Boys or men who developed gynecomastia, or male breast growth, while taking the antipsychotic drug Risperdal may consider working with an Arkansas Risperdal attorney to pursue a claim for compensation if they have suffered embarrassment, pain or other damages as a result of taking the drug. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, has recently been named in several Risperdal lawsuits filed on behalf of patients who experienced lactation, male breast growth and surgical procedures such as mastectomy and liposuction to remove the breast tissue they allegedly developed due to Risperdal.
An Arkansas Risperdal attorney affiliated with Attorney Group for Arkansas can provide you with a free legal evaluation if you suffered from gyencomastia while taking this drug. If you or a loved one has been a victim of Risperdal gynecomastia, please contact us today to learn more about your legal options.
Risperdal, an atypical antipsychotic medication which was approved in 1993 to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia in adolescents and adults, is also approved to treat irritability in children between the ages of five and 16 who have been diagnosed with autism. The medication is also used off-label to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Records indicate that sales of the drug peaked in 2007 at more than $4.5 billion, but after the drug lost patent protection, sales dropped to $358 million by 2012.
Risperdal, like other atypical antipsychotic drugs, works to target dopamine and serotonin receptors in the patient’s brain. However, it has been linked to several serious side effects such as movement disorders, diabetes and gynecomastia, as well as:
- Weight gain
- Sexual dysfunction
- Pituitary tumors
- Cardiac complications, including heart attacks and irregular heart rhythms
- Tardive dyskinesia
- Milk production from breasts
- Bone loss
Risperdal Gynecomastia Lawsuit Claims
Since the approval of Risperdal in 1993, several studies have found an apparent link between the medication and gynecomastia. One study reported in 2006 that children who took Risperdal suffered from increased prolactin levels, a hormone associated with breast development in females as well as lactation in mothers. Another study published in 2009 found that high levels of prolactin could exist in patients for up to two years.
Risperdal lawsuits have been filed across the U.S. alleging that Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, were aware that their product could cause male breast growth but that they concealed that knowledge from the medical and public communities. So far, as patients continue to come forward, many of the lawsuits involving these allegations have been individual claims and not class action lawsuits. Bloomberg News reported in October 2012 that both Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen unit had begun to settle several claims that had been pending in a consolidated litigation in Pennsylvania’s state court.
It was also reported in 2012 that the manufacturer had agreed to a settlement with the federal government over the way it had promoted several of its medications, including Risperdal. According to The Wall Street Journal, in the summer of 2013, Johnson & Johnson was allegedly threatening to back out of the $212 million settlement because the government requested that Johnson & Johnson admit that it had downplayed the potentially serious side effects associated with Risperdal, including the possibility that the drug increases prolactin levels in adolescents and children. An Arkansas Risperdal attorney can help you to pursue a claim if you or a loved one suffered from adverse complications while taking the medication.
Johnson & Johnson has also reportedly been cited for illegal promotion of Risperdal for use in adolescents before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had approved the medication for this purpose. Johnson & Johnson allegedly balked at the request of the government to admit such a fault as the company believed that such an admission would hurt them in the pending Risperdal lawsuits. Plaintiffs diagnosed with gynecomastia and pursuing claims against the manufacturer may be eligible to seek compensation for emotional trauma, embarrassment, pain, suffering, lost wages and medical expenses for any treatments or procedures needed to remove the affected breast tissue. Contact an Arkansas Risperdal attorney to learn more.
How an Arkansas Risperdal Attorney Can Help
Drug manufacturers have a duty to ensure their products are accompanied by full and accurate instructions and warnings to guide prescribing doctors and other health care providers in making treatment decisions. If a drug maker fails to fulfill this duty, it could be held liable in lawsuits for injuries that may result.
Patients who are injured by Risperdal may be entitled to compensation for damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- The permanency of the injury
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish
- Scarring as a result medical treatment for their injuries
Patients who have suffered severe side effects after taking Risperdal, as well as the families of those who have died as a result of complications with the drug, are encouraged to seek the advice of a Risperdal lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Arkansas today. After you contact us, an attorney will follow up to answer questions that you might have. There is no cost or obligation to speak with us, and any information you provide will be kept confidential.
Please note that the law limits the time you have to pursue a claim or file a lawsuit for an injury. If you think you have a case, you should not delay taking action.