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Lawsuit Alleges Risperdal Caused Gynecomastia

Justice is servedAnother Risperdal lawsuit was filed on March 27 by a plaintiff who contends that he developed abnormal male breast growth while taking medication to control symptoms of ADHD and bipolar disorder as a minor. The case was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana; the plaintiff is a native of St. Charles Parish, in Louisiana.

The complaint contends that the plaintiff was prescribed either Risperdal, Risperdal Consta, Invega, and/or Risperidone at the Techne Action Clinic between 2011 and 2012 and that the used of one or more of these drugs resulted in him developing gynecomastia as well as other side effects.

Risperdal lawsuit contends the defendants knew the risks

The recent complaint contends that the defendants falsely advertised their medications as safe and effective treatment for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and that they “illegally promoted” them for off label uses. Furthermore, the complaint also argues that the defendants knew about the risks of minor patients developing gynecomastia and other medical side effects of Risperdal but did not disclose them.

Risperdal was only approved for minors with schizophrenia between the ages of 13 and 17 in 2006 and for minors with bipolar disorder between the ages of 10 and 17 in 2007. In many cases, however, the defendants marketed the drug to patients in these age groups before formal approval was given or even to patients younger than 10 years of age, with no disclosure of possible gynecomastia risks.

Critics of the drug’s use for minors have pointed out that Risperdal stimulates the production of prolactin, a hormone released by the pituitary gland that results in breast growth. Several studies appear to substantiate the connection between the Risperdal and breast growth, including one that found a link between the rate of boys experiencing gynecomastia and their consumption of the drug, another that linked the dosage level with the number of problematic symptoms, as well as an additional study that suggested a resolution of problems in cases where patients stopped taking the drug.

Previous claims end with jury awards, settlements

Hundreds of Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuits have already been filed by plaintiffs who contend that they experienced abnormal male breast growth as adolescents, requiring in some cases surgery and psychological treatment to counter the serious emotional and social toll that this condition took on them.

The first lawsuit ended with an undisclosed settlement for the plaintiff in 2012 in Pennsylvania. It took only one day for Johnson & Johnson, the defendant in this case, to reach a settlement with the plaintiff. The lawyer for the plaintiff stated that “It’s been a disaster for him and many others who suffered from this” and that some young boys ended up developing breasts as “D” cups, which later required surgical removal. The plaintiff started taking the medication when he was only 9 years old. Several more Risperdal settlements were reached in subsequent cases.

The number of cases is sufficiently high that a mass tort consolidating a number of cases has been established in New Jersey.