Risperdal Lawsuit FAQ: Answers To Common Questions Asked By Risperdal Gynecomastia Victims
Written by Stephen Fields on November 25, 2014
Families with one or more children using Risperdal are understandably concerned regarding news that the drug might cause serious side effects. A growing number of men and young boys have reportedly developed diabetes, movement problems, and gynecomastia (male breast growth) after using it. Worse, the drug is oftentimes prescribed for “off-label” uses, exposing thousands to potentially permanent Risperdal long term side effects in children.
Below, we’ll answer several questions that have surfaced about this dangerous drug. If you or your son are currently experiencing abnormal breast enlargement after taking Risperdal, you might be eligible to receive compensation from the manufacturer. Contact our attorneys at 1-888-210-9968 at your earliest convenience to discuss your case.
What Is Risperdal And Why Is It Prescribed?
Risperdal is in a class of drugs known as atypical antipsychotics. Manufactured by Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen, it is FDA-approved to treat a number of mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism-related irritability. The drug inhibits select receptors, which in turn suppresses traits common to those conditions.
Beginning in 1999, Johnson & Johnson, along with Janssen, promoted Risperdal as a drug that could be used to successfully treat off-label mental disabilities in elderly adults and children. That drew the attention of the U.S. Department of Justice. The DoJ eventually launched an investigation into J&J’s marketing practices that culminated in a $2.2 billion Risperdal lawsuit settlement in 2013.
What Side Effects Are Associated With The Drug?
Risperdal is known to increase the risk of a long list of relatively minor adverse effects. They include diarrhea, shortness of breath, nausea, increased appetite, weight gain, and anxiety. In recent years, however, hundreds of cases of gynecomastia have surfaced in men and young boys who have taken the drug.
Gynecomastia is characterized by abnormal breast growth, enlarged nipples, and breast tenderness. Many cases have also included claims of spontaneous lactation. While these Risperdal gynecomastia side effects can have a severe psychological impact on men of all ages, they can be particularly devastating to adolescent boys.
Why Are People Filing Risperdal Lawsuit Claims?
Families and individuals have filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson and Janssen, alleging that neither company adequately warned consumers about the potential for male breast enlargement. The plaintiffs further claim that J&J was aware that use of its drug might elevate the level of prolactin, a hormone associated with breast growth and lactation. According to victims’ claims, the manufacturer concealed the connection rather than informing the public.
Claimants also allege that Johnson & Johnson promoted Risperdal for use in children years before obtaining the appropriate FDA approval. Moreover, the company continued to do so despite receiving numerous warnings from the FDA.
Is There Evidence Of The Link Between Risperdal And Gynecomastia?
A number of scientific studies have been published showing an increased risk of male breast development with use of Risperdal. For example, a study appearing in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology in 2006 described elevated prolactin levels in adults after they received risperidone therapy.
In 2009, a paper published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology1 noted that “persistent elevation of prolactin for periods up to 2 years has been documented in maintenance treatment with [Risperdal].” It’s worth noting that the researchers focused their attention on the effects of the drug on adolescents.
Has Any Victim Negotiated A Risperdal Lawsuit Settlement?
Several families and individuals have successfully negotiated Risperdal settlements with Johnson & Johnson over side effects allegedly caused by the drug. In 2012, Bloomberg reported that the drug maker had settled five cases alleging that use of the drug had stimulated breast development in young boys.2
In addition, J&J subsidiary Janssen reached a $5.9 million settlement with Montana’s Attorney General in early 2014 for failing to provide sufficient warning to consumers about the risk of gynecomastia.3 This settlement arrived on the heels of the company’s aforementioned $2.2 billion settlement with the DoJ.
Should I File A Risperdal Male Breast Growth Lawsuit?
If you or a family member has been harmed by Risperdal, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries. Our Risperdal attorneys are reviewing potential claims from individuals who have suffered the physical and psychological impacts of male breast growth after using the drug.
Contact our offices at 1-888-210-9968 to learn whether you are eligible to receive a Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuit settlement. The consultation is free and without obligation. Moreover, there are never any legal fees unless our attorneys recover compensation for you.
1. Antipsychotic medication in children and adolescents: a descriptive review of the effects on prolactin level and associated side effects.
2. Johnson & Johnson Agrees to Settle Five Rispersal Suits
3. Drug firms settle with Montana for $5.9 million