Risperdal (risperidone) is a powerful anti-psychotic medication that has been linked to severe side effects, especially when it is prescribed to children for “off-label” disorders that are not approved by the FDA. These side effects include excessive weight gain, gynecomastia (growth of male breast tissue), diabetes, and more. Some children have suffered through surgery and long-term medical care for these potentially permanent side effects.
What You Can Do & How a Risperdal Lawsuit Can Help
The Schmidt Firm, LLP is currently accepting Risperdal induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by Risperdal, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation.
You may be entitled to compensation by filing an individual lawsuit or joining a Risperdal class action. Please use the form below to contact our Defective Drug Litigation Group or call us toll-free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
UPDATE: Doctor Testifies in Risperdal Trial
January 27, 2015 — The doctor who prescribed Risperdal to a child who developed gynecomastia has testified that he would have re-evaluated his decision if Janssen Pharmaceuticals had adequately warned about the side effect. Click here to read more.
January 26, 2015 — Attorneys representing an autistic boy who developed enlarged breast tissue (gynecomastia) after taking Risperdal have presented opening arguments to a jury in Philadelphia, in one of the first cases to go to trial. Click here to read more.
December 18, 2014 — Over 1,000 lawsuits involving Risperdal have been filed, with the latest case involving a boy from Louisiana who was diagnosed with gynecomastia (male breasts) after taking the medication “off-label” when he was just a child. Click here to read more.
September 9, 2014 — A recent study has found that 0.72% of children on anti-psychotic drugs like Risperdal developed diabetes, compared to just 0.27% of children who did not take the drugs. Click here to read more.
August 22, 2014 — Middle-aged men who use Risperdal face a 69% increased risk of gynecomastia (male breast growth) compared to men who do not take anti-psychotic drugs, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology. Click here to read more.
August 21, 2014 — The Annals of Internal Medicine has published a study linking the use of popular atypical antipsychotic drugs in older adults with a 73% increased risk of hospitalization for acute kidney injury and other severe side effects. Click here to read more.
June 24, 2014 — A lawsuit (PDF) has been filed by a 27 year-old man who took Risperdal and developed severely enlarged breasts that had to be treated with a double mastectomy. Click here to read more.
June 19, 2014 — Law360 reports that attorneys for victims of Risperdal are asking a Philadelphia judge to reconsider a decision banning them from seeking punitive damages against Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit. Click here to read more.
May 29, 2014 — Attorneys for Johnson & Johnson and Janssen have asked a Philadelphia judge to throw out time-barred lawsuits involving Risperdal. If the judge agrees, hundreds of cases could be thrown out of the litigation because the “statute of limitations” has expired on their claim. Click here to read more.
May 14, 2014 — The Pennsylvania judge overseeing more than 500 lawsuits involving Risperdal has banned plaintiffs from seeking punitive damages, ruling that a New Jersey law will apply to cases in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. Click here to read more.
March 20, 2014 — The Arkansas Supreme Court has tossed a $1.2 billion judgement against Johnson & Johnson for illegally marketing Risperdal. J&J has also successfully overturned a $258 million award in Louisiana. A $327 million penalty in South Carolina is being appealed. Click here to read more.
March 18, 2014 — Researchers have presented data from a study linking the use of Risperdal to a 69% increased risk of gynecomastia (male breast growth) in older men. Click here to read more.
March 11, 2014 — J&J and Janssen will pay $5.9 million to settle a Risperdal lawsuit in Montana. The case was filed in 2008 by the state attorney general, Tim Fox, who accused the drug-makers of using misleading and illegal marketing tactics to market Risperdal. Click here to read more.
November 13, 2013 — Evidence that Risperdal clinical trial data was withheld for years. Click here to read more.
November 4, 2013 – Johnson & Johnson (J&J) will pay $2.2 billion to settle criminal and civil fines with the Department of Justice (DOJ) that they improperly marketed Risperdal to elderly dementia patients and children who developed severe side effects, including gynecomastia and type-2 diabetes. Click here to read more.
