According to Express Scripts, a company responsible for processing prescriptions for 85 million Americans, one in 54 children between the ages 6 through 17 was taking at least two psychotropic medications in 2012, an increase of 44 percent in four years. Between the data taken from children with both public and private insurance, an estimated 1 million children in the U.S. are taking a various combinations of psychotropic drugs, including Risperdal and Adderall.
While the risks of antipsychotics alone can include diabetes and substantial weight gain, other stimulants may cause hallucinations, insomnia and appetite suppression. Combining medication classes such as an antipsychotic like Risperdal and Adderall, a stimulant, have shown improved benefits for psychotic depression, but may also cause increased risks of heart rhythm disturbances.
Looking Closer at Side Effects in Kids
However, this information has been derived mainly from studies involving adults. In fact, children are rarely studied because of concerns involving ethics and safety, leaving many experts worried that combining Risperdal and Adderall in children has not yet been fully explored. The uncertainty further polarizes the debate among individuals who criticize overmedication of kids and those who want suffering children to have access to potentially helpful treatments.
For parents whose children are taking Adderall to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, the decision to combine treatment with an antipsychotic can be a difficult one. In fact, studies have recently linked Risperdal to several adverse and severe complications such as diabetes and weight gain, and the long-term effects on developing brains are relatively unknown. Additionally, there have been several lawsuits filed in the U.S. over the use of Risperdal in young boys and adolescents in which the plaintiffs allegedly developed gynecomastia, or male breasts, while taking Risperdal.
While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Risperdal for use in children, it only did so for autistic kids. The expanding off-label use in children has been controversial, particularly because studies that identified improvement were underwritten by pharmaceutical manufacturers, including the manufacturer of Risperdal, Janssen Pharmaceuticals. As a result, Janssen and its parent company, Johnson & Johnson, are facing lawsuits alleging that the companies knew of the risk of gynecomastia in Risperdal patients yet continued to market the drug without providing adequate warnings.
Do You Have Questions about Risperdal?
If you or a loved one has developed gynecomastia or other side effects from taking Risperdal, contact us at Attorney Group today for an evaluation of your claim. We can help you determine if you have case, and we can put you in touch with our affiliated attorneys who can be of further assistance. You may be eligible to seek a monetary compensation for your difficulties. Attorney Group can do this with no out-of-pocket cost to you. Call for more information.