Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against Janssen Pharmaceuticals and parent company Johnson & Johnson (J&J) concerning the anti-psychotic drug, Risperdal (risperidone). Plaintiffs claim the companies failed to provide adequate warnings concerning the side effects of the drug. Gynecomastia, the abnormal growth of breast tissue in males, is one of the most concerning of these side effects, particularly when it occurs in young boys.
Now, a new study suggests that the elderly, as well, may be at risk for serious Risperdal side effects.
Study Shows Risperdal Increases Risk of Kidney Failure
Published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the study looked at three different antipsychotic medicines, including risperidone (Risperdal), quetiapine (Seroquel), and olanzapine (Zyprexa). Researchers wanted to investigate the risk for acute kidney injury (AKI) and other potential side effects from these drugs.
Adults age 65 years and older who received prescriptions for one of these three drugs were included in the study, and matched with adults the same age who were not taking the drugs. Data was gathered between 2003 and 2012.
The main adverse event that occurred was hospitalization with AKI within 90 days of prescription for the antipsychotic drugs. After analysis, researchers determined that all three antipsychotics doubled the risk of AKI and death, and nearly doubled the risk for hypotension (dangerously low blood pressure) and acute urinary retention. The risk of all-cause mortality was also twice as high for those taking the drugs.
“The findings support current safety concerns about the use of these drugs in older adults,” the researchers wrote.