17 deaths reported in Japan after drug injections

The Japanese unit of major drugmaker Janssen Pharmaceuticals says 17 people have died after being injected with its drug to treat schizophrenia since it was launched in Japan last November.

The company, an affiliate of US-based healthcare giant Johnson and Johnson, advised in Japan to use the Paliperidone Palmitate medication with great care even though it was not know whether it had caused the deaths.

The drug, brand-named Xeplion, is estimated to have been used by 10,700 people since it was released in Japan on November 19, according to a notice posted on the Japanese unit's website and seen Wednesday.

The causes of the 17 deaths included cardiac infarction, and suffocation due to inhalation of vomit.

In many cases the deaths occured about 40 days after injections of the drug.

The notice advised doctors to "fully understand that the substance remains in the body for at least four months after being injected" and to stay alert for any side-effects.

It also asked them to refrain from using the medicine with other anti-psychotic drugs because the "effectiveness and safety" of such a combined application had not been established.

The use of Xeplion has been approved in 78 countries and areas of the world as of June 2013, the has said.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

US jury hits Takeda, Eli Lilly with $9B penalty (Update)

Apr 08, 2014

A U.S. jury ordered Japanese drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. and its U.S. counterpart, Eli Lilly and Co., to pay $9 billion in punitive damages over a diabetes medicine linked to cancer. The drug companies said Tuesday ...

Japan prosecutors raid Novartis over drug ad scandal

Feb 19, 2014

Japanese prosecutors on Wednesday raided the offices of the local arm of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis over alleged exaggerated advertising for a popular blood-pressure drug, local media said.

Yahoo Japan to buy eAccess telecom firm for $3.2 bn

Mar 27, 2014

Internet giant Yahoo Japan said Thursday it would buy almost all of domestic telecom company eAccess from its parent Softbank Corp. in a deal valued at around $3.2 billion, or 324 billion yen.

Recommended for you

Experts want restrictions on testosterone drug use (Update)

Sep 17, 2014

Federal health experts said Wednesday there is little evidence that testosterone-boosting drugs are effective for treating common signs of aging in men and that their use should be narrowed to exclude millions of Americans ...

User comments