A 2007 Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology article titled “Clinical implications of antipsychotic-induced hyperprolactinemia in patients with schizophrenia spectrum or bipolar spectrum disorders: recent developments and current perspectives.” provides valuable insight into complications and side-effects related to the use of certain “atypical” antipsychotic medications, specifically into those related to risperidone (Risperdal® – Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.).
One important side effect of Risperdal use cited by the authors of the above article (Byerly et al.) is hyperprolactinemia, a condition characterized by elevated blood levels of the hormone prolactin, which is responsible for breast growth and milk production. Byerly et al. (2007) write, “Some individuals presenting with hyperprolactinemia remain asymptomatic, but others may exhibit a wide range of clinical symptoms resulting from either the direct effects of prolactin on body tissues (galactorrhea, gynecomastia) or endocrine-related secondary effects (sexual and reproductive dysfunction in the short term, and possibly the risk of tumorigenesis and osteoporosis in the longer term).” (hyperlinks added)
For clarity, gynecomastia is the medical term for male breast growth, and according to Mayo Clinic, galactorrhea is “a milky nipple discharge unrelated to the normal milk production of breast-feeding.” Next, “tumorigenesis,” or “carcinogenesis,” means tumor formation, and osteoporosis is a condition that “causes bones to become weak and brittle — so brittle that a fall or even mild stresses like bending over or coughing can cause a fracture.” (Mayo Clinic)
This team writes, “The first-generation antipsychotics, as well as the second-generation antipsychotic risperidone and its active metabolite paliperidone, have been shown to cause marked and sustained elevations in prolactin levels, whereas others of the second-generation antipsychotics appear to have little or no effect on prolactin levels or may decrease prolactin.”
Due to the fact that Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. has failed time and again to warn users of the risk for gynecomastia associated with Risperdal, even in light of the breadth of research linking Risperdal and male breast growth, a number of Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuits have been filed.
If you or a loved one used Risperdal and suffered male breast growth or another unpredicted side-effect, you 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.
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Our Risperdal Lawsuit Information page is a great place to start if you have any questions about Risperdal.