The antipsychotic drug Risperdal has been sold in the U.S. since 1993 and is marketed as a treatment for both children and adults. But over 400 Risperdal lawsuits have been filed against the maker of the drug, mainly claiming that it causes gynecomastia – the development of breasts in males – and diabetes.
The product liability lawyers at Edelman, Krasin & Jaye, PLLC have been successfully representing injury victims for over half a century. We have helped victims across the country receive compensation for their injuries caused by dangerous drugs, accidents, and medical malpractice.
Risperdal is the brand name of the drug risperdone, a second-generation atypical antipsychotic drug prescribed to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, as well as some of the behavioral symptoms seen in autistic children. It is manufactured and sold in a liquid and tablet form, and is also available by injection, by Ortho Janssen, a division of Johnson & Johnson.
Risperdal was initially approved by the FDA to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. In 2006, it was approved to treat irritability in autistic children. But, according to a 2005 black box warning by the FDA, the drug is not to be used in conditions related to dementia – doing so may cause heart failure, pneumonia, or sudden death.
Despite its mass marketing, Risperdal is not for everyone. Risperdal should not be taken by anyone with signs of dementia.
Other conditions that may be a problem for people taking Risperdal include:
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
- History of heart attack or stroke
- History of low white blood cell counts
- History of breast cancer
- Seizures or epilepsy
- Parkinson’s disease
- Trouble swallowing
Known side effects of Risperdal
Despite its popularity, taking Risperdal does not come without risks. The manufacturer and the FDA have warned of many side effects of Risperdal, including:
- Sensitivity to heat and cold – it is extremely important to avoid becoming dangerously overheated or dehydrated while taking Risperdal
- Impaired thinking – driving and operating machinery may be dangerous because Risperdal can slow reaction times
- Dizziness – Changing positions quickly may lead to a fall
- High blood sugar – Risperdal may cause hyperglycemia so users should talk to a doctor if they show signs such as increased hunger, thirst, or urination
Allegations leveled in Risperdal lawsuits
The side effects listed in the warning on the Risperdal packaging are not the only injuries that can result from the drug. Studies and hundreds of lawsuits allege other, more serious, dangers:
- Gynecomastia – growth of breasts in boys and men, which can lead to psychological trauma and embarrassment and may require surgery for removal
- Tardive dyskinesia – a group of incurable movement disorders that causes actions like spasms and twitches in the face
- Tardive akathisia – a chronic state of unrest or inner turmoil leading to constant moving and fidgeting
- Sexual dysfunction – including decreased libido and performance
- Neuroleptic malignant syndrome – a neurological disorder that can cause rigid muscles, autonomic instability, blood pressure changes, paranoia, and delirium
- Cardiovascular problems – including high blood pressure, heart palpitations, and heart attack; some instances have resulted in death
- Stroke – more common in elderly patients with dementia, some cases have resulted in death
In early 2014, a jury in Chicago awarded $1.5 million to a child who was prescribed Risperdal, and later Zyprexa, for his autism. The boy developed tardive dyskinesia which was so severe that it caused an internal agitation that led him to move constantly. The psychiatric expert in that case explained to the jury that there are a number of warnings on the Risperdal label but some doctors pay very little attention to them.
In late 2013, Janssen agreed to enter a guilty plea on a misdemeanor criminal charge related to marketing Risperdal for uses that the FDA had not approved. The unapproved uses included treating elderly patients with dementia. At the same time, it settled a civil claim accusing it of marketing the drug without approval for use by the elderly, children, and the mentally disabled. The civil case also included claims that Janssen paid kickbacks to physicians. As part of the deal, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay more than $2.2 billion in penalties.
Who can file a Risperdal lawsuit
Risperdal lawyers across the country are filing lawsuits on behalf of people who developed gynecomastia or other side effects of Risperdal. People who took Risperdal and suffered injuries as a result, or those whose close family members were injured or killed because of the drug, may be entitled to compensation.
Recovery for Risperdal injuries may include:
- Medical expenses to treat side effects
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Surgery to correct male breast growth
Edelman, Krasin & Jaye lawyers bring decades of winning experience along with passion for protecting their clients’ rights. Our attorneys are always there for the client, helping victims through the litigation process.
Our legal team advocates for victims of dangerous drugs, and promises to:
- Lend an ear – they will listen to your story and help you decide whether filing a lawsuit is right for you
- Work with the best – by teaming up with medical experts, they can put your best case before the judge and jury
- Use negotiation skills that only a personal injury attorney with years of wins can develop
- Present a compelling case to a jury – in the event the case does not settle before trial, the Risperdal lawyers at EKJ are prepared to go up against the drug company’s lawyers and present a strong case
What EKJ can do to help
Winning a Risperdal claim or other personal injury lawsuit arising from dangerous drugs takes a few things – an understanding of the medical issues, savvy litigation strategy, and people skills.
Edelman, Krasin & Jaye injury attorneys have all of these and have been using them to help clients receive compensation for more than 60 years. If you or a loved one have suffered a Risperdal injury, call today for a free consultation.
- Drugs.com, Risperdal, http://www.drugs.com/risperdal.html
- Huffington Post, $1.5 Million Award in Autistic Child Tardive Dyskinesia Legal Case, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-peter-breggin/15-million-award-in-child_b_4861391.html
- Bloomberg, J&J Will Pay More Than $2.2 Billion to Settle U.S. Cases, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-04/j-j-settlement-over-risperdal-said-to-be-announced-today.html
- U.S. Food & Drug Administration, Risperdal (resperidone) tablets, oral solution, Risperdal M-Tab (risperidone) orally disintegrating tablets, and Risperdal Consta (risperidone) long-acting inection,http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/ucm262813.htm