Risperdal, typically delivered in the form of tablets labeled Respiderone, is an antipsychotic medication that is typically used to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia, including paranoia, hallucinations, perceiving things that aren’t actually present, and hearing voices that aren’t connected to people with whom the sufferer is actually speaking. Risperdal is also frequently used in conjunction with divalproex or lithium for short-term treatment of bipolar disorder. It is FDA-approved. That said, even with the common use of Risperdal, attorneys have filed lawsuits on behalf of plaintiffs who have been harmed by using the drug.
As is the case with most drugs, using Risperdal is not without risks. It has been linked to the following:
- Tardive Dyskinesia (TD): This is a problem with movement, or “twitches.” Some Risperdal users experience movements in their muscles that they are unable to control or stop.
- High Blood Sugar: Diabetics, and other people who have high blood sugar, should be checked regularly if using Risperdal.
- Stroke: While not common in younger patients, older users who are treated for dementia or other mental conditions can be subject to strokes when using Risperdal. For this reason, Risperdal is not approved for use in the elderly.
Other Side Effects
In addition to the risks stated above, Risperdal use can result in:
- Increased heartbeat
- Persistent erection
- Abnormally high or low body temperature
- Difficulty swallowing
- Uncontrolled movements
- Upset stomach
- Runny nose
- Abdominal dysfunction
- Urinary incontinence
- Vision changes
- Weight gain
If you are using Risperdal, your attorney will want to know if you have experienced any of these symptoms. Further, you should notify your doctor if he or she is advising you to use Risperdal and you have, or have had:
- Heart problems
- Diabetes or high blood sugar
- Intestinal obstruction
- Liver disease
- Reyes syndrome
- Adverse drug reactions
- Brain tumors
You should also advise your doctor if you drink alcohol, are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding.
Certain medications can also interact adversely with Risperdal, so tell your doctor if you are taking:
- Blood pressure medications
- Levodopa or other dopamine agonists
Risperdal can also cause dizziness or fainting, especially when you first begin taking the medication, or if the dose is increased. You may also experience impairment in thinking, judgment and motor skills. People who are taking Risperdal are advised not to drive or operate machinery, and also to be careful when out in the sun, since Risperdal can impede the body’s natural mechanism for lowering the internal temperature.
Any medication can have side effects, and it is the duty of the manufacturer of the drug to inform consumers about possible side effects. If they fail to do that, they can be held legally liable if the use of the drug causes harm.
Risperdal carries the risk of several complications, some of which can require long-term medical care or even surgery. If you have been harmed, or someone you love has been harmed, as the result of using Risperdal, you may have a basis for a product liability suit.
In fact, in November of 2013, Risperdal attorneys forced Johnson & Johnson to pay out $2.2 billion, in one of the highest penalties assessed against a health care company. They agreed, under the terms of the settlement, that they had misbranded Risperdal and that harm had resulted.
If you have been harmed by Risperdal, or someone you love has been harmed, you should contact a Risperdal attorney to talk about your options. You may be entitled to compensation.