Risperdal Side Effects - Male Breast Growth, Diabetes, Mortality
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Risperdal Side Effects

If you have suffered Risperdal side effects and are considering a claim for damages, The Sanders Firm product liability attorneys can review your case at no charge, and offer an honest evaluation. Hundreds of lawsuits have already been filed against drug maker, Johnson & Johnson, alleging that risperdone use led to gynecomastia, Type 2 diabetes and other serious complications.

Our Risperdal lawyers are currently investigating claims that J&J failed to warn of serious side effects of its antipsychotic medication, which has been used “off-label” in both children and the elderly in recent years.

About Risperdal side effects

The FDA approved Risperdal (generic name: risperdone) for the treatment of bipolar mania and schizophrenia in 1993. It is categorized as an atypical antipsychotic and was later approved to treat irritability associated with autistic disorders, including symptoms of aggression, self-harm tendencies, mood swings and extreme temper tantrums.

According to clinical trials, possible Risperdal side effects may include:

  • Feelings of restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep problems
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach Pain
  • Mild skin rash
  • Increased appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Menstrual changes

Other unwanted effects that are cause for concern and immediate medical attention are:

  • Fever or chills
  • Drooling
  • Seizures
  • Uneven heart beats
  • Confusion
  • Excessive sweating
  • Penile erection that lasts more than four hours
  • Twisting body movements
  • Vision disturbances
  • Abnormal tongue and face movements (indicative of Tardive Dyskinesia)

However, the drug has been associated with more severe health reactions that have prompted a growing number of Risperdal lawsuits. Thus far, the majority of the litigation involves allegations of male breast growth (gynecomastia) from risperdone use.

Study links Risperdal with increased diabetes risk

Recent researched published in the medical journal JAMA Psychiatry found that children who take atypical antipsychotics such as Risperdal may be three times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes. The researchers determined that this “risk was elevated during the first year of antipsychotic use, increased with increasing cumulative dose, and was present for children younger than 18 years of age.”

Diabetes and gynecomastia are two potential side effects that carry lasting consequences for those afflicted. But going up against global pharmaceutical companies takes the practice and resources of capable product liability attorneys.  For more than 45 years, The Sanders Firm has advocated on behalf of those who’ve been harmed by dangerous drugs. Our team of skilled trial lawyers has successfully taken on Big Pharma, securing millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients. Recognized for our legal expertise, personal service, and aggressive litigation, our attorneys are accepting Risperdal lawsuits in all 50 states.

Risperdal and male breast growth

Johnson & Johnson is presently facing more than 400 claims involving gynecomastia and Risperdal exposure. Claimants argue that the company was negligent in failing to warn of this emotionally troubling side effect. It is now known that risperdone stimulates the production of prolactin, a hormone that causes breast tissue development. J&J has reportedly negotiated a handful of settlements with plaintiffs in Philadelphia court, though the amounts remain confidential.

More recently, the U.S. Department of Justice has accused Johnson & Johnson of illegally promoting its antipsychotic medication for children before it gained FDA approved for pediatric indications. Adolescent boys who were prescribed Risperdal are particularly prone to developing gynecomastia, which can result in extreme emotional trauma and feelings of embarrassment.

According to an FDA news release issued in November 2013:  “JPI also marketed Risperdal for use in children with behavior challenges, despite known health risks to children and adolescents. Until late in 2006, Risperdal was not approved for use in children for any purpose, and the FDA repeatedly advised the company that promoting its use in children was problematic and could be evidence of a violation of the law.”

Consumer fraud settlement over off-label promotion

In 2013, J&J consented to pay $2.2 billion in fines to resolve civil and criminal charges arising from the illegal marketing of Risperdal for unapproved uses. Despite knowledge that risperdone posed serious health risks for the elderly, including an increased risk of stroke, the company actively marketed the drug to senior care facilities, as an off-label treatment for patients with dementia. In 2005, the FDA warned of increased mortality rates among seniors with dementia-related psychosis who were treated with Risperdal.

The Justice Department claims that J&J “recklessly put at risk the health of some of the most vulnerable members of our society — including young children, the elderly, and the disabled.”

Advice from skilled Risperdal attorneys

Since its launch more than a decade ago, Risperdal has been blamed for a host of adverse side effects that have left patients with enormous medical expenses, lost wages and a diminished quality of life. Besides diabetes, gynecomastia and stroke in elderly patients, the drug has also been tied to Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS).

If your child was prescribed Risperdal and developed abnormal breasts or diabetes, you may have a claim for financial compensation. The Sanders Firm has a proven track record of multi-million dollar recoveries against major pharmaceutical companies, and has the experience to obtain fair compensation on your behalf. To arrange your free consultation with leading product liability attorneys, call us toll-free at 1.800.FAIR.PLAY.  Our firm operates on a contingency fee basis, so you pay no legal fees unless we win or settle your claim.


  1.  Rx List, Risperdal http://www.rxlist.com/risperdal-side-effects-drug-center.htm

  2. Medicine.net, risperidone, Risperdal; Risperdal Consta http://www.medicinenet.com/risperidone/article.htm

  3. Medscape, Use of Risperidone in Children With Autism, Bipolar Disease, or Schizophrenia http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/571416_6

  4. JAMA Psychiatry, Antipsychotics and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Children and Youth http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1731662

  5. FDA, FDA: Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to plead guilty and pay over $1.6 billion to resolve allegations of misbranding and filing false claims for its schizophrenia drug Risperdal http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm373499.htm

  6. CBS News, Mood Disorder Drugs May Triple Kids’ Diabetes Risks, http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57599765/mood-disorder-drugs-may-triple-kids-diabetes-risk/