June 24, 2014 — A lawsuit has been filed by a man who took Risperdal (risperidone) and developed severely enlarged breasts that had to be treated with a double mastectomy to surgically remove abnormal tissue.
The plaintiff filed his complaint (PDF) against the manufacturers of Risperdal, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson. The drug-makers are currently facing hundreds of lawsuits involving gynecomastia and other side effects of Risperdal.
Wasserman says he developed gynecomastia after taking Risperdal between 2008-2013, beginning when he was 20 years old. In addition to physical pain, he alleges severe psychological trauma and many ongoing medical conditions.
Wasserman blames Risperdal for causing “horrific experiences” that “scarred him for life,” and accuses drug-makers of failing to warn about the danger:
“Defendants failed to adequately warn doctors and consumers about these risks, misrepresented the degree of risk, dismissed the severity of Risperdal-caused hyperprolactinemia and gynecomastia, and even claimed that breast development in boys taking Risperdal is normal.”
Last November, Janssen and J&J agreed to pay $2.2 billion to settle charges from the Justice Department accusing them of illegally marketing Risperdal for “off-label” purposes. The drug-makers are currently facing hundreds of lawsuits from men like Wasserman.
Most plaintiffs say they never would have taken Risperdal, or they would have more closely monitored their health, had they been warned that Risperdal could significantly elevate levels of prolactin, a pregnancy hormone that can cause breast enlargement in men.