New Study Analyzes Risperdal in Children


As Risperdal lawsuits involving allegations that the medication caused patients, particularly men and children, to develop gynecomastia and other serious side effects continue to move forward in courts across the U.S., findings from a a recent study indicate that prescribing Risperdal in children could benefit those with ADHD who show severe aggression. Published in the January issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the research involved 168 children between the ages of 6 and 12 who had previously been diagnosed with oppositional-defiant disorder or conduct disorder and ADHD, and who had recently experienced episodes of serious physical aggression.

Among other things, researchers found that the children who were treated with Risperdal in addition to their normal stimulant medications saw several moderate behavioral improvements compared to children who were treated with a stimulant alone. However, one of the authors of the study cautioned that use of medications such as Risperdal for this patient popular should be undertaken with great care due to the risk of side effects and their uncertain safety profiles, according to an interview with HealthDay News.

Many of the Risperdal lawsuits pending in U.S. courts were filed on behalf of children who allegedly developed adverse side effects, including type 2 diabetes and male breast growth, due to their use of this medication. Those who may wish to give their child Risperdal as a potential treatment must understand the risks of the medication and know that the FDA has not approved Risperdal for treatment in children with ADHD. The attorneys at Bernstein Liebhard LLP are currently working with young boys and men who may have developed gynecomastia due to Risperdal use and are seeking compensation for their injuries.

Lawsuits Over Risperdal in Children

A growing number of Risperdal lawsuits have been filed in a consolidated litigation underway in the Court of Common Pleas in Pennsylvania on behalf of individuals who allegedly suffered adverse side effects while taking Risperdal, according to court documents. Dozens of these claims allege that plaintiffs developed gynecomastia while taking Risperdal, and several patients further claim that Johnson & Johnson improperly marketed the drug for off-label use in children and concealed the side effects of Risperdal.

Risperdal, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is an atypical antipsychotic drug used to treat:

  • Schizophrenia in adolescents and adults
  • Bipolar disorder in children between the ages of 10 and 17 and adults
  • Irritability in children with autistic disorder between the ages of five and 16

Additionally, off-label use of Risperdal to treat ADHD may also be increasing, according to recent research.

An investigation published by Consumer Reports in December revealed that the use of Risperdal and other antipsychotic medications has tripled among children over the last 10 to 15 years. Among other things, the reported suggested that many children have been prescribed these drugs for purposes other than for what they are approved such as behavior issues instead of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The report also voiced concerns that the trend may be harmful to children and adolescents.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced on November 4, 2013 that Johnson & Johnson had agreed to a $2.5 million settlement to resolve civil and criminal charges stemming from its marketing of Risperdal and other medications. Prosecutors had claimed that the manufacturer marketed Risperdal for use in children before it received FDA approval for adolescents in 2006.Court documents indicate that the defendant was also charged with concealing the side effects of the medication, including a link between male breast growth and Risperdal.

Bernstein Liebhard LLP Can Help You to File a Claim

If you or a loved one suffered from adverse side effects including gynecomastia or you noticed complications due to Risperdal in children, you may be entitled to file a claim and recover compensation for your injuries. Contact Bernstein Liebhard LLP today at (855) 511-1001 to receive a free, no-obligation case evaluation and to discuss your claim with our experienced attorneys. We are currently representing patients across the U.S. who have sustained injuries or complications while taking Risperdal, and we will work to ensure that you are treated fairly and justly as we fight for the compensation to which you may be entitled.

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