The number of Risperdal lawsuits continues to grow, with many of the plaintiffs blaming the drug for causing gynecomastia, which is male breast growth. Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson are accused of hiding the serious health risks involved with taking Risperdal and improperly marketing the drug for uses that are considered “off-label” for kids. Janssen is a J & J unit.
In Massachusetts, please contact our Boston Risperdal injury lawyers if you think that you or your child suffered serious side effects from taking this medication. The drug, launched in the United States in the 1990’s, was approved for use by children in 2006. It is indicated for use to treat schizophrenia in adults and kids, irritability in children between the ages of 5 and 16, autism, and bipolar disorder in adults and children, ages 10 to 17. Off-label purposes include treatment of kids with ADHD.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology in 2006 reported that risperidone, which is Risperdal’s generic form, can strongly up the prolactin levels in adolescents, with gynecomastia as a possible side effect. In 2009, researchers in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology cautioned that prolactin levels could be elevated for up to two years in users of Risperdal.
Many of the plaintiffs that reportedly developed gynecomastia were adolescents. One male, who took the drug between the ages of 9 and 14, said that not only was the experience of growing breasts a psychologically traumatic one, but also he had to undergo surgery to take out the breast tissue. Johnson & Johnson reached a settlement with him on the first day of his drug defect trial in 2012.
Aside from surgery removal, the other methods for removing excessive breast tissue that can grow because of gynecomastia are liposuction, and in more severe cases, a mastectomy. There have also reportedly been cases where a male might grow one breast, even three. A breast may grow lopsided.
Male breast growth can be accompanied by nipple discharge, pain, and tenderness. Aside from psychological trauma, gynecomastia can also cause emotional trauma and lead to social withdrawal.
Other serious side effects that have been been linked to Risperdal are diabetes, Tardive Dyskinesia, Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome, and stroke-like events that can be fatal. Tardive Dyskinesia affects the central nervous system, resulting in involuntary movement in the limbs and face. NMS can cause muscle rigidity, irregular pulse, and irregular blood pressure. In 2003, Johnson & Johnson notified U.S. doctors that the drug may increase the stroke risk in the elderly. Risperdal has also been known to cause spasms and muscle weakness.
You want to speak with a Boston drug defect lawyer that can help you explore your legal options and pursue Risperdal injury compensation from the manufacturer and other liable parties.
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