Research indicates that the use of Janssen Pharmaceuticals’ widely-prescribed antipsychotic drug Risperdal (generic: risperidone) can elevate prolactin levels in the body, which may cause adolescent boys and young males to develop irreversible breast development (gynecomastia). Prolactin is a protien hormone that induces and maintains lactation in women after they give birth. In addition to causing gynecomastia, Risperdal has also recently been linked to serious side effects including tardive dyskinesia, diabetes, pancreatitis, bone loss, and increased mortality in the elderly.
Free Risperdal Lawyer Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been injured by Risperdal, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.
First approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for use in adults with schizophrenia in 1993, Risperdal has since been prescribed extensively in a so-called ‘off-label’ capacity (for which it was neither tested nor approved by the FDA) in children and adolescents for bipolar disorder, autism, irritability, aggression and behavior disorders such as attention deficit disorder / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In October 2006, Risperdal was granted approval for irritability associated with autistic disorder in children and adolescents. The next year, the drug received additional approval for the treatment of acute mania or mixed episodes associated with bipolar 1 disorder in children and adolescents. Regardless of whether Risperdal was approved on or off-label, many in the medical community feel that Janssen failed to provide adequate warnings of the drug’s many serious side effects.
2013 Risperdal Settlement
On November 4, 2013, Johnson & Johnson agreed to resolve criminal and civil investigations into the marketing of Risperdal and other widely-prescribed medications by paying over $2.2 billion, one of the largest penalties ever levied against a company for healthcare fraud. According to the agreement, J&J’s Janssen division will plead guilty to misbranding Risperdal for unapproved uses, as well as for paying kickbacks to physicians and to Omnicare Inc., the largest pharmacy for nursing homes. Click here to learn more.
Side Effects of Risperdal
Over the past several years, Risperdal has been increasingly linked to the following adverse health complications:
- Production of prolactin
- Pituitary tumors
- Tardive Dyskinesia
- Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS)
- Increased risk of sudden death from heart attack
- Diabetes, hyperglycemia and other blood sugar side effects
- Weight gain, potentially rapid and extreme
- Suicide, suicidal thoughts
- Bone loss
- Increased mortality in the elderly with dementia and related psychosis
Risperdal and Gynecomastia
Recent studies have identified a link between the pediatric use of Risperdal and male breast tissue growth – a condition known as gynecomastia. This can take place in adolescent boys and young men, and can be a terrible side effect of the drug. Signs and symptoms of Risperdal-induced gynecomastia may include:
- Enlargement of the male breasts (which is typically symmetrical in location and may have a rubbery or firm feel)
- Breast tenderness
- Breast sensitivity
- Breast pain
In most cases, gynecomastia occurs on both sides, but has been known to be unilateral in rare instances. The enlargement may be greater on one side, even if both sides are affected by the condition. It is important to differentiate between gynecomastia and male breast cancer, which accounts for only about 1% of breast cancer cases overall. Male breast cancer is typically confined to one side, and is not necessarily centered around the nipple.
J&J Settles Risperdal Lawsuit on Opening Day of Trial
In September 2012, Johnson & Johnson (Janssen’s parent company) settled a lawsuit on the first day of a trial over claims that Risperdal caused a male plaintiff to develop gynecomastia. The lawsuit, which was filed by 21-year-old Aaron Banks, was the first to go to trial on claims that Risperdal caused boys to grow abnormal breast tissue. The complaint was just one of about 420 still pending against J&J which allege personal injuries caused by Risperdal. Approximately 130 of these claims involve complications of gynecomastia in male users.
When massive pharmaceutical companies like Johnson & Johnson are negligent in failing to inform users about potentially dangerous side effects from their products in a timely manner, consumer safety is seriously jeopardized. Successful lawsuits can send a clear message to the industry about accountability and responsibility, as well as help to ensure that innocent victims are compensated for their injuries. If you or someone you love has been injured by Risperdal side effects, it is important to understand that you have legal rights. It’s imperative that you begin the litigation process as soon as possible, so that the applicable statute of limitations in your case doesn’t expire and your legal window of opportunity is closed before your voice is heard. Don’t hesitate to contact the Risperdal lawyers at Schmidt & Clark, LLP, today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Do I Need a Risperdal Lawyer?
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 injury lawsuits in all 50 states.
Free Risperdal Lawyer Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one has been injured by Risperdal, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.