Reasons Risperdal, Antipsychotic Medication, is prescribed
Are you amongst the 12 million annual prescriptions of this antipsychotic annually and experiencing serious side effects? You may be entitled to compensation!
Risperdal (risperidone) is a popular antipsychotic medication manufactured by pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson. The drug was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1993 as a treatment for schizophrenia, and has since been indicated to treat a number of other psychiatric conditions, including bipolar disorder. Since it was first introduced to the U.S. market, Risperdal has become the second most widely prescribed antipsychotic in the United States, with more than 12 million Risperdal prescriptions being filled each year. Unfortunately, mounting research has identified Risperdal use as a potential risk factor for a number of serious and potentially life-threatening side effects, including heart attack and stroke. It is critical that former, current and future Risperdal patients are aware of the risks posed by the antipsychotic medication, in order to avoid exposing themselves to devastating side effects that may persist even after treatment is stopped.
Conditions Commonly Treated With Risperdal
Risperdal is a potent antipsychotic medication commonly used to treat adults and teenagers 13 and older who are suffering from schizophrenia, a psychiatric disorder characterized by disturbed or unusual thinking, strong or inappropriate emotions, and loss of interest in life. The drug is also sometimes used as a treatment for episodes of mania – abnormally excited, frenzied or irritated mood – or mixed episodes – symptoms of mania and depression that occur simultaneously – in adults and teenagers 10 and older who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a disease that causes episodes of mania, depression and other abnormal moods. Risperdal has also been used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder and other anxiety disorders.
How Risperdal Works
Risperdal belongs to a class of medications called atypical antipsychotics, which are a second-generation version of more conventional antipsychotic drugs like haloperidol (Haldol). Risperdal is categorized as a dopamine antagonist possessing antiadrenergic (inhibiting the signals of epinephrine and norepinephrine), antiserotenergic (counteracting the effects of serotonin) and antihistaminergic (inhibiting the action of histamine) properties. Like other antipsychotic medications, Risperdal functions by changing the activity of certain natural substances in the brain, in order to lessen the effects of psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
How Risperdal is Used
The prescription medication Risperdal comes in a variety of forms, including as a tablet, as a liquid solution and as an orally disintegrating tablet designed to dissolve quickly in the mouth. Risperdal is typically taken once or twice daily, with an initial dosage of 2 mg per day. It is important to remember that Risperdal is not a cure for any of the psychiatric conditions it is indicated for; it only helps control the associated symptoms. Risperdal is not approved for use in individuals with psychotic conditions related to dementia. According to research, Risperdal may cause devastating side effects like heart failure, pneumonia or sudden death in older adults with dementia-related conditions.
Possible Side Effects of Risperdal Use
Although atypical antipsychotics like Risperdal were designed to be safer than first-generation antipsychotics, largely by reducing the risk of tardive dyskinesia side effects, mounting research has indicated that these second-generation medications may be equally as dangerous as their predecessors, if not more so. Among the side effects potentially associated with Risperdal are tardive dyskinesia, gynecomastia (male breast growth), heart attack, stroke, diabetes, hyperglycemia and hyperosmolar coma. In light of these risks, product liability lawyers across the country are investigating claims filed on behalf of Risperdal users who have experienced major side effects potentially linked to the medication. In fact, as of September 2012, Risperdal maker Johnson & Johnson faced as many as 420 lawsuits over alleged Risperdal side effects, 130 of which involve claims that the medication caused abnormal breast growth in boys and young men. As more information comes to light about the risk of Risperdal side effects, pending litigation against J&J is expected to increase dramatically.