A woman taking a common anti-psychotic drug says its side effects cost her Rs 10,000 in two months.
Abbie Hoxley, from Warwickshire, claims she became addicted to shopping after being given Aripiprazole.
Mental health medication treats conditions including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but can lead some people to compulsive behavior.
Health agencies say impulse control disorders are a very rare but well-recognized side effect of the drug.
Shortly after being contacted by the BBC, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) New guidance issued warning about aripiprazole and risks of pathological gambling and other impulse control disorders.
Ms Hawksley, who has post-traumatic stress disorder, said she decided to speak out because she wanted to raise awareness of the unusual reaction.
She has struggled with mental health problems for more than three decades.
The company director started a PR firm during the pandemic and said she’s had a particularly tough time this summer.
His mother died of Covid in 2020 and he is experiencing work-related stress.
The 51-year-old woman from Rugby was given aripiprazole in September and said she immediately experienced an uncomfortable reaction, including a loss of sensation in her limbs and muscles.
She later found that she became a compulsive shopper and spent thousands on clothes, furniture and supermarket goods.
“Usually, when my food is delivered, I take two buses or walk to the supermarket,” she said.
Alison Cave, chief safety officer of the MHRA, said aripiprazole is an important medicine, but she advised patients to tell their doctor about unusual urges they cannot resist.
These include behaviors such as gambling addiction, excessive eating or spending, or an unusually high sex drive, Ms Cave said.
“The number of reports of suspected gambling and other impulsive behaviors associated with aripiprazole is low compared to the frequency with which it is prescribed,” he said.
“But the consequences could be significant for any patient who develops these conditions.”
Professor Henrietta Bowden-Jones, director of the National Problem Gambling Clinic, said: “Physicians prescribing aripiprazole must commit to consistently alerting patients about these potential risks.”
The Royal College of Psychiatrists said it was aware of the renewed advice given to professionals and a spokesperson urged people to talk to their doctor before suddenly stopping medication.
From 30 June 2009 to 28 August 2023, the MHRA received 69 reports citing aripiprazole, which is prescribed more than one million times a year, as a suspect drug for the side effects of gambling or gambling disorder. Is. Thirty-two of these reports were received in 2023.
Ms Hawksley said that at the peak of her compulsive behaviour, she had spent more than £600 a day in supermarkets.
He showed the BBC receipts that he had kept in case he suspected shoplifting.
The total of Rs 10,000 includes expenses of Rs 5,000 when she was on Aripiprazole and Rs 5,000 when she was battling drug shopping addiction in October.
Ms Hawksley said: A friend said that when they bumped into me in the supermarket I picked up things almost robotically.
“It’s really hard to see that I had no control and I just wandered from shop to shop.”
Ms Hawksley, an ex-community mental health worker, was able to afford the purchase, but said she feared for young people and those who do not have the financial resources to deal with compulsions.
The expenditure has drained her savings and she said it has forced her to postpone plans to move house.
But he stressed that his family supported him throughout.
“I’m not embarrassed but it’s hard to understand how you could feel that way,” Ms Hawksley said.
They welcomed the new advice given to medical professionals and urged patients to report side effects MHRA Yellow Card Scheme, Which collects and monitors information on suspected safety concerns associated with health care products.
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