March 18, 2014 — Medscape reports that researchers have presented data from a study linking the use of Risperdal (risperidone) to a 69% increased risk of gynecomastia (male breast growth) in older men.
Researchers also found that older men on other anti-psychotics were also more likely to develop gynecomastia than nonusers. The risk was 41% higher for patients on Seroquel (quetiapine) and 40% higher for patients on Zyprexa (olanzapine).
Several studies have already linked Risperdal and gynecomastia in children, but this study suggests that the risk may also extend to older men — the median age of men was 65.5. All of the men were between the ages of 45 and 80.
Researchers from the University of British Columbia analyzed data on more than 1 million men in the United States who filed health claims with IMS LifeLink Health Plan from 2001-2011. There were 8,285 cases of gynecomastia during the study.
Results were published at an annual meeting of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (AAGP) on March 15 in Orlando. The study is being peer-reviewed for publication in a journal.
Last year, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $2.2 billion to the Justice Department to resolve civil and criminal allegations that they improperly marketed Risperdal. The company is now facing hundreds of lawsuits from young men who were prescribed Risperdal as children and developed gynecomastia or other side effects.