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Risperdal Lawsuit Information

17 December 2013

The Ledger Law Firm Now Accepting Clients With Risperdal-Related Cases

Attorney Emery Ledger, of The Ledger Law Firm, is now accepting new clients who have suffered gynecomastia as a result of taking the drug risperidone, which is marketed under the brand name of Risperdal.

Gynecomastia is a condition whereby a male develops breasts and it’s a very significant Risperdal side effect that was allegedly downplayed by the manufacturer, especially between the period of 1999 to 2005.

Johnson & Johnson — parent company of Risperdal manufacturer Janssen — has been ordered to pay out over $2.2 billion in criminal and civil fines after the company allegedly marketed the drug as a tool to control children with developmental disabilities and elderly individuals with dementia. It’s alleged that the company downplayed or failed to mention the serious health risks.

But that’s not the end to Johnson & Johnson’s legal troubles. That’s because hundreds of male patients have developed gynecomastia and many failed to receive a sufficient warning about this side effect.

Risperdal causes the condition known as gynecomastia by triggering the excessive production of a hormone called prolactin. According to an article published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, prolactin has been associated with the development of male breasts in boys and lactation in girls.

Gynecomastia can be associated with physical discomfort and tenderness, but the primary concern is social and psychological. Many boys who live with gynecomastia face bullying from peers and they often suffer from a high degree of self-consciousness, low self-esteem and poor confidence.

Treatment for gynecomastia can be costly. Some forms can be treated with hormones, but after 9 to 12 months of the condition’s onset, internal breast tissue scarring occurs and this can be permanent. As a result, many boys require surgery to flatten the chest.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Risperdal to treat the following conditions:

  • schizophrenia in adolescents and adults;
  • bipolar disorder in children over the age of 10 and adults; and
  • irritability in autistic children age 5 to 16.

Risperdal also has several common off-label uses for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and calming elderly patients who have been diagnosed with dementia. In October 2012, Johnson & Johnson appeared in Pennsylvania state court to answer to several gynecomastia-related lawsuits.

A total of five lawsuits were filed by males who developed breasts after taking Risperdal. In the lawsuits, it was alleged that the pharmaceutical manufacturer was very aware of the risk of gynecomastia, but sales representatives were allegedly told to downplay the risk.

It’s also alleged that Johnson & Johnson downplayed another major health risk: death in elderly patients with dementia. Other Risperdal side effects include drooling, arrhythmia, muscle tremors and convulsions and seizures.

Attorney Emery Ledger, of The Ledger Law Firm, is currently available to assist individuals who have suffered medical complications such as gynecomastia due to Risperdal. To discuss your case with attorney Emery Ledger, call (800) 884-9402.