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More than 5,500 plaintiffs have filed a Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals over allegations the antipsychotic medication can cause boys to grow breasts.
The Risperdal lawsuits have been consolidated into multidistrict litigation pending in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.
According to Forbes, 3,000 plaintiffs joined the consolidated Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuit in 2017.
What is Risperdal?
Risperdal (risperidone) is an antipsychotic medication that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat autism and bipolar disorder in children. When it was approved, it was not yet known that Risperdal increases the risk of gynecomastia.
Another antipsychotic medication called Invega (paliperidone) has also been linked to male breast growth. The makers of Risperdal and Invega have subsequently been hit with many gynecomastia lawsuits filed by plaintiffs accusing the drug makers of failing to warn about the drugs’ side effects.
Risperdal Gynecomastia Lawsuit Allegations
The plaintiffs in the Risperdal lawsuits argue that J&J and Janssen failed to warn consumers and medical professionals about the risk of Risperdal gynecomastia, a condition that causes male breast growth. Many of the affected patients include boys and young men who claim they have suffered serious emotional damages because of the condition. Some have had surgery to have the excess breast tissue removed.
Of the eight Risperdal lawsuits that have proceeded to trial, the plaintiffs prevailed in four of them, and the other four were thrown out. Three of the juries returned verdicts ranging between $500,000 and $2.5 million in favor of the plaintiffs. One jury awarded $70 million to a Tennessee plaintiff.
In 2013, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay more than $2.2 billion in criminal and civil fines after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice determined it had improperly promoted Risperdal and Invega for use in children, older adults, and individuals with developmental disabilities.
Why Does Risperdal Cause Gynecomastia?
Although the exact cause of male breast growth in patients who take Risperdal is currently unknown, it is suspected that risperidone and paliperidone may increase the levels of prolactin, a hormone that stimulates breast growth in women.
Boys and young men who are exposed to prolactin may develop breast tissue. Some may also experience breast pain, nipple pain or nipple discharge.
A 2006 study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology found that, when risperidone is administered to adolescents, it can increase the levels of prolactin and cause them to experience gynecomastia. A study published by University of British Columbia researchers found that males that took Risperdal or Invega were 69 percent more likely to develop man boobs than those who did not take the drugs.
Contact a Risperdal Injury Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one experienced male breast growth after taking Risperdal, you may have a legal claim. Contact the Risperdal lawyers at McDonald Worley for a FREE case evaluation. If you have a case, you may be able to secure compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages you experienced due to Risperdal complications. Act quickly because statutes of limitations may apply.