Oftentimes known by its full name, risperidone, Risperdal is an antipsychotic medication that can be used for treatment in cases of adult schizophrenia, bipolar I disorder, and autism spectrum disorders in children. However, the company has been accused of marketing the medication for off-label purposes and not revealing all of the serious side effects to its users. If you or someone that you know has been adversely affected by Risperdal, our company is here to help.
History and Uses
Risperdal was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1993 for treatment of schizophrenia, and its use for other mental disorders was expanded in later years. Manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, the drug made a profit of $4.5 billion in 2007 and still makes the company around $350 million after losing the patent.
The medication is considered a second-generation antipsychotic drug and works by having the liver break down the drug into its active ingredients. The Risperdal then travels to the brain where it blocks the creation of the hormones serotonin and dopamine that in turn reduces the symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder. Risperdal can be used on its own as a treatment or in conjunction with other medications like lithium or an antidepressant.
Medical professionals are known to also use Risperdal for off-label purposes, such as the treatment of ADHD. While technically not illegal, there has been no clinical studies done regarding the effects that the medication can have on a person that is not suffering from a labeled use.
Serious Side Effects
Because Risperdal affects the levels of hormones in the body, it can cause some serious side effects in its users. One of the most obvious and serious side effects of the drug is gynecomastia in boys. This refers to the enlargement of breast tissue, to the point where the breasts require surgery to remove. It is most common in adolescent boys taking the medication.
In addition, people taking Risperdal have reported an increase in movement disorders such as extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS) and tardive dyskinesia. They result in painful and involuntary muscle movements as well as uncontrollable sounds. Risperdal is also associated with an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes in addition to sudden cardiac arrest and death.
Risperdal Lawsuits and Recalls
Hundreds of Risperdal users have filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson for the humiliation and psychological trauma that is associated with the serious side effects of this medication. The first case was settled in 2012, and many similar cases where a young male consumer grew breasts have been settled since then.
In addition, two separate lots of Risperdal were recalled in 2011 because they were contaminated with the chemical used to treat shipment pallets, and another shipment was recalled in 2013 because of mold concerns. Johnson & Johnson is also facing billions of dollars in fines and settlements with both state and federal governments over the off-label marketing of Risperdal for unapproved uses in children.
Our Office is here to Help
The adverse side effects of Risperdal can be humiliating and end up causing more harm than good in its users. Call or contact us today for a free and private review of your claims against Risperdal. We will match you with an attorney that can get you the compensation that you deserve.