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Hyperglycemia and Risperdal

Research may connect Risperdal to Hyperglycemia and other serious side effects. Risperdal lawyers are reviewing claims for Risperdal lawsuits associated with Hyperglycemia. Fill out the form to talk to a lawyer today.

Hyperglycemia is a medical condition diagnosed in individuals who have abnormally high levels of glucose in their blood, and is believed to be a side effect of the popular antipsychotic medication Risperdal (risperidone). Risperdal was introduced in the United States by Johnson & Johnson in 1993, and has since become one of the most widely used antipsychotic drugs on the market. Initially approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a treatment for schizophrenia, today Risperdal is used to treat a number of other disorders as well, including autism, bipolar disorder and sometimes even dementia. Risperdal falls into a category of drugs known as atypical antipsychotics, which have been touted as being safer than conventional antipsychotics like haloperidol (Haldol). Unfortunately, mounting research has identified Risperdal use as a possible risk factor for a number of serious side effects, including diabetes, stroke, heart attack and hyperglycemia.

Hyperglycemia Signs and Symptoms

Hyperglycemia is the medical term for high blood sugar, occurring when the body has too little insulin or when the body can’t use insulin properly. This condition differs from hypoglycemia, which is characterized by levels of blood glucose that are too low. Common symptoms of hyperglycemia include the following:

  • High levels of sugar in the urine
  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Blurred vision

Treatment for Hyperglycemia

In order to treat hyperglycemia, the underlying cause of the condition must be addressed. When hyperglycemia is caused by diabetes, for example, treating the diabetes can help manage the high blood sugar. Individuals suffering from acute hyperglycemia may benefit from direct administration of insulin in many cases, and those suffering from severe hyperglycemia can be treated with oral hypoglycemic therapy and lifestyle modifications. For instance, when high, the blood glucose level can be lowered by exercising, unless there are ketones present in the urine.

Hyperglycemia Prevention and Complications

Hyperglycemia is a major cause of complications associated with diabetes, and these complications can be avoided by checking blood glucose levels often. Unfortunately hyperglycemia can be a serious medical condition if not recognized and treated in time. If left untreated, hyperglycemia can result in a condition called ketoacidosis, which affects people who do not have enough insulin in their bodies. Without the proper amount of insulin, the body is unable to utilize the glucose for fuel and begins breaking down fats for energy. In some cases, hyperglycemia may result in serious complications like erectile dysfunction, seizures, cardiac arrhythmia and coma.

Research Linking Risperdal to Hyperglycemia

First-generation antipsychotic medications like haloperidol were discovered by chance in the 1950s, when they were found to have a powerful calming effect on psychotic patients. Second-generation antipsychotics like Risperdal, however, were developed by drug companies and marketed as a safer method of treating certain psychiatric conditions, because they were designed to avoid tardive dyskinesia, which is a known side effect of conventional antipsychotic drugs. Unfortunately, mounting research has suggested that second-generation antipsychotics may be just as dangerous, or even more so, than the conventional versions of the medications. In 2004, the FDA issued a safety announcement notifying consumers that the warning label of Risperdal would be updated to reflect the increased risk of hyperglycemia and diabetes associated with the medication. Unfortunately, information about this risk may have been in the hands of J&J officials as many as five years before the public was notified in 2004. According to a whistle-blower lawsuit filed against Johnson & Johnson in 2012, the drug company in 1999, allegedly hid findings from three separate studies indicating that Risperdal may cause an increased risk of diabetes in patients.

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