Risperdal (risperidone) is an antipsychotic medication that has been linked to a condition called gynecomastia, or the growth of male breast tissue. Although gynecomastia is not life-threatening, it can cause devastating emotional and psychological harm — especially for young men. Johnson & Johnson is now facing more than 130 Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuits.
Do I have a Risperdal Gynecomastia Lawsuit? If you or your loved one developed breasts after taking Risperdal, contact our law firm immediately for a free case consultation. If you file a lawsuit, you could receive compensation for your injury, medical expenses, and more.
Risperdal Gynecomastia Lawsuit Settlement Reached on First Day of Trial
In September 2012, Johnson & Johnson settled the first Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuit on the first day of trial for an undisclosed sum. The plaintiff, 21 year-old Aron Banks, took Risperdal from 1999 until 2004, when he was a child between the ages of 9 and 14 years old. At the time, Risperdal was not approved to treat children. Mr. Banks required surgery to remove excess breast tissue.
His attorney reported to Bloomberg:
“This drug caused female breasts to grow on little boys around the country. Their childhoods were stolen, but billions were made.”
According to this August 2013 SEC Quarterly Report, there are 490 lawsuits involving Risperdal pending against Johnson & Johnson, including at least 130 Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuits. J&J has also paid billions to settle government lawsuits that the company illegally marketed Risperdal toward children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
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.
What is Risperdal?
Risperdal (risperidone) is an antipsychotic drug manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1993. It is prescribed to control severe mood disorders, including manic bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. It is also used to treat severe depression in combination with antidepressant medications.
Risperdal and Gynecomastia
Experts believe that Risperdal gynecomastia occurs because Risperdal blocks dopamine, which causes the pituitary gland in the brain to release prolactin. Prolactin is a hormone that regulates breast growth in women and growth hormones in men. When prolactin is elevated (called “hyperprolactinemia”) is can cause enlargement of male breast tissue — gynecomastia.
What is Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is the growth or enlargement of glandular tissue in the male breast. It can occur in one or both breasts, and the growth may be uneven or lopsided. The excess tissue is not cancerous, but it can cause pain, tenderness, nipple discharge, and severe embarrassment. Males with gynecomastia are at risk of long-lasting psychological, emotional, and social harm.
For this reason, most doctors recommend surgical treatment to remove breast tissue and excess skin. Fat deposits are removed with liposuction and glandular tissue is removed with surgical excision or a mastectomy.
Studies Linking Risperdal and Gynecomastia
Psychopharmacology (1999) — This is the first study to link Risperdal and gynecomastia in patients who are also taking Prozac (fluoxetine).
Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology (2006) — Researchers warn:
“Risperidone administered to adolescents at doses commonly used for the treatment of psychotic symptoms can strongly increase prolactin levels, with clinical consequences such as gynecomastia and/or galactorrhea. Given that the long-term effects of antipsychotic drug-induced hyperprolactinemia are not well documented, especially regarding osteopenia, infertility, growth, and pubertal delay, risperidone should be administered with caution to children and adolescents.”
Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology (2009) — Researchers warn about persistent elevation of prolactin levels for up to 2 years in Risperdal users.
Symptoms of Risperdal Gynecomastia
- Enlargement of male breasts (may be uneven)
- Growth of glandular breast tissue
- Breast tenderness
- Nipple discharge
Do I Have a 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 cases in all 50 states.
Free Risperdal Gynecomastia Lawsuit Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one was injured, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuit and we can help.