Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome and Risperdal

Posted by on Apr 13, 2015 in Defective Pharmaceuticals | 0 comments

Risperdal (risperidone) was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the management of schizophrenia in 1994. As far back as 1997, there were indications that there was link between sort-term Risperdal use and a condition called Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome or NMS. This indicates considerable forewarning that would be of significance to Risperdal side effects lawyers.

NMS is an idiosyncratic (unpredictable) reaction to neuroleptic drugs, often manifesting within a short period of initial medication or increase in dosage, NMS symptoms may include high body temperature (more than 38 degrees Celsius), lead-pipe type muscle rigidity, tachycardia (abnormally rapid heartbeat), respiratory distress, incontinence, unresponsiveness, and changes in mental status. NMS is relatively rare, but it is has serious health consequences.

In a case presented in a 1997 report involved an 75-year-old patient with senile dementia brought in for treatment. He was put on a medication program that included a low oral dose of risperidone (.5 mg twice daily) and shortly presented with symptoms of NMS. The risperidone was discontinued and the patient reverted to baseline within three days.

While one case is not conclusive, there were early indications that Risperdal could cause NMS. According to this study, it is uncommon in atypical antipsychotics. It described the dramatic reaction of a 34-year-old male with mild mental retardation to Risperdal, which prompted the discussion on the possible involvement of the drug in causing NMS and recommendation for further study. NMS has a mortality rate of more than 11%, depending on how long the condition is permitted to continue.

Because NMS presents rapidly (within two weeks) after initial medication, doctors should be made aware of the possible risk when they prescribe Risperdal to patients. This can significantly reduce the time in making a diagnosis and providing treatment, which initially means the discontinuation of Risperdal and subsequent supportive care. In many cases, properly treated NMS resolves in three to 7 working days.

Drug makers have a duty of care towards their clients. This includes conducting extensive clinical tests to have thorough knowledge about what the risks are with taking medical products. They know or should have known about these risks. If you or an immediate family member unexpectedly developed NMS upon taking Risperdal, you may not have been adequately warned. Consult with Risperdal side effects lawyers in your area to assess your case.

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