Risperdal is an antipsychotic drug that has been prescribed for decades to those with bipolar disorder, ADHD, schizophrenia and autism. Unfortunately, health experts have now linked the drug to serious side effects like abnormal breast growth and diabetes that can affect children.
The most notable of these is gynecomastia, or abnormal breast growth. This is caused by Risperdal hyperprolactinemia, a known side effect of the drug. The condition can affect children and adult males with large, female-like breasts and the production of milk. Worse yet, those afflicted often need surgery to repair the damage.
Risperdal hyperprolactinemia is caused by a spike in the creation of the hormone prolactin. This chemical is usually only produced in large amounts in new mothers who are breastfeeding, but can be triggered by the antipsychotic drug. High concentrations of prolactin may lead to breast budding, breast growth and even milk production.
Researchers have found that up to 87% of children who use Risperdal may develop above-normal levels of prolactin within months. Over 2% of child patients have been shown to develop abnormal breasts and nearly 1% experience milk production.
The traumatic side effects of Risperdal hyperprolactinemia have been found in boys as young as 5 years of age. And since gynecomastia is permanent, those affected must often endure painful and expensive surgeries to correct the problem.
If you or a family member suffered abnormal breast growth or milk production after taking Risperdal, contact us today to speak with a lawyer. You may be entitled to substantial compensation, however, time is limited.
High levels of prolactin in children may also delay important male sexual development that takes place during puberty, such as facial hair, muscle growth, genital enlargement and deepening of the voice. In adult males, it can inhibit reproductive function.
The dangers of Risperdal hyperprolactinemia were known to Johnson & Johnson, the maker of the drug. However, they failed to properly warn consumers. They also have been charged with marketing the medication for the unapproved use of treating childhood ADHD. So far, they have been fined over $1.2 billion by federal and state authorities.
Due in part to the promotion campaigns of companies like Johnson & Johnson, antipsychotic use in children has risen 65% over the past decade. Last year, J&J earned over $1.4 billion from Risperdal sales alone.
So far, nearly 500 families affected by abnormal breast growth of a child or spouse have fied a lawsuit against J&J. Rather than face the publicity of trials and jury verdicts, they have already settled numerous cases for unpublicized amounts.
Lawyers continue to help those who have suffered injury file claims. Due to the medical costs, lost time and experiences, pain and suffering many children have endured, the damages can be substantial.
If you or a loved one were affected, it is important to learn about your legal options as soon as possible. A lawyer can discuss your case today at no cost.
Due to the complex nature of these types of drug lawsuits, however, DrugRisk only recommends lawyers and law firms that specialize in defective drug litigation and have already handled Risperdal lawsuits.
For more information on the warnings, research, side effects and legal action related to Risperdal, or to speak directly with a lawyer, contact us today. We are available 24 hours a day to help.