Risperdal is an antipsychotic drug manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. The drug is used to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, among other conditions. Risperdal is also used to treat aggression in some patients with autism. Although it is FDA approved, Risperdal is linked to some serious side effects. In fact, a jury recently awarded $70 million to a boy who experienced physically and emotionally harmful side effects from using the drug. Contact a Boston Drug Injury Lawyer Today.
What is Gynecomastia?
Risperdal use is associated with gynecomastia, a condition characterized by breast enlargement in male patients. A hormone called prolactin is responsible for milk production in women who are breastfeeding. Risperdal may stimulate the production of prolactin in males, resulting in some very undesirable side effects.
Risperdal Doubles the Risk of Breast Enlargement in Young Males
In 2012, a study of autistic boys was conducted to determine side effects of Risperdal in these patients. The results revealed that common side effects included diminished sexual functioning and gynecomastia. In fact, autistic boys between the ages of 10 and 20 had twice the risk of breast enlargement if they were on the drug, and a 14% greater chance of suffering from at least one form of sexual dysfunction.
Did Johnson & Johnson Destroy Evidence?
The $70 million lawsuit was awarded to a boy who developed breasts after using Risperdal. The jury found that material evidence was destroyed, falsified, and/or concealed during the investigation. Previous verdicts have ranged between $500,000 and $2.2 million. This latest verdict may signal a trend of higher verdicts.
Failure to Warn
According to several lawsuits, Janssen may have known about the risk of gynecomastia beginning in 2003. Despite this knowledge, the pharmaceutical company failed to warn physicians and patients. Had they done so, physicians could have chosen an alternative treatment for some of their patients. There are other antipsychotics on the market with similar benefits to Risperdal, but without the emotionally-scarring side effects. In addition, there is evidence that Janssen may have manipulated reporting data to downplay the risk of gynecomastia in young boys.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Premier Drug Injury Law Firm
If you have been harmed by a defective prescription drug, faulty medical device, or medical negligence, the skilled personal injury team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have more than 50 years of experience protecting the rights of accident and injury victims across Massachusetts. If you have been injured due to the carelessness or negligence of a pharmaceutical company or healthcare provider, we will help you get the compensation you deserve for medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. When these high-profit companies put their profits before your health and safety, they should be held accountable for their actions. At Altman & Altman, LLP, we have an impressive track record of obtaining compensation for our clients. If you’ve been injured, we can help. Don’t go through this alone. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.