Risperdal Use Linked to Gynecomastia in Middle-Aged Men

New study results indicate that middle-aged male users of Risperdal may be significantly more likely to develop abnormal breast growth or gynecomastia, which has previously been seen in boys and young men using the atypical antipsychotic medication.

Researchers conducted a nested case-control study within a group of men between the ages of 40 and 85, finding that middle-aged males using Risperdal have a significantly higher risk of developing gynecomastia. Prior to this study, most of the concerns about the link between Risperdal and gynecomastia focused on children using this drug.

The study involved 8,285 men who suffered gynecomastia and compared them to 82,850 controls. Researchers found that the side effects of Risperdal were associated with a 69 percent increased risk of gynecomastia when compared to men who do not take any antipsychotics. The drug was associated with an increase in the risk of breast growth by 40 percent when compared to men taking Seroquel or Zyprexa.

Although Risperdal (risperidone) is an atypical antipsychotic medication originally prescribed to adults with schizophrenia, the medication has been widely used by children for bipolar disorders, autism, irritability, aggression and behavior disorders.

For the past few years, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has been faced with an increased number of Risperdal lawsuits brought on behalf of young men and boys diagnosed with gynecomastia, alleging that the drug maker failed to adequately warn consumers, as well as healthcare providers, about the risk of developing male breasts. In some complaints, it was alleged that boys developed breasts measuring a 38D cup size, with many plaintiffs requiring surgical removal of the breast tissue.

In addition to the physical damages of gynecomastia from Risperdal, plaintiffs allege that the breast growth caused severe psychological problems for the boys, which grossly impacted their quality of life in a negative way.

As we previously posted on our blog, in September 2012 J&J reached a Risperdal settlement in a case brought by a 21-year-old man, who alleged that the side effects caused him to suffer severe psychological trauma and undergo surgery to have his breasts removed. That settlement agreement was reached just before trial was to begin in his case.

Soon after this settlement was reached, at least five other boys alleged that they experienced unnatural male breast growth from Risperdal use and filed lawsuits. Due to increased awareness, growing numbers of complaints have been filed as the drug maker continues to defend the cases.

If you or a loved one has experienced gynecomastia following Risperdal use, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. For more information, contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).

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