The other two conditions mentioned are more likely to have had other causes:
- No clinical studies have found that hallucinations were reported as a side effect of Abilify. This doesn't mean it's impossible, but the probable explanation is that these were part of the bipolar illness. Knowing how soon Susan began experiencing hallucinations after starting the new medication might shed some light on this.
- Susan said that Abilify "gave [her] gastroparesis." We do not know how this conclusion was made, but it is highly unlikely. "Gastroparesis, also called delayed gastric emptying, is a disorder in which the stomach takes too long to empty its contents. ... Gastroparesis happens when nerves to the stomach are damaged or stop working." (See About Heartburn - Gastroparesis by Sharon Gillson.) While patients treated with atypical antipsychotics may be at an increased risk for developing diabetes, and diabetes is a prime cause of gastroparesis, it takes years of high blood sugar to cause enough damage to result in this illness. Furthermore, Susan made no mention of diabetes.
- Be a responsible patient - educate yourself about your meds.
- Know what your doctor should do so you will know when it's not being done.
- If your prescribing doctor is not responding appropriately regarding side effects, take action to protect your health.