Risperdal May Not Improve Symptoms of Autism, Study Finds

Published on December 17, 2014 by Laurie Villanueva

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The severity of core autism symptoms in children may not be improved by risperidone, the active ingredient in a drug involved in Risperdal lawsuits, despite the drug’s approval to treat children with the disorder, a new study finds.

The results of a ten-year probe into the antipsychotic medication’s effects on autistic children were published November 19th in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology. Researchers looked at data from 184 children, whose parents measured the severity of their autism symptoms using a standardized measure referred to as the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS). At its completion, they filled out a questionnaire about any treatments received.

The majority of the parents of 55 children taking risperidone reported a decreased irritability, aggression and anxiety, but little improvement in their repetitive behavior and ability to communicate socially.

Researchers did acknowledge that the study had limits, however, as participants may have been taking other treatments during the study, and some were not randomly assigned to a group. They also concluded that children taking the medication should be regularly re-evaluated.

Numerous Risperdal Lawsuits Filed on Behalf of Young Boys

It is noteworthy to add that this 10-year study was taking place before and after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Risperdal in 2006 as a treatment for autism symptoms in children.  Since then, a number of individuals have come forward to file lawsuits against the drug’s manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals that allege complications they claim to have been inadequately warned about. Among other things, plaintiffs allege Risperdal gynecomastia, a complication associated with male breast development that may necessitate liposuction, a mastectomy or another surgical procedure to remove the excess tissue that may have developed because of the medication. Claimants further allege that the manufacturers of this medication promoted it for off-label uses not approved by the FDA, which included the treatment of children before 2006.

The majority of Risperdal lawsuits alleging gynecomastia and other complications are now pending in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, where they have been consolidated for pretrial proceedings.

Contact a Risperdal Lawyer Today

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