Definition - What does Risperdal mean?

Risperidone, marketed under the brand name Risperdal, is an atypical antipsychotic medication used to treat a variety of mental health conditions including irritability for those with autism, schizophrenia, and bipolar mania.

First approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) in 1993 to treat schizophrenia, it was developed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., which is a subsidiary company of Johnson & Johnson.

There have been multiple concerns listed by the FDA since 2005 as well as multiple lawsuits filed concerning the use of Risperdal.

Justipedia explains Risperdal

How Does It Work?

Risperdal interferes with certain neurotransmitters, namely serotonin and dopamine, which facilitate communication between brain cells (neurons). Although Risperdal does not cure mental health conditions, the reduction of these two chemicals does seem to control certain symptoms and decreases negative psychological and behavioral issues.

Taking Risperdal, however, is not without risks. Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., warns users may experience minor or severe side-effects including fever, chills, body aches, seizures, tremors, stiff muscles, sweating, and restless muscle movements.

Concerns About Risperdal

As early as 2005, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) warned healthcare professionals that patients who have dementia-related psychosis and were given atypical antipsychotic drugs, such as Risperdal, may have an increased risk of death.

More recently, male users of Risperdal have filed lawsuits against the manufacturer claiming that they have developed abnormal breast growth known as gynecomastia. To date, there is not a class action lawsuit for these cases. Instead, each plaintiff has filed their own suit in the appropriate state or federal court.

Although these cases are the most recent civil injury lawsuits filed against Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., they are not the first. Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., has also settled other cases in federal court with plaintiffs successfully proving the company illegally promoted and marketed Risperdal. Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., paid $2.2 billion to settle these federal cases.

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