In September 2012, Johnson & Johnson settled its first Risperdal Breast Lawsuit, filed by a young man claiming that treatment with the atypical antipsychotic medication caused him to grow breasts. This growth of male breast tissue, Gynecomastia, is the reason for a rapidly increasing number of lawsuits filed against the company. Hundreds of claims have already been filed and this number is expected to rise as the Risperdal breast side effect is given additional media coverage.
Risperdal is currently approved in the treatment of schizophrenia, the mania associated with Bipolar I disorder, and irritability/aggression in patients with autism. Although it has been FDA approved for use in adults since 1993, the US Food and Drug Administration did not approve Risperdal used for child and adolescent patients until 2007.
How does Risperdal result in male breast growth? The development of breasts among males occurs because of sustained elevated prolactin levels, or hyperprolactinaemia. A hormone produced in the pituitary gland, prolactin is normally present in low levels in both males and females. The hormone is responsible for both breast growth as well as lactation, which explains why high levels of prolactin are usually only found in pregnant and breast-feeding women. Unfortunately, because Risperdal affects the dopamine receptors that limit prolactin production, males taking the drug can experience a surge in the hormone. The result of this surge is the development of breasts as well as lactation in some cases.
The symptoms of gynecomastia include: tenderness of breasts, swelling of breast tissue, discharge from the nipple of the breast (either one or both), and pain. While the long term physical harm is not deemed serious, the emotional and psychological harm is overwhelming. Many of the victims who choose to file Risperdal Breast Lawsuit claims against Johnson & Johnson are children, some of whom were prescribed the drugs many years prior to its FDA approval for children.
Additionally, many people are being treated with Risperdal for indications that have not been approved. The amount of the first Risperdal lawsuit settlement was not made public, but the attorney for the victim reported that his client was satisfied with the amount. Money cannot fully remedy the damages caused by a defective drug, but it can help with the burden created by medical, emotional, and physical expenses.
Suffering from a psychiatric condition that leads to the prescription of Risperdal is a challenge enough on its own. Developing breasts as an adolescent male or little boy should not happen to anyone, much less someone who already suffers from mental health issues. If you or a loved one has experienced gynecomastia following treatment with this harmful medication, contact the Willis Law firm today, so we can assess your potential Risperdal Breast Lawsuit. Call us today because your case may be subject to a statute of limitations. All Risperdal clients are represented on a fee-contingent basis; if you do not win, you do not pay any legal or attorney fees.
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