Risperdal and Heart Attacks

There is no question that Risperdal (risperidone) has been the most effective treatment for patients suffering from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism characterized by violent behavior. However, drug companies still have to give adequate warning about the risks to patients that benefit from it.

Psychiatrists maintain that second generation antipsychotics, also called atypical antipsychotics, are far superior to conventional antipsychotics because they are just as or even more effective in managing patient behavior, but they also have fewer side effects. It was not supposed to cause tardive dyskinesia, for instance. When they first came out, it seemed to be true, and this spurred the prescription frenzy for atypical antipsychotics not only for approved but also off-label uses. These include attention deficit hyperactive disorder, insomnia, depression, and dementia.

However, the years have not been kind to Risperdal. A recent court decision seemed to settle once and for all that Risperdal causes severe and irreversible tardive dyskinesia (involuntary movement). Now it seems it also poses a higher-than-usual risk of causing heart attacks and strokes in patients.

Risperdal now carries a black box warning that it could be deadly for elderly dementia patients. However, it does not state that it may also carry a high risk for other patient categories of developing an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) that can lead to cardiac arrest. In particular, Risperdal had the highest risk among the atypical antipsychotics is causing cardiac arrest and arrhythmia, which increased with lower doses. This is a definite oversight on the part of the drug manufacturer that Risperdal side effects attorneys can use to the benefit of an injured patient.

It is no joke dealing with behavioral and mental problems. However, it would be facetious to say that the benefits outweigh the risks when what you are risking is your life. If an immediate family member died from a Risperdal-induced cardiac problem, you have the right to hold the drug company responsible for not giving adequate warning. Consult with Risperdal side effects attorneys in your area to help you get going.

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