Risperdal Study: Young Men More Likely to Develop Gynecomastia

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In one of the first comprehensive studies of its kind, researchers discovered that young men taking Risperdal are four to five times more likely to develop female breast tissue.

According to the Risperdal study, the drug is commonly prescribed for a wide range of mental health problems in children, including autism and schizophrenia; however, there was little research on the side effects of Risperdal before this study.

The drug is known to increase prolactin release, says the report, leading to the growth of breast tissue known as gynecomastia.

“Gynecomastia carries a high psychological burden in young men (Kinsella et al. 2012). Given the availability of other antipsychotics with a lower propensity for gynecomastia, the risk of gynecomastia in adolescent boys and younger men must be quantified so that clinicians can make a more informed decision when considering prescribing risperidone to this patient population,” states the Risperdal study report.

The study used de-identified information from more than 150 million people from a medical database to explore the link between Risperdal use and the development of breast tissue as a side effect. The researchers focused on subjects 15 to 60 years of age and looked at information collected from Jan. 2006 until Mar. 2014.

Man holding Risperdal pill suffers from gynecomastiaThe results were shocking. Researchers found that males aged 15 to 25 who were taking Risperdal were four times more likely to suffer from gynecomastia than those who did not take the drug. Further, the risk of developing breast tissue for children under the age of 18 was five times higher, according to the Risperdal study.

Gynecomastia is a severe and permanent condition. It requires painful surgery to remove the breast tissue that develops and leaves those affected with potentially life-long physical and emotional scars.

Risperdal Side Effects

In addition to the breast growth examined in the Risperdal study, those who take the drug are also known to suffer other side effects, including; 

  • Weight gain
  • Drowsiness
  • Hormonal changes
  • Involuntary movements
  • Bowel problems

While the drug was originally approved for use in adults only, drug makers rushed to get clearance to market the drug to children in the early 2000s; However, this Risperdal study and a landslide of lawsuits are accusing drug makers of failing to adequately study and disclose the side effects of the drug.

In the past year, Risperdal was prescribed 6.5 million times and reports indicate it is being used for more mild mental conditions than originally intended. 

Scientific American conduced an informal Risperdal study and concluded that, while the drug may have an effect on tantrums and aggressive behavior, the risk of side effects may outweigh the benefit of using the drug.  Scientific American also reports that some children don’t respond to the drug and use of Risperdal does not affect the core behaviors associated with autism.

If you or a loved one have experienced gynecomastia or other side effects after taking Risperdal, contact an experienced attorney.

The lawyers at McDonald Worley can help you recover additional medical expenses and compensation for your pain and suffering. Fill out the form on this page to receive a free case review.