In recent months, Johnson & Johnson has lost three consecutive class action lawsuits over marketing tactics of its controversial – yet highly profitable – antipsychotic medication Risperdal (generic: risperidone). Then in September 2012, the company settled an individual Risperdal lawsuit filed on behalf of a young man who developed female breasts after being treated with the drug for a period of five years. If you’ve been injured by Risperdal drug side effects, it’s important to understand that you are not alone, and that Risperdal lawyers are now filing lawsuits in courthouses around the country.

What’s the problem?

Manufactured and marketed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a subsidiary of healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson), Risperdal was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 1993 for the treatment of schizophrenia and acute mania, or mixed episodes of bipolar disorders. Risperdal is also commonly prescribed in a so-called ‘off-label’ capacity (for which it was neither tested nor approved by the FDA) for the treatment of behavioral disorders in the elderly such as dementia, attention deficit disorder (ADD) in children, as well as depression, anxiety and autism. And though it has proven to be considerably effective at treating a number of these serious medical conditions, Risperdal has also recently been linked to a large number of serious, potentially life-threatening side effects.

2013 Risperdal Settlement

On November 4, 2013, Johnson & Johnson agreed to resolve criminal and civil investigations into the marketing of Risperdal and other widely-prescribed medications by paying over $2.2 billion, one of the largest penalties ever levied against a company for healthcare fraud. According to the agreement, J&J’s Janssen division will plead guilty to misbranding Risperdal for unapproved uses, as well as for paying kickbacks to physicians and to Omnicare Inc., the largest pharmacy for nursing homes.

Risperdal Side Effects

Risperdal is associated with the following adverse health complications: Gynecomastia Production of prolactin Pituitary tumors Tardive Dyskinesia Stroke Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) Increased risk of sudden death from heart attack Diabetes, hyperglycemia and other blood sugar side effects Weight gain, potentially rapid and extreme Suicide, suicidal thoughts Pancreatitis Bone loss Cellulitis Neutropenia Increased mortality in the elderly with dementia and related psychosis

Risperdal is associated with the following adverse health complications:

Gynecomastia

Production of prolactin

Pituitary tumors

Tardive Dyskinesia

Stroke Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS)

Increased risk of sudden death from heart attack

Diabetes, hyperglycemia and other blood sugar side effects

Weight gain, potentially rapid and extreme

Suicide, suicidal thoughts

Pancreatitis

Bone loss

Cellulitis

Neutropenia

Increased mortality in the elderly with dementia and related psychosis

More moderate side effects linked to Risperdal have been reported to include:

Abdominal pain

Vomiting

Constipation

Diarrhea

Dry mouth

Sore throat

Abnormal walk

Agitation

Aggression

Anxiety

Chest pain

Coughing

Involuntary movements

Nasal inflammation

Decreased activity

Decreased sexual desires

Lack of coordination

Impotence

Dizziness

Dry skin

Difficulty urinating

Heavy menstruation

Tremors

Weight gain

Lethargic feelings

Join pain

Difficulty ejaculating

Respiratory infection