Unfortunately, Risperdal causes side effects, many of them quite serious, which have led to hundreds of lawsuits across the country.
Risperdal (risperidone) is an anti-psychotic drug which was approved for use in the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in adults and adolescents, as well as for autism in children and adolescents. Doctors have also prescribed it “off label” for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, sleep difficulties, depression, Tourette syndrome, stuttering, and obsessive-compulsive disorders.
Among the known severe side effects are:
Heart failure, sudden death or strokes
Risperidone is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for older adults who have behavior problems associated with dementia (a brain disorder that affects the ability to remember, think clearly, communicate, and perform daily activities and that may cause changes in mood and personality). Risperidone use in these patients may cause heart failure, sudden death, strokes or mini-strokes. Because of this, Risperdal carries a black-box warning about the risk of death in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis. A black box warning is the most urgent warning by the FDA that a medication can carry and still remain on the market in the United States.
Abnormal Breast Development
GYNECOMASTIA, the development of breasts in young male patients who took Risperdal has been the focus of hundreds of lawsuits. A 2006 study conducted by Duke University researchers found that the risk of male breast growth was stronger for Risperdal than for other atypical antipsychotics. The same study also found that some girls taking Risperdal begin to lactate before they reach puberty. Gynecomastia causes pain, nipple discharge, and psychological trauma. In some cases, boys developed breasts as large as “D” cups. Treatment of abnormal breast development ranges from liposuction for more mild cases to a full mastectomy and surgical removal of excess skin.
Studies have shown that patients who have schizophrenia have an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes. The use of atypical antipsychotics such as Risperdal further heightens the risk of elevated blood sugar levels, significant weight gain, and, in rare cases, extreme ketoacidosis (shortage of insulin) resulting in coma or death. Signs of hyperglycemia are increased thirst or urination, excessive hunger, or weakness. Patients taking Risperdal should check their blood sugar levels on a regular basis to detect the onset of diabetes.
One of the most dangerous side effects of Risperdal is an increased risk of movement disorders such as tardive dyskinesia (involuntary, repetitive movements). Most antipsychotic drugs carry an increased risk of movement disorders, but atypical antipsychotics – and Risperdal, in particular – are found to have an even greater incidence of such side effects. In fact, tardive dyskinesia may not go away after the medicine is discontinued. It can become severe and disabling, and there are no effective treatments. Signs of tardive dyskinesia include uncontrolled movements of the mouth, tongue, cheeks, or jaw; impaired swallowing; grimacing; and abnormal movements of the arms and legs.
Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS)
Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) is a possible consequence of taking Risperdal. It may cause severe muscle stiffness, fever, severe tiredness or weakness, rapid heartbeat, difficult breathing, abnormal blood pressure, heavy sweating, loss of bladder control, seizures and a change in mental state, ranging from confusion to coma.
Pogust Millrood, Your Advocate
If you or someone you love has suffered severe side effects from taking Risperdal, Pogust Millrood can help. You may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering, medical expenses, and other damages.
Questions? Worried about what this might mean for you or your family? Let us help by providing more information – free. Simply contact us online or call:1-888-348-6787.