Risperdal (generic name: risperidone) is an atypical antipsychotic drug used in the treatment of various symptoms of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, and autism. Developed by Janssen-Cilag, a subsidiary of the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical company, Risperdal has been associated with the development of gynecomastia and galactorrhea.
Gynecomastia is a condition characterized by the enlargement of breast tissue in males, while galactorrhea refers to the spontaneous flow of milk from the breasts unrelated to childbirth or nursing, which can happen in both females and males. These have been attributed to the fact that Risperdal increases the levels of prolactin, the hormone responsible for stimulating breast growth and milk production. The Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology warns in a 2006 study that:
“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 has been linked as well to other severe side effects:
- Diabetes, high blood sugar
- Bone loss or demineralization
- Sexual dysfunction
- Pituitary tumors
- Tardive dyskinesia (an involuntary movement disorder)
- Weight gain, which may be severe
- Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS)
- Heart problems, heart attack, irregular heart rhythm
- Suicide risk
- Increased risk of death among elderly people with dementia
Hundreds of affected patients have filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson for serious personal injuries, and the United States FDA has warned against the risks associated with the drug. Multiple claims allege that the manufacturers had knowledge of the health risks of Risperdal but intentionally hid this information from the public in order to effectively market their product.
In April 2012, Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. were fined for downplaying multiple risks associated with their product, and in August of the same year, they paid millions of dollars as penalty for promoting the drug for non-approved uses including dementia, anger management, and anxiety.
If you or a loved one has experienced adverse effects alongside Risperdal use and would like to know how to go about filing a claim against Johnson & Johnson, the Alexander Law Firm can help you get started.
The Alexander Law Firm will thoroughly, completely, and competently investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding your Risperdal lawsuit. We believe that time is of the essence to prevent evidence from being lost or destroyed; therefore, we immediately begin working on your case. At the Alexander Law Firm, initial consultations are free. You owe it to yourself to know your rights!
Please call 1-800-350-5110, and then press 0 to speak with one of our injury attorneys.