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The litigation over the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal has exploded in the state of Pennsylvania after allegations of troubling side effects including breast growth in boys.
Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals have been hit with more than 5,000 Risperdal side effects lawsuits in the Liberty Bell State, almost tripling the number of lawsuits since last year.
Risperdal was originally approved to treat schizophrenia in adults in 1993; however, use of the drug has since been extended to treat mood disorders in children. Prescriptions for children have been on the rise, but realizations of troubling side effects have led to litigation.
Most of the Risperdal side effects lawsuits concern a condition called gynecomastia, or breast growth in males. According to studies, Risperdal increases the production of prolactin, the hormone that causes breast growth in pregnant and lactating women, but in male adolescents taking the drug. Unfortunately for these boys and young men, gynecomastia is permanent and they must undergo painful surgery to reconstruct their bodies.
In 2016, a boy was awarded $70 million in a Risperdal side effects lawsuit claiming he suffered gynecomastia after taking the drug. In that lawsuit, the jury found that the drug manufacturers intentionally falsified and hid records linking the drug to breast growth in males in addition to failing to warn the boy, his parents and doctors.
Johnson & Johnson has terminated the tolling agreements on the Risperdal side effects cases, meaning that plaintiffs now have a deadline to submit claims. Legal experts report that this move by the drug maker likely triggered the landslide of litigation. Additionally, most of the litigation, also the largest mass tort litigation in Philadelphia’s history, is from outside of the state of Pennsylvania. The source also reports that the litigation is likely centered in Pennsylvania because it is Janssen Pharmaceuticals’ home venue and a recent Supreme Court ruling over Plavix found that plaintiffs must sue in a state where they were treated, live, or where the drug company defendant does business.
What are common Risperdal side effects?
Scientific American recently reported that the side effects of Risperdal in children is increasingly concerning doctors. Coupled with the increase in use in children after approval by the Food and Drug Administration in 2003, some experts are warning parents that the drug should only be used as a last resort.
Risperdal side effects include:
- Hormonal changes
- Breast growth in males
- Weight gain
- Involuntary movements
Many of those suffering from these side effects claim that they and their doctors were never warned. Additionally, Risperdal side effects lawsuits have alleged that the drug makers were aware of these potentially severe side effects, but ignored and even destroyed records to be able to market the drug for use in children.
If you or a loved one have suffered side effects after taking Risperdal, consider contacting an experienced attorney today. You may be entitled to compensation for the side effects suffered. The Risperdal attorneys at McDonald Worley offer a free case evaluation. Call today!