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A study reports that a popular drug used to treat autism in kids has been associated with a number of troubling side effects, including causing boys to grow breasts.
According to a CBS news report, Risperdal side effects in boys includes growing female breasts, as well as weight gain. Although the drug may be helpful in taming the violent outbursts that can be associated with autism, Risperdal was initially never meant to be prescribed for children.
The maker of Risperdal, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, has been hit with a lawsuit filed on behalf of several young boys who allegedly developed breasts after using the drug. According to the lawsuit, the breast growth is permanent and in one instance, has produced milk, leaving the affected boys confused and emotionally disturbed.
Apparently, one of the Risperdal side effects in boys is the production of prolactin which leads to breast growth. Boys will have to undergo painful surgery to reverse the effects of Risperdal and look like boys again, but nothing can be done to take away the confusion and pain of the Risperdal side effect.
The lawsuit also alleges that Janssen downplayed a number of other harmful side effects, including diabetes and seizure, while promoting the use of Risperdal in children. Although the drug was only approved for limited use in children by the Food and Drug Administration in 2006, it has been prescribed to kids for unapproved uses since being introduced in 2003.
In addition to breast growth being one of the Risperdal side effects in boys, children on the drug are also prone to weight gain, drowsiness, hormonal changes, and involuntary movements. Parents have also reported bowel problems.
Despite the Risperdal side effects in boys and girls, the drug has been prescribed to hundreds of thousands. In fact, in the past year it was prescribed 6.5 million times and reports indicate it is being used for much less severe behavior than it is intended to be used for.
According to an informal analysis of the use of Risperidone in children reported by Scientific American, the drug has a significant effect on tantrums and aggressive behavior, but experts are becoming increasingly concerned about the side effects. Additionally, reports the article, the drug’s use is limited – some children don’t respond and it does nothing to change the core behaviors associated with autism.
There are no alternatives to Risperidone, however, and extremely low doses have not been shown to be very effective, says the Scientific American report. The report points to some studies that found a beneficial effect, but the decision to take the drug should be weighed heavily because of the side effects.
Researchers say that the drug should only be prescribed in the most severe cases after all other treatments have failed and still to proceed with caution. Risperdal side effects in boys, including weight gain and distribution, involuntary tremors, and diabetes can be permanent and life changing, notes the report.
If you or someone who love has suffered from Risperdal side effects, contact the Risperdal lawyers at McDonald Worley today for a FREE case evaluation.