August 22, 2014 — The Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology has published a study linking the use of Risperdal (risperidone), a powerful anti-psychotic drug, with a 69% increased risk of gynecomastia (male breast growth) when compared to men not on the drugs.
The analysis was based on data from 8,385 men between the ages of 40-85 who were newly diagnosed with gynecomastia, including 27 cases in men on Risperdal. These cases were matched with 10 controls from the same age group who did not take an anti-psychotic drug. Researchers looked at data between January 2001 and June 2011.
Middle-aged men on Risperdal had a 69% higher rate of gynecomastia. They were also 40-41% more likely to be diagnosed with gynecomastia than men on other anti-psychotics, such as Zyprexa (olanzapine) or Seroquel (quetiapine).
Data from the study was originally presented in March but was not published until this month.
These conclusions corroborate data from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has received more reports of gynecomastia from Risperdal than any other anti-psychotic. A recent study in the Netherlands also found higher rates of gynecomastia from Risperdal than Seroquel or Zyprexa.
Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer of Risperdal, is facing hundreds of lawsuits from people who were injured by the drug. Many of these lawsuits were filed by men who were prescribed Risperdal as children and developed gynecomastia in their formative teenage years. These plaintiffs allege that Risperdal caused long-lasting psychological trauma as well as severe physical disfigurement.