Ohio Drug Injury Attorney and Pharmaceutical Lawyer reviewing Serious Side Effects and Antipsychotic Medication Complications
Antipsychotic medications are used as a treatment for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia to control psychotic symptoms that may occur during acute mania or severe depression. Some anti-psychotics have demonstrated long-term value in preventing future episodes of mania or depression, though the class of drugs has significant side effects that may do more harm than good.
In people with bipolar disorder or autism, anti-psychotics are sometimes prescribed “off label” as sedatives, for insomnia, anxiety, or general agitation. Often, this class of drugs is taken with a mood-stabilizing drug and can decrease symptoms of mania until mood stabilizers take full effect. Some Antipsychotic Medication complications have been seen in the following drugs:
- Risperdal (risperidone)
- Abilify (aripiprazole)
- Rexulti (brexpiprazole)
- Zyprexa (olanzapine)
- Nuplazid (pimavanserin)
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati Product Liability Lawyer and Ohio pharmaceutical attorney representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of product liability claims against pharmaceutical companies.
Side Effects & Antipsychotic Medication Complications
Anti Psychotic Medications are associated with several potentially serious side effects. For example, Clozaril (clozapine) is linked to a potentially fatal side effect affecting the blood that requires regular blood testing. Geodon has been linked to a rare fatal skin reaction.
Risperdal (risperidone) is linked to the development of breasts, and lactation in young boys and men taking the medication. Medical studies and doctors have discovered that patients using Risperdal show signs of gynecomastia and galactorrhea, from what experts believe to be heavy exposure to prolactin, a hormone that may lead to breast growth and lactation.
Thorazine (chlorpromazine), Haldol (haloperidol), and Trilafon (perphenazine) may cause a serious long-term movement disorder characterized by repetitive, involuntary spasm-like movement. Other antipsychotic medication complications and common side effects of antipsychotic medications include:
- Blurred vision
- Stomach pain
- Changes in personality
- Dry mouth
- High cholesterol
- Muscle spasms
- Weight gain
More concerning side effects associated with the same class of drugs include:
- Trouble breathing or speaking
- Liver issues
- Nervous system reaction
- Skin reactions
- Increased risk for diabetes
- Cardiac arrest
- Pregnancy risks
What is a Depressive Disorder?
A depressive disorder is an illness that involves the body and mind, greatly interfering with daily life, normal functioning, and causes significant emotional and psychological pain. Depressive disorders like bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia are different from a passing blue mood. Without treatment, symptoms can last years.
Depressive disorders come in different forms, and there are variations in specific symptoms as well as their severity and persistence of manic episodes.
- Schizophrenia—schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder which affects how a person thinks, feels and acts. Someone with schizophrenia may have difficulty distinguishing between realities, may be unresponsive or withdrawn, and may have difficulty expressing normal emotions.
- Psychotic depression—occurs when a severe depressive illness is accompanied by some form of psychosis.
- Bipolar disorder—also called manic-depressive illness, bipolar cases are characterized by cycling mood changes: extreme highs and lows.
Symptoms of Depressive Disorders
Individuals diagnosed with depressive disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder may exhibit unique signs and symptoms which a doctor is charged with treating. Medications may help to treat some specific symptoms or to treat the disorder as a whole. Treatment with drugs should be accompanied with counseling and monitoring to see how the patient is responding. Some people experience a few symptoms, and others may exhibit several. Some common symptoms of depressive disorders may include:
- Persistent sadness or anxiety
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed
- Decreased energy and fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Loss of appetite/weight loss, or overeating/weight gain
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Restlessness, irritability
Antipsychotic Medication Complications Outweigh Benefits
Some antipsychotics stabilize patients, and may be used alone as long-term treatment for people who don’t respond to other available medications. For patients with depressive disorders, anti-psychotic drugs may help regulate normal thinking, mood, and perception, and have been known to quickly improve manic episodes. Anti-psychotics usually act quickly and help patients avoid impulsive behaviors associated with mania. The benefits may come with significant risks, however.
A medical expert has argued in a leading medical journal that despite many cases of successful treatment, psychiatric drugs like Risperdal, Zyprexa and Abilify may do more harm than good.
Some studies have suggested that this class of drugs may have unintentional effects on patients, especially adolescents and geriatric patients. The FDA’s review of published and unpublished controlled clinical trials has prompted several “Black Box” warnings for some anti psychotic drugs. Drug makers have been accused in many lawsuits of failing to properly test drugs before putting them to market, and downplaying the risks of their drugs.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to anti psychotic medications, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care in Ohio, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer critical questions regarding antipsychotic medication complications and lawsuits.