Risperdal may not improve an autistic child’s social communication skills or lessen repetitive behavior associated with the disorder, according to a recent study.

Results of a ten-year probe into the effect of risperidone, the antipsychotic medication’s active ingredient, on autistic children appeared in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Pharmacology this past November, and lent to the idea that it may not affect core symptoms of the disease. Findings were obtained from 184 children enrolled in the Autistic Traits: Life Course & Genetic Structure study, which began in 2002, and looked at symptoms tracked via the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS). After assessing questionnaires submitted by parents of these individuals, researchers found that 33 out of 50 children exhibited less irritability, aggression and anxiety, but saw little improvement in their repetitive behavior and ability to communicate socially.

The study’s authors acknowledge that its results may not reflect every child with autism, but say that doctors should re-evaluate patients who are taking the drug for this use to determine whether its benefits outweigh the risks.

Risperdal Gynecomastia Suits Allege Off-Label Promotion by Manufacturers

Risperdal was approved in 2006 for children with autism, which joined the drug’s additional clearances for adults and adolescents with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Before then, the medication was likely prescribed to children anyway though, which was considered an off-label use, according to plaintiffs involved in lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals.

Many of the Risperdal claims now filed in the U.S. further allege symptoms of gynecomastia, a condition referring to male breast development that occurred in young boys who were prescribed the medication before 2006. Patients who develop this health issue may experience tender or swollen breasts, and excess tissue that requires surgery to remove.

Plaintiffs in Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuits allege the need for mastectomy and liposuction surgery, the costs of which their claims seek compensation for, along with other injury-related damages. The majority of these claims, which accuse Johnson & Johnson and Janssen of failing to properly warn about side effects that may stem from the use of its products, are now pending in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, where they have been centralized in a consolidated litigation.

Contact a Risperdal Lawyer

Call an attorney today for more about Risperdal lawsuits. You may be eligible to file a claim that seeks compensation for injury-related damages (877) 779-1414.

Published December 22, 2014 by