Is Your Anxiety Drug Causing a Gambling Addiction?

Important information to share with citizens


Abilify is a powerful antipsychotic drug that is sometimes prescribed “off-label” for anxiety and insomnia. It also increases the risk of gambling addiction and uncontrollable urges to eat, shop, or have sex.

Abilify (aripiprazole) is primarily used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It balances dopamine and serotonin, two chemicals in the brain that have a big influence on emotions and behaviors.

There are also many “off-label” uses for Abilify that are not specifically approved by the FDA because they were not studied in clinical trials.

For example, Abilify is sometimes prescribed to help people with anxiety calm down. Abilify has also been investigated for the treatment of insomnia, eating disorders, ADHD, substance abuse, dementia, and more.

There is some research into the sedative effects of Abilify, but the results are inconclusive. Insomnia and anxiety can be very serious conditions, but there are equally serious safety concerns about using a powerful antipsychotic drug like Abilify — even at low doses — for mental health conditions other than schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

One safety concern is gambling addiction. Abilify activates the “reward system” in the brain during fun activities, which produces strong urges to do the activity again. These behaviors can quickly spiral out of control.

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