New Research Shows Risperdal Increases Gynecomastia Risk In Boys

Emerging research confirms a causal link between Risperdal use in males and abnormal breast growth – a condition known as gynecomastia. Prior studies on this troubling side effect have triggered hundreds of Risperdal lawsuits against the drug’s manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson.

The findings of this latest study were presented by lead author, Dr. Mahyar Etminan at the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (AAGP) conference held on March 15. A pharmacoepidemiologist at the University of British Columbia, Dr. Etminan and his team of researchers examined side effects of the popular antipsychotic medications Invega and Risperdal in tens of thousands of patients.

Compared to those who were not taking either drug, Risperdal users had a 69 percent increased risk of being diagnosed with gynecomastia, according to the study. Other drugs in the same class of “atypical antipsychotics” such as Seroquel and Zyprexa were marginally safer, as researchers found that patients who were exposed to Invega or Risperdal still exhibited a 41 percent greater risk of excessive breast tissue growth.

Risperdal (risperidone) is currently the topic of heated litigation, as off-label promotion of the drug for adolescents and the elderly prompted an in-depth investigation and $2.2 billion settlement for charges of health care fraud by the U.S. Department of Justice.

New York product liability lawyers at The Sander Firm continue to offer free case evaluations to families whose sons have been diagnosed with gynecomastia after taking Risperdal.

J&J facing litigation over Risperdal side effects

The first lawsuit involving Risperdal-induced gynecomastia was filed in 2008, and since then hundreds of plaintiffs have taken legal action, arguing the drug manufacturer failed to properly test its drug or warn consumers of potential side effects.

Among the Risperdal lawsuits currently pending against Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen subsidiary, an estimated 130 of these claims contend that the medication was the direct cause of gynecomastia in young males.  In addition to the psychological trauma of unwanted breast growth, some of the plaintiffs have also endured mastectomies.

In 2012, J&J settled its first gynecomastia lawsuit for an undisclosed sum. The case was brought by a 21-year old male who was prescribed Risperdal at the age of nine, before the drug had been FDA-approved for use in children.

J&J marketed Risperdal for use in children with behavioral challenges, despite known risks to children and adolescents. The drug was not approved for use in children for any purpose until late 2006, and the FDA repeatedly warned the drug maker that promoting its use in children could be “evidence of a violation of the law.”

Arrange a confidential consultation with a Risperdal lawyer

As consumers and the medical community learn more about the devastating side effects of Risperdal in children and the elderly, litigation is expected to escalate against the drug’s manufacturer.

If you or someone you care about has taken Risperdal and suffered complications or adverse effects, The Sanders Firm will explain your legal options during a no-charge case review. Our Risperdal attorneys will review your case confidentially, and file a product liability lawsuit on your behalf should you be eligible for compensation. Call anytime, toll-free at 1.800.FAIR.PLAY. Resources

  1. Bloomberg News – J&J Settles Risperdal Lawsuit on Opening Day of Trial,
  2. 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,
  3. Mayo Clinic, Gynecomastia,