Risperdal, a drug commonly prescribed for bipolar mania and schizophrenia might bring with it less than the perfect response you dreamed of. The generally-known and inconvenient side effects of drowsiness and headaches are not an issue. But if you are one of the unlucky ones to experience some of the more debilitating side effects of trouble walking or standing or even uncontrolled muscle movements, you might be a candidate to join a Risperdal lawsuit.
The Origin of Risperdal
Risperdal was originally produced by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. as an antipsychotic medication prescribed to lessen the mania symptoms of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and the irritability experienced by autistic children. It works by changing the chemicals in the brain just as many other “atypical antipsychotic” drugs perform.
The drug “risperidone” was approved by the FDA in 1993 for the treatment of schizophrenia and in 2007 was approved for use in children ages 13-17 as a treatment for bipolar disorder as well as schizophrenia. This was a milestone decision because up to this point, the only drug approved for treatment in children for bipolar disorder was lithium. Finally, parents had a choice to exercise in treating these conditions for their children.
There has been reported success of treatment of obsessive compulsive disorders, tourette syndrome and some eating disorders. Along the way, more and more off-label uses were identified and tested. When Janssen’s patent expired, several other pharmaceutical companies began producing the generic versions of the drug.
It seemed to answer many needs – with few negative side effects other than minor discomfort. Doctors continued to prescribe it as a maintenance medication to treat ongoing symptoms, confident in the results. Parents experienced feelings of great relief.
That is, until they learned about the side effects.
Studies on Risperdal Tell an Unfortunate Tale
As the use of Risperdal increased, more harmful side effects rose to the surface. Many were completely unexpected and some were even irreversible. The following studies detailed some of these problems:
- “Electronic Schizophrenia Treatment Adherence Registry (e-STAR): An Observational, International Study to Evaluate Treatment Adherence in Schizophrenia with Long Acting Risperidone Microspheres” – This study was completed in 2009 and reviewed patients receiving long-acting injectable risperidone. The goal was to measure data in persons over a 24-month period of treatment with risperdal by adults to determine any negative long-term effects that would measure several factors, among them employment status and remission. There appeared to be no long-term negative side effects in this observational trial. However, the studies continue.
- “Evaluation of Growth, Sexual Maturation, and Prolactin-Related Adverse Events in the Pediatric Population Exposed to Atypical Antipsychotic Drugs” – This study is specifically to identify issues with the prescription of this drug to children. One of the basic problems is that this type of drug can bring about a condition known as “hyperprolactemia” – wherein the pituitary gland is producing too much prolactin in response. As an observational study, measurements were taken to compare changes in height, weight and other growth standards in comparison with accepted development for the child being measured. Children in the study were between the ages of 8 -16 years old.
Indications were that these children were at risk for height, age and prolactin-related adverse effects. The effects of “hyperprolactemia” include:
- hypogonadism-induced osteoporosis
- occurrences of gynecomastia in male subjects
- irregular menstruation in female subjects
- risk for sexual dysfunction
Studies are ongoing in the use of this drug while medical professionals continue to prescribe it. This doesn’t seem wise, does it?
The Dangers of Risperdal Usage for the Young and Old Are Discovered
When teenage males begin to experience gynecomastia (the development of male breasts) and hypogonadism (decreased functional activity of the gonads) it is not readily apparent that the cause is the medication used to treat their symptoms of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Although a teenage boy will notice the gynecomastia as they begin to develop soreness in their breasts, they might be completely unaware of gonad damage until it is too late to reverse.
People over the age of 65 are not suggested for use of Risperdal. Many times the symptoms presented by dementia might mimic those of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, leading to the prescription of this drug in error.
The results are in: there is a huge risk in having this ‘miracle drug’ dispensed to your children, if you intend to enjoy grandchildren. The sexual dysfunction, once discovered, might be irreversible.
What about a Risperdal Recall? Has It Occurred?
As of a June 16, 2011 news release by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Risperdal has been officially recalled. But, it has not been recalled due to the negative side effects posed to your children. Certain batches have been recalled because of an obvious musty/moldy odor. The risk of a health issue due to this tribomoanisole level in the recalled batches is small – unlike the issues your child may face in the future when they want to start a family – and are unable to do so.
Want Something to Help Your Child Deal With the Symptoms of Schizophrenia or Bipolar?
Certainly you want something to relieve your child’s symptoms. Should you use Risperdal? Of course, this is a personal decision. Risks are in everything we do. It is up to us to weigh the benefits against the risks and make an informed decision. As a Law Firm, our best recommendation is to consult your physician.
There is no doubt: the manufacturers of Risperdal owe the public a full disclosure. Whether they will do that is anyone’s guess. If you think your child has already suffered negative side effects, the time is now to file a Risperdal lawsuit.
Hire a Risperdal Lawyer ASAP
If you are considering a Risperdal lawsuit, it is because you have been harmed by their lack of forthright disclosure. Your concern is the recovery of your child. Sometimes, to make things right, we must go to court. It may be a long battle, but the health of future generations deserves the fight.
Have no fear—one of our Risperdal recall attorneys can prove of great help to you. Here is what we offer:
- Free consultation — We will review the facts of your case and advise you honestly regarding the chances of a recovery against a drug company that knowingly placed your child’s future at risk. We will ease your anxiety and make sure that you are comfortable with the plan of action we develop for you case. This will cost you nothing – and will provide you with peace of mind.
- Help you relax — It is tough when you decide that you might want to sue a pharmaceutical company. They do seem to be untouchable. As we say in Texas, “This is not our first rodeo,” we will walk you through the steps to get this done. Once we start the process of your Risperdal lawsuit, you can be assured that we will handle everything from the first filing to possible trial or out of court settlement.
- We are aggressive — Every case we take is handled with the same due diligence. We know many cases will reach a settlement prior to a court date, but we are prepared to appear in court with your case and all of the pertinent facts to be presented to the judge. This means that the judge and the Defendant will know that we mean business. After all, we understand that you were hurt when you placed your trust in the product that was meant to help and not harm your child. It’s not just about suing the Risperdal manufacturer; it is about making them accountable for their actions. You want to put them on notice that they must respect the public that keeps them in business. And it’s about receiving reprisal for wrongdoing.
Your primary concern is the health of your child — And when you hire a Risperdal lawyer from the Ogletree Abbott Law Firm, we will help you obtain the compensation necessary to pay for your child’s needed treatment.
Take the first step toward getting your life back to normal. Call us today at 713-223-1234 or nationwide at 800-779-4950 and receive help from an Ogletree Abbott Law Firm Risperdal lawyer!