Risperdal is one of the so-called second generation antipsychotic drugs, touted to be safer than the older anti-psychotics.
Manufactured by Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceutical unit, it is approved for schizophrenia treatment and bipolar disorder in teenagers and adults, and autism spectrum disorder in children and teens. It has also been used off-label for ADHD, sleep problems and even depression.
This drug is a huge moneymaker for pharmaceutical companies, with $4.5 billion made in their peak year of 2007. In 2013, even though generics had appeared on the market, Johnson & Johnson still made $1.5 billion from the drug.
Common Risperdal Side Effects
Some of the more common side effects of this antipsychotic include:
- Fatigue and sedation
- Dizziness or blurry vision
- Indigestion, nausea, vomiting
- Increased production of saliva
- Irregular or increased heart beats
- Tremor, anxiety or restlessness
- Trouble sleeping
- Increased hunger and consequent weight gain
- Prolonged erection of the penis
Horrific as these common side effects are, there are some even worse, including breast development (which can include lactation) in men and young girls. Partial mastectomies are sometimes the only option for the men. Nerve damage can result, and the muscle tissue can be out of balance in the chest even after surgical repair.
Even if health insurance companies paid for the Risperdal drug treatment, they are not eager to pay for the breast surgery required to handle this side effect.
Johnson & Johnson Pays Damages in 2013
Johnson & Johnson was alleged to have paid kickbacks to doctors and to pharmacies for recommending and prescribing both Risperdal and Invega (another antipsychotic drug) and Natrecor, which is a heart failure drug.
In 2013, Johnson & Johnson was forced to pay $2.2 billion as a result of criminal and civil allegations that they promoted them for off-label use.
Zane Memeger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania stated:
“J & J’s promotion of Risperdal for unapproved uses threatened the most vulnerable populations of our society – children, the elderly and those with developmental disabilities.”
Johnson & Johnson had to issue recalls related to manufacturing and shipping contamination. They also faced thousands of lawsuits related to side effects in children as well as some irreversible side effects.
Psychiatry Ignores 2013 Lawsuit
But as recently as April of 2015, The Psychiatry Advisor stated, “Adding the antipsychotic risperidone and parental training to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medication treatment reduces disruptive behavior in children with severe aggression.”
While Johnson & Johnson did receive a heavy slap on the wrist for off label promotion of Risperdal, the pseudoscience of psychiatry is still recommending it for treatment in children.
Yes, two years after Johnson & Johnson was publicly chastised for their promotion of Risperdal to treat children, psychiatry continues to recommend it. Are those in the psychiatric industry stupid, ignorant or arrogant? Many would assert these adjectives are much too mild.
Defend your Family against Psychiatric Abuse
The only defense against psychiatric abuse is education. One must learn what the actual side effects of their recommended drugs are, including the many irreversible and even fatal ones.
Only then can the drug-prescribing psychiatrist be seen for what he or she actually is: one who destroys in the name of help.