Study Finds Risperdal, Other Antipsychotics Raise Acute Kidney Injury Risk in Elderly

Study Finds Risperdal, Other Antipsychotics Raise Acute Kidney Injury Risk in Elderly

Posted By The Maher Law Firm || 22-Dec-2014

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Researchers have found that the use of Risperdal and other atypical antipsychotic drugs on elderly patients may expose them to an increased risk of suffering acute kidney injury (AKI).

As NPR reported earlier this month, the use of antipsychotic medications on elderly patients in nursing homes who are suffering from Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia is prevalent in the U.S., including within Florida.

Despite efforts by federal officials to reduce the practice of using these drugs on the elderly, there are currently about 300,000 nursing home residents in the U.S. who are being administered antipsychotic medications, NPR states.

The problem is that these drugs are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use on elderly patients with dementia. In fact, the drugs carry a black box warning which states that such use may actually expose patients to the risk of heart failure, infections and possibly death, according to NPR.

This new research, published in August in the Annals of Internal Medicine, suggests that AKI could be added to that list and lends support to those who would like to see the practice of administering antipsychotic drugs to elderly patients put to an end.

The study compared adults ages 65 and older who had been prescribed an oral atypical antipsychotic - Risperdal (risperidone), Seroquel (quetiapine) or Zyprexa (olanzapine) with those in the same age group who had not been prescribed one of those drugs.

The researchers found an increased risk of AKI associated with all three medications. Use of the drugs was also associated with an increased risk of hypotension (low blood pressure) and acute urinary retention.

"The findings support current safety concerns about the use of these drugs in older adults," the researchers state.

It is important to note that Johnson & Johnson paid $2.2 billion in civil and criminal fines in 2013 to resolve allegations that it had improperly promoted Risperdal for "off-label" uses such as treatment of dementia in the elderly, according to the New York Times.

Risperdal Associated with Potential Gynecomastia Risks

In addition to concerns about the use of Risperdal on elderly patients with dementia, there are also concerns about the drug's potential link to gynecomastia, a painful and embarrassing condition that involves the unnatural growth of breast tissue in boys and men.

In 2006, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology concluded that risperidone administered to children at doses commonly used for the treatment of psychotic symptoms could "strongly increase prolaction levels," leading to gynecomastia.

Additionally, in a letter published in the October 2014 issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, researchers stated that they had found that men between the ages of 40 and 85 who used risperidone faced an increased risk of gynecomastia when compared to non-users or users of other antipsychotic drugs.

At The Maher Law Firm, we are dedicated to protecting the rights of those who may have suffered harm after being prescribed Risperdal. If you believe that you or a loved one has been impacted by this medication, please feel free to contact us about a Risperdal lawsuit by phone or through our online form. We can provide a free and confidential consultation.

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