Use of Antipsychotics in Elderly May Affect Risperdal Lawsuits

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A powerful cocktail of antipsychotics and sedatives is being given to thousands of residents in nursing homes in Ontario, Canada, and the results could be particularly devastating for those with dementia, according to a TheStar.com report. Published on April 21, 2014, the article relays the findings of a probe launched by the Canadian Health Ministry that investigates the widespread use of prescription medications in residents in nursing facilities. Among other things, the Ministry found that more than one third of individuals in more than 300 nursing homes are taking antipsychotics similar to Risperidone and Risperdal to calm and “restrain” agitated and wandering behavior.

The prescriptions are written to an estimated 45 percent of all residents in nursing home in Ontario between the ages of 65 and 79, according to the report. On the other hand, an estimated 30 percent of nursing home patients within the same age range are currently using lorazepam, diazepam and other sedatives. Attorney representing plaintiffs filing a Risperdal lawsuit note that findings of this research, which showed 11 percent of all seniors in long-term care homes in Ontario, or 10,220 individuals, are taking both an antipsychotic and a sedative at the same time.

Widespread Use of Antipsychotics Found

Hundreds of Risperdal claims reference a recent settlement reached between the U.S. Department of Justice and Risperdal’s manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson. Made in November 2013, the $2.2 billion settlement involved allegations from the federal government that the manufacturer promoted Risperdal for use in children and in elderly patients with dementia. However, Risperdal was not approved for pediatric uses by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration until 2006. The findings of a federal probe into Johnson & Johnson’s allegedly questionable marketing tactics has also resulted in accusations that the manufacturer neglected to warn the medical community and the public about potential side effects that may be associated with its medication.

Many of the Risperdal lawsuits currently pending in a consolidated litigation in Pennsylvania state court claim that patients may develop serious complications while taking Risperdal. Most commonly, Risperdal has allegedly been linked to gynecomastia, or a condition categorized by breast growth in males. Gynecomastia has allegedly been experienced by several young boys and men involved in Risperdal lawsuits which have now been consolidated in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. These plaintiffs claim that the developed side effects indicative of the condition such as breast pain, swelling of the breast tissue, nipple discharge from one or both breasts and breast tenderness.

Take the First Step in Filing Your Risperdal Lawsuit Today

Contact Bernstein Liebhard LLP today to learn more about the possible link between Risperdal and gynecomastia and to determine if you are eligible to pursue a claim for compensation. Please call us today at (855) 511-1001 or fill out the free case evaluation form on this page, and attorney will be in touch with you shortly. You may be entitled to recover damages for pain and suffering, loss of past and future income, loss of earning capacity and medical expenses for treatments and procedures such as liposuction or mastectomy that are needed to remove or treat the affected breast tissue.

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