Linked To Breast Growth In Boys
Risperdal – Breast Growth Among Boys
What Is Risperdal?
Risperdal is the brand name for the drug risperidone. Made and sold by the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals, this prescription medication is used to treat schizophrenia in teenagers and adults, Bipolar I Disorder in those aged 10 and older, and irritability associated with autistic disorder in children aged 5-16 years. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it in late 1993. Sales of Risperdal peaked in 2007 at more than $4.5 billion.
Janssen Pharmaceuticals’s risperidone patent expired in 2004. In 2008, Teva Pharmaceuticals began selling a generic equivalent in the U.S.
Like other atypical antipsychotics, Risperdal targets the serotonin and dopamine receptors in the brain. The drug has been linked to a number of serious side effects, including gynecomastia, diabetes, and movement disorders.
Risperdal Lawsuits Mounting
Since its approval, a number of studies have pointed to a link between the use of Risperdal and male breast development. In 2006, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology reported that some children developed high levels of the hormone prolactin, which is associated with breast development in girls and lactation in new mothers. A second study published in 2009 in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology reported that the elevated prolactin levels seen in Risperdal patients could persist for up to two years.
More than 400 lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson. Male consumers of Risperdal allege that the manufacturers failed to warn them about the risk of developing breast tissue. Consumers suggest Johnson & Johnson failed to properly research side effects. Johnson & Johnson is also accused of providing monetary incentives to Omnicare, a pharmaceutical supply company, to convince doctors to prescribe Risperdal to patients.
Many Risperdal lawsuits involve children, especially boys who allegedly developed gynecomastia due to their use of the medication. In addition to claiming the use of Risperdal-caused male breast growth, Risperdal lawsuits filed on behalf of children allege that Johnson & Johnson improperly marketed the drug for pediatric use before the FDA cleared it for such purposes.
Risperdal could also cause life-threatening side effects in the Elderly. The FDA does not approve Risperdal for the treatment of dementia in the elderly, and it requires a black box Risperdal warning on the product’s label informing users that the drug carries an increased risk of death in elderly users. The FDA determined that elderly people with dementia who used Risperdal were nearly 1.7 times more likely to die of various ailments, including heart disease and pneumonia.
In 2012, it was also reported that Johnson & Johnson had agreed to settle charges with the federal government over the way it marketed some of its drugs, including Risperdal. However, in the summer of 2013, The Wall Street Journal reported that Johnson & Johnson was threatening to back out of the $212 million deal because the U.S. Department of Justice wanted the company to admit that it had downplayed side effects associated with Risperdal, including its potential to increase prolactin levels in children. The government had also charged that Johnson & Johnson had illegally promoted the use of Risperdal for children long before it had been approved for any pediatric indications. According to The Wall Street Journal, the company balked at the settlement agreement out of concerns that the admission the government was seeking could hurt its position in Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuits.
FREE Risperdal Side Effects Lawsuit Consultation:
The dangerous drug attorneys at Reyes Browne Reilley Law Firm are investigating potential Risperdal lawsuits on behalf of those who suffer from gynecomastia and other side effects that may be linked to Risperdal. Those who took Risperdal may be eligible for compensation if the following side effects were experienced:
- Gynecomastia (growth of male breasts)
- Galactorrhea (production of milk from breasts)
- Diabetes, high blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
- Bone loss (demineralization)
- Sexual dysfunction
- Pituitary tumors
- Tardive dyskinesia (involuntary movement disorder)
- Weight gain, which may be severe
- Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS)
- Heart problems, heart attack, irregular heart rhythm
- Increased risk of death among elderly people with dementia
If you or a loved one suffered severe complications after taking Risperdal, you may be eligible for financial compensation. To speak to one of our dangerous drug attorneys, contact Reyes Browne Reilley Law Firm by completing the short case review form on this page, or call us at (214) 526-7900 to receive a free and confidential Risperdal lawsuit consultation.