US pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay more than $2.2bn (€1.6bn) to settle allegations that it promoted a powerful anti-psychotic drug and other drugs for unapproved use by children, the elderly and the disabled.

The settlement is one of the biggest involving a drugs company in the US.

The resolution of the long-running case covers the marketing of anti-psychotic drugs Risperdal and Invega and heart drug Natrecor over several years.

Johnson & Johnson and a subsidiary promoted Risperdal for unapproved uses, including controlling aggression and anxiety in elderly dementia patients and treating behavioural disturbances in children and in individuals with disabilities, according to the complaint.

The company disputed many of the US government's claims and said its settlement of civil allegations was not an admission of wrongdoing or liability.

US Attorney General Eric Holder accused Johnson & Johnson of displaying "a reckless indifference to the safety of the American people" and of paying "kickbacks" to doctors and pharmacies.