The widely-prescribed antipsychotic drug Risperdal (risperidone) has recently been linked to gynecomastia, a condition characterized by the abnormal enlargement of breast tissue in young men. Recent studies have shown that Risperdal may increase levels of prolactin, a hormone that stimulates breast growth and milk production. Signs and symptoms of Risperdal gynecomastia may include swollen breast gland tissue, breast tenderness, pain, and nipple discharge in one or both breasts.
Free Risperdal Class Action Gynecomastia Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one developed gynecomastia after taking Risperdal, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.
How Can Risperdal Cause Gynecomastia?
Despite not being listed as a possible side effect of the drug, Risperdal has recently been linked to gynecomastia. And though the exact mechanisms by which this occurs are still being debated, gynecomastia is believed to result from increased levels of prolactin caused by the use of Risperdal.
In Risperdal studies, nearly 90% of patients aged 5-17 showed increased levels of prolactin 60 days after initiating a regimen of the drug. In a study involving 1,885 young men under the age of 18, at least 43 developed abnormal breast tissue. In another study that investigated children who used Risperdal, over 2% developed gynecomastia and 0.8% began lactating.
Elevated prolactin levels have also been found to suppress the gonadotropin-releasing hormone GnRH, which means that patients treated with Risperdal face an increased risk of having their sex hormones suppressed. This side effect may affect the future ability to procreate and cause a delayed onset of puberty. Additionally, diminished levels of GnRH have been associated with low testosterone and delayed secondary sex traits such as facial and body hair growth, increased musculature, genital enlargement, and voice deepening. Click here to learn more about Risperdal gynecomastia causes from Clinical Key.
Tests & Diagnosis
In order to diagnose gynecomastia, the patient’s doctor will ask the man questions about his previous medical and drug history, as well as about pre-existing family health problems. A physical exam will then be conducted that may include an evaluation of the patient’s breast tissue, abdomen and genitals. Additional tests and diagnosis procedures may include a combination of:
- Blood tests
- Chest X-rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans
- Testicular ultrasounds
- Tissue biopsies
Symptoms of Risperdal Gynecomastia
- Swollen breast gland tissue
- Breast tenderness
- Nipple discharge in one or both breasts
Treatment & Prognosis (Outlook)
Although enlarged breast tissue from gynecomastia is non-cancerous and not life-threatening, it can still have a profound impact on a man’s social health, self-esteem, and emotional well-being. Fortunately, most men who develop gynecomastia have a positive long-term outlook. In most cases, the patient’s doctor will first attempt to determine whether or not the condition is male breast cancer. Breast cancer in men is extremely rare, representing less than 1% of all cases reported. Once breast cancer is ruled out and gynecomastia is diagnosed, the course of treatment will depend on the degree to which the condition has affected the patient’s quality of life and social health.
Risperdal gynecomastia treatments and drugs may include:
- Prescription medications - Tamoxifen or raloxifene may be prescribed to patients with gynecomastia. Although these drugs are indicated for the treatment of breast cancer, they have not been approved to treat gynecomastia. Prescribing them for this purpose is done so in an ‘off-label’ capacity at the doctor’s discretion.
- Surgery – If these medications are unsuccessful at treating gynecomastia, surgical intervention may be necessary. Gynecomastia surgery may include liposuction, where the breast fat is taken out, or a mastectomy, where the breast gland tissue is extracted. Fortunately, mastectomies are minimally invasive and only require small incisions.
- Quitting Risperdal – If Risperdal has been found to be the likely cause of a man’s case of gynecomastia, discontinuing the drug in favor of another medication with fewer potential side effects may be advised.
Do I Have a Risperdal Class Action Gynecomastia Lawsuit?
The Product Liability & Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Risperdal lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuits in all 50 states.
Free Risperdal Class Action Gynecomastia Lawsuit Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one developed gynecomastia after taking Risperdal, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.