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The Trauma of Risperdal Man Boobs for a Teen

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Philadelphia, PAIt’s one thing to read the headlines associated with a Risperdal lawsuit, together with accounts of claims made by the plaintiff, counter claims made by the defendants, and the subsequent back-and-forth that comprises the typical courtroom drama. To the reader, it remains just a page of text. But to a plaintiff like Aaron Banks, at the time a 21-year-old who allegedly suffered psychological trauma after growing male breasts, it’s much more than a newspaper account.

It can be traumatic. And Sam Wilson shares that view. He’s another young man having developed male breasts allegedly due to Risperdal side effects after he was prescribed the drug for Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Turrets Syndrome as a child. Wilson and his mother bravely took their story to the electronic media in an effort to educate others about his plight.

Aaron Banks, who sued Risperdal manufacturer Johnson & Johnson (J&J), had come to court prepared to tell his story, according to an account in Forbes (9/11/12). His claim to have suffered from a condition known as gynecomastia, the abnormal development of large mammary glands in males, is a plight shared by others who have grown male breasts as large as a “D” cup.

Banks was prepared to tell the court in his Risperdal lawsuit that he experienced the growth of male breasts between 1999 and 2004 while prescribed Risperdal. As a side note, Risperdal did not carry FDA approval in the US for children at the time - although to be fair, doctors have the medical authority to prescribe drugs off-label to their patients.

As it happened, Banks never got the chance to testify, as J&J stepped in and quickly settled the case just as the trial was about to begin. Other trials at the time, in 2012, were settled just as quickly amidst much speculation as to why.

Forbes noted at the time that by settling before the trial commenced, the defendant avoided the possibility of their CEO Alex Gorsky having to take the stand. The plaintiff’s legal team was certainly interested in hearing from Mr. Gorsky, noting that Gorsky had served as VP of Marketing for Janssen, the J&J subsidiary responsible for Risperdal, from 1998 through October 2001. Gorsky was elevated to the office of President of Janssen at that time and served in such a capacity until early 2003, the time during which Banks was taking Risperdal and suffering from gynecomastia.

Some sufferers of gynecomastia actually lactate

In settling the lawsuit, J&J avoided the need for Gorsky to take the stand.

Banks’ legal team explained at the time that Risperdal side effects resulted in a stimulation of prolactin, a hormone released by the pituitary gland that stimulates breast development. Children, it was noted at the time, are more susceptible to such Risperdal side effects as gynecomastia and the risks associated with spikes in prolactin.

Not only have some males developed breasts, there have been cases where males have begun to lactate.

It is not known if Wilson suffered that particular indignity. But he did, indeed, develop male breasts after a years-long regimen of Risperdal since the age of 10 for behavioral problems manifested through Turrets and ADD. He tells a local television news crew that he would refrain from participating in sports and other activities normally attractive to a teen, in order to avoid embarrassment and the teasing that would most assuredly stem from his growing man boobs.

So his mother called Janssen, according to the report. “They said, ‘No, [Risperdal] doesn’t do that,’” Wilson’s mother Pam told a news crew. “‘Don’t worry about it,’” they said.

Wilson told the television news crew that Sam was planning to have his breasts surgically reduced. She was also considering a call to a Risperdal attorney. Other prospective plaintiffs, most certainly are…


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