Risperdal is the trade name for Risperidone, an antipsychotic drug manufactured by Johnson & Johnson to treat schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, some forms of bipolar disorder, and certain conditions in autistic people. While there are many common side effects of the medication, Johnson & Johnson’s failure to properly test the medication has resulted in significant adverse effects that were not known to patients.
In April 2012, a jury in the 6th Judicial Circuit of Arkansas fined Johnson & Johnson, and its subsidiary, $1.2 billion dollars for downplaying many risks associated with Risperdal. Almost 240,000 violations of Arkansas’s Medicaid fraud law had been committed, and the company was deemed to have committed more than 4,500 violations of the state’s deceptive practices laws. Later that year, claims began to arise that Risperdal caused hundreds of male patients to grow breast tissue. These patients were misled by the company’s deceptive marketing and product packaging.
How Does Risperdal Cause Breast Development in Boys?
According to a study published in 2006 in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, Risperdal may increase levels of prolactin, a hormone that naturally stimulates breast development in women. While that hormone is part of nature’s cycle in the development of a woman, it should not be present in boys. Unfortunately, young boys who have taken the medication may display increased levels of the prolactin hormone, which causes the growth of male breasts, a condition known as gynecomastia.
Boys who develop gynecomastia may experience:
- Tenderness in their breasts
- Pain in their breasts
- Swelling in their breasts
- Nipple discharge
The trauma to young boys who develop the terrible side effects of Risperdal can be life changing. Those affected may develop significant psychological trauma, which many doctors feel can only be alleviated by surgery on the breasts. Mild cases of gynecomastia may be treated with liposuction, but the more severe cases may require a mastectomy.
Hold Risperdal Accountable
The purpose of lawsuits against big companies like Johnson & Johnson is to hold them accountable for their conduct. If they do not properly test medications, innocent people will continue to suffer. Unfortunately, the only way to send that message is financially. At Snyder & Wenner, P.C., we have the experience necessary to understand what you or your loved one has experienced by taking Risperdal. Call us today to speak with one of our experienced attorneys. There is no cost or obligation to you, but your time left to file a lawsuit may be minimal.