The antipsychotic drug Risperdal (generic: risperidone) has been linked to gynecomastia, a condition that causes abnormal breast growth in boys and young men.
Free Risperdal Gynecomastia Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one developed gynecomastia after taking Risperdal, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer and our lawyers can help.
Update: Punitive Damages Allowed in Risperdal Gynecomastia Lawsuit
January 17, 2018 – A Pennsylvania Superior Court has cleared the way for punitive damages in a lawsuit filed on behalf of a boy who grew breasts after taking Risperdal to treat his Tourette’s syndrome. Plaintiff Timothy Stange was awarded more than $500,000 in compensatory damages in 2015, and then on Jan. 10, a three-member judicial panel ruled that Stange could also be awarded punitive damages for his injuries.
What’s the Problem?
Manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson), Risperdal is a popular antipsychotic drug used to treat schizophrenia and other serious psychological disorders. Risperdal suppresses the effects of dopamine and serotonin, neurotransmitters in the brain that are typically elevated in schizophrenics. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved Risperdal to treat schizophrenia in 1993, and then again in 2003 for the treatment of bipolar disorder.
Unfortunately, Risperdal has been found to increase certain patients’ levels of prolactin, a hormone that stimulates breast growth and milk production. In women, elevated prolactin levels causes spontaneous milk production; in males, it causes enlargement of breast tissue, a condition known as gynecomastia.
Plaintiff Awarded $2.5 Million in First Risperdal Gynecomastia Bellwether Trial
A jury has awarded plaintiff Austin Pledger $2.5 million after deciding that J&J failed to warn about the risk of gynecomastia linked to the use of Risperdal, a medication Pledger took for autism. According to the lawsuit, Pledger grew size 44 DD breasts after taking Risperdal. Click here to learn more.
Arkansas Risperdal Lawsuit Settled for for $7.8 Million
Janssen and J&J agreed to pay $7.8 million to resolve a lawsuit filed by the state of Arkansas over tactics the companies allegedly used to market Risperdal. The settlement equals a small fraction of the $1.2 billion fine J&J and Janssen were assessed in Apr. 2012, after a Pulaski County jury found that the companies had violated state laws governing Medicaid fraud and deceptive trade practice by illegally marketing Risperdal; however, the verdict was later overturned by the Arkansas Supreme Court. Click here to learn more.
How J&J Benefits by Putting Profits Ahead of Safety
J&J made huge profits by aggressively marketing Risperdal to children and the elderly while allegedly manipulating data about male breast development, according to Steven Brill’s devastating 58,000-word “DocuSerial” in the Huffington Post. Brill describes the misdeeds J&J took to make Risperdal a $3 billion a year drug, including peddling it for unapproved uses and hiding the results of a study which found that 5.5% of boys who took Risperdal developed gynecomastia. Click here to learn more.
- Swollen breast gland tissue
- Breast tenderness
- Nipple discharge in one or both breasts
Despite the fact that the enlarged breast tissue from gynecomastia is benign (non-cancerous), it can have a serious effect on a man’s social health, self-esteem, and emotional well-being. Liposuction may be used to treat mild cases of Risperdal gynecomastia, while more serious cases may require breast-reduction surgery or a mastectomy, a procedure where the breast tissue and excess skin of the breast is surgically removed.
Treatment & Prognosis (Outlook)
The vast majority of men who develop gynecomastia have a positive long-term prognosis. First and foremost, the patient’s doctor will determine whether or not the condition is male breast cancer. Breast cancer in men is exceedingly rare, representing less than 1% of all cases reported. Once breast cancer is ruled out and gynecomastia is confirmed, the method of treatment will depend on the degree to which it has affected the patient’s quality of life and social health.
Side Effects of Risperdal
In addition to being linked to gynecomastia, Risperdal has also been associated with the following serious side effects:
- Galactorrhea (production of milk from breasts)
- Diabetes, high blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
- Bone loss (demineralization)
- Sexual dysfunction
- Pituitary tumors
- Tardive dyskinesia (involuntary movement disorder)
- Weight gain
- Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS)
- Heart problems, heart attack, irregular heart rhythm
- Increased risk of death among elderly people with dementia
Click here to learn more about Risperdal gynecomastia from the Wall Street Journal.
Additional Resources & Information
- Plaintiffs Respond to Defense’s Motion to Dismiss Risperdal Gynecomastia Lawsuits
- Risperdal Gynecomastia Statute of Limitations
- J&J Files Motion to Dismiss Risperdal Gynecomastia Lawsuits Over Statute of Limitations Dispute
- Johnson & Johnson Risperdal Settlement
Study Confirms Link Between Risperdal Side Effects and Gynecomastia
A new study titled Risperidone and Risk of Gynecomastia in Young Men (PDF) found that Risperdal users were 4 times more likely to develop abnormal breast growth than non-users, and that children and adolescents who took the drug were 5 times more likely to have the condition. “Risperidone is associated with an increase with the risk of gynecomastia in adolescent and young adult males,” the study’s authors concluded. Click here to learn more.
Do I Have an Risperdal Gynecomastia Lawsuit?
The Product Liability & Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Risperdal lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new Risperdal gynecomastia cases in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: If you or a loved one developed gynecomastia after taking Invega, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing an Risperdal gynecomastia suit and our lawyers can help.