Good parents want only the very best for their children, which often includes protecting their mental and emotional wellbeing. For some children, this requires medication to treat mental issues and psychotic tendencies.
Unfortunately, the use of antipsychotic medication on children can lead to devastating side effects, and many families have learned this the hard way when it comes to Risperdal.
If your child has suffered as a result of taking Risperdal, you may be entitled to legal compensation. Discuss the facts of your case with a Risperdal attorney in Jackson, Mississippi to discern whether you can receive damages for the harms suffered by your child.
What Is Risperdal?
Risperdal (risperidone) is an antipsychotic medication ingested orally, and it is used to control schizophrenia, manic bipolar disorder and similar mental issues. The drug was manufactured by Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen unit and is sometimes used in tandem with antidepressants to alleviate depression symptoms. After gaining FDA approval in 1993, the drug has been used to treat the aforementioned disorders and similar psychiatric ailments.
Risperdal Dangers for Young Children
When Risperdal is used to treat the psychiatric tendencies of young boys, gynecomastia can result. Gynecomastia occurs when boys grow female breasts. The issue can cause significant pain and embarrassment for young children, particularly when gynecomastia occurs during teenage development. Boys who are subjected to this embarrassment usually undergo a mastectomy, whereby the excess tissue and breast skin is removed.
Risperdal has been linked to gynecomastia as early as 1999, and many more studies highlighted the link in recent years. A 2006 study found that administering the drug to adolescent boys at commonly used doses strongly increases prolactin levels. Prolactin is the hormone responsible for enlarging breast tissue. For women, this may cause spontaneous milk production, but in boys, the end result is gynecomastia.
Even more troubling, Johnson & Johnson seemed to knowingly downplay the severity of Risperdal’s side effects. A Huffington Post piece revealed J&J’s illegal marketing tactics, including the attempt to convince doctors to prescribe the drug “off-label” to both children and seniors alike. Additionally, J&J played fast and loose with the data, making it seem as if less than 1 in 100 boys were affected by gynecomastia after taking Risperdal. In reality, the figure was closer to 4.5% of boys.
Given these ethical improprieties, it should come as no surprise that juries have awarded millions to families who have suffered from Risperdal-induced gynecomastia. In November of 2015, J&J was ordered to pay a family $1.75 million because of their son’s gynecomastia. This was simply one of more than 1,000 Risperdal lawsuits filed in Philadelphia. One of those cases was particularly disturbing.
A March 2015 Philadelphia case awarded $2.5 million to a 22-year-old autistic man who had developed 46DD breasts after taking off-label Risperdal for years as a child.
J&J also paid $2.2 billion in fines after settling with the Justice Department for illegal marketing tactics. The infamous drug-maker had been accused of marketing Risperdal to children while paying doctors via kickbacks.
If your child has been similarly harmed after taking Risperdal, talk to a Risperdal lawyer in Jackson, Mississippi to hold the drug-maker responsible for the harms caused.
Additional Risperdal Dangers and Side Effects
Risperdal use has also been linked to other dangers and side effects, one of which is diabetes. Numerous studies link Risperdaluse with an increased risk of diabetes for children and adults.
Additional risks and side effects of taking Risperdal include:
- Blood Sugar Disorders
- Weight Gain
- Heart Problems
- Pituitary Tumors
- Bone Loss
- Increased Stroke Risk for Elderly Patients With Dementia
- And More
If you or your child has developed gynecomastia or suffered in some other way because of Risperdal, our team of Jackson, Mississippi Risperdal lawyers at ‘Maggio | Thompson, LLP are here to help. Contact our trusted team of Jackson, Mississippi Risperdal lawyers to discuss the facts of your case to receive compensation for the injuries to you and/or your family.