Risperdal is an atypical antipsychotic drug for the treatment of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. However, these types of medications have been associated with causing serious, potentially life-threatening health consequences.
A Closer Look at Some of the Dangers Associated with Risperdal
In the past, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued several warnings to Janssen Pharmaceuticals regarding their unlawful marketing tactics. This included marketing Risperdal to children and adolescents, despite serious health risks. Yet those warnings were ignored.
In 2012, a lawsuit was filed against Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, because of its failure to warn about the risks associated with Risperdal. Then in November 2013, it was criminally fined $400 million for fraudulent marketing. The company had to pay a civil settlement totaling $1.25 billion.
Potential Risperdal Side Effects
The following are some of the serious side effects that have occurred in patients taking this antipsychotic drug:
- mental impairment;
- parkinsonism (drug-induced Parkinson-like symptoms);
- weakened/quickened heartbeat;
- memory deficiencies;
- vision disturbances;
- muscle spasms;
- decreased sexual performance/desire;
- weakness/stiffness in limbs;
- dystonia (involuntary muscle contractions);
- concentration difficulties;
- shaking/trembling of fingers/hands;
- swallowing/speaking problems; and
These are just some of the many different side effects experienced. There is the potential for others to affect the gastrointestinal, nervous, hepatic, cardiovascular, immunologic, metabolic, dermatologic, psychiatric, renal, genitourinary, respiratory, hematologic, ocular, musculoskeletal and endocrine systems.
There are also potential adverse drug reactions that can occur when taking Risperdal and other medications — such as enzyme inducers, CYP2D6 enzyme inhibitors, erythromycin and amitriptyline. But there may be others, so it’s important to consult with a doctor or pharmacist before mixing Risperdal with any medicine — whether it’s prescription, over-the-counter or a dietary supplement.
Determining If a Claim Can Be Filed As a Result of Risperdal Side Effects
With any type of product liability claim, including those involving pharmaceuticals, there will need to be proof of two main elements. The first is that it was defective in some way.
There are a number of circumstances in which this can be established. As already mentioned, improper marketing of a product is one. In this case, unreasonable side effects have already been established. Another example would be if that the instructions or warnings for the drug are insufficiently complete or purposely misleading.
The second element that must be established is the drug was the cause of someone’s illness or injury. There must be a direct link between the medication and the resulting emotional and/or physical harm suffered.
Keep in mind that these types of cases can be very difficult to pursue. For instance, if someone claims side effects caused injury, the manufacturer may argue that those were known and clearly indicated on the label.
At the same time, there is also the potential to file a claim against a doctor. An example would be if he or she failed to warn the patient of known side effects, and the patient was harmed. Because of the various factors that can impact this type of case, it’s best to seek legal counsel.
Types of Damages That May Be Available as a Result of a Defective Drug
If the medication causes someone to incur medical costs, such as to treat the injury, these may be sought in a claim. And if it prevented the individual from working, compensation for the time missed from work may be recoverable.
When the injuries from a drug are severe, there is the potential to be compensated for other losses. Examples include pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, and wrongful death. To learn more about dangerous drugs and defective products, sign up for our free newsletter. To learn more about one’s rights and available legal options, talk to an attorney at Gacovino, Lake & Associates 800-550-0000.