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The Perils of Risperdal Use

Have you, or someone you love, suffered due to the adverse effects of Risperdal? You might have had a condition that was the direct result of using the drug and never made a connection. Thousands of people have had adverse reactions to the drug that range from serous to severe to life threatening and have filed lawsuits against the maker nationwide. You may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering too.

What is Risperdal?

Risperdal (risperidone) is an anti-psychotic drug developed and marketed by Johnson and Johnson. It was approved by the FDA for treatment of schizophrenia in adults in 1993. In 2006 it was approved for treatment of autistic disorder irritability in children and adolescents ages 5 though 16. It was subsequently approved in 2007 for treatment of bipolar disorder in children and adolescents age 10 -17 and schizophrenia in adolescents ages 13-17. These are the only indications that have been approved by the FDA for Risperdal use. Doctors have widely prescribed the drug for many off label conditions that are not under the umbrella of the FDA approval. Some of these are ADHD, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD,) eating disorders, Tourette syndrome and even anxiety, depression and child behavioral issues. While off label prescribing is not illegal, many doctors are ignoring the possibility of Risperdal’s adverse reactions and side effects that are well known.

Some Risperdal Adverse Side Effects

The adverse effects of Risperdal in some patients have been shown in reports are many. They include rapid weight gain, diabetes, pituitary tumors, osteoporosis, galactorreah (lactation), involuntary movements such as twitches and ticks and even impotence. Out of all of the Risperdal adverse reactions, Gynecomastia, or breast development in male children and adolescents, has received the most publicity and notoriety. Gynecomastia causes breasts to enlarge in some males, or creates puffy nipples in others. This reaction is from excessive elevations of the hormone prolactin which is utilized by the female body for lactic production. The only procedure for treating male breast development is mastectomy which is mostly considered as a treatment for breast cancer in women. It is a radical surgical procedure which is physically and mentally distressing to the patient. It is particularly trying for an adolescent male to first develop female attributes and then have to undergo traumatic corrective surgery to remove them.

Risperdal Lawsuits

Johnson and Johnson has settled litigation in 36 state last year totaling $181 million. In comparison to the jury awards that are currently being appealed, that settlement appears to be miniscule. Johnson and Johnson, and its subsidiary Jansen Pharmaceuticals, is currently appealing a 1.2 billion jury award in Arkansas, a $327 million judgment handed down by a judge in the State of South Carolina and a $258 million penalty in Louisiana. It has also been reported that J&J is close to settling with the Federal Government for $2 billion, but that has not been publicly announced to date. The basis for the South Carolina judgment is that J&J concealed health issues and exaggerated the benefits when marketing the drug to physicians. The judge in the case assessed a $300.00 penalty for every delivered sample box and $4000 penalty for each letter to physicians promoting the drug. Other huge judgments were dealt to the mega drug company in Texas and Pennsylvania that are also being appealed.

What You Should Do

If you or a loved one has been taking Risperdal, even if you have had no apparent adverse reaction, you should contact your physician immediately. The doctor may wish to perform tests for prolactin levels and bone density. If you have a male child who has developed breast or you or a loved one has had a Risperdal adverse reaction contact a law firm with defective drug litigation as one of their main areas of practice. An experienced, bad drug, lawyer will have the skill and resources to confront giants like Johnson and Johnson with no intimidation. Call an experienced team of attorneys today for a free consultation to determine the best course of action to attain the settlement that you deserve. Your attorney will handle your case on a contingency basis, never collecting a fee until a settlement is reached. (833) 606-DRUG [3784].