Risperdal is an antipsychotic drug used to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia in adults and adolescents ages 10-17. After receiving FDA approval in 1993, in 2005 the FDA required that Risperdal and other antipsychotic drugs include a black-box warning on the package insert to emphasize the increased risk of death in patients who take the drugs for dementia-related psychosis. Johnson & Johnson, whose subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals manufactures Risperdal, is currently facing a number of lawsuits from Risperdal patients who claim to have been physically, emotionally, and socially harmed by the drug.
Risperdal Side Effects
Side effects reported by some patients taking Risperdal include:
- Bone loss
- Tardive Dyskinesia, an involuntary movement disorder
- Pituitary tumors
- Headaches and eye problems
- Risperdal gynecomastia, the growth of male breast tissue
Risperdal Gynecomastia: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
Experts believe that Risperdal gynecomastia develops because Risperdal works to block dopamine and as a result, the pituitary gland releases prolactin, a hormone that stimulates breast development and milk production in women. In women, excess prolactin levels can cause spontaneous milk production; in men, prolactin can cause gynecomastia.
The symptoms of Risperdal gynecomastia include breast pain, tenderness, swelling, and nipple discharge in one or both breasts. Although Risperdal gynecomastia does not cause severe health complications, the condition can be psychologically and emotionally damaging, especially to male patients.
Surgery is often required to correct Risperdal gynecomastia, although liposuction may be used to remove breast tissue in mild to moderate cases. In more severe cases, the patient may need a breast reduction procedure or even a mastectomy to remove breast tissue and excess breast skin.
A number of lawsuits are being brought by patients who have suffered adverse side effects from taking Risperdal, roughly one-quarter of them pertaining to the development of gynecomastia. According to Market Watch, Risperdal is the subject of dozens of lawsuits filed on behalf of alleged victims of Risperdal gynecomastia, alleging that Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals concealed Risperdal’s risks from patients and doctors, and improperly marketed the drug for use in children before it was cleared for pediatric use in 2006.
Childers, Schlueter & Smith is still reviewing Risperdal cases where a patient has been diagnosed with gynecomastia. If you have questions or concerns, contact one of our Risperdal Lawyers today for a free evaluation of your potential claim.