If you or a loved one took Risperdal and subsequently developed Gynecomastia, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact a Risperdal lawyer from TorHoerman Law for a free, no-obligation Risperdal lawsuit case consultation today.
A Risperdal lawsuit has been filed on behalf of individuals who used Risperdal to treat symptoms of mental disorders as children and as a result developed gynecomastia.
Thousands of people have filed lawsuits alleging that the drug manufacturer Johnson & Johnson’s popular antipsychotic drug Risperdal led to gynecomastia — the development of female breast tissue in males — in those who took the medication during childhood. The lawsuit notes that J&J marketed the drug for young people years before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its use for non-adults.
What is Risperdal?
Risperdal is a powerful, antipsychotic drug used to restore the balance of the brain’s natural chemicals. The FDA approved Risperdal in 1993 to treat adult schizophrenia, acute mania, and mixed episodes associated with Bipolar I Disorder.
Manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, Risperdal was marketed and prescribed to adolescents — even though the drug was not approved for that particular use until 2006. In 2006 and 2007, the FDA approved Risperdal for additional uses, including the treatment of bipolar disorder in adults and juveniles, schizophrenia in children, and certain behavioral symptoms in children with autism.
However, the marketing of Risperdal prompted doctors to prescribe Risperdal for “off-label” usage, meaning it was not properly tested through trials or approved for that specific use by the FDA.
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. This indicates that the actual number of side effects occurring is likely much higher. A black box warning, the strictest warning put on prescription drug labels by the FDA, has been placed on the drug.
More than 18,000 people nationwide have filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson, alleging that the company knew of the gynecomastia risks associated with adolescent Risperdal use without warning consumers. After risks became known, Johnson & Johnson did not strengthen labels with gynecomastia warnings, and lawsuits claim that J&J manipulated data and withheld key evidence from the FDA.
Risperdal Dangerous Side Effects
Risperdal can increase levels of the hormone prolactin. Increased prolactin levels can lead to side effects in females such as loss of periods, increased or irregular production of breast milk, and excessive acne and body hair. Males might experience symptoms such as erectile dysfunction, decreases in body and facial hair, and in some cases gynecomastia — the development of female breast tissue.
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.
Studies conducted by a psychiatrist at Duke University found strong links between Risperdal use in childhood and adolescence with the development of gynecomastia. The study concluded that the drug can increase levels of prolactin, leading to hormonal imbalances and gynecomastia. A study published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology found that young Risperdal users have a risk for gynecomastia up to five times higher, noting the explicit psychological burden associated with the disorder.
According to a study conducted by Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, gynecomastia has a negative impact on adolescent males both not only physically, but also emotionally. Specifically, the condition was found to affect “social functioning, mental health, and self-esteem.”
TorHoerman Law is currently accepting cases for young males injured by Risperdal. If you took Risperdal as a minor and have a documented diagnosis of gynecomastia, contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Who is Risperdal Prescribed For?
Risperdal is an antipsychotic drug first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1993 to treat adults with schizophrenia. During 2006-2007, the FDA approved additional uses for Risperdal, including treatment for:
- Bipolar disorder in adults and juveniles
- Schizophrenia in children
- Certain behavioral symptoms in children with autism
Risperdal is an antipsychotic drug that works by blocking the activity of dopamine in certain areas of the brain. However, blocking dopamine also has an effect on the pituitary gland, causing a number of metabolic disruptions and resulting in the release of a hormone known as prolactin.
Prolactin is responsible for stimulating breast tissue development and causing lactation in pregnant and nursing women, and for causing gynecomastia in adolescent males and in children as young as four. Gynecomastia can occur in one or both breasts and will not usually resolve, even if Risperdal use is discontinued. In mild cases, liposuction may be used to remove the tissue but in more extensive cases, breast reduction surgery or a mastectomy may be necessary.
As a result of the link to developing breasts after taking Risperdal, lawsuits were filed on behalf of the children and adolescents who suffered from the abnormal growth of male breast tissue and the increased production of prolactin.
The first Risperdal lawsuit ended in a $2.5 million loss for Johnson & Johnson. The jury found the drug maker negligent for failing to warn consumers about the risks 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, lawyers filed a lawsuit on behalf of a California boy who developed gynecomastia after taking the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal. Johnson and Johnson settled the case just hours into opening arguments.
In the first three months of 2017, more than 3,000 additional Risperdal lawsuits were filed in the Philadelphia Common Court of Pleas. The total number of cases filed in Philadelphia courts totals more than 5,500, which are currently pending.
Do I qualify to Participate in a Risperdal Lawsuit?
If you took Risperdal as a minor and have a documented diagnosis of gynecomastia, or developed physical or mental adverse symptoms from increased prolactin, contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Filing a Risperdal Lawsuit
If you have any questions about a Risperdal lawsuit, please contact the personal injury lawyers at TorHoerman Law today. Before filing a Risperdal lawsuit, familiarize yourself with the steps of the civil litigation process.
The first step in a Risperdal lawsuit is choosing a personal injury attorney who has experience handling Risperdal litigation. Your Risperdal lawyer will help you to identify who holds liability for your injuries. You will need to begin gathering evidence as soon as possible to support your claim against the liable party. This evidence will help to prove the total cost of losses that you endured as a result of your injury, also known as your damages. In many personal injury lawsuits, the injured party will choose to file for both compensatory damages and punitive damages. After assessing all damages that you incurred, your Risperdal attorney will file a complaint demanding compensation to repay your damages.
Hiring a Risperdal Lawyer
If you or a loved one was prescribed Risperdal and subsequently developed gynecomastia, you should contact a Risperdal lawyer to discuss your legal options and potential compensation. TorHoerman Law offers a team of experienced Risperdal lawyers that are available for a free, no-obligation case consultation anytime.
Our team is currently involved in the ongoing Risperdal lawsuit against Janssen Pharmaceutical.
If you have any questions or concerns, contact a Risperdal lawyer from TorHoerman Law and we will answer to the best of our abilities.
Benefits of Hiring a Risperdal Lawyer
Your Risperdal lawyer will gather evidence to prove liability, assess damages, calculate an appropriate compensation amount, and guide your case through the legal process of a Risperdal lawsuit, representing your best interests the entire way through the process.
We fight for you so that you can focus on recovery. As your Risperdal lawyer, we will be next to you every step of the way, working as a team to help you get the compensation that you deserve for your injuries.
Worried about the costs associated with hiring a Risperdal lawyer? No need to be – TorHoerman Law operates on a contingency fee basis, so you do not pay unless we win you compensation for your injuries and losses first. This ensures that we are as committed as you are to getting a winning verdict for your case.
Contact TorHoerman Law today and learn how we can serve you.