The side effects of Risperdal (risperidone) in young men includes breast growth — also known as gynecomastia. The breast enlargement from Risperdal can be extremely severe, and cup-sizes up to 38D have been reported.
Risperdal Breast Growth
Risperdal (risperidone) is an anti-psychotic medication that was developed by Johnson & Johnson in the 1990s. It was originally approved to treat severe psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia. It works by blocking Dopamine D2 receptors.
One side effect of this mechanism is an increase in production of prolactin, which is a hormone that stimulates breast growth and lactation. In males, this can cause gynecomastia — severe enlargement of glandular tissue in the breast. It typically produces a conical shape behind the nipple. Because Risperdal is also associated with “medically serious weight gain,” the breast growth may also include fatty deposits.
Risperdal breast growth stages:
- Stage 1: Minor breast growth (no extra skin)
- Stage 2: Moderate breast growth (no extra skin)
- Stage 3: Moderate breast growth (some extra skin)
- Stage 4: Severe breast growth (a lot of extra skin)
Johnson & Johnson Settles Risperdal Breast Growth Lawsuits
Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has agreed to pay $2.2 billion to resolve civil and criminal allegations that they illegally marketed Risperdal. The Department of Justice (DOJ) presented evidence that J&J promoted Risperdal “off-label” for use in children, defying warnings from the FDA, and ignoring studies linking Risperdal to breast growth in children. The illegal marketing persisted from 1999 to 2005.
Complications of Risperdal Breast Growth
Most health experts recommend that boys who develop breasts from Risperdal should have surgery as early as possible. This helps minimize the risk of complications, including psychological trauma and severe physical disfigurement. Breast growth can cause severe psychosocial complications during a critical time in a young man’s life.
Breast growth complications can include:
- Physical disfigurement
- Scarring from surgery
- Asymmetrical or uneven breasts (poor cosmetic results)
- Psychological trauma
- Depression, low self-esteem, body dysmorphic disorder
- Need for surgery
- Mastectomy (removal of the breasts)
- Breast reduction surgery
- And more