Are you a young man who developed female breasts after taking Risperdal?
In recent months, Johnson & Johnson has lost three consecutive class action lawsuits over marketing tactics of its controversial – yet highly profitable – antipsychotic medication Risperdal (generic: risperidone). In September 2012, the company settled an individual Risperdal lawsuit filed on behalf of a young man who developed female breasts after being treated with the drug for a period of five years. If you’ve been injured by Risperdal side effects, it’s important to understand that you are not alone, and that Risperdal lawyers are now filing lawsuits in courthouses around the country.
Free Risperdal Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been injured by Risperdal, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.
Do you have a Risperdal Gynecomastia Lawsuit?If you’ve been injured by Risperdal side effects, it’s important to understand that you are not alone, and that Risperdal lawyers are now filing lawsuits in courthouses around the country.
Update: Risperdal Gynecomastia Lawsuit Dismissed; Plaintiffs Will Appeal
March 28, 2017 – A products liability lawsuit alleging gynecomastia from Risperdal was tossed by the presiding judge after he found that testimony from the plaintiff’s prescribing physician did not satisfy the learned intermediary doctrine, which requires proof that a different warning would have changed the treatment regimen. The doctor reportedly testified that he would’ve never considered Risperdal had he known of its potential to cause gynecomastia. However, another doctor testified that she would have continued to prescribe the drug because the potential benefits outweighed the risks.
Breaking News: J&J Must Pay $70M Settlement in Risperdal Gynecomastia Lawsuit
Update: Study Finds Risperdal Users 5x Likelier to Develop Gynecomastia
A new study (PDF) published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology has confirmed a link between use of Risperdal by boys and young men to the abnormal development of breast tissue, or gynecomastia. The study determined that Risperdal users were 4x more likely to develop the condition compared to non-users, and that children and adolescents who took the drug were 5x more likely to have it.
“Our study showed a strong association between risperidone use and gynecomastia in young adult males, Clinicians who are prescribing risperidone to this demographic may need to consider this adverse event in their therapeutic decision-making process,” the study’s authors concluded.
What’s the Problem?
Manufactured and marketed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a subsidiary of healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson), Risperdal was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 1993 for the treatment of schizophrenia and acute mania, or mixed episodes of bipolar disorders. Risperdal is also commonly prescribed in a so-called ‘off-label’ capacity (for which it was neither tested nor approved by the FDA) for the treatment of behavioral disorders in the elderly such as dementia, attention deficit disorder (ADD) in children, as well as depression, anxiety and autism. And though it has proven to be considerably effective at treating a number of these serious medical conditions, Risperdal has also recently been linked to a large number of serious, potentially life-threatening side effects.
J&J’s “Off-Label” Risperdal Marketing Plan
Plaintiffs in Risperdal lawsuits allege that Janssen Pharmaceuticals:
- Illegally marketed Risperdal to children as a treatment for autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and other psychiatric disorders without FDA approval from 1993 to 2004;
- Actively concealed information regarding the drug’s health risks, and
- Misrepresented the potential benefits and risks of Risperdal for use in children.
2013 Risperdal Settlement
Risperdal Side Effects
Risperdal is associated with the following adverse health complications:
- Production of prolactin
- Pituitary tumors
- Tardive Dyskinesia
- Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS)
- Increased risk of sudden death from heart attack
- Diabetes, hyperglycemia and other blood sugar side effects
- Weight gain, potentially rapid and extreme
- Suicide, suicidal thoughts
- Bone loss
- Increased mortality in the elderly with dementia and related psychosis
More moderate side effects linked to Risperdal have been reported to include:
- Abdominal pain
- Dry mouth
- Sore throat
- Abnormal walk
- Chest pain
- Involuntary movements
- Nasal inflammation
- Decreased activity
- Decreased sexual desires
- Lack of coordination
- Dry skin
- Difficulty urinating
- Heavy menstruation
- Weight gain
- Lethargic feelings
- Join pain
- Difficulty ejaculating
- Respiratory infection
Questions Raised About Adherence to Pediatric Antipsychotic Dosing Guidelines
In September 2014, a hearing held in Vermont raised questions about whether doctors were following dosing guidelines when prescribing antipsychotic drugs like Risperdal to children. A recent survey found that doctors in that state followed the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s guidelines for antipsychotic use about 51% of the time. The same survey found that Vermont’s physicians only followed the FDA’s recommendations on prescribing antipsychotics to pediatric patients about 27% of the time. Click here to learn more.
J&J Settles Landmark Risperdal Gynecomastia Lawsuit on First Day of Trial
In September 2012, a Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuit filed on behalf of 21-year-old Aaron Banks was settled for an undisclosed amount on the opening day of the trial in Philadelphia. According to allegations raised in the complaint, Banks was treated with Risperdal between the ages of nine and 14, and subsequently developed abnormal male breast tissue (a condition known medically as gynecomastia), which led to prolonged psychological trauma. The terms of Banks’ Risperdal lawsuit settlement have not been made public.
Have Risperdal Class Action Lawsuits Been Filed?
Yes. In April 2012, J&J was ordered to pay $1.1 billion over claims by the state of Arkansas that the company hid the health risks associated with Risperdal from the public and medical communities. The verdict marked the pharmaceutical giant’s third straight loss in Risperdal lawsuits filed on the state level regarding the marketing of the drug. Arkansas accused J&J of concealing the side effects of Risperdal, and of misleading the state’s Medicare program, causing it to overpay for Risperdal prescriptions.
Previous Risperdal class action lawsuits filed by the states of Louisiana and South Carolina resulted in fines against J&J of $258 million and $327 million, respectively, as well as a $158 million settlement in Texas. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has also demanded that J&J pay $1.8 billion to resolve additional complaints filed over Risperdal.