Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism-related irritability can be debilitating conditions that negatively affect a person and everyone around them. That’s why so many people were hopeful when Janssen released a new antipsychotic drug in the 1990s called Risperdal.
The second-generation antipsychotic was touted as an important drug that was better than existing drugs at the time. Since it was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat schizophrenia in adults in 1993, Risperdal has had its approved uses expanded to include the treatment of bipolar disorder and irritability related to autism in children and adolescents.
Even though risperidone — the active ingredient of Risperdal — made the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, the antipsychotic drug has been at the center of several controversies.
Not only are patients suing the makers of Risperdal over claims that they experienced unexpected side effects like gynecomastia but the government has targeted Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals for marketing the drug for unapproved uses.
Learn more about the side effects associated with Risperdal, why its makers had to pay $2.2 billion to the government, and the status of thousands of Risperdal lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson.