Not every prescription given to you by your doctor is safe for you. Case in point is the antipsychotic drug Risperdal. Risperdal is a strong, second-generation antipsychotic drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as treatment for adult and adolescent patients suffering from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, as well as for adolescents with autism. Unfortunately, dangerous drugs, like Risperdal, have been used “off-label” to treat children with ADHD, sleep disorders, depression, and anxiety disorders.
Although Risperdal is hailed as an effective atypical antipsychotic drug, what makes it work can also cause serious side effects to the patients’ health. Dangerous drugs, like Risperdal, have been known to cause diabetes, locomotion disorders, heart problems, breast developments in male patients, and death. These dangerous products should be used with caution and should only be taken when current treatments did not work on the patient.
Dangerous products, especially those that are used “off-label” can be very detrimental to the patient’s health in so many reasons. “Off-label” drugs are those that are prescribed by the doctor as treatment for conditions or diseases that are not approved by the FDA even when there is little to no evidence of the drugs’ positive effects towards the condition or disease. Among the reasons why these dangerous products are still marketed “off-label” is because they can be given to a significant body of patients. They are also different from the first-generation drugs, new and patented, therefore are not easily copied. Generally, manufacturers promote “off-label” use of their dangerous drugs, like Risperdal, in order to make more money.
Patients, along with their families, who experienced the severe side effects of dangerous products like Risperdal, have already filed lawsuits against the manufacturer of the drug, Johnson and Johnson and the Janssen unit. In 2013, the manufacturers have agreed to settle the cases for $2.2 billion dollars. Atypical antipsychotics such as Risperdal can still be considered a lifesaver for people suffering from bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, and severe depression, but they weighed in great consideration to see if the risks of side effects are worth it.