Authored by Chris Schroeder
In the past several months, the drug Risperdal has been the subject of a massive $2.2 billion fine from the Department of Justice for false marketing, as well as hundreds of lawsuits from families alleging their children developed abnormal breast growth and lactation.
Now, reports have surfaced that company researchers were concerned that Johnson & Johnson, the maker of the drug, may have concealed harmful Risperdal side effects that surfaced in early clinical trials.
Lawyers are still helping those families affected by Risperdal breast growth and childhood diabetes. Substantial compensation may be available as Johnson & Johnson has already begun paying settlements to avoid court.
Risperdal is in a class of drugs called antipsychotics. It has been approved by the FDA to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and autism.
Unfortunately, reports suggest J&J may have also aggressively marketed it for less severe conditions in children in order to increase profits. Studies show that the use of antipsychotic drugs for children has increased nearly 65% in the past 10 years. The company recently pled guilty to federal charges that it falsely marketed Risperdal for unapproved treatments.
Risperdal has been linked to side effects in children like abnormal breast growth from hyperprolactinemia, an increase in production of the hormone prolactin. In addition to large breasts in male patients, this can also cause milk production.
This condition, called gynecomastia, can cause severe emotional trauma for adolescent males. It is also non-reversible, so victims usually must undergo surgery unless they choose to live with the permanent changes.
In addition, recent studies have shown drugs like Risperdal can increase the risk of children developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 300%. This can cause long-term vision, hearing, skin, kidney and heart problems.
Now, internal J&J emails show a clinical researcher had concerns as far back as August of 2003 that the company had failed to inform the public of Risperdal side effects from clinical trial RIS 232.
In the email, released by the Department of Justice, the researcher stated the company had a “moral and ethical responsibility” to publish results that identified risks of cerebrovascular adverse events and death from the use of Risperdal.
Already, more than 400 families have filed a Risperdal lawsuit over gynecomastia in children. Hundreds more may join litigation over type 2 diabetes. Lawyers are continuing to help those affected file claims. However, they caution that time is limited.
If your child developed diabetes or abnormal breast growth after taking Risperdal, it is important to speak with a lawyer about your legal options. Lawyers can discuss your case today at no cost.
However, DrugRisk only recommends lawyers who have already handled these specialized Risperdal lawsuits.
Contact us today for more information on the research, side effects and litigation news related to Risperdal, or to speak with a lawyer.