Risperdal and Risperdal Consta, (Generic Named Risperidone) are prescription medications that are categorized as anti-psychotics. Risperdal is available in pill form, while Risperdal Consta is an injectable medication for patients who need longer term effects from the medication. Risperdal was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1993 for the treatment of schizophrenia in adults. Risperdal was later approved for treatment of Bipolar ! disorder in children and adults, Irritable dementia in the elderly, and autism spectrum disorders in children and adolescents. Risperdal has also been marketed as an off-label treatment option for people with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).
Since its release, Risperdal has been associated with many serious side effects, including breast growth in boys and men, movement disorders, diabetes, and increased cardio-vascular risks. In 2006, the FDA required the makers of Risperdal to place a black box warning on the medication because of its association with serious side effects.
At this time, there are over 420 lawsuits that have been filed against the manufacturers of Risperdal for the serious side effects that the patients suffered. In addition, there have also been several serious criminal investigations and settlements regarding this medication conducted by various government entities.
Parties Involved In The Lawsuit
Risperdal and Risperdal Consta were developed and manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Janssen is a subsidiary of the Johnson and Johnson Company. Risperidone, the generic version of this anti-psychotic medication is manufacture by Patriot Pharmaceuticals, another subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson.
Most lawsuits that involve breast growth (Gynecomastia) name Risperdal or Risperdal Consta as the main medications that caused harm. However, several new lawsuits have recently emerged that have also named the medication Invega, another anti-psychotic medication produced by Janssen Pharmaceuticals.
Side Effects Associated With Risperdal
Risperdal works by altering serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain. These crucial hormones also play a significant part in other bodily functions. Because these hormones are being altered, serious side effects have been associated with the use of this medication. These serious side effects include:
- Gynecomastia – Abnormal breast growth in boys and young men. Some of these boys have also experienced lactation.
- Early Onset Puberty – Girls that have taken this medication are entering into puberty at a very young age and begin to lactate.
- Tardive Dyskinesia – Involuntary movements of the tongue, lips, face, torso, or arms. This condition can be treated but cannot be cured.
- Type II Diabetes – The onset of Type II Diabetes has been shown in elderly patients who use this medication. A study conducted in 1999 shows that patients using Risperdal for more than one year are likely to develop Type II Diabetes
- Cardio Vascular Events – Many elderly people have suffered stroke and stroke like events that were taking this medication.
- Death – Several people have died from the side effects associate with Risperdal.
- Floppy Iris Syndrome – New research has been released in Canada showing that people undergoing cataract surgery who have taken Risperdal are at greater risk for Floppy Iris Syndrome. This can potentially lead to blindness.