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
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.