Risperdal is an antipsychotic medication approved by the FDA for use in bipolar disorder in adolescents and autism spectrum disorders in children and adolescents.
Risperdal is also prescribed “off-label” for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. “Off-label” means that although a doctor may prescribe the drug for that use, the drug manufacturer may not promote such use before FDA approval. Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer of Risperdal, is currently under investigation for marketing Risperdal for use in young persons before gaining the required approval for that use. Over 3.5 million children diagnosed with ADHD take Risperdal and similar drugs. Meanwhile, reports of severe side-effects from the drug have increased while there remains scant evidence that these medications are successful in treating the disorder.
Serious side-effects of Risperdal have been reported, in particular, gynecomastia – the enlargement of breast tissue in males, particularly adolescents, which often requires surgery to correct.