Johnson & Johnson has been less than forthcoming in their actions regarding the promotion and safety of Risperdal. This has left many questions unanswered and forced patients to seek legal help to resolve their concerns.
What is Risperdal?
Risperdal is the brand-name version of risperidone, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals.
What are the approved uses of Risperdal?
The FDA has approved it for treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in adults and adolescents, as well as for autism in children and adolescents.
Can risperidone be used to treat ADHD?
This is considered an “off-label” use. Doctors may prescribe it for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, sleep difficulties, depression, Tourette syndrome, stuttering, and obsessive-compulsive disorders, but the company is not allowed to market it for those conditions.
Are there any side-effects from taking Risperdal?
Yes. Some are minor, such as itching, dry mouth and constipation. But Risperdal also carries the risk of serious side effects, including heart failure, stroke, uncontrollable movements, diabetes, gynecomastia, and neuroleptic malignant syndrome.
Is it true that Risperdal has caused boys to grow breasts?
Unfortunately, this drug increases the production of the hormone prolactin, which contributes to the development of breast tissue. When this condition occurs in boys, it is caused gynecomastia. In some cases, liposuction or mastectomies have been required. Many lawsuits are pending alleging that the manufacturer did not adequately warn that this was a side effect.
Does this drug give girls larger breasts?
One of the side effects of Risperdal is weight gain, so in that sense there may be some breast enlargement for females. Because Risperdal affects the levels of prolactin, however, it may cause the production of milk, even in girls who have not reached the age of puberty.
What other names does Risperdal go by?
Risperdal is the brand-name of the oral version of risperidone marketed by Johnson & Johnson. Generic versions are now available from 51 companies. Johnson & Johnson also has a product called Risperdal Consta, which is the injectable form of risperidone and is not available generically. The street name given to Risperdal is “Risk It All.”
I’ve been on Risperdal. What should I do?
First of all, don’t just stop taking it. Discontinuation or reduction of dosage must be done under the care of a physician. Even though Risperdal is not addicting, the brain may need some time to adjust to stopping it. Withdrawal symptoms can include insomnia, hallucinations, and irritability.
If you feel that you have suffered side effects that were not adequately disclosed by the manufacturer, you may have grounds for a lawsuit and can get more information by contacting our office.