of need for close observation and communication w/ prescriber; not approved for depression in peds pts”
Rexulti Compulsive Gambling
In addition to Rexulti’s listed side effects and its two Black Box Warnings, the drug has also been shown to cause another disturbing condition which affects patients ability to control and regulate urges. This can result in compulsive eating, shopping, sexual behavior and gambling. Patients who have been affected by these conditions often have no idea that it is linked to their medication. The next section lists how a Rexulti patient may identify if he/she has a problem with gambling.
How Do I Know If I Have A Gambling Problem?
Compulsive gambling can be caused by many factors including Rexulti use. If you identify with any of the following warning signs, contact your doctor immediately:
- Lying: Sufferers often hide their problem from loved ones.
“Chasing” losses: This is when a sufferer claims they will quit after the big win.
- Borrowing money: Taking from family, friends, coworkers, or even strangers.
- Larger bets: This is likened to “upping the dose” like alcoholics or addicts.
- Obsessive thoughts: Sufferer cannot stop thinking about gambling.
- Inability to stop: Sufferer cannot stop even if they want to.
- Need to gamble: Sufferer doesn’t feel right without gambling.
- Gambling to forget: The need to be “in the zone” to forget past actions.
- Stealing or fraud to gamble: Illegal activity to continue gambling.
- Only thing in the world: Sufferers often risk relationships with families, friendships, studies, jobs in order to continue gambling.
These same ten traits can be used to identify any of the other compulsive conditions associated with Rexulti. One must simply substitute the word “gamble” with “shop”, “sex” or “eat”.
Rexulti In Review
Rexulti is a powerful drug used to treat schizophrenia and major depressive disorder. It was approved by The FDA in 2015, and is a close relative to Abilify (aripiprazole). Both drugs are manufactured by multi-billion dollar Japanese corporation, Otsuka Pharmaceuticals.
The drug, which carries two warnings from The FDA, has also been linked to compulsive behavior which has the potential to destroy the well-being of patients and their families.
Compulsive gambling, sex, shopping and eating have all been reported with the drug. For this reason many sufferers have begun to contact law firms like ours to discuss the potential of filing lawsuitscagainst against Otsuka Pharmaceuticals. At the time of publication of this article, both Rexulti (brexpiprazole) and Abilify (aripiprazole) are still being prescribed to patients while Otsuka posts record breaking profits.