The Devastating Effect of Risperdal to Young Boys

Risperdal, which was developed by Janssen-Cilag (a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary) in 1992, is anti-psychotic oral drug that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1994 for treatment of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and irritability experienced by children suffering from autism.

Bipolar disorder (or manic-depression) and schizophrenia are two serious mental disorders suffered by millions of Americans. In 2011 more than 54 million antipsychotic drug prescriptions were actually written for patients; 23% of these prescriptions were Risperdal.

Janssen-Cilag advertised Risperdal as causing lesser side-effects compared to all the other anti-psychotic drugs that came before it, thus, it immediately gained popularity among doctors in the U.S. and, because it was effective, doctors also prescribed it for off-label use, specifically as treatment for attention deficit disorder (ADD) in children, behavioral disorders (in elders with dementia), Tourette syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorders, depression, stuttering and anxiety.

In 2003, after a decade in the market, reports of severe side-effects and deaths were linked to Risperdal. These reports included: Tardive Dyskinesia, which is the uncontrolled twitching of the tongue and/or face and uncontrolled limb movement because of a disorder in the central nervous system; development of Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome or NMS, a deadly state caused by irregularities in blood pressure and rigidity of the muscles; and, incidences of strokes and death. During this same year, Johnson & Johnson sent a warning letter to U.S. physicians, telling them of the risk of stroke in elderly patients who used the drug.

Eventually, Risperdal was said to be causing more harm than good. In a study that was published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology in 2006, it was said that prolonged use of the drug by male children and adolescents can also result to gynecomastia, known informally as “man boobs.”

Risperdal lawsuit attorneys say “Gynecomastia has been especially devastating for young boys who have taken the drug. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has issued several warnings related to the drug, emphasizing the dangers it may pose to users.” Due to this, those who have experienced side effects or complications after using Risperdal may be eligible to file a claim against Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer of this medication.

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