Risperdal Breast Growth Lawsuits Consolidated In Philadelphia
Written by Stephen Fields on February 1, 2015
Many parents with children coping with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, autism or severe aggression have put their trust in the antipsychotic medication Risperdal. Manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson), the drug is marketed as a safe and effective treatment for a range of mood-related disorders. But reports of abnormal breast growth among young boys taking it have prompted a wave of parents seeking Risperdal class action settlements.
Breast growth in males is known as gynecomastia. It can have a severe psychological and emotional impact on adolescents, hampering their self-confidence and impairing their interaction with peers. Thousands of parents whose children developed the disorder after taking Risperdal are understandably angry. More than 1,200 lawsuits currently pending in the Philadelphia multi-disctrict litigation (MDL) are accusing the manufacturer of failing to disclose the risk.
If you or your son experienced abnormal growth in breast tissue after taking J&J’s psychiatric medication Risperdal, call us toll-free at 1-888-210-9968. You may be eligible to join the rapidly-growing Risperdal litigation.
Angered Parents Cite Risperdal Gynecomastia Risk In Lawsuits
The decision to treat one’s child with a psychotropic drug like Risperdal is a difficult one. Such drugs pose a risk of serious side effects. Those side effects carry additional weight due to the potential sufferers’ young age.
The controversy swirling around Risperdal is that the manufacturer may have concealed information regarding the potential for adolescent boys to develop gynecomastia. Studies have long shown that the drug may elevate levels of the protein prolactin, a condition known as hyperprolactinemia.1 Clinical evidence indicates that hyperprolactinemia is associated with an increased risk of male breast growth.2
Risperdal lawsuits filed on behalf of families who suffered Risperdal gynecomastia side effects in children claim Johnson & Johnson and Janssen knew Risperdal was dangerous and defective. They also allege the companies falsely promoted the drug as a safe solution for off-label uses despite thousands of reports citing undisclosed adverse effects.
Parents have accused the drug makers of failing to warn consumers and health care providers that Risperdal might trigger breast growth in young males. Some claim the manufacturers intentionally downplayed the risk.
Risperdal Breast Growth Can Cause Psychological Issues
Risperdal gynecomastia carries more than just a physical effect. Researchers have found that it can have a profound psychological impact. The medical journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery published the results of a study examining the manifestations of that impact in 2014.3
The study’s authors surveyed 139 adolescent males between the ages of 12 and 21. Forty-seven otherwise-healthy boys exhibited signs of gynecomastia. The remaining participants did not, comprising a control group. The authors found that the boys with gynecomastia scored lower on questions designed to indicate their self-esteem and mental health. They also scored lower on questions related to social functioning.
One of the surprising findings from the study was that the severity of the disorder had minimal effect on its psychological impact. Boys with mild breast growth were just as likely to suffer emotional harm as boys with moderate to extensive breast growth.
The researchers opined that cosmetic surgery – e.g. a mastectomy – was an option for adolescent boys suffering from the disorder. But they offered no insight on the psychological, emotional and physical aftereffects of the Risperdal gynecomastia treatment.
How Likely Is A Risperdal Lawsuit Settlement?
Johnson & Johnson has already shown it is willing to settle select cases involving gynecomastia side effects allegedly caused by its drug Risperdal. The company settled a small number of such lawsuits in 2012.
The litigation targeting J&J and its Janssen unit has since swelled considerably. A number of bellwether trials are scheduled to begin in 2015. Jury verdicts in favor of plaintiffs might prompt Johnson & Johnson to negotiate a mass Risperdal settlement.
Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals had a responsibility to investigate the risk of male breast growth associated with its antipsychotic medication. It also had a responsibility to warn the public so that parents could prevent their sons from developing the disorder.
Call 1-888-210-9968 today if you or your son suffered from gynecomastia after taking Risperdal. Our Risperdal settlement lawyers will review your case and explain your legal options. We’re here to listen and answer any questions you have about pursuing compensation from the manufacturer.
The case consultation is free and without obligation. If you decide to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer, you can do so on a contingency fee basis. There are never any legal fees unless we obtain compensation for you.
There is limited time to file a claim. Call our offices to find out the filing deadline and learn whether you’re eligible to demand compensation for you and your family.
1. Long-Term Safety and Efficacy of Risperidone for the Treatment of Disruptive Behavior Disorders in Children With Subaverage IQs
2. Hyperprolactinemia with Antipsychotic Drugs in Children and Adolescents
3. Psychosocial Impact of Adolescent Gynecomastia: A Prospective Case-Control Study