Risperdal / Risperidone

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:50 by admin
Updated September 2007- Risperidone, sold under the brand name Risperdal, is an antipsychotic drug indicated for the treatment of schizophrenia and psychosis. Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1993, Risperdal is generally prescribed by physicians to treat psychotic disorders and symptoms such as hallucinations, hostility and delusions. The drug, which works by adjusting the imbalance of chemicals in a user's brain, is made by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a division of Johnson & Johnson.

Side effects of Risperdal use include, but may not be limited to, irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness and spasms, high fever, constipation, weight gain and headache. Long-term use of the drug (more than 6-8 weeks) has not been evaluated in clinical trials. Risperdal has been linked to the development of diabetes. A recent study conducted by a former FDA official and a Duke University researcher discovered that over a nine-year period, 132 diabetes cases, five ending in death, were reported to the FDA by Risperdal users. In August 2003, researchers with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Boston University and the University of Illinois at Chicago released findings from a study conducted on three antipsychotic medications, including Risperdal, that also linked the drug to an increased rate of diabetes.

Antipsychotic drugs such as Risperdal have been linked to two serious complications known as Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) and Tardive Dyskinesia. NMS is a potentially fatal syndrome involving muscle rigidity, an altered mental status and symptoms of cardiac instability (irregular blood pressure, tachycardia, irregular pulse). Tardive Dyskinesia is a central nervous system disorder characterized by involuntary movements of the limbs as well as twitching of the face and tongue.

In April 2003, Johnson & Johnson sent warning letters to U.S. physicians citing the drug's link to an elevated risk of stroke in elderly patients. Although Risperdal is FDA approved to treat only schizophrenia, it is often used by doctors "off-label" to control disorders associated with Alzheimer's disease and dementia, including delusions and anxiety. According to Johnson & Johnson, the company has received 37 reports of stroke or stroke-like events, including 16 deaths, among Risperdal patients. The pharmaceutical maker plans to amend the drug's label to include the new safety warning.

In August 2003, Israeli physicians reported that risperidone may increase the risk of osteoporosis in premenopausal schizophrenics.

A report published in the August 2003 issue of the medical journal Pharmacotherapy linked Risperdal use to the development of pancreatitis.

In March 2004, Britain's Committee on Safety of Medicines warned physicians that elderly patients taking Risperdal to treat dementia, an off-label use, face three times the risk of suffering a stroke. In 2007, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices and the Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, conducted a longitudinal Adverse Events Reporting System Review of the U.S. FDA's most dangerous drugs. The study found Risperdal to be one of the most dangerous drugs on the market with some of the highest number of suspect drug deaths.  Risperdal was the ninth deadliest drug in the study, according to the FDA reports.  Over the eight years of the  dangerous drug study, Risperdal was found to have over 1,000 deaths in an 8-year period.

See your doctor if you have experienced serious health problems after taking Risperdal. In addition, it may be important to contact an attorney who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits within which you must commence suit.

See Also

  1. Antidepressants & Other Psychiatric Drugs
  2. Arrhythmia: Overview
  3. Diabetes
  4. Headaches
  5. Joints & Muscles: Overview
  6. Muscle Spasms: Overview
  7. Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome
  8. Osteoporosis: Overview
  9. Pancreatitis: Overview
  10. Severe Constipation: Overview
  11. Stroke
  12. Tardive Dyskinesia
  Name Size