Risperdal was approved to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia. Considered an antipsychotic drug, Risperdal is considered a new atypical antipsychotic thought to have fewer side effects. It is believed that schizophrenia symptoms are the result of chemical imbalances in the brain and Risperdal information shows that the drug somehow is able to readjust that dopamine/serotonin level and relieve schizophrenia symptoms.
The Risperdal information on side effects already showed that there is an increased risk of stroke, however it was not made obvious. New Risperdal information has showed the increased incidence of stroke or stroke-like events in elderly Risperdal patients. In April 2003, Risperdal information was released by Johnson & Johnson saying letters would be sent to thousands of U.S. physicians advising them of the increased risk of stroke or stroke-like events such as blood clots and hemorrhages in elderly Risperdal patients.
J&J also announced that Risperdal information of stroke would be included on package-insert labels of Risperdal in order to better alert patients of potential Risperdal risks. There has been no Risperdal information that shows the safety or effectiveness of prescribing the drug for reason other than schizophrenia, yet many physicians are giving the drug to patients with perhaps limited Risperdal information.
Elderly patients with behavioral disorders are often given Risperdal but the recent Risperdal information warning of increased risk of stroke and stroke - like events is cause for concern. Public Citizen pharmacist and research analyst Larry Sasich thinks that, "The Risperdal label clearly states that there is no evidence this drug is safe or effective in treating dementia, and it looks like doctors are hurting people by prescribing it for this condition."
Various clinical trials testing Risperdal in Alzheimer patients heightened concerns that the occurrence of serious Risperdal side effects is higher than previously thought. The Risperdal information showed that among 764 Risperdal patients, 29 cases of stroke and stroke-related events were seen, in addition to four deaths. Sasich thinks that this Risperdal information is cause for regulators to further examine if younger aged schizophrenia patients are also more prone to experiencing Risperdal stroke and other events.
This Risperdal information is extremely important to the safety of the more than 10 million people worldwide that have used Risperdal over the last eight years, which is why many people are wondering why this information was not made more public before the April 2003 J&J announcement. In October 2002, J&J issued a similar Risperdal information warning letter to Canadian physicians and patients, yet did not at this time alert U.S. medical professionals. The Canadian Risperdal information letter included information that there had been 37 reports of stroke or stroke-like events, including 16 deaths.
There is also Risperdal information showing psychiatrists appear to favor prescribing antipsychotic drugs like Risperdal to children with behavioral disorders. Not only has Risperdal not been approved for treatments of conditions besides schizophrenia, but also the FDA has warned that there is little Risperdal information on the safety effectiveness of the drug for children. The controversy of prescribing newer, stronger drugs such as Risperdal received even more attention when Risperdal information in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine January 2003 issue showed the large increase in children being given psychiatric drugs across the nation.
According to the report, children taking psychiatric drugs in the past decade have at least doubled to more than 6%. The study's lead author Julie Magno Zito was disturbed at the types of drugs that were included in the large increase, including Risperdal, a drug created for psychotic adults and not children. Zito thinks that there is not enough Risperdal information on how the Risperdal compounds affect the young drug users that must be addressed.
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