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Experts Debate Benefits, Risks of Psychiatric Medications

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Experts Debate Benefits, Risks of Psychiatric Medications

As concerns continue to mount regarding the potential risks of antipsychotic drugs like Risperdal, some experts are calling for heavy restrictions on the use of psychiatric medications, while others maintain that the drugs are necessary and safe for most users. In a new report published in the British Medical Journal, researchers debated the safety of antipsychotics, antidepressants, and other popular medications used for the treatment of mental health disorders. If you took Risperdal to treat schizophrenia or another mental health condition, and you have since experienced a major side effect, consult a reputable Risperdal lawyer to explore your possible compensation options.

Clinical Trials Downplay Risks, Overstate Benefits

According to one expert involved in the psychiatric drug debate, Peter C. Gotzsche, professor of the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Copenhagen, Denmark, the long-term side effects of antipsychotic and other psychiatric medications do patients more harm than good. In the new report, Gotzsche questions the design of clinical trials that tend to downplay the potential risks of psychiatric drugs, while overstating the benefits for users. Based on a review of psychiatric studies, Gotzsche notes the number of deaths and other side effects caused by antipsychotic medications, including deaths from falls, which are more common in older people and in people taking psychotropic drugs.

Antipsychotic Drugs May Cause Harm to Patients

In Denmark, Gotzsche says, the number of deaths associated with antipsychotic drug use would have reached nearly 4,000 people, which is the equivalent of more than one-half million deaths in the United States and Europe combined, based on population percentages. Gotzsche warns that the benefits of antipsychotic and other psychiatric drugs is widely overstated, and that randomized trials do not properly evaluate the potential side effects of the medications. “We could stop almost all psychotropic drugs without causing harm – by dropping all antidepressants, ADHD drugs, and dementia drugs and using only a fraction of the antipsychotic and benzodiazepines we currently use,” Gotzsche says.

Contact a Skilled Risperdal Lawyer Today

Risperdal (risperidone) and other antipsychotic drugs are commonly prescribed to treat mental health disorders like schizophrenia, but a growing number of studies have examined the potential risk of side effects from the medications, including an alarming link between Risperdal and abnormal breast growth in males, or gynecomastia. If you believe you have been harmed by side effects of Risperdal, such as gynecomastia, diabetes, stroke or heart attack, contact an experienced Risperdal attorney today for legal help. You may have grounds to file a Risperdal lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, in order to pursue financial compensation for your injuries and medical bills.

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