The anti-psychotic medication Risperdal (risperidone) has been linked to many severe side effects, including diabetes and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). These conditions require lifelong medical care, and they can be life-threatening or deadly. There are over 400 Risperdal lawsuits pending in court, and several have already gone to trial.
Risperdal and Diabetes, Hyperglycemia
Risperdal (risperidone) is a powerful anti-psychotic medication. It was first approved in 1993 for the treatment of schizophrenia; since then, its approval has expanded to include acute manic depressive disorders, and more.
One serious side effect of Risperdal is the risk of excessive weight gain, which may increase the risk of diabetes and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder characterized by cellular resistance to insulin (a hormone that tells cells to absorb sugar from the bloodstream). People with diabetes have difficulty controlling blood-sugar levels.
Studies Link Risperdal and Diabetes
Risperdal is associated with an increased risk of type-2 diabetes and hyperglycemia (high blood-sugar) in children and adults. Risperdal can lead to the development of “medically serious” weight gain, which predisposes patients to diabetes. Click here to read more.
Studies linking Risperdal and diabetes / hyperglycemia:
- Pharmacotherapy (2003) — 131 cases of high blood-sugar (hyperglycemia) linked to the use of Risperdal.
- American Journal of Epidemiology (2006) — Study links Risperdal and weight-gain that “may contribute to the increased risk of diabetes.”
FDA Warning for Risperdal Diabetes
In April 2004, the FDA sent a warning letter to Janssen after the drug company sent a “false and misleading” letter to doctors about the risk of Risperdal diabetes. According to the FDA,
“[The letter] fails to disclose the addition of information relating to hyperglycemia and diabetes mellitus to the approved product labeling (PI), minimizes the risk of hyperglycemia-related adverse events, which in extreme cases is associated with serious adverse events including ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar coma, and death, fails to recommend regular glucose control monitoring to identify diabetes mellitus as soon as possible, and misleadingly claims that Risperdal is safer than other atypical antipsychotics.”
Expert Says J&J Hid 3 Risperdal Diabetes Studies
January 2012 — According to expert witnesses in a Texas state Risperdal lawsuit, Johnson & Johnson allegedly withheld data from three studies linking Risperdal to diabetes to protect billions in sales. Joseph Glenmullen, a psychiatrist and Harvard Medical School instructor, was the expert witness for the state of Texas in a lawsuit alleging illegal marketing practices of Risperdal which defrauded the state Medicare system.
Mr. Glenmullen told a Texas jury that as early as 1999, researchers linked Risperdal to a risk of diabetes. These studies linked Risperdal to “medically serious weight gain” that significantly increased the patient’s risk of diabetes. Mr. Glenmullen testified that despite this research, drug company salespeople told doctors that research did not link Risperdal to diabetes.
Mr. Glenmullen cited three withheld studies: Study 113, which linked Risperdal to a higher risk of diabetes than Zyprexa. Two other studies linked Risperdal to a comparable risk of diabetes as Zyprexa. None of these studies were turned over to the FDA when the agency began investigating the issue in 2000.
Risperdal Diabetes Lawsuits
February 16, 2012 — In the first Risperdal diabetes lawsuit to go to trial, a New Jersey jury decided 5-1 that Janssen failed to adequately warn about the risk of diabetes. However, they voted 5-1 against awarding plaintiff Gary Skala damages, deciding that his diabetes was more likely caused by lifestyle factors. Johnson & Johnson faces at least 420 additional Risperdal lawsuits, as of September 2012.
Risperdal Side Effects
- Gynecomastia (growth of male breasts)
- Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar)
- Weight gain, which may be medically serious
- Heart problems, heart attack, irregular heart rhythm
- Pituitary tumors
- Bone loss
- Tardive dyskinesia (movement disorder)
- And more