What Is Risperdal?

Risperdal is the trade name for Risperidone, a drug that is made by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. It was designed to treat several different mental conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorders, but it was then later approved to treat irritability in patients with autism.

It is known as a second generation antipsychotic, or an SGA. Some people also call it an atypical antipsychotic that was a part of the class developed after the first generation because of the problems that happened, particularly with Tardive Dyskinesia.

Tardive Dyskinesia is similar to involuntary muscle spastic movements that result from some of those drugs. The second generations were developed in hopes that some of those side effects might be avoided.

Risperdal Has Been Around Since 1993 But It Has Not Been Used For The Intended Purposes

Risperdal was approved in 1993 for adult schizophrenia, although in 2003, it was approved for short term treatment of acute manic symptoms and mixed episodes of bipolar disorder.

In 2006, it was approved to treat irritability in autistic children and adolescents. It was then approved in 2007 for adolescent schizophrenia ranging between the ages of 13 to 17, and for short term bipolar manic episodes in adolescents between the ages of 10 to 17.

A short term treatment would be for around 10 to 14 days, unlike the long term treatment regimen for adult schizophrenia.

Risperdal Is Still Currently Being Prescribed

Although Janssen lost their patent to exclusivity of Risperdal several years ago, it is still currently being prescribed. There are now generic versions available on the market.

As of 2013, the numbers were 2.2 billion in sales. It’s like a blockbuster drug.

Risperdal Use Is Still Very Common In Youth And Children

The dispute is really all about the use of Risperdal still being very common in youth and children. It was not indicated for a lot of the things that Janssen was promoting it to be used for, such as ADHD in adolescents and hyperactivity or dementia related irritability in the elderly population.

Johnson & Johnson or Janssen were ultimately fined very heavily for those aggressive off-label marketing tactics that injured a lot of people, including minors.

Risperdal Is Generally Used For Adult schizophrenics, ADHD, ADD, Hyperactivity Etc.

If we strictly consider the FDA indications, Risperdal is actually for adult schizophrenics. It can also be used as a short term therapy for adolescent schizophrenia which involves episodes of manic behavior that essentially cannot be controlled.

This drug is not indicated for ADHD, hyperactivity or attention deficit disorder, nor is it intended for adult dementia or manic episodes related to that. It actually has very limited indications that have grown a bit over time, although generally speaking, it is for people who are basically having manic episodes from an underlying psychiatric illness.

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