Risperdal And Gynecomastia In Young Boys May Lead To Psychological Trauma
Written by Stephen Fields on January 28, 2015
Researchers have discovered a potential link between the antipsychotic drug Risperdal and breast enlargement in adolescent boys. The condition, known as gynecomastia, has been known to have a severe psychological impact on those who have it. A recent study in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery showed that the disorder can cause a decline in a sufferer’s quality of life, particularly at a young age.
Risperdal is the brand name for risperidone. It’s prescribed to treat select mental disorders, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, as well as behavior problems, such as autism and aggression. Once reserved for adults, the drug is now widely prescribed for children.
The manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson, has aggressively promoted Risperdal as a safe medication. The company even illegally marketed use of off-label Risperdal treatment among children before the FDA approved it for such.
Today, many families are outraged, claiming the drug maker failed to warn them that Risperdal might cause their adolescent boys to develop enlarged breast tissue. Johnson & Johnson is now facing a growing tide of potential Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuit claims.
Boys With Risperdal Breast Growth Suffer Psychological Trauma
Young boys commonly deal with issues related to self-esteem and peer acceptance. Those issues can prevent them from feeling comfortable around others and impair their ability to establish healthy relationships. Those coping with abnormal breast growth during this difficult time often retreat from those around them.
In 2013, the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery published findings from a study that examined the psychological impact of gynecomastia on young males. The authors conducted a variety of psychological tests on 47 boys suffering from abnormal breast enlargement. The results were compared with those from a similar round of tests conducted on 92 boys who did not have the condition.
The study’s authors found that gynecomastia was associated with emotional problems. Those who had the disorder were more likely to show deficits in mental health and self-esteem. They were also more likely to exhibit problems related to social functioning.
The researchers noted that the severity of the condition seemed to have little effect on the extent of the deficits. The subjects who had a mild form of the disorder showed the same psychological impairments as those who had a severe form.
Breast reduction surgery was advocated as a possible solution to the problem. Whether surgical intervention could repair the psychological trauma suffered by the victims was left unsaid.
The Link Between Risperdal And Gynecomastia In Young Boys
One possible side effect of Risperdal is an increase in the level of prolactin in the blood. Prolactin is a protein secreted by the pituitary gland. Elevated levels are associated with breast development in girls going through puberty. When prolactin levels increase in boys, the protein can have a similar outcome.
The Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology published a study in 2006 that showed a marked rise in prolactin levels among individuals using risperidone. Abnormally high levels of the protein indicate a condition known as hyperprolactinemia.
Prolactin secretion is typically held in check by dopamine. Risperdal is a dopamine antagonist; it blocks the dopamine receptors in the central nervous system.
By inhibiting the hormone’s production, the drug allows the secretion of prolactin to continue unchecked. The result is that adolescent boys using the drug may become susceptible to the development of enlarged breast tissue.
Pursuing Fair Compensation By Filing A Risperdal Lawsuit
Families that trusted Johnson & Johnson to warn them about the adverse effects of Risperdal are understandably angered. Many have filed Risperdal lawsuit claims, alleging their young sons developed an emotionally devastating condition that J&J should have warned them about.
They accuse the drug maker of promoting a defective product and recklessly jeopardizing the public’s safety. Some plaintiffs also claim the company knew about the gynecomastia risk and deliberately kept silent about it.
If someone close to you has experienced male breast growth that may have stemmed from his use of Risperdal, call 1-888-210-9968 for a free case evaluation. Your family may be eligible to receive compensation.
Our Risperdal settlement lawyers will listen and help you sort through your legal options. If you decide to sue Johnson & Johnson, there are no legal fees unless we obtain a recovery for you.
Contact our offices at your earliest convenience to pursue fair compensation for the emotional and physical harm your family has endured. Our Risperdal attorneys are ready to aggressively protect your rights.