Risperdal and Diabetes - Side Effects of Risperidone
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Risperdal and Diabetes

There is a link between the antipsychotic medication Risperdal and diabetes, but the company that manufactured Risperdal downplayed this risk; moreover, they improperly marketed it to those for whom the medication was not approved, including children and the elderly. If you or your minor child developed diabetes while taking Risperdal, attorneys at The Sanders Firm are available to discuss your options for filing a product liability lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson.
Risperdal and Diabetes , pill bottle

Through a Risperdal lawsuit, we can help you procure compensation that you need to cover medical expenses and other damages, and help send a message to pharmaceutical companies that it never pays to put profits over people.

Johnson & Johnson has been sued by many plaintiffs over the side effects of risperidone (better known by its brand name Risperdal) and has been ordered to pay record-breaking billions of dollars in settlements over their illegal marketing campaigns. There is no doubt that their medication has troubling side effects, and that they marketed it improperly. However, they also have powerful lawyers working for them and have had some recent judgments on the state level overturned.

If you believe that you or your child has been a victim of J&J’s illegally marketed drug, you need a strong and experienced team of Risperdal lawyers on your side in order to go up against deep-pocketed Big Pharma. The Sanders Firm has over 45 years of experience challenging pharmaceutical companies on behalf of our clients. We promise to do everything in our power to make sure you and your family get the compensation you deserve.

What is Risperdal?

Risperdal is an antipsychotic medication administered by injection. It was approved by the FDA to treat schizophrenia in adults in 1993, and bi-polar disorder in adults in 2003.

Antipsychotics treating schizophrenia symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations were first made available in the 1950s with the arrival of the drug Thorazin. Starting in 1993, a new generation of antipsychotics including Risperdal and other drugs appeared on the market. These new drugs were supposed to be as effective, with fewer debilitating side effects, than the first generation of antipsychotic drugs. However, their effectiveness and safety is now being debated.

Risperdal and diabetes

Side effects of Risperdal include gynecomastia (male breast growth), stroke, weight gain, and diabetes. A number of significant studies link diabetes to Risperdal.

Two large scale analyses connect Risperdal to diabetes:

  • A large-scale study from 2003 demonstrated a link between the drugs Risperdal, Seroquel, and Zyprexa, and diabetes in adults. The study, considering the records of 19,878 veterans treated with older or new diabetes drugs between 1998 and 2001, showed a statistically significant rise in diabetes II among users of Risperdal and Zyprexa, which confirmed what several doctors had been reporting anecdotally for years. The FDA required the addition of diabetes risk information to Risperdal label in 2004.
  • In August of 2013, a large-scale study published in JAMA Psychiatry demonstrated that children and adolescents who used Risperdal, Seroquel, Zyprexa, and Abilify, were also three times more likely to develop diabetes. In 2011, an FDA advisory panel had already urged further monitoring of diabetes risk in minors taking the drugs.

Even more troubling, however, is the allegation made by a whistle-blower during a Texas trial that Johnson & Johnson may have had access to three other studies (one as early as 1999) showing a link between diabetes and Risperdal and did not turn them over to the FDA.

Marketing Risperdal to minors

Johnson & Johnson has also marketed the drug for use in populations for which it was not approved. For instance, Risperdal was approved to treat irritability associated with autism in children and adolescents in October of 2006, and for children with schizophrenia, ages 13-17, and children with bipolar disorder, ages 10-17, in August of 2007. However, the company marketed the drug for use in children for many years prior to these dates.

If you or your child developed diabetes while taking Risperdal during the period when the drug was not approved for the use of minors, you may have a strong case against the company. The personal injury lawyers at The Sanders Firm can help to evaluate whether you have a viable case.

Risperdal lawsuits to date

To date, over 400 Risperdal lawsuits have been brought against Johnson & Johnson by patients who have developed serious side effects and have been victimized by the company’s questionable marketing practices.

Critical facts about Risperdal litigation:

  • The first Risperdal lawsuit, which went to trial in Texas in 2012, resulted in a $158 million settlement for the plaintiff, who developed male breast growth after he started taking Risperdal at the age of 9, and included fines paid to the state of Texas and the federal government.
  • Three more lawsuits – “bellwether” cases in a mass tort taking place in the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court – also concluded with settlements.
  • In November of 2013, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay over $2.2 billion (the third largest pharmaceutical settlement in U.S. history) in fines by the United States Department of Justice for the improper marketing of Risperdal.
  • Risperdal class action lawsuits in several states (Arkansas, Louisiana, and South Carolina) have resulted in dramatic losses for the company.

However, Johnson & Johnson’s lawyers have managed to get the $1.1 billion and $258 million judgments in Arkansas and Louisiana overturned on a technicality. In order to go up against the lawyers for this powerful company, you need the conscientious, aggressive representation of The Sanders Firm to make sure you come out on top in your lawsuit.

The Sanders Firm: Your Risperdal attorneys

Filing a Risperdal lawsuit is not an easy enterprise, but the attorneys at The Sanders Firm can take care of all facets of litigation for you, including the initial investigation, securing of expert witnesses, paperwork, red tape, and negotiations. We can fight for you so that you will receive maximum compensation for medical bills and treatment, pain and suffering, and punitive damages associated with your Rispedal-related diabetes.

Call us at 1-800-FAIR-PLAY for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with one of our attorneys. We will evaluate your case and answer all your questions. Remember that you will pay no legal fees to The Sanders Firm unless we procure a settlement or jury award for you.


  1. FDA, Label for Risperdal, http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2009/020272s056,020588s044,021346s033,021444s03lbl.pdf

  2. FDA, Risperdal (risperidone) Dear Healthcare Professional Letter Aug 2004, http://www.fda.gov/safety/medwatch/safetyinformation/safetyalertsforhumanmedicalproducts/ucm166518.htm 

  3. NY Times, 3 Schizophrenia Drugs May Raise Diabetes Risk, Study Says, http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/25/us/3-schizophrenia-drugs-may-raise-diabetes-risk-study-says.html

  4. JAMA Psychiatry, Antipsychotics and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Children and Youth, http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1731662

  5. CBS News, Mood Disorder Drugs May Triple Kids’ Diabetes Risks, http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57599765/mood-disorder-drugs-may-triple-kids-diabetes-risk/

  6. NY Times, A Call for Caution on Antipsychotic Drugs, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/25/health/a-call-for-caution-in-the-use-of-antipsychotic-drugs.html

  7. Business Week, J&J Hid 3 Risperdal Diabetes Studies From FDA, Texas Jury Told, http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-02-01/j-j-hid-3-risperdal-diabetes-studies-from-fda-texas-jury-told.html

  8. Bloomberg, J&J Will Pay More Than $2.2 Billion to Settle U.S. Cases, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-04/j-j-settlement-over-risperdal-said-to-be-announced-today.html

  9. NY Times, Johnson & Johnson Loses Risperdal Suit in Louisiana, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/16/business/16bizbriefs-JOHNSONJOHNS_BRF.html

  10. NY Times, Arkansas Court Reverses $1.2 Billion Judgment Against Johnson & Johnson, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/21/business/arkansas-court-reverses-1-2-billion-judgment-against-johnson-johnson.html