Risperdal® is an “atypical antipsychotic” medication indicated for the treatment of autism, bipolar disease and schizophrenia. Its manufacturer, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, marketed Risperdal® to treat children for unapproved uses including the treatment of mood, sleep and attention deficit disorders. As a result of their off-label promotion, Johnson & Johnson has been forced to pay $2.2 billion in fines to state and federal agencies.
Unfortunately, for the adolescent male children prescribed Risperdal®, the drug can cause the pituitary gland to increase its production of prolactin. Prolactin causes the development of breasts. For male children, the development of breasts (known as gynecomastia) can be devastating physically and psychologically. Unfortunately, the condition is permanent with many having to resort to surgery as the only means of correction. Mild cases may be resolved by using a liposuction procedure, while more severe cases require a full mastectomy.
In 2015, two cases brought on behalf of boys who developed gynecomastia after ingesting Risperdal® have been tried. In the first case, tried in Phila- delphia, the jury awarded the plaintiff 2.5 million dollars. In the second, the jury found Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn about the risks of gynecomastia, but determined the failure did not cause the plaintiff to be injured. Additional trials are scheduled for later this year. If you took Risperdal® as a child, or have a male child who took Risperdal®, and subsequently developed breasts or were diagnosed with gynecomastia, you may have a valuable legal claim. Call our attorneys today for more information about your legal rights.