The Truth About Risperdal and Gynecomastia in Children

Drug Injury

Risperdal is an atypical antipsychotic used to treat severe mental health conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Risperdal is colloquially known as a “downer” due to its ability to calm an individual down when they are experiencing psychosis or mania, two conditions that are seen in people with bipolar 1 or schizophrenia. Risperdal works by lowering levels of a brain chemical known as dopamine which is responsible for motivation, movement, desire and action. Risperdal also indirectly stimulates serotonin receptors, making it ideal for individuals who suffer from depression and have a propensity for mania. While Risperdal is undoubtedly effective, it has been associated with worrying side-effects, some of which are life-changing and even fatal.

Are you looking for a law firm that handles drug injury litigation? Please give us a call today at (773) 906-0431 for more information on your legal options for compensation. We will help you join multidistrict litigation proceedings so you can be compensated for the side effects associated with antipsychotics such as Risperdal. These cases have a statute of limitations, which means that you may not be able to file a suit after a certain period of time has passed. The time to act is NOW ; call McCready Law today at (773) 906-0431 for your free and no-commitment consultation into Risperdal lawsuits.

Risperdal Approval History

Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals manufactures Risperdal which received FDA approval back in 1993. The drug was initially prescribed for schizophrenia, but received approval for the treatment of behavioral disorders in children such as autism and ADHD.

Some of the concerning side-effects associated with Risperdal include:

  • Severe weight gain within a short amount of time
  • Uncontrolled muscle movements, also known as Tardive Dyskinesia
  • An increase in blood sugar and the development of Type 2 diabetes
  • An increase in the production of prolactin, a female hormone
  • Constant dizziness and drowsiness

Prolactin and Gynecomastia

Prolactin is a hormone which is released by women who are of child-bearing age to prepare them for milk production. When the body produces prolactin, breast tissue becomes tender and grows, and areola swell up as glands found in this area start to express milk. Risperdal has been shown to increase prolactin levels in up to 90 percent of all individuals taking this medication, causing alarming and visible side effects.

Gynecomastia Surgery

Children who take Risperdal soon begin to grow breast tissue, with males presenting with gynecomastia, or abnormal breast tissue not normally seen in men.  This can be psychologically distressing for young males who are at a very self-conscious period in their lives. This side-effect may require liposuction and in some cases, a mastectomy. However, it is not uncommon for breasts to grow back even after extensive surgery.

Risperdal and the FDA

Johnson & Johnson has been known to go against official orders with regard to letting consumers about the deleterious effects of this drug in the young and elderly. For example, it was ordered to send letters to healthcare providers back in 2003 by the FDA alerting them of the possibility for this medication to cause the development of diabetes. However, it ignored this directive. In addition, in 2012, the company was ordered to pay hundreds of millions when it was discovered by a judge that the drug was being prescribed for conditions that it was not intended to treat.

If you or a loved one has been harmed by Risperdal, you may be able to collect compensation by way of a mass tort lawsuit. Please give us a call at (773) 906-0431 to learn more.