Risperdal is an antipsychotic drug used to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia in adults and adolescents ages 10-17. After receiving FDA approval in 1993, in 2005 the FDA required that Risperdal and other antipsychotic drugs include a black-box warning on the package insert to emphasize the increased risk of death in patients who take the drugs for dementia-related psychosis.
Johnson & Johnson, whose subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals manufactures Risperdal, is currently facing a number of lawsuits from Risperdal patients who claim to have been physically, emotionally, and socially harmed by a side effect known as gynecomastia. If you or a loved one has been harmed by this dangerous drug, contact our experienced Risperdal injury lawyers today.
Risperdal Gynecomastia: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
Gynecomastia is the medical term for the development of breast tissue in males. Risperdal’s link to gynecomastia has been well-documented. Experts believe that Risperdal-induced gynecomastia develops because Risperdal works to block dopamine and, as a result, the pituitary gland releases prolactin, a hormone that stimulates breast development and milk production in women.
The company’s own prescribing information includes the results of a study that found heightened levels of prolactin in:
- 82% to 87% of young men and boys with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder taking Risperdal.
- 49% of young men and boys suffering from autism and certain other ailments taking Risperdal.
Symptoms of Gynecomastia
- Breast pain
- Nipple discharge
Although Risperdal-induced gynecomastia does not cause severe health complications, the condition can be psychologically and emotionally damaging, especially for young men. Many of the men and boys taking Risperdal have existing emotional and behavioral issues apart from the drug and its effects.
Surgery may be required to correct gynecomastia, although liposuction may be used to remove breast tissue in mild to moderate cases. In more severe cases, the patient may need a breast reduction procedure or even a mastectomy to remove breast tissue and excess breast skin.
Risperdal Side Effects
Other side effects reported by some patients taking Risperdal include:
- Bone loss
- Tardive dyskinesia, an involuntary movement disorder
- Pituitary tumors
- Headaches and eye problems
Those suffering from gynecomastia after taking Risperdal should get in touch with a seasoned lawyer right away.
Risperdal Lawsuits on the Rise
In September 2012, Bloomberg reported that Johnson & Johnson, Janssen’s parent company, faced roughly 130 lawsuits from young men who suffered from gynecomastia after taking Risperdal. In late 2012, the company confidentially settled six cases.
Additionally, Johnson & Johnson has been fined more than $1 billion by numerous state governments due to the company’s improper marketing of Risperdal. A knowledgeable attorney could provide more information about the Risperdal lawsuits.
Contact Our Dangerous Drug Law Firm
At Childers, Schlueter & Smith, we are currently reviewing Risperdal cases in which a patient has been diagnosed with gynecomastia. If you have questions or concerns, contact one of our Risperdal injury lawyers today for a free evaluation. All inquires are completely confidential.