A lawsuit was recently settled with J&J on behalf of a California boy who developed gynecomastia after taking Risperal, an anti-psychotic drug. The case was resolved within hours of opening arguments and is the third lawsuit to go to trial in Philadelphia this year.
J&J experienced a 2.5 million loss in the first Risperdal lawsuit when the jury found the drug maker negligent for failing to warn consumers about the serious risks of gynecomastia. The second suit was a partial victory for plaintiffs, when the jury found J&J negligent for failing to warn the public about the inherent risks of gynecomastia; however, the jury found that the drug was not likely to be the cause in the plaintiff’s case.
The drug, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is sold by Johnson & Johnson and belongs to a class of drugs called atypical antipsychotics which are used to treat certain mental/mood disorders in adults and adolescents including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Risperidone (the generic form of Risperdal) works by helping to restore the balance of certain natural substances in the brain.
Risperdal and Gynecomastia
Several hundred boys that took these drugs suffered Gynecomastia, the swelling of the breast tissue in boys and men which is brought on by an imbalance of the hormones estrogen and testosterone. The disorder can affect one or both breasts and often times unevenly.
Generally speaking, gynecomastia isn’t a serious problem, but it can be difficult to cope with the condition as many men suffer embarrassment as well having pain in their breasts. Some cases go away on their own while others require medication and/or surgery.