Tardive dyskinesia is a potential side effect in some patients who take Risperdal, a controversial antipsychotic medication made by Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Recent studies have shown that up to 60% of patients who use antipsychotics on a regular basis develop tardive dyskinesia. Complications resulting from the disorder present serious health concerns, and have been widely misdiagnosed as other problems.
Complications of Tardive Dyskinesia May Come in Different Forms
In some cases, Risperdal users who develop tardive dyskinesia do not even realize they have the disorder until they experience the embarrassment that comes with its primary symptom, rapid involuntary movements. A large number of patients do not experience symptoms for years or more after they stop using Risperdal. Along with the primary symptoms, other psychological and emotional complications of tardive dyskinesia may include:
- Social withdrawal and isolation
- Strain on personal relationships
These complications of tardive dyskinesia are made even worse when combined with the physical complications associated with the disorder. Denture problems, tongue ulcerations and issues swallowing are all potential complications that can affect eating, speech, breathing, and quality of life, while simultaneously increasing the patient’s risk of:
- Speech problems
- Respiratory and gastrointestinal complications
- Motor function disabilities
- Fixed postures
Antipsychotic medications like Risperdal are among the leading causes of tardive dyskinesia. These drugs have a profound influence on dopamine receptors in the brain, which over time can lead to the disorder. Many doctors fail to warn patients about the complications of tardive dyskinesia before prescribing Risperdal, or even about the disorder itself, feeling that the benefits of treatment outweigh the risks.
People suffering from tardive dyskinesia are often so embarrassed by their condition that they withdraw socially and fall into a deep depressive state. Some may discontinue use of the drug in an effort to recover, which is not recommended without talking to a doctor first. If you or a loved one has suffered from the complications of Risperdal tardive dyskinesia, you may be eligible to participate in a lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries.