A paper published in 2005 by K. Melkersson in Journal of Clinical Psychiatry titled “Differences in prolactin elevation and related symptoms of atypical antipsychotics in schizophrenic patients.” aimed to evaluate the degree to which different atypical antipsychotic drugs elevated blood levels of prolactin (the hormone responsible for breast growth and milk production) in a group of patients suffering from schizophrenia. The drugs tested in this study were clozapine (Clozaril), olanzapine (Zyprexa), and risperidone (Risperdal).
Since the FDA cleared Risperdal for the treatment of psychotic symptoms in 1993, many studies have been published linking Risperdal and male breast growth – gynecomastia, a side-effect of elevated prolactin levels.
In all, 28 patients using Clozaril, 29 using Zyprexa, and 18 using Risperdal were studied. Though this was an admittedly small study, statistically-significant results were found.
First, “Elevated PRL levels were found in 16 (89%) of the patients receiving risperidone and in 7 (24%) of the patients receiving olanzapine, but in none of the patients receiving clozapine.” For clarity, “PRL” means prolactin levels.
And next, Melkersson found that “Moreover, hyperpro-lactinemic symptoms-menstrual disturbances, galactorrhea, impotence, oligospermia, and decreased libido-were reported in 8 (44%) of the risperidone-treated patients and in 1 (3%) of the olanzapine-treated patients, but in none of the clozapine-treated patients.”
So, the paper concluded that “Treatment with risperidone was frequently associated with hyperprolactinemia and related symptoms, whereas the occurrence of PRL elevation and related symptoms was modest in patients receiving olanzapine and nonexistent in those receiving clozapine.”
Sadly, the Risperdal Warning Label fails to adequately warn users of the risk for gynecomastia associated with this drug. As such, many Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuits have been filed, seeking compensation from the manufacturer for such undue injury. If you or a loved one used Risperdal and suffered male breast growth or another complication, you too may be entitled to significant financial compensation.
For a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our team of Risperdal lawyers at the information provided below. We have the compassion, resources, and experience required to win the justice you deserve. Call today and see how we can help.
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Our Risperdal Lawsuit Information page is a great place to start if you have any questions about Risperdal.