The attorneys of the Goldwater Law Firm are evaluating potential lawsuits on behalf of young men who have developed breast tissue as a result of being prescribed the antipsychotic drug Risperdal®. It is alleged that manufacturer Johnson & Johnson® failed to provide clear and adequate warnings about this risk or to properly research the side effects of the medication in full.
Emergence of Risperdal®
This antipsychotic was approved by the Food & Drug Administration in 1993 for the treatment of schizophrenia in adults. In later years, the FDA also approved its use for schizophrenia in children, behavioral disorders caused by autism in children, and bipolar disorder in adults and children.
Risperdal® was the number one antipsychotic used in the United States prior to the availability of Risperidone. Prior to the introduction Risperidone, Risperdal® experienced annual sales of more than $4.5 million. Shortly after the drug was approved, patients began to report serious issues with Risperdal® and concerns rose, leading to lawsuits.
Serious Adverse Events Associated With Risperdal
Some of the most common issues associated with use of Risperdal® include lactation in girls, movement disorders and breast development in boys. Women who are not of childbearing age and women who are not pregnant or nursing may experience lactation when using Risperdal.® Girls may develop breast tissue prematurely and this development can be permanent.
Risperdal® was previously thought to have a decreased risk of movement disorders known as extrapyramidal symptoms or side effects than other types of psychotics, but new lawsuits allege that the company downplayed the risks associated with this drug. The side effect has become much more prevalent with certain psychiatric conditions.
Finally, one of the most common adverse events associated with Risperdal® is known as gynecomastia. This is the development or enlargement of breast tissue in males. It is particularly disturbing and challenging in children and adolescents and it is usually a permanent change that requires surgical removal. Gynecomastia in young males has been associated with Risperdal®’s stimulation of prolactin, a hormone that is typically common in women who are nursing or pregnant. Adolescent boys who develop breast tissue will suffer not only the physical changes of this outcome but also emotional trauma.
Other side effects associated with the drug Risperdal® include restlessness, nausea, vomiting, drooling, tongue stiffness, anxiety, tremors, fatigue, increased risk of falls, dizziness, sedation or difficulty swallowing. Risperdal® can also cause advanced physiological problems when taken with other medications. Young boys that have been given the medication and have developed gynecomastia may have legal rights to file a lawsuit against the drug manufacturer.
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What to Do Next
If you or someone you know is in this situation, reaching out to an experienced personal injury attorney at the Goldwater Law Firm is a step you should take sooner rather than later. We understand that the physical and emotional costs of these side effects can be traumatizing, especially for young children or adolescents. If you are dealing with Risperdal® side effects, get legal help as soon as possible so that your rights are protected and so that you can make an informed decision about moving forward with a Risperdal® lawsuit. To schedule a consultation with one of our practicing attorneys, please give us a call at 1-800-210-9700 or complete our inquiry contact form.