Risperdal is an antipsychotic medication used to treat a variety of mental health disorders. While the medication is often effective at treating such disorders, it carries some potentially life-altering side effects.
At The Embry Law Firm, we are exploring potential lawsuits on behalf of boys and young men who have been prescribed Risperdal and then developed breast tissue while taking the medication. There are already lawsuits pending against the manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson, alleging that the company did not provide adequate warning to healthcare providers and patients about this risk.
If you or someone you love has taken Risperdal and developed breast tissue or experienced other harmful side effects, contact The Embry Law Firm. We want to speak with you and help you determine if you have an actionable legal claim.
Risperdal is a prescription medication used to treat mental health issues. It is an antipsychotic medication that treats mental health disorders such as:
Risperdal works by balancing chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin and dopamine. It stabilizes mood and increases daily brain function. Approved in 1993, Johnson & Johnson and their subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals have made billions of dollars on the drug.
In addition to the approved uses above, doctors also prescribe Risperdal for “off-label” uses, or uses that are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Off-label uses include:
Like most pharmaceutical drugs, Risperdal does have potential side effects. The most commonly listed side effects are:
Though it was approved in 1993, Risperdal labels did not contain a warning about prolactin or gynecomastia until 2005 when the FDA ordered Johnson & Johnson to apply a black box warning to the labels. A black box warning indicates that the drug has side effects that are serious or life-threatening.
Lawsuits allege that Risperdal stimulates the body’s production of prolactin – a hormone that stimulates breast development in girls. Boys and young men who take Risperdal may also experience increased prolactin levels, which can cause a condition called gynecomastia – or male breast development.
Gynecomastia causes breast tissue to develop in boys and young men, giving them the appearance of having breasts. Some patients with gynecomastia also experience discharge from their nipples. This condition is traumatizing and can affect many aspects of the patient’s life.
In 2006, a study in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology said that risperidone – the generic version of Risperdal – can “strongly increase prolactin levels, with clinical consequences such as gynecomastia.” Researchers also noted that because the long-term effects of taking Risperdal are unclear, it should be prescribed to adolescents with great caution.
Aside from failing to warn healthcare providers and patients about the risks of gynecomastia, Risperdal has been subject to several controversies. It has been alleged that Johnson & Johnson illegally marketed the drug by doing the following:
The U.S. Department of Justice investigated the claims and, ultimately, Johnson & Johnson paid $2.2 billion to resolve the civil and criminal investigations.
Numerous lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson for side effects related to Risperdal. In 2015, Johnson & Johnson lost the very first lawsuit related to Risperdal and gynecomastia. Other cases have settled out of court, with billions of dollars being awarded to patients and their loved ones.
At The Embry Law Firm, we are dedicated to protecting Americans from the harmful, illegal, and unethical practices of pharmaceutical companies. If you or a loved one has suffered gynecomastia while taking Risperdal, contact us today! Schedule a free consultation with our Georgia Risperdal lawyer to find out more about your legal rights and possible options for taking legal action.
Get started today by calling us at 844-443-6279. Or, if you prefer, you can reach us online through our online form or our chat live option.