Risperdal Linked to Male Breast Growth
Risperdal is an antipsychotic drug containing risperidone that is prescribed to people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Though it was not initially approved for use in children, use among adolescents and children has increased steeply in recent years.
Risperdal can cause gynecomastia — the growth of tissue, not fat, in the breasts of boys and young men. This is different from the normal weight gain that is possible with Risperdal and other medications. It is caused by an elevated level of the hormone prolactin triggered by the drug.
According to Risperdal’s own manufacturer, a double-blind study found that:
- Risperdal increased prolactin levels in 82% to 87% of young patients with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
- Risperdal increased prolactin levels in 49% of young patients suffering from autism or other disorders besides schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Gynecomastia can be painful, but in many cases its worst effects are psychological and emotional. If you or a loved one has experienced symptoms of this embarrassing condition after taking Risperdal, we want to help you join the growing number of young men seeking compensation for what happened to them.
Time is limited. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our attorneys.
Difficult to Treat – and Embarrassing
Prolactin is typically much more prevalent in women than in men. It stimulates the mammary glands and is the same hormone that leads to milk development in the breasts of pregnant women.
Gynecomastia can be psychologically and emotionally damaging, potentially leading to self-image issues, depression and social problems. Some men affected by the condition have had the unwanted breast tissue removed through surgery.
In addition to the development of breasts in males, gynecomastia can cause:
- Nipple discharge
The anti-depressants Paxil and Prozac are believed to increase the body’s absorption of Risperdal, which may increase the risk of side effects.
Johnson & Johnson Facing Lawsuits
Bloomberg reported in September 2012 that Johnson & Johnson, which sells Risperdal through its Janssen division, faced roughly 130 lawsuits from young men who suffered from male breast development linked to the drug.
“The billions Johnson & Johnson made had a terrible human cost,” the attorney for a 21-year-old Pennsylvania man told Bloomberg. His case was among 6 that were resolved with confidential settlements in September and October of 2012.
To date, Johnson & Johnson has paid billions of dollars to settle lawsuits and investigations regarding the inappropriate marketing of Risperdal.
If you or a member of your family has experienced male breast development or been diagnosed with gynecomastia after taking Risperdal, you need to contact us today. This has happened to many other boys and young men, but it shouldn’t have. It is an unfortunate side effect that young men should not have to go through.
Time is limited to join those who are standing up to Johnson & Johnson to seek compensation for their unpleasant ordeal. Contact our attorneys today by calling 1 (877) 319-2353 or filling out the form on this page to learn how we can help you.