When Johnson & Johnson first introduced its next-generation antipsychotic drug Risperdal in 1993, the medication quickly rose in popularity and became the go-to drug for all age groups. Doctors prescribed the medication for children and adolescents, as well as adults.
Today, an entire generation of young men who used the medication as children and teens live with a side effect the manufacturer never warned about: unexpected breast development. Many of these men are filing suits against Johnson & Johnson to recover damages for their medical bills, treatment costs, and undue emotional suffering. If you took Risperdal or a related drug and developed gynecomastia, speak to a Risperdal lawsuit lawyer to determine if you are eligible to file a lawsuit.
The Risperdal lawsuit lawyers at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. are standing by to review your case and help you understand your legal options. Call us today at 631-600-0000 to schedule your free consultation.
What Are the Risks Associated with the Antipsychotic Risperdal?
There are quite a few risks associated with Risperdal use, and the drug even carries a black box warning. This warning, the strongest required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is related to increased mortality for patients with psychosis related to dementia and aging. This warning has long been in place on the product, and is not related to the lawsuits.
The reason behind the rash of Risperdal lawsuits is a much less serious complication, but one that can greatly affect quality of life: gynecomastia.
This condition causes young boys and adolescents to develop breasts. Not only is this condition humiliating for tweens, teens, and young men, it does not always disappear when they stop the drug. Instead, many require extensive breast reductions or removal to regain a normal appearance.
Many of the men affected by this condition as boys and teens received prescriptions for the medication before the FDA approved it for use in those under the age of 18. Others received the drug for treatment of unapproved conditions.
The psychological trauma associated with this condition, especially when paired with the underlying condition they received treatment for, can be difficult for tweens and teens to overcome. Many young men who experienced this unwanted and unexpected side effect report suffering teasing, bullying, and depression because of it.
Are There Studies That Support the Link Between Risperdal and Gynecomastia?
A study published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology found that young adult males who use risperidone had four times the risk of developing gynecomastia over non-users.
The study also found the risk was five times higher in adolescent males under 18 who used risperidone over those who did not.
This study and others with similar findings play a key role in Risperdal lawsuits because they offer evidence to link the medication to unwanted breast growth and show the drug company could have known of the risk of this side effect.
What Is the Current Status of Risperdal Lawsuits?
Janssen Pharmaceuticals and its parent company Johnson & Johnson are facing thousands of lawsuits alleging they promoted the antipsychotic for off-label use as well as for children and adolescents. The plaintiffs also accuse them of knowing about the risk for gynecomastia and other side effects, and failing to warn users before they experienced unwanted breast development. These plaintiffs are requesting compensation for a wide range of damages.
The first Risperdal gynecomastia case went before a jury in February of 2015. The plaintiff, Austin Pledger of Alabama, began using Risperdal in 2002 and subsequently developed large breasts. The jury sided with Pledger, saying Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn him of this possibility. They awarded him $2.5 million in damages. Since that time, several other cases settled out of court or went before a judge with similar outcomes or larger awards.
As of October 2017, there are thousands of Risperdal gynecomastia cases pending in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas’ Complex Litigation Center.
Johnson & Johnson also faces legal trouble in a nearby New Jersey court, where some Risperdal users have filed lawsuits over an undisclosed risk of diabetes associated with Risperdal use.
If you believe you may have suffered from unexplained breast growth or an increased risk of diabetes after taking Risperdal or another risperidone product, contact us today. We offer complimentary reviews of your case, and can determine if you have a viable claim for compensation.
How Can I Discuss My Case with a Risperdal Lawsuit Lawyer?
The knowledgeable Risperdal lawsuit attorneys at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. are ready to go to work on your case, fighting aggressively for the full value of your damages. Call our office today at 631-600-0000 to schedule a time to talk to a member of our legal team about your case, and learn more about your legal options for compensation.