Second generation, or atypical antipsychotics, have been huge moneymakers for drug manufacturers for years. Antipsychotics are used to treat mental disorders like schizophrenia or depression. Some of the most common include Risperdal, Seroquel Abilify, Zyprexa and more.
Many doctors also prescribe the drugs for off-label uses, like insomnia or other problems. Antipsychotic medications can have severe side effects and risks, including:
- Weight gain;
- Increased heart attack risks;
- Increased risk of muscle spasms, tremors or seizures;
- Tardive dyskinesia, or involuntary movements of the face, legs, or torso;
- Agranulocytosis, a reduction in the white blood cells count (linked to Clozapine).
Many people do not suffer serious side effects, but a new study points out that these prescriptions may not be as effective as drug companies make them seem. As a result, many people could be exposed to dangerous side effects unnecessarily.
Drug companies may have covered up truth about antipsychotics' effectiveness
New findings suggest that drug companies may not have disclosed the entire truth about these prescriptions. In fact, out of 24 tests performed by drug companies before F.D.A approval for eight antipsychotics, certain studies were never published.
Not surprisingly, the tests shed some negative light on the drugs: three tests showed that the new drugs did not perform any better than sugar pills. The fourth study concluded that while the drugs seeking F.D.A approval worked better than a placebo, older, cheaper drugs were more effective at treating symptoms.
Consumers exposed to unnecessary side effects have rights
Many patients have suffered serious harm, and even death, after taking defective or dangerous prescriptions because drug companies improperly market drugs or fail to warn about serious side effects. Current lawsuits against the manufacturers of Actos and Risperdal are examples of this.
Case in Point
Several states, including California and Texas, have filed lawsuits against a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary (Janssen Pharmaceuticals) for claims the company failed to disclose the serious risks associated with use of its popular drug Risperdal. Allegations include that the company prevented health officials from knowing the truth about the safety and appropriate uses of the drug.
What to do if you or a loved one were harmed because of a defective or dangerous drug
If you or a loved one were harmed because of a dangerous or defective drug you should consult personal injury lawyers to find out if you can make a claim for compensation of your injuries. Our office offers a free consultation to injured victims. Contact our office to start a free case review today.