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Risperdal Lawsuit Alleges Drug Causes Gynecomastia

Risperdal Lawsuit

Risperdal is an anti-psychotic drug that can cause young boys to develop breast tissue, a condition known as Gynecomastia. Risperdal lawsuit across the country have been filed against the manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson for knowing of the risks, but failing to warn consumers.


What is Risperdal?

Risperdal is a powerful anti-psychotic drug that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1993 to treat schizophrenia in adults. In 2006 and 2007, the FDA approved additional uses for Risperdal, including the treatment of bipolar disorder in adults and juveniles, schizophrenia in children, and certain behavioral symptoms in children with autism.

There have been more than 13,000 adverse reactions reported to the FDA in connection with Risperdal, and the agency estimates that less than one percent of all serious events are ever reported, indicating that the actual number of side effects occurring is likely much higher.


Risperdal and Gynecomastia

In November 2008, the Wall Street Journal reported that Risperdal use was linked to the increased production of prolactin, a hormone that stimulates breast development and milk production in women. In women, excess prolactin levels can cause spontaneous milk production, but in men, excess levels can lead to gynecomastia, the abnormal growth of male breast tissue.


Three Strikes – But Johnson & Johnson Continues to Battle in Court

The first Risperdal lawsuit ended in a $2.5 million loss for J&J, the jury finding the drug maker negligent for failing to warn consumers about the risk of gynecomastia. The second lawsuit was a partial victory for plaintiffs, as the jury found that J&J was negligent for failing to warn the public about the risk of gynecomastia, but the jury found that Risperdal was likely not the cause of this plaintiff’s gynecomastia.

On May 27, 2015, Johnson and Johnson settled a lawsuit filed on behalf of a California boy who developed gynecomastia after taking the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal. The case, resolved just hours into opening arguments, was the third Risperdal lawsuit to go to trial in Philadelphia in 2015.


Risperdal Lawsuit Timeline

1994 – Risperdal is approved to treat schizophrenia in adults.

1995 – Johnson & Johnson co-founded the Texas Medical Algorithm Project (TMAP). The organization’s intent was to persuade doctors to prescribe the medication to off-label patients such as children and the elderly.

2006 – The FDA approves Risperdal to treat children, specifically those with autism.

2006 – A study is released by a Duke psychiatrist that suggests a strong correlation between Risperdal and Gynecomastia.

2012 – Johnson & Johnson settled a Justice Department investigation into whether the company unethically marketed and promoted Risperdal to consumers by agreeing to pay a $2.2 billion fine, the largest at the time.

April 2015 – A young man was awarded $2.5 million in damages after developing size 44D breasts from taking Risperdal.

November 2015 – $1.75 million was awarded to a young man who developed Gynecomastia while taking Risperdal for schizophrenia.

November 2015 – More than 1,500 cases that alleged Johnson & Johnson did not warn of the risks associated with Risperdal were consolidated in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

July 2016 – $70 million in damages was awarded to a young man who developed Gynecomastia at the age of five due to Risperdal.

October 2016 – $1 million is awarded to young who began taking Risperdal at age 9 to treat mood disorders. He developed breasts and began lactating at the age of 10 as a result of the drug.

January 2018 – A Pennsylvania appeals court threw out an order that prevented Johnson & Johnson from facing punitive damages.


Thousands of cases are still pending in Philadelphia County.


If you have any questions about a Risperdal lawsuit, please contact the lawyers at TorHoerman Law today.



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