Risperdal (risperidone) is an antipsychotic drug manufactured by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Risperdal was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1993 as a short-term treatment for adults with schizophrenia. In 2006 the drug’s approval was expanded to include the symptomatic treatment of irritability in autistic children and adolescents. Risperdal was the first drug approved by the FDA to treat behaviors associated with autism in children. In 2007, Risperdal’s approval was again expanded, this time to include uses in adolescents with schizophrenia and bipolar disorders.
The use of Risperdal in adolescent males has been linked to a condition called gynecomastia, or the enlargement of male breast tissue. Although gynecomastia is non-cancerous, the growth of male breasts can cause severe humiliation and embarrassment and long-lasting emotional damage. Surgery may be required to correct the condition. In a study published in 2006 in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, the authors warned, “Risperidone administered to adolescents at doses commonly used for the treatment of psychotic symptoms can strongly increase prolactin levels, with clinical consequences such as gynecomastia and/or galactorrhea. Given that the long-term effects of antipsychotic drug-induced hyperprolactinemia are not well-documented, especially regarding osteopenia, infertility, growth and pubertal delay, risperidone should be administered with caution to children and adolescents.”
If you or someone you know has been affected by Risperdal, please do not hesitate to contact our lawyers for a free review of your claim.