Risperdal Gynecomastia Connection Evident In Studies Dating Back To 1990s
Written by Stephen Fields on April 17, 2015
Janssen Pharmaceuticals and its parent Johnson & Johnson are the subjects of growing controversy over the antipsychotic medication Risperdal. Reports that the drug has caused young boys to develop female breasts have surfaced across the U.S. More than 1,200 Risperdal lawsuits are pending against the drug makers with plaintiffs alleging the companies marketed the drug without including proper warnings.
The companies behind the medication maintain they have disclosed the known side effects. A spokeswoman from Janssen asserted that “Janssen appropriately analyzed and reported data from clinical trials.”1 But plaintiffs argue that neither drug maker did enough to inform consumers and doctors about the potential risk of male breast growth (gynecomastia).
Research dating back to the 1990s has linked Risperdal to the possibility of abnormal breast enlargement. But few parents were made aware of that fact at the time the medication was prescribed to their children. Two lawsuits recently ended with jurors concluding that Janssen and Johnson & Johnson failed to sufficiently warn parents. Former FDA chief David Kessler testified to that effect in the first trial.
If you or your son experienced abnormal breast development after taking Risperdal, please call 1-888-210-9968 for a free case consultation. You may be eligible to file a Risperdal claim for compensation.
Risperdal Litigation Cites Male Adolescent Breast Growth
Gynecomastia is an enlargement of breast tissue in males. The growth in tissue is almost always benign. The condition is sometimes accompanied by nipple discharge as well as pain. Many men and young boys who experience the condition elect to have the excess breast tissue surgically removed via mastectomy.
Plaintiffs in a growing number of lawsuits targeting Janssen and Johnson & Johnson allege that breast growth in young boys is one of many Risperdal side effects in children. Unfortunately, the condition can cause profound emotional turmoil.
The medical journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery reported in 2013 that boys with gynecomastia displayed a number of psychological issues. They were more likely to score low on questions evaluating self-esteem. They also scored low with regard to their ability to function normally among their peers.
An earlier study in the same journal found that adolescent boys with enlarged breasts were more likely to question their sexual identity.2 The authors advised physicians to encourage patients who suffered from gynecomastia to seek “psychological evaluation.”
Link Between Risperdal And Gynecomastia Dates Back To 1999
Risperdal was approved for sale in the U.S. in 1994. At the time, the Food and Drug Administration only cleared it for treating schizophrenia in adults. It wasn’t until 2006 that the medication was cleared for use by adolescents.
Pending lawsuits claim that neither Johnson & Johnson nor its Janssen subsidiary adequately warned the public that male breast growth was a potential consequence of taking Risperdal. Many plaintiffs assert that both companies intentionally withheld information about the risk.
Studies have demonstrated the possible connection between Risperdal and male breast development since 1999. The journal Pharmacopsychiatry published a study that year showing that patients taking both risperidone (generic name for Risperdal) and fluoxetine (marketed as Prozac) were at risk for developing gynecomastia.3
A 2004 study in the journal Drugs showed that use of Risperdal could induce hyperprolactinaemia, a condition in which prolactin levels are elevated.4 Prolactin is associated with breast growth and lactation during pregnancy.
In 2006, the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology published similar findings. Researchers reported that exposure to Risperdal can “strongly increase prolactin levels.” They noted that gynecomastia was a potential consequence.5
Did Janssen And J&J Hide A Risperdal Breast Growth Risk?
Recently, juries in two closely-watched lawsuits ruled that the companies responsible for manufacturing and marketing Risperdal failed to sufficiently warn consumers about the risk of male breast growth. In one of the 2015 Risperdal lawsuit trials, the plaintiff was awarded $2.5 million.
Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals are facing litigation that could eventually expand to include thousands of complaints from victims and their families. If future verdicts are similar to those delivered in the two most recent trials, the drug makers may be compelled to negotiate a mass Risperdal settlement.
Now is the time to find out if you’re eligible to file a Risperdal breast growth claim. If you or someone in your family experienced male breast growth after taking J&J’s popular antipsychotic, call 1-888-210-9968. Our Risperdal gynecomastia attorneys will review your case and answer any questions you have about filing a lawsuit.
The case consultation and advice are free. Moreover, all valid Risperdal claims are accepted on a contingency fee basis. That means there are never any legal fees unless we win your case and recover compensation for you.
Time may be running out to file a Risperdal claim. Call our offices at your earliest convenience to find out the filing deadline and receive the legal help you need to seek a Risperdal injury settlement.
1. Mother brought to tears hearing Johnson & Johnson’s Risperdal tactics
2. The psychological burden of idiopathic adolescent gynecomastia
3. Gynecomastia with risperidone-fluoxetine combination
4. Antipsychotic-induced hyperprolactinaemia: mechanisms, clinical features and management
5. Risperidone-induced symptomatic hyperprolactinaemia in adolescents