As more evidence comes to light regarding the side effects of the drug, a Risperdal lawsuit in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas is moving forward where complaints have been consolidated for pretrial proceedings. The lawsuits were filed against Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals on behalf of males who developed gynecomastia, or abnormal breast growth. Court documents indicate that the patients were not warned of the side effects of the drug.
Risperdal is an antipsychotic medication that was approved for use among adults with schizophrenia in 1993. In 2005, a warning was added to the drug’s label that use of the drug by elderly dementia patients could result in death and in 2006, a study found that the drug could cause abnormal breast growth, a condition known as gynecomastia, in males while female children could begin lactating before puberty. However, in 2007, the FDA approved use of the drug for children between the ages of 13 and 17 for schizophrenia and in children aged 10 to 17 for treatment of bipolar disorder. However, reports began to surface in Tennessee and other states that the drug simulated prolactin production in boys and that several young boys required mastectomies to correct the problem.
In 2013, Johnson & Johnson arrived at a $2.2illion settlement with the federal government for improperly marketing the drug to older adults with dementia. In addition, the company was accused of marketing the drug to physicians for use in children before the FDA approved the use, and for providing kickbacks to pharmaceutical companies to promote the product. However, this Risperdal lawsuit settlement did not address the problems faced by many young men in Tennessee and other states who had developed gynecomastia after taking the drug.
Gynecomastia is different than abnormal breast growth that can occur in obesity. When a man is overweight, breasts appear larger due to fat deposits in the breast tissue. However, gynecomastia is actual breast tissue created from high levels of prolactin in a man’s blood. Prolactin is a hormone naturally found in the body that promotes breast growth and lactation in nursing mothers. The problem is not resolved by stopping the drug and many young men have had to undergo mastectomies and other surgeries to remove the breasts. In cases of adolescents, the condition can be embarrassing and damage self-esteem, leading many to seek information regarding a Risperdal lawsuit in Tennessee and other states.
Could You Have a Risperdal Lawsuit in Tennessee?
If you or a loved one have taken Risperdal and developed gynecomastia, contact the Tennessee Injury Attorney group today for a free, no obligation consultation. We can discuss your options, and connect you with an affiliated attorney if you decide to pursue a claim. Contact us today to learn more.