About Risperdal® Consta®
Janssen is a pharmaceutical company that creates many different drugs.
One of their popular medicines is an antipsychotic drug known as Risperdal®
Consta®. This medication is used for the treatment of schizophrenia
and for long-term treatment of Bipolar I Disorder. The medication is not
approved for treatment of patients that have a dementia-related psychosis,
and has been shown to increase the risk of death in elderly individuals.
Like other Risperidone medications, Risperdal® Consta® contains
prolactin. This is the hormone that encourages breast growth and lactating
in females during pregnancy and puberty. When the prolactin hormone enters
the body at a heightened level, it can result in serious side effects.
In fact, men who take Risperdal® Consta® are at a heightened risk
to breast development. This is a condition medically diagnosed as gynecomastia.
Men who suffer from
gynecomastia may need breast reduction surgery or a mastectomy in order to solve the problem.
Our firm recently achieved a record-setting $76.6 million verdict against
Johnson & Johnson, the parent company of Janssen Pharmaceuticals.
Our client developed gynecomastia as a child as a result of taking Risperdal
for his mental condition. As a result, he suffered severe humiliation
and bullying. We sought justice on his behalf, securing a result that was
20 times larger than all previous verdicts.
Side Effects of Risperdal® Consta®
Risperdal® Consta® can reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia, bipolar
disorder, or other psychotic illnesses. Yet it can also produce side effects
that can be dangerous. One of the most common dangers of this drug is
Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome. This is a rare but potentially fatal side
effect that produces a fever, stiff muscles, and shaking. The patient
will typically have a change in pulse or heart rate, and will suffer from
muscle pain or weakness.
Risperidone-based medications can also result in Tardive Dyskinesia (TD).
This is a serious and sometimes permanent side effect that will cause
uncontrollable movements of the face, tongue, and other parts of the body.
Oftentimes the condition can develop after a brief period of treatment
and will persist permanently. There is no treatment for TD, so those that
develop the condition will always struggle with their facial expression control.
The drug also carries cardiovascular risks. These include high blood sugar,
diabetes, and other dangers. If your family has a history of diabetes,
or if you already have this medical condition, it is important that you
consult with a doctor about your Risperdal®Consta® treatments.
The medication can also cause changes in cholesterol, and weight gain.
Johnson & Johnson also writes that the medication can make patients
more sensitive to heat, can cause extrapyramidal symptoms like muscle
disturbances and tremors, or can heighten a risk of seizures in some patients.
Also, the medicine can affect a person's driving ability and may deal
with sleepiness, a headache, aching limbs, dizziness, and restlessness.
The most common side effects of Risperdal® Consta® are weight
gain and tremors.
Increased Prolactin Levels in Male & Female Patients
While this treatment has shown success for patients suffering with varying
conditions, it has also proved to have devastating side effects. One of
the most disheartening is the fact that it severely elevates the patient's
prolactin hormone levels, which can lead to numerous health concerns.
For a female, having too high prolactin in the body can lead to difficulties
in becoming pregnant, the ending of the menstruation cycle, or unwanted
However, if a male suffers from having increased prolactin levels, he too
may begin experiencing female-like side effects.Gynecomastia is a condition
in which a male experiences benign breast tissue growth—in some
cases up to the equivalent of a size D-cup in a female bra. Rather than
having increased fat cell growth, the hormone itself actually causes these
breast tissues to evolve and form. It is also common that due to the increased
levels of prolactin, the male patient may develop galactorrhea, which
is a condition where he produces a milky white discharge.
U.S. Justice Department Investigations
As a result of these side effects, Risperdal investigations have been ongoing
by the U.S. Justice Department in order to address the issue at hand.
Johnson & Johnson is now being held responsible to the physical and
psychological consequences their product is having on patients around
the country. At this time there have been a large handful of lawsuits
that have been pursued in order to prove the negligence acts of J&J
for their product.
One of the primary points the victims are seeking to prove is the fact
that they were never warned about the possible side effects of the medication,
that their advertisements were not an accurate portrayal of the product.
With these accusations, the Justice Department has gone one step further
to point out that J&J illegally promoted their drugs to the public
for adolescent usage before it was made legal by the FDA. J&J still
continues to argue these accusations claiming if the Justice Department
continues an investigation, it could potentially harm their future settlement
Should You Hire a Pharmaceutical Litigation Attorney?
If you are suffering from one of the side effects of Risperdal® Consta®,
or if you developed another condition that isn't even listed on the
side effects possibilities, then you need an attorney to help you with
your case. With the right lawyer there, you may be able to obtain the
finances needed to correct your medical condition and compensate you for
your pain and suffering. Attorneys can offer a professional opinion and
an organized perspective on any lawsuit.
Contact someone at Arnold & Itkin LLP today for more information!