Risperdal, an antipsychotic drug, has been linked to causing movement disorders. The drug can impact muscular and neurological systems and can cause problems with mobility, referred to as extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS). The most commonly reported movement disorders associated with taking Risperdal include parkinsonism, tardive dyskinesia, and tardive dystonia. These conditions are not necessarily mutually exclusive – a person taking Risperdal could be afflicted by all of them at the same time.
The movement disorders associated with taking Risperdal generally relate to uncontrollable, spontaneous movement of muscles. Many people who develop movement disorders after taking Risperdal find their uncontrolled behavior to be embarrassing, as they are helpless to prevent it from happening. Some cases of the uncontrolled muscle spasms are so severe that they are physically debilitating.
Parkinsonism is similar to Parkinson’s disease, except that it is onset by a medication, in this case Risperdal. Parkinsonism is one of the most commonly cited movement disorders associated with taking Risperdal. A person with parkinsonism may exhibit symptoms including inability to move or weakened ability to move, stiffness in the torso and limbs, difficulty controlling bodily movement, tremors and memory loss.
Tardive dyskinesia describes a condition that is late on-set, meaning that the patient has been taking Risperdal for quite some time before he or she begins to experience symptoms of uncontrolled muscle movement. Muscle movements of tardive dyskinesia are generally rapid, quick and jerky and are often repetitive – similar to muscle spasms. Facial muscles tend to be affected by tardive dyskinesia, and can include symptoms like rapid blinking, uncontrolled tongue movements, involuntary lip smacking, and twitching and movement of the eyebrows. But the rest of the body can also be impacted, and symptoms can include jerking or tapping of extremities (i.e., fingers, toes) and body jerking.
Tardive dystonia is characterized by slow, painful, uncontrollable twisting movements of muscles, and it typically occurs in young men. Muscle movements of tardive dystonia include abnormal posture, difficulty walking or moving, difficulties speaking and frequently running out of breath while speaking, teeth grinding, and general disability.
At present, there are no known cures for these various movement conditions brought on by the use of Risperdal. At best, those individuals who are exhibiting symptoms may be prescribed additional medications to help manage their movement disorders. While Risperdal warns about the risk of tardive dyskinesia, tardive dystonia, and parkinsonism on its packaging, victims should not have to suffer unnecessarily. Risperdal lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson and Janssen for these movement disorder side effects after taking Risperdal for psychiatric treatment purposes. If you are interested in filing a Risperdal lawsuit, don’t hesitate to do so with the help of a Risperdal attorney who can help ensure your claim falls within the statute of limitations and that it has the highest chance of success.