Antipsychotic Drug Risperdal Associated with the Development of Male Breast Tissue By Tod Aronovitz | 09/16/14 | 0 Comment

In a February post titled “Risperdal Whistleblowers Get $20 Million+ Rewards in J&J’s $2.2 Billion Settlement,” our ARONOVITZ LAW Blog reported on the whistleblowers who received lucrative multi-million dollar rewards in Johnson & Johnson’s settlement of Risperdal for marketing off-label uses of the drug.

Risperdal is an atypical antipsychotic drug originally approved to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Janssen, a subsidiary of J&J, additionally has come under fire for reports that link Risperdal to the development of male breast tissue in young boys.

Allegations claim that Risperdal may increase levels of prolactin, a hormone which stimulates breast development in women. Young boys who have taken prolactin and are displaying elevated levels of the hormone may develop gynecomastia, or the growth of large male breasts. Boys experiencing gynecomastia may have pain or nipple discharge. It has also been alleged that J&J failed to provide adequate warnings about this risk and failed to properly research the side effects of the drug.

Research has come to light that corroborates allegations of Risperdal causing the development of breasts in young males. A study published in a 2006 issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology stated that risperidone, the generic of Risperdal, “administered to adolescents at doses commonly used for the treatment of psychotic symptoms can strongly increase prolactin levels, with clinical consequences such as gynecomastia.”

The study also urged caution in prescribing the drug to children and adolescents because the long-term effects of Risperdal are not well-documented in regards to growth and a delay in puberty.

Young boys who have developed gynecomastia from using Risperdal may suffer from severe psychological trauma. Many doctors recommend surgery to overcome the problem. Mild cases can be resolved with liposuction, while more severe cases require a mastectomy.

In pending Risperdal lawsuits, at least 130 cases assert the drug triggered breast growth in male adolescents. One plaintiff, who took Risperdal between the ages of 9 and 14, alleged that he developed breasts and claimed psychological trauma as a result of his injuries and surgery needed to remove the breast tissue. On the first day of trial in mid-September 2012, Johnson & Johnson agreed to a settlement, the amount of which remains confidential.

Young boys who have allegedly developed male breast tissue as a result of their use of Risperdal may have legal recourse to collect compensation for surgical expenses, hospital bills, mental anguish and other damages. For a confidential consultation of a potential Risperdal lawsuit, contact ARONOVITZ LAW to have your case reviewed.

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The Miami product liability law firm of ARONOVITZ LAW pursues justice for citizens across Florida who have been injured by the wrongful actions or omissions of another individual, government agency, or corporation. We can assist you with civil litigation including consumer class action litigation, whistleblower cases, medical malpractice, product liability, and wrongful death cases.

Contact Miami product liability attorney Tod Aronovitz for a confidential discussion of your case.