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Hundreds file lawsuits over Risperdal side effects

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What started out as an antipsychotic treatment for some has turned into a nightmare for others.

Prescribed to patients with bipolar disorder and other behavioral problems, Risperdal was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1993 for the treatment of schizophrenia in adults. But since then, hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against the drug's manufacturer, Johnson and Johnson, due to Risperdal side effects.

The Risperdal lawsuits list a range of side effects, including breast development in males, an elevated risk of diabetes, heart disease and floppy iris syndrome for patients undergoing cataract surgery. 

On top of these risks in adults, children may also be exposed to these side effects. A number of recent reports found that antipsychotic drugs like Risperdal are becoming increasingly popular as more doctors are prescribing them for off-label use.

According to Consumer Reports, there is not enough research to prove that the benefits of antipsychotics outweigh the risks.

If you or someone you love has suffered harm from Risperdal, you may want to contact an experienced attorney who can determine if there are grounds to file a lawsuit against J&J. Risperdal Consta, which is an injectable form of the medication, was one of J&J's top-selling drugs last year.