What is Risperdal?
Risperdal (risperidone) is an atypical antipsychotic medication used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and irritability associated with autism. It is manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson) and was first approved for treatment in adults in December 1993. In August 2007, Risperdal extended its use to treat schizophrenia in kids aged 13-17. Simultaneously, it was approved (in combination with lithium or valproate) as a treatment option for episodes of Bipolar I disorder in youth aged 10-17.
Risperdol has a number of mild and common side effects, which include:
- Weight gain
- Oral rash
- Excessive salivation
- Increased appetite
Risperdal and Gynecomastia
Gynecomastia is the growth of abnormally large breasts in young men or boys due to a hormone imbalance. While this condition is common with over 200,00 cases every year, young men taking Risperdol began developing gynecomastia over the course of treatment for schizophrenia.
In 2006, results from the largest study on the side effects of Risperdal concluded that: “[R]isperidone administered to adolescents at doses commonly used for the treatment of psychotic symptoms can strongly increase prolactin levels with… consequences such as gynecomastia…” The study also noted that risperdone should be prescribed to youth with caution, as sufficiently documented long-term effects of antipsychotics do not exist at this time.
Is There a Cure for Gynecomastia Caused By Risperdal?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for gynecomastia–regardless if it was caused by Risperdal. Men may decide to have surgery for breast removal or liposuction, but without these costly options, gynecomastia is not a reversible condition.
There are more than 420 lawsuits filed against both Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson, 100 of which include claims that Risperdal is the source of a gynecomastia diagnosis. Men are seeking compensation not only for the development of the condition, but for pain, suffering, shame, and embarrassment.
Entities across the country–including the Kentucky attorney general, Johnson & Johnson’s own sales manager, and consumer protection regulators in over 30 states–have filed or have pending lawsuits against J & J for:
- Knowingly concealing dangerous side effects of Risperdol, including weight gain, stroke, diabetes, and gynecomastia
- Issuing illegal marketing tactics between 1993 and 2004
- Training salespersons to push Risperdol for use in adolescents before its FDA-approval date in 2006
From 2012 to 2014, J & J dished out more than $300 million to settle claims for misconduct.
Should I Hire an Indianapolis Risperdal Lawyer?
If you or your son has developed gynecomastia or lactation while taking Risperdal, you may be entitled to a settlement for pain and suffering, psychological trauma, and medical expenses. Contact one of our Indianapolis drug injury attorneys for your free case evaluation by filling out the form below. You may also call our office at 317.920.6400.