Risperdal (risperidone) is an oral antipsychotic medication used to control severe mood disorders, including schizophrenia and manic bipolar disorder. It is also sometimes used in combination with antidepressants to control depression. Risperdal was manufactured by the Janssen unit of Johnson & Johnson. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1993. Since then, it has been approved to treat several other psychiatric disorders.
Risperdal and Gynecomastia
Risperdal may increase levels of prolactin, a hormone that causes the enlargement of breast tissue. In females, this can cause spontaneous production of milk (galactorrhea). In males, it can cause the breast tissue to enlarge (gynecomastia).
Gynecomastia is the growth of male breasts, sometimes with pain or nipple discharge. The tissue is not cancerous, but adolescent males with gynecomastia may suffer devastating psychological and social injuries. For this reason, many doctors recommend surgery for boys with gynecomastia. Mild to moderate cases of gynecomastia can often be treated with liposuction. Severe gynecomastia may require a surgical procedure called a mastectomy, which involves the removal of the breast and excess skin.
Studies have linked Risperdal to gynecomastia from at least as early as 1999. Since then, many studies have also found evidence of this risk. According to this study published in Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology in 2006,
“Risperidone administered to adolescents at doses commonly used for the treatment of psychotic symptoms can strongly increase prolactin levels, with clinical consequences such as gynecomastia and/or galactorrhea. Given that the long-term effects of antipsychotic drug-induced hyperprolactinemia are not well documented, especially regarding osteopenia, infertility, growth, and pubertal delay, risperidone should be administered with caution to children and adolescents.”
Risperdal Lawsuit Settlements
In September 2012, Johnson & Johnson agreed to settle a Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuit filed by Aron Banks, a young man who developed male breasts after being prescribed Risperdal as a child. Mr. Banks used Risperdal when he was between 9-14 years old, from 1999 until 2004. He required surgery to remove the breast tissue. On the first day of the trial, Mr. Banks and Johnson & Johnson agreed to a settlement. As a part of the agreement, the terms of the settlement remain confidential.
Johnson & Johnson faces an additional 420 Risperdal lawsuits, including 130 lawsuits involving gynecomastia claims.
J&J Pays Billions for “Off-Label” Risperdal Marketing
Johnson & Johnson has been forced to pay billions to resolve government lawsuits at the state and federal level. The U.S. Justice Department forced the company to pay $2.2 billion to resolve allegations that they engaged in illegal marketing practices to promote several drugs, including Risperdal.
In January 2012, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $158 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit in Texas. The company has also paid hundreds of millions of dollars to settle lawsuits in other states. Many of these lawsuits allege that Johnson & Johnson engaged in illegal off-label marketing of Risperdal, created a pay-off system to motivate nursing homes to prescribe Risperdal, and defrauded the state Medicare system of millions of dollars.
Studies Link Risperdal and Diabetes
Risperdal is associated with an increased risk of type-2 diabetes and hyperglycemia (high blood-sugar) in children and adults. Risperdal can lead to the development of “medically serious” weight gain, which predisposes patients to diabetes. Click here to read more.
Studies linking Risperdal and diabetes:
- Pharmacotherapy (2003) – 131 cases of high blood-sugar (hyperglycemia) linked to the use of Risperdal.
- American Journal of Epidemiology (2006) — Study links Risperdal and weight-gain that “may contribute to the increased risk of diabetes.”
Risperdal Side Effects
- Gynecomastia (growth of male breasts)
- Diabetes, blood sugar disorders (hyperglycemia)
- Stroke and transient ischemic attack
- Weight gain, which may be severe
- Pituitary tumors
- Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS)
- Tardive dyskinesia (involuntary movement disorder)
- Heart problems, including heart attack
- Irregular heart rhythm
- Bone loss
- Increased mortality among the elderly with dementia
- For a complete list of Risperdal side effects, click here.
Do I have a Risperdal Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, LLP is currently accepting Risperdal induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by Risperdal, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Defective Drug Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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