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Bloomberg reported that Johnson & Johnson, which owns Risperdal through a subsidiary called Janssen, faced about 130 lawsuits from Risperdal users who suffered from gynecomastia as of September 2012. This number is likely now higher.
Six of the cases were settled through confidential agreements between the men and the company
In February 2013, an Arkansas state judge ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $181 million to a Houston-based law firm in a lawsuit claiming Johnson & Johnson downplayed the risks of Risperdal.
In May of 2013, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway announced a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and subsidiaries for violating the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act by unfair, false, misleading, or deceptive labeling and promotion of Risperdal. The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief and civil penalties of up to $2,000 per violation and up to $10,000 per violation directed at consumers over age 60.
On November 4, 2013, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced that Colorado will receive approximately $7.7 million dollars from Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals in a settlement resolving allegations of illegal off-label marketing activities of the drugs Risperdal and Invega.
According to a press release issued by The United States Department of Justice, Johnson & Johnson agreed to a $2.2 billion settlement in November 2013 over the alleged illegal marketing of Risperdal, a resolution recorded as one of the largest health care fraud settlements in U.S. history.
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You need to speak with one of our attorneys today if Risperdal has caused male breast development in yourself, your son or someone else you care about. The boys and young men prescribed Risperdal are already dealing with serious ailments. They should not be faced with this embarrassing and unwanted side effect.
Risperdal Can Cause Breast Development in Men
The drug Risperdal, which is prescribed to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, has an unwanted and unpleasant side effect which can occur in young men and boys. It is called gynecomastia — the development of male breasts. But gynecomastia is not typical weight gain. It is breast tissue growth caused by an increase in the hormone prolactin.
According to Risperdal’s own manufacturer, the drug has been found to increase prolactin levels in:
- 82% to 87% of boys and young men with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
- 49% of boys and young men suffering from autism and certain other ailments.
By comparison, 7% or less of those given a placebo during the study experienced increased prolactin levels.
If you or a loved one suffered from male breast development after taking Risperdal, you need to speak with an attorney. You may be entitled to compensation for your ordeal. Time is limited to seek justice, however. Contact Reich & Binstock today for a free consultation with one of our attorneys.
Effects Are More Than Just Physical
Risperdal, which contains risperidone, was approved in 1993 as an antipsychotic for use in schizophrenic adults. It was not until 2007 that it was approved for use in children and adolescents, who now make up more than 25% of Risperdal users.
The drug’s packaging warns of gynecomastia and other side effects in young males. Some young men taking Risperdal may mistake breast development for typical weight gain, which is possible with Risperdal and other medications.
But it is not typical. Surgery may be necessary to remove excess breast tissue, and the condition may cause pain. In some instances, however, the worst effects are psychological and emotional. This can lead to self-image issues and social problems.
Gynecomastia may also cause:
- Nipple discharge