Cathy (not her real name) started taking Risperdal in her late 30s, when she was diagnosed with schizophrenia. That was in 1999. About 12 years later and still on the atypical antipsychotic drug, she was diagnosed with diabetes, among a litany of other health issues.
“My problems got worse as the years went on, starting soon after taking Risperdal,” Cathy says. “I had a lot of confusion, weight loss and gain, dizziness, and a constant thirst. I had a lot of therapy for the confusion and it helped for a while but like most things it just came back. For instance, my daughter had to come with me if I drove anywhere because I would get confused about where I was. By 2012, I had problems with vision and that is when I was diagnosed with diabetes.”
Cathy says she is now experiencing heart problems. “I have a lot of anxiety and my heart feels like it is pumping too fast. And I have a lot of chest pain. Anyway, that is where I am at today and needless to say, I am not too happy.”
There was a glimmer of hope when Cathy found a Risperdal lawyer to take her case a few years ago. The lawyer told Cathy that her statute of limitations started when she was diagnosed with diabetes but for one reason or another she wasn’t able to file a Risperdal diabetes claim in time.
“I didn’t know about Risperdal side effects and I was certainly never told about its link to diabetes by a doctor,” Cathy adds. “My 28-year-old daughter brought it to my attention back in 2009. I remember exactly what she said. ‘Mom, you shouldn’t be taking this stuff; I saw dangerous Risperdal side effects on TV and it could be the cause of your problems.’ She was pretty angry because she knew when I was prescribed it I was never told what could happen. Now I am angry because doctors and pharmacists knew but they didn’t tell me. And I am pretty sure I am not alone with this problem.
“Even though the attorney I spoke to told me that my statute of limitations has run out, I am still hopeful. And I also want to get the word out - I would like [Janssen, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson] held accountable for its Risperdal side effects. They have affected my quality of life and I can barely take care of my family. Because of their drug I am on total and permanent disability.”
After Cathy’s daughter told her about Risperdal diabetes, Cathy told her doctor to take her off the drug. He put her on a low dose of Haldol, which seems to be working. Cathy no longer has psychotic episodes. But the physical damage caused by Risperdal is irreparable.
READ MORE RISPERDAL LEGAL NEWS
In 2004, Janssen Pharmaceuticals received a warning letter from the FDA for failing to disclose the addition of information relating to hyperglycemia and diabetes mellitus. The FDA concluded that the drugmaker “omits material information about Risperdal, minimizes potentially fatal risks associated with the drug, and claims superior safety to other drugs in its class without adequate substantiation… Failure to correct the violations discussed above may result in FDA regulatory action, including seizure or injunction, without further notice.”