UNITED KINGDOM — According to a new study published virtually via BMJ Online, risperidone (marketed in the United States as Risperdal) has been being prescribed for off-label use at high rates in the United Kingdom. The study shows that half of patients being treated by antipsychotic medication had not actually been diagnosed with a mental illness. Risperidone was one of the drugs that was found to be over-prescribed in the research. The off-label overprescription occurred in higher rates for female, elderly and poorer patients. Although this research took place in the United Kingdom, it is still relevant in the United States, where hundreds of Risperdal lawsuits have been brought against Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Risperdal in 1993 but only for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar 1 disorder. Despite these limitations on its approved use, Risperdal is often prescribed for other disorders or side effects such as ADHD and autism symptoms. Risperdal works by assisting serotonin and dopamine receptors in the brain to control happiness. The drug is usually prescribed for children under 18. Unfortunately, there are many health risks that have been linked to its use, including diabetes, heart issues and even involuntary movements or grunts. One of the major side effects is Gynecomastia, or male breast growth. Like the other side effects, Gynecomastia can continue long after the drug use has been discontinued. Gynecomastia especially affects adolescents who were prescribed the drug, and some even developed breasts that were as large as a D cup and had to have them surgically removed.

The study’s release is good timing for patients suffering from the side effects of Risperdal. There are currently more than 1000 Risperdal lawsuits pending in Pennsylvania courts against Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, who manufacturer and market the drug in the U.S. Many of the lawsuits allege that the Plaintiffs developed breasts from using the drug and that the drug was prescribed for off-label use. The lawsuits also allege that Johnson & Johnson downplayed the risks of using Risperdal while also marketing the drug for non-FDA-approved use by adolescents who were especially susceptible to its permanent effects.

Our Risperdal Lawyers Can Help

Our dangerous drug attorneys can help if you or someone you care about was harmed by Risperdal. Lawsuits have been filed against the drug maker by both patients and their families seeking compensation for injuries caused by this dangerous drug. You may be entitled to a settlement.

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