Risperdal (risperidone), a widely-prescribed antipsychotic drug, has recently been found to cause strokes in some users. To date, there have been nearly 40 reports of stroke or stroke-like events in Risperdal users, including 16 deaths. In April 2003, Johnson & Johnson sent warning letters to physicians around the country which discussed the drug’s ability to cause strokes in the elderly patients.
Free Risperdal Stroke Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one had a stroke after taking Risperdal, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer of Risperdal and we can help.
What is Risperdal and How Does it Treat Schizophrenia?
Risperdal is a Second Generation Antipsychotic (SGA) medication prescribed to treat schizophrenia. Risperdal is manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a Johnson & Johnson company. Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness that affects thousands of Americans. The disease is characterized by the inability to manage emotions, make decisions and relate to other individuals. According to the American Psychiatric Association, schizophrenia is “one of the most debilitating and baffling mental illnesses.” Schizophrenia is caused by an imbalance of brain chemicals. Stress, genetic predispositions, prescription drugs, other medical illness and brain damage can all contribute to the disease.
Symptoms of Schizophrenia
- Disorganized thinking or problems with organizing thoughts and making sense
- Withdrawal from social activities
- Trouble speaking clearly
- Decreased motivation
How Can Risperdal Cause a Stroke?
Risperdal has been linked to at least 37 strokes or stroke-like events that killed 16 people since it first hit the market. Many of these patients were older, and their doctors prescribed the medicine to treat senile dementia. Although Risperdal has not been approved for the treatment of this condition, it is well known that many drug companies encourage “off label” prescribing in order to boost sales and increase profits.
In April of 2003, Janssen Pharmaceuticals sent a warning letter to physicians around the country which described the stroke risk associated with Risperdal use in the elderly population. The warning states:
Cerebrovascular Adverse Events, Including Stroke, in Elderly Patients with Dementia
Cerebrovascular adverse events (e.g., stroke, transient ischemic attack), including fatalities, were reported in patients (mean age 85 years; range 73-97) in trials of risperidone in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis. In placebo-controlled trials, there was a significantly higher incidence of cerebrovascular adverse events in patients treated with risperidone compared to patients treated with placebo. RISPERDAL has not been shown to be safe or effective in the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis.
Janssen was harshly criticized for not issuing the warning sooner, as it sent out a similar letter to doctors in Canada in 2002.
- Numbness, weakness, or loss of movement in the face, arm, or leg
- Vision changes
- Trouble speaking
- Confusion or trouble understanding simple statements
- Problems with walking or balance
- Headache that feels different than past headaches
Recovery and Rehabilitation
Stroke treatment is designed to help the patient regain their strength and brain function, and return their lives to normal as much as possible. Long-term complications depend on the part of the brain involved and the amount of tissue that has suffered damage. Damage to the right side of the brain may affect abilities controlled by the left side of the body, and vice versa.
Do I Have a Risperdal Stroke Lawsuit?
The Product Liability & Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Risperdal Lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new Risperdal Stroke Cases in all 50 states.
Free Risperdal Stroke Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one had a stroke after taking Risperdal, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Risperdal Stroke Suit and we can help.