Risperdal Stroke Danger
Risperdal is a very lucrative schizophrenia
drug for Johnson & Johnson, bringing in annual global sales of $2.1
billion. The second biggest selling medicine for J&J,
Risperdal was only approved for schizophrenia, though Risperdal is often
prescribed to control behavioral disorders in elderly patients. Antipsychotic
medications can often control some schizophrenic symptoms, but in early
April 2003 reports that there may be an increased risk of Risperdal
stroke among elderly patients taking Risperdal.
Johnson & Johnson announced that in light of the
Risperdal stroke connection the company would be sending out letters
to thousands of U.S. physicians to inform them of the increased risk
of Risperdal stroke that had been reported. In addition, the company
announced the Risperdal package-insert label would be changed to include
more specific information of the possibility of Risperdal stroke occurrences.
Public Citizen consumer group pharmacist and research
analyst Larry Sasich believes that there are worrisome safety implications
with Risperdal clinical trials. The Risperdal clinical trials involved
Alzheimer patients that Sasich said developed Risperdal strokes in a
much higher occurrence as compared to placebo recipients. There were
29 Risperdal stroke and stroke-related events amongst the 764 patients
that were tested in four specific trials, amounting to 4% of all patients.
There were four Risperdal deaths as well, compared to just one death
in placebo recipients.
The implications that Risperdal stroke occurrences
are more likely to occur should result in a higher accountability for
prescribing Risperdal to non-schizophrenic patients, which Risperdal
is not approved for. The controversial aspect of the Risperdal stroke
announcement was the fact that J&J had already issued a Canadian
Risperdal stroke letter in October 2002. The Canadian Risperdal stroke
warnings cited 37 reports of Risperdal stroke or Risperdal stroke-like
events, including 16 deaths.
Many patients are concerned that serious events, such
as Risperdal strokes, are not promptly reported to physicians and patients
because of fears that the safety warnings will hurt sales. The J&J
spokesman at the time of the U.S. Risperdal stroke warning said that,
“an update to the Risperdal label is being made, and we will be sending
out letters to health care professionals soon,” however it still took
an extra six months for the U.S. Risperdal stroke warning to be issued.
The result of a Risperdal stroke can affect the entire
body of the Risperdal patient. Depending on the severity of the Risperdal
stroke paralysis, cognitive effects, emotional problems, speech difficulties,
loss of mobility, in addition to other adverse effects could be suffered.
If you have taken Risperdal and have suffered a Risperdal stroke or
any other Risperdal side effect, please contact us to confer
with a Risperdal attorney.