Side Effects of Risperdal
Risperdal is an antipsychotic medication intended to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia, but it also carries some serious side effects. More than 10 million people have used Risperdal, allowing Risperdal to be the number one prescribed antipsychotic. For Johnson & Johnson, the makers of Risperdal the drug reaps high financial gains, bringing in annual global sales of $2.1 billion. So successful, Risperdal is the second biggest selling medicine for J&J. More and more, Risperdal is not being prescribed for just schizophrenia or other severe mental illnesses, but for behavioral disorders in children and in elderly patients with dementia and Alzheimer's disease, including delusions, aggression, and anxiety.
Risperdal may be linked to the growth of male breast tissue. This side effect may cause psychological harm to young boys and men. Learn more on our Gynecomastia page.
At the start of April 2003, an announcement was made warning of serious effects of Risperdal. The effects of Risperdal included both strokes and stroke- like events, such as blood clots and hemorrhages. The effects of Risperdal have been observed to affect especially elderly Risperdal patients. J&J said that in addition to the thousands of letters being sent to health care professionals warning of the effects of Risperdal, an update to the Risperdal label would be made.
These potentially deadly effects of Risperdal are extremely worrisome to many people. The seriousness of the conditions that the effects of Risperdal can cause are leading many people to question how long J&J has known about them without adequately warning physicians and patients. While J&J appeared to be very concerned with taking the proper measures to more specifically warn physicians and patients of the adverse effects of Risperdal, the company had already issued a similar warning of the effects of Risperdal in Canada in October 2002.
It was not until half a year later that J&J warned of the increased stroke effects of Risperdal observed in elderly patients in the U.S. In the Canadian stroke effects of Risperdal warning letter, J&J cited 37 reports of stroke or stroke-like events that included 16 deaths among Risperdal patients. In addition, the Canadian stroke effects of Risperdal letter cited two clinical trials of elderly dementia patients that showed a higher proportion of the Risperdal patients suffered strokes or stroke-like events, as opposed to those who had received placebos.
The Public Citizen consumer group is also worried by the safety implications that have arisen in various clinical trials, showing the dangerous effects of Risperdal. In four specific trials that included 764 patients, 4% of patients that had been given Risperdal suffered serious effects of Risperdal that include stroke or stroke- like events compared to just 2% of placebo recipients. The dangerous effects of Risperdal should be a caution to doctors prescribing Risperdal to people that does not suffer schizophrenia or other serious mental conditions.
The effects of Risperdal up to the heightened Risperdal stroke warning still included some very serious and severe conditions. An especially dangerous attribute of Risperdal is that signs and symptoms of very serious conditions are not apparent because Risperdal can hide indicators. Drug overdose, intestinal obstruction, brain tumor, a dangerous neurological condition called Reye's syndrome, as well as some other dangerous effects of Risperdal are often not observed due to the ability for the drug to mask signs and symptoms of certain conditions. Patients must be especially aware of these dangerous conditions in order to prevent dangerous effects of Risperdal from worsening to deadly states.
Other dangerous effects of Risperdal that patients should be cautious about is difficult when swallowing that can cause a type of pneumonia to develop. A potentially fatal condition, Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome greatly affects patients if left untreated. Characterized by muscle stiffness or rigidity, irregular pulse, fast heartbeat, increased sweating, high or low blood pressure, and high fever these effects of Risperdal will add more pain and suffering to the lives of the patients. It is essential that potential effects of Risperdal be weighed prior to beginning Risperdal treatment.
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