What is Risperdal?

Also known as Risperidone, Risperdal is an antipsychotic used to treat the complications that occur from mental disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism, manic depressive disorder, and others. It is reported to work by helping balance natural substances in the brain to control mood.

Risperdal was developed in the late 1980s and was approved for sale in the U.S. in 1993. It even made the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, which names it as one of the most important medicines needed in even the most basic health system.

Risperdal Side Effects

Some of the most common side effects associated with this drug include dizziness, drowsiness, lightheadedness, drooling, weight gain, nausea, and fatigue. These side effects are common and not harmful in most cases unless they occur with great frequency.

Severe Risperdal Side Effects

However, Risperdal also comes with more severe side effects, which can cause serious problems for the patient. These side effects include:

  • Fever
  • Stiff muscles
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • A sign of an infection including persistent sore throat, fever, etc.
  • Excessive sweating
  • Mental or mood changes including anxiety, panic attacks, or restlessness
  • Uneven or fast heartrate
  • Restless movements in the muscles of the eyes, jaw, tongue, or neck
  • Uncontrolled shaking or tremors
  • Worsening of diabetes symptoms

Complications from Risperdal

In some extreme cases, Risperdal has been known to cause lifelong illnesses, conditions, and even death. The most serious complications from Risperdal are:

Gynecomastia – The medical term for enlarged breasts in males, Risperdal can at times increase a hormone called prolactin, which increases lactation in the breasts, even in males. In some cases, this condition is permanent and the males must undergo corrective surgery.

Tardive dyskinesia – This is an involuntary neurological movement disorder brought on by the continued taking of drugs like Risperdal. In many cases, this condition can be permanent and limit the patient’s ability to function in normal society. Some of the early warning signs of tardive dyskinesia are unusual or uncontrolled movements of the lips, mouth, tongue, face, arms, legs, or other.

Neuroleptic malignant syndrome – This is a rare yet potentially life-threatening condition that is a direct reaction to certain antipsychotic drugs. Early warning signs include fever, severe fatigue or confusion, sweating, irregular heartbeat, dark urine, change in urine, and pain, tenderness, stiffness, or weaknesses in the muscles.

Risperdal Lawsuit

In 2013, the makers of Risperdal, Johnson & Johnson, agreed to pay $2.2 billion in settlements for improperly marketing the drug and not warning the public about its dangers. This was especially true in the case of elderly patients who suffered strokes as the result of taking Risperdal, and the company was forced to change its label to warn against use in elder patients with any form of dementia.