A study presented at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry concurs with what many young men and boys already know: users of Risperdal may face as much as a 69 percent increased risk of male breast growth, or gynecomastia in older men, compared to those who have not taken the medication. Because of the study’s results, researchers are suggesting that doctors prescribe Zyprexa or Seroquel to males instead of Risperdal to reduce the chances of developing gynecomastia and other harmful conditions and side effects.
The researchers examined information obtained from the IMS LifeLink Health Plan claims database for one million men in the U.S. between the ages of 45 and 80 who made claims between 2001 and 2011. 8285 cases of gynecomastia were identified within this group. The study is currently under review for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, and investigators are beginning to collect data to look at the condition in adolescent boys.
What is Risperdal?
Risperdal is part of a class of medications known as atypical antipsychotics, widely prescribed in recent years for bi-polar disorders, autism, irritability, aggression, and behavioral disorders in children and young adults. It is thought to cause gynecomastia in some men, likely because it works to block dopamine and as a result, the pituitary gland releases prolactin, a hormone that stimulates breast development and milk production in women, and gynecomastia in men. Other side effects linked to Risperdal use include diabetes, osteoporosis, headaches, eye problems, and pancreatitis.
Johnson & Johnson, whose subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals manufactures Risperdal, currently faces dozens of lawsuits brought by patients who have suffered adverse effects from taking the medication. The lawsuits charge that Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals failed to conduct adequate studies into the long-term impact of the medication on boys and disclose the serious risks of taking Risperdal before marketing the drug for use in children. If you have questions and want to know about this litigation, feel free to send us an inquiry. We can help make you aware of your potential options.
A partner with Childers, Schlueter & Smith, LLC,, Brandon Smith has devoted his practice to pharmaceutical litigation, mass torts, products liability and serious personal injury. A frequent guest speaker at legal seminars all over the country—Brandon is focused on helping injured victims nationwide, however possible. Named a SuperLawyer again in 2019, he has also been called out as one of 10 Best Attorneys For Georgia by the American Institute Of Personal Injury Attorneys and a Top 100 Lawyer in Georgia by the National Trial Lawyers in 2019.