Risperdal (risperidone) is an anti-psychotic medication that has been associated with diabetes and hyperglycemia. These chronic metabolic disorders are incurable, and must be managed with lifelong medical treatment. In some cases, they can be deadly. More than 400 Risperdal lawsuits have already been filed, many alleging that the drug manufacturer failed to warn about side effects.
Do I Have a Risperdal Lawsuit? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one has been injured after taking Risperdal, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Risperdal lawsuit.
Risperdal and Diabetes
Risperdal (risperidone) is a medication used to treat severe psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, acute manic episodes, bipolar disorder, and more. It was invented by the drug company Janssen (now a part of Johnson & Johnson) and first gained approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1993.
Risperdal has been linked to many severe side effects — including “medically serious” weight gain, which may contribute to an increased risk of diabetes and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). These metabolic disorders are incurable and require lifelong management to prevent progression of the disease. In extreme cases, diabetes and hyperglycemia can be life-threatening.
Studies Link Risperdal and Hyperglycemia
Risperdal can lead to the development of “medically serious” weight gain, which predisposes patients to diabetes. Click here to read more.
- Pharmacotherapy (2003), “Risperidone-associated diabetes mellitus: a pharmacovigilance study” — 131 cases of high blood-sugar (hyperglycemia) linked to the use of Risperdal.
- American Journal of Epidemiology (2006), “Diabetes Risk Associated with Use of Olanzapine, Quetiapine, and Risperidone in Veterans
FDA Warning for Risperdal Diabetes
The FDA sent a warning letter to Janssen in April 2004, after the drug company sent a “Dear Doctor” letter that was supposed to inform doctors about the risk of diabetes and hyperglycemia associated with Risperdal. Instead, the FDA called the letter “false and misleading.”
The FDA wrote:
“[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
Several Risperdal lawsuits have already gone to trial — including lawsuits brought by government attorneys at the state and federal levels, alleging that the drug company engaged in marketing tactics that defrauded the state Medicare system. Johnson & Johnson recently agreed to settle a Risperdal lawsuit with the state of Texas for $158 million after blistering testimony unearthed evidence that the company withheld data from three studies linking Risperdal to diabetes.
The state of Texas called on expert witness Joseph Glenmullen, an instructor at Harvard Medical School and a psychiatrist. Glenmullen testified that Risperdal was associated with diabetes in studies dating back to 1999. Researchers found that Risperdal could cause “medically serious weight gain”, which increased the risk of diabetes.
Mr. Glenmullen specifically named Study 113, in which Risperdal was associated with a higher risk of diabetes as Zyprexa. In two later studies, Risperdal and Zyprexa were associated with a comparable risk of diabetes. Although the FDA began investigating the link between antipsychotics and diabetes in 2000, these studies were not turned over to the government immediately.
Risperdal Diabetes Lawsuits
In February 2012, the first Risperdal diabetes lawsuit went to trial. A jury in New Jersey voted 5-1 that Janssen failed to warn doctors and consumers about the risk of diabetes associated with Risperdal. However, the jury did not award compensation to the plaintiff, Gary Skala. They voted 5-1 that his lifestyle choices were to blame for his diabetes, and not Risperdal. More than 400 more Risperdal lawsuits are still pending against Johnson & Johnson, as of September 2012.