Risperdal Male Breasts Risk and Risperdal Side Effects
No one debates whether Risperdal causes breasts to grow in boys. Instead, the debate is over how great the Risperdal male breast risk is, to what severity gynecomastia can occur in males taking Risperdal, and what impact Risperdal breast growth can have on a boy’s life. Many doctors and researchers say that the Risperdal gynecomastia risk is higher and more severe than Janssen and its parent company, Johnson & Johnson, admit. This page provides an overview of what gynecomastia is, how Risperdal causes male breast growth, and what Risperdal side effects accompany gynecomastia. While male breast growth seldom causes any kind of medical Risperdal side effects, the emotional trauma and anguish that result from boys growing breasts is severely damaging. Boys who have grown breasts as a side effect of taking Risperdal have required surgery to remove the breast tissue, as well as years of therapy or psychiatric help to recover a positive body image and self-esteem. Doctors, Risperdal gynecomastia lawyers, and consumer safety advocates have petitioned the FDA to require a stronger warning about the Risperdal side effect of male breast growth to no avail. Filing lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson for damages caused by gynecomastia and other Risperdal side effects may be best recourse consumers have to push for greater drug safety accountability and raise awareness of the risk of male breast growth from Risperdal.
What is Risperdal Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is a term that refers to the abnormal growth of breast tissue in men and boys. The origin of the word is Greek, stemming from gyne (woman) and mastos (breast). Female-type breast growth in men is associated with a hormonal imbalance. Gynecomastia occurs when elevated levels of prolactin, a naturally-occurring hormone related to lactation, become out of balance with other hormones such as testosterone, stimulating the growth of mammary tissues. Gynecomastia does occur naturally in some boys and men; newborns, adolescents, and elderly males are sometimes prone to abnormal breast tissue growth, but the condition is usually temporary and self-resolving. Gynecomastia as a Risperdal side effect, by contrast, can cause significant breast growth in boys and typically requires surgery to correct.
While male breast growth from Risperdal is considered benign in that it does not cause medical problems, boys and men who grow breasts suffer from other Risperdal side effects including devastating emotional trauma. Boys who grow breasts from taking Risperdal report feeling emasculated, and develop long term emotional problems as a result of their appearance. Having one’s masculinity called into question during the teenage years can cause severe shame, self-loathing, and social isolation. Research published in the American Society of Plastic Surgeon’s journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery on the impacts of adolescent gynecomastia found that boys who grew breasts suffered emotional trauma, regardless of the size of the breast growth:
Gynecomastia has a significant negative impact on primarily the psychosocial well-being of affected adolescent patients, specifically in regard to social functioning, mental health, and self-esteem. Psychosocial impact was not affected by graded severity of disease. Health care providers and patients should be aware of the psychosocial impairments associated with gynecomastia and consider early treatment for adolescents suffering from this condition, regardless of severity.
Male breasts do not grow solely as a Risperdal side effect; some other medical conditions may cause breast tissue to grow in boys. A medical diagnosis is required to confirm Risperdal gynecomastia. Blood testing, mammogram, CT and MRI scans, testicular ultrasounds, and tissue biopsies all may be utilized to confirm the source of male breast growth and rule out other problems such as fatty breast tissue, breast cancer, or mastitis.
A variety of prescription drugs can cause abnormal male breast growth, including Risperdal. These include drugs such as anti-androgens, anabolic steroids, AIDS medications, Valium, tricyclic anti-depressants, antibiotics, ulcer medications, chemotherapy, and heart medications. Certain substances used recreationally including alcohol, amphetamines, marijuana, heroin, and methadone are also thought to increase the risk for male breast growth. A range of medical conditions are risk factors for gynecomastia such as hypogonadism, aging, tumors, hyperthyroidism, kidney failure, liver failure and cirrhosis, and malnutrition. Finally, herbal essential oils including tea tree oil and lavender oil are thought to cause abnormal breast development in boys and men. Many of these substances and conditions cause only mild gynecomastia or have not been confirmed by scientific studies. The Risperdal male breast risk has been confirmed by clinical trials, and extreme cases of male breast growth have been documented as a side effect of Risperdal.
Understanding the Science behind Breast Growth in Boys Taking Risperdal
Risperdal (risperidone) is an anti-psychotic drug marketed by Ortho-McNeil-Janssen, a pharmaceutical subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. Risperdal was approved initially by the FDA in 1993, but was not approved for children until 2007. Today, Risperdal is approved for use in children and adults, to treat schizophrenia, Bipolar I disorder, and irritability associated with autistic disorders. Risperdal is available as tablets, orally-disintegrating tablets, oral solutions, and intramuscular injections.
Antipsychotic drugs such as Risperdal serve to block dopamine receptors. Risperdal increases serum prolactin levels, which leads to the suppression of hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormones (GnRH). The resulting imbalance of estrogen and androgens alters the body’s development, resulting in gynecomastia, or breast development in boys and men, and other hormone-related Risperdal side effects.
Specifically, an abundance of prolactin, the hormone known for its connection to lactation, can cause excess breast tissue to develop in males and females. Research conducted jointly by the FDA and Duke University found that Risperdal leads to the highest prolactin levels of any antipsychotic drug. One study that sheds light on the Risperdal gynecomastia risk, which examined hormone levels in children taking Risperdal after 8 weeks, 6 months, and 22 months, found that prolactin levels became elevated quickly and remained high while a person was still taking the drug. Boys taking Risperdal have developed breasts as large as a D cup, according to lawyers representing Risperdal side effects cases. Male breast development is classified using a grading system, where Grade I is a moderate case of gynecomastia and Grade IV denotes an extreme case of male breast growth:
- Grade I: Minor enlargement, no skin excess
- Grade II: Moderate enlargement, no skin excess
- Grade III: Moderate enlargement, with skin excess
- Grade IV: Marked enlargement, with skin excess
Risperdal Lawyers Help Boys, Men, and their Families
Our attorneys handling Risperdal boys breast development lawsuits on behalf of men and their family members who having grown breasts while taking Risperdal are drug safety litigation experts. They will work tirelessly on your behalf to assure you get the compensation you deserve. If you or your son, nephew or other loved one developed male breasts from taking Risperdal, a Risperdal boys breast growth attorney can help by answering your questions and giving you a sense of your legal options.
Risperdal Male Breast Growth Lawsuits
Men and boys who were diagnosed with gynecomastia and have taken Risperdal may have grounds for a Risperdal boys breasts lawsuit. We provide legal representation for Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuits on contingency basis, meaning that we charge no fee unless we win compensation on your behalf.