Although rare, atypical antipsychotic drugs like Risperdal have been known to have life-threatening side effects, such as causing cardiac arrhythmia that could prompt cardiac arrest (i.e., a heart attack). Cardiac arrhythmia and cardiac arrest can also cause death. Many people are concerned with these life-threatening side effects, especially when Risperdal is prescribed to particularly vulnerable populations such as the elderly and the young.
In fact, Risperdal carries a black box warning label on its packaging advising against the use of Risperdal by elderly individuals who are diagnosed with dementia-related conditions or psychosis, as these patients have a higher risk of cardiovascular-related death after taking the drug. Risperdal also has known side effects including risk of stroke and transient ischemic attacks, both of which can also be fatal.
Antipsychotic drugs, such as Risperdal, have been known to interrupt or interfere with electrical impulses in the body, including the electrical impulses that keep the heart functioning as it is supposed to. When these electrical signals are disrupted, it can produce an arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat. A study published in 2009 in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the rate of sudden cardiac death in those individuals who used atypical antipsychotic drugs was twice that of individuals who do not use such drugs.
Atypical antipsychotic drugs as a whole are known to produce a higher rate of cardiac arrhythmia, cardiac arrests, and deaths in patients compared to those who are not being treated with antipsychotics. Risperdal specifically though has been found to produce a higher rate of arrhythmia, cardiac arrest, and death compared to those individuals who are taking similar antipsychotic drugs like clozapine (atypical antipsychotic), haloperidol (conventional antipsychotic), or thioridazine, as well as an increased rate of death compared to those not taking an antipsychotic at all.
The harms suffered as a result of Risperdal side effects can be great. If you are interested in pursuing a Risperdal lawsuit, contact a skilled Risperdal attorney ride away. Be warned, however, that the statute of limitations allows only a short timeframe in which you can file a claim. Because of this, it is in your best interests to reach out to a Risperdal lawyer today.