Risperdal and Growth of Breast Tissue in males
Development of breast tissue in males (gynecomastia) is a serious side effect linked to the drug Risperdal.
Manufacturer’s Multi-billion Dollar Settlement Leaves Patients Out
Developed by Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen-Cilag subsidiary, Risperdal is an antipsychotic drug approved to treat schizophrenia. However, The U.S. Department of Justice alleged that Janssen & Johnson & Johnson promoted the drugs for unapproved uses, such as to treat bipolar disorder and, irritability in people with autism. In 2013, Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals entered into a 2.2 billion dollar settlement with the government for over promoting the drug.
The payment went directly to the government, and none of this settlement went to patients despite the serious side effects besides gynecomastia linked to Risperdal: weight gain; diabetes mellitus type 2; tardive dyskinesia; insomnia; and neuroleptic malignant syndrome, and more.
How Risperdal Side Effects can Cause Breast Tissue Growth in Males
The growth of abnormally large breasts in males has been linked to Risperdal in multiple studies, including one from 2006 in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology that found Risperdal associated with elevated levels of prolactin, the hormone responsible for breast development and milk production in females. The National Center for Biotechnology Information stated that Risperdal, in “doses commonly used for the treatment of psychotic symptoms can strongly increase prolactin levels, with clinical consequences such as gynecomastia.”
Furthermore, the government alleged that Johnson & Johnson and Janssen knew Risperdal triggered the production of prolactin in boys. A study published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology cited elevated levels of prolactin for up to two years after discontinuing use of the drug.
And yet, alleged the Department of Justice, sales representatives from Janssen were instructed to call on child psychiatrists and mental health facilities that primarily treated children. Risperdal was to be marketed as safe and effective for symptoms of various childhood disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and autism. Until late 2006, Risperdal was not approved for use in children for any purpose, and the FDA repeatedly warned the company against promoting it for use in children.
Risperdal Gynecomastia is Irreversible
Because of the noted weight gain side effect, many males taking Risperdal attributed the increased size of their breasts to the weight gain, not realizing that it was actual breast tissue growth until their condition was far advanced. And unfortunately, the gynecomastia linked to Risperdal is irreversible.
Symptoms may be present in one or both breasts and the breasts may be uneven or lopsided. The condition can be emotionally damaging, with embarrassment affecting the patient’s social, work, and overall lifestyle.
Men and boys who suffer Risperdal gynecomastia often must undergo surgery to correct. In mild to moderate cases, liposuction may be used to remove breast tissue. A breast reduction procedure or even double mastectomy may be required in more severe cases.
Compensation from a Risperdal Male Breast Tissue Lawsuit
Males who developed breast tissue from taking Risperdal could be entitled to substantial compensation. Damages may include payment for medical expenses, disfigurement and scarring, and for pain and suffering. If you believe your gynecomastia was caused as a result of taking Risperdal, or for more information on Risperdal dangerous drug lawsuits, please contact our team of experienced attorneys at Bernheim & Dolinsky, LLC for a free consultation at 1-800-474-4089.