Risperdal (risperidone) is a powerful anti-psychotic medication that has been linked to severe side effects, especially when it is prescribed to children for “off-label” disorders that are not approved by the FDA. These side effects include excessive weight gain, gynecomastia (growth of male breast tissue), diabetes, and more. Some children have suffered through surgery and long-term medical care for these potentially permanent side effects.
Risperdal (risperidone) is an oral antipsychotic medication used to control severe mood disorders, including schizophrenia and manic bipolar disorder. It is also sometimes used in combination with antidepressants to control depression. Risperdal was manufactured by the Janssen unit of Johnson & Johnson. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1993. Since then, it has been approved to treat several other psychiatric disorders.
Risperdal and Gynecomastia
Risperdal may increase levels of prolactin, a hormone that causes the enlargement of breast tissue. In females, this can cause spontaneous production of milk (galactorrhea). In males, it can cause the breast tissue to enlarge (gynecomastia).
Gynecomastia is the growth of male breasts, sometimes with pain or nipple discharge. The tissue is not cancerous, but adolescent males with gynecomastia may suffer devastating psychological and social injuries. For this reason, many doctors recommend surgery for boys with gynecomastia. Mild to moderate cases of gynecomastia can often be treated with liposuction. Severe gynecomastia may require a surgical procedure called a mastectomy, which involves the removal of the breast and excess skin.
Studies have linked Risperdal to gynecomastia from at least as early as 1999. Since then, many studies have also found evidence of this risk.
Risperdal Lawsuit Settlements
In September 2012, Johnson & Johnson agreed to settle a Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuit filed by Aron Banks, a young man who developed male breasts after being prescribed Risperdal as a child. Mr. Banks used Risperdal when he was between 9-14 years old, from 1999 until 2004. He required surgery to remove the breast tissue. On the first day of the trial, Mr. Banks and Johnson & Johnson agreed to a settlement. As a part of the agreement, the terms of the settlement remain confidential.Johnson & Johnson faces an additional 420 Risperdal lawsuits, including 130 lawsuits involving gynecomastia claims.
J&J Pays Billions for “Off-Label” Risperdal Marketing
Johnson & Johnson has been forced to pay billions to resolve government lawsuits at the state and federal level. The U.S. Justice Department forced the company to pay $2.2 billion to resolve allegations that they engaged in illegal marketing practices to promote several drugs, including Risperdal.
In January 2012, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $158 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit in Texas. The company has also paid hundreds of millions of dollars to settle lawsuits in other states. Many of these lawsuits allege that Johnson & Johnson engaged in illegal off-label marketing of Risperdal, created a pay-off system to motivate nursing homes to prescribe Risperdal, and defrauded the state Medicare system of millions of dollars.
What You Can Do & How a Risperdal Lawsuit Can Help
Ramji Law Group is currently accepting Risperdal induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by Risperdal, developed gynecomastia or diabetes, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation.You may be entitled to compensation by filing an individual lawsuit or joining a Risperdal class action. Please use the form below to contact us or call us toll-free 24 hours a day at (888) 630-9898 or if you are in the Houston area call 713-888-8888.