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Risperdal is a drug that is often prescribed to young people, but with the growing amount of products liability lawsuits, many parents are wondering if Risperdal is safe for their children.
Risperdal, generically known as risperidone, was approved in 1993 for use in adolescents and adults with schizophrenia. It has since been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat different types of autism spectrum disorder. Risperdal is also used to treat bipolar disorder, but is often prescribed by doctors in an off-label manner to treat young people with anxiety, ADHD, depression and sleep disorders.
Risperdal has been found to be more effective than other drugs that treat similar symptoms because it targets both dopamine and serotonin.
With the growing number of young people being prescribed Risperdal, many families of patients have wondered if the side effects of Risperdal are worth the benefits of the drug.
Risperdal Safety Concerns
Risperdal has many possible devastating side effects including the development of a condition known as gynecomastia.
Gynecomastia is essentially the abnormal growth of female breasts in males. It is thought to be caused by an increase in the levels of prolactin as a result of taking the drug.
Prolactin is the hormone that is the catalyst for breast growth in women as well as lactation in nursing and pregnant women. Males have prolactin in their bodies, but it is much more prevalent in the female body.
Because Risperdal is often prescribed to young boys with autism spectrum disorders, bipolar disorder, ADHD as well as other disorders, as many as tens of thousands of adolescent boys have developed gynecomastia as a result of Risperdal.
Some patients who have developed gynecomastia from Risperdal have filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson because they claim that the drug company knew about the possible devastating side effects and that they intentionally withheld that information from the public and the medical community.
According to Healthline News, one young man began taking Risperdal from the time he was 13-years-old. He developed gynecomastia and said he was so humiliated, he stopped playing with his friends. He also claims that he would have never taken the drug had he known of the emotionally devastating side effects.
Additionally, Risperdal has been known to be connected with other severe side effects including movement disorders such as extrapyramidal symptoms, EPS. EPS are muscular and neurological problems that are characterized by slow, difficult movements of the head and tongue as well as short, quick limb movement.
Heart problems have also been associated with Risperdal use as well as weight gain, hyperglycemia, pituitary issues and an increase in the risk of diabetes.
The safety of Risperdal has been contested by both the medical community and parents of affected children as well. Some critics even have said that Johnson & Johnson has purposely marketed this drug for use in children while knowing that it was unsafe.
If you or a family member were prescribed Risperdal and experienced side effects such as gynecomastia, extrapyramidal symptoms, diabetes or other serious conditions, contact the attorneys at McDonald Worley for a FREE case evaluation. Fill out the form on this page and an experienced Risperdal lawyer will contact you regarding possible litigation.