Risperdal and Alzheimer's Disease | Facts about Risperdal
Risperdal and Alzheimer's Disease
One of the main off label uses of Risperdal is the treatment of senile dementia or Alzheimer’s. This devastating mental condition is one of the least understood affects of aging that affects memory, language skills, and cognitive functioning. It is estimated that between 2-3% of Americans over 65 will exhibit some form of the disease, but 25-50% of people 85 and older will suffer from it.
Doctors have not been fully able to treat Alzheimer’s disease because they do not understand how it actually works. What is known is that certain atypical antipsychotic drugs such as Risperdal are effective in mitigating some of the more extreme symptoms of the disease. Unfortunately Risperdal was not tested on elderly people, and thus no one could anticipate any serious reactions they might have to the drug.
Doctors have little true understanding on the way Risperdal works, and using it for untested purposes on vulnerable people can cause serious repercussions. In fact, Risperdal is alleged to have caused over 37 stroke-like events in elderly patients, of which 16 died. This situation was so dangerous that Janssen Pharmaceutica issued a letter to Canadian doctors in 2002 warning them of the potential risks of using Risperdal to treat senile dementia and Alzheimer’s. Curiously, Janssen waited until 2003 to issue the same warning in the United States, potentially exposing millions of vulnerable elderly people to blood clots and stroke-like events.
Initially Janssen did not discourage these off-label prescriptions because to do so would reduce sales and profits for the drug. If someone you love was a victim of corporate irresponsibility you may have a right to take legal action. We understand you are faced with many difficult choices in this trying time, but our dedicated, experienced, and compassionate legal professionals are ready to help you in whatever capacity you need. Let us fight for you and get you the justice you deserve.