Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1993, Risperdal is an atypical antipsychotic medication prescribed to patients older than 10 for treating symptoms of bipolar disorder as well as schizophrenia in teenagers and adults. Children between five and 16 years of age may also be prescribed Risperdal if they suffer from irritability due to autistic disorder. However, although the medication has been approved for several uses and has been, for the most part, effective in treating certain medical conditions, patients are filing lawsuits across the U.S., alleging that the drug did not perform as intended and caused adverse side effects such as gynecomastia, or male breast growth.
Have you or a loved one taken Risperdal and experienced severe complications such as gynecomastia? A Kentucky Risperdal attorney can help you to recover compensation for your injuries. Contact Attorney Group for Kentucky today to learn more.
How Does Risperdal Work?
Although scientists are not entirely certain how the medication functions, some believe that it works to block the dopamine and serotonin receptors in the patient’s brain. Studies have also shown that Risperdal may increase prolactin levels in younger patients which could ultimately lead to the development of male breasts as this hormone is responsible for lactation in new mothers and breast development in girls of pubertal age.
Patients Report Risperdal Side Effects
In addition to gynecomastia, the most common side effect of Risperdal, the medication may also cause other serious side effects, including:
- Tremors, drooling
- Restless muscle movements in the jaw, eyes, neck and tongue
- Flu, body aches, chills, fever
- Stiff muscles
- Uneven or fast heartbeats
Risperdal may also increase the risk of death in elderly patients with dementia, as well as cause cerebrovascular complications such as stroke and other health conditions including Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome, tardive dyskinesia, metabolic changes, disruption of body temperature regulation and the potential for motor and cognitive impairment. If you or a loved one experienced one or more of these side effects, contact a Kentucky Risperdal attorney to learn if you are eligible to recover compensation for your condition.
Risperdal Lawsuits in the U.S.
Risperdal has not yet been pulled from the market although Janssen recalled 16,000 bottles of the medication in June 2011 after learning that the product was emitting a musty odor, allegedly from a pesticide in the wooden pallets that were transporting the drug.
However, despite the lack of a recall, patients are coming forward to file claims against Johnson & Johnson and Janssen, alleging that Risperdal caused serious or life-threatening side effects, including gynecomastia. In November 2013, Johnson & Johnson reportedly agreed to a $2.2 billion settlement with the U.S. government to resolve accusations that it had promoted Risperdal for uses not approved by the FDA or for patients for whom the medication was not intended including the elderly, patients with disabilities and young children.
Several states have also filed lawsuits against the manufacturer, alleging that Johnson & Johnson failed to warn the public and medical communities of the serious and potentially fatal risks of its product prior to releasing it for use. The U.S. government, along with whistleblowers and several state attorney generals, filed a statement in January 2010, claiming that Johnson & Johnson paid over $50 million to a company to promote Risperdal and tout its benefits to nursing homes between 1999 and 2004, even though Risperdal had not yet been approved for several conditions for which the company was promoting use of the drug.
Many boys and young men are coming forward to seek compensation for emotional trauma, embarrassment, psychological damage and pain and suffering as well as the medical expenses they incurred due to gynecomastia. In many cases, surgical procedures are required to remove the affected breast tissues, and these treatments can quickly become expensive. Seek legal counsel from a Kentucky Risperdal attorney if you believe you have a valid claim.
Do You Have a Case? Contact a Kentucky Risperdal Attorney Now
If you have suffered from adverse side effects such as gynecomastia while taking Risperdal, consider retaining legal counsel from a Kentucky Risperdal attorney. At Attorney Group for Kentucky, we will attempt to answer your questions and help you determine if you have a valid claim by providing you with a free, no-obligation consultation. We can also connect you with an affiliated Kentucky Risperdal. Contact us today for your free consultation.