The pharmaceutical lawyers at Auger and Auger are currently accepting clients for lawsuits against Jansen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, for the long term damage caused to young boys due to their use of the antipsychotic drug Risperdal. The major side effect of Risperdal in men who took the drug as a minor is the development of male breasts also known as Gynecomastia. It is alleged that Johnson & Johnson failed to provide adequate warnings about this risk and failed to properly research the side effect of the drug.
What is Risperdal?
Risperdal, also known as risperidone, is a drug used to treat some mental or mood disorders such as schizophrenia, irritability associated with autism, and bipolar disorder. The medication is part of a drug class called antipsychotics, which work by helping restore the balance of natural substances in the brain; by doing so, it can help the user think clearly and take part in everyday life. Other uses of this drug are not on the approved professional labeling for the drug but can be prescribed by health care professionals.
Risperdal has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treatment of schizophrenia and short term treatment of Bipolar Disorder and acute mania; however, the drug has been marketed for off label uses such as treatment for ADD and ADHD by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. This off label marketing and use for purposes not approved by the FDA is a violation of the law.
Risperdal Side Effects
What Janssen has been hiding is that this drug can increase the amount of prolactin, a hormone that stimulates breast development. Teenage boys who have taken Risperdal are displaying increased levels of prolactin and as a result they may develop male breasts. The medical name of this is gynecomastia. Boys or young men who develop gynecomastia may experience pain or nipple discharge as well as psychological damage. This negative effects of this increased hormone include:
In a case where an autistic boy took Risperdal from 2002 to 2006 and developed 46DD breasts, Johnson & Johnson was accused of hiding the risks of male breast development with the use of Risperdal in young boys and men. This was the first of the Risperdal cases where Johnson & Johnson was accused of hiding data from the FDA, doctors, and parents. The jury found Johnson & Johnson liable for not warning that its drug could cause gynecomastia and was ordered to pay $2.5 million in damages to the family of the boy.
Johnson & Johnson plead guilty to criminal charges for its illegal promotion of Risperdal to the elderly and children. $2.2 billion was paid to the US government to resolve its charges.
Over 1000 confidential settlements have been made to boys and young men who brought up lawsuits alleging that Johnson & Johnson hid information about Risperdal causing male breast development.
What you can do to help yourself or loved ones affected by Risperdal
If you or someone you know has been injured by the use of Risperdal, call Auger & Auger for a free and confidential consultation concerning your right to compensation. Don’t delay, the time to file a lawsuit may be running out depending on the jurisdiction or state where claim took place.