In November of 2008, the Wall Street Journal posted an online health blog titled “Risperdal Can Have Troubling Side Effects in Boys.” In this blog, the WSJ raised a number of concerns regarding the Johnson & Johnson antipsychotic Risperdal and its potential side effects on young boys, whose bodies have not yet fully developed. Breast enlargement in males, or gynecomastia, is a serious threat to the emotional and psychological health of young boys who are prescribed Risperdal. Gynecomastia in young boys from Risperdal has also been the subject of an increasing number of lawsuit claims filed against Johnson & Johnson in the last couple of years. Last year, the first Risperdal Gynecomastia lawsuit reached a settlement.
A segment on CBS News featured the parents of young boys who experienced gynecomastia from Risperdal. The mother of one young man said that when her son began to develop breast tissue, he asked her if he was a girl. Not satisfied with the answer from his mother, he tried to wear bras be that belonged to his sister. Eventually his breasts grew so large that he required a double mastectomy in order to have them removed. Unfortunately, this surgical treatment for gynecomastia is not covered by many insurance companies because it is considered “cosmetic.”
Some people attribute Risperdal male breast enlargement to a simple gain in weight, but with some boy’s breasts growing as large as 38D there must be another explanation. The answer lies in the effects of Risperdal on a hormone called prolactin. Taking Risperdal results in much higher prolactin levels than normal, and this hyperprolactinaemia causes breast growth and in some cases even lactation. There has been a lawsuit filed by the parents of a 4 year old boy who grew one breast and experience galactorrhea (flow of breast milk unassociated with childbirth or nursing). Alarmingly, Risperdal is not approved for any use in a child as young as four.
Young boys should never have to undergo the experience of growing female breasts. The experience of gynecomastia can be emotionally damaging for many years to follow. If you or a loved one experienced gynecomastia in young boys from Risperdal, call the Willis Law Firm today. Currently, our firm is reviewing Risperdal male breast growth lawsuits nationwide and is ready to help you and your family fight back against this drug and its harmful side effects.