Risperdal Settlement Reached for Five Risperdal Lawsuits
Written by Stephen Fields on December 9, 2013
In the fall of 2013, Johnson & Johnson agreed to settle lawsuits brought by 5 families whose sons used the antipsychotic drug Risperdal. These families alleged that their children had developed male breasts, a condition known as gynecomastia, as the result of using Risperdal. They also accused J&J of failing to adequately warn about the risk of this condition associated with its drug.
These Risperdal lawsuit settlements could help families seek treatment for their children, including corrective surgery, which health insurance often does not cover.
Over 100 lawsuits alleging that Risperdal caused boys to develop breasts, a condition called gynecomastia, have been filed against Johnson & Johnson. While the company has tried to contend that breast growth in boys can be a normal part of puberty, plaintiffs insist that it was Risperdal that caused their injuries.
The injuries these boys have reported are not just physical: they have also suffered from low self-esteem, social difficulties, and depression as a result of their gynecomastia.
These families hope that they too will win Risperdal lawsuit settlement awards to help pay for treatment of injuries arising from this drug.
Risperdal Approved Uses in Children
Risperdal is approved for the treatment of children with schizophrenia, bipolar episodes, and irritability associated with autism. However, it is often prescribed off-label for other uses.
Dr. Mark Olfson of Columbia University Medical Center notes that “only a small proportion of antipsychotic treatment in children and adolescents is for FDA-approved clinical indications.” Increasingly, children with ADHD and other behavioral disorders are also being prescribed these drugs.
Just as the use of these antipsychotic drugs has ballooned, so have concerns about Risperdal side effects in children. Antipsychotics are powerful medications that affect brain chemistry. While they can greatly improve the lives of those suffering from mental illnesses, they can also cause serious, lifelong side effects.
Long Term Side Effects of Risperdal in Children
Some children on these drugs develop a condition known as tardive dyskinesia, a disorder characterized by repetitive, uncontrollable body movements such as grimacing or pursing the lips. This condition is difficult to treat and often incurable.
Another potential side effect of risperidone therapy is diabetes. Earlier this year, research from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center indicated that children and teenagers who used Risperdal faced 3 times the risk of developing type 2 diabetes of children who were not using Risperdal.
Those who developed diabetes while taking this drug will have to manage the disease for the rest of their lives: there is no cure for diabetes.
Risperdal and Gynecomastia in Children
Finally, there is increasing evidence that Risperdal is linked to a condition called gynecomastia, or male breast growth, in children and adolescents. Unsurprisingly, this breast growth can cause significant mental and emotional distress for adolescent boys.
A study published by the medical journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in 2013 reported that boys with gynecomastia “had lower scores for general health, social functioning, and mental health” than their peers on a quality of life assessment.
If you or your son has been affected by gynecomastia after taking Risperdal, please contact our offices. Our attorneys are here to help you understand your legal options.
There is no cost for a consultation, and if you do pursue a Risperdal lawsuit settlement, no legal fees unless you win compensation for your claim. There is limited time to file a claim; please call 1-888-210-9968 at your earliest convenience.