Advocates Cry Foul Over Risperdal Use In Foster Homes

Advocates Cry Foul Over Risperdal Use In Foster Homes

Several groups sued the Department of Social Services because foster parents allegedly used the dangerous drug Risperdal as “chemical straight jackets.”

Attorneys for the National Center for Youth Law, Children’s Rights,  and Saint Louis University School of Law Legal Clinics asked a federal judge to grant the suit class action status and force the state to make changes in the way that the drug is used. The Food and Drug Administration has never approved Risperdal for children, primarily because of reported side effects like suicidal thoughts, uncontolled twitching, and Type 2 diabetes.

One 14-year-old boy siad he was afraid to go to sleep at night, because the dangerous drug Risperdal made it feel like he had knives in his eyes. In another instance, two sisters, who were both younger than four, received large doses of the drug.

Risperdal and Children

Many drugs that are perfectly safe for adults, like caffeine, have exaggerated consequences for children, because their bodies and minds are nowhere near fully developed. Risperdal, an effective antipsychotic, is another example.

Risperdal is widely used to address bipolar disorder, autism, and other mental conditions among children. But there are some very serious side effects, including:

  • Somnolence: Two-thirds of child patients either fall asleep during the day or are in an almost zombie-like state. This side effect is particularly distressing for children who already frequently get in trouble at school.
  • Weight Gain: Mostly because the dangerous drug Risperdal increases appetite in children, significant weight gains are rather commonplace.
  • Gynecomastia: Risperdal elevates prolactin levels, resulting in male breasts that increase, rather than decrease, the child’s insecurity.

Other side effects include fatigue and respiratory infections.

Off-Label Use

While the Food and Drug Administration has authorized the sale of Risperdal, it has never explicitly approved its administration to children. In fact , the FDA has specifically warned that the dangerous drug Risperdal is completely unsafe for children under 5, and marginally unsafe for children under 10.

However, to boost sales, drug makers often encourage experimental, off-label use. For example, the durg maker encourages doctors to give the popular antidepressant Desyrel to patients with sleep disorders.

Legally, if someone is injured after off-label drug prescription, it is much more difficult for the tortfeasor (negligent actor) to claim that a dangerous drug like Risperdal was safe. Therefore, the victim’s claim for damages is much stronger. These damages include money for compensatory losses as well as punitive damages, in most cases.

The dangerous drug Risperdal causes serious side effects among children. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Cave City, contact Attorney Gary S. Logsdon. Our main office is conveniently located in Brownsville.