Invega is a brand of paliperidone, an atypical antipsychotic mainly used to treat schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. This drug has been in the eye of the storm lately with class actions lawsuits on all sides.
Invega marketed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of schizophrenia in 2006. Paliperidone was approved by the FDA for the treatment of schizoaffective disorder in 2009.
The long-acting injectable form of paliperidone, marketed as Invega Sustenna in the U.S. and Xeplion in Europe, was approved by the FDA on July 31, 2009. It is the only available brand in Bangladesh under the brand name “Palimax ER” manufactured & marketed by ACI Pharmaceuticals.
It was initially approved in Europe in 2007 for schizophrenia, the extended-release form and used for schizoaffective disorder were approved in Europe in 2010, and extension to use in adolescents older than 15 years old was approved in 2014.
However, In April 2014, it was reported that 21 Japanese people who had received shots of the long-acting injectable paliperidone to date had died, out of 10,700 individuals prescribed the drug.
In the U.S., several reports have been filed about the adverse effects of Invega, on drugs.com one reviewer wrote “I had psychosis for a week and was put in a ward and the idiots diagnosed me with schizophrenia. Made me have Invega injections for 2 years. Off it now I told them no way no more. Invega ruined my life and has given me permanent brain damage.”
Another reviewer by the name of Grant wrote: “My son started Invega and the drug made his symptoms worse. He couldn’t sleep he became very agitated. He had hospital admission after hospital admission. I am sorry to say he killed himself about three months after starting this drug. Please don’t let anyone you love start this drug, it is a very bad drug.”
Sola another user wrote: “This is the worse medication ever. I was 120lb when I started on this and I gained 80 lbs. My boobs went up from A cup size to D. It has been so hard to lose weight. I don’t take the meds anymore and I’m still trying to lose weight and it cost me other health problems on top of this. I would not wish this medication for anyone. I did not feel better about it at all. In fact, I felt dizzy and was sleepy and all I wanted to do was eat. I repeated myself constantly while on this med. I blame the manufacturers for all the damages.”
Ira said “Put on those medication for two years. I don’t hear voices or anything, but yet I was diagnosed schizophrenic. Made me forget words, feel stupid, impotence, erectile dysfunction, sexual problems overall decreased ambitions, decreased confidence, felt swollen, my life turned upside down. Got off the medication two months ago and increasingly feel better. I hope all the side effects wear off and I go back to normal. I hope.”
Invega sustenna horror stories and tales of adverse effects are not the same for everyone some have had remarkable success with the drug and sign off the claim …..Invega saved my life.
One anonymous user wrote “before I visited my doctor I was having visual hallucinations and hearing voices. After I was prescribed paliperidone (Invega) I had a dramatic loss of hallucinations and voices. To the point where I had no hallucinations, or only rarely like every couple months or so one blip, but not a dozen a day”.
However, following the revelation that patients who used Invega and were diagnosed with gynecomastia may be entitled to financial compensation. Several lawsuits have been filed against the maker of Invega linking the antipsychotic to the abnormal growth of breast tissue in young males, as well as other life-altering side effects.
What are the side effects of Invega?
According to studies, common Invega side effects may include:
- dizziness, drowsiness;
- cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat;
- feeling restless or anxious;
- muscle stiffness, tremors or shaking;
- uncontrolled muscle movements, trouble with walking, balance, or speech;
- abnormal movements of your eyes;
- weight gain;
- upset stomach, constipation;
- fast heart rate; or
- pain or tenderness where the medicine was injected.
Some side effects can be serious they include:
- muscle pain or stiffness
- fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
- unusual movements of your face or body that you cannot control
- slow or stiff movements
- painful erection of the penis that lasts for hours
Paliperidone may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
Why People Have Bad Experiences With Invega
While Invega is generally considered safe and effective, some people may experience negative side effects or have a bad experience with the medication. Here are some reasons why:
1. Incorrect Dosage: Taking too much or too little Invega can lead to negative side effects. For example, taking too much Invega can cause drowsiness, dizziness, and an increased risk of falls. On the other hand, taking too little Invega may not provide adequate symptom relief. It’s important to follow the dosing instructions provided by the prescribing physician and not to adjust the dose without consulting with them first.
2. Interactions with other medications: Invega can interact with other medications, including over-the-counter medicines and supplements. For example, Invega may interact with antidepressants, antipsychotics, and certain antibiotics. If someone is taking Invega alongside another medication, there is a possibility that the medications may interact in a way that causes negative side effects. It’s important to inform the prescribing physician of all medications, supplements, and over-the-counter drugs being taken before starting Invega.
3. Pre-existing medical conditions: People with pre-existing medical conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes, may be more susceptible to negative side effects from Invega. It’s important to inform the prescribing physician of any pre-existing medical conditions before starting Invega. The doctor may need to adjust the dosage or choose an alternative medication to avoid adverse effects.
4. Misuse and Abuse: Invega is sometimes misused and abused, particularly by people who are trying to get high. Misuse of the drug can lead to negative side effects and addiction. In fact, some studies have shown that Invega has potential for abuse and addiction, especially among people with a history of substance abuse or addiction.
5. Allergic Reactions: While rare, some people may have an allergic reaction to Invega. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include rash, hives, and difficulty breathing. If someone experiences any of these symptoms after taking Invega, they should seek medical attention immediately.
6. Withdrawal: People who abruptly stop taking Invega may experience withdrawal symptoms, including nausea, insomnia, and agitation. To avoid withdrawal symptoms, it’s important to gradually taper off Invega under the guidance of a healthcare provider.
Overall, Invega is a safe and effective medication for most people when taken as prescribed by a doctor. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks and to inform the prescribing physician of any pre-existing medical conditions, other medications, or concerns about the medication.