Houston Car Accident Lawyers
Thousands of boys and young men across the country have been plagued with a devastating side effect from a drug that has caused them to develop breasts like those of a female.
The drug that has been targeted for causing this male breast growth, clinically known as gynecomastia, is an antipsychotic drug known as Risperdal. Risperdal breast growth has been the target of much controversies . . . and many lawsuits.
What is Risperdal?
Risperdal (risperidone) is classified as an atypical antipsychotic medication that is used to treat patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other severe conditions that significantly impact one’s daily living. The drug is also used to treat ADHD as well as certain symptoms associated with autism spectrum disorder.
Risperdal works by affecting various neurotransmitters in order to bring a sense of balance to these chemicals in the brain. In particular, it targets dopamine and serotonin. By helping to target the levels of these neurotransmitters, mood and behavior are expected to improve.
In fact, Risperdal has been a “lifesaver” for many parents who have reported that they have seen a huge change in their child’s behavior, and young men have reported noticing a positive difference as well. For some, Risperdal has been able to make a positive mood and behavioral shift for those who have had unsuccessful treatments previously.
Risperdal Breast Growth
Unfortunately, for some patients who have taken Risperdal, there have been numerous reports of additional problems have been added on by the use of the drug. Weight gain, diabetes, and a condition known as tardive dyskinesia, a movement disorder have been reported with Risperdal as side effects. However, the most well-known and controversial side effect associated with the antipsychotic is Risperdal breast growth.
In addition to affecting the neurotransmitters in the brain, Risperdal also has an effect on the level of the hormone in the body known as prolactin. Both males and females have a certain level of prolactin in their bodies. Men have the lowest, and women have a higher level, with the highest levels of prolactin found in pregnant and breastfeeding women.
As the name implies, prolactin promotes lactation (milk production) when it is found in high levels in the body. Additionally, high levels of prolactin are temporarily present in adolescent females during the breast growth that occurs in puberty, as the hormone also causes breast tissue to develop.
In boys and men, prolactin can reach high enough levels when a person is taking the antipsychotic drug to produce Risperdal breast growth, and in some cases can also cause boys and men to experience lactation. Sore breasts and nipples, nipple discharge and breast pain are also common complaints by those suffering from Risperdal breast growth.
For some, the level of Risperdal breast growth may not be as apparent, and some boys and men may simply have a softening of the breast tissue without so much growth. On the other hand, other patients may experience a significant amount of breast growth, with some affected patients reporting up to a size D or DD cup as a result of Risperdal breast growth.
Stopping the medication may halt the progression of the condition but typically does not assist in a reversal of the condition. Males who experience Risperdal breast growth often have to undergo liposuction or a mastectomy to address the breast growth that was caused by the drug.
As can be anticipated, Risperdal breast growth does not just affect males physically, there is a huge mental and psychological component that accompanies the condition as well. Confusion surrounding identity and sexuality are common, as is severe depression brought on by the condition.
Lawsuits Target Risperdal Breast Growth
As a result of Risperdal breast growth side effects, numerous lawsuits have been filed against Janssen Pharmaceuticals and parent company Johnson & Johnson alleging that patients and parents were not properly warned of the possibility of Risperdal breast growth. Thousands of lawsuits have already been filed against the pharmaceutical companies, and some of these lawsuits have gone on to have settlements ranging from $500,000 to $70 million.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of Risperdal breast growth, you may be able to seek legal compensation for your injuries. An experienced attorney can provide you a free, no-obligation case review and consultation to help you learn more.