History of Risperdal
Risperdal (risperidone) is a powerful atypical antipsychotic medication manufactured by Johnson & Johnson and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1993. Since it first came to market in the United States, Risperdal has become one of the most popular antipsychotic medications available. However, there have been growing concerns lately that Risperdal and other powerful antipsychotic medications are being overprescribed, and studies have shown that more than 3.5 million children diagnosed with ADHD take Risperdal and similar medications, despite increasing reports of serious side effects potentially associated with the drugs.
In 2013, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $2.2 billion to the federal government to resolve allegations that the drug maker illegally marketed Risperdal off-label for the treatment of dementia in the elderly and behavior disorders in children. Risperdal currently carries a black box warning, which is the strongest warning the FDA can require on a drug’s label, highlighting the increased risk of death associated with Risperdal treatment in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis. Despite calls for more stringent warnings regarding the alleged risk of gynecomastia among boys and young men taking Risperdal, the FDA has yet to issue an official Risperdal breast growth warning.
Alleged Side Effects of Risperdal
- Gynecomastia (breast growth in boys and young men)
- Heart attack
- Movement disorders
- Tardive dyskinesia
What is Risperdal?
Originally indicated as a treatment for schizophrenia, Risperdal has since been approved to treat bipolar disorder and other psychiatric disorders and autism spectrum disorders, and in some cases, is prescribed “off-label” as a treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, sleep difficulties and anxiety. Risperdal is considered an “atypical” antipsychotic because it targets serotonin in addition to dopamine, which is why such antipsychotic medications are believed to be more effective than older drugs at reducing symptoms.
The very thing that makes Risperdal so effective is what may be causing side effects. Risperdal works by altering the levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain, and experts believe that the medication may cause serious complications brought on by abnormal levels of hormones in the body.
Why Risperdal Lawsuits Are Being Filed
Past lawsuits claim Johnson & Johnson:
- Manufactured and distributed a dangerous antipsychotic drug.
- Failed to provide adequate warnings about the potential for Risperdal to cause male breast growth.
- Illegally marketed Risperdal for unapproved uses.
- Payed doctors to prescribe Risperdal off-label.
- Concealed the potential side effects of Risperdal treatment.
- Overstated the benefits of Risperdal and downplaying its risks.
Risperdal Lawsuit Information
Johnson & Johnson has already paid millions to the federal government for illegally marketing Risperdal, and now the drug manufacturing company faces thousands of lawsuits filed by former Risperdal users who believe they have been adversely affected by side effects of the antipsychotic drug. The first Risperdal claim to be settled by J&J was brought in September 2012 by Aaron Banks, a 21-year-old who allegedly suffered gynecomastia side effects after taking Risperdal as a boy between 2000 and 2004. Banks’ Risperdal settlement raised the hopes of thousands of boys and young men across the country who took the antipsychotic Risperdal and subsequently experienced the abnormal growth of breast tissue.
Families across the country are filing legal claims against Johnson & Johnson, alleging that the drug company’s Risperdal antipsychotic medication caused their children to suffer male breast growth and other serious side effects. If you or a loved one took Risperdal in the past, and you have since suffered side effects like gynecomastia, diabetes, heart attack or stroke, contact a knowledgeable product liability lawyer to discuss the possibility of filing a Risperdal claim against Johnson & Johnson.
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