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Risperdal Lawsuits Grow in Kind with Male Breasts and Gynecomastia

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Philadelphia, PAIt was a year ago, in November 2013, that pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals reached a settlement with the US Department of Justice with regard to the alleged off-label marketing of Risperdal to elderly patients with dementia, together with certain pediatric uses outside the boundaries of FDA approval. The value of that settlement was a whopping $2.2 billion. Judging from the growth in the number of Risperdal lawsuits alleging Risperdal gynecomastia, the storm clouds for the pharmaceutical giants show no signs of abating.

As the calendar clicked into November, there were about 945 Risperdal side effects lawsuits registered in the consolidated litigation in Pennsylvania. Just a couple of weeks later, lawsuits have grown to 1,012 cases (US District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Case No. 04-cv-1529). A sign that the litigation is moving forward includes the scheduling of a status conference at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas for December 2.

Risperdal gynecomastia is a rare and unfortunate by-product of taking Risperdal in men and young boys - the growth of male breast tissue. While male breasts can enlarge on their own over time as men age and muscle tone diminishes, gynecomastia is happening to relatively young men and boys.

It is alleged that Risperdal promotes the elevation of prolactin levels, a hormone associated with female breast development and lactation (breast milk and secretions) in new mothers. In extreme cases of gynecomastia in men and boys, secretions from the nipple have been experienced.

It appears this phenomenon is not reversed when the drug is stopped. Patients have little choice but to undergo either liposuction or a mastectomy procedure to rid themselves of the excess breast tissue.

For most people, Risperdal and Growing Male Breasts is a headline with which we can’t identify. However, for those who can, the reality of living with gynecomastia can be devastating, affecting relationships and the emotional well-being of the patient. This is especially true if the Risperdal gynecomastia patient is an adolescent. There are far too many issues the typical male adolescent has to deal with, without enlarged and lactating breasts as well.

Little wonder that plaintiffs are turning to their Risperdal lawyers in growing numbers over allegations that J&J and Janssen knew about the risk for gynecomastia but failed to warn.

Plaintiffs allege other harms as well, including Risperdal stroke and Risperdal diabetes. What’s more, plaintiffs assert that defendants continue to promote Risperdal for certain pediatric uses not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While a doctor has the moral, medical and ethical authority to prescribe a drug off-label, a manufacturer does not have the right to market its products as such.

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READER COMMENTS

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I have been taking risperidone for almost 20 years and I have man breatst and I hate it too

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