Risperdal is an antipsychotic drug used to treat serious psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. More and more, however, Risperdal is being prescribed for off-label use such as to treat ADHD. This off-label use is particularly concerning, because the target patient population is children. In fact, according to a report by the New York Times, in 2014, almost 20,000 antipsychotic prescriptions were written for children two and younger. As seen in the deposition of Alex Gorsky, the CEO of Johnson & Johnson, one of the goals of targeting children is nothing more than a marketing scheme to turn children into lifetime users of the drug.
Risperdal can cause an array of serious and potentially irreversible side effects. Studies have found that children taking the drug can experience at least a 7% increase in weight within only weeks of starting Risperdal. The drug also places children at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart conditions and obesity. Additionally, Risperdal can cause brain shrinkage, tic and movement disorders and growth of male breast tissue.
These are only some of the side effects Risperdal can cause. In regards to the effects Risperdal can have on the brain, Dr. Peter Breggin, a psychiatrist located in Ithaca, New York, describes the drug as causing a "national catastrophe." The drug acts on the area of the brain known as the frontal lobe. This is, in fact, the same area of the brain that would be severed during a lobotomy. In essence, Risperdal can be thought of as a lobotomizing drug. As Breggin states, "this is a situation where we have ruined the brains of millions of children."
Where to Go for Help
If your child has suffered from side effects after Risperdal, call the attorneys at Reich & Binstock at 877-643-3099 to discuss your legal options. Your child may be entitled to compensation. From our office in Houston, we represent clients in Texas and throughout the United States who have suffered health problems from the use of prescription drugs.