Side effects of Risperdal may include stroke. Product liability lawyers are currently investigating claims that this antipsycotic may be causing strokes. If you or a loved one has been injured by Risperdal, fill out the form to contact an attorney today.
When Risperdal was introduced by Johnson & Johnson in 1993, it was marketed as a safer alternative to conventional antipsychotics, supposedly because it didn’t put patients at risk of tardive dyskinesia, a debilitating movement disorder characterized by involuntary tremors. Since its introduction, Johnson & Johnson’s Risperdal medication has become one of the most widely prescribed antipsychotic drugs on the market in the United States, making up 23% of the 54 million antipsychotic prescriptions filled during the 12 months ending in October 2011. Unfortunately, mounting research has identified Risperdal (risperidone) use as a potential risk factor for a number of devastating side effects, including heart attack, diabetes, tardive dyskinesia and stroke, the latter of which appears to affect elderly dementia patients in particular. As more information about potential Risperdal side effects comes to light, product liability attorneys throughout the country will continue to investigation claims filed on behalf of Risperdal users who believe they have been harmed by the atypical antipsychotic drug.
Stroke Signs and Symptoms
A stroke occurs when the flow of blood to a portion of the brain becomes blocked, preventing the brain from receiving the blood and oxygen it needs to function properly. If blood flow is blocked for more than a few seconds, brain cells may begin to die, possibly causing permanent damage. Some common symptoms of a stroke include:
Treatment for Stroke
A stroke is a medical emergency requiring immediate treatment to avoid death or permanent brain damage. There are a number of different possible treatments for a stroke, depending on the underlying cause of the medical event, which may include a blocked or ruptured blood vessel in the brain. If the stroke was caused by a blood clot, clot-busting drugs may be administered to dissolve the clot, or a procedure may be performed in an attempt to remove the clot using a catheter. Other stroke treatments may include surgery to stop bleeding in the brain or to repair a ruptured blood vessel. The goal of stroke treatment is to help the victim recover as much function as possible, and may include physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy, depending on the severity of the stroke.
There are a number of lingering problems that may be associated with a stroke, and the outlook for a stroke victim depends largely on the type of stroke, how much brain tissue was damaged, what body functions have been affected, and how quickly treatment was delivered. In most cases, problems thinking, moving and talking improve in the weeks to months after a stroke occurs, and more than half of stroke victims are able to function and live at home. Unfortunately, other stroke victims may not be able to care for themselves, and may require assistance with even the simplest of daily tasks.
Research Linking Risperdal to Stroke Side Effects
In October 2002, Health Canada and Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, Janssen-Ortho (the maker of Risperdal) sent warning letters to physicians and pharmacists in Canada, notifying them about a possible link between Risperdal use and cerebrovascular adverse events, including stroke. This warning came on the heels of a Risperdal clinical trial, which showed a higher rate of cerebrovascular adverse events among patients receiving Risperdal (4%), compared to those receiving a placebo (2%). In April 2003, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a similar warning, notifying U.S. consumers and the medical community about an increased risk of potentially fatal cerebrovascular adverse events, including stroke and transient ischemic attacks, in elderly dementia patients taking Risperdal. In light of this risk, the FDA warns that Risperdal has not been shown to be safe or effective in the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis.