Mass Torts Spotlight: Risperdal Gynecomastia

What is Risperdal?

Risperidone (the generic name for Risperdal) is a potent atypical antipsychotic drug made and sold by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. It has been approved to treat schizophrenia in adults and adolescents, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, and irritability in people with autism; unfortunately, Johnson & Johnson convinced thousands of doctors to prescribe Risperdal for medical uses not yet approved by the FDA, causing serious side effects.

The use of Risperdal has been linked to a condition called gynecomastia, or the enlargement of male breast tissue. This condition has been seen in young boys who have used Risperdal.

How Can Risperdal Cause Breast Development in Boys?

Prolactin stimulates breast development in women. Young boys who have taken Risperdal and are displaying increased levels of this hormone may develop male breasts, the growth of which is scientifically referred to as gynecomastia. Boys who have developed gynecomastia may experience breast pain and/or nipple discharge.

A study published in a 2006 issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology stated that risperidone, the generic version of Risperdal, "administered to adolescents at doses commonly used for the treatment of psychotic symptoms can strongly increase prolactin levels, with clinical consequences such as gynecomastia."

Risperdal Lawsuits

Well over 400 lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson for failing to warn about the risk of young boys developing female breast tissue. Johnson & Johnson also failed to properly research the drug's potential side effects, and provided monetary incentives to Omnicare, a pharmaceutical supply company, to convince doctors to prescribe Risperdal to patients.

Individuals who may have developed Risperdal gynecomastia as a result of this dangerous drug could be entitled to financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more. To learn more about Risperdal male breast growth, please contact Arnold & Itkin today.

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