The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Risperdal, an atypical antipsychotic medication, to treat adolescent and adult schizophrenia, as well as bipolar disorder in children ages 10 to 17 and adults. The medication is also approved to treat autistic disorder in children between the ages of 5 and 16. Recent research has also indicated that off-label use of Risperdal in children with ADHD continues to grow. While Risperdal can help to treat several mental and behavioral health conditions, several male patients allege that the product caused them to develop breasts, a condition known as gynecomastia.
What is Risperdal?
According to several clinical trials, Risperdal increases prolactin levels, the hormone responsible for lactation and breast growth in females. As a result, males who take the medication may be at an increased risk of experiencing similar effects. Although gynecomastia is treatable and non-cancerous, a male who develops breasts may likely suffer from trauma, severe embarrassment, and long-term psycho-social damage. Many men who have developed gynecomastia required surgical procedures to remove the affected tissues.
The FDA approved Risperdal in 1993 for specific conditions. However, Johnson & Johnson allegedly marketed the product to patients for whom the drug was not intended, such as children. According to reports, the manufacturer claimed that Risperdal could help treat other symptoms than those for which it was approved, including hostility, confusion, impulsiveness, and agitation. As a result, those who have been negatively affected may be entitled to file an Iowa Risperdal lawsuit and seek compensation for their injuries.
Is Risperdal Safe?
Individuals who have developed gynecomastia may be eligible to recover damages by filing an Iowa Risperdal lawsuit. In addition to gynecomastia, Risperdal patients have also reportedly suffered from:
- Increased risk of suicide
- Pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer
- Sexual dysfunction
- Weight gain
- Pituitary tumors
- Heart attacks
- Neuroleptic malignant syndrome
- Tardive dyskinesia
- Heart attacks
- Irregular heartbeats
According to court documents, hundreds plaintiffs have filed Risperdal lawsuits on behalf of male children who allegedly developed breasts, as well as other health conditions, due to Risperdal exposure. In November 2013, Johnson & Johnson reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to resolve charges pertaining to the marketing of Risperdal and other products manufactured by the company. Johnson & Johnson was accused of improperly marketing Risperdal for uses neither tested nor approved by the FDA, including pediatric purposes.
Additionally, court documents indicate that plaintiffs have charged Johnson & Johnson with knowingly concealing the possible relationship between Risperdal and gynecomastia. Under the agreement, the manufacturer will pay $2.5 billion in civil and criminal penalties. However, plaintiffs may still be able to file an Iowa Risperdal lawsuit if they believe Risperdal injured them. The time to pursue a claim is limited, though, so it is important to seek legal counsel today.
Contact Attorney Group for Iowa to Determine if You Have an Iowa Risperdal Lawsuit
If you or a male loved one developed gynecomastia while taking Risperdal and you would like to learn more about your legal options, contact Attorney Group for Iowa today. We can answer your questions, address your concerns, and determine whether you have a claim in a free, no-obligation consultation. If you do, we can connect you with an affiliated attorney able to file your Iowa Risperdal lawsuit and work to help you to seek the compensation to which you may be entitled.